A story of fantasy and bravery
MOIRA'S SECRET TREASURES
Moira sat in a room designed for a princess; flowers, silk and loveliness surrounded her. Looking around many things caught her eye. Her bed was handmade, trimmed in gold and draped with a white silk canopy. Never in her entire life had her body been cold, however her life was filled with no emotional warmth. The word, "love" meant nothing in this world of stone and bars. The only happy memory she had was from her early years. At a very young age she remembered a little girl coming to her room to play. She called her Wissy, her entire name was very difficult to pronounce. Wissy had been her only friend other than the nursemaids who paid her little mind. For awhile, Moira knew what joy was, laughed, played with her exotic toys which gave her some happiness. A beautiful leather chest where she could hide her secret treasures was her most prized possession. Its’ soft feel and natural odor gave her a sense of comfort. Its' smell gave her the feeling being outside; a pleasure she never had.
Her memory had gotten fuzzy about the last time she had seen Wissy; she was very small, maybe six, Wissy was older. The visits had abruptly stopped with no explanation. Moira mourned her for awhile, but was kept busy with lessons she found of little value. Wissy left her mind; that was until today.
Any young girl should have been happy, this was her sixteenth birthday, but she had never left this room she thought of as a prison. Once a year the man who had never really fathered her would visit; they would serve her favorite food and give her presents she would never use. The only wish she has was for the bars to be removed from her windows and someone who would love her. Everything she needed to survive was brought to her by the king’s staff. Teachers came and left; she became close to no one, it would be too painful when they were gone. Moira was the illegitimate daughter of the land’s king, a secret to be kept at all costs. How could this man keep her hidden and denied, something she would never comprehend? Closets overflowed with garments from every corner of the world; but what was the purpose? Some days she would try them on to kill the boredom, but she always knew that they were empty gifts. The long days brought more heaviness and loneliness to her heart. What her father never realized was the hidden truth about his child.
The queen was attractive, but cold. Once she had children, she was banished from the castle. Moira had a brother and sister she would not know until much later in her life. The king’s dalliances were legendary in the kingdom, so Moira's true mother, Hespera took her opportunity to attempt the destruction of him. It had taken many years of plotting and the help of friends, but she ventured to make her dream of Moira's freedom come true.
Moira’s mother was not a typical, ordinary woman. She had been abandoned at birth and was said to possess magical powers. With these Hespera knew exactly what she was doing when she seduced the tyrant. Her mysterious powers gave her the ability to create the most beautiful, powerful woman in the land; her plot was set in motion. Her strengths had been passed to her daughter; together they would unearth this despot. Hespera had dreamed of this when she escaped a similar fate. The king was not only Moira’s father; her mother was Moira’s half sister. The shame of this would destroy him. This was unknown to all but the Wise Wizard of Knowledge; bound to secrecy by his position as the king's counsel.
The Wizard, Exodus, had kept Hespera informed of Moira's life and she had decided to free her daughter no matter what the cost. Moira had to have her freedom to learn how to control her mystical powers to be insurmountable. Escaping the castle would take trickery, cunning and perfect timing. Moira received the message from the Wizard in order to begin special, secretive preparations. Only on a child’s sixteenth birthday would they receive a special blessing from the church and have a visit from the high priest; arranged by the King. Heavily disguised, Hespera donned herself in religious clothing, covered her head and went to the castle. There would only be seconds to escape and all had to be perfect.
Moira sat at her vanity contemplating what she had to do. Her hair of dark, glowing red curls rested on her waist. She cried as she began to cut it off for her transformation. “All for the freedom of the land,” she thought. Her flawless skin in no way resembled a man’s so she gathered some ashes from the fireplace to darken her complexion and appear to have a beard. She rubbed her hands through her hair; she could not risk a single mistake.
Disrobing, it was obvious she was no longer a child, but a fully endowed woman. Hiding her voluptuous curves would be difficult. Wrapping fabric tightly around her breasts, she began, followed by attiring in men’s clothing and boots; ready for her escape.
Fear made her shake, never having been outside, the more she quaked. Eagerly awaiting her departure she covered herself in a long black cape with a full hood.
Hearing the clamor of boots approaching the room she listened to her father’s orders. As the door opened the king could not believe what he witnessed. With a touch of magic from Hespera, he was briefly blinded. Moira was told to run and not look back. Hespera had no doubts about what would happen next. As she passed she gasped, “All for my child.” The king's vision returned, swiftly he cut off Hespera's head, holding it proudly to show his victory.
