Article written by Mary H. Herbert
Linsha (B: Spring, 387 AC) was born in the Spring, the second child of Palin Majere and Usha Majere. She is about five foot eight inches tall with a supple athletic build and has fair skin with a swath of freckles over high cheekbones. Like her grandmother Tika Majere, her eyes are bright green and her hair is a dark auburn that she prefers to wear short. Her hair waves and curls around her face when it is cut short and reminds her of her grandmother, whom she sorely misses. To her chagrin, she has not inherited her father's talent to wield magic—that apparently went to her brother, Ulin Majere—but she does have his indomitable spirit, a sharp mind, and a burning desire to live up to the legacies of her family. She is stubborn, has a temper that others respect, and has a deep capacity to love. Over the years, she has picked up on the Draconic Language, and can speak some of the words.
Her choices of men have not been always wise and she does not make many friends, yet she is loyal and will fight to the death to protect those she loves. She enjoys music, tarbean tea, and prefers to live in a city. Her brother, Ulin, taught her to juggle, a skill she uses whenever she wants time to think things through. She has some mystic talents, including the ability to read the auras of other men and women, a limited skill to heal herself, and a some ability to speak to plants, animals, and the spirits of the dead (during the War of Souls she was visited several times by the spirit of a previous lover who took delight in giving her enigmatic warnings). However her greatest strength lies in her affinity for dragons. She has an empathy for dragons that is stronger and more powerful than most humans and allows her to form relationships with dragons of any size, age, and sometimes color. Since the War of Souls, she has adopted eight brass dragon wyrmlings named Fumarole, Ashfall, Smoke, Caldera, Windstone, Firestream, Sulfur, and Eight.
Linsha grew up in Solace in the embrace of her very talented and well-known family. She thrived on the stories of her famous grandparents, Tika and Caramon Majere and their friends, the Heroes of the Lance, the tales of her own parents' exploits in the Chaos War, and the selfless sacrifice of her uncles, Sturm Majere and Tanin Majere, who died in the service of the Knights of Solamnia. During her childhood she also came to know Sara Dunstan and the newly conceived Legion of Steel, which helped shape her growing concepts of honor and service. When she was eleven, her parents sent her to Goldmoon at the Citadel of Light on Schallsea Isle, to study the power of the heart, but Linsha did not have much talent for mysticism nor a deep ambition to be a mystic. For some years she had resented the fact that her brother had a remarkable ability to use sorcery while she had none, and she sought for some way to make her family proud of her. She finally talked her reluctant parents into allowing her to join the Knights of Solamnia.
At thirteen she joined the Knights of Solamnia on Sancrist Island as a squire. Although she was allowed to join on the legacy of her name, she quickly rose in the ranks on her own merits of courage, ambition, tenacity, and deep devotion to the principles of honor. By twenty she entered the Order of the Rose, becoming the first non-Solamnic woman and one of the youngest knights to attain the highly respected rank.
Shortly after she became a Rose Knight, the Solamnic Council asked her to join a clandestine circle as an undercover agent. The request did not please her, for she felt such work was demeaning to the precepts of the Order of the Rose and would give her no opportunity to live up to the expectations of her family. Torn in her own mind, she set out on a Quest of Honor to the Whitestone Glade in the hope of resolving her moral dilemma. She spent two days in prayer to the absent gods, hoping for some form of response, and on the third day she used her mystic talent to reach out to any spirits that could be present in the Glade—all to no avail. When night fell, she was exhausted and despondent. However, another young Knight, a member of the Order of the Sword, had followed her to Whitestone Glade. Filled with jealousy and resentment, he attacked Linsha and attempted to strangle her. In desperation, she grabbed a rock and struck him with it. Immediately she was filled with renewed strength. She was able to fight him off and restrain him using her skills and mystic powers. The experience settled her mind, for the rock she had picked up was a fragment of the Whitestone, which she firmly believed had been given to her hand by the magic of the Glade. The fact that the magic of the Whitestone Glade had come to her assistance gave her hope that the gods still watched over Krynn. She resolved to serve the Knights of Solamnia by whatever means the Grand Master deemed necessary.
