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In the Twilight of Grace

I walk in the evening of my land that never knows starlight, or sunlight, or sunset, or break of day. Call my world Twilight.

I cast my vision upon the hindered sun, always below the horizon.

If it is sunrise or sunset I do not know because here is where my melancholy mother birthed me. Call the light Evensong.

I am the vision of reason, in a sea of not quite foes, in a realm that fights by candlelight.

When the weal of death call the cry of doom the seekers cower as I reap the plenty. Call the wind Ruin.

I walk in the evening of my land that never knows Starlight, or sunlight, or sunset, or break of day. Call me Grace of Twilight.

I am Grace de La Everied La Fontaine. My mother was Evelyn. No more do I know except that she lives in the top garret above a tower carved of crystal, tucked into the depths of the property that I call my world. It is a big place, with rolling hills and horse trails, and gardens. It is the land surrounded by water on three sides and extends to the tip of the Bight of Eire.

To you who read this, I am a stranger now. But the man who sits before me tells me I am of the blood of Amber. This is not what I wished to hear, but it answers so many questions. The only thing is that it changes nothing. I am the guardian of the Seer of Song and I am her daughter. I stride the bleak landscapes and deliver to the querant their revelations.

If you require my submission i do not know if i can give it. Taking it by force of arms would be pointless. I rarely leave this realm. If you have no vile intentions, then consider us introduced, well met.

In the dawn of the world there was only the lost woman Evelyn, discarded by her mother, forgotten by her father, and roaming the streets of village after village of a world that had nothing but hovels. I do not know how long she wandered, nor when she first began to have her visions. I know that what mind she may have had was burned irrevocably from her in those early years by the force of augury and the hands of cruel men. There are legends that many sought her out in those days to gain clarity. They joined in the madness that I know so well. Some gained enlightenment, others gained nothing but anger, and a few returned howling mad. She received a thousand hurts and sights that were not always real and scarred her world.

Not everyone was cruel. I do not know who first gave her the mandolin. It became an extension of her bliss. It was crude at first, but over the centuries, as if gaining allure by proximity, it has become a thing of resplendent beauty. In the uncounted years that the world changed from a squalor of hovels to a land of majesty, she strode the land mandolin in hand.

Sorcerers sought out her visions. They paid her in the coin of safety. One protected her from abuse. Another did something that has always kept her clean. Another made it so that her cats were immortal and followed her devotedly. One even devised a shield that causes twice the damage done to her to the attacker. Vicious spell but I figure if someone attacks a deaf-mute woman, they deserve the worst.

Some people assaulted her anyway. One such man, a General who became a king, laid his hands on her, to kill her, after a deadly vision. Instead he raped her, taking the damage her protective magic delivered. Afterwards he left her to fulfill the augury. He conquered the world of Twilight but lost every loved one and companion he had through treachery and warfare. He committed suicide, despondent and in despair, believing that his line was dead.

But it was not. The Seer of Song had birthed a daughter of his violence. His heir was named Grace.