Disclaimer: I tell you, Tortall and all of Tamora Pierce's characters, places, etc. are NOT mine. However...Janiya and anyone you don't know are. If you steal them, I shall get a sword (or a lightsaber) and it will be off with your head! Just kidding. Hee hee.

Prologue: My name is Janiya of Tirragen. My father was the traitor Alexander of Tirragen. For my family, my father no longer exists. He disappeared forever when I was 6, three years after his death. When my grandfather died, still denying his son's treachery, blaming it all on the Conte duke, my grandmother followed tradition and burned my father's knight gear. As I watched the flames, I realized something. As the only Tirragen by blood – not marriage – left, I was the heir to my family. As such, I had a responsibility to my family, a duty to my lineage. Although I was only six, I knew that somehow, I had to bring honor to my family, to find a way to fix my father's mistakes. But I didn't know how.

Four years later, when I was ten, the answer came. A new law had been passed by King Jonathan. It said that any girl who wished could try for knighthood. This was it. I would become the next lady knight. You see, I hadn't cared that the Lioness killed my father; he was a traitor. I still looked up to Lady Alanna. I had wished passionately to be like her, and now I could be. It would be hard; as the only girl, I could expect taunting. Being my father's daughter – the daughter of a traitor – would only make it worse. But it mattered little to me. The empty space on the wall where the swords and shields of Tirragen knights hung – the space where my father's gear would have hung – beckoned to me. One day, I vowed, a sword and shield would hang there, with the Tirragen arms, a black wolf on a purple field, like the ones before it. One thing would be different. This shield would have a distaff border, the mark of a lady knight. I knew the path I'd chosen would be difficult to walk. But it was my choice to take it, and I did. No challenge was too hard to stop me from reaching my dreams, and no price was too high to pay if it meant bringing honor back to the Tirragen name.

A/N: I know Kel's the 2nd lady knight and the 1st to use a distaff border, but for the sake of my story, pretend she wasn't.