She immediately left to join the clandestine circle in Sanction as an undercover agent under the leadership of Lady Knight Karine Thasally. Linsha took on the persona of Lynn of Gateway, a cutthroat, ally-basher, and sell-sword who loafed around Sanction's taverns and back alleys to gather information on the Legion of Steel, the Knights of Takhisis, Sanction's government, and particularly on the city's mysterious governor, Lord Hogan Bight. As she feared, she soon learned to hate the work and its secretive, seamy, less-than-honorable duties and despaired that she would never be able to accomplish anything to equal the achievements of her family. In the year 409 AC she traveled to the Valley of Crystal with a man named Lonar Hiddel for whom she had some respect and liking. In a twist of irony, he suspected she was a Knight of Takhisis and would not believe that she was a Rose Knight. He attacked her and would have killed her if her grandfather's friend, Gilthanas Kanan, had not arrived and saved her. The elf, who struggled under the madness of a vile poison, mistook her for her grandmother. He and his companion bandaged her wounds, fed her, and eventually left her to make her own way back to Sanction with a renewed desire to find some good in her assignment.
Several years later, she was rescued from a squad of Dark Knights in the Khalkist Mountains by an unusual ally, a small female owl with the ability to talk and read the good and evil in the auras of humans. The owl Varia immediately joined Linsha and became her inseparable companion, staying with her through all her trials and troubles.
With a an unshakable strength of character, Linsha stayed in Sanction for another nine years, working her way up through the lower classes of Sanction's population until she could join the City Guard. She hated living the lie of her undercover character, but at least a City Guard could do some good and was better paid than a mercenary. During that time she also developed a growing respect for Lord Bight.
In the summer of 419 AC, a ship carrying sailors dead and dying from a mysterious illness sailed into Sanction Bay. After Linsha defended Lord Bight from a fever-crazed sailor, he elevated her to a squire in the elite Governor's Guards. As soon as the circle Knights discovered Linsha's promotion, they ordered her to find a way to discover Lord Bight's secrets and to discredit him. She did not approve of the Solamnic attitudes toward the Lord Governor and felt the circle should pay more attention to his successes and spend less time scheming his removal. She had seen how deeply Lord Bight cared for Sanction and how well he governed the volatile, multi-racial city caught between the Knights of Takhisis, the Knights of Solamnia, several Dragon Overlords, and the political forces of a changing world. She did not know if the circle's orders came directly from the council at Sancrist or if the knights were working on their own agenda, and she feared the consequences of their ill-advised orders.
Meanwhile the illness began to spread through the crowded docks and streets of the waterfront, and the city council feared it had a plague on its hands. Lord Bight ordered the plague ship to be burned and went to personally supervise its destruction. As a part of his escort, Linsha met the mystic healer Mica for the first time and saved the Commander of the Guards, Ian Durne from drowning. Impressed by her courage, Lord Bight took her with him to meet with the black Overlord, Sable. During their brief journey, her respect and liking for him increased. On the other hand, her liking for the governor was balanced by a mutual physical attraction with Ian Durne. During the worst days of the plague, she worked with Mica to find a cure for the plague, had a brief passionate affair with Ian Durne, and learned that a Skull Knight assassin had infiltrated the Lord Governor's closest circle. After Mica was murdered, Linsha put the pieces together and learned the Knights of Takhisis had started the plague in the city to weaken the defenses and planned to attack the city as soon as the Skull Knight assassinated Lord Bight. Linsha reported her findings to her commander, intending to warn the circle, and was ordered to disregard the threat and stand down. The Solamnic Knights planned to allow Bight to be murdered so they could move in and take control of the city.
