A New Ruler in Bon Abbi – Eva Marie Mayweather
Bon Abbi, a safe-haven city on Rylie Glen, remained isolated from other locations. This was due to the mountain ranges on the East and West borders. Over time and help from Midland, Bon Abbi built several windmills used to process grains.
Evelyn, the daughter of the miller who managed all the mills, was always curious about the world. But her father, Roylo, never wanted to leave his service to the Mayweather family. So, Eve’s curiosity always put her at odds with her father.
Roylo and his wife Elysa, never had other children, sons to take over the family work. Evelyn made it clear she had no interest in this venture. Roylo wished a different world for Eve beyond that of housekeeping and service. He watched as Eve and Michael John, the youngest son of the ruling family in Bon Abbi, played as children. He knew those days spent together would soon be over.
Even in Bon Abbi, nobles and commoners respected the separation practiced over time. This would change with the younger generation. But not without challenges, nor with the other cities, especially Casselberry. Roylo protected Evelyn from the world outside the city walls as best he could.
But one day before planting season would change everything. Nolan Baye, Michael older brother, returned from his training in Mercil. He traveled with his fiancé Ayla Garren. The city celebrated the return of their future ruler and his bride to be.
The next morning, after the celebration, several townspeople discovered Ayla. She laid in the square with an arrow piercing her heart. No one saw what happened, but the black and white arrow had the signature colors of Casselberry. Nolan had been hunting earlier that morning, never expecting the tragic news.
No one could console Nolan. Rando, his father, tried to reason with his son but to no avail. Nolan vowed to make Luka Dey, the son of the ruling family in Casselberry, pay for Ayla’s death. Rando watched as his son mount a horse and go after Luka.
Rando told those gathered in the square not to worry. If Luka were responsible for Ayla’s death, he would be long gone before Nolan could do any harm. Michael couldn’t believe his father would not go after Nolan.
Michael grabbed a hunting knife and ran outside where Evelyn waited for him. He told Evelyn he would stand with his brother. She tried to keep Michael in place, but he was too strong. She watched as Michael ran past the manor and toward the Plains of Vandeer.
Evelyn froze in place, wanting to follow Michael. But she knew she had to let Lord Rondo understand what was happening. She found her father and told him everything. In minutes, the two men mounted horses and headed down King’s Road towards Casselberry.
Two days later, both men returned with Nolan’s body. He suffered a mortal sword wound. Evelyn asked her father why they didn’t return with Michael. He shook his head and asked her to head home and wait for him.
The townspeople mourned Nolan and Ayla’s death. To add to the tragedy, Michael John went missing. Something happened to the 10-year-old boy. It wasn’t too long when everyone believed he had died with his brother. The loss was too much to bare for Lord Rondo, who remained inside the manor for weeks.
Roylo kept Evelyn closer to him than ever before. What worried her mother was that her daughter never cried. She kept her pain private. Well into the planting season, life in Bon Abbi returned to work. Roylo brought Evelyn everywhere he went.
By summer, a friend in Midland offered to place Evelyn with the Healer group. She would have to leave Bon Abbi for an extended time. Roylo felt the change to a new village, with meaningful work, would help his daughter through the sadness. Evelyn, at ten-years-old, traveled to Midland, the closest city to Bon Abbi down King’s Road.
Through extraordinary circumstances, Sola del Sol, the Healer, and Alchemist, selected Evelyn. She was to be his apprentice, but she first had to learn how to read and write. Evelyn spent most her days following Sola. She wrote everything he did, promises he made and meetings he couldn’t miss.
Evelyn made it back to Bon Abbi before winter but returned back to Midland as Sola depended on her. Evelyn earned Sola’s trust. He asked her to learn everything about the seven deadly compounds he had conjured. These compounds left little or no trace, except for the dead bodies. Over time, the Alchemist shared with Evelyn how the seven compounds were already in use.
Sola asked Evelyn to master making the antidote for these poisons. Casselberry possessed these toxic compounds. But it was unclear how they planned to use them. Evelyn noticed Sola became more unsettled over time, always looking behind him.
After seven years serving as his apprentice, Sola told Evelyn she had to leave. Lord Mayweather requested help, as he struggled with health issues. Sola explained to Evelyn that the symptoms were signs of poison.
The alchemist sent Evelyn with a small group of Ruelanders to Bon Abbi. Sola told her “Bon Abbi is in danger” and told her what to do. Upon arrival, Evelyn learned her father passed away days before. Other townspeople like Lord Mayweather were near death. She prepped the proper antidote and prolonged Lord Rondo’s life. Evelyn distributed the remedy among those who were sick.
Meanwhile, the Ruelanders constructed more windmills to pump fresh water into Bon Abbi. Sola warned Evelyn to only drink the water from the wells and streams flowing in Bon Abbi. He suspected wine and food from other places were the source of the poison.
Evelyn became the trusted assistant to Lord Mayweather and never returned to Midland. Yet, Lord Rondo’s health issues returned. Before passing away, he told Eve that he no longer had children to pick up his mantel. She was his last hope. ‘Save Bon Abbi,’ was his last request.
The words reminded her of the Alchemist’s similar plea that “Bon Abbi was in danger.” For six months, Evelyn managed the city. The townspeople saw Evelyn by Lord Rondo’s side for months. It was natural to see her as the next ruler of Bon Abbi.
But the day would come when someone would challenge her role. The Robions of Casselberry waited until the traditional six-month of mourning were over. A rider from Casselberry announced that Lord Luka Dey was coming to Bon Abbi in a few days.
While Evelyn was out in the city square, she saw four men, on wearing a hood came to her. The youngest man told her they heard Lord Mayweather had passed. They journeyed to Bon Abbi to pay their respects. She took them to the family plot, curious why these strangers came to Bon Abbi by way of the Plains of Vendeer.
Each man whispered a prayer, except for the one with the hood. He stood quietly. The older one with a beard placed his hand on the hooded man’s shoulder. He turned around and caught Evelyn’s eye. It was the first time she could see his face.
At the appropriate time, she offered the men a meal and a place to stay as evening was approaching. Before heading back to the manor, Evelyn asked to speak with the hooded man alone. She told the others to follow the path back to the square and the Manor.
She turned and asked the man to pull back his hood, which he did reluctantly. At first sight, Evelyn knew this was Michael John. How is it that he lives? She threw her arms around Michael, asking questions as she kissed his cheek several times. Yet, something was different. With a gentle motion, he pushed her away.
He said his name was Josah Evermore and that he was not Michael. Evelyn looked closer, convinced he was Michael. “You promised to marry me back when we were seven,” she said. “I know who you are.”
After some prompting, the hooded man admitted he was Michael John. But that young boy was no more and that he was now Josah Evermore. Evelyn told him that he came on time. He needed to pick up his father’s mantel and become the ruler. It was his responsibility.
Michael rejected the role as a noble and told her he was no longer a Mayweather. Evelyn said she pretended to be a Noble and ruled Bon Abbi after his father’s death. Luka Dey was coming to Bon Abbi. Without his help, Luka could expose her as a commoner and certain death.
“Then we need to make you a noble,” he responded. “Just like I have a new name, so must you.” He shared his idea of how Evelyn could become the “Lady of Bon Abbi” as Eva Marie Mayweather.