My name is Ah’ren.  Galician Ah’ren Cladra.  My parents and my siblings and I live on the Achernarean island of Boranth, where my parents raise oranges and verdanbutters, and the air is still clear and fresh.  Farmers do not have the status they once had on Equus, but our way of life is good, and we provide a vital service which too few people recognize these days. That reminds me, I need to pack a few oranges for my room at school.  It is only a two hour trip by air, but right now it feels very far away, and I am nervous.  I know I can come home anytime, so why the jittery stomach, I wonder?

Today I am beginning a new crys-tel journal in honor of the fact that tomorrow, I go off to Lycee!  I am not too excited about the city of Thura, with its crowded streets and poor air quality, but that is where the adventure begins, or so say my parents, and I am excited to be furthering my education in my chosen field, which is cartography.  I love maps!  I have always loved maps.  I drew out tiny farms in the sand and mapped their borders when I was little, and now perhaps I will map whole new worlds as Equus moves out into the galaxy!  This is an exciting time for Equus.  In this five year timeframe a new Dragonhorse will rise – the third in his line – and I want to be in the forefront of whatever challenges he may bring to Equus and our sister worlds of Menorquin and Amberia. It is his job – moving us out into the galaxy and improving our standing amongst the other planets – and I want to serve that purpose in some capacity.  I want to see Equus grow ever stronger.  We are a forward thinking, peaceful world, and I think we have much to offer.  I think I have much to offer, and I want to make my parents proud of me.

The priestesses of my world have always been powerful – since before the Great Equi Awakening two thousand seven hundred years ago.  They have made it possible for women to stand on equal footing with men on my planet, and for that, I am eternally grateful.  It means that I can be anything I want to be, hold any position for which I am qualified.  I plan to be the greatest cartographer Equus has ever known!  I also plan to have the best looking husband and the most beautiful children in the world – two boys and a girl, I think – or perhaps two girls and a boy.  Maybe two of each.  Maybe I can help with the mapping of keeps on the Anguine Moons, which will soon come into production!  Perhaps I will live there with my husband and my children, colonists on a beautiful new world.

Today, though, I need to reel my big plans back in and get myself organized to make the trip to Thura, the Great House of Equus, and school.  I need to make sure my brother knows exactly how to take care of my horse, and that my little sister knows my lithoped likes her milk warmed in the evening.  I will miss waking up to the big green verdanbutters hanging from their branches, the bright oranges and the gentle lapping of the sea against the sand of our keep, but I have places to go and many, many things to accomplish.  Look out, Equus, here I come!