The Story of Mara
It all begins twenty years ago as Boric of Crydee, the future Lord of Crydee, joins Prince’s Enron’s envoy to the Elven Kingdom. Boric and Enron grew up together in a time of the Kingdom's prosperity and growth. They were friends beyond their roles and knew that their future’s held daunting roles of leadership.
Boric was enchanted with the Elven Kingdom, built upon the trees it simply seemed to float in the air. The elven people were welcoming to their human guests and found them charming in their short lives and small worries. At one of the many grand dinners, Boric is sitting beside Laurilie, an elven princess. She is beauty and grace and though she appeared to be the same age as Boric she might have been much older. There was a connection between them, Boric had never felt this way before.
Though betrothed to Anne of Krondor, he couldn’t help himself from indulging in this beautiful elven woman. They talked for many hours and fell deeply into passion with each other. Boric even considered giving up his Lordship and his responsibilities to stay and feel this at peace. But relationships between humans and elves are always doomed, the length of lifetimes will be felt as time goes on and Laurilie knows that she follies with his human heart.
In the morning she goes to tell him that she cannot continue this any longer, she finds him gone, a rushed note in his quarters.
“My father is ill, they say he won’t hold much longer. This time I have spent with you has changed me, I will return for you.”
Laurilie’s heart contracts but she tells herself that humans are impulsive and it’s likely that he doesn’t even know if what he says will hold the test of time. She tells herself she will wait three months and if he hasn’t returned she will continue her life as before.
Three Months Pass
Laurilie finds herself ill in the mornings, tired all the time, and yet joyful. She is pregnant. But she is worried, she loves her people but she knows how they feel about humans, and half-humans aren’t welcome in the Kingdom beyond servant roles for the royal family. She doesn't want her child raised to become a servant.
She decides to go to Boric to talk to him of what has occurred, she doesn’t need him to support her, but she wants him to know the truth. She packs her belongings and travels to Crydee, leaving her family a note that she was going to explore the elven forests and meditate.
Arriving in Crydee she seeks an audience with Boric, she is rebuffed at first for he is Lord Boric now and she will need to partition for conference. Biting her lip in distress she considers her options, she leaves him a note hoping he will respond quickly.
Lord Boric’s advisor Thomas finds her at a local inn and invites her to dine at the castle that evening with the Lord & his wife Lady Anne. Laurilie feels her heart shrivel inside her but knows that this must be done.
The dinner is uncomfortable at best, elves are forthright in nature and Laurilie sees no point in pretending that something is not going on. She asks if the three of them can speak privately. Boric, seeing her drawn she looks agrees. She shares with Lord Boric and Lady Anne that she is pregnant with Boric’s child. Lady Anne looks hurt and distraught, while Lord Boric looks flabbergasted at this turn of events.
Lady Anne recovers first. She turns to Laurilie and tells her that she is having trouble conceiving but that her child, a half-elf, can never sit on the seat of Crydee. Laurilie is horrified, she doesn’t want that, she explains that half-elves cannot be raised in the Elven Kingdom and was hoping that Lord Boric would offer reassurance.
Lord Boric finally joins the conversation, while he cannot acknowledge the child, he can offer her safety within the walls of the castle. And he can offer her mother a job in the castle guard. Keeping them both safe and close but unable to do more than that. Laurilie is saddened by his offer but understands the weight of ruling. She accepts.
Ten Years Pass
After ten years of trying, Lady Anne is finally about to give birth to the heir of Crydee. The townspeople are overjoyed. Lord & Lady are beloved by the people of Crydee. With great joy comes great tragedy for the Lady did give birth to a beautiful son, Lyam of Crydee. But it was as though this was the only gift she could bestow upon her husband as his birth took her life.
Mara was ten at this time and felt sadness at the loss of such a great lady. Her mother, now Captain of the Guard, drank heavily during this period, something that she had never done before.
Two Years Pass
Mara is now twelve and roaming both the lands beyond the castle and the castle itself. She goes in places she isn’t meant, and is constantly being saved from scrapes with the local children who know her slightly pointed ears mark her differently.
Heading to the edge of the castle to borrow some apples for her sweet tooth, she spies a small child crawling out from under a hedge. He dusts off his knees and stares at her openly.
“Elf?” he askes in a clumsy tone.
She grimaced, “Brat?” she responds. His shock at being referred to so suddenly alightens Mara to whom this is. Feeling no dilemma in pointing out the child’s faults she simply points at him and says, “Are you escaping?”
“Yes” he replies grinning smugly at his genius.
A friendship was formed that day, something of a sibling, something of a protector. Mara and Lyam were bonded in ways they couldn’t even understand and yet over the next few years you couldn’t say who was getting who into more trouble.
Eight Years Pass
A year ago at the age of nineteen Mara joined the Castle Guard, she had no particular inclination to anything but her mother insisted she was doing something worthwhile to support the town. A natural at shooting a bow and years of hunting had done her well. She actually enjoyed the discipline of the yard, but she never let her mother know that.
On duty in the keep on day, Mara hears raised voices and races to find out if this would be her first chance to prove her worth to the Lord.
“She is twenty years old Boric, what would you like me to tell her?” “That her father is out there, and that he loves her, and that if he could he would speak to her.” “Well that should hold her up for all of three minutes before she asks more and wants to know more. She doesn’t want anything from you Boric, she just wants to know who you are.” “It’s not possible Laurilie, I have loved you and her, you know it to be true but my duty is to Crydee and to Lyam.
Mara slumps against the door in shock. Boric was her father? But why didn’t anyone tell her? Who else knew? Were they all just laughing at her? The bastard child of the Lord.
She runs, and runs, and runs. Her face a stream of tears and heads to the treehouse Lyam and her built in the forests of Crydee. There she can take a moment and process what she just discovered. And how to confront her mother about this betrayal.
Sometime during her tears, she must have drifted off for she awakens to the call to arms from Crydee. Racing down from her location she struggles to find a way back into the castle without being spotted by the attacking Orc horde. Finally, once the Orcs have been repelled. Mara hears her Captain commanding able bodies for a search party. Lyam is missing.
Unbeknownst to Mara, Lyam had seen her racing off in tears and followed her as soon as he could leave his lessons. Heading to their tree house, he’d never seen her cry. He mustn’t have been paying attention though and the world went black.
After days of searching through the bodies, they finally find Lyam’s cloak squashed and ripped upon a mass of bodies. While they cannot locate a whole body, they pronounce him dead and once again, Crydee has no heir.
Mara is the one to find the cloak, just outside of the forest near their treehouse. It’s her fault he is dead. He died coming to look for her. Her brother. Her brother is dead before she even told him that they were a family.
Ashamed, and broken she flees in the night.
A Year Passes
Sitting at a tavern awaiting the next caravan requiring an escort of mercenaries, she swirls the dregs of ale in her cup.
Heading to the privy she spots a sign "Heroes wanted! Cattle and Sheep disappearing, crops burnt and town folk disappeared". Mara swallows her ale and pulls on her ragged cloak.