It’s the greatest alliance ever formed. The Commander of the Blood and the Commander of Death. People try to overthrow them occasionally, to claim the vaunted spot atop the flaming tower for themselves. Azgeda is the first, but by no means the last.
From time to time a clan gets restless, unhappy with the coalition. Unhappy to be one of thirteen, thinking that the time has come for their people to be the first among equals.
If they raise an army it is the Heda they must contend with. She rides at the head of her army, her loyal lieutenants at her side. The Commander of the Blood fights more fiercely than a hundred warriors. She slays the fiercest armies of any clan that dares to rise against her personally; riding into battle in war paint, riding out painted with their blood. Every warrior who faces her in battle thinks that they will be the one to shed her blood. They are wrong.
She is Night and Blood and War. Loyal and fierce. The heart of her people. With blood as black as night and the spirit of all the commanders before her. Woe be unto any who threaten those who she holds dear. None have ever survived.
If they stage a coup it is the Wanheda they must face. She sits atop the capital city ruling from the shadows with a silver tongue and an iron will. The Commander of Death sees right into people’s souls and seems to know their intentions before they do. She whispers ideas into their heads and it is only the precious few who know who the voice belongs to. Ambassadors and assassins alike think that they can best her in the single combat of the Heda’s court. They are wrong.
She is Life and Death and Beauty. Strong and cruel. The princess who fell from the sky and became queen of all she surveyed. She is loved and feared and those who cross her wish for the mercy of the Heda’s blade.
Every clan who rises against them soon comes to see the error of their ways. Their armies are cut down in the field and their schemes and plots are betrayed and they come to appreciate their place in the Heda’s coalition. Their leaders are always allowed to live. The Commanders are merciful.
And peace it does bring. The Great Commanders bring with them an age of peace and prosperity. They rule over the thirteen clans with wisdom and compassion and strength.
For many years to come people tell tales of their love and how it ended the reign of the mountain and united the warring clans with the Sky People, forging a lasting alliance. All young warriors wish to be as fierce as Heda and as cunning as Wanheda, for love as strong and true as theirs.
Eventually they fade into legend. The mythological heroes of the old world. There are other stories that surround them, stories of companions: the wild woman who is not of the sky or the earth, cutting down all who stand in her way with a poison sword, the hero who trails fire in her wake and bears tragedy on her back, the loyal friend and betrayer who nearly destroys his people. But these and many more are known only to the few who wonder if there’s more to the old story of how the love between Death and Night brought a thousand years of peace.