Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Delisia Lusch - Guest at the Palace

SL Name: Delisia Lusch

She came out of the desert cloaked in black. To most people's eyes this was a young man but, in fact, it was a woman dressed like a man. She said little at first when she arrived in the city but observed and kept to herself. Before long, however, she found herself having to use her sword against the roaming slaver's. She showed great courage and quickly learned how to beat them off. The slaver's seemed enjoy the total freedom control the desert and the city streets, snatching unwary girls and enslaving them while the saltana seemed remote and blissfully unaware of this scourge devouring the city. The fearless little warrior who had come from the desert was Delisia, fair of skin with bright blue eyes and blonde hair. She would soon make a name for herself and it was not to be long before she gained the
attention of the Royal court for her fearless resistance to the slaver's. But who was she She never really said...

Delisia was born on the far northern island called by the Romans, Britania. Her father was a black smith and armorer. He had long ago served as a bowman in the service of the King and seen action in the English possessions of Normandy and Brittany but his wounds had brought him home to the small coastal village of Tovil Cove, a sleepy fishing community on the south coast.

He had three sons and one daughter, Delisia, the youngest of the family. She grew up in peaceful times and her brothers were privileged to have access to swords their father made. They learned from their
father to wield the weapons and became fine archers as well. Even Delisia, who's name they say means "delicate" or "delicacy" would play fight with her brothers. She was too small to help her father in the smithy but she did throw a small hammer and even learnt from her father how to make a dagger which she wore on her belt with pride.

One day a traveling Monk came to the village carrying a large cross and a book. He preached to the people telling of the Holy Land and its fate at the hands of Saladin, the Kurdish Warlord. Delisia sat with her brothers captivated by the Mock's stories. When finally the Monk called the able bodied young men
of the village to answer the King's call to arms to save the Holy Land the three brothers were the first to pledge. Even Delisia begged to be allowed to go but this only brought laughter and her brothers who told her it was no quest for a little girl. Shortly, and with tears in her eyes, she would be standing holding her father's hand as she watched her brothers leave for the crusade.

The village seemed empty with the young men away and Delisia would run on the cliffs overlooking the cove. She was still just a young girl and destine to marry when the men returned. She would often pick flowers and day dream about what her brothers were doing. And it was just such a morning as dawns early light broke over the sea when she saw a huge galley slip quietly into the cove. Suddenly, fire tourches were flickering as man began running from the boat as it beached. She heard screams and started to run down to the village. On arriving smoke filled the air as the roof tops began burning and amid the fire and smoke she could see strange looking men running about slashing with swords. She arrived at the smithy to find her mother laying dead and her father being cut down as he tried to fight them off. Delisia drew her dagger and charged, stabbing a leg as she raced toward her dying father. But she was grabbed by the scruff of the neck and held up as the dagger was knocked from her hand. She struggled wildly then paused as she caught sight of her dying father. She barely made out his last desperate cry, "Run child!"

The men that came from the sea were pirate slaver's. They killed the old people and those few men that had tried to fight them. But Delisia was safe because she had value as a slave and, along with other women and children she was bundled onto the ship and pushed in the hold, after which a heavy
grating sealed them in. Some days later the air grew hot as they arrive on the Barbery coast of North Africa. Along the way many had died of sickness, exposure and shock but not Delisia. She had held a small cross given her by her father and preyed every day for deliverance. Perhaps the good Lord had heard her and a great storm arose in the sea as the galley hugged the coast. The waves washed
over the boat and soon it was in trouble and taking water. It heaved high in the terrible seas then turned over and sank. Still under water the heavy grating that had covered the hold fell away and Delisia desperately swam away trying to surface. Eventually she surfaced and gasped for air then clung to some wreckage tossing about in the waves. As the sun came up and the storm subsided the flotsam and jetsam of the wreck washed up on the shore. Delisia, still clinging to the wreckage was part of it.
She was alive but all along the beach there were bodies and shortly she was walking amongst the tragic scene eyeing the dead women, children and pirates. No one had survived but her.

Delisia had but one wish as she stood there on the beach, to get back home but she was in a strange land and she knew her chances of survival were slim. Undaunted, she searched the bodies for clothes, food and coins. She striped and pulled on leather breaches and boots then a shirt and cloak and, finally,
she bound her head and mouth in a black scarf like she had seen the pirates do. She knew her best chance was to appear as a man so she found a sword and dagger then set off along the coast. She walked for many days passing thru villages and buying a little food on the way. Her thoughts were to reach the Holy land where she believed the crusading Knights would save her and take her home. But it was not to be.

Perhaps it was good fortune, she didn't know, but she came upon a caravan heading into the desert. She spoke to one of the camel drivers who had a few words of her language and he turned out to be friendly and very willing to take some coin. He promised they would be traveling to places were she might find her own people and as the days and weeks passed she became aware it would never be. Delisia didn't know where she was and was totally dependant on the camel driver until, one day he told her he knew she was a woman and would take her as a wife. But she took off in the night and, aware they were near a coast, followed it until she came upon what she thought was a mirage. In the distance she could see gleaming towers and soon a great city wall as she drew closer. She had found
the lost city of Ireem and, not knowing if this city offered her better or worse than she had already endured, she headed for the city gates...

1 comment:

Mora said...

Great backstory & very interesting :)