The night had begun like any other. Her father had come in from the fields, her mother was putting the finishing touches on the dinner stew, and Ash was plucking away at her lute, singing and composing quietly. Her 17th birthday was not far off, and the family was already making obvious hints about small get together for her.
Ash, despite her families low social standing, had always found a way to find a friend in everyone, whether it was through lute and song or just cheerful conversation, the bright young girl always knew how to bring a smile to the gloomiest face. It was in part because of this that her family still had their humble farm.
You see, the farm had encountered a bad harvest, the soil refused to bear fruit, and they couldn't pay the lord that owned the land. Ash took it upon herself to do what she could. Her nature had caused her to befriend the Lords son from a very young age, and because of this, she had gotten to know the Lord's family. She pleaded with them to let her family keep her home and eventually, they came to an agreement. In return for her family keeping the farm, she was to perform at every feast he had. She loved music, so this, in her opinion, was a win-win situation.
This was two months before, two feasts, each feast she received high praise and zealous applause. She suspected that the praise she received would help guide her to great success and that world was only just beginning to open up for her. She had begun to experience true happiness after this. Her family was no longer under stress for a bountiful harvest and all she had to do was what she loved, play her lute.
But what she believed was that bandits, brigands and evil doers in general were naught but fairy tails meant to keep children in line. This was her mistake. Before the third feast, she was blindsided by misery. On the most normal nights, her life changed forever.
Her father should be coming in from the fields soon, it had been a long day, Ash knew that much. Even in the shade of their humble home, she felt the heat of the sun. The sun had already begun to set, a glance out the window would show the fading sun on the horizon. A beautiful sunset, orange, red, purple and blue all in one sight, if she needed a muse, she had one. Her mother asked for some help setting the table before her father came in, and Ash was more than happy to oblige.
This night, Ash learned something that would stick with her always. The door swung open and crashed against the wall, her father stood in the doorway, a silhouette against the sunset. The figure stood still for a few moments, drawing the attention of the two women, before it crumpled to the ground. In place of the beloved father stood a man wielding a sword caked in the blood of the fallen.
Her mother shrieked in terror, running to her fallen husband, the brigand then gripped the widow's hair, and dragged her towards a back room as two smaller men came through the door towards Ash, both equipped with battle-scarred blades, one an axe, the other a sword.
"C'mon, 'en Vinar, I ge' farst roun's 'is toime, aye?" The one with the axe had a harsh, rugged voice.
"Like shite ye do, fawkin' git." The swordsman spoke with a voice that was not much better, but it was evident he had some level of schooling, though not much.
As Vinar approached her, the axeman grew enraged and leapt on the swordsman, beating him with pommel of his weapon. The swordsman, Vinar, begain spouting carious swears and curses as his blade dropped to the ground.
Ash had been backed against the counter, sobbing and crying out in fear and terror when she was shaken by the clatter of steel and stone, her vision faded into red, then out to black as she moved towards the weapon. She could only hear. Hear and feel, though that's all she needed.
Their screams sent chills down her spine as they rang out, a devious grin swept across her face as her skin became coated with the blood of those who crossed her. They begged for death, but their life was in her hands, and she was thriving off their suffering. She dismembered the men, slowly at first, until the first died, then she grew bored and slaughter the axeman by removing the same tool his carnal desire wish to use on her.
The screams of her mother finally flooded through Ash's bloodlust, which only reinvigorated her. The bloodsoaked youngling darted through the house until she came upon the first man holding her mother at blades edge. Her mothers dress was torn, spattered in her fathers blood, the man order Ash to drop the weapon, she blinked and sealed her twisted fate. Ash sprung forward, battleworn blade by her side and thrusted forward. The squelch of a blade piercing a body was heard not once, but twice, a single tear fell from her eye, pure and clear to begin, but quickly turned red from the blood she had spilled. The girl twisted the blade and the two bodies went limp.
"Join father in eternal life, mother..." She whispered into a dead ear. Ash fled that night, leaving behind her old life and beginning a new one. She had uncovered her dark side and she enjoyed feeding it as much as she enjoyed feeding her love of music. She honed her skills in both Sword and Song as she ventured through middle earth, eventually finding her way back to Bree-town.