Synopsis Solace and Distress is set in an imaginary world, in the vassal state of Codencia Minor.

The timeline would put it somewhere akin to the middle ages of our world. Part 1 of the tale tells of the birth of a girl by the name of Celeste in a small village and the strange tasks her father set her in the naming ceremony at the winter solstice. Part 2 charts her life as an infant and her blossoming relationship with her father and friendship with a local boy Bracen. Her relationships with her father and friend are abruptly ended through the relocation of the family to the coast when a nearby volcano erupts. Her father returns to the village along with the other men folk in a clearing up operation. In the midst of the clear up the village elder is summoned to the capital of Codencia Minor for an emergency meeting of the parliament. Whilst there and the country itself is in a state of weakness it is invaded by wild men from the north, many are killed but Celeste’s father is taken prisoner and Codencia minor permanently occupied by the Northmen. Her mother, trying to protect her tells her daughter her father has in fact been killed and they are forced to live a quiet life at the coast. In Part 3 Celeste is a tall and strong teenager but with little or no social skills having been brought up in isolation by her mother. Her one companion is a young Falcon, rescued and reared from a chick and who is her constant companion. Some three years later Celeste’s mother receives a letter from an old friend in the village where Celeste had been born. She still had the original property there but needed to go back to claim the deeds as the property had been vacant for nearly ten years. Now eighteen Celeste is told by her mother of the truth surrounding her father’s disappearance. In Part 4, Celeste with her long lost friend Bracen set out on a quest to the north to find her father. On leaving the land Celeste kills two border guards and is injured herself. The couple (acting as newlywed’s) find shelter in a variety of small villages as they make their way north but knowing they are fugitives. Eventually they are betrayed and captured and are to be sent for trial. Celeste and Bracen escape imprisonment and make it over the border into another country where they hide in a cave by the river. They are found by another man Malic, also on his own quest to find the murderer of his own father, who joins them on their eventual journey north. Part 5 tells of their time with Malic, now revealed as a reluctant Lord of an inherited estate and Bracen’s eventual marriage to a local girl. Celeste and Malic are forced closer together as they spend winter in the castle to the south of the supposedly impassable Cynric Mountains. The final part is the tale of how Celeste and Malic manage the impossible and trek over the mountain range to find a cold but wide land in the north. How they eventually both achieve their quests and the awful decision presented to Celeste at the end of the tale.

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