Summary 1200 - 1445

1200

Aurora found Firuz in Egypt, in Memphis. Her elder brother was studying ancient texts on magic. At first suspicious of the fiery headed beauty claiming to be his baby sister, she soon alleviated his fears with memories of their father's library, and the songs of their mother, as well as letting him know that the others were here; trapped in this same Room. In exchange for sharing his sorcerous discoveries, Aurora pulled out ancient text of Syria, Babylon and the Temple of Solomon. She knew there should be more of a give and take, but Aurora's visions had shown her things she wanted the only sibling she had connected with to be prepared for, and she'd never much cared for the games.

Ever the watchful one, Firuz could see that life here had not been especially sweet for his sister. She was prone to bouts of melancholy and he had heard her crying in the night more then once. She had to leave the room shortly after he introduced her to his wives and children. He caught her watching a sparring session with his eldest son, and the naked grief on her face had brought tears to his eyes.

But it wasn't until she delivered one of his grandchildren years later; a boy born with black hair and his mother's blue eyes, that Aurora broke down and told him of the memories that would be with her for the rest of her days. It had been almost 100 years and the pain was as deep as it had been when she left England. She had thrown herself into her studies and into her revenge against the Church, hiding behind veils and ancient laws that allowed a widow latitude with her life. A writ; carefully worded from the House of Saladin opened doors for her and guaranteed her safe passage between cities. She had refused to remarry when the chance was offered. She had known a marriage filled with love and joy; she refused to settle for less until she absolutely had to. Besides, her heart was no longer hers to give. The end of life was not the end of love, and she still loved her woodsman with the bright blue eyes.


It was there, in her brother's house, that they both learned the terrible truth of their children's mortality as they watched his eldest children and their children age and die; their lifespans shortened with each generation.


1250

Rumors of the Inquisition reached their ears. Aurora showed disgust but not surprise. Her loathing of the Catholic Church only increased. Her brother hadn't had any real interaction with the Roman Church, but his sister was more then happy to recite an ever growing list of their abuses of power to stamp out anything that did not fit into their narrow world view.

Aurora watched the goings on in Europe from afar. Her need to thwart them whenever she could was great, but she was not a stupid woman.


1345

Firuz would spend another century in the Middle East. It was easier for him to fit in, to move about in the same area and reinvent himself then it was for Aurora, her gift for languages aside. As much as she had come to love this part of the world, she missed the green of Europe.

She had found a measure of peace in the house of her brother; enough to allow her the strength to leave the safety it offered. There were still nights she woke up after a dream or a vision and reached for someone who wasn't there, but it no longer left her a broken shell.

With two adventurous great-great nephews posing as her sons and with their wives in tow, Aurora returned to Europe by way of Greece. All the while staying a step ahead of the Church and its Inquisition.


1445

Italy had enchanted her, its blooming Renaissance was like seeing the sun rise. Though she had been leery the handful of years she had spent in Rome in the shadow of the seat of the Church's power, the history of the place had kept her there for a time. She was heartened by the decline of respect for the Church because of internal disagreements, clerical corruption like simony and nepotism, abuses of power, and perceived misuse of finances. The hypocrisy of some ordained men who lived luxurious lifestyles, who had mistresses and illegitimate children delighted her and she quietly did what she could to sow the seeds of dissent.

She was in Venice when she heard of the Medici Platonic Academy, which took her to Florence and the life of a courtesan to Piero Medici.

Piero was charming, thoughtful, intelligent and attentive, and his redheaded companion was good for his health. Aurora respected and admired both him and his father, but love was never a factor for her. Her position was a means to an end for her and nothing more. While she wasn't allowed to attend the Academy, she was allowed access to the Medici library; a treasure unrivaled in all of an enlightened Italy.

Florence 1455

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