Invitation wrote:King Kadomos the VI of Alania requests your presence at a ball to honor the heroes of our time. Please, don your finest and come to the palace by April 5th, New Royal Calendar 547. Your immediate family is welcome to accompany you.
Thank you. We do hope to see you then.
King Kadomos the IV
Parn, former Free Knight of Lodoss
A few miles to the south of the city was a small forest, inhabited by dark elves and their kin. A few half-dark elves found refuge here, as well as those who felt they didn't belong on Marmo; all who still desired the forest life. Zira had grown up in this forest from her 16th year on. A few decades away for adventure and now she was back. Not simply Zira any more, but Zira Redricks. The wife of the dragon kin to a long forgotten Ancient Dragon, Kaiser.
She shared her home with Blaze of course, as well as their son Gabriel and adopted daughter Alni. Zira, Alni, and Blaze had all met in the city of Blade just days before the War of Chaos. The half-dark elf girl had been a thief and Zira sought to give a better life. It had been twenty years now. Not too long to herself or beloved Blaze, but with children involved, it was too fast. Gabriel, and handsome boy who had some of best features of both his parents, was sixteen. Alni, eighteen when she was "adopted", was a grown woman now and Zira no longer tried to control her. Now Alni was a sort of little sister to Zira, though Blaze still regarded her as a daughter.
Zira wasn't much the type to become a housewife--though she wasn't by most standards--but she was starting to get the hang of this taking care of a family thing. She could cook, and much better than she did when she and Blaze first settled into the house. She still practiced her sword and tried teaching some of the dark elf children in the village with shamanism, but with Gabriel, she hadn't ventured far from in home since he was a baby.
Motherhood was still new to her as well, even with Alni to practice on. Babies themselves were something else entirely. Though, she had seemed to developed a higher level of tolerance for disgusting messes. Blood was one thing to a mercenary, she was used to that, but diapers had been a completely different situation.
As she relaxed on her couch, a knock came at the door. Zira bounded to her feet, anxious for someone to talk to and met Liora. The dark elf was much darker than most, and about 700 years old. She was the elder of this village and "tribe", and one of the first elves to settle here. Liora still appeared youthful with her smooth cheeks and lithe grace, but her ice blue eyes had a hardened look of maturity. She and Zira's mother had been lifesavers when it came to raising Gabe.
"A message for you and your husband," Liora smiled and held out a letter.
"Oh! Who's it from?" Zira took it from her hand and looked it over. Was that the Alanian seal?
"The king of Alania," she replied. "I've got a few chores to tend to, so perhaps we can talk later?"
Zira sighed, "All right, we will talk then." She was actually anxious to talk to someone. Liora left and Zira opened the letter to read the invitation. "Hmm... a ball," she mused. She wasn't much for dances and dressing up, but sometimes it was enjoyable. Besides, she wanted the excuse to leave. Meeting old companions was a very tempting offer as well.