PrologueMature

Is beauty really in the eye of the beholder? What lengths would you go to to survive? Can we conquer our inner demons? Can we resurface from rock bottom? Can the broken be put back together? Do happy endings really exist?

The vast land had been divided up into wards, eight of them to be exact. These wards were not only land on which people lived, but also a subconscious symbol of an individual's class or status. Those who lived in the innermost ward were the richest of all the people. The inhabitants of this ward were respected and treated like kings because of their wealth. Law said that people in the first ward were to be addressed as either "Sire" or "Madame." Going outside this ward, things decreased a little more each time you entered a different ward. As expected, those who lived in the eighth ward were the worse off out of everyone. They were the poorest of the poor, living in extreme poverty, barely able to make ends meet.

It is among these wards that our story takes place. This tale will elaborate on the lives of eight different characters as they deal with societal pressures, imperfections, hardships, love, loss, and change.

The first of these characters is the lovely Elise. Elise is a citizen of the Fourth ward, not rich, but not dirt poor either. She is among the most desirable women throughout the wards, with her ethereal beauty and slight frame. Elise is considered the pinnacle of beauty, until an incident changes her appearance.

The second character in our tale is Phillip. Phillip belongs to the Third ward. Phillip is pretty much the typical ordinary boy. He is one of few who can look past Elise's changed appearance after the incident and still see her beauty. To him, beauty is on the inside, not the outside. He becomes interested in Elise and wants to be with her. But does she want the same?

Our next character is Charlotte. Charlotte belongs to the Sixth ward and is struggling to survive after being abandoned by a man who had promised to take care of her forever. She turns to the shadows where she lives her life in secret as a criminal and sinful creature. Can she be changed?

Elijah is a nobleman who is in between the First and Second ward. His noble status gains him popularity and respect among the people. He is treated very well, but is not sure he likes the treatment. He longs for an interesting life, and doesn't really care about his title or money. He is an older bachelor still searching for a companion. Will he find one?

Next is Tess. Tess is a member of the outer Seventh ward. She dreams of a better life than the one she currently lives. She wants adventure, love, passion and excitement. She fears her dreams are just those, that the odds are against her and that they will never come true.

Dennis is Tess's older brother who has lost everything. They had a good life, in the Third ward once, but Dennis's obsession with money led to a gambling addiction. This addiction caused Tess and Dennis to lose everything, and sink to the filthy depths of the Seventh ward. Dennis is struggling to provide for himself and Tess, especially since her health is not always great. Will he find solace?

Oliver is a member of the Second ward, and has a great life. However, his heart is plagued by inner demons, especially selfishness. He has his sights set on Elise, believing she is destined to be with him. However, he has a change of heart once her incident occurs. 

Our final character is Aurora. Aurora is young and innocent. She is a member of the Fourth ward and, like Charlotte, was abandoned, not just by a lover, but by her family. A shocking secret jeopardizes her life and she is forced to make a difficult decision that changes her young life forever. 

Now that the characters have been introduced and the mood set, it's time for our tale to be told. This is how our story begins....

The End

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