The dream came to her that night for the first time in many years. She was playing in the valley close by her home. No one was around except for the shy animals that Amaraen fed. Suddenly, someone whispered her name.
"Amaraen," it was a whisper so sweet and soothing. A gentle kiss from the wind.
Amaraen looked and saw home. the mand had golden-red hair and liquid amber eyes. With him was a raven with startling blue eyes.
"Amaraes, my child, come to me," he said.
"No!" she cried, feeling very afraid.
And then the dream changed for the first time.
His smile was gone and in his eyes was a sadness so deep. His expression was serious.
"Amaraen, you have been called. Fulfill your destiny,"
The dream ended as it always had-- with him bursting into flames and suddenly gone.
Amaraen's eyes popped open. Her heart was racing and her large room seemed suddenly too small. She needed air. She took in several deep breaths and finally calmed her speedy heart.
Amaraen pushed bach the thick covers and slowly crept out of bed. She tightened her night robes about her and padded to the window. Slowly, she lifted it open.
A breeze whooshed in carrying the smell of salt and water from the Silodan sparkling in the distance beneath the moon. Beyond the Silodan waters lay the distant and forbidden lands of Biel'tae. Biel'tae was a land of many myths and mysteries.
"Amaraen," the sweet voice was suddenly more real and a breath away from her. She turned and saw him.
"Who are you?"
"I am Bandaen, child. Tis time to answer my call,"
"Call to what?"
"You are of my blood. There are very few of you left. I gave you life, child of fire,"
Instead of bursting into flames, he simply vanished. In his place was an object. It glinted in the moon's ethereal light. Shyly, the walked up to it, bent down, and picked it up. Her long, auburn locks moved with her. Auburn was a rare color it seemed. Most people had either blonde or brown hair. Some had black.
Amarean stood out from her family. She was adopted by Brenwen and Alren, who were noble born. They had an older daughter, Silryn, who was to marry a high lord. Silryn cared nothing for her younger, adopted sister and barely tolerated her.
Amaraen shrugged off those thoughts and picked up the object. It was a bracelet. The bracelet was made of a liquid gold that seemed to have a life of its own. In the center was a blood red stone. Amaraen slipped it on her left wrist.
"Amaraen, look into the stone. 'Tis alive like you. Call its power to you. 'Twas made for you," the sweet voice of Bandaen whispered.
"Amaraen?" Silryn's voice came from the door.
Amaraen quickly hid the bracelet by crossing her arms and tucking her hands in the robes.
"You are always restless. Go to bed like normal people," Silryn grumbled.
"But, I am not normal," Amaraen grinned.
"Get!" Silryn advanced toward her and Amaraen only laughed. Her sister's gold hair was a mess.
"Go and brush your hair before you hurt me dear, sister. You wouldn't want your lord to see you like that!"
Silryn stalked off to her room. Amaraen hid a smile. She so enjoyed aggravating her older, uppity sister. She was labled as the "odd commoner" of the family. Amaraen like the title. She was proud that she was not like them. Deep down, she wished she was, though. She ached to belong, to have a family that loved her no matter where she came from. It was a small hope that flickered inside her heart emitting a small light.
Amaraen shrugged off those thoughts and climbed back into the bed. There, she slept fitfully and was glad when the sun's light streamed into the window beckoning her to get up and enjoy the morning.
Amaraen eagerly got up and dressed. She went down to the servent's quarters and ate her morning meal. Unlike Silryn, Amaraen was treated as a servant. She ate and worked with them. She was also freer like them and valued that freedom. She only had her own room because her mother, Brenwen, pitied her. Amaraen counted her blessings. Even servants lived better than commoners.
After her morning chores, she had the whole mid-afternoon to do as she pleased. She changed her clothing and slipped on something light. She was going down to the docks.
The docks were her favorite spot in the city of Etenage. Etenage was the capital city of Ultar, Amaraen's home. Ultar was of the seven lands ruled by the High King Thendmaunt. Lord Thendmaunt was a king that Amaraen did not like. She'd been to many dinners with her family at the palace. Lord Thendmaunt had tiny rat's eyes and a large stomach. His shiny bald head made her turn her eyes away from him. He also did not believe in magic. Thendmaunt coveted the distant land of Biel'tae and forbiddened trade or travel there. But he didn't regulate it properly and people were easily able to sneak to and from Biel'tae.