Chapter One

Chapter One

A Chapter by Aianarie (INACTIVE)

Chapter One

 


          My suit of armor was almost complete.  I had spent months working on it; meticulously linking together every link of the chain mail; designing and carving out the metals for the elaborately shaped plates; collecting and polishing stones for ornamentation; and sewing the beautiful, full-length tunic that is worn underneath.

          The only thing left to finish was the helmet.  Like the breast and hip plates, the helmet is one of the more complex pieces of the suit.  It is crafted in the traditional style of Araelia with its silver wings and beak-like nose piece.

          The upcoming Sunday was my armoring.  Every Araelian is trained from the age of reason in the arts of intense concentration and methodical technique.  Araelia raises some of the most unique warriors in all of the Sister Lands.  The armoring is a very special ceremony for a young Araelian; the completion of their training and the liberty to leave their homeland and venture out in the world on their own wherever and whenever they wish.

          I was truly excited.  I had thoroughly enjoyed my older brother’s armoring two years before, and couldn’t wait to have the same experience.  I started my training at the age of five, which was very young, even for my people.  The elders would marvel at my natural ability to grasp onto the Araelian method.  I mastered the basics by the time I turned eight.  At ten, I began studying ancient philosophy, literature and history.  I started to dream of being a great Araelian warrioress.  I even began sketching my future suit of armor.

          I smiled at my reflection on the helmet.  I had just finished engraving intricate patterns and designs into the metal with a small, very sharp blade.  I had just set the helmet on a table when my younger sister, Alehandra, burst into the house.  She gasped for breath and held out a small envelope in her hand.

          “Where is mother?”  she panted,  “It’s a letter, Lissy!  From Isaiah!”  I approached her excitedly and attempted to take it from her, but she stepped back.  “Mom!  C’mere!”

          Our mother stepped into the entryway, holding little Hope’s chubby hand.  My other younger sisters Xenia and Vivian followed closely behind.

          “A letter just arrived from Isaiah.”  I said, before Alehandra had a chance to.  She shot me a look.

          “Hand it here.”  said Mother.  We all watched anxiously as she popped open the seal and pulled out a sheet of paper.  Her eyes scanned the few lines that were written on the page.

          “Well?”  I asked, not being able to tell by her expression if it was good or bad news.  She looked up at me.

          “He’s coming to visit tomorrow!  He’s been lodging in Turleín after his most recent mission.”

          “He’ll be here for my armoring!”  I said, excitedly.

          “Oh, this is wonderful!  I can’t wait to tell your father; we must have a feast!”  continued Mother, before she and Hope scurried up the stairs.

          “Isaiah’s coming!  Isaiah’s coming!”  chanted Vivian.  She took Alehandra’s hands and tried to get her to spin and dance.  No such luck.

          “I wonder if he has a girlfriend now.”  mused Xenia, leaning against the wall.  “With all those prissy city girls in the Western lands I’m sure he’s�"“

          “Oh hush.”  I snapped, shaking my head.  “His personal life is none of our business.”

          “You know you’re curious!”

          “If he wanted to, he would tell us.”  I concluded indifferently.  Xenia rolled her eyes and went into the living room.  Alehandra and Vivian followed.  I stayed in the foyer and looked at our family portrait above the doorway leading to the kitchen and dining room.  My father and mother were hand in hand in the center, me beside him and Isaiah beside her.  Xenia, Alehandra and Vivian were in different poses in front of us.  Hope stood in front, hands clasped sweetly.

          Whenever I looked at that picture as a child, it would make me feel peaceful and happy.

          Now, it only made me feel sad.  Someday, each one of us would be armored and let loose to the dangers of this world, leaving Mother at home alone.  My family was everything to me.  To be honest, the first thing that I thought of when Alehandra announced a letter from our older brother was that he had been killed in battle or at the very least had gone missing.

          I couldn’t stand the thought of losing one of my family members.  I constantly worry about my father and Isaiah.

          I consoled myself with the thought that maybe when I am out there too, it won’t seem so bad.  But I know that dangers beyond anything I could ever imagine were in this existence.


~*~


          My mother stayed up late that night cleaning the house, I could hear her in the kitchen (conveniently located right underneath my bedroom) moving things around well past midnight.

          The following morning, I woke up before the sun rose.  Mother was still asleep, but I noticed that father had returned from the Mistlands; his horse was out in the shelter.  I went into the kitchen and found father seated at the counter, drinking coffee.  I went to him and gave him a hug.

          “Good morning, dear.”  he said.

          “Good morning, father.  How were your travels?”

          “Very good, although I think that it is time for me to get a new riding horse; Ochre has seen his better days past.”  He pauses and scratches at his hair.  “I think that I’ll go to Epsilia this week and buy a horse.  Yes.  Maybe I’ll take Alehandra; she’s never been to the city.”

