Post by Lady Lee-o on Jun 28, 2018 19:18:09 GMT -8
Warnings: Blood, War, Death
Summary: The life story of Amazon Regent Ephiny of the Telaquire tribe. From childhood up through her death and rebirth.
PROMISES & FRIENDSHIP
Ephiny grew up under the rule of Queen Lucina and her daughters, Melosa and Terreis. Queen Lucina was a wise queen, strong and the bravest warrior since her grandmother was born. It was an honor to be raised under such a strong and fair Queen. Times were hard and war was around the corner, Lucina prepared her girls for an easy fight. The village of men they used for procreation was unhappy and decided to do something about it. During the season the Amazons would go and use them for breeding purposes, to bring new life into the world. For many years they did not fight back because when beautiful women came to you for sex, you didn't say no. The men lost the battle, "You fought well Phildon, but you have lost and I expect you to obey. Next time I will not be so hospitable," However, men were not the only problem, they also had centaurs.
The men decided they were not going to obey and joined with the centaurs; this would lead to a decade-old battle. It was always about lands and freedom, it wasn't easy for both sides. Many were killed on both sides, among the loss was Queen Lucina. This left her oldest daughter, Melosa, as the new Queen at the age of sixteen. Her sisters, Terreis was only ten.
Melosa had a hard time letting her mother go, they mourning period lasted longer than most. "My queen," Fara, Ephiny's mother walked in and placed a hand on her shoulder. Fara had helped raise both of Lucina's daughters, training them to be great warriors. "It's time, you must let her go. She would not want this for you, the pyre is ready." Fara cupped her face and looked into her eyes, "This is not goodbye," Melosa nodded in agreement.
"We'll see each other again, you're right. Thank you, Fara, I'm sorry for being so weak."
"Emotion is not weakness, so long as you don't let it rule your judgment. You will find a balance, your sisters will help you."
"I have waited well beyond the mourning period, I let it rule me. We will allow her spirit to soar and then we will get our revenge on those responsible." Melosa wanted justice for their mother's death, she wasn't the only one who wanted action.
"War is what killed, mother, why would you want to start another?" Terreis tried to talk her out of it, but she wasn't listening. "Melosa, let the men be. They didn't kill her,"
"They sided with the enemy, they will suffer under my hand."
Ephiny was only eight years old when Queen Lucina died, she saw how everyone mourned. The entire tribe was stricken with grief and anger. The anger behind Melosa's eyes, the sorrow in Terreis'. "Come sit with me," Ephiny held onto her own mother, fear that she would one day be without her. Fara took her place by Melosa and Terreis, Ephiny standing awkwardly at her mother side. She looked out at the dancing amazon's, watching the grieving dance, hypnotized. She rubbed at her eyes, some tears falling down her face, The Queen was gone and her heart was breaking for her friend, Terreis.
"Don't be sad my chariot, Queen Lucina would not want you to be. You will see her again and all our sisters when we pass through the gate of eternity. You are strong and destined for great things." Ephiny would never forget her mother's words.
Ephiny walked over to Terreis first and gave her a huge hug, then she turned to Melosa, bowing on one knee with her hand over her chest. "I will grow to be a great warrior, I will help you defeat our enemy and make them pay for what they have done." She looked up to see a smile on Melosa's face, she stood and Melosa wrapped her arms around her.
"I have my eyes on you, Ephiny. You will be a great warrior because your mother is a great warrior." It was at that moment she would dedicate her life to being the best warrior she could be.
After Queen Lucina's spirit was sent to soar, three days later, Melosa marched her sisters into the men's village. She obliterated them and those who survived escaped to the centaurs. Melosa wanted to follow after them but Fara and several of the other high ranking amazon warriors suggested they wait. Reluctantly she agreed and returned her tribe home.
At this point, Ephiny had started to take her training more serious. Math, Science and history, they weren't her best subjects but she was trying harder these days. The art of war is where she excelled and passed most of her sisters right by.
For two seasons, Ephiny had trained harder than any underage warrior. The patrons were impressed by her ability to learn and told Fara she would make a great leader one day. "Mom, train with me!" Ephiny held a staff in her hand, a look of determination on her face.
"I have to meet with the queen, but we will spar later. Why don't you relax, Chariot? You're going to hurt yourself if you keep moving at such a wild pace."
When Ephiny was thirteen seasons, a war was close to the amazon nation. Tyldus and Melosa could not agree on much of anything. According to Melosa, Tyldus was starting to encroach on amazon lands; which was a part of the treaty they set up a year ago. The centaurs had an advantage over the amazons, an older leader with more experience. Tyldus had been in many wars, Melosa hadn't seen many battles at this point.
"Ephiny, go with the other children."
"I can fight them, just give me a chance!"
"No, I must protect Melosa and Terreis. I can not do that if I'm worried about you. You are not old enough to fight, now do as I say."
"You will have many more times to be brave, today is not one of them. Go with the children and protect them, they need you there. Melosa has already sent Velasca," Velasca and Ephiny were the same age, they grew up together and both were strong warriors in training. When Velasca's mother was killed, Melosa took her in as a sister and daughter. They were only eight years apart but Melosa saw something in Velasca.
