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warm and real and bright

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Once upon a time, there was a queen. Queen Marion Lavorre was the beloved matriarch of a small coastal kingdom that was just as majestic and beautiful as she was. “The Ruby of the Sea,” they called her. Stunning and special.

Marion, thought to only have room in her heart for her people and country, made room for another. Like a thief, the charming stranger sneaked right into her heart and stole it. But the two could not marry, for her love was not of noble blood. Still, they met together in secret for months, and eventually, Marion became pregnant. Yet before the baby was born, Queen Marion’s lover disappeared. She managed to keep her pregnancy secret. During this time Marion fell ill, posing danger for both herself and the baby. It eventually came time for Marion to have her baby, and in the throes of birth, she begged the heavens to save herself and her child. And her prayer was answered. She gave birth to a healthy baby girl, her little sapphire. Too overwhelmed with emotion, all Marion could do was sing. So, she sang, and sang, and sang. Her love ringing in every note. It was during this lullaby when she noticed her daughter’s hair begin to glow. “A blessing from the gods,” Marion thought. That is how the two fell asleep that night. Performer and audience. Mother and daughter. Ruby and sapphire.

Shortly after her birth, the baby was separated from Marion for both of their safety. If the kingdom found out that the queen had had a secret affair, it would have not boded well for both Marion and the baby. So, the little sapphire was taken to a secluded tower in the forest outside the capital and raised there by trusted servants. Even after all of Marion’s best effort to keep her daughter hidden, there were still rumors of the “Secret Princess”.