1: Defense

Women were Ninitah, residents of the Abbey and gifted in the art of healing.  Men were Monks, residents of the monastery and scholars of the highest degree.  Monks had once been skilled fighters used to defend the city but that art was lost to most.  All who were sworn to the Alter were people of righteousness and devout in their worship.  Father Geoffrey refused to let Anonda under the tutelage of anyone but himself, he did however agree to let a young Nin look after her, so that she would grow up knowing what it meant to be a woman. 

     Most of the Nin seemed to dislike the girl.  Perhaps it was the special attention from the Father, or perhaps it was the unconventionality of a girl being raised in the monastery. It likely may have been superstition over her purple eyes.  Those eyes had caused her to be picked on, beaten and abandoned.  She had never asked why her eyes were such a color.  As a child her family had made it known that her eyes marked her as evil. 

     She never bothered to ask Father Geoffrey, afraid that drawing attention to them would cause his affection for her to waver.  Purple eyes were a curse.  Even on the streets of the middle city Anonda had been discriminated against for them.  She was constantly fighting to defend herself.  It was true even when she was five and living in the underground caverns with her family that she had to shield herself.  She pleaded with her parents to believe she hadn’t meant to hurt her brother. 

At the age of eight among the bustling mixture of middle class and impoverished Anonda had found herself defending every scrap of food or copper piece that came into her hands through a fist fight.  It was at such a fight where Father Geoffrey had noticed her.  Now at the age of thirteen the violet eyed girl was still defending her position among the monastery. 

     Every chore meticulously completed, every devotion committed to memory was an effort to prove that she deserved to be here and not back amongst the soiled middle city dwellers.  Yet with each accolade Nin Lorrey had earned over the past five years the girl’s caretaker seemed to find Anonda more unworthy of her place.  At least Father Geoffrey was steadfast in his support of her, devoting every night to training her in the ways of the Monk regardless of her heritage or gender.  The chanting ceased and Anonda stood with her head bowed to let the Father and Mother pass with the rest of the Monks and Nin. 

The End

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