Prologue


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Grendhill was a prosperous land, home to beautiful hills and congenial people. It enjoyed relative peace for generations at a stretch, with only a few minor internal perturbations punctuating the passage of the centuries.

Domido Farella and Mifalla Tormi were born into this heritage. Domido was born crown prince of Grendhill, and Mifalla as the daughter of a farmer. Mifalla had loved Domido ever since she was old enough to say the word “love,” and they grew up the best of friends. They came of age and married while still in their youth. Life was good and they were happy together.

The first significant wrench in their lives then, was that they found themselves unable to conceive a child for several years. They anxiously looked forward to bringing fresh little people into the world and teaching them the way of life in Grendhill, to help them live happily and thrive, but Domido and Mifalla could only wait and hope for that opportunity. Meanwhile, they had time on their hands to learn the ruling craft from Domido’s father. As time rolled on, when Domido completed 30 Turns of age, his father gave him the throne, the Seat of Grendhill, and retired.

To their great joy, King Domido and Queen Mifalla found themselves expecting a child not long after. As the queen’s belly expanded, soon enough they realized they were expecting more than one child. When the children decided it was time to arrive, there were five little quintuplets.

Before following with the Farella’s present account, one must realize that as Grendhill prospered, it must also have been protected. After all, where there is a prosperous people, there are envious people who would take it all from them, if possible.

Grendhill sat near important trade routes and had rich natural resources. Furthermore, it was the home of the Thallenrose, the stone-like platform that functioned as the gateway to travel and trade with people in other worlds. The Thallenrose was the only means and the only point in all Tasala to travel off-world.

Grendhill, then, was protected from greedy outsiders by an ancient fortune of power placed upon the Farella household at Grendhill’s founding. Grendhill was formed by the unification of three towns that lay near the Thallenrose, Gren Farella having shown himself a hero and saved them all on three separate occasions. The sagewoman Thallwren Aguneg pronounced at Gren’s coronation that the children born to the ruling King and Queen of the Farella line would be born prepared to follow Gren’s legacy and protect the land. According to legend, Thallwren Aguneg lost the Sage’s gift that day, and died shortly after.

Since that time, for hundreds of years, when the princes and princesses of Grendhill were born, a weapon immediately took shape in their hands out of the air. Attendants always immediately snatched the weapons away and a trusted friend was charged with hiding a weapon away on another world until its owner was old enough to wield it, its location secret to all except the King and Queen and a few other trusted close friends.

Throughout these generations, more than a hundred such weapons had appeared, been hidden, reclaimed, carried throughout life and, upon death, passed on to the Royal Guard of Grendhill. The original masters, those of the royal family, were the most skilled with these weapons, but in the hands of others they were still sharp, never rusting, never denting, and feared in combat. The Royal Arms well documented and tracked. A few were missing, carried off by one dissident prince who thought Gren’s Seat should have been his, and a few of his followers, who were never heard of again.

As a natural consequence of Grendhill’s history, though others might envy its tranquility and prosperity, they did not dare attempt to challenge it.

Returning to the account of Mifalla and Domido, who we can now disclose was a swordsman by birth, five wonderful, healthy children greeted them that day. Domido’s lifelong friend, Solmi, stood in the corner, ready to carry the newest Royal Arms to a secret location on another world, hiding them from even their rightful owners until these had grown old enough to handle them.

As the newborn children opened their eyes to the world for the first time and found a weapon in their hands, they were named, and a sageman, Reedl, informed the parents of his Perceptions of them.

Domire came first, a boy wielding a sword, inclined to become noble and wise.

Valkyr followed, a girl holding a longbow and a quiver of arrows, determined to become swift and precise.

Tido was third, a boy with an axe, destined to become strong and confident.

Misolfa, the penultimate, a girl with a hammer, would become good-hearted and unstoppable.

Aton, the final tiny child born that day, was a boy. He kicked, looked around the room, and started to cry. He was not holding any weapon.

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