So far, we’ve covered two of the three characters who will dominate the point of view in the rewrite of Serpent in a Cage, which leaves just one more today, so I figured today would be a good day to have a little look at Auferrix Ferrore.
Auferrix is quite a bit different from her heroic counterparts in the book. When she was born, those around her already knew of her destiny and the greatness she was supposed to achieve. They knew the prophecies and knew that, one day, an Asyentai would be born along her family’s line, and so when she came in the world, she was immediately groomed to be a great leader, a great fighter, and the savior of the land of A’aefar. The community she was a part of was an underground community, having grown through the decades as the tyrannical usurpers to the throne continued to rule and they waited for the right leader to be born.
Auferrix’s parents died when she was young (though not as young as Locke and Gilferen’s), but she was kept on the war path by her parent’s good friend and ward, Kadue Urashima, a Majani from the land of Analisia. He continued to raise Auferrix and train her, as well as the others who were in support of the Ferrore line returning to power. They met in a tavern on the edge of the city, where they began to finally make their plan of attack. Auferrix was sixteen; she seemed to be at the prime of her training, and now was the time to attack.
Unfortunately, the other guys attacked first. A siege was placed on the tavern while they were meeting and despite the attempts to escape, Auferrix was captured. These events occur in the prologue of the novel. Lord Oliveire, the current usurper, wants to kill Auferrix straight away, to get rid of any threat and cut off the Ferrore line since she is the last of them, but he is swayed by his Majani advisor, a man named Tenenshe’ean. Tenenshe’ean has his own plans to manipulate Oliveire and control Auferrix so that he will wind up the one in control.
Two years pass with Auferrix locked up in the dungeons of the castle, kept in chains, barely fed and weakened. Kadue frequently slips in to offer her food and water and keep her alive, though he does not feel they are ready to mount a full rescue. The siege destroyed most of their manpower, and they had yet to build themselves up to a strong enough force. But things have come to a head: Oliveire has gone restless about having the girl still alive and Tenenshe’ean proposes a public execution, to usher A’aefar into a new era and make a display of their power. The guise of the celebration gives him a chance to try to enact his final bid for power.
Kadue knows he must act now, or it will be too late. He goes to return to the secret trove of the Ferrore treasure in the desert, which is when he runs into the Battarack clan being captured by the A’aefarian guard. Drawn by the extreme magical power coming from him, Kadue pulled Gilferen out and enlisted him to break into the castle and get Auferrix out. The plan is to just get her out, but once Auferrix is freed, she has a different idea. She had spent the last two years being starved, abused, and worse, and she is not leaving until she knows that what needs to be done is done. She has had two years to stew over this and she wants her justice. She and Gilferen make it through the castle (conveniently, the Battaracks have staged an escape in another part of the castle and so everyone is distracted with that) to the throne room, where Oliveire sit sleeping, and Auferrix slits his throat, shoves off his fat body, and sits in the throne that is rightfully hers.
From there, there is a great deal of recovery, physical and mental, and she works a bit with the Battaracks before they head to Kyano to pursue their own destinies. News of her new reign as Queen Captain (an old title that denotes both political and military power) has spread throughout Kassir, and there are some who are eager to join her, other who wish to dispose of any attempts to unify. She becomes a strong leader in growing her sphere of influence across the continent. She rules with a look back toward tradition but also a look forward toward the future and is known for her hard strength, like other Ferrore leaders of history. Eventually, she finds romance in the form of a warrior whose name I never seem to be able to settle on; they are joined in marriage and Auferrix is delighted when she gives birth to a daughter, who will challenge her one day for the throne and the title of Queen Captain, just as women did back in the glory days of A’aefar. She will happily turn the title over to her stronger daughter, revert to a soldier in her service, and die in battle, as an A’aefarian woman can only hope to.
Auferrix is the first of the Third Coming of the Asyentai, which means that, through the books, she reaches out to help, embrace, and help lead the other five as they also make their bids to power and bring Aryneth one step closer to what they believe will be a peaceful new era (naturally, it’s much more complicated than that, luuuuulz). Part of me feels a little bad because, as much as I love her, she has this moment of glory and some development in the first two books, and then she’s sort of shuttled off to the background, since her story is mostly told. But at least she kicks major ass in those two books and I suspect that, even if she is shuffled to the background, she’ll still be among everyone’s favourites.
…Man, it’s so easy for me to ramble on these character profiles.