In the Shadow of Kings
Aryenne is the result of a mistake her father Mandaru made 22 years ago. As a travelling merchant he got in contact with the elves on his yearly visits to the market of Tyr. One unfortunate day he got a little bit too close to one of them. The next year the elf sought him up and handed him a small bundle, and then disappeared in the crowd. The bundle soon started to cry…
Aryenne’s father brought her home to the village where his wife and two small children, Alina and Aziru, waited. His wife wasn´t too happy, especially when the girl grew up and her elven blood made itself reminded. She looked almost like a human child, but taller and with somewhat pointed ears. She didn´t like to be indoors and took every chance she could to sneak outside. Her step mother, who wanted to keep her out of sight from the gossiping neighbors, had a hard job. Aryenne was also very lazy and most of all wanted to have fun. She was not much help in the daily work and spent her days strolling about the village and the surroundings.
When Aryenne was six years old the woman died. Her father had no choice but to bring his children along to the market. The shortest route went through the hot and dry desert. To spare the children from this he choose a longer but easier way around the worst parts of the desert. One day, when the small family had made their camp and her father had sent Aryenne to catch some lizards to eat, the camp was attacked. When Aryenne got back, her father was dead and her sister lay badly hurt on the ground. The brother was nowhere to be seen.
The sister recovered slowly, but the attackers had made her totally blind. They continued in the direction their father had pointed out to them the day before the attack, and soon met a caravan heading for the market. A merchant named Ditanu Snaketongue pitied the blind girl and her sister and allowed them to join him, and the friendly man even gave them a few drops of water every morning before they broke camp.
When they finally got to the big city of Tyr he took the girls to a noble man he knew, Azera of the Semira family. There he sold them as servants for a purse of coins.
They were set to work, mostly in the kitchen, but after some years Aryenne became servant to the advisor of the family. The advisor was an old and evil man. He had served the family for a long time, but now his legs wouldn´t walk as fast as before and his eyes were not as sharp as eyes were supposed to be. He needed help with writing and delivering letters and Aryenne was thought to fit as his secretary and servant.
Aryenne was more and more often sent out in the streets with messages or other tasks. She had never seen houses so high, crowds so big or so many streets to explore. She often took new, exciting and not very efficient ways to deliver her messages, and sometimes she totally forgot her tasks and lingered in the city for hours. In the evenings when the work was done for the day, she described everything to her sister. Soon she was convinced to bring her sister out in the streets. The first times Aryenne had to take good care of Alina and show her every step and describe every stone and corner in the city, but soon Alina learned how to find her own way through the streets.
The sisters asked around for information of the people who had captured their brother. Someone had heard of one of the names. One man thought he had seen someone who looked like their brother on the marketplace a few weeks back, but all clues led nowhere and they gave up their search.
Soon Aryenne found her favorite place in the city; the cages containing the wild animals used for the big gladiator tournaments. She often sneaked in beneath the fences on her way from her deliveries. She enjoyed the company of the animals, and she could somtimes sense their feelings and she knew those feelings well herself. She felt trapped in the city and as a servant.
The advisor was very suspicious against half-elves. He often beat Aryenne if he thought her to be too slow, if she made an even so small dot in the wrong place in a letter or for no reason at all. She was not sad at all when he got replaced by a long, strange-looking man. His name was Sarghon.
She ran with messages for the new advisor, and spent time with her sister and the caged animals. This was the life Aryenne knew, but one day it all changed. It was the day when the king was killed.
When Azera of Semira took his truest templars and servants to chase after rebels, Aryenne and her sister were left behind. The city was a total chaos with fights and killing in the streets. No one was safe, especially not in the house belonging to a supporter of the former king. They had to leave.
Some days before, when delivering a message to a noble Templar named Sariel, Aryenne accidentally heard a name she hadn´t heard in 16 years, not since the attack when her brother was taken captive. She and her sister agreed on finding out more about what happened to their brother. They must find Sariel Templar to find out more about this Arannis…
In their search they cross paths with Sarghon again and persuaded him to take them to his Templar-friend.