It was rare form for Asteriae, the sky seemed an endless dark grey, the waters beyond the shores of the many islands were choppy, restless and dangerous, and the whole capital seemed sleepy. As Jocasta peered out of the window in her bedchambers, she watched the town beyond the wall of their stately castle. There were a few people about, bustling about their days through the dreary rain, but most people were keeping themselves firmly planted inside their homes or in the taverns. It was a day for crackling fires and curling up with pets beneath soft blankets and drinking wine as you sat with your family telling tales of old.
But not for the second born princess of Asteriae, not for Jocasta Argyris. Days like that might have been rare but they were some of her favorites. She had an excuse to go spend the whole day in the library, ignoring the rest of the world while it slumbered beneath the drenched canopy of clouds. No one would come check on her and she didn’t have to worry about diplomatic meetings or entertaining envoys from other kingdoms as they were usually holed up in their guest chambers, going over documents and taking part in the wine her family provided. Days like that meant peace. They meant silence. But they also meant adventure.
The stacks were endless. A sea of adventures, all you had to do was glance down any row and you’d find thousands of stories on those pages. It was Jocasta’s favorite place in the world. She came to the library often, and while theirs wasn’t nearly the biggest in the world, it had more than she’d ever be able to dream about. Since she was a child, she’d been sneaking into the library when she was supposed to be studying and finding a little sunlit corner to read. There were benches in front of plenty of the windows, which were bayed out enough to create little nooks. It was the perfect way to relax, the perfect place to indulge in a few adventures, and the perfect hiding spot to ignore her proper responsibilities.
As she took a turn down another aisle, she wondered what her life had been like had she never been introduced to the majesty of story. Perhaps she’d be like some of the heroes in some of these stories. War forged, scarred and bruised, battered from years on the battlefield, and all too eager to accept their king’s mission. They almost always had some sort of redeemable arc that was spurned by a mistake they’d made or a trick played on them by an evil warlock. And there was almost always a beautiful young woman ready to fall into bed with them. The stories were all so predictable and she supposed her life might have been too. In many ways, it was. Perhaps that was why she liked escaping into the ink and parchment so often. It felt a little less planned, like she could be part of some grander story than she’d written for herself.
Then again, her life hadn’t exactly gone as planned. She’d gained a sister as a teenager, not by birth, but by choice. And she wasn’t all that surprised to see Selene roaming the shelves. The two were alike in some ways, they kept to themselves more often than their other more outgoing siblings. ”Lene!” She called after the raven haired beauty, not caring to be quiet as they were the only two in the great library. ”Perfect day to escape to another world, hmm?” She grinned, brushing her thumb against the spine of a book in front of her.