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Rated: 13+ · Prose · Action/Adventure · #1915181
Developing the background on Martha

A girl in a pensive moode

Martha was an Elvenhume. Yep, she was a multi-generational hybrid between an elf and diversified ancestors. Elves, despite their longevity, were a dying race and to preserve the line, reluctantly accepted bloodline enhancement, as practiced by the Witches of Minerva. The “Hags” did not exactly fit the profile of cackling old ladies dancing around a cauldron. They were a no nonsense bunch who understood both the spirituality (magic) and practical science of nature. The valley Witches managed the “Diversity Offspring Program.“ This was a careful blending of the Elven, human, and Dwarven genomes, and the Valley Witches had been at it for the past five hundred years. These "Hags" or "Crones" as they were often disparaging referred to, were unmistakable and you knew it when you saw the red eyes.

Martha had blue eyes but under stress they glittered red. She was a tenth generation hybrid and had inherited a quickness and strength that was truly remarkable. You had to see her in motion to really appreciate how successful the Enhancement Program was working. Not only was she full bodied and striking, but had the coordination and speed of an athlete. Elvenhumes might have a diminished life span but they more than made up for it in stamina and vitality.

Martha was the Senior Weapons Instructor at Belmont Military College for women. Her father was none other than Vladimir Tropolov, a folk hero who died in the fighting at Myrocena. This had been another skirmish in the long war with the Dark Armies of the Republic. There was a statue of him in front of the main administration building at Finsterwald, which was the Tristonian Military College for men.

Martha’s specialty was the “Elven Blade.” She was referred to as the “Knife Lady” and Special Operating Force (SOF) soldiers, diplomats and assassins all went to Belmont for graduate level training.

Martha’s counterpart at Finsterwald was Captain Giles Standaloft. His father was a Templar and his mother, High Crone of the Minerva Coven. His half sister was Liope who would one day lead the valley witches. Like Martha, Guiles was gifted and arose quickly through the SOF ranks. The downside to Guiles was that he was something of a social moron. The basic human skills that most take for granted, were not something he was blessed with. His interactions with others were an unending string of gaffs and he was forever having to explain…” What I really meant to say.”

Martha’s God Father was Antonio Rogoletti. She had a secret crush on him as pre adolescents sometimes get. She imagined on occasion what it would be like to have him for a husband and she lived for his occasional kind word and the attention he sparingly doled out. He had been a close friend of her father. After Vladimir's death her mother, Larissa, a Blue Blood, suffered from severe depression and was in and out of treatment. During one of the interludes she took to the night life at Finsterwald and conceived a younger sister. Between her mother’s breakdowns, Martha lived with her God Mother, Clematis Kulrick, who was wife of Kulrick, the High Steward. Martha was promised to Pluto, their son.

Martha’s betrothed (Promised) was Pluto, another Diversity Child, whose father was Steward of the Realm. Pluto’s natural mother was the Witch, Olivia, who not only administered the Enhancement Program in Tristonia, but led it by example. She was constantly pregnant and had born a dozen children while serving as the City’s patron Witch. Climates, who was childless, was delighted at the naming ceremony, taking her husband’s son from the arms of the venerated Witch. Lord Kulrick did not quite share his wife’s enthusiasm. In his eyes Pluto was an inept reminder of the program he despised but was required to administer. The poor boy had inherited little of the Elven grace. In Lord Kulrick’s view Pluto was a klutz whose only inherited trait were those two prominent ears, that left little doubt regarding his father.

Martha’s Godfather, felt a responsibility for her welfare and would frequently take the youngster with him to Belmont where he then served as Senior Weapons Instructor. She loved the campus, uniforms, parades and all the pomp and ceremony associated with military life. Sometimes she dreamed of being a hero like her father and when the Blue Blood girls would walk by wearing their medals, she was awestruck and enviouus. At the time she didn’t realize that only telepathic females were allowed on patrols and she was definitely not a telepath. So Martha whiled away the hours, sitting in the bleachers, sometimes indulging her fantasys but mostly watching the Squire instruct the Elven Blade, Saber and Two-Handed Sword.

Martha liked birds but was particularly fond of ravens and crows. This was because the family coat of arms was unadorned with runes or colors and featured only a single black raven. Often she was wakened in the morning by their loud caws. At their cottage a flock had taken up residence and even when she stayed with the Kulrick’s it was seldom long before they turned up in the Elm trees. Pluto liked to throw rocks at them but she always made him stop… not that there was any chance of the big guy ever hitting one.

One afternoon, as Martha was sitting on the edge of the training field, a flock appeared and began milling about. They were a raucous bunch and a particularly aggressive bird alighted nearby and began cawing at her. She was so taken that she didn’t hear the Squire calling out. When she did, he was motioning from where the remedial students were practicing. Without hesitation she ran to where he was standing and looked up in adoration. Taking a knee the Squire placed a hand on her shoulder and looked into those moon struck eyes. Something serious was about to happen and the significance was not lost on the twelve year old.

“Your father was pretty good with this toothpick," said Rogoletti, handing her a worn leather sheath. “He would have wanted you to have this. “ Martha was stunned. Her eyes filled with tears and she couldn’t swallow. “Time we found out how much of the old boy rubbed off on you.”

Martha’s heart pounded as she joined the ranks, and began doing the forms. She had watched the routines on countless occasions and knew them all by heart . It was a dream come true and a turning point. Looking back, Martha saw this as the happiest moment of her life.
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