Hespera’s bloody head would hang outside the window for months to remind all of King Boric's power. This convinced Moira that failure was not a plausible outcome. Moira ran until her legs gave way. Her mother told her of a private, peaceful glen where she could hide. Hespera had left a beautiful stead; one that could only be ridden by a man. Lancet was his name; he would be Moira’s constant friend and protector. Moira was not sure of her goals, but she knew that Boric must lose this battle... He was a cruel, evil, heartless tyrant allowing his people to starve and be thought useless. The king had reigned long enough. The glen had been prepared by the loving hands of her mother. Moira would be able to rest until an arrangement would come to fruition. Her pent up anger interrupted her rest; she began her venture. This would become her life's work; constantly driven, Moira would avenge the atrocities she had witnessed at the hands of her father. It was not long before the stories of a savior on a white stallion began to spread through each village. Moira had a gift not to be wasted and she was determined to free the downtrodden. Little by little life got better for the town; more difficulties arose for the king. He had become seriously ill; losing his once loyal subjects, no none attempted to care for him.
Having treated them poorly for too long , they helped Moira with her revenge. Suppliers of his food would deliver unsatisfactory meats which would make the king ill. Even though he had a taster, small amounts of poison were placed in his meals each day. As the king became more unwell, his doctor, who was secretly betraying him, dosed him with medicine to make him worse. As time went on he lost control of his mind. His other daughter, Wisperia was concerned, but her desire for power was much stronger. In the end, the king was alone, left to rot in the kingdom he had created. His death was long and torturous. As he screamed in pain, unable to fight back, he was locked in a tower room. Left alone for a week, his wretched body was taken from the tower and given an unholy burial in an unmarked grave. This oppressor had received a fair penance; much more kind that the deeds he had done against his former followers.
The people’s fascination with the dark rescuer had sent them her way... Hespera knew that her death saved her daughter and country. Her spirit remained with her daughter. Moira’s work was almost over. She was now eighteen and very lonely. The good that she had done was worth it, but she was not a man; she was a beautiful, intelligent, powerful woman. No one had seen that side of her since the night of her escape.
In her secret glen she would bathe in lavender, unleashing her hair, allowing it to cascade down her back. Lancet was always there to protect her, but she felt empty. Slowly undressing she swam into the warm water. Feeling warm and different; she was no longer a child. Moira had not heard her mother’s voice for years; it suddenly came to her.”My child, you no longer need to do your job alone; the dragon has been slain and it is your turn to be happy.”
As she turned she gazed into the eyes of the most beautiful man she had ever seen. She didn’t question; drawn to his beauty and power, Moira knew he belonged in her world. He brought comfort to her restless soul; they would become partners in their quest for justice.
Two years had passed since Moira had succumbed to the strong arms of Eric; she loved him deeply. They had lived a quiet existence enjoying their freedom and passion. Their duties had become nonexistent; Moira was living a fantasy life. This would quickly come to an end as the news in the kingdom was not good. Moira did not like to be reminded that she was the illegitimate daughter of the evil ruler of Evermore. She remembered the day of her escape from the locked room in the castle and the giving of her mother's life for her freedom.
Known as Moira the Red, riding her white steed and working to free the weak and poor was her achievement. Moira's mother had made sure that she would always be cared for and watched over by Exodus the Wise Wizard. On the last night of Moira's reign to free her people he had sent her into hiding where she would live with the bravest man in the land; Eric the Bold.
Early that morning Exodus made a hurried visit to the glen, he had desperate news of the kingdom and only Moira and Eric could save them. She was not anxious to give up her life of quiet solitude, yet once again her mother came to her. Hespera told her that two years of rest were more than enough and it would be her duty to once again save the kingdom. The people were suffering at the hands of her father's other daughter Wisperia.
Wisperia was twenty one and had been given the power to be the new reigning queen of the kingdom. A beautiful, sharp and bitter woman; she would be Moira's nemesis or would Moira become hers'. Moira had stolen her posh life; she was determined to retrieve it.. In power she was raping the pockets of the villagers, growing her army and planning her revenge. Wisperia may have been in power; she did not have the magical skills of her sister. This was the only hope of the people, they needed their savior. There were many secrets about the king that would be revealed to Moira. An army of men and chests of gold would be of little use to Wisperia. Moira's enchantment was only beginning to awaken. Eric would be witness and partner in her valiant change.
Eric had listened to what they were told and with worry in his eyes and command in his soul, he held Moira tightly. He reassured her that they would not only save the kingdom but take the throne. That night they went back to the home she had created for them. It was just a small hut, but it provided the independence Moira could never live without again. Moira turned slowly and reached her hand out to Eric. He gently kissed her and ran his fingers through her hair. She was more than beautiful in the moonlight, she glowed. He was overcome by his desire. As his hands cupped her breasts and caressed her hips, she sang out in ecstasy. No two people had ever been closer; they were hungry, unable to stop until they both reached a fevered pitch and cried with joy in their release. Moira knew that she was safe; Eric wanted nothing more than to protect and be by her side. They slept, wrapped in each other’s arms knowing what had to be done when morning light arrived.
