Prologue

Year of our Lord 1684

Dearest Journal,

I am in great need of a confidante. I find myself without a friend to confide in. It's not that I couldn't if I wanted to but more to the effect that I do not want to burden my Clan with my fears and uncertainties. I also feel that it is my place to protect my people from the realities that I face as new Laird of SarVein. They look to me for guidance in dark times, and I need to be who they need me to be. I must be decisive, courageous, strong willed, confident, dependable...I am told that I am all of those things, but I fear that I am sorely lacking in the stamina in which to fuel them all. If my father had lived he could have been the savior of the Clan. He would have flourished within the role and found a way to end the war...he wouldn't have even had to find the solution; he would have just known what to do. I find myself questioning the decision he made to hand over the title to me...

Was he in his right mind when he made the decision?

Had he truly believed that I was best for the people?

Why had he not chosen my brothers?

Would Dorien have been a better Laird than I?

Would Sorben have been better than Dorien, and I?

What had my Father believed that I possessed that my brothers had not? So many questions...a Laird should not have to question such decisions. He should be confident in the fact that he had been chosen and accept that he had been the best choice...but I will always wonder if I should have accepted what my Father had willed upon me or if I should have given it to Dorien or Sorben? These uncertainties make me weak, and a Laird can not be weak!

I look around at what has become of the SarVein Holding, and I see my weaknesses reflected back at me. Everything is crumbling at my feet. The Holding itself is falling apart and in great need of repair. The cottages surrounding it are battle worn and look as if a stiff wind will fell them. The wall that had once been erected to protect my Clan against outsiders has deteriorated to the point that the DarcNar Clan sees it as an invitation to waltz in and murder us all...which they have already done and continue to do on a daily basis. The emerald grasses of the fields are dyed red with the blood of my fallen warriors. Not even the heaviest of rainfalls seems to cleanse it from the earth.

The people who had once been so carefree and lively have turned into scared, morose beings that haunt me.

I know that if my father had lived that he would have been able to beat the DarcNar Clan back as he had always done during the constant wars...and they knew that. But now, with him gone, they have doubled their attacks upon us and redoubled their efforts in exterminating us completely and it has paid off. We win a meager battle here and there, but they are not enough. We are so few to so many. We can not keep this up.

I have thought over many ways in which to fend them off. Our Counsel converses nightly on how we can defeat them...but nothing seems to work. We keep attacking them with new strategies and although they work at first they are always being countered.

The new Laird of the DarcNar Clan is a very brilliant man. I do not know of his name for he is not directly of the DarcNar lineage. I have been told that he had ascended to the position because he had challenged the previous Laird and won.

And the first rule of Lykae law is: You keep what you kill.

He is an unpredictable force with which I do not reckon with. He beats me at every turn, murdering my people before my very eyes as they struggle against him.

I have went into so many battles only to come out alive while so many of my warriors do not. He is truly exterminating us. And even though we chance to kill a few...they are replaced with at least two more greater than the first. I fear that he will soon kill us all...and for what?

I don't even know what had started this war in the first place. It has raged for so many generations that we have all forgotten the reason with which we fight. All we know is that we hate everything to do with the DarcNar Clan and it's inhabitants.

And it seems that their hate has become all the more greater than ours. I know that I am not strong enough to be what my people need...but I know that I will keep fighting for them. I love them all...every man, woman, and child. I feel their deaths every day, and I mourn them all as if they were my own father, sister, mother, or brother. I can not let them die out like this...they do not deserve such a thing.

I am Desari Le Antonia Rage SarVein, ruling Laird of the SarVein Lykae, daughter of Lucus Le Antonia Wrath SarVein, and Princess of the Silver Mists...

And I vow to fight for my Clan with every breath within my body and ensure their survival above my own.

I will not let the DarcNar win.