Disclaimer: I, Shi-Sha, do not own The Black/Dark Jewels Trilogy nor any of its characters. I do own any characters that I have created and the plot. Stealing may result in legal action.

Key:

"Talking"

Thinking

"Kindred Speak"

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Soleil de Minuit

Chapter One

le Crépuscule des Dieux

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Once, long ago, before the Blood had formed their Hierarchy and the first Witch had ruled, the Blood and Landens had committed a terrible sin.

The sin of offering a child to the Darkness.

This child was sacrificed for what the people believed would keep their demons away, protect them from their inner fears.

A young woman had given birth at twilight to a healthy baby girl, though the mother died shortly after, leaving the babe to fend for itself against the villager's painful wishes.

It was decided that this child would be the one to be given to the Darkness, and preparations were made at a small alter that had been built in the center of the village.

As the child was taken from her home, she made no sound, not even a tiny cry as she was sat rather roughly onto the stone slab sitting upon other stones, her blankets falling around her.

She stared, dazed, at all of the candles surrounding her, and cooed slightly, her gray eyes drooping slightly in exhaustion. The slight wind blew her tiny patch of ebon black hair and she shivered.

"I am sorry, little one, but I'm afraid this will have to be done for the sake of the village. You shall be considered a hero for doing this." The young man said as he raised a ceremonial dagger into the air, chants and howls beginning around him from the other villagers, urging him to hurry and kill the child.

The man closed his eyes and swung down the dagger, straight into the baby's heart.

Silence.

The village was edgy before the young man spoke 'It is done.'

He stepped away from the now bloody alter, and wept. He wept for the child, and for what he had done.

"You did a good job, Savir. Now the village may rest easy." The village Elder said as he put a hand on Savir's shoulder before turning to the crowd around them.

"We may now rest in peace, as the Darkness will no longer harm us. Rest easy, my friends." He said loudly and soon after, everyone was asleep in their homes under warm blankets in comfortable beds next to their loved ones.

But as they slept, the blood on the alter shimmered, then disappeared.

A small sound was heard from the supposedly dead body, and a small, chubby arm was raised, the fist trying to grasp at something.

The girl squinted her eyes closed and giggled as a small strand of black thread appeared in her fingers as she swung her arm around her in a circle, the thread moving with her before zipping in all directions and sliding silently under the doors of the homes.

Within seconds, all of the villagers, both Landen and Blood, were dead.

All except one.

---

Savir shuddered as he stepped out of the doorstep of his home the next morning. He was a tall, lean man who had just reached his prime. He was a member of the Blood, and would later discover the lands of Kaeleer and Ebon Askavi.

As he walked, he wondered why it was so silent. Usually the market would have started by now, but no one was in sight.

He knocked upon the door of the home of the village Elder and frowned when no one answered.

He tried the doorknob and, finding it unlocked, let himself in.

"Hello? Elder Kavari?" He called into the house, his voice echoing back to him.

He walked into the den and noticed someone sitting in a large red chair in the center of the room in front of the fireplace. He quickly walked over and opened his mouth to speak, only to let out a shriek.

The Elder's body sat before him, his throat slit and his body dry of blood.

Savir put a hand over his mouth and fought the urge to retch before quickly leaving the house and banging down the door of his cousin's home.

Only to find the same sight.

He went from home to home to home, all with the same results.

Men, women, children.

All of them were dead.

As Savir reached the center of the town, he froze and stared with wide eyes at the now empty alter.

No...May the Darkness be merciful...the child...where has her body gone? What has happened in this village?

Savir felt an icy wind at his back, and he shivered, the hair on the back of his neck pricking up in fear.

"I have to get out of here..." He mumbled, and a crow cawed in the distance as if agreeing with him.

He quickly ran to a small dirt clearing at the edge of town and caught the Sapphire Wind, hoping it would take him to another village where he could tell someone what they had done and what had happened because of it.

He had committed a sin so terrible that it would haunt the world until the end of time.

----

The small, frail woman cursed to herself as she stumbled through the bushes at the back of her home.

"Where did that spoon go...I shouldn't have thrown it at Joshua..." She muttered as she dug through the large green plants.

"Ow! Damn it! What was that?" She cursed and looked back to see what she had nearly fallen over.

Her eyes widened as she stared at a small baby girl, wrapped only blankets, staring up at her with molten gold eyes, her small patch of ebon black hair blowing slightly in the wind.

"Oh my...JOSHUA! COME HERE!" She shrieked as she bent down and picked the girl up.

A few seconds later a tall blonde man came through the bushes, scowling.

"What now?" He muttered before freezing in his tracks and staring at his wife and the child she now held in her arms.

"What's that?" He asked as he walked over to the woman and stared down at the giggling baby girl.

"A child...I think she was abandoned..." The woman said softly, a slight frown tugging on her lips.

"What are we going to do with her, Caelie?" Joshua asked as the small girl wrapped her hand around one of his fingers.

"We should keep her...she has no where else to go..." Caelie said quietly, praying that her husband would heed her wishes.

"But we barely have enough money to feed ourselves! There's no way we could take care of a child..." Joshua said sternly, but when his wife looked at him, her eyes full of sadness, his heart softened.

"I'll look into finding a job I could do. Cleaning, maybe. We can't just leave her, Joshua! Please!" Caelie pleaded as she held the baby close to her.

Joshua sighed and ran a hand through his shaggy blonde locks, knowing that Caelie was right.

"Fine. We'll keep her. But we'll have to cut back on some things." He warned as the two headed back into their small, quaint home that sat at the edge of the small village that they lived in.

"It's okay. But what should we call her?" Caelie said, much happier now that she knew the child would be safe.

"How about Luca? Isn't that the name of some famous creature or something?" Joshua suggested, though he had no clue where the idea had come from.

"It's perfect." Caelie said as she smiled down at the sleeping child.

And for the next 200 years, the child would continue to sleep deep inside herself.

And then she would awaken, and chaos would claim the land.

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Shi-Sha: Well, I'm taking another try at writing for The Black Jewels Trilogy. Hopefully I'll be able to continue and finish this one. Jaenelle and the others will show up in the next chapter. Oh, and there will be no pairings (you'll find out why later).

Please review!

--Shi-Sha--