Cae's story - 1 & 2

Cae's story - 1 & 2

The beginning of the story from my quiz- will soon be followed by part 3.

Chapter 1

The flood - Thryn

by: sabulous
"A few hundred years ago, according to local legend, the child of the Moon and the West Wind was born. Cina Luma; a beautiful demigoddess, with ivory pale skin, ink black hair, and eyes the color of silver. She was small-featured and fair, with great talent in magic.
"But Cina, the wise woman, did not seek out a great mage or king for a husband; no, she found herself a loving and noble farmer, and with him and a group of settlers made our village.
"Her blood still runs strong amongst us today, Caeca. That is why you and I take the Luma name, for we have the hair, skin, and eyes of Cina. And you, my little doll, have her magic, too."
My mother has told me the story many, many times over the years, but I never tire of hearing it. For a farmgirl, the knowlege that you are descended from a demigoddess is, well, one of the most interesting pieces of information in the known world.
And the added bonus that I have inherited magic as well? Well, I'm not complaining! A lot of us are descended from Cina Luma in this village; but only we of pale skin, dark hair, and grey eyes can take the name. Quite a few of us have small magic- healing, speaking to animals, lighting fires, natural stuff that never amounts to much. My mother happens to have the gift of healing with a touch.
But me? I have it all, and more. I am in full possession of magic, unlike the others, who have mere bits and pieces here and there.
However, it won't get anywhere. There is no one to teach me in the village, and I could never be sent off to Thryn or Olyndra to learn. I am thirteen and my brother eleven; and we are both needed to help out around the farm. My parents could not get along without me, unfortunately, so I am stuck here.
Prophetic dreams, a little bit of random healing, and very occassionally I can force things to my will, but for the most part my magic is dormant, locked somewhere inside me, somewhere I don't have a key to.
My mother interrupts my musings. "Lights out now, Cae!"
Mothers. It's only barely dark out, but no wasting precious lamp oil in this household!
Sighing, but good naturedly, I extinguish the flames and roll over in my bed, trying to get comfortable.

...

Cold. That's the first thing I notice.
Wet. That comes next.
And the smell! The reek of death hangs all around me. I open my eyes, startled into a world that is both alien and horribly familiar. The village. My village- Lumgard, next to the river Lum.
Swollen.
Banks left far behind, streets covered in rushing water, houses swept away. Mud.
No survivors.
Impatient crows circling overhead as rooftops slowly appear as the water slowly recedes.

I wake up screaming.
And, just as quickly, my parents are there. My mother, a Luma, but not as Luma as I. My father, normal, plain, loving. Of the two, I know better than to try and explain to him.
Struggling to keep the horrible images out of my mind, I try to explain as simply as I can.
And am met with the typical parent response. "Oh, honey, it was just a nightmare. Go back to sleep, it'll be all right in the morning." Just like I'm six, just like I can't make my own decisions anymore. They go back to their room.
From across the darkened room, I hear my little brother stir. Ferox and I must share a room, to my never-ending dismay. "Cae? It were jest a dream, right?" He asks sleepily, his country grammar all the more painful after my mother's cultured speech.
"Mom 'n Dad think so," I reply huffily.
"Bu' you dun't, do ya?" Now he sounds a bit scared.
"'Course, they're prob'ly right," I admit.
"How sure are ya?" He asks.
I sigh.
An hour later finds us well out of the village, up on a hill just out of reach of a flood as the sun teases at the horizon, not quite willing to rise. I sit on the ground, damp from a light rain (here in the kingdom of Lluvian, it rains quite often), watching the clouds upstream with a frown. Was I right to come up here? Nothing was happening. Was I right to leave?
Sighing, I shake Ferox gently awake. "I was wrong... it was just a dream. Let's get back before-" the rest of my sentance never emerges, as a telltale V shape of water comes rushing down the river. It sweeps away the dock, the first row of houses, the second, the third... the whole village. The fields. The cows.
In the space of three seconds, home as I know it dissapears into the raging, muddy waters.

--part 2--

Three weeks later. It was amazing what could happen in three weeks.
Lumgard is long gone now. Everything I know is. Ferox and I have only the clothes on our backs. Leather shoes. Brown pants. White shirts. We are dressed identically, and our pale skin is covered in a layer of grime. Black hair no longer with a healthy shine, but dull and oily. We have lost weight, a lot of weight. His pants are belted with a piece of rope. Mine barely cling to my hips, and I am unusually well developed for a girl of thirteen.
But none of that matters now. Not even my magic matters. For two orphans living on the streets, I guess not much does, except your next meal. We've already stolen, but it isn't as easy as it sounds. Shopkeepers are watchful. So are customers. Scraps aren't easy to come by, and both of us are too old to be very good beggars. Apparantly the young and cute can get something, but us? No luck, no matter how long we sit in a street corner. No one cares about the children, not Any more. But today... today is different. I have learned how to read; but even if I hadn't, the bulletin put up around town is accomanied by criers who declare the news.
"Young ladies! All beautiful girls, ten to eighteen! The king is looking for a new heir! If you have magic, you could be her!"
It sounded like a dream come true. I was just in total awe, and knew that I could win it. Should win it. And would win it. I needed it, not just for myself, but for Ferox. The king's heir. Not quite princess, but plenty good enough.
Sure, I had heard the tale of how Isolden came to power, but it seemed only sad to me. The queen had died birthing the second heir, a princess. But then, the prince was wounded in a jousting competition, and the king rode off to see him. But his horse slipped and fell off the drawbridge, and horse nor king survived. The prince didn't survive his injuries.
So the princess chose the head of the Magic guild, a man named Isolden, to be her king. But she fell deathly ill within the month, and he was then the sole ruler of the kingdom.
And he hasn't aged in years! He's doubtlessly the most powerful mage in the known world, and the very thought of being tutored by him leaves my head spinning. And being his heir... it's just fantastic!
I am up bright and early the day of the assembly. Standing in line, girls in front of me are turned away on basis of looks. I am not feeling too comfortable, and sure enough the soldier turns me away.
But then, another man steps out from the shadows. I recognise his armor- Secret Police! The black with red trim is unmistakable; the glowing stones in the armor a sure sign. "Hold on there," He says, his tone emotionless. "Look at her. A filthy street rat, but beneath that grime... look at that body. Look at her hair. A good wash and she'll outshine most of them here." Now I'm just beaming.
Reluctantly, the gaurd allows me through, muttering something about 'stupid Secret Policemen' and their 'idiotic choices', only with a very good deal more cursing included.
The accepted girls are scattered in a rough semi-circle in the middle of a grand ballroom. What looks like the entire Secret Police force, the upper levels of the mages guild, and several others as well are on the opposite side of the room, staring at us.
Then king Isolden walks in.
He is tall, over six feet, thin. Garbed in black from head to toe. Boots, pants, tunic, robe. Thick black hair, but shaved away from the top of his head until there was only an inch-wide strip. It's odd, but somehow looks perfect on him.
Then he turns, and I see his face. Angles, hollows, not a smooth line on him. Little cleft on the chin. Thin, straight nose.
Well, there are smooth lines. His eyes. Lilted, foreign, beautifully curved. Dark, dark brown, smoldering. He has enchanter's eyes, with eyebrows constantly cocked into an expression somewhere between amused and sarcastic.
And he is the most attractive man I've ever laid eyes on.

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