edit: fixed formatting
The sun rose over the northern town of Dokrylle, and with it, the morning fog. Residents stirred out of their cots, brewed their morning tea, and went about their daily routine.
For Aphoria Bluedown, today was no ordinary day. Her dear friend from the southern lands, Horado, was coming to visit her, after months and months of separation. You see, Horado was a slave boy. His father and mother came to the island nation of Pere from Oitis after the small-but-brief war between the two nations. Horado's grandfather, who was also named Horado, was the leader of the noble house of Reytara. House Reytara supported the war effort greatly, but it was not enough to win. After the war was lost, the bill collectors came to collect Horado Reytara's debts, and instead of paying, he fled with his newborn son and family to the Chokka Province, at the bottom of Pere. His wife died on the trip.
From there, Horado Reytara began a journey north, ensuring his family- or what remained of it- that there were vast riches in the northern province of Thaite. This was not honest, and was a swindle by Nye Bluedown to get the poor family in deeper debt. The poor Reytara's were bound to be swindled eventually, for their leader had been pampered and only knew of a life in power and wealth.
In the north, Nye Bluedown "assisted" Horado and his kin in building a nice cottage near the town of Dulin. This was also a trick- Nye knew that once the Reytara's establishment grew large, House Black, centered in Dulin, would buy out the town. Then, Nye would charge Horado for all of his "help". House Black's money would go from Horado and straight into his pocket. House Reytara would then be vassals- nay, slaves- to House Bluedown. This was precisely what happened.
What happened, at least, until House Black learned of it. You see, House Black believed that you had to make yourself great, and not have greatness thrust upon you. Conning innocent people, who had built a town by themselves, was not exactly "honorable" in their eyes. With this in mind, House Black declared war on House Bluedown. The war would be known as the War of Nye.
Bluedown decided to atone for their sins, by excommunicating Nye and taking his belongings. However, this did not appease House Black. Their money was still being used for "unworthy" purposes. Two months after the initial declaration of war, and House Bluedown was shoved from the "upper crust" of Thaite society and demoted to middle- or even lower- class artisans. Their slaves were taken and their belongings were looted. The Reytara family continued, without the last name. Eventually, Horado was born to a metalsmith and a seamstress. He went north, with his master Percival Black, every few months, as Percival arranged for his own son, Morcant Black, to head to the island of Gwast and make himself somebody.
Today was one of those days, in one of those months. It was the last time- for Morcant himself would be coming to the port city of Dokrylle later in the month. The preparations were complete, and a ship- Orion's Club- was waiting in the docks. Morcant was to head to Gwast and slay the great dragon Jenwage, who had been terrorizing the locals for centuries. Morcant's own father had attempted to slay the dragon, before returning home and becoming a great warrior in the War of Nye. He then challenged his father to the seat of the throne, and became the leader of the clan and all it owned.
As the members of House Black approached, a crowd of people gathered at the gates. In the crowd, small Aphoria stood, trying to not be crushed. As she practically crawled through the mass, she found a wooden crate, with a sack of potatoes resting above it. She removed the potatoes, throwing them to the ground, where they spilled out.
She made her way on to the crate. Yes, she thought. The crate was tall enough. She was about a head above everyone else. She could see the gates now, and they were still firmly shut. Damn. That meant it would be a while.
Her thoughts were interrupted when a strong, meaty hand, grabbed her shoulder. She gasped and turned around.
"Hullo, 'Phoria! Whatchu doin' out here? Arent'cha worried ya might get tramped to death?" the strong, burly voice raised out above the chit-chatter. It was her friend, Tirell. Tirell was a burly man, in his late thirty's. He was bigger than most men in town- almost half as tall and twice as wide. If you didn't get a closer look, you might think he was a giant. That, and the fact he was almost always covered in blood and smelling like meat. You see, Tirell was a butcher. An orphan, he intended to be a blacksmith or a guard until he badly hurt his back, fighting as a boy in the war of Nye. That was his excuse, anyway- while he may look to be forty, he certainly was not. Besides, he was only about thirty-six- the War of Nye was thirty-one years ago. Aphoria may be young, but she knew that was impossible.
"Oh, hi Tirell! I'm looking for my friend Horado," Aphoria started, a sigh coming. The hand wasn't a rapist's or a murderer's, and for that, she could now breathe easily.
"Horado? Ain't that the Oitin boy ya got a crush on, 'Phoria?" Tirell joked, letting out a hearty laugh. As he saw Aphora was clearly not amused by the joke (her face was turning red and she looked ready to kill), he began to charismatically defend himself. "Oh, ya know I'm only jokin'."
"I know, it's just..."
Before Aphora could finish, a boy with a face covered in either dirt or coal- probably both, knowing the men in this town- rang one of the bells on top of the wall. "QUIET! PERCIVAL'S APPROACHIN'!"