Raeliana, a wealthy teenage girl who lives in the city of Tarnor, has been sent by her father to live with the Duke. Her father is worried that she will be kidnapped and wants Raeliana to live there for her protection. The Duke’s mansion is located on an island in the middle of Lake Tarnor, so it can easily be guarded against pirates and other dangers.
The Duke was happy to have such a beautiful young lady living at his mansion and offered all sorts of luxuries for her as well as some nice clothing.
One day while shopping with friends in town, Raeliana met one of the guards assigned to protect her at the duke’s home. She did not know what his name was, but she noticed that he had been watching her and following her for the past few days. She walked back to his watchtower with him as they talked about life on the island and all of its dangers.
When Raeliana arrived at the duke’s mansion later that day, she realized it was because this guard did not trust her enough to leave her alone in town without a man guarding over her! The Duke told this guard that he didn’t have any other assignments besides protecting Raeliana so now every time she goes out into town or leaves the house, there is someone assigned to follow behind just waiting for something bad to happen.
Raeliana has started drawing up escape plans since living here seems like an awful idea.
A guard watches her, waiting for something bad to happen so she can be punished and locked away again. The Duke tells this guard that he doesn’t have any other assignments besides protecting Raeliana, which means when she leaves the house or town there is someone assigned to follow behind just waiting for something bad to happen. Every time they go out into town or leave the house it’s not a question of if but more of a question of when will Raeliana get in trouble? She spends most days looking at maps trying to figure out where she might be able to find work once she does escape. It would take some time, but maybe if she found work in a town or city far away from here the Duke wouldn’t be able to find her.
The other day when they went shopping at market street Raeliana got into an argument with another girl about whose turn it was to buy some fruit and before she knew what happened the guard was pulling her back by arm.
“That didn’t take long,” he said as he dragged her off towards the duke’s mansion like a child that had been caught stealing candy.”
Raeliana had never been to the duke’s mansion before. It was a vast place with large courtyards and beautiful gardens tended by an army of cooks, maids, guards, gardeners, etc who worked tirelessly for their master or mistress. Sometimes she wonders what it would be like if she lived in such wealth but most days she’s content to work the market with her mother.
It was a place she never expected to be brought and so when it happened she thought there must have been some mistake but as they walked through the courtyard filled with guards, maids, and gardeners all of them bowing in respect for their master or mistress Raeliana knew that this time she had stolen something that wasn’t candy.
The Duke’s mansion is where the nobles live and work so there were obviously many bedrooms for visitors but when they reached a set of servants’ quarters she knew this was not her final destination, even though she had never been inside them before.”
“She looked at the woman who seemed to be in charge but she only smirked and said nothing.
As they walked down the long hallways her stomach turned as it became apparent that this was not a happy place to be, instead of light there were candles lit everywhere, casting an eerie glow on everything. Raeliana could see piles of clothes in one room with maids sorting them into different colors.
The servant led her to a large room with an ornate bed.
“This is where you will sleep.” She grabbed the girl’s arm and pulled her towards it, Raeliana tried not to show any pain as she was shoved onto the cold hard surface.