Sabor’s rank is Salvoan, third-in-command in the Puerian Legion. Her job is to lead swarms of Harton soldiers into the thick of battle. The philosophy was simple. Those in command help conjure strategy. To make sure it's planned well, the commanding officers will plunge into the melee alongside their men and women.
Being the daughter of the most respected Warlord of the day was difficult. Hinun paid little attention to her. Sabor saw other girls being doted over by their fathers. Mothers taught them how to cook, heal, gather roots, moss, nuts, bugs, and other essential things. But Sabor didn't want that. Instead, she was left on her own, a privileged provincial girl who had everything she wanted except the love of her father.
Boys in the morning of their lives played with wooden broadswords, learned how to fight Switch Foot, dueled in the air, and saw who could fly the best. They never wanted to play with Sabor. Their fathers, who served under Hinun, wouldn’t allow them. Girls didn’t want to either because she seemed arrogant. Sabor was a master at Switch Foot, wasn’t interested in boys, and daughter of the inventor of the most widely used weapon in the provinces, talons. Playing with dainty girls was a waste.
Sabor found herself sneaking away into Falcon’s Canyon. She flew east along the black blocks that made up the canyon and perched close to the Legion encampment. She stole views of her father training the Puerian Legion, marveled at her father’s seven disciples. He called them the Seven. She’d stolen a set of talons, wore them like a glove, and pretended her father was teaching her. She spent countless days copying their movements.
At first, talons were heavy on her hands, making her movement feel like she was under water. As she grew, so did her strength and speed. They began to feel as if they were a part of her, her energy flowed from her heart to the tips of each fingered blade. She hacked into fallen branches, increasing her striking accuracy and power. She flexed each fingered blade. The glimmer of the steel from the sun hypnotized her. She couldn’t wait to show her father.
“Sabor,” her father yelled. “Did you steal these?” Her father yanked the talons off her hands. He slapped her. Sabor flew away, crying. She hated him. Hated him for ignoring her, for not loving her. Her mother took her father’s side, stating he was under great pressure. The Tribal Wars was about to begin. A war he started that dragged all seven provinces into the nightmare.
She realized something that day. Sabor did not want to be like her mother. She didn’t want to rely on a man. She didn’t want to be relegated to cooking, healing, gathering. Bear children? Not of or her.. So Sabor enlisted in the Legion. Her father protested, but the Eldens of Puer allowed it. The Eldens governed each province with fairness. And who better to serve in the Legion than the Warlord’s daughter.
Sabor started training in the Legion that day. She bested many Harton soldiers in duels, flew faster than the strongest men, and some of the more experienced soldiers. None could keep up. Sabor became infamous in the Puerian Legion. Hinun had no choice but to promote her. Their relationship remained rough like tides off jagged shores. But he was often away commanding the dwindling Legion in the Tribal Wars, which gave her the opportunity to train at home. She had to exit the morning of her life before she could fight. And stealing a set of talons had set her back. Before Sabor could show off her combative skills, the Tribal Wars had ended on a tender truce.
Then her life changed.
Her father was murdered. Many cycles had passed before evidence proved one of his Sevens killed him. Sabor wanted to be her father’s disciple more than anything in Miasma. And she never would be. Revenge burned in her heart.