This is a serialized story. The first part can be found here
The storyteller spent most of her days wandering the wild jungles, and this is where the soldiers found her. She was plain, ordinary to look at, with thin, limp hair and thin, limp limbs. When she heard the threats against her people she agreed to go at once, and promised the distraught villagers that her journey could only breed better stories. With their work complete, the officers of the Empire loaded their ships with strange birds, strange fruiting plants, strange shells, strange precious stones, and the strange woman. Throughout her long voyage across the seas she plied herself with the strange new language of the soldiers, re-learning her trade noun by verb, so that by the time she arrived in the City of Legend, the officers understood why her people had held her as the rarest and most precious of women.