In a time long ago, before the giant reptiles, there was life. There was civilization, or so it appeared. Mortals, humans as they're called now were small and meek, in their small gatherings. There were monsters and giants that roamed the lands, keeping these mortals in their place. They lived simply in small villages, constantly in fear of the creatures both day and night. Some villages were mobile, animal skin tents and crude knives kept those mortals from the creatures that are the objects of their most powerful anxiety. There were no mages or druids at this point in time. The elves had just come into being, separating from the humans in a higher evolutionary awakening. Orcs and Drow were still far from separating farther. Giants lived off to the north, being stupid and no match for mortals despite their size. Those of the night were the true rulers of the land. Lycans, or Werewolves as they're more commonly reffered to, were still few in numbers. There were perhaps fifty over the entire earth. Margarete's true name is lost event to her after so many eons, for the sake of the story we shall call her Aharae. She was the daughter of one of the smartest men in the village, this she'd learned from constant praise of those at the market and social gatherings. The town, as it was not referred to then, was rather large for its time. Nearly a thousand lives, carried on each day. Unfortunately, it was not the days that were watched intently. For at night, a hunting party of the most vicious kind silenced all. Even the crickets fled from the pack of flowing garments and starkly white faces. There were whispered stories that Aharae had heard in the marketplace while shopping with her brothers. Stories of monsters, that came by night and left those they preyed on dead and drained of life. Her heart pounded at the very mention of danger, of peril. Just as the look would come over her, one of her brother would come behind her and wrap his arms around her. They were her protection in the time of barbarians and lawlessness. One day the village was in an uproar of terror and confusion. The pack of hunters had fallen upon a house of clay and rainwater and an entire family lay bloodied and slain. This was so disturbing, it was so unusual, as these walking nightmares stayed to the outskirts of town and preyed on the old and sick. Now, they'd become unruly as their numbers grew.
When Aharae woke the morning after, two men from the town had come at the behest of her brothers. She had heard the heavy hammering of tools outside her window, but had returned to sleep. Now her door was being attacked with banging and unbeknownst to her, bars and locks were being placed on the outside. Her brothers, had become overprotective. Her father's last words had been a cry to keep her safe from harm. Young boys in those days, thought of nothing but living up to their own father's expectations. It was how they felt that they had become acceptable men. They were slightly adrift in their rationale, with their father not there to guide them properly. Fearful of the monsters, that they had no real idea of, other then that they preyed on humans. She was forceful with them, as they were with her. A mother and father she'd never known, only the rough playfulness of a house of males. Whenever she would go out, they would be in no smaller then a group of four to protect her.
They knew she could protect herself. It was their tutorship that ensured their trust in her competence. Each of them teaching her what they had expertise in. They had once discussed over dinner that she should wear a veil and mask to hide the natural beauty of her mother. When the two older brothers had forced this upon her, she had injured Belirain's arm. They never again asked it of her, it was even regarded as a teasing joke from then on. Aharae was coming of age to be married, and the brothers were turning away men daily as they were not good enough of of high enough stature in the town. She was getting old for courting, and they were not ignorant of this. She had lived seventeen years, and they were not ready for her to leave them to be in the arms and bed of another man.
That sound outside her door, they were installing locks, and bars outside her windows. They would not loose her to the creatures of the night after all these years. She was permitted out during the day to her heart's content, under their watchful eyes. The windows were soon covered with a heavy wood. Just before the sun began to set, the brothers would force her into her room and lock her away. For nights she screamed to be let free, to walk in the garden behind the house and gaze at the stars. Her angry screams would leave her voice rasp and deep, as she fell off to sleep. Soon she fought no more, and went willingly inside as the sun's rays ebbed. Some days she would tarry in the late afternoon, only to feel the strong hand of Belirain on her shoulder. He was most like a father, though all the young men's hearts were attached on strings to her every smile and every tear that fell from those memorizing eyes. They would boast of her to all that they knew. Some days in the bright sunlight they were blue, other times they were green. In sadness as she screamed at them those first nights, however, those eyes were a stark and cold Grey.
Aharae had taken to weapons, her mind was quick and the studies had no longer held her attention. She invented new ways to keep blades upon her person, and delighted in revealing this to her brothers. Each morning as the sun rose and lit the world, the sliding metal of the locks would signify her freedom. She would turn ever so slightly in her bed, throw away the wool blanket over her form and swing her legs over the side of the slightly raised bed. Her soft pink feet would pad on the stone floor, over to the wash basin. The morning rays bounced off her soft skin, as she tip toed back with the wooden container. Her hair a dark red, unlike the color it would become later. This had tints of brown over the red, so that a brassy glint met the sun's rays. She would take the pitcher, and go out to the pump in the garden, fill it and return to her room to wash.
