This is a Candidacy Page for Tiyaza Citadel


Petrusa kneeled and started praying. "Please take me away." she asked over and over again, rubbing the statue of the Saint as hard as she could. She didn't really know their names, but every day she returned, begging another statue to answer her prayers. Her prayers were the same every day. To take her away so she wouldn't have to marry.
It was custom for a young woman like herself, she was 16, to marry a man found worthy by her family. Ever since she had become 12 her parents had been on the look out for a good 'catch' as they called it. And recently they had found one. A man over twice her age, widowed when his wife was giving him a son. But wealthy. Very wealthy, her brideprice would be enormous and her family needed that. Petrusa had 3 older brothers who had all married. Not one had been approved to become a priest, shaming their parents and also costing them more than they wanted to spend on their children.
Petrusa wasn't allowed to leave the house anymore. Her parents wanted to keep their investment safe. But her mother just couldn't refuse her when she wanted to go to the church and pray for the safe return of her betrothed. Petrusa wondered if her mother knew what she was really praying for. Probably, but neither of her parents were religious. She wasn't religious either, but in her darkest hour she had turned to Faith and had hoped it would save her. So far she hadn't felt any improvement, but maybe she hadn't prayed to the right statue yet. The one she was praying to today was the last in the row downstairs. She couldn't go upstairs, that was where the men came to pray and sacrifice.
Petrusa returned to the present and prayed even harder, today her prayers had to be heard because she wouldn't know what to do is she still wasn't heard.
"Come on girl." her mother hissed and pulled her down the aisle by her long black hair. Girls weren't supposed to cut their hairs until they were married. At that time they were shaved to show they were beginning a new life, like babies they came in the world of the adults, naked and bald. Petrusas hair reached to her knees and it was soft and bright. She didn't want to lose it, it was all she had. Being pulled by her moher by her hair was like an omen to what would come. Not even her body would be her own to command. She would have a faith worse than any slave.

"Good news." her father said at the dinner table while she served him his food.
"What is it dear?" her mother asked.
"Gregon is coming home to marry Petrusa. He'll be here in a week and we can use whatever we want to prepare the wedding." his eyes gleamed with greed as he thought about the riches he would be able to spend.
So it had all come down to this. Faith hadn't helped her, God hadn't helped her and now she would be married to an old man who would die before she was 25 and she would have to go live in the widow's alley while his sons ran off with his money. After diner she was send up to her room, like always and locked up. She sat on her bed and bent her head. All was lost. She cried hot tears of sadness and hatred and watched them fell on her blanket.
"All is not lost..." a whisper said in her head.
"Who's there?" Petrusa got up and looked around the room, afraid someone had seen her.
"My name is Pilgrim and I travel around the world helping people." The voice said.
"No-one can help me." she said.
"Of course they can, they just don't want to. You see for every favour you need to do something in return."
Petrusa got scared. People that started a conversation like this had usually been chased out of the village, and everyone had thrown rocks at them. They were bad.
"I'm not bad, I just tell you what you need to do and I'll help you. Everything has it's prise, I cannot bind you by telling you what the prise is." the voice said.
"What would I need to do for my freedom?" she asked.
"A life for a life, my dear Petrusa. "the voice said, "Kill you husband and you'll be free."
"But they will kill me." she said panicking.
"I will take you wherever you want to." the voice said.
"What's the prise for that?" she asked.
"Clever girl, that would be blood, human blood, yours preferably, but I don't mind how you get it."
Again Petrusa took a few steps back. Everything that had to do with blood was sacred. Family, childbirth, death...
"I see you have doubts, try married life for a while, you might like it." The voice said, laughed and was gone.
Petrusa sighed. Although Pilgrim had been tempting, she knew she shouldn't mess with forces of darkness. They always wanted blood and it always ended in someone getting killed. Petrusa didn't want to be that corpse. But then, Pilgrim had said she should kill Gregon. If he was the one who died, would she be safe? 
She went back to her bed and sat down, clutching her blanket in her hands, pulling at the little fuzzles. Pilgrim had promised she would be free...

