From the moment that Cassidy Violet was born, there were expectations on her shoulders. Born the only child of Charles and Megan Violet, Cassidy was somewhat of a miracle baby for the noble couple after trying to conceive for several years without any result. From the moment she entered the world she was the center of her parent’s world and their one focus, everything they did was to give her the best future they could give her and to help her secure the best life they could for her.
Cassie was a curious and adventurous child who enjoyed running around and playing with the other children, she wasn’t afraid to get her hands dirty and she was often scolded for getting her expensive handwoven dresses dirty. Her mother insisted that she learn how to take care of the home from a young, having Cassie come around the house with her as she prepared meals, took care of the laundry, cleaned and tidied the rooms. Whenever the two of them were done, she would sit her daughter down and the two of them would sit for a few hours and her mother would teach her how to read.
It was a family tradition, that the women would learn to read despite the outward society generally being prejudice against them. Cassie enjoyed getting to learn to read, mostly it was small snippets of text which came from her father’s work or the same few books which had been passed down through the family. Reading often made her want to learn more and she began to practice writing too, leaning how to perfect duplication of the texts which she had read so many times. It could be said that Cassidy was a very smart and ahead of her time girl thanks to her mother and while she often had to keep this knowledge a secret, she was grateful she was given the opportunity to do so.
While she didn’t have a formal education, Cassie grew up to be a smart child who was always finding ways to improve and better her life, she found ways to make the chores easier and less time consuming by using random things that she happened to get her hand on to make what her father called ‘gadgets’. Every opportunity she would have to learn something new she would take, whether it be a skill her father offered to teach her, such as horseriding and tending to the garden and flowers or a new text her family was able to get their hands on which she could read.
As she moved into her teenage years, she was able to help her mother with the housework diligently, she would get up early in the morning and prepare the food, help with the cleaning and even learned how to spin cloth from the elderly neighbor. She often looked out at the world seeing all the things the young men got to do, what her father got to do with some envy though. Men were allowed to be merchants and doctors, they had access to texts she could only dream about getting to read and she craved more than what she had. Still, she knew better than to challenge her place in the world and the last thing she ever wanted was to draw shame to her family.
And she knew as she got older that it was only a matter of time before her family selected someone who she would marry, no doubt a wealthy man from the manor who would help her family to raise their reputation and status. Though Cassidy’s intelligence seemed to be offputting for most suitors who came to meet with her, they felt challenged by her headstrong and well-spoken nature which often saw them politely excusing themselves from the situation. Cassidy didn’t mind, she had never really thought much about wanting love or a husband, her focus always seemed to be on what was the next thing she could learn and how could she put it to practice.
The years went by and Cassie seemed to be the only girl in the whole town who hadn’t already settled down with a husband and began having children, instead, she stayed home with her mother and spun for most of the day, she had upgraded their spinning wheel so that it could produce cloth much faster and she was able to make clothes from it. She would often head out into the town and sell the clothes to whoever would pass. Mostly it was travellers who didn’t intend on staying very long.
It would be on one of those days that Cassie would meet Cecilia Laterza. From the moment she met her, Cassidy could tell that there was something different about Cecilia. From that simple first conversation they had about the clothes Cassidy was selling, the blonde could tell that the other girl had been well-educated and well-spoken. She spoke with an accent which Cassidy had never even heard before and the way she talked was always mesmerizing to her.
That first day passing in the marketplace became the first of many meetings she had with the Italian, the two of them talking amicably about the lives they led. Cecilia was such a fasciating person to Cassidy, someone who had gotten to see some of the world outside of this town and someone who had gotten to learn things which Cassidy could only dream of. It wasn’t long before the two of them struck up a friendship and began to spend time with one another outside of that little broken table she always brought with her to the marketplace.
Cassie could sit for hours just listening to Cecilia talk about the world and what she had seen of it, she seemed so open minded and ahead of her time and it made Cassidy finally feel as though she wasn’t the only odd one out in her community. Celia seemed to understand her want to not tie her life down to a single man and spend the rest of her life cooking and cleaning for him. Honestly, Cassidy wasn’t even sure she wanted to be a mother, at least not in a society like this one, where if she were to have a daughter, her life would be limited down to what she provide to a man. Cassidy found it unfair and almost cruel.
Cassie and Cecilia became really close friends, they did nearly everything together and Cassie became really attached to her. They went to balls and dances together, Celia showed Cassie many books on medicine and healing which Cassie had never even gotten the chance to glimpse at before which gave her a newfound interest in science and how different herbs and spices could help to cure or fend off diseases. Perhaps if the world was different to how it was, she could have been a doctor but there was no one out there who was willing to give guidance to her on how to become one.
