Prologue: Dream Born Choice
Luelna was shaken awake by a dream whose visions burned deep into her heart’s memory. Sitting up in bed, she found the images still running in her mind’s eye demanding attention, refusing to fade or let her go. This wasn’t the first time she had dreamed of the future and knew this was how her mind always processed foretelling dreams.
Climbing out of her warm bed into the winter chill, Luelna grabbed the dressing gown her father had given her three weeks before on her eighteenth birthday. The gown was lined in silver venlyn fur with heavy blue and green silk covering the outside. This fact caused her to stop in shock realizing the colors which had dominated her dream lay now in her hands.
Shaking both from cold and foreboding and a strong sense of excitement too, she donned the colors which would soon dominate the rest of her life. It felt like a paradox. By choosing the choices she had in the dream, Luelna would be choosing the means of her own death. But more importantly she would be choosing her daughter’s birth and the hope healing would be born into the Princedom too.
Sliding her feet into matching slippers as she tied the gown’s sash, Luelna left her chamber and took the back stairs two floors down. Here she walked soundlessly down a dimly lit corridor until finally coming to the last doorway on her right. As she expected, there was light coming from beneath it, so she knocked quietly and waited.
Minutes passed before the aging Historian opened the door. Bowing slightly, the old man seemed unsurprised to find her at his door. “Lady Luelna, please come in.”
As she entered the well-lit chamber she asked, “Have you been waiting for me Giimor? Did you have your own foretelling tonight that prepared you to see me?”
“The gift runs deep in Lord Harld’s bloodline, so I am always listening for him or one or more of his children, who come with a foretelling or… other things needing recorded. How might I help you tonight?”
“I had a dream I need you to record for me,” Luelna stated. “I also need you to seal it and speak to no one of it until you hear of my death. On that day I need you to give it to my father. You must insist he read it no matter how grieved or angered he may be. Can you promise me that, Giimor?”
“I promise that I will do my utmost to fulfill your commands, Lady Luelna,” the old scribe said, concern showing in his gray eyes. “You must remember that I am an old man and may pass on before you, so sooner or later I must entrust that promise to my apprentice Maatu.”
Raising her left hand she cupped his wrinkled cheek gently before saying, “Believe me, old friend, you will outlive me by many years. My apologies though. I trust Maatu as deeply as I trust you, so swear him to the same promise. But keep the contents of it private, I ask of you, please. I do trust Maatu, but there is no reason for him to know its content.”
“As you wish of course, my Lady,” Giimor returned.
“Know that I may give hints to some about what it contains, but the written foretelling itself must remain secret and sealed until the proper time.”
He began to protest until he saw the strength of determination in the young woman standing before him. Just recently arrived at her legal adulthood, she reminded him a lot of her late mother, the Lady Norlana. All except for her emerald eyes which she shared with all of Lord Harld’s progeny, and all his ancestors as well, like a mark of destiny upon their bloodline.
Leaning in, Luelna touched her forehead to his, breaking his rambling thoughts by whispering, “Come, my friend. We have a dream to record and then I have a wedding journey to prepare for.”
“Wedding?” he asked, surprised.
“Yes,” she said, taking his arm and walking with him to his desk and the tools of his trade. “Let me begin with the fact a courier will arrive soon with a request from the High Prince for a bride of my blood. He and his Seer, Rajella, feel rightness in this request. I feel that rightness as well, as long as that bride is me, and I do accept eagerly.”
Bowing, he picked up his favorite pen, a wing feather a grandfather raven had gifted to his boyhood self. With the inside hollowed, the feather let out just the right amount of ink for his liking, as long as he remembered to fill it before it ran out.
With the proper paper in front of him, Giimor wrote in the top right corner, “Foretelling dreamed by Lady Luelna on the morning of the 12th day of the 12th month of the year 131,208 Since Landing. Recorded and witnessed by Master Scribe Giimor on this same date.” Looking across the desk at her, he said, “Begin when you will, my Lady.”
“My dream began with a blizzard such as Orjglo Princedom hasn’t seen in centuries….”
----------------------------Chapter 1: Blizzard Born
Ten months after arriving in Orjglo City, Lady Luelna felt her first labor spasms begin just as the rain heavy winds from the south struck the arctic cold front sitting above the city. The winds howled as they shook the walls trying to break her silence, but the young woman giving birth in her bathtub heard them as a song. Luelna felt her unborn child’s heart beat in tune with the winds battering the palace walls and so tuned her own heart to them as well. That wind froze the rain into ice and snow so thick it was impossible to see anything beyond the window frames. Into this wild night her daughter had decided to be born as if the storm itself was empowering her to push free of her mother’s body.