Eghana (Draconian for "hunger") Hedynn was the first female Captain of the Guards of Voldar (631 b.S.-626 b.S.). She was the daughter of the Helcrani mercenary Turgeon Hedynn and Fehvan Branoch; a member of the house of Branoch (Voldarian Ruling Council) and Councillor. A well-trained guard, and determined headstrong girl, Eghana was constantly trying to defy what was said of her. From birth to death she was a fiery girl whose strength should not be doubted because of her sex.
Picture description. Eghana Hedynn, the first female Captain of the Guards of Voldar. Image drawn by Faugar.
Biography. In 668 b.S. Helcrani mercenaries were dispatched to Voldar as a condition of a peace treaty. Turgeon trained Chalon Branoch (brother of Fehvan) in calvary riding, but a practice went awry when Chalon charged at at target that didn't give as it should, knocking Chalon off his horse. Chalon landed on his head and died shortly after in 664.
Turgeon went to the House of Branoch to tell them of the accident, and Fehvan
tried to console Turgeon as he waited for her father Anvir Branoch to return
from a council meeting. Turgeon and Fehvan met quite often thereafter, under the
guise of consolation. They wound up being wed just two
years after, to only a small protest by high ranked elders.
Eghana was born to the couple just a year after marriage, a rather large baby. Her mother had struggled for 4 days in labor with her, and even after Eghana's birth, her mother was bedridden for a week. This began a strong bond between Eghana and Turgeon. Through the first ten years of Eghana's life, she was a tomboy, Turgeon teaching her the finer parts of swordplay and horseriding. Eghana thoroughly enjoyed hunting, though she preferred to capture small animals and kill them in her own mock-hunt in the garden with a sharp stick. Turgeon assumed it to be a phase she would pass. Fehvan protested only a little to Eghana's fondness for the rougher side of life, knowing that eventually Eghana will want to know the feminine side of life. A very interesting, representatic incident is reported in a biography about Eghana's youth, which we'd like to quote here:
Eghana was 12, her mother decided to put an end to her daughter's tomboy
lifestyle. She put her in a dress and took her to the
Council on one of the rare
open-court days, hoping the pomp, pride and beauty would entertain her. It
didn't. Whe the recess came, Eghana told her mother that she was bored and hated
dresses. Fehvan became upset with each negative word Eghana said, and at one
point, she struck Eghana. Eghana cried out in shock, but did not tear up.
That was Eghana's turning
point. She became headstrong and stubborn, following her father near everywhere
to learn what she could. Her mother became more and more upset at this turn of
events, but every time she tried to drag Eghana to the Courts, Eghana found a
way of sneaking out.
Her father was amazed at Eghana's dedication. She would train harder every day. She would constantly ask him questions. She would train long past darkfall in the garden behind their house. She began to ask questions that even Turgeon didn't know the answers to, and that was when he realized that his daughter was destined to pass him in skill.
Late at night, when her parents were asleep, Eghana had a habit of sneaking out. She would leave her home, and wander the streets of Voldar. Eghana would find herself a street urchin of any sort and kill them. This became a terrible habit of Eghana's; at least 8-10 times a month. Sometime she came back beaten up herself. She would blame it on her folly in training. Not even her father connected the gruesome murders with his daughter.
When she was 18, Turgeon took Eghana to the Voldarian Guard, behind Fehvan's back. With the pulling of some strings, as well as his daughter's talent, Eghana was taken among the training ranks. They laughed behind her back, however. That only made Eghana work harder. She stayed at the barracks, and trained long past dusk, and sneaking out at night. Rumors abounded that she was an animal "without her armor on", as barrack-men used to recount stories of the beatings they would get during a dalliance with Eghana.
Eghana was 21 when the Captain of the Guards died of old age. There began a search for a new Captain. She still wasn't a part of the Guard, so she only heard whispers of what was going on. "The Captain's Last..." "...Another one failed..." "...who do you think's next!?" that was all Eghana really heard. During this time, the troop she was in moved up into the guard, but for some reason she was kept behind. She knew it was because she was a woman, though they never gave her a formal answer.
They finally found a new Captain of the Guards named Gulgun, a bumbling fellow who barely passed the exam. It took Eghana another 4 years for her to move into the Guards, and only because of a push from her father. In fact, she had been more knowledgeable than some of her drill sergeants. But she was excited nevertheless when she made it. They had to make her special armor due to her stature and form, both her ruthlessness at her night-hunts increased.
When Eghana was 29, the Captain of the Guards was killed; on a drunken romp through the forest he fell from his horse and was dragged for 5 strals. A new search was on, and the Council was far more careful in who they selected. Eghana wound up on the list, though she was near the bottom. She wondered if her mother had a hand in it, who was placed in the council when her grandfather died; just after she entered the Guard. Some men failed, others declined. Finally Eghana got the chance.
Many of the councilmembers tried their hardest to oust her from the group, but her persistence and tenacity allowed her to hang on. It finally came down to Eghana and another man. The man was Duldar, a man she had trained in calvary in her days at the barracks. It was also a man whose ribs and nose she had broken during a dalliance. Duldar declined the last test, shaking in his boots as he stared into Eghana's eyes. At the age of 30, Eghana was given the title of Captain of the Guards.
Her parents were quite proud. And though she was the Captain, she had a hard time of getting respect. She was a woman, and many townsfolk believed that she was not worthy of the post. That did not bother Eghana. Her face became more recognizable, and it became harder to hide her night-hunts from the people. When she was finally caught, she claimed it was her way of cleaning up the streets. Eghana was not ashamed of her actions, but the Voldar Guards quickly cleaned up the incident.
A war was bristling to come to a head in 628 b.S. between Erpheronia and Centorauria, and Eghana was quick to prepare her troops for the inevitable. She enlisted her own father to re-teach the troops, and demanded that the council be prepared for the losses that were sure to come; including a compendium of Captains-to-be, should she lose her life in the war to come. When war came a year later she did not hesitate on mounting her horse and plunging into battle. It seemed that Eghana foretold the future, for 7 months into the war she lost her life when she was dismounted by an Centoraurian swordsman and run through. "I was too good to be refused..." were Eghana's last words.
Importance. Eghana opened up most of the military services for women. Her pride in herself and her will to succeed has inspired by many to do what they want, and not what they must.
Though many women do not enlist, the opportunity is there. Eghanae also freed the women of Voldar from having to put up with ignorant men, as violence is a powerful tool; sometimes that's all men understand (or so she is quoted...).
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