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Saph'ala Vel'Sharen

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Appeared in chapters                 16  18       25      31            43  45     50      56 57  

Sapha'ala is one of Zala'ess Vel'Sharen's older daughters who acts as her second-in-command, as well as a mediator between the branches of the Vel'Sharen clan.

Appearance and Personality

Saph'ala believes in her mother's supremacy over the other main bloodlines of the Vel'Sharen clan, but she is patient enough to know that it will take time before Zala'ess rules the clan. Though she is more level-headed than her sister Yami'ni, she is still eager to see Zala'ess on the throne. Like Zala'ess herself, she cares for the well-being of her family, going so far as to join Snadhya'rune's cause in a desperate attempt to save what family members she could from the effects of tainting sickness. This would turn Saph'ala into a kinslayer, unfortunately, as she was forced to silence those clan members who refused to fall in line with Snadhya'rune's leadership[1].

Biography - Arc I

Saph'ala waited with Zala'ess when she was getting ready for the clans gathering she had called, while caring for a newborn child[2]. She congratulated her mother on her plans, knowing that it would bring her line that much closer to ruling the clan. However, she chastised her sister Yami'ni for impatiently asserting that this act alone would put Zala'ess in a position to become Val'Sharess.

Later, as Zala'ess became more bold and started pushing her troops into Val'Sarghress territories, her son Sota Vel'Sharen was dispatched to take and hold The Maw. While the landowners agreed with the change, the commoners did not, and Sota ultimately returned home injured and defeated. Saph'ala rushed out to meet him in the Nidraa'chal war ruins as soon as she heard what had happened.

Saph'ala enjoyed the festivities of the Moons End Festival with an elaborate dragon mask. While casually courting a commoner just outside of the Vel'Sharen towers, she discovered one of the clans guardian summons in ruin. She found the core that would normally power it to be strangely brittle.[3]

Biography - Arc II

Saph'ala waits anxiously for any news from Zala'ess.

Saphala and Shinae meet with Chrys'tel and the arriving Illhar'dro messenger Kyu'dosha. In an effort to bridge relations between the two, she elects to leave Chrys'tel and Shinae to reconnect--Saph'ala is briefed on news of the warfront in Nuqrah'shareh in the meantime. When her sister informs Saph'ala that she will be departing (for Felde to investigate Snadhya'rune), the elder sister becomes exasperated with Chrys'tel's habits.[4] She expresses that whatever Chrys intends to do, it can't be more important than assisting Zala'ess in the war against the Sarghress.

When the District War is nearing its end, the Vel'Sharen had been pushed against the wall by the Sarghress--Sarv'swati had lost the defensive battle for the Val'sharess tower. Saph'ala is now the acting leader of the clan until Zala'ess concludes her business in the Vloz'ress lands, but there is a delay that pushes the remnants into a panic.[5] Saph'ala deems the Sarghress' terms of surrender outrageous, and nearly goes into a frenzy of options to evacuate as many young Sharen as they could before the Sarghress overtake them. Meanwhile, Sun'ya is still unable to receive any word from Zala'ess. It is her father Sabrror that calls for calm, for he had a plan to buy Zala'ess the time she needs.

When Zala'ess establishes her shaky alliance with the Sarghress, her elder daughter--carrying another infant herself--is concerned for Zala'ess' change in demeanor due to the poison coursing through her body. While Saph'ala sees the method of drawing blood as unpleasant, she understands its necessity--for Dia'heira Jaal'darya, the Jaal'darya sent to test Zala'ess, had confirmed the presence of infection.[6] With this, Zala'ess orders her daughters to do what it takes to preserve the alliance, even if it means to put their mother down.

Saph'ala is further concerned when Zala'ess begins to truly break down into a madness during the meeting of clan representative.[7]

Biography - Arc III

A Liaison of the New Order

With Zala'ess establishing herself as the Empress as the city faces an uncertain future, Saph'ala served as a go-between between the different members of the Clan. Her "office" was set up in the anteroom before the former Empress's throne room--a place once marked by slaughter, now scrubbed clean.

Saph'ala greeted Chrys'tel at the foot of the stairs, and explained that she has relinquished her former managerial position to another. In fact, most of their line had relocated to the Val'Sharess Tower to serve the Empress, which concerned her younger sister. Chry'stel noticed the changes herself, and wondered if Zala'ess had intent to distance herself from the Sharen family name on the path towards a true Empress position[8]. Saph'ala then brings up the possibility of going through Snadhya'rune's merging ritual, noticing Chrys'tel's hemorrhaging problem, though her sister scowls at the idea of being in debt to their hated aunt and no longer being the same person--referring to Shinae's current unstable condition.

It is then that Saph'ala's merged state is noticed by her sister--and at the same time, one of their aunt's servants, Jaharka, emerged from the top of the stairs with scathing words about how it felt to be murdered. Saph'ala's mood suddenly shifted to an accusatory stance upon realizing that her sister was behind harassing Snadhya'rune's agents, and demanded that she stand down for her own safety[9]. Stunned at the betrayal, Chrys'tel drew her sword on her sister and the walking corpse and made a run for the elevator.

Ambushed Guards

A severely wounded Saph'ala makes a last, desperate attempt to sway Chrys'tel to her side.

Chrys'tel and several Imperial Guards joined Ariel's war effort to topple the Nidraa'chal tyranny within the Alliance, and Snadhya'rune responded in kind with several ambushes aimed at crippling their advance. Saph'ala donned Imperial Guard armor herself, but to participate in one such ambush against Chrys'tel, their brother Zuhur, and Leona[10]. As her younger sister sat bleeding out from multiple projectile wounds, the soldiers in white brought down Cahal, giving an opportunity for Saph'ala to approach. Her words chastised the Captain's move to separate from the main army, having made herself an easy target for the Nidraa'chal to eliminate. Though remorseful that her sister had to die, Saph'ala did not hesitate to aim a crossbow at Chrys'tel's head. It was at this moment, the Captain of the Guard sprung her own trap: using the blood splatter from Cahal's mortal wounds as well as her own, Chrys'tel threw acidic blood in every direction--Saph'ala being hit point blank.

In the aftermath of the "blood-splosion," Saph'ala managed to survive, albeit severely wounded. She made another attempt to sway Chrys'tel to the side of Snadhya'rune, telling the Guard Captain of Zala'ess' capitulation to the Nidraa'chal and Snadhya'rune. As a shaken Chrys'tel attempted to decide whether or not this was actually a lie, any further attempts to sway her were cut off by Leona, who finished off Saph'ala with a blow to the head from her lance. Chrys'tel was then reminded of the bitter truth that even fellow Sharen could become enemies[11].

Notable Quotes

"Have you considered going through the ritual? You know, the one that helps some tainted recover from their symptoms." --Speaking to Chrys'tel about her worsening taint sickness.

"Chrys...Zala is not on your side. Not anymore." - To Chrys'tel Vel'Sharen, attempting to reason with her after Saph'ala's assassination attempt failed.