by Valley Fey/Pinprick
originally published at 04:27AM on Monday, May 26, 2008

Alexandru and Doina decided to present their infant daughter to the villagers in two months time, when she had a slightly better chance of surviving in Pannonia. Alex sent messengers to King Alaric, and to many other ruling families throughout the region. However, Doina begged him, for the sake of their child’s life, to refuse to send word to one noble family, the Oparas.

The Oparas were quite regal, but many stories circled the family- none of them good. The village that they controlled was farther to the east, and their people lived in constant fear, though of what, no other Gepid family knew. Doina’s family had battled the Oparas many generations ago- when they had lived much farther north, and had refused them civility ever since.

Alex consented, telling himself it would be wrong to disturb a family so far away with an invitation, as it was only a daughter. If a son had been born, it would be another matter, but that was not the case. Families responded quickly, and a monumental feast was planned.