Later that night something made Moira stir, she went to the pond to bathe and think. Being at a crossroads in her life, she thought of Eric as he lay fast asleep, knowing that her dream world was about to shatter. There was not a day that she did not remember her mother's gifts. She had died in the battle of setting her child free; one that Moira was forbidden to watch as she was swept from the castle by the Wise Wizard. She remembered the fire in her belly and the overwhelming fear of being on her own. Aware that she would never be the same; sought her freedom. Told to never look back, she disobeyed taking one last look. Horror overtook her as they hung her mother's head from the castle walls. Moira could not run away fast enough and the fever in her heart pushed her mind to fight.
Remembering her first battle as though it were yesterday; passion to ruin her half sister, Wisperia, erupted in her soul. The taxes were killing and starving the people, she had to face her father's men. Stealthily she rode into the city in disguise. Covering Lancet's head in black leather to camouflage him so he would look like the king's horses, Moira proceeded. Watching the soldiers as they went from house to house beating the villagers into submission she conjured up a strategy. She would have to be swift, her skills were still unchallenged.
Using the talents she knew to make herself invisible she rose to the overhang of the building. The guards were taken aback because they could not see her; they stopped short. Moira said to them, "You will no longer steal from my people!" They laughed and started to walk away. She made herself visible and raised herself high into the air landing in front of them. Waving her arms over her head the men fell to their knees. Stating bluntly, "Should you ignore what I say you will die a death worse than hell." One of the men laughed; kicking him between the eyes, Moira flew onto Lancet and took off. The people stood in shock as the king's men quickly dispersed.
Moira could no longer bear to remember those days and began to sob. She dove into the pond and shrieked with anger. Having heard her cries of pain, Eric joined her, lifted her gently and carried her to the shore. Staring at him he spoke," My love why are you so afraid? My father has trained you well." She looked intently at him with questioning eyes." Your father?” she said. "Yes, my father is Exodus and he has given you the training that you need to use the resources that I also have."
HER BEAUTY COMES FROM HER HEART
"Exodus is your father?” she said in a stunned tone." Why didn't you?" He touched her mouth and spoke very quietly, "You were not ready to know, would you have fought and worked so hard?" Moira shot a look in his direction and said," I deserved to know."
"My darling you know now and with our love and powers we will be true partners; we will succeed."
As she grabbed her clothes and began to walk away she shouted, "What will I find out next?"
That night Moira and Eric slept back to back; she needed him, but had some thinking to do.After a disturbing night they woke to the morning sun. "Eric," she whispered." Yes?" he said as he rolled over to face her. " I am not ready for this, what if we fail?""That is not possible; Exodus and the people will back us. You and I have strength; we just have to use it,"he responded.”Hold me, I need you." Eric swept her into his arms and kissed her with an intensity she had never experienced before. They stared at each other while an awareness of ease passed over her body. With that they began to organize for the fight.
Exodus knocked on their door carrying a large tray with breakfast. They silently ate a huge bowl of berries, fresh bread and meat which they hunted. Eating in silence combined with trepidation for the upcoming battle or possible war; the gained strength. Moira could hear Lancet getting anxious and Eric's horse Euric was causing quite a stir.
POWERFUL AND MAGNIFICENT
Walking to the door she watched in awe, their beauty was undeniable. Both strong and powerful; her's white, his black, they seemed anxious to get started. Eric was stunning and dressed in his brawny fighting clothes, Moira ran into the hut to get changed. Evermore needed her, there would be no turning back. Moira was finally prepared as she bravely walked out of the hut. Eric and Exodus gasped. She had a new look of intensity, which was overwhelming. Exodus gave them the last of the equipment they would need to fortify their armory. In their view were two amazing swords; their magnificence could not be described. Embossed in hundreds of jewels their light was almost blinding. They would definitely mesmerize any opponent. He instructed them to never look directly at the swords, they held their invincibility . Touching the various stones would cause serious damage; they had to be carefully taught.
THE MAGIC SWORDS
Moira embraced Exodus, jumping onto Lancet with Eric following closely on her trail. The sky had turned a vibrant blue, the air was crisp, and nothing would sway their determination. Luck was with them as they rode over the bright green hills which led to Evermore. Always aware of the possibility of confronting an enemy they headed for a more secluded path, stopping to rest as they mapped the way to continue their journey.
Nightfall was arriving; they decided to make camp. Discovering a small stream where they could refresh and rejuvenate they stopped. Lancet and Euric needed a respite, food and water. Moira and Eric cleared an area for sleep, ate some dried meat and berries and settled in for the night.
Moira had been sleeping soundly when Eric put his hand over her mouth and gently woke her." Listen, do you hear that?" he said. As her ears perked up she heard the voices of what she presumed to be guards. "Eric, what do we do now? We do not know if they come from Wisperia or are town folk. "Moira, look at their horses, they belong to the palace guard." He was right, they grabbed Lancet and Euric, covered their eyes and led them more deeply into the woods. They knew that they were not ready; it would take much practice with the swords to overpower such an army. The guards rode towards the other direction; they would be safe for awhile. They summoned the spirits of Exodus and Hespera.