My first memories are of my father and snow. To my child's memory it seemed as if there was always snow where we lived. I know better now of course but high in the mountains of Camlach it is always present on the horizons. Where the snow was cold my father always had warmth in his smile for me. I'd like to say I was the spitting image of my father but contrary to this he so often disagreed saying that I had the look of my mother, dark and bright all at once with hair black as night and skin creamy white and eyes a blue so light they were grey more often then not. When he said such things his eyes softened in sorrow. When he said such things my older sister's eyes hardened in anger. Ambellina had the appearance I craved, looking so much like him with dusky tones and a deep bristre gaze. She even had his smile though it never held the same warmth when it came to me.
Do not think that we had parted lineage to be sure our parentage was the same, it was simply our upbringing that differed. Her first eight years of life were laced with our mother's grace. After Isaura's death or after my birth as the events are one in the same it was my father's essence and strength which purely influenced my life. He even named me his little rebellion, Mari. Since the beginning of my memory I caused him pure exasperation being covered in dirt and grime, running the streets with the local boys my age while my sister sat for tea and learned to speak in a civilized tongue. But he would always smile that smile and told me I was simply rebelling with the nature he gave me and he was all to blame.
Then a sickness came to our remote village passed on through the Skaldi traders that ghosted through the mountains. Both our lives changed forever after father's death but not in the way many perceived. Not exactly anyways as the means differed but the end remained technically the same. Together we were taken in by Naamah's grace but ultimately it separated us from that point on.
I was six when a priest in crimson swept us away from the creditors and the rest who sought to gain from the losses of many. Cain was as different to my father as air to water. Both were essential to my life and both shaped me in different and important ways. Cain was a peaceful man allowing us to grieve as we travelled down out of the mountains bouncing in an open cart. I remember being bone tired wrapped in blankets against a chill that had never hindered me before.
I know now that it wasn't the tragedy that had brought him to our little hamlet in the mountains, he had already started on his way before father even took ill. He had come for my sister. Don't let there be a doubt that my sister was more perfectly caste then myself. Not that I am less then a pure D'Angeline, it is just that she was always more matched and fully made. Despite us both being too young to truly be judged, priests of Naamah have an eye for such things. Ambellina would grow into beauty of great renown, I would grow into my own god given gifts. Nonetheless we were both birthed to a woman of old Namarre blood so the sky was the limit to our aesthetic promise.
Cain hovered over her but he certainly was not disregarding of my small person. He saw to all of our needs and respected the slowness grief laid onto us as we travelled to Naamah's province of Namarre where a river is born and the elder sister's grand temple stood as a beacon to all of her servants; past, present and future. That was where we were headed to start our new lives and learn what was to become of our future.
I will not waste time on my first of many journey's, to be sure there isn't much I recall. Just sadness and loss. I still had my sister but we were already different to each other, and with Cain's clear appraisal it was obvious that we were different to the world as well.
My father was gone. He was my connection to myself, to my very nature. There is no doubt that many would and probably still disagree with the way he raised me. To be sure now that I think on it the emotions on the faces of those in our village make more sense. It is not proper here in this land to raise a daughter as a near son. Not even after one of our greatest allies, the nation of Chin, is continuously ruled by warrior women for generations. Not even with our sister nation of Alba's tale of Moirin still reaching across the half century of time between then and now. On the boarder or the near savage Skaldi where women of the blade fell and rose each generation. But still the D'Angeline nation holds to the notion that women are physically weaker. My father didn't think much on that when he saw how I took to his legacy. I was raised by the blade my father wielded with grace and surety. He may not be a Cassiline Brother but he was a descendant from Camael himself.
So it was that Camael and Naamah both lay gifts in my blood but my true discovery of them didn't happen for some time. At that moment so much lay dormant in my heart, shrouded in mourning. I barely took notice of the time or distance that passed us by until one day the sound of rushing water could no longer be ignored. On the horizon my home for the next seven years rose up in an oasis or greenery. Naamah's most sacred temple and the foundation of my education.