Niena was abandoned on the doorstep of the Svastra temple before her first birthday.
She barely remembered her parents; they were dark, shadowy ghosts, flickers of partial recognition in the back of her consciousness. After all, in Apitus, the capital had a luxurious temple, full of women who all prayed to the old gods, the gods of air, land, and sea, the slumbering, powerful beings that could destroy just as they could create. At the time, Niena sensed a comforting essence about the place, a security she could hardly describe, and so complied with her fate completely.
All Svastra prayed for the kings and queens, the peasants, those who gave them supplies or gold. In Jerilor, there was a state of tradition and age-old practice, unlike the new, heathen nations that praised the betrayers of the gods. The false “Saints” were not saints, they once sought to destroy the real gods, and failed, banishing them instead. The foolishness of this new, impure religion made Niena sick to her stomach; if only the corrupted Heathens knew about banishment.
Although, all things banished could come back.
Elegant Niena felt content to be within the temple walls, for she was not an orphan at all when within the Temple; her numerous sisters had protected her, taught her, enlightened her. Shown her the ancient ways of prayer, belief, and power. They wore earrings and necklaces of heavy gold and glittering jewels, sparkling prophets isolated in a land of heresy.
She was no lowly peasant; no pathetic…