Ethan Rose (Orinda)

Hello readers! Welcome the world of Orinda. It is a place where time is not quite right, but even less wrong. The nature of the world depends on the mood of the world itself.  You see, Orinda is not only a world, but a living, breathing, being. She has moods, and emotions just as any other creature. 

  Our story starts, where peace ends. The humans who call Orinda home have become divided, fighting wars only men understand. They killed the weaver, and hunted those who followed his path. Without a master, the creature was powerless, and the web had no caretaker. Those who remain; slowly poisoning the creature. She called out into the void, in anguish. Silence answered.

    Ethan Rose was a mere child when the great war began. Barely three Dr. Marlow figured. He was picked up in a refugee camp outside the Emerald city. The war had been raging for three months. He doesn’t remember anything before the camp. Only the nice nurse, who smelled like sugar cookies, even though he never saw her with the sweet treats.  But, he was no longer the little boy lost in a camp. He was hundreds of miles away in Jorgen Town, about to celebrate his 17th year. This cold season he even managed to grow in a rather impressive dark blond beard. Since he didn’t know what day his real birthday fell on, they always counted the day Leigh found him as his birthday. This meant he had one year to answer the questions about his past. One year, to make the choice to follow his mother, Leigha, or forge his own path.

    He knew what Leigha wished. She made no secret of teaching him the ways of the guild. There was a reason they crossed paths in the camp. She had been passing through. Headed back to the guild house to turn in a token. She had a vision of a child, who was meant to know the ways of the guild. Who would be called upon one day. She believes her vision means he will lead the guild to greatness. Though the details of her vision she kept private. He was not so sure. She was the High Maiden. Head of the Shadow Walkers guild. Gathering information, and disposing of secrets was their bread and butter. Ethan had a talent for it, but not the constitution. He didn’t want to live in a world of lies, and intrigue. 

    He had a plan. Though he was worried about telling Leigha. She was a strong woman. Some would say fearsome. But she had to be. It was the way of the north. If you are weak, the north will take you. If you are strong, you will take the north. He heard her stern voice echo the words in his head. He could be strong, and not live in a world of lies.

    He had enough cash saved. He had done minor jobs for the locals. Guild sanctioned of course, but nothing too heavy. He had not been initiated, so his jobs mostly consisted of being a good set of eyes, and ears. With the occasional nicking of an item here or there. Mostly corporation related. Leigha liked to take him on longer jobs. She wanted him to be able to learn about the world. Over the years, she has taught him how to survive in this world.The Government collapsed when the war broke out leaving the corporations to take over. Fortunately they mostly stayed to the other provinces, but they were slowly making their way north despite the wild conditions. Poison always finds a way to spread. The Shadow walkers had a long reach. The Shadow Walkers made a name for themselves in all four Provinces. With guild houses everywhere. Each had its high Maiden or Master. The current state of society made it a veritable playground for those who revel in intrigue. As son to a High Maiden, he had special privileges. Meaning he had a bed at any guild house. Had he been a simple foundling, he would only be permitted to stay at his home guild house, until he became an initiate. Granted this all hinged on receiving Leigha’s blessing.  He couldn’t put it off anymore. It was time.

***

    He stared out the train window at the white landscape. His apprehension masked behind a solemn facade. His blue eyes, sharp and alert.  Leigha had been more understanding than he had expected. Almost suspiciously so. She even had a letter of passage written for him when he found her in her study. She said she saw this, the day she found me. It was one of three things that would come to pass. His path was chosen for him, and she would not anger the fates by interfering with their plan. His past was the key to his future. So here he was, on a train heading south. To the Emerald City. Where this mystery began.