In the city of towers, there is one tower that stands above all others, one grand spire dwarfing the rest.
In that tower, a young, spirited girl named Valia once lived as the ward of her grandfather, Nizbaf. He doted on the girl, did all he could for her, and taught her as best he could the mysterious arts of magic. Washed clean of all memories, she had reverted to a state of child-like innocence, finding endless delight in life itself and in the company of those she loved and who loved her.
In the city of towers, day need not end with the setting of the sun. As everywhere, life adores the night no less than the day - and youth, of course, is never still save in sleep. Rare was the night when Valia confined herself to her own home for, like every young man and woman who has ever lived, she preferred to embrace her youth while it yet lingered. To that end, she spent her nights in the company of her friends - much to the despair of the neighbours who, most often, bore the brunt of their mischief.
Valia had few true friends - but those few, she would live and die for, for she loved them with all her heart and soul. There was Skarbod - an orc, though his handsome, almost-human features disguised his origin somewhat. But as beautiful as he was, he wore always a mask of misery. Much to Valia's frustration, he would never share the reason for his gloomy demeanor.
Then there was Lila, a young girl of Dwarven blood, who carried the Sun's own radiance in her youthful smile. And, last but by no means least, Glani. Glani, whose mere presence set Valia's heart pounding, whose merest glance could lift her spirit to the clouds above - and who remained entirely oblivious to her adoration, wrapped up as he was in the joyous havoc he wrought with his endless pranks.
On a day that seemed like any other, Valia awoke slowly from her slumber. She was in no hurry to rise, but simply lay for a while, enjoying
the warmth and comfort of her soft sheets, the morning sun's gentle kiss upon her skin, and the serene stillness of her home. It took her a long moment to realize that something was wrong. Serene? Where were the explosions, the riotous chaos of Nizbaf's sorcerous experiments? Idly, she wondered if he had finally abandoned his wonderfully mad inventions.
Slowly, she dressed and went in search of her grandfather. But she found only a letter, her name upon it, tucked half-under the still-warm breakfast he must have prepared for her. Reading as she ate, Valia now understood the silence. The note was from Nizbaf. Once more, it said, he had reason to undertake a long journey, which the note suggested must be rather more important than his usual scholarly field-trips.
Valia shrugged. She was used to her grandfather's occasional absence, and she still had her friends to stave off loneliness and boredom. She smiled, without knowing that she did so - how could she ever be bored, in Glani's company? There was plenty to occupy her, and Nizbaf would return when he was ready, as he always did.
A year later, though, Valia began to worry...
(Current story version from The_Other, image from Wesnoth core images.)
We're underway in creating a Wesnoth campaign based on this story, and we're also looking for writers to continue the story... Thank you for your interest.