Sarah Gizka is the impromptu mascot of Song of Swords, and a prominent character within its campaign setting. Once a slave, she won her freedom (violently) and sought her own fortune with extreme success. At current-time in the setting she is in her late 20s, and is widely considered to be the greatest warrior in the world, competing with other high-level fighters like King, Jerzy Korczac, and Kal'Ceska.
Physical Description[edit | edit source]
Gizka was very small when she was a teenager (under 5 feet tall) but has grown significantly, perhaps as a result of a better diet. Black haired, with green eyes and brown skin, Gizka is described as being pretty, but lacking the discipline and the figure to be a true beauty. She dresses like a man most of the time, and many who do not know her assume her to be a boyish youth. She wears a green ring in her right ear, and has a sword-scar across her nose that she is terribly self-conscious of because she thinks it ruined her good looks. Gizka is very strong for a woman of her size, but is still only about as strong as the average man. She compensates for her lack of physical strength with nearly superhuman discipline and training.
Personality[edit | edit source]
Gizka is quiet and commanding. She doesn't make bombastic threats or warnings, and she prefers action to contemplation. She is a "hands on" personality who leads from the front and takes care of her own. She is said to be a competent orator, good at giving speeches to crowds.
Gizka has obviously had a very traumatic past, and this has made her extremely vengeful--she apparently spent years plotting her revenge on the Black Brotherhood, a rival mercenary group who defeated her once, and eventually captured and impaled most or all of them.
She has suffered defeat before, in large battles as well as in duels, and as a result she is neither overconfident nor foolhardy. It is in her nature to stack the odds as far as possible in her favor before engaging, because early defeats instilled in her mind the idea that she is always at a disadvantage. In many ways, this is one of her greatest strengths.
Leadership Style[edit | edit source]
Gizka is a good officer who suffers alongside her men. She eats the same terrible food as they do, sleeps on her horse, and doesn't issue orders she wouldn't follow. Her soldiers respect her greatly, and obey her orders to the death. She prefers to lead from the front, or near the front, communicating her orders to the rest of the troops using a pair of whistles. The Gizka Company's exceptional performance may be in part due to this style of command.
Gizka is known to be a very cautious woman outside of her sphere of influence, but within her inner circle (the Gizka Company itself) she is supposedly a different person.
This is unusual, because almost all of the officers of her old unit have good reason to hate her. Each was the leader of a gang or a mercenary unit of their own before being crushed and rolled into the Company. Here are two (or... More than two, but still two) who are worth mentioning.
Lincko Naguud[edit | edit source]
Lincko Naguud was the captain of the Dead Men, a group of bandits whose initiation was to be ritually lifted off the ground by a noose around the neck, and live. Lincko was hanged quite publicly for his (horrific, unmentionable) crimes, but vanished from the gibbets, and returned with a new gang to destroy the town that had hung him. Gizka caught him and his men in Galli, crushed them, and forcibly inducted the survivors into the unit. Lincko is a famously good shot, and carries around an assortment of firearms. He and the remnants of his gang generally handle Gizka's personal security, and he could be considered her second in command.
The Macross Sisters[edit | edit source]
The Macross sisters were the leaders of a small gang in Taphonomy Bay before Gizka caught them. The sisters are all identical, and to this day nobody is quite sure how many of them there actually are, or how many aliases each of them has. Gizka saved them from a firing squad in return for their service.
Names thrown around include Smoke, Sleet, Soot and Shale. Gizka refers to them collectively as "Macross," and treats them like one person.
Others[edit | edit source]
The rest are generally small-fry who were absorbed out of convenience. Think Corkus from Berserk. Yet however much they may have reason to hate Gizka, they never seen to betray her. Once you have the brand, it seems like you're in the company for life. Many believe this to be magic, but both sorcerers and pyromancers agree that it does not seem to be.
Fighting Style[edit | edit source]
Gizka has a lot of experience in various weaponry, but she's a sword girl at heart. She's used rapiers, arming swords, sideswords, sabers, messers, even cleavers before. Most people associate her with the rapier because of her time as a teacher in the Metzger School, and the treatise she set down while there.
These days she typically fights with a rapier or a sidesword. When she uses the latter, she often holds the sheath to the sword in her off-hand, and uses it to parry with. This has led to the popular depiction of her in Dacian woodprinting carrying a sheathed sword in hand rather than on a belt. Many young toughs in Taphonomy Bay try to emulate this, and it has become symbolic of support for the Federalists.
She's certainly capable of weaving around blows, and she'll do it if she has to, but her prodigious talent is less due to her acrobatics skill, and more in that she is very skilled in reading and acting "in time" with her opponent, and she has no hesitation. Parries reward her style more than voiding because of this, so she prefers to have a parrying tool. Because she despises daggers in general, she prefers to use the scabbard to her sword.
Background[edit | edit source]
Gizka was born in Dace, a slave and the child of slaves. She was captured at an early age along with her family by raiders from the Infinite Steppe. While imprisoned, she may have murdered her younger brother over a piece of bread. She was made to fight dogs for the entertainment of her captors, and learned to fight from an early age. She eventually escaped, and armed with an intimate knowledge of murder she came West to seek her fortune. At some point, she drew the ire of an individual called "King", who relentlessly pursues her, probably with murderous intent.
In the depths of the Alber river, where she sank to her certain death, bleeding from her wounds, cold water flooding her lungs, Sarah mouthed a word. There was no air left to pass over her lips.
Gizka was pulled ashore in a net, twenty miles downstream, in a nameless fishing village. She survived her wounds, and left without a word. Less than a year later, she founded the Tied Rats, her first company of mercenaries.
Now an adult, she is the head of "The Gizka Company," a mercenary unit of great renown. She is also a political force in her now-freed homeland of Dace, where she advocates for greater unity and a reduction in provincial autonomy, opposite her rival Joakim Mizzick.
Trivia[edit | edit source]
-Gizka is frequently associated with donkeys. Her surname supposedly means "Useless-Horse" (donkey) in Dacian, and there are repeated references to this in the lore and in non-canonical statements made by the developers. Donkeys are very common beasts of burden in many parts of the world, and also play a significant role in Abrahamic Mythology. One of the beta documents of Song of Swords also contained (apparently by accident) a portion of the G.K. Chesterton poem "The Donkey."
-Gizka suffers from terrible headaches, but only while reclining. This has led to her habit of sleeping sitting up, preferably on a horse. This has led to her men joking that she is a virgin, because she is afraid to sleep in a bed alone, much less with anyone else.
-Gizka is reportedly addicted to citrus fruits, but tries to keep this a secret. Why this is is unclear, but likely cultural.