          “Oh, she’ll like that very much.”  I said.  Of course, I had only said such because Alehandra was quite annoying and I could do a day or two without her.  “Oh!  Father, have you heard?  Isaiah is coming this afternoon.”

          “Yes, your mother couldn’t wait to tell me.  She was still awake when I arrived this morning.”

          “Poor mother!  What hour was it?”

          “Second after midnight.”  he said, stirring his coffee and taking the last sip.

          “I think I’ll make breakfast.”  I announced, opening the cupboards.  And so I did.  I made maple bacon and eggs with summer vegetables that Vivian had pulled from the garden.  Alehandra and Vivian came into the kitchen when I was nearly finished.

          “Daddy!”  they both squealed, embracing him.  Mother and Hope came in next.  Hope was still in her nightgown.

          “Oh no.”  I said, gesturing at Hope with the wooden spoon, “You shan’t have breakfast while wearing your nightclothes.”  The little girl with nearly white hair and bright blue eyes rubbed her face and stared at me.  “Go on.”  She reluctantly obeyed.

          My family was lively during breakfast.  Father told funny stories about the town where he had been working, Xenia bragged good-naturedly about her high grades, and Hope sang “Pretty Golden Raven” over and over.  I laughed and listened.  It was a wonderful thing to see my family so happy like this.

          I wished that they could always be this happy.  But I knew it wasn’t to be.  Perhaps I was too anxious; too worrisome; too pessimistic.  No.  I was realistic.  I wouldn’t lie to myself just for the sake of my heart and mind to be put to ease, nor would I cloud my vision with lofty dreams or overly-optimistic thoughts.

          This was the world that we all lived in, and I accepted it that way.

          A knock at the door startled me from my serious thoughts.

          “It can’t be him already!”  cried Mother.  “He said afternoon!

          Father stood up.  “You know Isaiah better than that, Sonia.”  he said, smiling.  He went to the door and opened it.  My only brother stood there, tall and much more built since the last time I had seen him.  His brown hair was longer and nearly swept his eyebrows.  His travels had tanned his skin considerably.  Some of the things that I remembered about him remained: his sharp features; high nose and arrogant brows.  He was wearing an ornate tunic in shades of brown, white, and gold, over a long-sleeved undershirt rolled up to his elbows; laced riding boots, and a heavy black cloak. 

          And of course, he wore his ever-present smirk.  He and Father embraced affectionately.

          “Isaiah!”  squealed Mother, tossing her napkin aside.  All my sisters followed suit.  Even I forgot my composure and ran to embrace him.

          “I am in dire need of oxygen, family.”  said Isaiah, amused.

          “Oh honey, how we’ve missed you!”  cried Mother, wiping the corners of her eyes with her apron.  “It’s been too long for you not to visit.”

          Isaiah pouted melodramatically.  “I’m sorry, mother.  My job keeps me busy.”  He lifted Hope and nuzzled her.  She giggled.

          “Well, whatever.  I’m glad to see you, son.”  said Father, putting his arms around his wife.  “And what a wonderful time for you to come.  Tomorrow is Lissy’s armoring.”

          “Oh yeah, that reminds me!”  said Isaiah, setting Hope down.  Mother took his cloak and he swung off his pack.  He pulled out a carved wooden box from the bag and held it out to me.  “Here you are, Lissy.  A little armoring present from your dear older brother.”�"He winked�"“Sorry, didn’t have time to get a ribbon.”

          I felt heat rush into my face as I opened the box.  I pulled out a gold link chain, to which a large, clear jewel hung. 

          “Dear God!”  I said, face flushed.

          “Now that is a big diamond.”  said Father with a whistle.  My sisters looked on with awe.

          “I cannot possibly wear this!”  I said, “It’s probably worth thousands!”

          Isaiah sniffed.  “Fifteen thousand, to be exact.  It’s a pristine diamond.”  I started on him, but he went on before I had a chance to speak, “I just happened to find this beauty in the mines, and decided that it would make a fine necklace.”

          I just stood there, disbelieving.  My brother shook his head and took the pendant from my hand.

          “Move your hair, Lissy.”  he demanded.  I hesitated.  “Come now, Lissy, don’t be so modest.  Your armoring is a big day.  Big days call for big presents.”

          “I could take care of it until she wants it back.”  offered Xenia.  Mother shot her a look.

          I obeyed my brother, and he did the clasp behind my neck.  The diamond hung rather heavy, but something about the cold, flat backside of the jewel was comforting.

          “Thank you, Isaiah.”  I said, my voice low.

          “You are most welcome, sister.”  He turned to Father and Mother.  “I’m starving.  Let’s go out to Liranelle’s for brunch.”


~*~


Liranelle’s was a family-owned restaurant located on the outskirts of our humble little village.  It was a very popular establishment, however, and was normally crowded with customers; patrons and visitors alike.

