CHAPTER 1 – Faradelle
In a valley between the Golden Mountains of Abicia lied the small but lovely village of Faradelle. Faradelle was a farming village, one that produced a much higher quantity and quality of crops than one might expect from such a small place, and Faradellan fruits and vegetables were considered to be among the highest quality anyone can find in Abicia. There were many factors causing this, including the fertile soil and the perfect mix of sun and rain, but most agreed that this was mainly due to the hard work of Dalinor Carrahym, who worked much longer hours a day and somehow was able to manage all his land, even though he most likely had more land than all the other farmers combined. Everyone in the town admired his efforts so much, that the Carrahyms became the most respected family in Faradelle. They were also respected for their kindness and generosity, since Dalinor was happy to give other townspeople a large portion of his profit. Dalinor had once been a soldier for the Abician army, but after a serious injury he returned to his home town and took on farming instead. His wife, Nerielle, would occasionally argue that farming was actually much harder of work than swordfighting, but truthfully she didn’t mind one bit, as this meant she could see her husband much more than she had in past years. They had 4 children, the oldest daughter Mya, the middle daughter Verinny, and the youngest, twin brothers named Jaxon and Theod.
Now, yesterday was a very exciting day for the Carrahyms, particularly Mya. Yesterday was her 16th birthday, which is a very important day for any young Abician – it was the day they could decide to learn to become a mage or a soldier. Mya had been far more interested in magic than in swordsmanship from a young age, even after her father gave her countless lessons from his time as a soldier, so it was obvious to everyone she would choose to become a mage. Today, the day after her birthday celebration, was the day she would leave Faradelle and travel to Mossany, the capital of Abicia, a huge city renowned for its fantastic magic and swordfighting training. It was only a few hours’ distance away, but Mya planned on leaving at daybreak, not because she’d be late for anything, but because of her excitement to get going. However, this ended up not being the case. Mya could be very irresponsible at times, and not go to bed until the latest hours, especially on days of celebration, and of course, this is what happened.
Verinny, her younger sister by 3 years, ended up waking her around noontime that day, since she seemed to be the only one in the family who remembered what time Mya said she planned on leaving. By waking her up, she had to deal with a lot of Mya’s yelling, but Verinny knew she would’ve been a lot worse if she’d have just let her sleep and she wouldn’t have been able to leave until much later.
Mya, still half asleep, quickly braided her long, blond hair in such a messy way that it looked rather ridiculous, and put on the dress her friend Faylee Abadeen had gotten her yesterday. It was something Mya had spotted about a half-year ago while shopping in Mossany with her friends, an elaborate sea-green dress woven from silk and embroidered in a pattern of golden flowers, imported from the exotic and faraway country of Telin’dar. She knew her parents would not approve of her spending money on silly, useless things like expensive dresses she’d never be able to get away with wearing on the farm, but Faylee saved up all her money for those 6 mooncycles so she could give it to her as a gift, knowing that she’d need something much nicer than work clothes if she planned on getting an apprenticeship to a mage.
Together, Mya and Verinny walked out of the farmhouse, a small but cozy little place, to be greeted by their mother. “Mya,” she said, “your hair looks awful, and you cannot go to the city looking like that. Would you mind if I braided it for you?”
“No, not at all,” responded Mya, still tired.
Nerielle began to carefully braid Mya’s hair, making sure it looked as neat as she could make it be. “Mya, did you dream at all last night?” she asked her.
“Yes, I did,” Mya began, and her mother looked at her curiously. “But I don’t remember it. Why do you ask? You are the Dreamlander, not me. My dreams are not important, only silly things my imagination makes up.”
“Perhaps I should have told you yesterday,” replied Nerielle, “I did not only give you the box.” The box she had given Mya was small thing, painted with thousands of tiny swirls of countless different shades of blue. She had told Mya not to open it until she is in a moment of trouble, and would not tell her anything more about it; and although Mya was curious about what was inside, she knew to trust her mother. “I also gave you the Dreamlander’s Gift.”