It didn’t even occur in Cassidy’s mind at first that what she was feeling for Cecilia could have been love. She had been raised in such a way which was simple minded and so the broadness of her thoughts didn’t travel that far. But the moment that Celia leaned in to kiss her one night as she was voicing her dislike for one of the suitors her parents had presented to her, everything changed. At first she had been shocked by the other girl’s actions but that was quickly diffused by her like for how it made her feel and she realized quickly how deep her feelings went for Celia, how she had become one of the best things in her life. And she loved her.
Of course they had to keep all hints of their relations a secret from everyone around them, Cassie knew for certain that no one she knew would understand how she could feel the way she felt for a woman. To the world around them, they were close friends, best friends you could call it, they did everything together, Celia met her parents and spent time at her house but when the two of them were alone, they were two girls, so crazy in love for one another and trying to find their place in the world with that knowledge.
But of course it wasn’t long after that Cassie’s parents would finally find her a man to marry. He was a noble who was more open minded than Cassie would normally give the suitors she met credit for and he seemed intent on getting to marry her. Cassidy tried her best to find excuses not to go ahead with the engagement or to stall long enough that he would become interested in someone else but it became evident in time that Daniel was intent on going through with it regardless of how much she tried to sway him away.
With no idea what to do, Arcadia went to Celia and explained what had happened. Despite how deeply she felt for the dark-haired Italian, there was no way her parents would ever accept them and if Cassie rejected the proposal or didn’t go through with the wedding then her family name would be tarnished. As their only daughter she knew the damage it would do to them and she couldn’t stand the thought of it, especially after her mother had so gracefully raised her and given her so many opportunities to do things that she wasn’t supposed to. And so she was torn, between the woman she loved and the family she had always known.
In the end, the two of them came up with a plan to leave the town together. They would meet in the middle of the night, at the town square where they met and then they would head to the next town and the next. Cassie knew it would hurt her parents that she left, but this way they could tell whatever story they wished about her absence and it wouldn’t bring a bad reputation to the family. She knew it was a little selfish but all Cassidy wanted was to be happy and she knew that would never happen while she was stuck here in one place and married to someone she would never love.
She wrote a goodbye letter to her parents and packed up the few things she owned, her plan was to work odd jobs as a maid for money or spin cloth to make more clothes to sell at the travelled from one place to the next. It wasn’t the same life she lived now but she knew she would be happy because she would be with Celia and the two of them would be free to see one another and love one another. That was more than enough for her. She knew she would be happy and would get to see more of the world than this one single town, something she always craved.
But she never made it to the square. As she was walking down the cobbled streets which led to the marketplace, Cassie got this strange feeling inside like she was being followed. She tried to brush it off but before long she felt her heart pounding in her chest from fear, she looked around her to see if someone was there but they weren’t. All she remembered from the attack were two things, the first, pain, as she felt the sharp fangs sink deep into her neck and with every passing moment her body felt weaker and weaker, she tried to struggle but it was useless against the grip of the male. The second, she remembered him apologizing, before the pain, the voice was clear, ringing in her head as she finally collapsed to the ground and everything went black.
For a long time she laid there in the darkness, when she opened her eyes, there was nothing but darkness, no movement, nowhere to go. It was scary and all she had to accompany her were thoughts of the life she lost, how Celia would be waiting for her in that square and she was never going to come. She wondered what kind of life the Italian would have without her, would she be happy? Could she find someone else to love? Perhaps it was her desperate longing to go back which kept her in that dark prison. She had no sense of time but it felt like forever that she was trapped there, fighting to find the will to just wake up, to open her eyes and run to the woman she loved.
It was an agonizing state to be in, one which felt like it had no end, just this hollow feeling of emptiness which never went away. She didn’t know how long she was there, or even if she was really in a place at all. Not until she finally saw a light. It was a figure, one which resembled a man, he came to her and offered out his hand and with every bit of strength she reached back for his. Everything went dark again for a moment and then she was in a room full of light. For a moment she could be fooled into believing she was back on earth but no, there was something different about this world. For one, the man in front of her looked like a person, but he was also glowing with an iridescent light like nothing she had ever seen before.
