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To: .Fredrick S. .Lloyd
Near the edge of the city in a large home, there once was a girl named Talilaniata Mooring. She was called so because of the meaning it carried for both her parents. On her mother’s side, all first girl children were named this. It was thought to have a mark of fate upon it. Her mother even claimed it carried great power with it, and insisted she would one day understand what she meant (when she was older). Her last name, Mooring, came from the distant ancestors of her father, who worked with ships. Though her father, Chaucer Mooring was now a merchant, a very successful one. The Mooring Co. was established by his grandfather and passed down in succession. One day it would be hers, as she was an only child. Due to this fact, Talilaniata (or Lila as everyone knew her) was admitted almost without exception into her father’s business world. He would teach her everything and anything she wanted to know, making comments on how or why he negotiated such. From an early age her intelligence astounded him, and was a source of never ending pride. She quickly learned to read people as her father did when brokering a deal, or memorize the inventory lists in their establishment, as important they were – as bread to their table. She did this much more often as she grew, spending her earliest years in the company of her mother.
When Lila was small all her recollections were of her mother, affectionately called Tali by her father. Her dark, unruly hair was a constant reminder of how they looked alike. Exotic, most people called it. She didn’t care much for any compliment it might serve. She just knew that after her mother was gone, it was a source of pain for her father.
At the age of ten Lila struggled through the most horrific experience in her life. Her mother had been taken en route home from the nearby market. Taken and held for a ransom by a group of criminals known for their merciless tactics. Her father was frantic, appealing to all the contacts within the city he could find. None came through and the price of his wife’s life meant bankrupting his child’s future. Deciding to risk all he had he undertook selling their belongings However, time was not on their side and when the appointed time for delivery arrived the amount could not be met, since Chaucer still awaited the finalized sale of the shipping company. The money could not be procured, and the next day Lila’s father found a letter under the door. It was the last he’d ever get from his wife. Grief overtook Lila, who stormed from the house, running wildly into the streets. In a moment of thoughtlessness she had endangered herself as badly as her mother. Two men emerged from the alley, one holding a crude blade. Upon touching her she lashed out with every ounce of her being, finding to her amazement, the men unconscious on the ground after a blinding flash of light.
Hurrying home to her father she kept her new found ability a secret. It proved to be a small difficulty, as her father absorbed himself in work to escape the sorrow of her mother’s kidnapping. Over the next four years her father transformed from the doting, humorous man she had known (the father that had given her a hawk and pony!) to a shell of his former self. Only fleeting were the smiles he gave her, though his love was sure. Some nights as the plates were cleared from the table and darkness encroached the sills, he would hold her tight and hesitate too long in letting her go.
Lila also changed in the passing years. While attempting to alleviate her father’s suffering, and packing all her mother’s things away from sight, she came upon a series of journals. Some seemed so old they could hardly stand to be opened. Contained in their pages she learned of her mother’s ancestry. Not lost as she’d been told, but kept secret from her. A legacy of magic users stretched out before her, chronicling their growth, spells, discoveries and experiences. Her mother too had a journal. It started when she was a little older than Lila. Following the stories in it, she once again felt close to her mother. The fantasy of her returning one day to Lila and her father stung Lila’s mind. Especially as she came to the books closing. On the final pages her mother had written that her days of magic were calming, and her most prized gift about to be born. This was followed with a letter to Lila before she was born. Her mother had hoped she would embrace the gift of magic, become a powerful source for good and those in need of her. Lila took it as a personal challenge, and while her father became more involved with the foreign affairs of the company, Lila studied the magic she could decipher.
On the third day after her 14th birthday Lila’s father set out on a ship with goods to be delivered. She was left in the capable hands of Prana, her nursemaid from birth. They awaited his return only to have the tragic news relayed to them, that the goods were never received and the ship was lost at sea.
After this, being a minor, Lila was set a trust from the inheritance of the shipping company – as stated in her father’s will, and sent to a respectable and established orphanage.
She attempted to maintain normalcy however, and took with her as many things from home as were allowed. In her room were found a picture of her family, the journals she studied, a necklace of her mother’s and the hawk her father had given her — these being the most important of all her possessions.
Time passed. Lila grew still more and adopted siblings she’d never known in her previous life. She was determined to be a good student and friend. But mostly she was determined to be a great sorceress, for that is what she was. Someday, she vowed, she would use the magic she possessed to help others, people who needed help when it seemed all was lost.