Prologue

[The Vahllans are grateful for your help. If not for you, your seaport allies would have found themselves annihilated by the Kentil. We hope you choose to grace the peace talks with your presence, and should you choose to do so, living quarters will be provided to you.]

I know looking over my lover's shoulder is a rude thing to do, but the curiosity overcomes any reservations I would have against doing so. And after reading part of the pompously worded missive, I derisively snort. My lover, the general of the Bordallaa standing army looks up at me, vaguely disapproving. And I look right back at him. The Kentil is an underwater empire, and the customs of their people are largely unknown to surface dwellers. My lover doesn't quite know the gravity of the situation and still he managed to get the Kentillian royal family to agree to talk of peace. That is itself quite a feat. However, I know he will be going in place of his brother, the Bordallian king. I cannot let him leave without first knowing where the situation stands.

"They disturbed sacred Kentillian burial grounds following a school of fish, for gods' sake. I would have attempted to annihilate them too; you can't blame the Kentillians for this mess, only the greed of the foolish Vahllans. The bodies of the ancestors in that section of the burial grounds have livid descendants raining hell down on the Kentillian imperial family as we speak, even still demanding retribution. If the Vahllans continue on in this arrogantly oblivious manner, there will be nothing you can do to stop and all out war."

"The situation is truly that grave."

"Yes."

"Then you will come with me, as my consort. After all, you have done the most extensive research of any surface-dweller on the Kentillian. My knowledge alone will not be enough to stop this."

Except that I am not a surface-dweller. Something I conveniently managed not to mention to him. I left home, leaving only a short note to explain things. And when my family sees me again, I will not be able to extricate myself from the situation. The Kentillians will hold a knife to the throat of whoever endangers their family. I don't know if my mother or father will understand the reasons I left, or if they'll let me speak long enough to hear my words. If I go, I will have to speak privately with my family before the peace talk. Hopefully my status as the Bordallian general's consort will be enough to grant me an audience. Assuming, that is, that the personal guards don't recognize me on sight. I will not my decision doom my lover to failure. I will confess the truth on the journey to the port capitol of the Vahllan. Hopefully he won't be too angry with me.

--

I was granted audience by the Kentillian guards after being recognized on sight. My mother, who was attending on the behalf of my father, the Kentillian king, was furious. After several hours I convinced her that I truly loved the Bordallian general, and she reluctantly told me that I may continue to live in Bordallaa if I wished. Surprisingly my brother was there as well. He asked her if once the talk with the foolish Vahllans ceased he would be permitted to do as I had done, and leave the kingdom to explore the world. Again reluctantly she agreed. Our father has many heirs, and the two of us are not directly in line for the throne. After speaking for a while, I found my lover and rejoined him as he tried to mediate the situation. Thanks to my lover's interference, the Vahllans were suitably humble, and did nothing to offend the Kentillian. The talks concluded peacefully.

I can only hope my little brother will find happiness as I have done.


Three years ago my brother went to the Vahllan peace talks with his mate. A year and a half ago, they were bound to each other in something similar to a marriage ceremony. I have heard that the Bordallaa don't have marriage. Whatever they do have is more permanent, and they do not accept divorce as an option, seeing it as a lifelong bond. I was invited to attend, but couldn't go because I was too far away. By the time the invitation got to me, the ceremony had already taken place. I am still grateful that he helped me convince our mother to let me leave for the surface.

And I am still exploring. I am not doing it with any of the funds from the Kentillian treasury, either. I help with harvest and woodcutting and the like when extra labor is needed, earning myself food and a place to spend the night. I have made many friends this way, though I never stay in one place for long. To find love is rare, and this makes me slightly envious of my older brother.

As winter draws near, I must find someone willing to take me in for a season. I found a path a few hours ago, but I don't know where it leads. I'm not sure where, exactly, I happen to be, but I am a bit more concerned with my empty stomach than my location. I guess I'll just keep walking.


A/n: I honestly don't know if I'll keep writing this. I mean this is just the prologue for now, but while the dream I had was just like watching a pg movie playing in my head, if I write everything out it'll turn nc-17 because I won't be able to resist adding risqué details. Bearing in mind that the prologue is more wretched than the actual story, what do you think? Is it utter trash? Yes, no? I won't waste my time if nobody thinks it worthwhile.