It was perfect that day in Corvachia. Not blisteringly hot, or icy cold…but warm. That alone should have been indication that today was special. Corvachia was a city which was almost never warm. It was characterized by rain most of the time, and in later seasons extreme temperatures. On this day, one might say the heavens themselves were working to celebrate the arrival of something new within the city.
And that was the arrival of Lord Calastre…one of the most prominent politicians in the country. Politicians almost never came to Corvachia, with its mining and general uncleanliness that characterized the majority of the town. Additionally, the city was very dubious. Black markets, rogues and assassins, underground brothels, criminal organizations….these things could be found here more than arguably anywhere else in Volicheus.
There were beautiful parts of the city, especially the place known as Bayronds square…where the wealthy business owners who monopolized the citys market dwelled, but as a whole Corvachia was rather uncouth. And for a noble or a political figure, people of even higher rank than the rich folk of the city, there were even grander places to travel to.
After all…why come here when the kingdom of Volicheus had some of the most wonderful cities in the whole continent. Segments of the kingdom far more fitting for nobles and other fellows of such ilk. From Altravia, the City of glass to Gordova, the library of Volicheus. In contrast to places like these, Corvachia was simply a capitalistic hubbub with a rich market, important but generally unattractive business city.
But nevertheless, the man named Lord Ardos Calastre was here, for discussions with some of the cities businessmen. He rode in an elaborate chariot encrusted with pure gold and adorned with a variety of rare gems. Everything about and associated with the chariot screamed pure class.
The horses were exquisitely bred Auravian Stallions, the bodyguards were all incredibly well built and impeccably dressed warriors, even the driver of the chariot looked like a wealthy merchant in his own right. For the ordinary citizens of Corvachia, people whose lives were constituted by dullness and surrounded by gray….this was a treat.
Amongst these citizens was a young boy, an ordinary boy, one named Alder. Well…almost normal. There was one characteristic that made him stand out amidst the crowd which had gathered around the chariot. And these were his purple eyes. Currently though, these eyes could not be seen, as Alder was wearing contacts to prevent his abnormalities from being exposed.
Abnormalities were dangerous, especially in Corvachia. If he were distinguished in any way from the ordinary commons folk he could be isolated and fate would either take him to the corrupt high class of the city, where he might become a glorified plaything for those in power…or he could find himself cast into the even more deplorable underworld, which gave Corvachia its name of ”The City of Crows ”.
The things that transpired there were horrifying, unspeakable even. Criminal organizations ran rampant, murders were frequent, thieving was abundant. It was miserable.
But Alder knew none of this…he was young, only ten years old, and had gotten the privilege of being sheltered his entire life by his big sister Aurelia. In his eyes, him wearing contacts was all part of an elaborate game his sister constructed, one which had been going on for years now.
She wasn here now, she had gone to buy fish and vegetables and bread from the market with what little money she had. She had warned Alder not to leave their little makeshift home until she came back as she did every day…but Alder was an excitable child.
Upon seeing people pouring out of their houses, he had felt compelled to follow them and as such had found his way here. And before him now was the prettiest sight he had ever seen. Jewels and metals he had never even heard of, beasts he had only heard tales of, people dressed so royally his brain couldn even comprehend it.
The sight was like an overload of information into Alders young brain, one which had never known anything beyond the life he had lived for eight long years. One where his sisters meals were the highest quality of cuisine, and the bed and pillow he slept in were considered lavish.
He had heard stories of knights and heroes, legends and myths of all kind. He had heard tales of pirates who roamed the seas, stealing riches, people and even lands from kingdoms across the world. Stories of powerful adventurers who had explored new frontiers and slayed beasts of unimaginable proportions.
Aurelia was a wonderful storyteller, and Alder looked forward to hearing her words every night. But he had never actually conceptualized these stories as something tangible. Hed always longed for them but never considered the idea that something grander than that which constituted his everyday life appearing right before his eyes.
Seeing it now awakened something within him. That…was jealousy. It was a feeling he had never experienced before, but now that it had emerged it was like a cancer which bubbled within him. But at the same time, another, more innocent emotion ran free. Curiosity, for as to what was going on.
The two formed a deadly combination. What ifs began to fester within Alders heart. Questions, forlorn possibilities, even a little bit of distrust towards his sister from hiding the actual existence of such a thing as this chariot from Alder. Of course, what he was seeing was not a vicious dragon or a silky haired king…but it was something beyond the bubble Alder knew as the world. Aurelia had made sure to tell to him constantly that she was telling him mere stories, with a firm tone of voice. But what if…she was lying? What if such things actually existed. What if there was a deeper reason that Alder wore contacts.
As the chariot passed…these questions burned within Alders heart like a thunderstorm. No one else noticed, they were far too enamored by the scene before them. But for Alders tiny, fragile little mind, his worldview would never be the same.
And this was just the beginning of much bigger things to come….
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