It’s hard to remember my life before I met this group of friends who have now become part of my family. We have travelled together for so long, trusting each other, watching out for each other, and keeping each other safe. We’re safe for the time being, but it wasn’t always so, and it won’t always be. The world is no longer the one we remember as children, and a safe haven is almost impossible to find.
We crossed the border of Romagna into North March almost a month ago. Cold and wet, many of our group gave up and left for the Everafter. The ones who remain have stayed with determination, even though our supplies are low and our troops and livestock are almost depleted. We hesitated to purchase desperately needed supplies in any of the small towns we’ve passed on our journey, because to do so would alert others to our presence. We aren’t safe yet, and we aren’t in a position to defend ourselves. So instead, we have been hiding in caves – these have become our temporary homes. When summer comes, they’ll provide us with cool relief from the hot, blistering sun.
My name is Taborri, which means Voices Which Carry. I am the Queen of Quda’ar. Or so I was until the wars began, and I had to flee for my life. Now I’m just a regular person trying to stay alive.
I became the Queen when I turned 13. I know that seems quite young, but I had no choice – I was the next in life after the assassination of my parents. Those times seem like a blur to me now, and I remember how our people relied on Persicus, the royal advisor, to guide me and help me make decisions. That was our mistake – we should not have listened to him at all – because of his greed and lust for power, my people – and me – had been led astray.
“Make friends with KORT” he’d advised, “and they will serve as powerful allies.” But, while powerful, they were also much hated. Friendship with KORT meant war with everyone else. War! In a kingdom led by a child.
We weren’t ready.
We were slaughtered.
Let me tell you how this all started….