From The Begining (chapter 1)

A girl of about twenty-one sat high a top one of the many towers of the abandoned castle, she and three others called home. She stared out over the landscape at the setting sun. This place couldn't be more peaceful. She thought. She closed her eyes as the wind gently blew her hair back off her face.

"Cris, Cris."

She opened her eyes and smiled as a short stout man about a year younger appears in the courtyard below her.

"Cris?" He called looking up at her.

"What?" She called back.

"Julian is back."

"I'll be right down." She climbed down from her perch, reaching down she opened a trap door and ran down a set of stairs that lead to the main entry hall. She reached the bottom as the others entered.

Julian sat a big bag on the floor and began removing the contents setting them on the table in the middle of the room. When the bag is empty the others grabed what they wanted making sure to leave some for him. He lowered another bag to the floor which contained clothes, maps, torches, and some small weapons such as daggers, sling shots, two bows and several arrows.

The four sat quietly in the center of the great hall. A sudden crash made them all jump, getting to their feet they headed outside where they were met by chunks of the now crumbling castle wall and screaming soldiers on horse back caring torches.

Cris watched the soldiers advanced, one of them reached down for her, then silence and everything goes black.

"Cris, Cris?"

Crimson woke to find herself laying on her back in a grassy field not to far from the village where she lived with her adopted family. She turned her head to the right looking to the smaller girl sitting next to her. "What Jade?"

"Cris," Jade repeated watching the sky. "D-do you think we'll see a dragon today?" For a five year old Jade had a very wild imagination.

Crimson laughed lightly. "I don't know Jade what do you think?" Being three years older Crimson had a wild imagination of her own. Only making the reoccurring dream or glimpse at the future she kept having that much harder for her to understand.

Jade noded as a smile played across her face. "I think so." Her dark blue eyes shine as she looked at Crimson.

After a moment the cool summer air is filled with the happy cries of another young child as Jade's twin brother Julian ran over to them and ploped himself down sitting on Crimson's stomach.

She groaned lightly under his weight. "Hey Jules." She tickled him and he giggled.

Having lost her own family during a raid on their village, a two year old Crimson Rainblade was left orphaned. Only to be found and taken in by a man named Damen Starfire, shortly after she became known as Crimson Starfire, a mischievous little girl that everyone in the village adored.

"P-papa want y-yous c-come eat." Julian replied catching his breath. Unlike Jade, Julian had a small speech problem and was sometimes hard to understand, but Crimson could under stand him perfectly.

The three stood and headed toward the one room cottage they know as home.

Being a thief has it's advantages. Crimson thought as she ducked behind a stack of water barrels waiting for the guard to pass. Being eight also has it's advantages and disadvantages. Now that she was older the other villagers saw past her cuteness to her true intentions, which were often to take and sell of anything she could get her hands on.

Tonight she was after a prize bigger then rings and necklaces. There

it is the best sword in all of Arcadia and it's going to be mine. Crimson thought. The shinny new sword sat leaning against a rack near the front of the blacksmith shop.

The bigger the task the greater the challenge. That was the way Crimson liked it. She knew if she were to fail and get caught, it being her fifth offense Damen would send her to some academy far away to be disciplined. He did not approve of her late night jonts around the village.

Crimson slowly moved toward the sword, as she readied to grab it a noise makes her stop. Hearing the sound of closing footsteps she ducked back into the shadows. The footsteps came to an abrupt halt in front of her hiding place. She shifted her position slightly to get a better look at their faces. She gasped realizing that the black armored soldiers were not from the village.

Hearing a noise one of the men turned to look in Crimson's direction, seeing nothing but darkness he moved closer. As he advanced her breath caught and her heart began to pound wildly. Just go away, please just go away. She closed her eyes tightly hopping that when she opened them the man would be gone.

Crimson opened her eyes to find herself laying face down on the ground in the middle of the village square. She slowly sat up and looked around, to her right two of the soldiers had a hold of Julian and Jade, to her left stood a large man with a black skull shaped mask.

He watched her a moment before he speaks. "These friends of yours?" He asked indicating the two younger children.

Crimson glared at him. "What's it to you?" She replied slowly raising to her feet.

"Defiance will not be tolerated young one." He motioned to the solider holding Jade, the solider pulled a dagger and holded it to Jade's throat. "Shall we continue, if you answer my next question truthfully your little friend here will live to see her next brithday."

Crimson growled lightly. "What do you want to know?"

"Now, now, no reason to be hostle." He chuckled. "Where can I find the one called Damen Starfire?"

She shruged. "No clue, he comes and goes as he wishes."

"Why do you lie?" He motioned to the soldier and he pulled the dagger across Jade's throat killing her inistantly, he released his hold on her and her lifeless body fell to the ground.

Crimson moved toward the soldier who was smiling triumpfintly. "Damn you."

Another soldier brought his sword up pointing it in her face. "On your knees." Crimson did as she was told.

"Shall we try this again?"

A tall slender figure wearing a black cloak steped through the crowd of soldiers. He removed his hood. "Dlaxius, I am the one you seek. Let the children go."

"Hm, Damen." Dlaxius replied. He noded and the soldier let go of Julian and he ran over to Crimson.

Damen looked at Crimson. "Run."

Crimson shook her head raping her arms around Julian. "I will not leave you father."

Dlaxius looked slightly puzzled. "Father? Hmm, intresting." He chuckled. "Get them." He drew his sword and charged at Damen.

Damen blocked several blows and turned aming a blow at Dlaxius' head, only to have Dlaxius sink his blade into his chest. Damen fell to his knees. Dlaxius placed his foot against Damen's chest and pushed back pulling the sword from his chest. Damen fell back stuggling to breathe.

Two soldiers walked toward them carring a struggling Crimson and an unconscious Julian.

"Take them away. No wait." He thought a moment. "Leave her."

Crimson moved to Damen's side. She looked up at Dlaxius. "Why did you do this to my father?"

Dlaxius chuckled. "He isn't your father young one, he is a kidnaper, a thief and a liar." He placed a hand on her shoulder. "I am your father Crimson."

She looked down at Damen's now lifeless body. "It's not true Damen is my father."

He turned away from her. "Believe what you wish child, but you can not deny the truth."

Crimson sighed. He speaks as if he is trying to convence himself more then he is me.

He thought a moment. Turning he grabed her right arm he pulled up her sleeve exposing a small skull shaped tattoo with the name Crimson Rainblade written underneath it. "This mark has made you an outcast here has it not?"

Crimson noded sadly.

"This is a royal brith mark given only to those born a mist the wall of the Firestar academy." He squeezed her arm. "It only proves that you do not belong here, you belong with me." He let go of her. "Come with me and you may have whatever you wish."

Having no where else to go , nor the skills or strength to protect herself, if she were to run away. Crimson accepted Dlaxius' offer.

Dlaxius mounted his horse pulling her up behind him. The group rode off into the darking night. Taking Crimson along for the ride.