Furious, Linsha was forced to choose between following her orders and following her own sense of honor. She rushed to defend Lord Bight, who was immersed in his sorcery attempting to control an eruption of Mount Thunderhorn, and discovered to her bitter sorrow that the Skull Knight was Ian Durne. Sworn to their separate duties, they fought on the slopes of the volcano. Linsha was wounded and nearly died in spite of Varia's attempts to help her. They were both saved when a Bronze Dragon emerged from a cleft in the mountain and killed Commander Durne. The dragon then attacked and destroyed the fleet of dark ships that invaded Sanction Harbor. Linsha recovered in the Governor's Palace. Although Lord Bight offered her sanctuary, she refused. She had broken the lie she hated, lived up to her family's legacy of courage, and formed a lasting friendship with Lord Bight, but unfortunately the incident forced her to leave Sanction to face an inquiry before the Grand Master of the Knights of Solamnia.
After a stay in a Solamnic prison, Linsha was exonerated and cleared of the charges against her, partly on the word of Lord Bight. The increasing pressure of the Dark Knights and the Dragon Overlords, as well as the weakening of the city from the plague that devastated the population, forced Lord Bight to ask for aid. Part of the arrangement included clearing Linsha's record. However the stain of Linsha's disobedience could not be removed. A year after the incident the Council transferred Linsha south to the farthest outpost in the realm of the Solamnic influence. She became the third ranking officer in the Solamnic Circle of the Missing City on the edge of the South Courrain Ocean. She served under Sir Barron uth Morrec, a fair-minded man who knew how to get the best out of his officers, and Sir Jamis uth Remmik, a hard exacting man who disliked Linsha for her maverick reputation. Linsha settled in quickly with Varia, a new horse, and a new set of duties. She tried not to think about Lord Bight or the distance to home. During her first year, she befriended the city's Overlord, the magnificent Brass Dragon Iyesta, established ties with the Legion of Steel, and organized a spy network that kept her informed of the undercurrents that ran beneath the city's daily life. One of her friends and contacts in the Legion was the talented agent, Lanther Darthassian, a man crippled during a rescue mission in Sable's realm to free slaves and prisoners. As her second year began Linsha sensed something was not quite right in the Missing City. It was not something she could pin down and no one would listen to her, yet her mental alarms were ringing.
War of Souls
Just before the Midsummer Festival in the year 421 AC, three of Iyesta's brass companions disappeared. Iyesta, worried for their safety, paid a visit to her neighbor, Thunder, an unpleasant, untrustworthy blowhard of a blue that appeared to be building an army. She took Linsha with her. What they found caused enough concern that on the way back to the Missing City, Iyesta took a huge leap of confidence and showed Linsha the location of a nest of Brass Dragon eggs under the city laid by Purestian. She had Linsha vow that if anything happened to her and the mother dragon, the lady knight would take care of the eggs. Linsha, believing nothing would happen to either dragon, agreed. The next day the Overlord held a meeting with the city councilors, the Legion, and the Solamnic Knights. On the way back to their fortress, the Knights were caught in the huge, powerful storm that swept Ansalon. During their attempt to seek shelter, unknown assailants ambushed them.
All but Linsha were killed. She was left unconscious with a bloody knife in her hand. The city was devastated by the storm, but by morning the storm had moved on and the slaughter of the knights was discovered. Sir Remmik, now in charge of the Circle, immediately blamed Linsha for the death of the escort and charged her with the murder of Sir Morrec. He had her thrown in prison and in spite of protests from some of his knights, he ordered the entire circle into the fortress and barred the gates. Meanwhile, Varia returned to Linsha with news that a large fleet had gathered just a short distance up the coast. She feared the Missing City was about to be invaded, but she could not reach Linsha, and worse, the Overlord Iyesta was missing. Frantic to help Linsha, Varia left the Missing City and flew to Sanction to find the bronze dragon, Crucible.
