Talas made her way up a spiraling staircase, retiring from her practices for the day. On her tail was her cousin Cane, following her every move, watching her every moment, waiting for her to fail. Talas turned to face him. “Do you mind leaving me to my own distress?” she snapped.
Cane smiled. “So you admit the task proves to be too much for you Princess?” he amused.
Talas didn't grace her cousin with an answer. She tried to side step him, but he hoped on the stair above her. “Sweet Talas,” he said toying with a strand of her hair, that had escaped her tie. “You are too much like your mother, weak and feeble. Simply not cut out for the life of a ruler.”
Talas struggled to contain her anger. She pushed Cane's chest, and he finally stepped out of the way. She sprinted up the rest of the stair case. The echo of his cruel laugh followed her.
She reached a dimly lit hallway, that lead to her mother's chamber's. Eleanore Blare, had long since become detached from the reality.
When Talas's father had chosen Eleanore from a distant land to be his bride, he expected the young women to be flattered and grateful. Being his Queen was a high honor, after all. Only Elanore was anything but grateful. She was resentful towards King Lionel She missed her home. It was said the Elanore had a lover in back in her homeland,Ore. Those rumors were quickly put to rest when Elanore's lover was found dead in his sleep. The mystery had yet to be solved, but there was talk of the murder being king Lionel's doing.
The land of Ore even went as far as disowning Elanore and shunning The Kingdom of Thor. Tala's thought better of her father, he wasn't one to kill in vain. Whatever the rough patch was in the beginning her parents' relationship, they seemed to reach an understanding. Elanore fulfilled her duties as Queen and Wife to the king. They took to separate bed chambers, but they hadn't fought or even talked much in public. They were civil. It wasn't a romantic affair though it worked for the Kingdom. Tala's understood her duty towards Thor had to come first and foremost. Romance and friendship were silly, unattainable desires.
Talas pushed the door open. Her mother sat in her rocking chair, gazing distantly out her window, over the Kingdom of Thor. Elanore jumped when she noticed her daughter's presence. “Sorry Mother I didn't mean to startle you.”
Elanore shook her head dismissively. “It is nothing dear. Come sit before me and let me braid your hair.”
Talas sighed before sitting on the stool in front of her mother's chair. “I don't have time to worry about my appearance during training. It's enough just to remember to bathe on a daily basis.”
Talas couldn't be sure but she thought she heard a soft chuckle escape her mother's lips. “You are not just a warrior my dear, but a princess above all else,” She whispered into Talas's ear.
It was Talas's turn to suppress a giggle. Her mother was wrong. Above all Talas was a warrior. Princess, was simply a title in which to gain her respect. She sat in silence allowing her mother to work the kinks out of her blonde hair, and braid it tight down her back. Elanore hummed a phantom tune. Talas knew the hymn by heart. Her mother had been humming it to her since she was baby. There were no words, only a sad nostalgic melody. Once her mother was done, she tapped Talas on the shoulder gently. The girl was already starting to drift into a slumber.
Talas turned to face her mother and bid her a good night. Only Elanore held her hand up, requesting Talas to stay. She crossed her room over to a cedar chest. She lifted the lid and reached inside. She produced a small bag made from deer hide. She handed Talas the bag.
“I do not agree with your prophecy. No girl should be sentenced to such fate. However I don't see any other way of stopping you or your strong willed father in going forth with this battle. Take this. It is sand from Ore, with high properties of magic. Use it in your defense. Simply sprinkle the sand over yourself and you shall disappear to another land, far away from the kingdom.”
Talas furrowed her brow at her mother's request. “Are you suggesting I turn my back on Thor, by fleeing from my enemy?”
Elanore lowered her eyes in guilt. It was a selfish demand, but Talas was the only person Elanore loved anymore. She had to protect the girl with her life. Before Talas could voice her rage, the King stepped into the bed chamber. Not wanting to see her mother reprimanded, Talas stuffed the small bag in the pocket of her dress. Elanore took her seat once again in her rocking chair, keeping to herself.
The king commanded Talas's attention with a single steely stare. Her father was a handsome man with a sharp angular face, broad shoulders and rich dark hair, but sometimes he was a fearsome creature. His icy blue eyes held her attention. Talas straightened and waited for her father to speak.
“My daughter. The prophets have summoned me at the late hour,”
Out of the corner of her eye Talas noticed her mother's face become ashen with grief. Tala's small hand coiled into a fist instinctively. She did her best to conceal her shock.
“You know your duty you have towards the Kingdom Talas. The time may have come sooner then anyone expected. That changes nothing. In the morrow you are to meet the Prince of Ashby where the rivers cross and both lands become one. Do your best to make me proud daughter.”