It was a warm summer night in D’Hara when the pained screams of the final stages of labour echoed through the Lady Rahl’s chambers in the People’s Palace.
“My Lady, it’s a little girl!” exclaimed the midwife.
“Is she breathing?” asked the Lady Rahl, struggling to pull herself up in the bed.
“Yes my lady she is,” replied the midwife, quickly cleaning the silent little newborn and swaddling her into a blanket. “She’s very quiet, it’s like she knew our plan all along.”
“Do you remember what we discussed, Irma?” The Lady Rahl questioned, finally pulling herself up into a sitting position.
“Yes of course My Lady. I will tell Lord Panis Rahl the baby died in childbirth and then get the baby out of the palace and take her as far away as possible, to the place we agreed upon before,” The midwife responded and then paused.
“My Lady,” the midwife asked hesitantly holding the baby out the her, “would you like to hold her for a moment while I inform your husband of the child’s death?”
“I…” Lady Rahl paused, she didn’t know if she would be able to handle it, holding her little girl and the having to give her up, but she supposed it was better than never having touched her at all. “Yes, I’ll hold her”
The midwife placed the baby in her arms. Lady Rahl’s eyes welled up as she gazed at the child, her little girl was beautiful. The baby's head was covered in a fine layer of golden hair, much that which covered the outside of a peach, and her nose was as tiny as a little button. A silent tear slowly made its way down Lady Rahl’s cheek just as the newborn started to squirm and blink. Tiny eyes opened to reveal beautiful sea green irises, much unlike the brown and blue of her two other sons. That was why she had to send her daughter away -- she could not let Panis turn another one of her children into monsters, she could not let these beautiful green eyes fill with pain and anger. She had made her first mistake by letting him mould Darken into someone, something unrecognizable from the little boy she used to sing to sleep at night. Panis had filled him with hatred and anger and had almost achieved the same with Richard before she had stepped in and asked Zedd to care for the boy, telling Panis that it would benefit the Rahl line to have a wizard of the first order in the family. She knew, however, that if Panis learned she had birthed a daughter, he would send the girl off to become a Mord-Sith the second she could stand on two feet. She had to send her daughter away from the cruel fate that would await her, she would not let Panis touch her daughter.
She was startled out of her thoughts when the midwife opened the heavy door, hurrying to close it.
“I’ve told him my lady, he seemed displeased. He threw his brandy glass into the fire and started shouting about how you had lost another one of his children. I fear he might come to see you soon. May I suggest that I take the child now so that there is no danger of my crossing paths with his Lord upon leaving?” The midwife asked wringing her hands.
“Yes, yes of course. You must leave now. I will not have any chance of you being caught.” said Lady Rahl taking one last glance at her daughter and placing a soft kiss to forehead, “I love you little one, I will not be there when you grow, but know you are always in my heart.”
Another single tear made its way down her face as she placed the baby into the midwife’s waiting arms, but the second she was no longer held in the warmth of her mother’s embrace the baby began to emit whimpering sounds as if she was about to cry.
“Irma, you mustn’t let her cry, she’ll be discovered! Place her in your midwife’s bag if need be but get the child out of here before she starts screaming.” said Lady Rahl pushing the midwife away from the bed and towards the door.
“Of course my Lady!” Irma said hefting her midwife’s bag onto her shoulder. She then covered the baby’s face with the blanket so no one would see the baby breathing, it would also muffle any cries and make it seem as if she were merely removing the “stillborn” baby from Lady Rahl’s chambers.
“Oh Irma! Wait! I must tell you, I can’t express my gratitude to you, doing this puts your life at risk and I hope you know how much this means to me.” Lady Rahl said, her voice rushed but sincere.
Irma nodded in thanks and started towards the door but paused as a thought struck.
“My Lady, her name. You never told me the child’s name.”
“Oh… yes. I… Cara. I would like to call her Cara.” Lady Rahl said her gaze returning to her hands -- she had given the baby a name, made her real, and could not longer face the child she was giving away. “Please… Go. Take the her and go.”
“Yes, my lady,” and with a final glance down at the covered newborn, Irma opened the door and stepped out of Lady Rahl’s chambers, closing the door behind her. She only made it five paces before a voice stopped her from behind.
“Hey you!” It was a guard.
“What’s that you got there?” He asked sauntering up to Irma as she turned around. Irma took a deep breath before responding, and hoped that her voice didn’t waver with the fear she felt when she answered.
“This is Lady Rahl’s dead child, she can’t bear to look at it any more and asked me to take it away” Irma said plainly. The guard recoiled.
“Well get it out of here then! I don’t want any dead Rahl babies haunting my post!” The guard backed away quickly and turned around and Irma quickly scurried away -- one close call was more than enough.
She quickly made her way down marble staircase, but not too quickly for fear of pulling too many servants gazes, and made her way to the lower levels of the palace without any more incidents, hurriedly making her way to the stables and saddling her horse, placing the baby in her midwife’s bag which was slung across her back before mounting. Irma threw her riding cape across her shoulders and over the bag holding the baby, the lump that it made less obvious under the cover of darkness and rode through the servants gates of the People’s Palace, nodding to a guard on the way out.
Now she would ride hard all the way to the one place that where the baby would be safe, Aydindril, where her sister and brother in law were waiting to take the child in and raise her as their daughter, a gardener at the Confessor’s Palace. Lord Rahl would never find the girl there.