While she was gone, Sir Remmik held a sham trial, and his council condemned Linsha to death and ordered her execution by hanging. Linsha's friend, Lanther, mounted a rescue and freed her from the Solamnic fortress. Instead of hiding, Linsha went to the dragon's palace to search for Iyesta. With the help of the Half-Elf captain, Mariana Calanbriar, she found Iyesta dead in the tunnels under the palace. Shortly thereafter both a fleet of Tarmak ships and a land army led by Thunder attacked the city. Thunder destroyed the Solamnic fortress, while the Brutes invaded the city. Only a few Knights survived the destruction, including Sir Remmik and Linsha's friend, Sir Hugh Bronan.
Crucible arrived during the battle, and in a fight with Thunder and the Brutes, his wings were damaged so he could not fly. Linsha and the surviving defenders escaped under the city where she discovered the dragon mother was dead and her eggs were missing. Vowing to find the eggs and kill Thunder, Linsha and Crucible decided to find the weapon that was used to kill the dragons. They discovered the Brutes had an Abyssal Lance, a black evil variation of a dragonlance that killed whatever it penetrated. They stole the lance, lured Thunder into the tunnels and killed him.
Unfortunately the Brutes were able to steal the eggs. The city fell and the defenders sought refuge in Scorpion Wadi.
For a few months the refugees from the city hid in the Scorpion Wadi and tried to survive. Crucible's wing healed enough that he felt obligated to go back to Sanction. Linsha, worried for Lord Bight, said farewell with a heavy heart but did not try to stop him. She then heard a tip that the dragon eggs had been returned to the cavern nest and she decided to try to retrieve them. Lanther went with her. They were ambushed in the labyrinth and captured by the Tarmaks. At the same time, a force of Tarmaks slipped into the Scorpion Wadi and captured or slaughtered the entire force. Only Sir Hugh, Amania, and Fellion survived by crawling into the back of a deep cleft. A small search party led by Mariana found them.
Once again Varia flew to Sanction to find Crucible, and the dragon had to chose between a city that was slipping out of his grasp and a human woman he had come to cherish. He flew to the Missing City and found Linsha, but the Brutes sprang a trap and wounded him with a piece of the Abyssal Lance. If he did not cooperate with them on their march to subdue the northern plains, their general promised he would kill Linsha and allow Crucible to die an excruciating death. Crucible agreed for the moment. A few nights later, Sir Hugh, Mariana, and a few survivors of the city's defenders rescued Linsha. The small force fled north to warn the tribes of Duntollik. The army of Brutes left the Missing City, taking their prisoners and Crucible, and marched after them intending to conquer the entire northern and central Plains of Dust and wipe out anyone who stood in their way.
Meanwhile, Linsha and her companions reached the Grandfather Tree where the tribes and clans of Duntollik had agreed to meet. She received a vision from Iyesta and was given two leaves from the sacred tree. Sir Remmik came also, bearing a message from the Akkad-Ur, the warlord of the Tarmak army. He lured Linsha out into the open to talk to her and was betrayed by the Tarmaks. The Brutes took Linsha back to their camp. Sir Remmik realized at last that he had been duped by the Tarmaks into believing in Linsha's guilt. He challenged the general to a duel and by a strange twist of luck, killed him in a fair battle. A new warlord came forward, and to Linsha's horror, she learned she too had been duped and betrayed. The man who stepped forward to take the general's place was Lanther, her friend and ally.
The Brutes finally met the combined forces of the Missing City and Duntollik in a pitched battle along the Red Rose River. Sir Remmik was killed, and Linsha was rescued during the battle by a small force of horsemen and centaurs. She found Crucible in the midst of the fighting and removed the splinter from the Lance using the two leaves from the Grandfather Tree. In the process, Crucible's human form was revealed to her so at last she knew that Lord Bight and Crucible were one and the same. Hurt, furious, and feeling betrayed on all sides, she did not flee the battle and was recaptured by Lanther, the Akkad-Dar. Taken back to the Missing City, she was given the choice of marrying Lanther and sailing to the homeland of the Brutes or going to the slave pens. Linsha felt there was nothing left for her but her vow to Iyesta to guard the eggs. She agreed to marry Lanther if he would give her the eggs for a betrothal gift. He agreed.
