Melano was born as the eldest daughter of two well-established wizards in the city of Crossroads.
Her two younger brothers went to Lys and studied to become scholars in the Great Southern Library, but she knew by the age of seven that she would become a wizard. As a child her father used to entertain her with brightly flashing magical lights, even though her mother always scolded him, as it was considered a bad practice to use magic in one's home. But his father never cared much about rules, and so she got aquinted with the world of magic early on.
She always hoped it would turn out that she had a natural aptitude for magic, and could conjure magical energies at a whim, but to her disappoinment it turned out that she wasn't cut out to be a sorcerer. Instead, the long and laborius journey to true wizardhood was ahead of her.
At the age of fourteen she enrolled in the Crossroads Mages Guild, and spent her next fifteen years in the study of the arcane arts.
She adapted well to the strict life of the guild. Like her mother, she never had any trouble obeying rules and following commands. The other young acolytes liked her as she was always calm, and usually well prepared. She was well-liked, but had few real friends. She spent most of her time in the library reading dusty tomes about the history of magic, and philosophy of magic, wich all her peers thought completely pointless. She enjoyed her self nonetheless and never minded the lack of friends. If she felt in need of human contact, she spent some time with her brothers when they visited from Lys.
The one day Garret Blackhead walked into the guild. He was obvoiusly a sorcerer, and a talented one at that. He instantly knew so much more about magic than her, even though he never studied it before. All the skills she worked so hard to master, he just seemed to have in his fingertips. This annoyed, but also fascinated Melano.
He was also very reclusive. And every weekend, when the other youngsters went out into the city to drink and wreak havock, the two of them stayed in the library reading.
He would sit in a corner with a ledger detailing the exploits of past students and master of the guild, and she would be reading her favourite philosophy textbook, and occasionally sneaking a glance at him. He never seemed to notice her though.
On one occasion when her curiosity got the better of her, she walked over to him and asked what he was reading. He looked up as if noticing that she existed for the first time, took a hard look at her and said „I do not think it concerns you.”, then turned back to his book. Melano stood there silently for a while, reddening, then walked out of the library. She went after the other acolytes, and got very drunk.
She tried talking to him on one more occasion. He just came back from a training session with the fighters guild, sweaty and tired, and had sat down to sharpen his sword with a whetstone in the garden. She saw him from her window and walked down. „Why do you even bother with sword fighting? Isn't your magic enough?” she asked. He took another long look at her and smiled. „No, they are not enough. Have you ever skewered someone? It is so much more satisfactory than setting them on fire”. She took a step back but said „I don't think you ever killed anyone”. „Yet.” And with that he went back to his work. She understood that the conversation was over and went back to study how to form a perfect globular fireball.
Two months later Garret recieved his diploma and left.
Two years passed and Melano also recieved her diploma. On the very next day she recieved a letter from Garret.
She stared at the paper in her little study – she had not moved out yet – and decided that if the high-and-mighty Garret Blackhead decided to entrust her of all people with a secret, than a) he must have been pretty desperate and b) it must one very inetersting secret.
On the next day she said farewell to her family, saddled a horse and started riding to the north.