Once we were called Xian. We were the apprentice of the Serpent Herself, one of the greatest sorceresses to transcend the mortal flesh, becoming so much more than simply immortal. Only She went too far, transforming into a creature so vast and hungry, She threatened to swallow everything and everyone. We did what we had to to stop her. We seized the power with which we could stop Her, become Serena Jasior, Imperatriz over an alliance of fractious and prickly queendoms. We convinced the stubborn and intractible Zenobia of Kalanthia and others like her to support us. Zenobia turned out to be surprisingly useful. How foolish of our former master of have antagonized her before squeezing her dry of her secrets. Well, we shall accomplish that instead. After all, it is the duty of every dedicated student to surpass her teacher. We’ve already taken steps towards that in defeating Nevalyn and forging alliances. Nor do we intend to stop there. The Serpent lives on through Her brood, Her blood. We’ve already adopted Stephen as a Jasior, made him our brother. Now we have the chains Zenobia gave us, chains which are the key to enslaving all the golden-haired Serpent-Born descendants of Nevalyn. They bind those human-looking creatures’ power, allowing us to use Nevalyn’s power ourselves. We shall hunt them all down with the assistance of the Order of the Dragon, who wish to regain the fragment of the Serpent Nevalyn broke off and made part of Herself. We shall get the better of our former former master along with Zenobia, through the very bindings she gifted us with. Only we can’t bring ourselves to put them on Stephen, our little brother. Call it a moment of foolish sentimentality, but we shall use gentler means to bind and hold him. Stephen is offering himself as a prize, willing to give his hand in marriage to whomever can beat him in the magic circle. We have agreed to this in A Suitor’s Challenge. We’re well aware that only another Serpent-Born can defeat him. We’ll make certain the slave collar is around the victor’s neck when she does so.