Archos Sihala, the “Selfless.” Born to a weaver family of the former Kowi clan, Sihala was the first leader of the Kordi Nation. After Sikon the Binder conquered the Kowi and relocated them to his great city, Sihala’s aptitude for magic drew the attention of the subjugated clan leaders. The girl was rumored to be favored by the Silver God, and at only 17 years of age, became the spearhead of the rebellion that would overthrow Sikon Mase from his position as ruler. After liberating the city from the warlord’s control, she offered freedom to the clanspeople and opened the city’s gate. While several clans departed for their natal homelands, the majority had come to see the potential in a united city, if they had freedom within it. The vote amongst the remaining clan leaders was unanimous, and though she declined the title of High Chief, Sihala of Kowi became the leader of the united city, and, soon after, led her people to take the surrounding strongholds. The Kordi Nation was formed.
Sihala is remembered by the people as being a constant and comforting presence in the capital city of Dantria, even more so after the start of the Half-Century War. Her mane of cornsilk hair and piercing gray eyes, paired with her gentle demeanor, lead many to believe the Archos may capture the heart of a prince of Ivrea and unite the nations. However, despite a number of serious consorts, Sihala refused to marry and dedicated her life to the pursuit of magical discoveries and the war that began shortly after the start of her formal reign as Archos. Amongst her many magical breakthroughs, Sihala honed and developed the modern art of ritualism, including the one to seal the Flaming Gate through to the realm of Prytania. She earned her moniker for her greatest feat: sacrificing herself as the keystone of the ritual and ending the Half-Century War.
The Sealing of the Flaming Gate, 4th-6th of Thawing, Year 0.
As Thawing came to Dantria, the combined forces of the Kordi, Bari, and many displaced Abkhat burst forth from the great city, and, for the first time, they moved towards the Flaming Gate. Their goal was simple in logic but monumental in action: secure the Gate and its immediate environs. The pounding of boots and hooves on the ground shook the earth as the massive force spread out and surrounded it on all fronts. One brave division plunged fearlessly in, stemming the flow of oncoming invaders at the source. The battle raged and raged, as each group struggled to amass a front to defend. Countless times it appeared the Prytanis would breakthrough one, but through superior tactical maneuvers and sheer force of will, the fronts fought back and held their lines into the night. The Prytanis were pushed back, and four clear fronts were secured.
Before daybreak on the 5th, the heads of the five Great Houses and their leader, Sihala stood fast and ready, knowing they had but little time once the sun rose. Horns sounded throughout the city, and they knew the time had come. The army had again engaged the Prytanis forces, cleared the area, and was fighting for their lives, it was now or never. The group set off quietly, guarded by small contingents of the most elite warriors. They quickly parted ways en route to their designated locations for the ritual, knowing that they would have to sacrifice one of their precious lifestones for the good of not only the nation but the Known World. What they didn’t know at the time, was that one of them would not be returning.
As the battle wore on, the soldiers grew weary, the relentless nature of their opponents on full display. As their strength waned and the fronts began to slowly fail, a great silver light erupted from the center of the gate and suddenly… it was gone. With the disappearance of the Flaming Gate, the enemies were broken and quickly scattered to the sound of cheers and cries from those who had survived the great ordeal. The Ard Tiarnas converged on the very center of the ritual, in the shadow of the former gate, to where Archos Sihala had stood. The Archos had given everything, all her remaining life and the very flesh of her body to channel the powers of the ritual to seal the gate. In her place stood only the circlet that adorned her head, and her staff bearing its distinctive wolf face, which never left her side. The fabled Staff of Sihala was passed amongst them, each taking a turn to say a short eulogy in her honor, after which they emerged and held the staff up to the surviving troops as the symbol of the great sacrifice made to achieve their victory.
Many other heroic names emerged from the battles, tales of valor, and legendary deeds that still live on to this day, but many did not survive, many saw their final days holding back the final onslaught and now look down upon the nation from the stars above, happy to know that the gate was gone and peace could come again.