Katrionah Rosalette


   My birth was by no means a monumental occasion as I saw it. After all, I could not even so much as remember it as it were. All I thought important was the fact I am was born and alive to begin with, what more need I know? My mother was the lady Moirah Anessa Rosalette, my father the lord Adrian Rosalette. I never was able to find out much about my parents, they were always just 'my parents', and little more. I rarely saw my father; he was seemingly always abroad for one affair or another. My mother, though she was certainly a more ever present figure in my youth, opted to mostly flaunt her position of wealth and notoriety obtained from marriage to the great lord Adrian.

    However, whether I liked it or not, I was often subject to many a tale (my childhood included in those) by some of  the 'chattier' maids that worked amongst the family's estate.
    My mother, as they said, apparently had the nerve to try and maintain a cordial air even in childbirth. And, after failing miserably at that tact, she spent the next several hours leading up to the delivery threatening my father's life and. his other means of posterity, so to speak. And thus, just a short time after the midwife's attendants succeeded in prying mother's hands from father's neck, I was born. I never could quite understand why father was present for the event; but as the maids all agreed, a statement that was always followed by their own uproarious laughter, he never got the chance to get away.

    The first several years of my life, as I look back upon them, were a seemingly endless blur of etiquette lessons, endless chains of parties to attend, and whatever other means of education my mother saw fir to submit me to. She saw me as a doll, not as a daughter, it was painfully apparent time and time again. Everyday there was a new dress, a new baroness or duchess for my mother to visit, both she and I dressed for the event in that day's proclaimed 'finest'. The more I look back upon those days, the more I wonder how managed not to go insane before age ten.
    It was not until I was eleven that my eyes began to open up to the world beyond the mansion gates. My first venture into this new realm beyond the endless luncheons and balls was the library not far from my father's land. It was not long before that became my favorite escape and the scholars and priests that worked within the majestic walls knew me well just the same.
    My favorite of the bunch was a man named Dalas. He was a man well past his prime, yet out of all the scholars there, he by far had the greatest knowledge of philosophy, history, religion, literature, and all other areas of the like. It was not like before I began to idolize his vast amount of knowledge and experience. Dalas always proved to be patient with me, welcoming me with open arms each time I stepped through the massive doors of the library. In time, he began to treat me as he would any other pupil, listening to my views on many subjects, and providing me with a new lesson each time I mastered the first.

    Perhaps it was the time I spent with Dalas that led me to develop the views and habits I have today, but as the years past, it also worked to undo my mother's strict formal molding. As she saw it, women were never to question things, never to creep into the 'man's realm' of thinking. She herself had been raised that way, so I suppose it came only natural of the outraged she expressed when I began to exhibit signs of some greater thinking and knowledge, that which went beyond lessons in manners, etiquette, and a 'woman's way'. I was sixteen when she made up her mind the way to undo the 'nonsense' Dalas had worked into my mind. My father, ever the busy aristocrat, gave little a thought to it, his own daughter did not mean as much as the many business affairs he was often gone to attend. He agreed to what my mother proposed, namely, an arranged marriage to the son of a local 'acquaintance' of hers.
    This came as quite a shock to me, not only because it was all so sudden, but also for the fact I was to marry a complete stranger just three days after my mother chose to announce the engagement. Motherly love may be the one thing I shall never understand, especially in Moirah's warped, self-centered views on it.

    Distraught, outraged, and utterly betrayed, I could only turn to the one person left I knew I could trust. As I soon learned from one of the keepers of the library, Dalas had died in his sleep on just the previous night. I had no one left to turn to, and I was about to be practically sold away into marital slavery in just three short days.
    So, with that, in what I would later realize to be a less than rational, but still more or less effective, action, I did the only thing my distressed mind could thing of to work. I ran away from home, taking a large amount from my father's own store of gold along for the trip.
    I was desperate, not stupid, after all.

    I then set off from my home city of Tuanta, even though I had no definite idea of where my destination was, I left. Needless to say, the horse I rode to my so-called freedom was stolen; it was the first time my mother's lessons on being a lady were put to a reasonable use, though the creature was still unruly to drive onward. I traveled for days and nights, barely stopping even to rest. All I wanted was to escape, and find something better. Yet it was only after a week of near ceaseless riding that an idea dawned on me.
    I had so loved Dalas' expertise that he had taught to me for all those years. Thus, I knew what I could do. A royal college was amongst the next city I came to, the exact location is not important, so that I need not mention it here. Of course, as I had been reminded time and time again, it was open only to men. An endless procession of courtiers and bards all flocked around the place. It was under royal support of the land's king, thus it was open grounds for their usual pointless milling about. I of course, still filled with my own teenage sense of naive persistence, was determined to bring my education to the fullest extend, and prove I could have just as much worth and knowing as a man could. It was a typical want, of course, but perhaps in the long run I still had not been thinking very rationally.
    For the next few years, I attended the college as any other student. Not as Katrionah that is, but as a young businessman's son by the name of Keague. No one was the wiser for those four years, and I would rather not elaborate on how I managed to keep up that lie for so many years. I will say that I had first shorn off my own long hair, and to this day it still remains cut short for that reason. And by some odd twist of luck, the other students and professors never asked too much of why Keague insisted on wearing a uniform several sizes bigger than it should have been, or why he insisted on keep to himself so.
    And, after what seemed to be an eternity of keep all that up, graduation was upon me, and I found myself top of the class. I had reached my goal, I had proven myself worthy. And that, more than anything left me feeling positively... empty.

    I could not explain it then, and to this stay I still cannot. I had gotten what I had always wanted, I was away from my parents, and I had broken a small part of the boundary between the genders. Still, I could not shake the feeling I was missing something. I stayed with some friends from school for nearly two months after school had ended, still posing as the mysterious Keague, still keep the lie up. I spent the better part of my stay in the room I had chosen for myself in the house, they did not ask many questions of me, as they saw it, that was just how 'Keague' was.
    It was on one such night, though it is to this day, even with what I have learned hence, an unexplainable thing happened. A waking dream I still have been unable to find some real meaning of. It was a calling of sorts, I suppose one could say, a soothing and at the same time unsettling warmth and light that seemed to touch my very soul. Afterwards, still in a daze from all I had seen in that vision, I knew I had something left to strive for after all. It was the middle of the night when I left the house, leaving my two former school mates little more than a short note saying I had to go, along with a generous amount of gold coins to use as they pleased.
    I arrived at the docks just moments before the last ship of the evening set sail. It was bound for the kingdom of Mileth, bound for my own destiny, and later my own discovery of love.
    I did not know, even imagine all of that then... All I knew was that I must leave for there. To this day, a lot of what experienced remains a mystery in my mind. I could never have imagined that setting out uneasily and alone into the Temple of the Veils in Mileth, that it would lead to my beginnings as a Wizard and Enchantress.
    I could have never imagined that on a typical morning walk, just like any other, that my wandering eyes would meet the gaze of another, sparking a feeling deep within my own heart. I never would have believed in love at first sight either, that is. And now, as I write this, recalling every memory as vivid as the day they happened, I cannot help but smile a little. For though I am fulfilled as I ever was, there is still much to be seen, much to be done, much to be learned.

    I would never have it any other way...