This short, short story introduces the character of Sosophra Ikananyar. The events depicted here happened long ago in Fels‘ history, well before the timeline most of the stories take place.
Her slim recurved sword was forged of a steel no smith of this world had ever seen. It severed the bones of men and beast alike with facile ease, bringing death where life once flourished. And on this day, it had administered death by the thousands. She swept aside all before her as she strode into the vast palace of stone, it standing proud with its colossal statues of heroes long gone.
An armoured warrior challenged her, his shield resplendent with the devices of his house, his sword drenched in the blood of her army. At the foot of the great stairs which led up to the throne, she awaited his charge. Her breathing steadied, her eyes narrowed. Down he came, shield before him, sword held on high, screaming oaths to his lord and god.
He swung a mighty arc with his brand, slashing the cold air in a violent surge of steel. But air is all he touched, for she deftly stepped aside, and let him pass by.
Then she gave her own answer. In a blinding flash, her sword cut through the bones and sinews of his neck, and both his head and the proud morion he wore flew through the air, landing and clattering away on the marbled floor. Seeing their champion slain, the remaining defenders threw down their arms and sued for mercy.
They got none. With a wave, she ordered her army to destroy the enemy, while she ascended the long, broad stairs to the waiting, empty throne. She did not heed the cries of the defeated, nor the exultant shouts of victory from her army.
Her eyes, red and feral, were fixed on the plain seat of dressed stone before her. She allowed herself the vestige of a smile as she sheathed her otherworldly sword. Her long back cape billowed behind her as she turned about to survey the devastation from the lofty vantage. An overwhelming sense of achievement coursed through her veins, the sensation of victory almost orgiastic.
She seated herself and crossed her legs, resting her arms on her lap. Then she smiled, her face radiant with triumph. Her army raised an enormous cheer, booming like a portent off the vast and high walls of the palace.
Her arms spread to embrace her people, and her voice carried throughout the palace. ‘I am Sosophra Ikananyar, and in the name of Maorth, Girsadea is mine.’