Îra[1] glanced out of the window from the room she shared with Fallajon, another squad leader.  The room was on the third level of Îderie Lacon[2] in the circular city of Bethjuedt.  The first level of the castle was underground and housed the quísah[3] of the Rebellion[i] who were stationed in Bethjuedt.  The second level contained the armory, stables, kitchen, training grounds, rooms of the seamstresses and tailors, and various halls and rooms for everyday or formal use.  The marquísah and leaders[ii] of the Bethjuedt sector occupied the third level, and the castle’s owner’s family resided on the fourth level.

The entire Rebellion stemmed from its base at Îderie Lacon, working to keep the provinces of Aiafâblêh, Rôdúeh, and parts of Jorah and Quis free and independent of Broq.  The rebels called these provinces Rai, after the kings from before the Broquan invasion.  The Broquans had captured the rest of Maraiah and constantly strove to overtake what remained.

In its early stages, the Rebellion struggled, but shortly after Îra joined the movement thirty-one years earlier, it found its feet and put up a greater resistance—this was largely due to the emergence of bîrœlendtah[4] Çawl as a leader, which the Rebellion had lacked since the capture of its two kings and resignation of its third.  Çawl’s ascendency created the post of Commander to lead the armies in the absence of the kings.

Îra found herself immersed in the center of the Rebellion and soon became a marquísa.  Her skill with the bow and sword, her passion for the cause, and her unwavering courage in the face of danger earned her the leadership of one of Bethjuedt’s squads of quísah.  As such, she gained a room only shared with one other on the third level, rather than the first, which was the castle’s basement.

Her window overlooked the courtyard on the ground level below.  She quickly noted where her quísah were and scanned for anything unusual.  An unfamiliar man caught her eye.  He was tall and well-built, evidently in very good shape.  His gait was confident bordering on a swagger as he strolled across the compound with a bow for the ladies and a nod for the men, stopping to speak with Çawl, who was the General of the Bethjuedt division and, as such, Commander of the entire Rebellion, though he did not consider himself a Steward[iii], as the three kings, Caïllebelkan, Oníh called Charn, and Jorelkan still lived.  The sun danced off Çawl’s partner’s hair, highlighting its bold redness.  Compared with him, most of the other men seemed plain and average.

Îra’s grey-blue eyes narrowed in disgust as she turned away.  “Chauvinist,” she muttered.  “I hope I never meet him.”

As she picked up her sword and continued polishing it, her mind strayed.  I wonder what Çawl wants to see me about.

She did not have long to wonder.  No sooner had she lain down her cloth than a knock sounded on the partially-opened door and Çawl himself appeared, accompanied by the stranger from the courtyard.  Up close, the stranger radiated self-confidence and knowledge of his good looks.  Her dislike for him grew.

“Îra,” Çawl said, “forgive my intrusion, but allow me to introduce to you Marquísah Aichan[5], a new transfer from the base in Bethavêa.  Aichan, this is Marquísa Îra, your new partner.”

[1] Îra: “Heavenly Realm,” denotes the region of the sky in which the indrê, the stars, dwell

[2] Îderie Lacon: “Castle of Truth”

[3] quísah: “knight” or “warrior”, refers to any Maraian who has training in fighting

[4] bîrœlendtah: the leaders of the horse-humans, Creatures like centaurs

[5] Aichan: “Great Rock”

[i] The Rebellion: also called Rai, this is a movement consisting of all the Maraian lands and people which have not fallen under the dominion of Broq.  They are highly organized for such a young movement (only about 100 years old) and resist further Broquan encroachment on Maraian lands.

[ii] leaders: i.e. squad leaders, captains, generals, and, in this case, the Commander, all levels of Raian military structure.  The ranking of these leaders, from highest to lowest, is as follows: Commander, general, captain, squad leader.

[iii] These men and women, though not kings and queens, emerged in times of trouble to lead Maraiah before Aia raised up kings.  When the time of disaster ended, Stewards all abdicated their leadership roles and went back to their former lives

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: