A Record of the Delfinian War

Book One: The Warrior Set Loose

A wandering warrior is beset by a group of soldiers and is fighting hard to stay alive. His skill is superior, but their numbers are beginning to wear him down. Their battle awakens a boy sleeping hidden in a field of flowers. The soldiers attempt to kill the boy so he can't be a witness, but he draws a sword and sweeps through them like lightning. Together, the warrior and the boy defeat their attackers. Strangely, the boy doesn't know where he is, nor does he recognize any place names. He concludes that he must have been transported to this land, Pallast, from a different world entirely. All he has with him are his clothes, his sword, and the circlet on his forehead. Having nothing better to do, he joins the warrior.

The boy is certainly out of the ordinary, and not just his skill with a sword. Though only thirteen, he speaks with the insight of a grown man, and he can outrace the warrior's horse with ease. When the two wash themselves off in a river, however, it is the boy's turn to be shocked--he has not simply traveled to another world, he has also been changed into a girl. <Scene 1>

The warrior, Woll, is really a king in exile. He explains to the girl, who insists on being called Lee (though her name is Grindietta), that he was a bastard son of the previous king. He had been raised as the son of the rural Earl Fernan and only found out his true heritage after the late king's other four children all died in rapid succession. He was coronated after a huge debate, but within half a year he was betrayed by a conspiracy of nobles and was forced to flee his country. He is returning to release his imprisoned foster father and take back his throne.

Lee is hesitant to get involved in such a matter, yet she likes Woll as a kindred spirit and agrees to help him. They cross the border into his country, Delfinia, where they are welcomed by the lord of the region. The lord, bowing to the power of the conspirators currently ruling the capital, betrays the king by trapping him with fire in a tower room. Woll has no choice but to risk leaping from the three-story window into Lee's waiting arms. She proceeds to save him from being recaptured by carrying him at breathtaking speed through an unfamiliar forest guided only by starlight--though she does complain that he's heavy.

They reach Fort Bilguna, where the loyal Ramona Knights are stationed. They're reluctant at first to accept Lee as their king's companion, particularly since she insists on calling him by his first name with no trace of proper respect, but after she defeats the troop's leader Nashias in combat they have no further grounds to object. <Scene 2> Woll calls her his "Goddess of Victory," but Delfinia already has a goddess in that position, and she's supposed to be extremely ugly, while Lee is beautiful. Instead, Lee acquires the nickname "Bardoh's Daughter"--Bardoh being the God of War, married to the Goddess of Victory. Woll wants to keep his movements secret from the conspirators until he can raise a decent-sized army, so he declines the knights' assistance and sets out toward the capital with Lee at his side.

The conspirators, led by Marquis Peilzen, know that the king escaped the trap at the border. One of them develops a plan to coerce the mighty General Dora (currently under house arrest because of his loyalty to the king) into capturing Woll by holding the general's daughter hostage. That scheme fails miserably. The daughter, Sharmian, is trained as a knight and is fully capable of escaping under her own power. She joins her father, and together they head toward Fort Bilguna to serve their king.