"Only cowards run and hide, amazon's don't hide."
"Chariot," Ephiny's fists clenched, she didn't like it when her mother used that name. "You will have many opportunities to fight our enemies, but you are not ready to face a Centaur." She leaned in and kissed the top of her daughter's head. "I will return to you, take my staff and hold onto it for me." Ephiny pulled away, leaving the staff behind. "Ephiny, you will go to the cave and stay there. If I catch you on the battlefield, you will never see another war until I soar." Ephiny screamed out in frustration and headed to the door. "Where are you going."
"To the stupid cave's!" She headed outside and helped round up the amazon children, "let's go, stay close." She herded them along and sighed when they finally got to safety, Velasca was already there, twirling her dagger between her fingers.
"This is stupid, we should be out there," Velasca growled.
"Queen Melosa wouldn't let you fight either?" Velasca shook her head.
"We are just as good as any of those warriors, it's not fair we have to be stuck here. I want them dead, I want to avenge my mother."
"And we will, I promise, we'll make them all pay," They made a few trips, getting everyone to safety. They sat down close, leaning against each other for silent comfort.
The battle lasted a week before both sides pulled back. Many lives were lost and Melosa finally saw what she was warned about, how war should always be a last resort. Melosa wouldn't have anymore bloodshed. Peace talks began and within another week the children were brought back to the village. The younger children were taken around and brought to the schoolhouse. They were being sheltered from the dozens of warriors bodies laid out for burning. They would be getting a funeral pyre within a day, once they were prepared.
Ephiny looked around for her mother but couldn't find her. "Solari, have you seen my mother?" Solari was a couple years older, a great sparring partner, and very pretty.
"I'm sorry, Eph, I don't know where she is." She clasped hand with Ephiny and smiled, "I'm sure she is fine, hey, a bunch of us are meeting for food soon. Come by the tent and we'll fill you in on everything, it was a hell of a fight." Ephiny agreed to meet up later and headed off to find her mother. More warriors were brought in but none were her mother, she was starting to get concerned.
"Ephiny," She turned to see Terreis coming towards her, a somber look on her face. "Come with me," She was about to object but she followed after Terreis, they were heading towards the burial tent.
"I should go find my mom," She felt the lump in her throat, her stomach hurt and the looks on the high guard told her everything. She made her way inside and spotted her mother on the ceremonial altar. She was dressed for the fires.
"She is not long for this world, I'm sorry, Ephiny-" Terreis was about to place a hand on her shoulder, but Ephiny walked over to take her mother's hand.
"Mama," She gave her hand a squeeze, letting her mother know she was there. "You can't leave me, I'm not strong enough yet, remember? You have to teach me, you have to see me become a warrior." Tears rolled down her face as she spoke, Fara allowed a smile on her face, giving Ephiny's hand a squeeze back. "mama?"
"Chariot," She breathed out, "don't lose your fire or love, you were born for great things." Her words were barely above a whisper, breathing shallow. "You are a warrior." She watched her mother smile, "my girls," She smiled as Melosa and Terreis came close, "be strong." Fara took her last breath, clutched onto her daughter's hand. The healer checked her over and officially called her death.
"I always considered your mother my own, she took care of Terreis and me. She will be given a royal funeral, in honor of her service to Queen Lucina and Myself." Ephiny felt proud that her mother would be given such an honor, she accepted the comfort of both sisters. "Stand with us, as you once did when our mother passed. The nation mourns the loss of our sister, Fara." Ephiny spent three days mourning her mother's loss, she refused to see anyone but Melosa and Terreis. At the end of those three days, she forced herself to allow the ceremony. She could not be weak, she could not be selfish and hold her mother here.
The sounds of the drum beats broke her out of her trace. That is what it felt like, it felt like a really bad nightmare. She joined Melosa and Terreis on the dais, staring at her mother's pyre. She tapped the archer on the shoulder, "May I?" She wanted to be the one to send her off, the warrior looked to Melosa and the Queen nodded. Ephiny waited for the signal and turned, shooting the bolt of fire into the wood. Ephiny just stood there now, dead eyes and watched the amazon's dance around the fires. Her mother was gone...
Ephiny had done her best to keep love in her heart, but she was angry. She spiraled downward quickly, her mother's death was too much for her. Each amazon that died after, it only fueled the hatred she had for Centaurs. She finally understood the anger inside of Velasca, she became just as angry and bitter as her friend. She wanted justice for her mother's death, she wanted every centaur to pay with blood, but war never came. A treaty was signed and the war was over within a month, all hope of revenge, shattered.
BECOMING A WARRIOR & LOSING A FRIEND
The day of her fifteenth birthday, she joined the ranks of the amazon warrior. Velasca was a couple weeks older but Ephiny convinced her to wait, so they could join at the same time. She had been waiting for this day for so long, but Velasca reluctantly agreed. They had joined the younger group of amazon warriors, which was run by an older amazon, her name was Jessah. Each younger group was run by an older warrior, who would help prepare them for battle.
"New girls, to the left and the others to the right. Today we start drills and figure out where you stand among your sisters."
