It was all Master Dolramar’s fault, him and his insistence that polearms were the only good weapon for a woman. Polearms: a naginata, a glaive, or at worst a spear. A civilized and elegant weapon that maximized reach and negated the advantages of a taller and stronger opponent. Not a sword, never a knife, no, never. No matter that I could have been eating bone dust and tiger’s gall and could easily have doubled both my strength and endurance; no matter that if I was to be trained like a soldier I might as well try to be as strong as one, no, never. It might have endangered my womanly attributes. (“You’ll thank us for them later, girl!” Pfwah.)
It was later now, they were coming and that beast was with them–I could see the bushes shaking along the path–and all I had for a weapon was a branch I’d ripped off a tree.