Prologue- Incipit prologus
4th Day of the 7th Sun, Sirene
My true bride is the sea. I have spent my time enamored with her, long nights
amidst air perfect for salting meat. She seals our matrimony each night with that bitter
kiss, a faithful one that I rely on to determine where I am.
We met first as a boy, when my brother and I played pirates in our yard, as we
built fortresses and plundered enemy lands. I met but a brief ghost of her, shimmering,
cooling the terse summer air as a goddess amongst mortals. I aged, as she did, her
gently rocking smile ever so often slipping into the spots of memory across my
childhood and early maturity.
Manhood, we met anew. She touched my breast and whispered a fair prayer in
my ear, a blessing and a command, and I assented in secret, knowing my love was fast.
In my family’s eyes, it’s forbidden. There is a time in every man’s life where he
must Choose. House Morien wages war on the grounds, our loyal men take on the
seas. Men of other breeds can Choose the sea, but never a Morien man. Our Choice is
limited. Since The God’s Day.
My kin take up the craft of war, like my brother and my father and his father. They march proudly in battalions or forge steel scythes and spears for our armies and with
any luck they come out of it unscathed,without a spear splitting open their insides.
A few go into the higher up positions, like my brother with his steeled mind and
ambition. The women go into the women’s things, the reading, the painting, writing,
secretarial duties, rearing, the Feminine Arts they call them. They, like my sister, are too
wise to fight. They carry on our culture, if we even have culture past the War.
Today is the day of my own Choice. I have been granted the traditional helm, a
forest green with silver-threaded stars to symbolize the family members that have died
in our honor, that have bought us the Castle Grey, what we were destined for. I’ve been given new shoes, soldiers boots, though my rank would be above the foot soldier. A stone will be selected for my hand and cemented to my being in the fire. It may be called a “Choosing”, but my father has only prepared the one stone, weaselly man that he is, he has prepared a banquet in
my honor, at the end of which I will announce my Choice. With all formalities of a noble,
our new family title.
The goddess of war, strategy, or the feminine arts will likely come to bless the
table, extinguishing the flame that I so choose.
I look at my family, and I see only the home I have found in my secret escapades
to the docks.
But I know what I must Choose. Tonight. And make my intentions clear. My
eternal bride will no longer be hidden, despite the fact that I may have to hide. God
bless the Morien name.
Fair winds and following seas,
Paul, House Morien