~Athaliah Perdonis, Born of Jonathan and Francesca Perdonis in the Safelands~
I still remember the house upon that faithful hill. Within its walls I had sat upon my father's knee and leaned on his strong chest as my mother, perched behind me on her stool would braid my hair down my back. Each morning I would rise, dress, and wash my hands in the laver mother would set out for me at night, and rush down the stairs, greeted by the sweet aromas of breakfast cooking in our small cozy kitchen.I would sit by the morning fire as mother cooked, and warm the early chill out of my small body. I still remember how I would always gaze out of the window and find father outside chopping our daily meet of woods. I would never let a day go by without pressing my face up to the shutters and looking expectanly out to see him. He toiled long hours for our family. He was a good man, strong and proud of his accomplishments, and rightfully so. Embedded in my memory is that day that I looked out the window and did not see that familiar face. His axe was thrown carelessly on the floor, and a trail of blood led out ot our back shed. I watched in horror as the 2 men toiled in pulling my father's large body across our ground, looting it as they went. I couldnt scream, couldnt speak, just watched dumbly. At last my tongue was freed within me and I managed to airily say, 'Good bye father.' I knew he was gone. Mother heard me, and walked quickly to my side. When she looked upon the ghastly scene I had, she too stood dumbly. My brother was so young at the time, merely a toddler attached to her hip, and so he was too young to understand. Our of pure reaction he pointed to the familiar iron axe and said in his soft voice 'Dadda'. How do you tell a child his father is gone?..how do you tell him that the ones capable of stopping this stood there silently? When we came to our senses, we rushed out. The bandits dropped father's crushed body and ran into the nearby woods. Mother looked down at the man that had courted her, the one who had whispered lovely words in her ear, the one whose breath she felt upon her neck in the midnight hour, and wept. Her weeping was bitter, and its sound remains in my heart to this day. A father, a husband, and a true man, was gone.
Mother and I became the sole supporters of our trio. She took up the spindle, and wove clothing for our fellow villagers. I had been trained by my father in the axe, and so I continued on, making my home in the forests and grasslands surrounding us. My brother, Marcosus, who only recently joined me in this fair city, took up the gladius, and would hunt for a living.
He never was told what happened that morning. He never will be told.
As time went on, mother became ill, and due to a lack of supplies died of an illness
none of us could properly diagnose. Marcosus and I buried her alongside my father on the hill they had so often walked together on as young lovers. Marcosus left to live in the forests he so often dwelled in, and I left for Iridine. I needed a fresh start, to get away from these all too familiar surroudings, for they served only as a bitter reminder to me that father and mother were no longer there.
On my journey, I trudged through various lands, gaining skills, speed, and sound judgement. I came into these gates of Iridine, with a mission on my mind; to obtain the happiness I so longed for. I have no intention of giving up. To me, life will mean the pursuit of restoring my soul...and death will be to gain an eternal place of rest...so let what will come, come.