“Once, as a young nun, I walked the seeking path of the bending grass that cuts ankles. It took me to a village of the two-armed kind, there I grew to know a family, blessed with no less than eight daughters that all survived their spawning, although I later learned that it is not uncommon for their kind.

The little ones would often ask me difficult questions, before the hardening of their skulls led them to become turgid-of-thinking-but-hard-of-killing, as is the way of their kind.  One particular long winter I even endured their mental-hardening-by-a-thousand-why’s techniques, which led me down a path of spirit discovery, but I digress. Thus, often was I tested with the deepest of questions,

The youngest of the daughters, who would many years later grow up to reach that lofty height of a thousand-foes-slain ranked Star Binder dame. In a particularly close fought match she would honor me by severing one of my lesser arms and scar my face permanently in a most pleasing fashion, praise be Belindar- ah, but I digress once more.

Having been excluded from the Derby practice of her elder sisters playing nearby, she asked in the shrill voice the young two-armed ones use to scare off predators but I trained many moons to overcome, “Auntie Brauma. what is the strongest bond in the whole wide world and the void in-between and even beyond? My sisters don’t let me practice the sharpened hook blade or even the striking bat”, she may have used different words but this was her meaning, for I forget which Shivan Derby equipment was in fashion at the time. I’m fairly certain it was not the chain whip or bound bangles, but I’m meandering again.

I had to think hard on her question, and down several jars of wine to wiggle my thinking muscles. Thus loosened, I answered thusly “Know this little two-armed one: There be no bond stronger than that forged between sisters who have been joined on the battlefield of their spawning”. As soon as I had spoken, I knew this answer to be faulty, for it was incomplete and the little one grew annoyed with my failure of teaching. Her voice reaching new heights of squeeky-nagging that I had grown accustomed to, but yet found hard to bear for extended periods, “But my sisters bully me terribly, and mother says I’m too young to go to any corpse pond, let alone a battlefield! How do I grow up and be strong and toothy just like you auntie Brauma?”, as to both punctuate and mark her point, a ball struck by one of her sisters, the small and hard kind with dulled blades for practice, hit her in the back of the head. Briefly winded, but not yet angered, I had time to answer.

“Know this, little two-armed one that have yet to grow a second row of teeth: There comes a time when a girl must know when to make a stand and face her sisters, slay them and devour their hearts fully to join positive attributes. Thus will you find the strongest bond with the surviving sisters, and grow to mature size. Usually within a few hours of spawning, sometimes later. Your kind appear to take longer.”

I had succeeded, for her face lit up with understanding, and she ran off to bite her closest sister, who had foolishly turned her back.

There was much blood shed that day.”

-Brauma Bashes Brutally, Two by Thirty Six. On the Shivan Tenants of Sisterhood.