What, it's been 7 months? WHO CARES? I certainly don't! So, here's the Prologue. After this, I may still take awhile, but less long than last time, at least.
Prologue) Whispers in the Forest
In the continent of Omorfia, there are 7 countries: Kwiat, Benir, Vane, Sukaretto, Jonquille, Octavia, and Passerelle. Each country worships the gods, who they believe make their country a better place as they once blessed the 20 Marked Warriors, the heroes who saved the continent 1500 years ago.
18 years prior to the beginning of the story, the Queen of Kwiat, Lyssa Stark, declared war upon the Church of St. Elian for meddling with the lives of the people, not letting them live freely.
The head of the church, Irene, wished to avoid unnecessary conflict and formed a peace treaty with Lyssa, allowing people to live without the church officials involving themselves. The citizens of Kwiat were enraged at this news, but two in particular, the manakete siblings Unckas and Croceis, seemed very angry, eventually declaring war upon Omorfia itself, somehow raising an army of ridiculous numbers to destroy and pillage with no clear motive.
Everyone went into a panic, and in a number of days the citizens of Omorfia as a whole were suffering and losing badly. The war effort was getting so desperate that many renowned warriors went to confront Unckas himself, but they often were never seen again or turned up dead. Just as things were looking dire, a warrior woman named Vanesa Holt defeated Unckas, putting him into a deep slumber and ultimately ending the war, with Croceis disappearing.
After 18 years, peace seemed to finally be upon the people of Omorfia.
(Zenaida walks into the dining room of the Van Houtem house)
Zenaida: Lady Beatrix? Lord Leonardo?
Leonardo: Zenaida! How is the birthday girl doing on her special day?
Zenaida: Um, fine.
Leonardo: Only fine?! Is there anything I can do-
Beatrix: You’re smothering her, Leo! Let the girl be, she is 18 now, after all.
Zenaida: Actually, that’s what I wanted to talk about. I’m 18, I’m an adult now.
Leonardo: Yes! It seems like only yesterday you were crawling about!
Leonardo: Sorry. Go on, dear.
Zenaida: Um, right. Anyway, now that I’m 18, I wish to travel around Kwiat. If you allow me, that is.
Leonardo: What?! But dear, you simply cannot-
Zenaida: Lord Leonardo, I’m not a child anymore.
Leonardo: I know, but...you know that those Remnant people are parading around, and I’m not sure it’s safe for you to go out into the world yet!
Zenaida: I understand the dangers, but I’m ready to begin my life in earnest! I already have a plan; I’ll travel for a bit, and perhaps visit Yolanthe and Tomas' families! It will help strengthen our ties with them, so my journey will benefit our house as well.
Leonardo: I’m still unsure…
Beatrix: Leo, let her go. She’ll be fine! I’ve trained her to defend herself; have you seen her handle a dagger?
Beatrix: *Sigh* I suppose I have no choice but to give you my blessing, dear.
Zenaida: I-I can go? Thank you!
Leonardo: Yes, BUT, there are rules. Well, only one. You can do whatever you please around Kwiat, but only if you promise to return in 5 years time to inherit the title as head of House Van Houtem. Me and Beatrix won’t be young forever, you know.
Zenaida: I promise! 5 years is more than enough; I’ll start packing now!
Leonardo: …Bea, are we making a mistake, letting her go? If she dies, I’ll never be able to forgive myself.
Beatrix: She’ll be alright. She has a strong will AND a knife. I am a bit concerned about those Remnant people, but I doubt they can actually do any real damage. Trust me on this one, Leo.
(The scene cuts to Zenaida standing beside a wagon.)
Zenaida: Thank you for taking me this far!
Wagon driver: No problem. Stay safe! You know that those Unckas Worshippers are around…
(Wagon Driver leaves)
Zenaida: *Sigh* I do wish everyone would stop worrying about me. I know they are being kind, but I know how to defend myself…
(The scene turns from midday to night.)
Zenaida: How many miles until the next town?
(She checks a map)
Zenaida: Four? Not bad, but still about 1 hour of walking…
???: Gah! Somebody help me!
