It had begun like all great tales, on a normal day when nothing out of the ordinary seemed feasible. The lush green rolling hills adorned with vivid flowers, running creeks and unobscured cerulean sky complimented the crisp spring air. This was a town of peace, flourishing from the rich soil and lakes, profiting from the bounty they so kindly wrought. It was a place where one could raise a family, isolated from the major worries of the world. It was here that a strange citizen made its dwelling. Not that of a Dwarf of your normal elf, no this Mer was of the Solar dominion. With skin both youthful and glistening gold, potent duo hued eyes that stood in defiance. Cascading brown hair nurtured by the fruits of the local trees. And a fit bodice that would be the envy of any man. She stood as a testament to the inherent beauty of her kind, the inhabitants of the Green Sea islands. At first she suffered bigotry, but as the years went by her mortal kin learned to see beyond her skin and pointed ears. It was here she retired, not of her own volition but due to circumstances. Removed from the order of Justicars for acting not on logic, but emotions. Sparing the life of a creature they thought inherently as unclean. Here she wasn't thrown in a damp, sparsely illuminated hole in the ground. But in a small modest cottage, made from rose and cedar wood. But in her closets still remained relics of her past, the plated armor passed only to a chief inquisitor of the order. Her twin blades and long bow strung with the finest horse hairs as string. A chest full of gold, gems and other various memories of a life now lost to her. Many may relish this lifestyle, but her’s was that of adventure and danger; the way of the sword. Slaying not for monetary gain like some brutish mercenary, but to keep what stirs in the deepest reach of the shadows at bay. The life she lived now was a lie, her past shrouded with mystery and shielded by a well woven farce. Even now, as Shurliah sat on a weather worn bench overlooking the lake of Shieta, she felt her heart ache for the thrills of her youth. As eyes thirsting for change peered across the shimmering lake as various boats cast their nets in the hope of a good catch. As lute rested firmly in her petite hands. Hands stained with the blood of crimson of both guilty and innocents alike, "Her heart cries quietly. Part of me, I choose not to see. What must I take; for fealty's sake? Blood must stain this warrior's wake? War leaves its trail, Hope so pale. Its shadows they flow In rivers, in rivers. Dawn now my mask, Carry their task So I might once again see, Them Roses and their ways. Staining my soul and burning my eyes. The crimson on my hands, Never go’s away, go’s away. Learn to run from what I have done No longer, no longer Will roses find a way. Fate blade before you, Mirrored in shattered eyes. Far from myself I fly, Into the swarthy skies. And they said; Follow the path before you, Fear and courage rise. Leave your tears behind you, From where innocence lies. Caged by Kings, No longer sing, So turn them to stone, From roses to bone. Look at me, what do you see? Mask I now weave, disfiguring me. Guilt is now creeping closer; Danger is drawing near. Why am I not protecting what I hold dear? And you said; Break all that snares you. Kings hand and maiden's tear, Run now into my arms, we'll persevere. Led here by fate, No longer afraid. Here now I lay, The roses and their ways.” Such lyrics sung with a melodious yet daunting tone; as fingers dare pluck the thin strings of her lute. Her voice like an angel, hanging heavily on the thin air. Expressing the deepen plight of her anguish, like that of a bird in a cage desperately spreading its wings. If Shurliah could she’d fly far from the coming of these winter days. And maybe, just maybe she’d find life anew; albeit a ten or a thousand miles away. Fingers daring to trace her soft cheeks, remember the feel of her warpaint as brows furled. A face once subtle and sweet dissipating, being replaced by that of wrath. Not at anything or anyone else in particular, but only aimed at herself. But unbeknownst to this Lone Justicar; something was brewing in secrecy. The smell of springs spice would soon be replaced by the smell of blood and ash. For nothing in this world can remain, all things are subject to change. A universal truth few seldom chose to accept, yet one not bound by the flimsy and whimsical perceptions, hopes and dreams of others.