One of the pre-eminent scholars on the history of the Kidegian Empire in Kema.
The young woman stood alone in the ruins of the ancient capital. Somewhere down below her, in the new capital, her parents slept, unaware that their daughter had slipped out of the house again. Sera loved to explore the ruins and had already received several beatings because of it. But she couldn’t help herself. She could feel the ghosts of the past, all the lives lost to the plagues, all the loves, all the fears, all of it washed past her as she stood amongst the rubble. The desire to know this ancient city was almost more than she could bear.
She moved silently through the rubble, picking her way through long-abandoned streets, constantly stopping to listen for movement that might betray a predator. She finally achieved her goal, one of the few buildings still reaching higher than a man’s head. She knew that there was nothing left of value in the buildings; she just liked to sit on the roof of the structure and look out over the plains of scorched and busted rubble. She clambered up the caved-in wall, her young legs propelled by nervous energy. As she reached the top, a black shape hurtled past her. Startled, she screamed and jerked away. One of the stones shifted under her feet, throwing her off balance. Suddenly she was in open space, stars gleaming high above, then a sharp, agonizing pain in her back, then darkness.