Zenaida: Hm? A woman’s crying for help! This may end up horribly, but I'm going to have to walk into the face of danger, Lady Beatrix...
Abram: Be quiet, girl! Our Unckas will be very pleased with you…now just stay silent while we kill you…
???: NO! Dang it, I didn’t want to-
Zenaida: (Those people going to KILL her?! Okay Zenaida, stay calm...choose the best course of action…)
???: YOU! PERSON IN THE BUSHES! STOP LOAFING AROUND AND SAVE ME!
Abram: Ah, so we have guests?
Zenaida: Damn that girl! Ugh...fighting 4 mages on my first day travelling, what a dream...
Abram: Kill the pesky little albino first, then get to the blonde one. Have as much fun as you like!
Against Abram with Zenaida:
Zenaida: Do we have to do this? Just let the girl go...
Abram: Ha! You really have no idea who she is, do you, girl?
Zenaida: Well, no, but I can’t just stand around and let you KILL her! No matter how it’s her fault I have to fight all of you like this…
Abram is Defeated:
Zenaida: *Sigh* That’s all of them. Are you alright?
???: Yep! Thanks for your help! Bye now!
Zenaida: What? No, you can’t leave! You at least owe me a explanation for why those cultists were attempting to murder you. Why were they?
Coralie: Ugh...well, my name is Coralie.
Zenaida: Coralie...that sounds oddly familiar. But that wasn't the answer to my question, was it?
Coralie: Well, it's only polite to tell you my name first! I'll have you know that I was simply taking a nice little walk in the woods-
Zenaida: In the middle of the night?
Coralie: Yes! I happen to enjoy nightly walks. Anyways, I was walking and suddenly, those horrible people grabbed me and attempted to kill me! But...eh. I've been through worse.
Zenaida: ...Alright. if that's all, I must leave now. The people in the neighboring town will surely want to be informed about this incident so they’ll be able to take proper precautions.
Coralie: Ha! I wouldn’t bother telling THOSE brutes, trust me.
Zenaida: What? Why’s that?
Coralie: The next few towns are controlled by the noble families of Flore-Comantem and Vincent, as I’m sure YOU know, judging by the quality of that outfit of yours.
Zenaida: Yes, I’m well aware of all these facts, Miss Coralie. But, um...what do they have to do with what we are talking about?
Coralie: Gods, you remind me of Hime...but anyways, those two families are under orders from Lyssa herself to keep the whole Unckas thing quiet and make sure the townspeople believe the whole thing to be a bit of a joke. People HAVE begun to notice more disappearances than usual lately, of course. Mostly mages and clerics, since they believe that they have a closer tie to Unckas as they control magic...but most noble families attempt to shush the whole thing, since Lyssa doesn't want to be criticized the way she was during the LAST war.
Zenaida: I see. That’s rather...troubling, to say the very least. I’ll have to do something about it...tell the people in town about it. It’s simply common sense to believe in such a thing with the amount of evidence there is, they’ll surely see reason.
Coralie: I wouldn’t count on that. A sad fact is that commonly, people are short sighted...they refuse to acknowledge the truth if they simply don’t want to see it. The war 18 years ago was a brutal one. Nobody wants to admit that people are parading around, attempting to bring back the being that killed thousands…
Zenaida: You may...be right. But I still need to tell them. Regardless of whether or not they believe it, it’s better that they know the true gravity of the situation and be somewhat aware rather than be ignorant and die later.
Coralie: Welllll, if you insist on doing so...let me come with you. I can help!
Zenaida: Um...how so?
Coralie: Ugh, you sound like you doubt my skills. Trust me, I know I'm just a petty thief-
Zenaida: You are?
Coralie: Was it not obvious? I have been for a LOOOONG time, I've got loads of experience. But anyway, I can manage your convoy! Dora taught me how, and she’s the most organized person I’ve ever met!
Zenaida: Well, alright. But promise not to cause too much trouble for me…
Coralie: Why would I?! Well, let's get going~
Zenaida: Yes, let's.