Melosa had stopped by in the middle of the day, "How are they doing, Jessah?"
"They are remarkable, Fara trained them well. She is smiling on them this day, Queen Melosa."
"Keep me up to date, I want progress reports on these two."
"You got it," Jessah called out and the sparring stopped, "Time for drills ladies, Solari," She tossed the rope to her. "Show the girls how we scale trees properly in war."
Ephiny continued to stay focused during all her warrior training, she wanted to master everything she could. As a young amazon, you learned the basics but until you were a warrior- so much was kept from you. She came to the realization that her mother was right, she wouldn't have been ready to take on the centaurs.
At the end of the day, Ephiny and Velasca were laying back near the river. Both sore from head to toe, "It gets easier, I could barely move my first day." They looked up to see, Solari, she was smiling down at both of them. "You two were great out there, great warriors."
"Thanks, we've been waiting for this day." Velasca slowly sat up and watched as the group gathered around, sitting down to chat and congratulate.
"You two have a lot of anger inside, those Sparring dummies didn't deserve to be decapitated," Solari smirked and placed a hand on Velasca's arm, she pulled away from the touch. "Sorry."
"My anger is my own, It keeps me focused and alive." She stood up and looked down at Ephiny, "You coming?"
"I'm just going to sit here for a bit, still hurt to move." Velasca left and Solari sighed, "She has a right to be angry."
"We all have a right to be angry, Ephiny, but it is not healthy. I lost my entire family to war, sister, my aunt, my mother and many amazons I called friends. I was angry but anger clouds judgment in a battle. One day that anger will get Velasca killed, maybe even you. Your mom was a great warrior and a good teacher, she taught us that anger consumes your soul. To hold it inside, it will damn you to the land of the dead." She remembered her mother's teachings, but it was hard to ignore all the hurt.
"Hey, Eph!" Eponin came charging over and plopping down next to her, "we haven't seen you in a while, you have been neglecting us." Ephiny mostly stayed with Velasca these days but she did have other friends. When her mom died, she shut herself off and ignored most people.
"Haven't been feeling social, kind of keep to myself and Velasca."
"Listen, Eph, I know she's your best friend but she's pulling you down a really bad path. You don't have to follow her down it, you can break free from that anger." Solari was trying too hard to make her see but Ephiny wasn't ready to listen. "We can help you find peace when you are ready." It took some time but eventually, they started to get her back on the right path. Her light was still extinguished but she was making better choices, whole days would go by without her losing her temper.
Over the next years, Solari and Ephiny had become closer. Things were starting to get serious and she was starting to feel happy again, genuinely happy. She wanted to share her happiness with Velasca, she had been a bit distant. "Hey," her friend had found a new group of amazon friends, young amazons who shared her views. She took her friend into a hug, "Came to check on you."
"You have nothing to worry about, I haven't changed but you have." Velasca smirked, "I see you and Solari have become closer?" Ephiny blushed, "I'm happy for you, so happy that I'm going to give you what you want... revenge." Ephiny was confused but Velasca told her it would all be clear in time. It didn't take long before she found out, a few days later, a fight had broken out in the center of town. Velasca held chobos in her hands and smiled at Queen Melosa, who was now nursing a busted lip. "I demand the challenge," Ephiny rushed forward and pushed her back.
"What are you doing, you can't just demand something like that, she's could kill you." The look on Melosa's face was hurt, but she stood and prepared herself for the fight. "This is madness, she took you in, she cared for you-"
"She keeps peace with murderers, beasts that hide behind a scroll. Will a scroll stop them from hunting on our lands, no!" She yelled out so everyone could hear, quieting down during her last part. Taking Ephiny's shoulders in her hands, "We have been waiting for this since our mothers' were taken from us. Think of the peace we will feel, once these beasts are gone!" Velasca smiled, "Once I win, we will discuss our future." Velasca stood in the center of the circle, anger on her face. "You let our enemy live, you wish to keep the peace, we should rid the land of them. The mask will be mine when I win, I will go after her next-" She pointed to Terreis, "no one will stand in my way."
"I keep us alive, we have no reason to fight with them now. I hate them just as much as you do, disgusting creatures but we are not ready."
"You're not ready but I am." Velasca got into position.
"If you lose, you will be banished from this tribe. Your title as my daughter, as my sister- gone." She looked around at the sisters, "Anyone who sides with her, you will join her in exile. Pick your side, sisters and choose your fate." Ephiny felt sick to her stomach, she didn't want this but she had to pick a side.
"Ephiny?" Velasca watched as Ephiny walked over to Melosa, "Betrayer!"
"I'm sorry but you are wrong, war will come but not before a just cause." Ephiny didn't want this to happen, she was angry she was about to lose her friend.
Melosa had Velasca pinned to the ground, Chobos pressed into her neck. "You were a daughter to me, I took you in, loved you, even with all your anger. You and your new tribe will leave here and not return. Get your things and get out before I doom you to the land of the dead."
"You should have killed me," Velasca simply stood and went to pack her things, she mounted a horse and looked over her shoulder and promised that she would come back to take what she deserved. Ephiny hoped that day would never come because she was sure next time Melosa wouldn't hesitate to kill her.