After washing, softening her warm skin with soft floral and fruit scents, she would dress. She would take out a suit, which was no more then a pair of bloomers and a primitive corset. Then she would pull an overdress over top of the suit and sprint to meet the brother's who had kept watch the night before. Her skin still moist, she would wrap her long arms around one of their necks and hug them to her. Once would roll his eyes as the other waited for her to release him. Then with the same youthful exuberance she would embrace the other brother and take their hands. Leading them into the main room of the domicile, she would swing their hands alternately and smile. She was a tall five foot and seven inches, but they were all six feet and above. Belirain himself was a towering six foot and six inches. He was getting on in his years, he was forty-three years of age. Her head was always tilted upwards to gaze upon their sleepy expressions.
Just as they would go off to bed, she would go out to the garden and pick the fruit that was in season. After washing them she brought them into the house. As she did, she would pass Emile who had been watching her from the doorway. He was the third youngest of the eight, his stubble glistening a dark red in the morning light. He was only twenty-three, yet he was a man of many responsibilities. Not all the brothers lived, and not all of the brothers stayed at the family house. Zachariah and his wife and children had only a half a day's walk in town. A disease had taken the entire family in a month. First it was the children, then his wife contracted it from them. Zachariah cared for his wife in her last moments, and as she passed he took a blade to his throat out of misery.
Aharae was told that they had died of a sickness, in their sleep. She knew better, but nodded any time they told her something she knew to be farce. Her resonate laugh would echo against the walls as the brothers would talk and joke over the meal. Her cheeks would turn the deepest shade of pink and her lips would pull up at the corners to reveal remarkable teeth in fair condition for those times. The days were spent carefully, and in good time. In the soft cool of the morning Aharae and Emile would work in the garden, while the others would wake and tend to the animals. Meat was almost never partaken in, for it was dangerous and full of confusing plagues. Now known as salmonella and botulism, these were thought to be acts of the gods.
The brothers might take to the trails and meet other young men from the village, while Belirain and another brother would take to teaching what they knew to Aharae. Usually Isolde would instruct Aharae in the ways of music and philosophy, playing the drums and teaching her to sing. Belirain would concentrate on simple mathematics and how to read men's movements to determine what they were thinking on the inside. He was wise, beyond his years and often had Aharae's attention. They would spend whole days talking of why men do things, why things must be done in such a fashion. Whenever she would attempt to manipulate him into divulging what he knew of the hominis nocturnes, he would flash her a stern look.
Aharae learned self defense and fighting, from Malleus. The second youngest, and the more brash of the brothers. His temper was dangerous, and she had found this through example. One day she was walking a bit ahead of the two younger brothers, and a man had come to her and attempted to spirit her away. Malleus had lunged forwards and thrown the man to the ground, beating him in the chest and face. Cestom, the youngest had to pull Malleus off the man who lay bleeding unconscious on the dusty ground. Malleus had a rather pleased smile on his face, Aharae's smile would mirror his in the future.
The same smile was brought to his full feminine lips, each time the swift ruffle of garments produced another creative concealment of a weapon. it pleased him that Aharae was strong, her arms firm and her legs thick and powerful. When the others would go to the marketplace or baths, he would take her running on the trails dressed in Cestoms tunic and leggings. That exhilarated her, and made her feel closer to him for the simple secret.if Belirain ever found out, Malleus would be punished.
In the evening, the young men would gather for the evening meal of bread and vegetables and regale the day's lessons and news from the village. There was no religion as the gods were scarce in that time. Building their power, as was considered later by Aharae. Then just as the daylight rays darkened, the good nights and sweet dreams would be expelled and one of the brothers would lead Aharae off to her room and lock the door. Two would keep watch through the night, and would often be relieved by Ahara's warm embrace and her stirring about the house after her chamber door had been unlocked.
Days passed like this, and nights were spent in solitary confinement. One night in particular would mean the changing of history for eons to come. Aharae had been locked in her room for the night, and she satin her bed with her knees pulled up to her chest. The air was cool and the sounds of her brothers talking and discussing things died away. it came into silence, and only the murmurs of Malleus and Emile could be heard in the from part of the open domicile. Aharae slipped softly into a dreamless sleep, and only awoke with the sounds of raised voices and angry movements.
Her heart began to pound as she looked around in the darkness of her room, disoriented by the sudden awakening. Her brothers, why were they awake? It sounded as though robbers were ransacking the house. She listened for Malleus' laughter, booming and threatening followed by more crashes as he and the other's overwhelmed them. But these weren't the sounds she heard. She didn't hear Malleus or Emile. Another electric jolt shook her as she heard a deafening command from Belirain.
"Leave now, you are unwelcome," came his chillingly assertive tone.