Planejammer: The Seven Stars

Etsuriko - Prologue

I was born on Bral. The first child and female, which was not the calamity to my parents that it was to most Shou, or so my father would assure me. My mother died due to complications from the birth from the birth of my younger sister (Anachee), 11 months later. My father was a tinker and was well respected in the community for the quality of his work. He quickly remarried and I then had 3 more siblings. Two more girls and a son. My father, naturally, was overjoyed to have a son; although he was proud of all of his children.

My stepmother – well some things are just best not spoken of. As any mother might, she favored her own children above her husband’s previous offspring and didn’t attempt to hide those feelings. I was always different from my siblings and never really fit in with them. I particularly envied my younger siblings their mother, as I could not remember having one of my own. It bothered me as well that people were always commenting on how different I was…how special. I only felt alone – alone and motherless.

I was young when I left home (12). I had been training in the Song Ming monastery ever since I was very little…it seemed like more of a home than the one I had. Its not that my father didn’t care, but with 5 children and a greedy wife, he needed to work. His work didn’t save him though. My sister, Anachee, who had been studying with me at the monastery killed him the day I left. I can’t really say why she did it…who truly knows the mind of another? I can only guess that she was tired of his never paying attention to us…that she was angry that he had betrayed the memory of his first wife by marrying the second, infuriated that he allowed second wife to treat us the way she did…but whatever the logic behind the action, he was dead and there was no way I was staying in that house.

{{She ran off to the Song Ming Monastery. She applied herself to her studies and spent her free time seeking information on her sister, who seems to have vanished since the murders. She begins an affair with Nihrarzi, a clerk of the Royal Exchequer’s Office and is sent to the Donjon with him when he is imprisoned for stealing. Eventually the monastery is able to arrange her release}}

I served in the military on Shipwrecker – offering my services to the Shipwright’s Guild against the goblin raiders. It was good work – almost like being back in the monastery. We stopped being defensive only and began to attack the goblins in their own caves – raiding them. Not that goblins have much of anything anyone wants, but it brought the fear home to them. When we weren’t defending/raiding the goblins, I spent my time in the wilderness, training and meditating.

The storms on Shipwrecker are simply amazing in their overpowering force. I spent a great deal of the storm season out in the wild, testing myself and my abilities. When I would return to town, I would rejoin the infantry and test myself against the goblins. We were doing well and had definitely turned the tide against the goblins when everyone began to get ill from this strange flu that caused blue boils all over the body. I never got ill, even though I spent as much time as I could nursing the sick, while maintaining defenses. Luckily, the goblins were susceptible too and they lost their fair share of troops.

When the flu had raged its course, there wasn’t much of an army left on either side. It never was determined where it had come from – perhaps a magical source? Maybe a flu from one of the more alien races? It was with the new influx of troops and ship builders that gold got discovered. Suddenly, there were people underfoot wherever you turned, no matter how far out you went into the wilds. I left then…I’ve never been keen on unruly mobs.

I caught passage on a vessel operated by House Moune and there met Aric Cozar, Prince Andru’s nephew. We parted amicably, because when I reached Spiral and saw the mountains there, I had to stay. He was disappointed, but all things end.

Spiral is my second favorite place in all the realms. My first being my home monastery of course. Spiral has emptiness enough to fill the heart…beauty to stop it and danger to fill it with awe and respect. There I spent months at a time in quiet meditation and testing myself against the wilderness. I began to obtain the first glimmerings of the hint of true spirituality there. It was also there that I met and fell in love with Legowyn Brightstar of the of the House of Atreus Bladesingers. We spent many years training together – not that I, as an outsider, could learn the bladesinging techniques, but working on other aspects of being a warrior – loving, dancing and eventually fighting.

The elves, as a group, are fascinating in so many ways and their longevity gives them so much potential, but their tendency to discount anyone and everything that is not elvish, denies them much possibility. I could not, as Legowyn wanted, stay and marry him. Spiral was not my home and they were not my people. I would always be the outsider. He would not consider leaving his home to adventure…his home was everything to him…he was a fabulous fighter and was so respected by his fellows for his ability…he could have never given up being a Bladesinger and I, who selfishly wanted him to, knew it would have destroyed him. Also, my staying would have destroyed any chance for advancement he may have had…the elves of the House of Atreus are certainly more forward thinking than most, but I didn’t want to place Legowyn’s career in the hands of their magnanimity.

It was with a sorrow that still catches me unaware that I left him and returned home after a having this dream – more like a vision – of two great dragons, one red and one white circling around Bral…fighting each other over it…I was filled with this overwhelming sense of danger, but I couldn’t tell which dragon represented the most trouble to Bral. I had to go home. I have not seen or spoken to Legowyn since leaving Spiral…I wanted to rush back after hearing the news about Spiral’s capture by the Scro, but it is impossible to catch ship there. I have exhausted the few resources I have trying to get news of him. It had taken every ounce of training that I have to maintain calm….there is, at this time, nothing further that I can do. I must wait patiently until opportunity or information presents itself.

I have been on Bral for over a year now and have returned to my monastery to help to train the younger students. It has been a quiet, peaceful time. And I have to admit that I have greatly enjoyed eating at The Burnt Tail again. My own cooking is nothing in comparison to the joys of home food, or the splendor of The Burnt Tail.

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