Totem: The Falcon
Initiated: September 2001

I don't really know what name I was given at birth, it hasn't mattered since I was four. That was when the life that I had known was irrevocably altered. My parents were members of a culture that had been conquered, enslaved, and was in the process of being absorbed into the Roman Empire. I know originally they were from what is now Eastern Europe, but I have no memories of that place. When I was four, slavers rounded up all the female children around my age and sent us to Rome to be sold in the slave markets. I was sold into the household of a higher level nobleman to be raised as a companion to his daughter who was my age. I was named Azure because blue happened to be the color of the shift I was wearing on the day I was taken. The years passed and the time was not spent idly. Everywhere that Ramona went I followed, be it classes, travels, gown fittings. I was her shadow, but I was not a mere cipher. I was educated alongside her, her father being of the mind that females were smart enough for higher education and because I had shown aptitude he allowed me to learn as well. I was also treated as a daughter of the house, I always understood that I was a slave, but in the hierarchy of the household only the family was of higher station. Resulting from this I grew into an educated, strong-willed, spoiled young woman.

Ramona and I were like sisters, we occasionally bickered, but she never treated me like a servant or put me in my place. She was inherently a sweet tempered and kind girl who could never intentionally hurt anyone. This turned out to be the downfall of both of us. When she was almost fourteen Ramona was informed by her father that he had betrothed her to the son of a dignitary from Egypt. She was to be married on her fifteenth birthday; that was not an early age to marry then. This came as a shock to Ramona because no one had even hinted to her that marriage was upcoming. The next year passed in a whirlwind of arrangements, preparations, and fittings for a wardrobe befitting a princess. Ramona's father did not want her to seem out of place in the Egyptian courts where she was to be living. I was to accompany Romana to her new home and become part of the household there. This was no task for me; I was used to new places and had no fear of meeting new people.

Ramona had never met her bridegroom in the flesh; they had only exchanged a few very polite letters and small portraits. From this we knew that her betrothed was a sallow, spoiled looking young man. This was confirmed at the wedding when the groom arrived accompanied by his retainers, and his mistress. Ramona was dismayed that he showed such disregard for her feelings and for her honor. I was incensed; unfortunately my anger brought me to the groom's attention. It became very obvious that he was going to take my slavery literally and expect me to be at his beck and call for all matters. On the trip to Egypt which took almost two weeks Ramona began to share my fears of the future. Once we reached the court she despaired of helping me in this foreign land that was so different from everything she had ever known. She conspired to help me escape from the court and to go someplace where I wouldn't be a slave and could live in freedom. Through court connections we found a group of traders that for a price would take me out of Egypt. Ramona gave me some of her family jewelry to help me make my way. We tearfully bid each other goodbye and parted. I heard from some servants in another household a few years later that Ramona had been beaten severely by her husband and had died in childbirth with her first child at the age of seventeen.

After leaving Ramona I traveled for several months with a group of traders around Egypt, learning an amazing amount about the culture. I grew to appreciate how different the normal people were from the people of the courts. I also learned quite a bit about trading. After the group I was with made there way back into Southern Europe I ended up parting with them to join another group of traders that were headed into Northern Europe. I ended up traveling with that group for several years, finding new places to trade, learning new cultures, and making new friends. The group I was with comprised several different families of what we now call gypsies, then called the Rom. I learned a bit about their culture and ways, combining that with what I had previously encountered I became a very strong, confident young woman. Throughout all my journeys I had one main goal: to find a home that I could be myself in and feel safe in. After several years of travel we made our way into North Western Europe to the isles of Britannia.

While traveling between some small villages we were trading with we encountered another group camped in the wilderness. They invited us to camp with them for several nights and to show us their wares. This was a very diverse group made up from peoples all over Europe and the Middle East. I was immediately drawn to these people, knew about many different peoples and things, and were accepting of them. I decided that this was the place that I belonged and parted ways with my temporary family. After several months of getting to know the people I was now living with I was initiated into my new family, that of Clan Nightwolf.