          This morning was unusually slow for them.  My family got our favorite table in the back right corner, near one of the bay windows.  Isaiah ordered three hamburgers, seasoned potatoes, and a milkshake.  The rest of us had just eaten breakfast, so we didn’t think of ordering anything until Isaiah insisted that he buy us all a dessert, at the very least.

          Isaiah told stories of travelling all throughout the Sister Lands and beyond.  I didn’t know about everyone else, but I was entranced by his tales of castles, nobles, big cities, the sea, strange creatures and daring fights and funny episodes with his friend Sean (he kept those parts appropriate for our little sisters, of course), and things that he had collected along the way.  I wanted to ask so many questions, but I didn’t want to interrupt him, so I just pretended that I was eating my ice cream.

          “Oh!  How’s Ochre?  I miss that old horse.”  said Isaiah, sipping on his milkshake.

          “Funny you should ask.”  said Father,  “Unfortunately, he’s reached the end of his travelling days.  I’m going to Epsilia to buy a new riding horse next week.”

          “Poor thing.”  said Isaiah.  He sighed before he continued,  “Yeah, I have to stop by Epsilia too.  Gotta give some updates to our Prince.  We should bring Lissy.”

          My heart leapt into my throat.  I had always dreamed of going to the city.

          Father motioned his head back and forth as he weighed his options.  He leaned towards his son so that the girls couldn’t hear:  “I was thinking of bringing Xenia or Alehandra.”

          “Nah, let’s bring Lissy.  She hasn’t been to Epsilia since she was like four.  And besides, her armoring is tomorrow.  A trip to the city is a nice present.”  He winked at me.  I could barely help but smile.

          “All right.”  said Father, and my heart plummeted down into my stomach.  I couldn’t believe it!  I was going to Epsilia!



© 2012 Aianarie (INACTIVE)


Author's Note

Aianarie (INACTIVE)
Comment and tell me what you think! And then I'll post more. :-)

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Featured Review

Wow, this is fantastic. You've really become an impressive writer!

I like the way you wrote the dialogue in this chapter. The conversations are simple and realistic. Quite an interesting family. I like the humor, it's subtle but effective.

Felicity also has a great voice. You developed her character very well here. I have no doubt that she continues to grow with grace as the story progresses. I agree with everything reviewer LL said about this. The whole chapter has a warm, inviting aura to it that is very pleasing to the reader.

Excellent!

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

OK, so i finally took the time to actually sit down and read and let me tell you...I am impressed. As always, you have an amazing way of portraying what you want without bogging down the reader.

Posted 8 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Brilliant writing, friend! I can't wait to read more. This is great and the dialogue is very well done. Keep on writing, friend.

Posted 8 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Wow, this is fantastic. You've really become an impressive writer!

I like the way you wrote the dialogue in this chapter. The conversations are simple and realistic. Quite an interesting family. I like the humor, it's subtle but effective.

Felicity also has a great voice. You developed her character very well here. I have no doubt that she continues to grow with grace as the story progresses. I agree with everything reviewer LL said about this. The whole chapter has a warm, inviting aura to it that is very pleasing to the reader.

Excellent!

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Everything sounds dandy so far. I like how you showed us the family's relationships with each other and u did an excellent job with dialogue

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Dear fragmented.dreams,

I enjoyed reading this. The detail was marvelous and kept me thoroughly entertained. Nothing too poetic and nothing to bland. I liked the way you described the brother the most using his "arrogant eyebrows" very good characterization. I could envision everything well.

I loved the customs of this fantasy world you have brought alive in the first chapter. I liked learning of the Araelian nature. You have identified a goal for the character and invited the reader to a particular kind of culture. In addition, I also liked the setting. It gives a universal tone to it like there's a broad world, ya know when you talk of traveling the "sister lands" and the brother who has explored these lands.

I loved the introduction of the characters. They were real and gave a warming mood or at least for me. I felt invited and enjoyed their company.

I absolutely loved this.

Sincerely Livana Lowell (LL)

God bless

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Omgwtf. THIS IS SO AWESOME. D: I love Isaiah he's so funny ^^ Put up more please please please I'll write the rest of the reviews if you really want them!!!

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

How about I review your story 9 times, to make it up to the ten you want? ;) Very good story, I love it! I want to read more! When you put chapter 2 up, (soon, please!) send me a read request. :)
Great job.

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I love it!!!!!!!!!!!!! Geez I read the first line and I couldn't stop!!! Write the next chapter soon!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

This was a wonderful first chapter. It has wonderful description and I can imagine things quite well. Can't wait for more.

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

A powerful opening chapter. I like the history and description of life at this time. I like the thoughts on training. The story is very interesting. I look forward to see where you are taking the tale. A excellent opening chapter.
Coyote

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


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Added on March 8, 2012
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Aianarie (INACTIVE)
Aianarie (INACTIVE)

Eugene, OR



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