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Prologue for "Liln of the Pearl Cuff: Book One of the Kili'ari Chronicles"

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It was an honor to be chosen for the Order. So few were allowed into the Walls to learn the great secrets. But then, to be chosen for the Takk Fe’ayri, and at only fifteen, Liln was a bit surprised.  It was the youngest age one could be accepted as a First. She stood motionless while the others stared silently, expressionless eyes in soulless faces. All except Turvi, who quickly tugged at her arm.

 

“ Go you, idiot,” she whispered through clenched teeth, ”They called for you.”

Liln shuffled one stone foot in front of the other along the path. The other girls broke away as the sea before her.  The sadness of home welled up in her heart.  Hours spent meditating, studying, reciting, learning every technique, and the silence.  She hated it here. She hated the rocks. She hated the trees. She hated every bitter taste and sour smell. The ground was poison.  There was nothing here.  Turvi’s friendship had offered small moments of breath that kept Liln from drowning. Now she was to lose even that relief. She wanted to go home, but there was no such place.

 Liln stopped at the door and look directly into the eyes of the Last.  The woman stood tall despite being only a few inches above Liln. But she did not waver with her deep earth brown eye and the pale ghost of her right socket. Her mahogany skin showing a bit of pink on her lips and along the crease of the scar down her cheek.  The largeness of her head and length of her arms revealed she had Semadril blood in her. Liln couldn’t be completely sure for the mixing of races was too varied.

It had been raining and cold the day the shadowed figured came through the gates. Liln knew she was important . The uncultured around her did not and remained in their groups. They were sparring to understand discomfort. Sadistic teaching. However, she watched the stranger slowly and precisely walk through the class. Then when she reached the front the instructors hurried towards the visitor. There was hushed tones and very little conversation.

“Naïve,” the elder instructor said,” We have finished with sparring.  Return to your rooms. Meal will be in an hour. We are to welcome our guest, Danaro.”

 The woman never spoke. It was through eavesdropping and rumors that Liln  learned she was Takk Fe’ayri.  Danaro was a Last , which was the highest level that could be reached in the Order .  Then came the drooling and worship from all the brainless. Shaved head plain girls dreaming out loud. Ones who have believed and breathed the rhetoric . Danaro had stopped the Great Gryphon War single-handedly. She had killed the Dragyn of Pab Melar.  She walked into the caves of the vampire in Merkti Mountains and survived. The woman became invincible.  Taller, wiser, braver and sexier with every story.  Liln didn’t give a shit.

Danaro’s voice was monotone when she spoke,” I am leaving tonight and require a new First for my Sect. Liln, come forward.”  Thus began the short but long journey. Now with the girl in front of her, the Last spoke again,” Do you accept Placement of First in the Sect of Obsidian for the Grand Takk Fe’ayri of the Order?”

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