Disclaimers: The Valdemar series doesn't belong to me

Disclaimers: The Valdemar series doesn't belong to me.

The Life and Times of Savil Ashkevron

Chapter One: Wooden Sword

By: Delphine

"It is better to sleep on things before hand than to lie awake and worry about them afterward."

-Baltasar Gracian

Growling, little fourteen-year-old Savil Ashkevron lunged at her brother Withen, attempting to snatch back her wooden training sword. Withen, being the taller of the two held the sword up out her reach. "Give it back!" she yelled at him, her eyes flashing in fury.

"A lady's weapon is the needle not the sword," said Withen, quoting what their father was constantly saying to her. "You're never going to get married if you act like a barbarian."

Savil felt her face go red from fury. Damn Father and Withen for their old fashioned look on a woman's duty. In that moment of rage she drew back her foot and kicked Withen in the knee. He cried out, dropping the wooden sword in his surprise, and clutched his leg. Not waiting for him to recover, she grabbed her sword and ran.

She made it to her room in the manor-keep of Forest Reach before she came to a halt. She slammed the heavy wooden door shut in her anger. After a pause to catch her breath, Savil flung herself on her bed. It would be a while before Withen would have the courage to tell their father that a girl injured him. Savil moaned in despair as she realized how much trouble she would get in for kicking Withen, being non lady-like and all that nonsense. Why do I get myself into these kinds of things? Why can't I ever stay out of trouble? This wasn't the first time she had asked herself these questions; trouble was attracted to Savil like flies to the dead.

The mundane and strictness of her life in Forest Reach filled Savil with revulsion. Not for the first time, the girl contemplated running away. Things had always been bad for her but not to that point, it was only of late had things gotten worse. Savil found herself seeking more and more solitude for unexplained reasons. All of the events in her life Savil had taken with no complaint, but the episode today with Withen was the card that made the house fall.

As she lifted her head, a gleam of determination sparkled in her eyes. This time she would run away. Let's just see what Father's reaction to that is going to be. With that thought Savil made her decision to leave Forest Reach. As soon I can pack my things I am out of here!

And so she packed clothes good for traveling, her favorite books, the money she'd saved, and other personal items. Discretely she took a few tools, food from the kitchen, camping supplies, and lastly a hunting bow and arrows. These she secretly loaded onto her beloved mare Lullaby. Before she left the keep, Savil placed her wooden practice sword on the bed with small note place on it:

Fare well, dear Abigail.

Love,

Savil Ashkevron

The girl silently mounted Lullaby, tears in her eyes. With Savil's command, Lullaby launched into action. The two cleared the gates before any one was the wiser.

The note and wooden sword were found not long after Savil's absence from dinner was noted. No one but the old nurse, Abigail, that had watched over Savil since she was a babe, cried. Neither Lord Ashkevron or Withen cared; Lady Ashkevron had passed away when Savil was ten. "Good riddance," muttered Withen.

Abigail sobbed even louder. With a frustrated sigh Lord Ashkevron walked out of Savil's room followed by his son. The nurse sat on her former charge's bed, still weeping. Abigail held close to her Savil's wooden sword. "Take care," she whispered.

Almost as if the message was carried on the wind, "Take care," echoed in the ears of Savil. She did not slow her pace, but increased it. Lullaby complied with her mistress' command, continuing the journey to an unknown destination.