20. Gunnhildr I
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Southern Front
In days of yore, civil war raged on amongst the races of Bozja. This bloody, protracted struggle was at long last brought to an end when the land was united under the rule of a single queen. “Gunnhildr” was the name and title given to this first monarch, and one all those who followed her would inherit.

The queens of Bozja were not chosen from families of illustrious lineage, but rather from among the shamans who communed with the ancient gods. Only those deemed most favored by the gods─as manifested in their ability to read the stars─were chosen for the role, regardless of race or heritage. Though the vast majority of the Bozjan queens were Hrothgar, this was merely a matter of mathematics, as Hrothgar boasted the largest population of the land's many races.

When ancient Allag's hubris brought the Fourth Umbral Calamity upon the land, the nobles and oracles who made up Gunnhildr's Blades─the de facto ruling party of Bozja─sought to unleash the power of the legendary Save the Queen, that their nation might be spared from catastrophe. Yet Gunnhildr herself, wounded in battle against the Allagans and deathly fearful of forever losing her humanity, resisted. Sensing opportunity, the Blades contrived a plan to protect their position by instilling a minor shrine maiden of the Votyasch tribe as queen, in hopes that the power of the blade would claim her own life. And yet this queen deemed disposable turned out to be anything but, wielding the blade to deliver salvation to her homeland and thence being transformed into a veritable god of war. Possessed of immeasurable power and a heart both pure and free, she struck profound fear into the hearts of those who had sought to manipulate her, and for this, she was assassinated by the very Blades who had orchestrated her ascendancy in the first place.

And yet, though her tragic life was brought to a premature end, her soul would live on in the form of the aether that inhabits the blade, a secret which the charlatans who betrayed her would realize all too late...