Lanther took Linsha, the courtesan Callista, and a shipload of slaves and tribute to Ithin'carthia to the Emperor of the Tarmak Empire. She was placed in the Akeelawasee, the section of the imperial palace reserved for the Emperor's female family members. She soon discovered that one of the daughters, Malawaitha, believed she was betrothed to Lanther and that Linsha had stolen her intended. Malawaitha was jealous and angry and made Linsha's life with the Tarmaks miserable, but it was Lanther who manipulated Linsha into challenging Malawaitha to a duel to the death.
Against her better judgment, Linsha fought Malawaitha and killed her, becoming the Akkad-Dar's chosen wife. As a reward, Lanther took Linsha to a ceremony in the lower levels of the palace where she was officially betrothed to the warlord. While in the underground cavern, she discovered the presence of a young brass dragon named Sirenfal who had been captured and tortured by the Keena priests. To her horror, she also witnessed the destruction of one of the eggs she had sworn to protect. Sick and exhausted, she made mental contact with Sirenfal and swore to help the young brass.
With the help of Callista and a servant name Afec, Linsha made plans to escape with Sirenfal before she is married to Lanther. Unfortunately the warlord moved up his plans to return to the Missing City and married her before she could escape. She drugged him that night and fled the island with Callista, Sirenfal, and a sacred book Afec stole and gave to her. The young brass flew as far as she could over the endless ocean, but she was too weak and sick to survive the journey. She died, leaving Linsha and Callista stranded. Before sharks destroyed her body, the two women were found by Crucible and Varia. Crucible and Linsha made their peace and returned to the Plains of Dust.
With the help of the Legion and a number of rescued prisoners, they stole the dragon eggs from the Tarmaks and fled into the plains. Linsha grew worried about the eggs, for they appeared to be ready to hatch yet Iyesta had told her they weren't supposed to hatch for another sixty years. Lanther and his forces pursued them, intent on revenge. Crucible took the eggs to an extinct volcano on the edge of Iyesta's realm while Linsha and her companions tried to lure the Tarmaks after them. They planned to join forces with Falaius Taneek and Wanderer and attack the Tarmak army one last time before winter struck the plains.
Lanther learned of Linsha's deception and went after the eggs instead. He found the volcano, wounded Crucible with the Abyssal Lance, and was about to steal the eggs when Linsha found him. They battled over the nest even as the forces of good and evil battled in Sanction and the gods found the world Takhisis had stolen. Linsha defeated Lanther, saved the hatching dragonets, and healed Crucible. The dragonets killed Lanther. When the battle was over, Crucible, Linsha, the dragonets, and Sir Hugh traveled to Sancrist Island and Castle uth Wistan to report to the Solamnic High Council. The council listened to Linsha's tale and decreed that she would be removed from the active lists and made a Knight in Exile. She was to continue to protect the dragonets until they were old enough to leave and to maintain her own sense of honor. She willingly agreed.
Post War of Souls
Linsha is living in Sanction with Lord Bight and the eight brass dragonets. When the wyrmlings were first born, Crucible and Linsha called them One through Eight, and when the wyrmlings were old enough, they named themselves. The lord governor returned to the city and was able to regain control of the government and the volcanoes. Linsha and Hogan Bight have married and continue their abiding friendship and passionate love. They know their relationship will not be easy as the years pass and Linsha grows older, but they also know their lives can change in a heartbeat. For now, they are content to care for the brasses and love each other and take each day as it comes.
In 425 AC, Linsha was giving chase to Eight and got trapped in during a cave-in in an abandoned tunnel near the old Temple of Luerkhisis on Mount Thunderhorn. She would have been crushed to death if Sergeant Samuals had not pushed her out of the way of the collapse. Samuals was killed during the collapse though. Linsha was saved by the combined efforts of her brass dragon children, Ashfall, Smoke, Caldera, Fumarole, Windstone, Firestream, Sulfur, and Eight.
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