In the beginning.
"Father..." Kiera whispered as she walked the golden brown path through the dense forest. "Why must so much change?"
As Kiera let out a sigh, the wind picked up and brushed against her cheek in gentle reassurance. The yearning for her fallen parent was always strong. She looked up at the canopy of oak and maple leaves above her. The Autumn air was cool and crisp, The trees were now shedding their green mantles to reveal points of fire and gold. It was October in the lands of Ilenon, Kiera's home land.
As the trees gave way to the horizon, Kiera came to a cliffs edge. The sun was well set in the skyline, and yet Jaeden's star continued to shine brightly in its pale blue canvas. She smiled to herself, looking toward that sky.
Kiera kicked off her worn leather slippers and pushed her toes into the soft pine needles littered along the ground. She Turned away from the clift and rest her hand upon an old stone. "Father," She began. "How I miss you." The stone had been a reminder, of the great Epic Dark battle nearly 1,000 years prior. The stone was also the marker, for her fathers resting place.
Kiera sat on the soft ground, her back to the epitaph. Here, she prayed.
You see, this was unfortunately for her, the only time Kiera had to pray. In this age, it had been outlawed by the Seats of Telethin to attempt contact to the gods. If she were found, She would be forced to stand trial for treason. Although Kiera found the law to be silly and pointless, she respected the law enough to not cause trouble for her mother.
Much time had passed,and the lands of Sillis were no longer as they once were. The gods had no interaction with the land, or its people, and the people had no connection with the gods. Perhaps it was the loss of faith, Or something more, that very few knew about.
Kiera opened her eyes. There was an order lingering in the air of burning oak. The sun was high in the sky and she felt she had a spiritual enough meditation to prepare her for the days events to come. "I smell..... a camp fire?" she questioned herself.
Kiera pulled herself to her feet and laced up her slippers. "I wonder whose in our forest?" She wondered. Her wanderlust beckoned her, and she found herself running into the woods.
Kiera could see smoke now, gently bellowing from a small clearing in her families wood. She crouched down to attempt a more 'stealthy' way of observing her surroundings, and began to creep through the woods, stepping on nearly every dry leaf or branch in her path.
"If your trying to be sneaky, your failing miserably." a mans voice warned her. Kiera huffed. "What are you doing on my families land? Who are you?" She demanded.
The man turned, pulling back his hood and revealing a head slate blue hair. Kiera's eyes widened... Blue hair was a sign of royalty in the Elvish races of long ago. The man reached for a pail of water and dumped it over the glowing embers of his campfire. A thick steam fogged the air. 'Who I am is no concern to you. However, I apologize for treading on your land." He said bluntly. Kiera's face flushed.
"I'm sorry for being so rude. Its very odd to see someone on our land, when we're so far from town." She paused. "If I may, where are you headed?" she asked.
"I don't know yet." The man pulled his bag over his shoulder and began walking through the woods. "Can I offer you some food or..." by then Kiera tried to follow the man, and yet he had vanished into the underbrush of the forest.
"Kiera!?" Called a voice in the distance. She glanced back at the smoldering embers, before turning back to where the voice had come, and ran into the woods toward home. "Who was that man",she thought to herself, his face filling her thoughts.
Kiera began to travel home, ducking beneath the brush and jumping over rocks. The trek through the woods was complicated for some, but for the young girl whom had grown up here, she navigated though it with grace.
She reached her door step and found it to be locked. "Mother?" she called. She turned her head to see a fiery haired woman working several yards away in the fields. As she approached the woman spoke. "Kiera, I need your help collecting sweat potatoes for the market today. Winter is coming soon and we need money for supplies." Kiera nodded.
The woman was tall, with green almond shaped eyes, and a healthy build for her age. Her most striking feature was her multi-toned hair. The roots were dull and gray, by her eyes it turned to a vibrant red, from her shoulders a dull yellow, and at her hips it faded back into a dull red.
Kiera began plucking potatoes from the ground, and dusting them off before adding them to the worn sacks her mother provided. "How soon before we must leave?" asked Kiera. "Very soon, We need to sell all we can as soon as possible." her mother replied. Kiera nodded and tossed another potato into the sack.
They filled their wagon with goods. Apples, potatoes, and pumpkins were all harvested for the Autumn sale in the town where they could earn money for winter supplies. Kiera would ride in the back of the wagon to prevent bruising of the produce for the bumpy ride. Her mother sat at the front, steering the horse.
"You may have a few coins to make purchases, when we reach the city. Buy only what you need for the winter. Do you understand Kiera?" Jaeden called over her shoulder. Kiera nodded.
As they approach the town, Kiera day dreamed about her father, and of the strange man she saw in the woods. "Silly me," she thought, "Thinking about a man I will never see again."
The wooden cart turned down the cobblestone road and into a bustling town, too small to support the traffic navigating through it. The towns people were calling out for requests of merchandise and produce. Sellers shouted marketing there products and rare goods. Kiera was always fascinated by the towns and cities near her home but rarely had the opportunity to visit and interact with the locals.
Kiera looked different from most of the towns people in her homeland. She had a rich tan coloring and a crown of silver hair. Upon her forehead were three small teal colored spheres. Her long bangs would be swept over the design so others wouldn't notice this mark her father gave her when she was a baby.
"Lady Jaeden!" A voice bellowed. "Long time no see, Hows the kid and the land?"
Jaeden and Kiera turned their heads to see the local baker passing by with loaves of fresh hot bread.
"Greetings, and fairing well I suppose." Jaeden replied. turning back to her daughter.
"May I look for goods while you sell?" she asked.
"Yes you may. Here is your coin." Jaeden handed Kiera a few silvers.
"Only buy what you need for the winter."
Kiera wandered into the market area where many things glimmered and sparkled beckoning her to spend her silver. Instead, she opted to buy a small back pack, and some oil. "What else should I get..." she pondered.
As she turned to observe the market a piece of velvet fabric caught her eye. It donned silver embroidery in a religious pattern. "Excuse me sir" she called to the salesman, "What is this fabric you are selling?" The man turned to her, "Cleric Vestments. Why, You want e'm? Take e'm. There more trouble then their worth."
"You mean for free?" Kiera asked.
"Do you want them or not" the man grumbled.
"Um Yes," she hesitated. " and thank you!"
The man pulled the vestments from the rack aside his tent, and passed them to Kiera. "Hide them quickly before you get us both in trouble."
She continued to browse the market, reaching into her backpack and thumbing the soft velvet. All the while she pondered to herself the reason someone would give away such a lovely piece of material. Either way, it was to her advantage. She knew to keep the vestments from her mother, as she was stern about her practice of prayer and how involved she became in her faith since the worlds outlawing.
"Kiera!" Jaeden shouted, riding her cart of produce toward her daughter, "We have to leave now."
Kiera climbed into the back of the wagon once more, eying the sacks and barrels of food.. 'she hasn't sold anything' she thought to herself...