“Wow, really?” asked Mya, excited. Dreamlanders were people who had the rare power to predict their future through their dreams, and sometimes, if they were a powerful one such as Mya’s mother, could choose to pass along the gift to a family member at any given time. “I’m sorry for not paying more attention to my dreams. I actually have some vague memories of it, but it seemed ridiculous and unrealistic if I can remember correctly. I think it had a dragon in it. Oh, wouldn’t that be cool if I could see a dragon?”
“It’s alright, dear, you didn’t know yet,” answered Nerielle, tying the end of Mya’s braid with a twisted leather rope. “Besides, our dreams aren’t always accurate. We do sometimes get completely normal dreams, the kind everyone else has, and that was probably one of them. Dragons have been extinct for many years, and it is impossible for them to come back again. You’ve probably been reading too many fairytales. Besides, dragons were dangerous creatures - not ones that could be easily tamed by humans.”
Mya looked slightly disappointed. “I guess I’ll just go pack up for Mossany, then,” she said, turning away from her mother to go back to the farmhouse. She walked back in, and opened the door to her bedroom. She neatly folded up all of her nicest clothes, and a few less-nice work outfits too, and placed them in her largest bag. Besides clothing, she packed all of her money and her flute, plus several books – some she hadn’t finished yet and others she had read countless times. Mya slung the bag over her shoulder, and left the farmhouse again.
She then walked over to the stables, and found the nicest saddle she owned, a quilted red blanket, and a bridle studded with sapphires she had picked up on her last trip to Mossany (she had gotten scolded a bit for buying that one.) She then went to her horse, Snowdrop, and began to carefully put on the tack after grooming her hair until it shone. Snowdrop was a tall, lovely horse the color of clouds, with large eyes and a long, pure white mane and tail. Mya then mounted her horse, and trotted through the field where Dalinor was working.
“Are you leaving now, Mya?” he asked her. She nodded. “I’ll really miss you. Be sure to visit us often.”
“Don’t worry, Father, I will!” replied Mya, giving him a kiss on the cheek. “I’ll miss you too, and I wish you the best of luck with the farm!” Dalinor smiled and waved at her as she rode off.
When she arrived at the road out of Faradelle’s beginning, much of the town was there, with the exception of some of the farmers, as they were still working out in the fields. Faylee was the first person to step up. “I’ll really miss you, Mya,” she said.
“Don’t worry, Faylee. You can visit me as much as you’d like. Also, your 16th birthday is in only 2 mooncycles; you won’t have to wait long,” Mya reassured her.
“What about me?” asked Verinny. “It’s still 3 years ‘till my 16th birthday! I don’t want to wait that long, and I can’t travel all the way to Mossany by myself!”
“I’ll still visit sometime,” said Mya, giving her sister a hug, and then gave one to her 2 brothers and friends afterward. “Goodbye!” she called, waving as she rode off towards Mossany.
The road there was long; it took 4 hours’ time to reach Mossany on horseback, and although she had gone with her friends many times before, this was her first time going alone. It winded up through a pass in the Golden Mountains, to the hills, and down across the plains. It was a sunny day today, and yellow flowers bloomed on the hills – the perfect day for travelling, with the exception of a small breeze, which had made Mya’s braid significantly messier than when she first set out.
Mya began to ponder about what her mentor would be like. A powerful mage, she hoped. Perhaps they’d be someone like Frythe Goldwater, who, as her name suggested, was said to have the ability to turn water into gold – a rather strange ability, but it could be useful, she supposed. Or maybe they’d be someone like Tigmuth Earthshaker, who created a huge earthquake strong enough to destroy an entire army. Don’t be silly, she told herself, those are just people from legends. That type of mage isn’t around anymore. She’d been reading far too many books lately, and was getting overexcited.
She walked a while longer, down the long road through the plains of tall grass, and began to see a city in the distance – Mossany.