"Sexual congress between Ayyad and non-Ayyad is punishable by death for the non-Ayyad, and for the Ayyad if it can be proven that the Ayyad forced the other. Any child of such a union is killed by exposure to the elements.
-The World of Robert Jordan's the Wheel of Time, page 206
A/N: I know I shouldn't be doing this, and instead I should be updating Nightmares, or even my LotR fic that I haven't updated in about a year, but I was reading the Guide the other day (for about the millionth time) and I came across the above paragraph, and my mind said, 'What if?'. And I said NOOO! I can't do this, I should focus on one of the other fics I have already started, or even schoolwork, for once. But my mind kept on pestering me, and so I had to sit down and write this. Which is why I am sitting at the computer at 3 AM and drinking more coffee than Colombia produces in four years in order to stay awake. So yeah. Here it is, and I hope you haven't been put off by this horrendously long author's note.
Disclaimer: No owny.
Lyuba cried out in pain, the tattoos on her copper skin contorting as she scrunched her face up, wishing the pain away. She could still remember clearly how she had gotten herself into this. He had been so strong, but also so caring. He had been a prisoner at the docks; no foreigner was allowed to enter, on pain of death, and he had broken that law. She had gone to inform him of his punishments, as one of the younger Ayyad it was her duty. She had never seen anyone like him before. His pale skin, and glowing emerald eyes were unlike anyone else's in Shara. Tshurka had been his name, and he was from Kandor. It seemed so far away! She did not know, even now if he had seduced her merely to find an escape, or if he had truly felt something. It didn't matter now. He had been killed, not only for his original crime, but also for the crime that they had committed.
She cried out again. Nobody had told her that childbirth would be this painful. She would be punished. She was sure of it. For the nine months that she was pregnant, she had been holed up on her own, not allowed to see anyone, except for the servant that brought her food each day. Until it had begun. Now she was in a ward of some sort, surrounded by a group of people who expected her to make a whole human come out of her!
She gave one final moan, and then collapsed. She was vaguely aware of people rushing around, yelling something about losing blood. She didn't care. Someone dumped something small next to her. She raised her head slightly. A tiny face looked at her. Her baby. It looked remarkably like its father. It had the same large emerald green eyes, and the same pale, pale skin, like pure snow. In fact, the only thing that reminded her of herself, was the raven black hair adorning the babe's head. It didn't make a sound; weren't babies supposed to cry? It lifted one tiny hand and touched her face. She smiled at it. Then the room went black.
"The baby has been born," the young woman informed Jeta. Jeta was one of the elder Ayyad, and had, over the years, earned the respect of many, mostly through her ruthlessness.
"And Lyuba?" She enquired. She was seated at a small table, brushing her long hair out.
"Ah. Unfortunately, Lyuba died in the process. We could not save her." Jeta considered this for a moment. It was probably better like this, anyway.
"You know what to do with the child," she instructed the girl, then went back to her hair. The girl nodded, then left.
This was the part she disliked. The baby was innocent; it had nothing to do with the whole affair. But rules were rules. Greia lifted the basket with the baby in it, and started down towards the seashore. She knelt down, and set the basket on the waves. It bobbed up and down, and the baby gave a little murmur as it shifted slightly in its sleep. It was a girl; the nurses had told her that much. She would not survive very long in the open sea. She had deliberately chosen a spot that was practically untouched by sailors, due to the rocky outcrops. She leaned forward and carefully nicked the babes skin with her knife. That woke it up. It began to whimper softly. She carefully made a little hole in the bottom of the basket. Then, she pushed it away.
At this point, several things could happen. The babe could be run over by a boat; the blood could trickle into the water through the hole, attracting the attention of sharks; the basket could fill up with water; or the babe could simply drift out to sea, staying there until it died of hunger or thirst. It was bloodthirsty, but the child could not be allowed to live.
The girl sighed, and turned around to begin her journey back to the village.
Captain Flyn Pratcher prided himself on three things. Firstly, he never ever let a single piece of gold go unstolen. If there was gold, he would steal it. Secondly, he had the best maker of ale in the whole of Tear working for him. And thirdly, he never let kindness or good morals get in the way of business. This third rule, however, was about to be challenged.
As a general rule, Captain Pratcher stayed away from Shara. He had heard what would happen if the natives found you snooping around their ports, and quite frankly, he didn't fancy that happening to him. So he stuck to areas where he knew that the inhabitants would be friendly. Today though, due to some strange currents, he was pulled closer to Shara than he would have liked. He was still a goodly distance away, but still too close for comfort.
"Captain! There's something in the water!" His first mate, Alban yelled across the deck.
"Is it gold?" The captain demanded.
"No, I don't think so, captain!"
"Then leave it!" He roared. "Save your energy for something worth stealing. Like gold!"
"But captain, it looks alive!"
"You want to save a fish?"
"It's not a fish! It's in a basket!" The captain grumbled.
"Alright, let's take a look."
Alban immediately ordered a few men to fish the basket out of the water, and came to join Pratcher at the railings. The moonlight shone down on the sea, and the basket lay directly underneath one of the moonbeams.
"There it is captain," Alban informed him. Pratcher grunted. The men managed finally to scoop up the basket, and one of them gave a surprised yell. Alban and Pratcher exchanged glances, and hurried over.
"Captain, you're not going to believe this, but it's a baby!" The surprised man informed the captain, a note of awe in his voice.
