If one were to leave the capital by the Eastern Gate and travel in an easterly direction for two days, stopping only to change horses and to use the facilities, then one would reach the place where Pirouette spent most of her childhood, Castle Rising. As far as castles go, it was neither large nor small. While the doors, shutters and even the drawbridge were made of wood, the rest of Castle Rising was made of stone. The Keep and the storerooms were made of granite, as were the outer walls. The Chapel was made of fine white limestone. While the stables were made of brick and wood. The original mote was dug by her great-great-great-grandfather over a hundred years prior to her birth. Over the years, as the castle walls expanded, so did the mote.
Until she became an orphan, Pirouette’s childhood had been fairly idyllic. Although her parents never had any other children, there was no shortage of playmates at Castle Rising. Nearly everybody who worked there had children, some of whom were just the right age to play with Pirouette. Although the other children were advised by their parents to show Pirouette deference, she refused to recognize any class or caste within her circle. She loved all of her friends equally, each and every one, and she hoped that they would love her in the same way.