It was explained to her that she had been killed that night in the alley and after her death, unable to accept and move on, she had been in a state of pause for several centuries. In that time, there had been no one there to show her the way out and much like many others who had recently been brought to this realm, they couldn’t find a way out alone. The male explained how he had been created to save people like her as well as set up a group of people like him which could prevent more souls from getting lost the way she did. He offered her a choice, to finally accept her death and move on to the realm of the dead or to stay and become an Aurazin like him and help others.
Knowing the pain which the void had caused her, Cassidy didn’t want anyone else to suffer the way she had and so she chose to stay and become an Aurazin, to silently serve the world and help people to accept the hardest things in their life. As part of her choice she also selected a new name to represent her new self, a rebirth of sorts she supposed and she chose the name Arcadia, meaning sanctuary. Part of her deciding factor she didn’t say out loud though, the part where she wasn’t sure she was able to move past her death, that she felt like she needed time to be that strong.
Life in the veil was different to life on earth, here, everyone was treated as an equal and could perform their duties without question. Inside of the veil they had their own way of life, mostly consisting of training and supporting the newcomers as well as heading out to save souls in the the veil. Arcadia spent the first portion of her time in the veil under training, here they were taught how to use their abilities and given occasional trips to earth to learn how they manifested in the world. They learned the role of an empath who was tasked with comforting those in distressing situations on earth, they comforting those who were facing the loss of those close to them, people who had been diagnosed with terminal illness and those who wanted to end their lives.
They also learned the role of shepherding, where they would head into the void and rescue people like her, those who were stuck in limbo between earth and the realm of the dead, helping to pull them out but also talking them through their troubles and helping them to accept the circumstances of their death. At the end of their training they were given the choice to choose one path or another, or to switch between the two. Arcadia chose to be an empath, someone who was sent out on missions on earth.
Arcadia took to the role naturally, she was intelligent which helped her to come up with creative ways that she could soothe and reassure the people she was assigned to help. Still, there was always a part of her which wanted to challenge the rules in place which prevented her from revealing herself to those who knew her in the past. She knew the rules but she also knew how to work on the edge of them, she used her missions on earth to be able to keep watch on Cecilia over the years, always making sure she was shifted into a different form each time she saw her but watching from afar.
She saw many ups and downs in her life, how she became a Valkyr, how she fell in love again after her, how she lost that Celestial, Arcadia even tried to find him in the void but he wasn’t there. She saw Celia grow darker and more cynical towards the world but still manage to find small lights in it, from continuing her study and becoming a fully qualified medic to turning someone who was on the brink of death, someone Arcadia had been assigned to comfort in his final moments before he was supposed to die from a car crash. Arcadia knew she should let her go and for all purposes she did, she was happy for her each time she found someone new to love but that didn’t mean she didn’t miss her, or want to comfort her.
But the rules were always there.
As one of the eldest Aurazin, it would have been easy for Arcadia to raise through the ranks and become one of the top most senior empaths but she had no real interest in being a leader, she preferred being left to her own devices and able to look after people in the way she saw best. So she decided to take the path to become a trainer, her role was to take in new empaths and teach them the rules, show them how best to help people and resolve their inner conflicts. She taught them how to shift, how to remove memories of themselves. She enjoyed the role and she found it fulfilling to help people who had lost themselves and needed help finding some kind of purpose again, much like she did when she first came here.
Arcadia had been out on a mission with two new Aurazin who had recently come to the veil when she had felt the tear in the realms. It was hard to describe but it felt like a sudden pain cam through her, like she had lost something important suddenly. She did everything she could to call out for the veil and return them home but eventually she realized there was no path home. They were stuck.
Unsure what to do, Arcadia took her two students to the place where the veil entrance was first built, she was sure if anywhere was able to allow reentry back to their home it was in Evermore City. But what she found when she arrived in the city was that there were many other Aurazin, even those who were not out on missions at the time of the collapse who had been cast from the veil. Unsure what they should do, Arcadia decided to follow Lucien Davenport’s decision to reach out to the Ailward Guard for help.
It was an impossible situation and yet it was their reality and before long they found themselves with no choice but to settle down in Evermore City. Arcadia didn’t even know where to begin when it came to starting a life on earth. All of them faced so many changes in their life, they could no longer use the veil to travel long distances around the world where they needed to, they needed to eat and sleep, something Arcadia hadn’t done since she was human. They also needed to try and find ways of blending into the city, so they seemed as though they were fitting in with the world around them. Arcadia found a world of possibilities at her feet and yet she was afraid, afraid that whatever she reached for was likely to disappear from her later down the line.
So she made her focus on finding them a way home, so they could return to their lives back in the veil.