"Off with her clothes!" the men at the wedding shouted once the ceremony was done. They got up and came her way, their hands stretched toward her, like claws. They ripped her beautiful wedding gown and picked her up. Naked as on her birthday they carried her to the bedroom. Inside was Gregon, old, grey and wrinkled even worse than usual. He was dressed to resemble the crone, the old and wise goddess who would learn her all the ways of married people. 
Gregon looked at her and told the men to place her on the bed. Petrusa tried to shield herself with the covers. Silk and fur she thought as she grabbed them close. Gregon shook his head as he saw what she was doing, his eyes colder than ice. She wasn't going to get under this. Maybe if they had been alone it would have been different, but now everyone was watching. Gregon came closer. He pulled down her sheets and sat beside her.
Petrusa felt her body getting tense with fear. Her eyes grew wide and her arms searched frantically behind her back for some sort of weapon that might save her. Her hands found a tiny piece of metal, a pin. She had put it in her hair that morning almost innocent, but now she knew she had thought it might all come down to this. She closed her eyes and swallowed. She held the pin next to her body and waited.
Gregon bended down to kiss her, she could feel his body coming closer. She opened her eyes, she would have to aim. The thought of killing someone made her sick, but the thought of dieing scared her even more. She saw Gregon relax, thinking she had given up her struggles. She had, she would let him get just close enough... He closed his eyes. quickly she brought the pin up and jammed it into his eye. She could feel the pin hitting bone as it hit the upper eyecase. 
"Pilgrim!" she shouted, afraid he wouldn't show up. But her fears were void.
"Yes, mylady." he said giggling, "I see married life doesn't suit you."
"Take me away, now." she hissed, she didn't have any time to loose.
"First I will need blood." Pilgrim said, licking his lips in anticipation.
Petrusa looked down, she didn't want to cut herself, but then she saw, she already had blood. The pin was dark red, she must have pulled it back out when she left the bed. She couldn't remember. She offered the pin to Pilgrim.
"Hmm, that will do for a short hop. Where do you want to go?" he asked, a bit disappointed.
"Anywhere, it doesn't matter!" she screamed.
Pilgrim took the pin and sucked it clean. Then he raised his hands and suddenly they were somewhere else. The scenery was very alien to her. Strong winds chased each other, ravaging the plains and in the middle of it all a citadel stood, sheltered between two mountains.
"Where am I?" Petrusa asked.
"As far as I could bring you for the prise you paid." Pilgrim said and vanished.
Petrusa started walking towards the citadel, maybe they would help her. And if they didn't treat her right, she at least knew who to call and what the prise would be. Petrusa turned round, she wasn't afraid anymore, no she was the one who needed to be feared now. 

"Are you new?" a woman with blond hair asked her.
"Yes." Petrusa said, hoping that is a good answer.
"Who brought you in?" the woman asked.
"I was dropped off." Petrusa said.
"Child, are you entirely sane? My name is Manya."
"I'm Petrusa, I don't really know what I'm supposed to do here."
"You mean the searchrider that brought you in hasn't told you? You have been searched to impress a Dragon. Really, sometimes I think I'm the only one around that knows how to handle candidates. Now you go and find a place with the other candidates and I'll try to sort out who brought you here."
The woman left her standing in the big open space in the middle of the Citadel. Petrusa looked around, a bit confused, but the woman did seem to believe her story, of course no-one brought her in, but she could lie again, she just had to keep her story straight. She had lived on the streets from when she was 12 and someone had taken her from her usual sleeping place, put her on a dragon and got her here. She had tried to get away, but the man had been stronger. Petrusa smiled, that sounded about right...

Petrusa stood at the hatching sands. The eggs were rocking and already one was showing signs of an imminent hatching. No-one had ever figured out what searchrider had dropped her off. They had shrugged and said it must have been one that had requested a transfer. There were some they hadn't been able to reach or that had reacted vaguely. 
The life at the Citadel was comfortable to Petrusa, though the place was falling apart around her, she had been free for the first time in her life. Free in the spiritual sense. She had had to do chores, some hard... but after a day of work she was her own woman.
The egg cracked and out stepped a brown-bronze. A peculiar colour Petrusa knew... but no-one could tell for sure what a new planet did to dragon genes. 
The dragon soon found his bond, a man-feline that was known as Omaciyu. Three more eggs cracked and out came a two greens and a blue. The light green ran, as did the dark green. The last one was faster, making the lighter one trip over her tail.
Petrusa ran toward the little unbalanced dragonet and sat beside her. 
"Shush Elelatha." she said, not even ready to wonder about where the name had come from, "You aren't hurt. Wait, I'll help."
Petrusa rubbed softly over her green's hide, the soft skin as much a pleasure to her as her touch was to the dragoness.
"Are you still hurt?"
"No, only hungry..." Elelatha said.
"There is food out back." Petrusa said and winked, "You'll have to walk to get there though."
"I can get there!" the green eagerly said as she stumbled up 


Lantessama Isle