There was a time when peace reigned superior throughout Goldoria. The land flourished and laughter was eminent. Araquan flew over the world with their masters astride their backs. The world seemed perfect.
Then a dark lord named Grinovin came into the land. With his conniving and bribery he won over some of the Araquan masters and turned them against their friends. Soon blood covered the land in what Grinovin considered his great purge. Brother fought brother, father fought son. The world fell into darkness.
In the confusion of evil Grinovin awakened some of the long hidden races of inimical purpose. He had all who had ever had anything to do with Araquan slain. At the last breath of their masters, the Araquan too died.
People cowered in fear now. No longer was there laughter, nor happiness. Soldiers roamed towns taking what they willed. No Araquan or master lived through the brutal years of fighting. The Life-lights, who birthed Araquan from their Síla, were hunted and slain like animals, or driven from the land on orders that if they returned death would be their only treatment.
With no resistance from the people Grinovin set himself up as king. Appointing sorcerers and armies of evil to do his bidding. No one dared challenge his right as king, no one but the Ano-in. A small group of resistance who remembered the days of peace and happiness.
The Ano-in attacked before their force was fully ready. The battle was disastrous! Few lived, and those who did ran to the hills to hide and escape what fate they would meet some day.
Not all joy was gone from Goldoria. For in a small village called Ingedae, on the outskirts of the kingdom, a young woman lived. She was beautiful, yet hard working. She labored day and night for her father, Afke, a Taurnin (or doctor). When the darkness had covered the land Afke had stayed in his cottage, too frightened to fight alongside the rest of his family. His shame was marked upon his brow so he drank to forget his fear of death. His wife, unable to bear looking upon her cowardly husband, had long since left him, leaving their young daughter Caelee behind.
Caelee had grown to a woman in the time since her mother had left. She earned a little money by selling woven baskets, or repairing tattered clothing. It was enough to buy what little food she and her father needed, but with her father taking so many outings to the tavern they had little to nothing for food. Yet Caelee's soul was pure and innocent, and though many a time she went to bed longing to quench her gnawing hunger, she loved her father.
So we find her in an early morning, weaving in the dull light, unknowing that her life is to change. She is silent for her father has come home drunk and is feeling ill this morning. He stirs over in his corner slowly rising to his feet.
"Oh. . ." A slurred groan escaped his lips. "My head!" He placed a hand to said noggin and plopped back onto the floor.
Before Caelee could speak, the door burst open and young Damel came bounding in.
"Afke, forgive me the intrusion, but you must come immediately! A man has just arrived. He has been running from something and is wounded. He will not trust any of us and though he die in the process, he is ready to fight us all!" Damel's breath was coming in short gasps.
"Oh!" Afke groaned again and lay back on his cot, holding his head in his arms. "Tell him to go away!" He croaked, though Caelee and Demel were unable to discern if he was talking to himself or not. Caelee stood letting her weaving fall to the floor.
"Take me to him." With no word of reply Damel complied. As they neared the outskirt of the village senseless speech filled their ears. It was a strong, masculine voice with an edge like a sharp sword.
"Caelee, this is wrong, I shouldn't be bringing you to this trouble." Damel paused looking despairingly at his friend.
"Damel, lead on." Caelee replied.
When they reached the spot Damel shoved a way for them through the crowd. The man was tall with dark hair, his build was sturdy, and muscle covered his body. He was looking at the villagers, as if daring one to come to close. The people kept a respectable distance, but they grew tired of this man who needed no one's help, and soon, Caelee could tell, they would get angry enough to run him out of the village. She made a swift mental note on all injuries trying to judge what would be the best way to get him to the cottage.
Fortunately she didn't have to find a way, for the man's strength failed and he began to collapse. Leaping to his side she wrapped a slender arm about his waist. For a moment their faces were dangerously close, his eyes searched her's and he began to lose consciousness. She grunted as she tried to keep him from falling to the ground, then Damel was at her side lifting him as best his skinny arms could.
They managed to get him back to the cottage and put him on a clean cot so his wounds could be bandaged. Through many wakeful nights Caelee did all she could for the man. Until his breathing came easily. Then the sleep-talk began. He spoke many things she didn't understand, and many that confused her, but she labored on, hoping that he would come to himself.
Eiros' eyes fluttered open, then snapped shut. The sunlight was full in his face. Little by little he lifted his lids until he was used to the bright sunshine. Not far from where he lay a girl sat. The sun glinted off her golden hair. He had seen her somewhere but because she had her back to him, he could not tell where. Suddenly, as if on instinct, she turned and looked at him. A smile creased her face.
"You awaken." She stood and brought a bowl of broth to the bedside. "For a time we worried you wouldn't." She held a spoon to his lips. His eyes met her's and she paused for a moment. All too soon she turned away and watched her hand stirring the broth. "I'm Caelee." She looked up.
"Eiros." He couldn't take his eyes off her face. She was the most beautiful woman he had seen, and yet she seemed so...unaware? No that wasn't the word! Innocent? That was it.
It was not many months before the strong young man found his feet again and from the day he was stable enough to stand on his own until the day he was forced to leave he worked. One day he could be found in a poor farmer's field, the next , collecting wood for some unfortunate widow. No one knew where he would show up next, but show up he would. He was silently repaying the kind people for helping him, and they soon accepted him as one of their own.
Caelee would wake to find the fire started and as much water as she would need for the day collected. No matter what time she awoke, he had already been up for hours. Over time they began to fill a void in each others hearts and it was not long before young Damel performed his first ceremony.
It was a quiet affair, performed in the secret of the tunnels under the chapel because Afke refused to accept that Eiros was part of their village and refused to give his daughter to a man like him. Weeks slipped into months and everything seemed like perfect sphere, Eiros began working for money and brought in enough to care for his wife and father-in-law. Yet, perfection cannot last forever , and no one could escape Grinovin's orders forever.
Eiros was an Araquan trainer, perfected to the task and able to sense any Araquans in the land. The king had ordered that everyone in any way accociated with the beasts were to be slain and the young man could not run forever.
All too soon the soldiers arrived to search the village for the one man who had escaped their net. It was early morning and the villagers knew the hated soldiers were searching for a friend so they were the ones that gave Damel enough time to warn the young couple.
"Go, Eiros!" Caelee whispered, grasping her husband's arm.
"I'm not leaving without you!" Eiros grabbed her hand.
"If you don't, they'll kill you!" Tears threatened to spill onto her cheeks.
"What about you?" He shook his head. "I cannot just leave you here!"
"I'll be fine, Damel will watch over me until it is safe for you to return. Now, you must go!" He bent and kissed her, pain written on his handsome features, then disappeared into the forest. There no man or beast could find him and he would be able to safely make ready for a time to return to the only home he had ever really had. Caelee collapsed onto the floor and sobbed. Her life seemed so empty without Eiros. Little did she know the life that stirred within her. The life that would become the only hope for the people of Goldoria.