The defiant princess

Everything start with a theft; The jewel of memory of house Ki'mith has been stolen and the young Sabil is tasked with finding it out. Cut off from the support of her house, she has little choice but to enlist the help of a group of outlaws, misfits and an apostate.

This seemingly simple mission will leave them to uncover the long forgotten history of their race...

Sabyl di Ki'mith - Year 3356, 3E.

The sun gently caressed the courtyard with it's weakening touch, casting long shadows of the various statues of house Ki'mith heroes that stood proudly in the heart of the house's enclave. The sound of steel clashing filled the air, echoing in the open doors and windows to the keep's hall. 

Normally, nobody paid attention to the trainees of the lord's honor guard that practiced the martial discipline, but today was different. Servants, Vanirs and Halflings alike paused to watch the spectacle. 

Clashing steel with one of the boy of her age was the lady of the house, instead of the adorned and embroidered robes of her position, she wore a light tunic with trousers, tattered at the bottom, her feet were naked against the warm cobblestone. What the girl lacked in discipline, she made up with enthusiasm and speed. 

In front of her, the young Caylen struggled, purely defensively parrying her attacks, unable to make a counter move as he backed off a step at a time. He'd often seen lady Sabyl watch them, but it was the first time she'd ever taken part of the guard's practice. He'd thought it would have been an easy match when she challenged the boys, but little did he know, she had been practicing in secret.

He blocked another of Sabyl's strike and backed off to keep the distance between them ideal when his sandal hit a rock, sending him crashing down onto his butt. He repressed a growl of pain and looked up to see the girl's blade at his neck. 

"Surender, Caylen, I won."

"You won, lady Sabyl." he pouted, pushing the dull training blade away with his fingers. He started getting back up when the girl leg swepped him, making him fall down once more.

"For you, it'll be Lord* Sabyl."

He grumbled but acquiesced, feeling ashamed for getting beaten by a girl infront of the man-at-arm and the other novices. "I surrender, lord Sabyl..." His eyes staring at the stones. It took a moment before he saw a small and slender hand enter into his field of view. It was Sabyl's. He hesitated, thinking he'd already been humiliated enough but caved in, taking the help to stand back up.

"Alright, that will be enough for today." Came a portent voice from the entrance to the reunion hall. Richly dressed in silk and gold, the Lord of the house came in. 

"Milord!" The courtyard exclaimed, most of them either bowing or going back to the occupations they should have been doing before watching the sparring match between the two adolescent.

"L-Lord Daneth..." Cayden babbled. "Please forgive me, it wasn't my intention to fight lady Sabyl." He knell down, holding his breath. His gaze back to the floor he didn't see Sabyl pouts at being called a lady again.

Expecting the worst, maybe being expelled for endangering a noble or worse, he closed his eyes, for once in his life feeling absolutely terrified. Instead, he felt the large, at least for a Vanir's, hand of the lord pat his head.

"Get back on your feet son."

He meekly did, still cowed and looked at Sabyl, who was still holding onto her sword and facing Daneth defiantly.

"Sabyl, I need to have a word with you." He said, nodding at the entrance to the keep.

She followed him, setting down the blade on the massive oak table that stood next to the wall along with the other weapons used for the trainee's formation and entered the hall. Massive windows let the wind engulf itself in the building, providing a fresh breeze that contrasted with the sunshine outside. The massive room was dark in comparison with the courtyard, the enchanted crystal in the lanterns still dimmed at this time of the day. Leaving the room in the reddening glow of the sun.

The table that held the heart of the room was littered with documents and old tomes, a scribe patiently waiting in silence for the return of his Lord. He looked at the due coming in but did not show any reaction.

The two nobles stopped not too far from the western end of the room, by the large windows that overlooked the sea. In the distance, the sun was setting, giving a last farewell to the world in a medley of warm colors. They stood in silence for a moment, Sabyl still looking firm and strong, waiting to be punished and to rebel.

"Sabyl, you can't disrupt the training of the honor guard and you know that." Daneth began breaking the ice. 

"But it's not fair." She grumbled, her arms locking in a crossed position. "Sagrel and Denerim both learn how to fight, why do I have the one to be pretty and learn how to do art or sewing?" She knew why; she was a girl, they weren't.

"Because war is not a game, Sabyl. Sagrel and Denerim as nobles of house Ki'mith will be duty bound to protect it, not you."

"But it's not fair..." She mumbled, her shoulders collapsing.

"It's what father wanted, Sabyl, he lost many siblings and his eldest son, and he at least had the peace of heart to know that you would be safe." He smiled gently putting a hand on her shoulder.

"But it's not what I want... I don't want to be sheltered!"

Daneth sighed. He knew his sister well, she would never give up. "Fine, we'll have it your way. From tomorrow onward, you'll be doing the same as the boys. If you can't keep up with the responsibilities, you'll be back to your regular schedule."

Without any warning, she jumped him, hugging him as tight as her small arms could. He rolled his eyes. She'd give up by the end of the week, he thought...

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*Author's note: Male honorifics are used in place of female ones to denote positions of power in the elven language. Thus a female ruler will be addressed as a lord while consorts or female progeny will be addressed with female pronouns. Vanirs sometimes carry this language particularity into other tongues.

The End

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