Let me tell you a story, wanderer.

It’s the story of a girl who wanted everything.

She was born to ignoble parents, raised in a tiny settlement that clung tenuously to the fringes of civilization far out on the southern seaboard. Her nights were cold; her days blisteringly hot. She hauled wood, tilled the fields under a sky that pressed down on her and her village like a massive, blanketing weight; blue, impassive and more distant than anything she could ever hope to reach.

Her dreams were restless. In them, she was a warrior, a figure clad in smoke and haze, a red blade twisting and shifting in her grip like a living thing. She stalked fields of blood and scaled shattered towers, never satisfied: pushing herself further each night in a desperate search.

She drew fire from the dark places of the earth, tore wings from the wind to arm herself. Mist and smoke she conquered, leaching power from the shadows, from the waters that ran like opened veins through the continents of her dreams. Still the sky evaded her.

And every morning she awoke to find her armaments dispersed, her conquests sifting through her hands like dust.