The following is an excerpt from Victor Strife’s Lineal Champions of History, a book chronicling the known history of the Champions of Light and Dark, pieced together by the Vicars Salamander throughout the centuries…

Victor Strife’s Lineal Champions of History
Circa 10624-10705 Champions Era (624-705 AD)
Champion of Light #442: The Empress from China

Women have been just as likely to be crowned their generation’s Champion as men have been. The issue for the female Champions has been that virtually every society (especially advanced ones) have been patriarchal, so even with their enhanced abilities, women have found it more difficult to wield power over the masses than their male counterparts had to deal with. Many who have reached the highest heights have been subsequently lost to posterity as the fanatical movements of later generations destroyed all traces of female leadership, eradicating them from the history books. The most successful female Champions have turned this disadvantage into an asset by taking on the role of puppeteer, manipulating the men around them to achieve their aims. This allowed them to attain great power as if leading themselves, without needing to expose themselves to their opposing Champion, to say nothing of the general public and its various dangers.

And then there are those like The Empress who started out directing the men around her, only to throw caution to the wind to seize the mantle for herself.

The death in Arabia of the preceding Champion who was without an heir triggered the random leap of Championship lineage to the next born child, anywhere in the world. Born under the burgeoning Tang Dynasty in China and she would forever change that dynasty and peoples. Embracing her femininity and sexuality, The Empress wooed whomever she set her sights upon, but not simply for power or material gain, no, she enjoyed herself and extracted even more out of life than she extracted from those men. Fully embracing one’s self – acceptance and actualization – was the greatest characteristic a Champion could possess. The Empress had a birthright – a Champion’s birthright that superseded any cultural or biological birthright that was imposed upon her. By loving herself and loving life, she was able to draw any and all to her seductive assuredness. Sex brought them into her. Laid them under her. Stood them behind her, left them behind her. Yet it was the glow that followed, the glow that illuminated, led, warmed, built trust. It was her glow that allowed The Empress to claim the crown of her nation. To rule better than those who came before and after. To reform and progress. And it was the wisdom that was ruthless, when necessary, as every Champion throughout history has had to come to terms with. The Empress was the Emperor.

Interestingly, returning to the randomized geographic nature of her birth, with one Champion in Arabia and one in China, what followed was five successive generations of opposing Champions traversing across south Asia in search of their Other, extinguishing established empires and birthing new ones. Whenever a lineage ended and jumped to a random region in the world, outcomes were variable. Sometimes, there was peace and tranquility as both Champions grew up within their respective cultures, gaining power, but otherwise not upsetting the proverbial apple cart. Sometimes, the peace brought longer term ruin as dynamism ceased. Sometimes, their separation created an agitation that disrupted the status quo in ways constructive and/or destructive. Sometimes, the draw to conflict was too strong and one-or-both Champions traveled great distances in order to fulfill a destiny that was as natural to their being as flying south for the winter or constructing a hive.

To covet beauty is to create ugliness
To succumb to strength is to give birth to weakness
To birth is to create all life’s contradictions
Except for one: beginnings avert conclusions