Falinia's Beginning

Falinia Piet

Falinia was born on the 29th of Allinius, in the year 200, in the city of Iridine. Her mother was a peace-loving Altene, who married her father against her families wishes, and settled with him on the outskirts of the city, bearing him 5 children. Her father, a native of Iridine, was a simple carpenter, a cartwright truly, who tilled a little bit of land to help keep food on the table. The family garden was the responsibility of the entire family, including Fali's oldest brother to her youngest sister.
Falinia's childhood was happy and carefree for the most part, and enlivened by the occasional visits of her Altene uncle, Merlit. Enraptured by tales of glory, Falinia would sit for hours and shell peas or mend, listening to her uncle as he described his adventures of scouring the forests for bandits in an effort to make life a little safer, 'just for you', he'd wink. Then he'd tell of the different people,--Traders, Sailors and Merchants--- all at Market, all needing the services of a good Altene warrior of course, or the occassional locksmith or healer. At night she would lie awake, her head spinning, imagining life outside the four walls of her happy home. It was in these moments she would promise herself, 'Some day, I'll have adventures too!'
As the years went by, Falinia began to mature and grow in home responsibilities. Her mother, worn by a spate of miscarriages, came to depend on Falinia for a time, to look after her family. As her mother mourned, rousing only to cook meals, yet never depart the house, Falinia took to managing the household and seasonal chores with a practicality that came of necessity. It was at this time her father determined she should learn to read. The occassional trader would come by, and Falinia learned to barter with her meager means, and save a bit here and there for 'someday', and ocassionally, buy a scroll of adventure to fuel the fires of her imagination. She gleaned what information she could from traders and travellers that stopped in for servicing of their carts, or to water their horses from the well. Her observations proved handy one winter night, when Falinia sent her younger brother, Durlot, to fetch some wood from the wood shed. He'd taken so long that she threw on a cloak and went after him to see what the matter was.
She discovered her brother had locked himself unwittingly in the shed, forgetting to prop the door in his haste to move out of the cold. Frantically Falinia cast about in her mind, thinking what she could do, when a snippet of wire caught her eye. Unbidden came the memory of a trader who had been cursing under his breath, twisting a short piece of wire in the lock of a trunk in which he had stashed a story-scroll she had asked after. Blessing Ereal for inspiration she snatched the wire up, carefully inserted it into the lock and listened closely, feeling and twisting as she had seen the trader do. After what seemed like years, but was only minutes, she heard an audible click.
Grinning at her dumb luck she carefully pulled open the door and let her brother out of the shed with a mild scolding, and the sharp reminder to get the firewood. Giddy with the tiumph of self-reliance, Falinia gazed up at the stars, and wondered who else might be looking at those same stars-- from a ship? A camp? Did they appreciate the crystal-clear view of the heavenly tapestry that came with the crispness of the cold? Did it inspire them to seek adventure, even as she longed to? ''Someday' is almost here,' the realization hit her. ' It's almost here'
Shortly thereafter, her mother began to improve, taking a more active interest in her family, though she was never quite the same. Falinia watched with growing excitement as she realized she was now able to think of a future for herself. Apparently her father had felt the same -- as did their neighbor, for the dolt who was his son was taking his dinners in her home with a frequency that made Falinia first uncomfortable, then suspicious. Falinia waited to give her parents the benefit of the doubt, or to give the dolt placed beneath her nose the opportunity to see she was not interested in his interests. Her father made her wait short, by baldly stating that he felt it was time she pulled her weight in her own home, with her own children--with that dolt. Surely she could see that such a dutiful act would join their lands together and benefit the family as a whole.
Falinia flew into a temper, wailing that she had not seen the world and that the only thing she agreed with was that she was ready to pull her own weight in the world. After much deliberation, cajoling, ranting, crying and silent stares, her parents made a pact with Falinia. She was to be allowed out on her own, with a pittance in food rations in a sack and the clothes on her back, to 'prove her metal' her father smirked. She was free to come back home anytime-- no questions asked-- within the next year, provided she exercised good sense and returned before sacrificing virtue for pride. The very next day, Falinia gathered her meager things together, with her fathers mutterings of how no man would have her to wed even if she returned 'within a day', echoing in her ears. Almost, she backed out, and settled for the comfort of the life she had always known. Almost.
Squaring her shoulders she took a last look around at the home she had cared for and cherished. Her mother hugged her a tearful goodbye, 'Trust in Ereal my dear and mind your manners and your temper. It will do to get you by. It will do'. Falinia smiled tremulously, took a deep breath and stepped out the door. Gazing around her she moved toward the gate, then paused as she spied a scrap of wire in the grass by the woodshed. Scooping it up, she held it like a treasure and smiled and thought, 'I'll offer to learn the ways of a locksmith'. She let herself out through the gate, held her breath with the briefest of hesitations before securing it with an air of determination. It was Spring, and Falinia was ready to face her new beginning.

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