It was no time to be a maiden.
All over the land, infant girls were being stolen from their soft, glistening cradles and swept away in the moonlight. In the girls’ innocence and beauty lied power, and their wicked kidnappers used the babes as a means of siphoning that power for their own evil purposes. As the girls grew, they knew no other life. They were often too weak and drained of energy to try to explore, but as a precaution against escape, the maidens spent languid days locked in isolate towers.
Indeed, it was no time to be a beautiful maiden, but Eldora was no maiden. Beautiful? Certainly. Her hair shined like ravens’ wings, and her eyes glowed as if possessed by emeralds. However, Eldora was a sorceress. She, personally, found all the baby stealing archaic and unnecessary, and further, she had never had much patience for children. What would one do with a baby to tend all day, no matter how lethargic it may be? She much preferred the company of Adragaron, devoted companion and wizard, in their quiet home nestled just beyond the Great Forest. The crumbling tower had seemed a far stretch when they stumbled upon it, but with time, it proved excellent as a base for summoning and flight. Completely isolated from the town, they could conduct their magic peacefully and undisturbed. In fact, they had not seen a human pass by in over a century.
This is why it came as such a surprise when Prince Herbert appeared at the foot of the tower one shining spring morning.
“Hark!” he cried, peering up at the tower, the sun in his eyes. Eldora kept a distance from the window but stared out at him curiously.