"Did you see how that moonbeam touched her!" Another one exclaimed. "I'll bet she's magical!" The captain gave him a flat look, then took the basket from the man. The child started wailing. He winced.
"Put it back," he said.
"What!" Alban exclaimed, "Put it back! We cant do that, it's just an innocent child!" Pratcher rolled his eyes.
"Sometimes your just so bloody girly that it makes me want an extra large mug of ale, you know that, Alban? Fine, keep it, but it's your responsibility. You can feed it. Go ahead, see if I care." Alban grinned.
"Hello little baby!" He cooed into the basket. The other crewmembers surrounded him, and began fussing over it too. Pratcher scowled in disgust. He didn't run a proper ship; he ran a boat full of women!
Over the next few days, the baby became the center of activity on the ship. Alban named her Candra, meaning moon, because of how she had been found underneath a moonbeam. Pratcher thought that the poor man had been reading too many bad poems. After two months, the baby began to make noises. After three months, it began to laugh. The crewmembers thought this was adorable. All in all, Candra adapted rather well to life on a ship. Or perhaps life on a ship adapted to her. Either way, by the time she learned to crawl at eight months, no one really minded her crawling around the ship any more. At the age of nine months, Candra began to talk. She said her first word during dinner one evening.
"Big nose!" She declared, pointing at Pratcher. He scowled at her, and she clapped her hands happily. The other men fussed over her, but Pratcher was less than amused.
When she was one year old, Pratcher took her with onto land. He had been bringing her to negotiations for a long time now, as he had noticed that the presence of the beautiful emerald-eyed baby could reduce even the toughest of pirates into…well, his crew.
When he arrived at the meeting, he realised that this would be different. He was meeting with Dukker Phemia today. The man was tall, foreboding, and cruel. He had known Dukker to kick little orphan children into puddles, just to see them cry. Oh yes, Dukker was mean. Candra whimpered and tightened her grip around his neck.
"Twenty gold marks." Dukker said flatly.
"Twenty!" Pratcher exclaimed, "You said ten last time!"
"Well, I've changed my mind."
"You can't be serious! I only have ten with me!" Dukker gave him a flat smile, and made a gesture to his men, who came forward, hands on sword hilts.
"No!" Pratcher exclaimed, "I'll give you something!" Dukker raised an eyebrow.
"What?" Pratcher looked around frantically, then his eyes fell on the baby in his arms.
"Her." He said. "I'll give you the child. Her name's Candra. She's a good child, funny and smart. Take her!" He thrust her into the man's arms. Dukker looked down at her, considering.
"All right. I'll take her. Leave." Pratcher sighed in relief, and looked at Candra. She said nothing aloud, but her large green eyes as she looked at him spoke volumes. He swallowed hard, and turned away.
Dukker threw the child into the corner of one of the rooms at the inn they were staying in in Andor. He had no need for children, why he had accepted that one was beyond him. Hopefully he could dump her somewhere.
The next day, they continued their journey. They were travelling up to Saldea to conduct some business there. Presently, they came across a small house, with an old, silver haired woman working in the garden.
"That's a beautiful child you have there, stranger," she said, coming to stand next to him.
"You want her?" Dukker asked. "Have her." He pushed Candra off the horse, the old woman barely able to catch her in time.
"What?" The old woman demanded, "You can't just give away a baby!"
"I just did, old lady." And with that they galloped off. The woman looked down at Candra. She sighed.
"And what's your name?" She asked the child.
"Candra." The girl replied simply.
"And where are you from, Candra?"
"Big nose ship," she said, trying to catch the lady's hair. When she finally got a fist full she yanked it happily and laughed. The lady winced at the pain, all the while smiling at the young girl's mischief.
Candra was later to look upon the seven years she spent with the old lady, Pelana, as the best of her life. There occurred the only period of her life that she could actually call a real childhood. Pelana taught her to read and write, and when she wasn't devouring all the books her caretaker had, she was running around the garden; playing with the butterflies and birds in summer, and chasing snowflakes in winter. She experienced true happiness for the first time. However, it was not to last.
Three days after her eighth nameday, Pelana suffered a severe heart attack. It was not unexpected, as she was very old, and her health was poor. Her neighbours decided amongst themselves that the best thing for Candra was for her to be sent away somewhere where she would not be troubled by unpleasant memories Pelana's death. Candra personally wanted to stay where she knew she would be safe, but she had no say in it. One of the neighbours had family in Shienar who were unable to have children, and so would be happy to adopt the girl. Candra's bags were packed, and she was bundled into a wagon headed for Fal Moran, and that was that.
As the wagon moved away from her home, Candra tried her best to keep a brave face. After all, things could only get better from here.
Things did not in fact get better. Days later when Candra was finally kicked out of the wagon, and it departed off into the distance, she believed for a minute that things might actually work out. She approached the large house slowly, as if afraid that it would disappear if she approached to quickly. She tentatively raised a hand to the door, and knocked gently. There was no response.
She stayed by the door for what seemed like hours before a young man passed by. He did a double take at seeing the young girl huddled by the door.
"You! Girl!" Candra looked up hopefully.
"You looking for the Teramen family?"
She nodded weakly.
"Well you won't have much luck here. They left for Andor three weeks ago." Candra stared after the man's retreating back, heart sinking. What now?
Well, that's chapter one. Hope you like. Please review so I know whether to continue or not…