Agnello Cornaro was born in the western territories of the Empire in the province of Sagestra. His hometown Vitarnus flourished as it was conveniently located on the crossroads of the trade routes connecting the Empire with other states. The head of the family Cornaro was a successful merchant who moved from Vallor to the Empire as the trading taxes here are much lower, and most of the ordinary Vallor goods are considered unique in the Empire.
Agnello was the youngest and the most inquisitive of three brothers in the family. Medical books and alchemical treatises brought from Vallor attracted a young boy much more than trading.
His father nonetheless did not support his endeavors claiming that the family business is more important than personal desires and aspirations. One day, after another altercation, he took all books in their house and sold them for peanuts. Even this bad thing didn’t convince Agnello to focus on trading but led to depression and melancholy. He started going up the mountain day after day, staring at calming skies and clouds dance, and also remembering everything he read in those books.
It seemed he would never emerge from family responsibilities, but a sudden Cataclysm has disrupted the routine. The Empire was deep in internecine wars, and raging pandemics stopped trades between states, so the family eventually had to return to Vallor.
Their trading business fell apart. Heads of the Guild of Merchant remembered how Cornaro decided to leave the city-state for lesser taxes, so they didn’t intend to bring the trading patent back, and goods that he managed to pick up before leaving the Empire didn’t impress anybody in Vallor anymore.
At least Agnello could finally choose his own path. His curiosity and knowledge were enough for the Guild of Alchemists and Healers to accept the boy and make him an apprentice of the guild. The youngster even managed to impress Ambrosius by almost word by word retelling of one his treatises.
In less than a year, Agnello went from apprentice to Ambrosius’ journeyman. They didn’t pay too much, but it anyway was more than his father’s or brothers’ income as the trading patent was not returned. Older brothers became wage earners as they had no money at all, but accustomed to a merchant life guys were awful at physical work. Therefore, Agnello’s earnings were very important to the family. Though, his work in the medical field was a personal affront for the father, so he renounced his son and stated that he doesn’t want to hear anything about Agnello anymore.
Despite intense relationships with his father, it was a shock for Agnello. Without knowing where to go, he was wandering around aimlessly all day long, and when the sun started hiding behind the horizon, he climbed up the roof of one of the Alchemists Guild buildings and observed the sky gradually go dark. His contemplation was interrupted by a woman’s voice. Kelly, a young apprentice of the Diviners Guild, wondered why he stared at the skies as the stars haven’t appeared on it yet. She thought Agnello is one of the Guild students who climbed very far to observe different celestial bodies.
Their dialogue continued for the rest of the night. The youngsters discussed the skies and reasons to look at it, fate and how people can change it by their own decisions. Chatting up with the diviner, Agnello temporarily forgot his worries, and she also forgot dark prophecies and just admired the skies.
It’s been many years since they met. Agnello and Kelly survived two wars, against the Akkari and then against the Empire, and have been through pandemics and starvation caused by it. They survived a collapse of the Guild of Diviners that were accused of not predicting the wars and survived a split of the Guild of Alchemists and Healers as tense relations between them have peaked during the outbreak. Agnello eventually led the doctors who were risking their lives to save the world while alchemists lined their pockets, increasing prices for the medicine.
Despite all the difficulties, their friendship was getting stronger and stronger over the years and then turned into love. No matter what, they leaned on each other, didn’t even know that the previous troubles are nothing comparing to what was waiting for them in the future.