Launna Lightblade was a mule who lived in the hills near Aiov. Her mother was a sickly humand and her father a sickly elf, and so Launna was delicate, easily exhausted, and oft frail. But she was also very fair, and attracted many suitors who either did not know or did not care that she was a mule and could never bear them children.

Though delicate, Launna learned to use what energy she had in effective ways, spending hours each day carefully honing her skills with a blade. In that way, she would make her few blows count.

A suitor arrived from Simnel one day bearing an ornate sword. He had seen a painting of the hill beauty of Aiov and desired for his gift to win her as his wife. It was a long, thin epee, in a startlingly modern style, with a basket hilt made of fine filligreed wires.

Upon presenting it to her, the suitor-one Reih Lüm-said “A delicate blade for a delicate flower, and one that I have picked especial.”

Launna took the sword, made a few practice swings, and threw it roughly to the ground, bending it. Angered at this, Reih advanced on Launna, who danced out of the way and kicked the back of his knee. Dropped on his back, he found himself struck in the throat shortly and sharply, causing him to gasp in pain. Launna picked up the sword, which was still usable, and held it to his throat.

“If a man attacks an unarmed person in a rage at the first setback, is it not he who is delicate?” she asked. “Begone from my sight, and leave this blade as recompense for the trouble you’ve caused.”

Launna never married, and despite her weak constitution, she rose to become constable with that selfsame blade, repaired and reinforced, by her side.

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