Ch3: Norhana of the Court
Norhana was born into a fortunate family. Her father, Uanhomin, was in the viceroy Court of house Lyrandar and he answered directly to the Matriarch. He was confident his sons would all grow up to be leaders and have Taer’s named after them. He, himself, was an adventurer earlier in life and used the riches that he gathered to pool his position in the house. As his father said before him “Never stop looking up, you will rule the world someday.” His father, of course, was a soldier of quite renown. He worked very hard for his life and built a community for those who were closest to him. But his father was also very ambitious. He had met his end at the knife of an assassin. Clearly, someone else did not want him to rule the world.
When Uanhomin became viceroy, he felt that this was the beginning of his ascension to the throne, but such thoughts are treasonous in times of war. He quickly found and wed. He felt that having a large family would support his claims and propel his aspirations. However, this was his undoing. After his wedding and consummation, he felt his ears would hear the murmurings of pregnancy. This did not happen. For years, he and his wife conceived, but it never came to fruition. As his age began to creep on him, he felt his ambition also slip away. Soon after, activity with his wife decreased, as hope of a child began to leave him. But, as mother nature intends sometimes, beauty comes out of the strangest of times and her pregnancy was announced.
With the best wet nurses and care given, she eventually brought the child to term. A beautiful baby girl. This dismayed the viceroy. A girl? With no shortness of time, they began again to be consummated, but she never again bore a child.
As Norhana grew, she was schooled in the arts of combat, law and court. She grew quickly and very strong. She was his pride. The only child he had, and he was determined that if he should not rule, she would in his place. Upon her twentieth birthday, she would learn that he had procured her a place in the courts. It was as a prosecutor. He wanted her to always be known as the defender of the people. His ambition was going to drive her to the top. She wanted it as well. Her father would be proud. She would be the best hope, because she was the only hope.
Years passed as Norhana grew in her position. She was noted for fairness and cruelty alike. She began to see that the evil in beings was really from within. People claimed demons, they claimed gods, but all she saw was excuses to commit violence and with violence they in turn caused evil. Norhana soon developed a keen understanding of violence towards others and evil in the heart. She would seek the harshest punishment for criminals that she did not see as good and decent. Her father’s teachings about sins and how they are covered up by lies helped her in her station.
As her prowess grew in the court, and her station in the house grew, so did the line of suitors for her hand. Men would show up out of the blue in various places in her life and do some great deed to win her hand, asking, begging, tricking. Each would be turned down, each given a cold shoulder. Her station also taught her that violence and evil were synonymous, so each suitor, that touted his exploits, would obviously never be worthy of her.
Norhana by chance was in a bakery doing some shopping, when a handsome half elf walked in that she had never seen before in this part of the city. his hair straight and eyes blue and kind. She noted that he was not wearing adventuring gear, no swords or weapons at all, but a clean pressed tunic that was somewhat ornate. Obviously, he knew the way to dress, and his focus was more on the wares in the store than her. She had the opportunity to measure him up.
As soon as his gaze lifted toward her, she quickly looked away. She did not want to seem as if she was staring at him. As time passed in the store, she would see him quickly look at her, then look away, as if he was going to be caught and flayed in the street. Every time, she would smile widely and grab a quick look back. She was acting like a child with a crush. So, as he gathered the bread from the shelves and started to make his way up to pay, she figured that something should happen here.
With that, she accidentally bumped into him as he slowly made his way up front. Immediately gazing into his eyes, she saw who he was. He was kind, he was at peace, he was far from every suitor that courted her. When he squeaked out a “Hi” as if he himself was a child with a crush, she knew she wanted him. However, she also knew she wasn’t going to make it easy.
She immediately turned around to face the shopkeeper and went to pay. The only woman, not unwary to what had unfolded, glanced at her from above her glasses and back at him, as if to say, “There is something you need to say.” Immediately, she felt a pang of guilt. What was she doing? Was this it? Was this the last time I would see him? She dropped a couple of coins on the table for the old woman, turned to face the man behind her, who was flush and embarrassed, while looking at the floor. With one finger she lifted his chin and their eyes met again. She saw what was almost a tear in his eye, and simply said “See you in here again?”