Blood and Feathers
It had in all appearance been like every other night.
Young Rosalia had her supper with her family and then played a game of chess with one of her brothers, Lonán, while the triplets, Ciar, Nigel and Siavash completed their reading assignments.
After the match, Rosalia kissed Lord Devin Crawford good night, hit Ciar for stealing her doll and went back to her room with Raven, Alexis and a new young crow who had taken a liking to her.
Raven had tucked her in that night as Alexis watched the guards perform their final checks about the room, studying the things he and Raven were meant to do once they were older.
Once they were done, they left the room, bidding her goodnight.
Rosalia remembered smiling to herself as she cuddled into her bed, hugging her doll. She had trouble sleeping that night, still excited over her father’s promise to take them all out riding the following day.
Everything was warm and comfortable and the crow by her side was sleeping peacefully with its head under its wing.
After awhile, she finally drifted off but was soon abruptly woken by the sounds of the little crow, shrieking and its wings beating madly.
Rosalia sat up at once, shocked by the sudden cries.
Spots of blood splattered the bed as the crow fell, bleeding from the stump where its claw once was.
More blood rained down, spraying across the cold stone floor and soaking the bed as Rosalia’s would be assassin found her sword through his throat.
There was a quiet gurgle from the man’s throat as Rosalia’s eyes remained wide in shock and fear. She had only swung her sword in practice. Never before had she drawn blood.
Rosalia Crawford had survived the night. But though she had been blessed with the protection of the crows, the rest of her family did not.
Overnight- she had lost everything.
She had lost her father.
At the age of fourteen, she became the Head of the Crawford family and the Warlord of one of the largest territory in Galadier.
At the age of fourteen, she had killed her would-be assassins and tortured the other surviving ones her guards had captured to find out who sent them.
At the age of fifteen, she personally led the attack on Lord Gareth Avery’s territory, slaughtering every single member of the Avery family to ensure his line was now extinct. She had their heads removed and stuck on poles along her borders of her territory, facing enemy territory.
Suffice to say, the enemies of Crawford soon learnt of one of the family’s well-kept secret.
From the moment she could walk, Lady Rosalia had been trained to take over the Crawford family.
And she had been trained well.