Once I went by the name of Magdalene. Once I was an advisor to queens and a friend to sorcerers as we struggled against the Shadow of the Serpent. Not anymore. I am no longer sure of my former self, her gender, the Order of the Dragon, and the course of action I dedicated myself to long ago. I encouraged Daeric Nevalyn in his rebellion against his mother, his liason with Padraig. I persuaded Xian, Nevalyn’s ambitious protege to plot against her master. Daeric and Padraig fell in love, bringing their powers together with mine to block the Serpent. Xian united the fractious queendoms, including the power-hungry Zenobia of Kalanthia against Nevalyn. We succeeded in banishing our enemy, locking her in a mystical prison or so we thought. Nevalyn had a way of returning. She always had a way of returning. It’s frightening how much Kyra looks like Nevalyn. Ever as a child, the likeness was clear, a likeness more than skin deep. A fragment of Nevalyn’s power, of her consciousness lived on in the little girl. Yet there was so much more to Kyra than just being Serpent-Born. She was kind, impulsive in her need to help others. There was a potential for so much good in this child. The same was true for Stefan, the other Serpent-Born I ended up caring for. Stefan was so like Daeric. I guessed that Daeryth, Daeric’s twin did not die without issue. Both of them ended up as foundlings at the Dragon shrine I taught at. Only Stefan disappeared. The Sister of the shrine grieved, only to say that children such as these often led short lives. There was no attempt to find him. I would have done something, only the shrine was raided by paladins of the Order of the Dragon not long after Stefan went missing. Being golden-haired marked Kyra as Serpent-Born which made her the property of the Imperatrix. The little girl was taken away with a slave collar designed especially by Zenobia’s artisans. I tried to stop them, but these Dragons were ready for my resistance. I barely avoided getting collared myself, managing to escape, yet failing to take Kyra with me. Not that I was about to leave her in Xian, now Imperatrix Serena Jasior’s hands. I contacted an old ally of mine, Peregrine. With her help, we managed to free Kyra from the Dragons. Kyra and I have lived in the shadows since. Only Kyra decided to step out of them when she saw Prince Stephen Jasior fighting a duel in the ring against a hapless enchantress who would win his hand in marriage. All part of A Suitor’s Challenge, which Kyra has decided to take on, especially when she recognized the prince as our lost Stefan. Now we’re up to our ears in intrigue. I dislike what I’ve seen of the Order of the Dragon which I helped form, the direction it is going in. Its temples are too rich, its members are corrupt, and more willing to enslave or force anyone with enough magic to serve them. They’re becoming as bad as the Serpent herself. Not to mention Xian and Zenobia have let power go to their heads. It may be time to interfere in the world again, to contact old allies, and to do something about the current state of Ouroborous. The Dragon help us all if we’re forced to act.