Honoura Antonia

From the Journals of Honoura

My mothers first word to my infant ears was Y'onorai, an Altene way to say honour me... and thus my name was born. I was a child of war, born in small encampment of a division of the Lioness Company located in Northern Altene along the Yatai River. My mother was a foot soilder in the Company... my father was another story. From as young as I can remember his name was never mentioned, but she showed clear disgust for him all the same. It would not be until much later, when I became a junior officer of the Company, that the older sifaras that raised me told me the full story. The sifaras were my early education, from the deadly grace of the quarterstave to prose that cut down even the strongest man. They couldn't teach me about death though.
When I was eight, part of divison was called out on business leaving me alone with the injured and a small baby boy belonging to Lisaria, my mother's sister. I remember when the Sifaras laughed at me when I called the baby sifaro; I find it humourous myself now that I look back at it, for that baby would never fight with me as a brother. It was extremely warm that summer, which caused a bloom of a deadly bacteria in the River Yatai, the major water source for the Csir. The baby died within 3 days of the initial bloom, but infant mortality was high and it didn't faze anyone left in the camp that there was something wrong, until the division came back from upriver. My mother was already showing early symptoms of the fever, and though I didn't know it at the time so was I. It started as something that looked like a bruise on the side of the neck, and over her final week it spread over her body, like a shadow, and it caused her brain to swell. And she died thus, my beautiful, tall mother dead from a battle she had no chance of winning. I lost as well, the fever didn't spread to my brain, but it did destroy some of the glands responsible for my physical growth leaving me at a short 4'7".
I left Csir Yatai when I was fourteen, to join the Heart of Altene, which was customary for someone my age. I advanced easily through the ranks, thanks to the sifaras of my mother, who made me just as adept in Staves as someone from the Companies of the Hand. I repaid themy sifaras by joining the Lioness Company after my four years in the Heart. I worked under General Da'Sarai Salas as a junior officer. A strange request was recieved from a Tuchean noble who had intrests in Cinera, and the price was right for General Salas. I had already formed a dislike for the Cinerian army, who we had already lost units to from other companies. I had never seen lands more varied that those we passed on our march, I missed the trees and the crisp air of Altene... something just didn't seem right. We were two months away from Csir Yatai, and my sifaras had set up camp for the evening when the ceiling fell. Screams filled the still air as a Cinerian legion conducted their ambush. The last thing I remember is Lisaria's empty dead eyes looking at me before a blinding light caused from a sudden impact to my head sent me into darkness.
I awoke in pain, and I was being carried. My eyesight blurred and I never made out his face. But I knew the man was Cinerian from what I could determine, and to this day I don't know why he saved my life when I was sent to take those of his people. I was jarred again sending a jolt of pain from it seemed every part of my body, knocking me into unconiousness again. The healer told me I slept for three days, that he found me by his doorstep and that he saw no one. I laid in the back of his wagon, with a broken arm, three broken ribs, a fractured leg, and a major concussion. We were headed to Iridine, he said, where the finest healers in the land are. And that they were... but the attack left me weak and I would have to rebuild everything that had weakened the two months my bones were knitting. Not to mention I had nothing but the clothes on my back. Iridine I didn't want to be, but to Altene I could not return, at least not yet. So now I adapt... and a new battle begins.

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