Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Arilith's Situation

Ok, since not everyone who reads my site follows the game "Exalted", I'll clear up a few points so you can better understand the short story I wrote, "A Sad Day", as well as any other stories where Arilith shows up.

In the current state of Creation, the Dragon-Blooded rule over anything they can reach. Or at least presume to rule. They are, after all, the Princes of the Earth. So says the accepted religion. So accepted, in fact, that the mortals believe this as well. A person with a caste mark signifying his heritage is to be treated with all due respect.

In any case, Arilith, the main character in the story "A Sad Day", is something of an anomaly, for 2 different reasons. First of all, her element, air, runs strongly through her veins. Considering that the powers of the Dragon-Blooded run in a hereditary fashion, from father to son, she is very prized, from the point of view of the children she may beget.

But she is further different for another reason. In an excursion to the lands of the Threshold, where the Realm (The Dragon-Blooded empire) has little to no power, she hears the villagers talk of the Dragon-Bloods as despots and tyrants, demanding tribute, yet leaving them defenseless.

This gets her to think of their so-called right to rule, and if the Realm is going too far. To get more information of this, she flees the Realm, and hides in Nexus, one of the greatest cities in the Threshold. Now, given her satus as a Dragon-Blood of high breeding, for the strength of her elemental aspect, she's being pursued.

In Nexus, she finds a job as the bodyguard of a local merchant prince. This merchant has to travel north to Sijan, so she tags along. In the way, a group of Dragon-Bloods begin to harass the caravan, searching for her. Scared of returning to the Realm, and now further convinced of the wrongness of her own people because of the behaviour of these Dragon-Bloods, she hides.

During the search, a group of barbarians decides to raid the merchant caravan she's on. Because she's hidden, she can't help. Many of the mercenaries that were defending the caravan die, for what she believes in a way to be her fault. This is where her sadness comes from.

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