The novel Corr Syl the Warrior introduces an Earth on which intelligence appeared long before humans.
Corr Syl meets Allysen Olykden
Corr had met Allysen Olykden 13 years earlier on the day he had moved to the Center to begin studying with the warrior, Halbert Sims. Corr awoke early and, while waiting for Sims, decided to long-jump stepping stones. Landing after a great leap, he looked up into the eyes of the most beautiful creature he had ever seen. Stumbling and trying to avoid running into her, Corr staggered sideways into the bushes, tripped, and landed on his hands and knees.
Allysen’s soft laughter held only merriment as she stepped into the bushes and offered Corr her hand. Corr had noticed her weapons and was embarrassed. This was not how he had wanted to meet one of the district’s 19 warriors. He had read and heard stories about Wycliff’s warriors. Allysen Olykden was the famous strategist of the Human wars. She was also known to be responsible for the last death of a human soldier in the century-old conflict the preceded establishment of the border segregating human lands.
“You made quite a jump,” Allysen said. “I am Allysen Olykden. You must be Corr Syl, Halbert’s new student.” Despite her greater height and age, Allysen’s eyes held only friendly interest.
An antelope descendent, Allysen added an indefinable grace to a warrior’s balance and economy of motion. Her large dark eyes, her softly pointed, black-tipped ears, and her aura of friendly enthusiasm swallowed Corr like a huckleberry.
“Join me at noon for lunch if you can.”
Corr nodded again and managed a tardy, “Thank you” as Allysen trotted off. Corr became part of Allysen’s circle, and as his skills grew, he sometimes got to practice with her.