Language: English
Sodobane - The Tears of Syrúna
Author Frythild Shairskwynn
Translator Calmeus Sárranyl (High Elven)
Sanghith Mithyré (Wood Elven - Artaburro)
Majeishi Ratsun (Wood Elven - Dragoc)
Frythild Shairskwynn (Etrandish)
Country Earldom of Etrancoast
Language Etrancoasti
Genre Romance
Published 774 AEKE (Etrancoast)
776 AEKE (Etrand)
784 AEKE (Froturn)
790 AEKE (Artaburro and Dragoc)

Sodobane - The Tears of Syrúna is an Etrancoasti Romance dramatic novel written by Frythild Shairskwynn in 773 AEKE. It is the first and last, the only romantic novel by the author - even though this work of his was a popular hit, he switched to writing historical fictional after this novel. His next novel, Waterburcht Burning would end up arousing a lot of controversy.

Plot Edit

The place is Froturn, the time is in the 3rd century AEKE, before the sodobane was invented. People attracted to their own sex are burned on the stake for the unorthodox sexuality. This has been the standard practice for over 1200 years.

In these times lives an alchemist named Syrúna Alerothi and her long-time friend Zuryan Aruth. Syrúna is not an ordinary woman, for she has no interest in men. Her interest in women and lack of interest in men is her one and only dark secret only her best friend Zuryan knows. Even though Zuryan was always a jolly man, happily singing, enjoying dancing and drinking, something seems to be deeply troubling his heart. His appetite is gone, his face is pale, no one knows what is wrong with him - not even his alchemist friend Syrúna. To make matters worse, Syrúna too is troubled by the fact that Zuryan is not as friendly to her as he used to be, despite being best friends. Determined to find out what's wrong with her best friend, she decides to approach him directly and ask him several questions. That is when she learns that Zuryan's heart is in pain: he wants to be more than just friends with Syrúna, he loves her romantically, even though he is perfectly aware that her sexual orientation doesn't allow her to return his feelings. Syrúna rebukes Zuryan - pretending not to realize that he's in love with her - and jokingly threatens him that if he won't eat and drink normally, she will beat him like a grandmother beats her grandson.

Meanwhile, a woman named Ithyla Scira approaches Syrúna, saying she has interest in her. Initially, Syrúna takes her approaches positively, even agrees to meet her in secret from time to time.

Time goes on, and Zuryan's situation only worsens. He has fallen into depression, became bedridden, outright refuses to eat. Syrúna begins to feel guilty, blaming herself for being unable to return Zuryan's affections, starting her spiral to self-hatred. Zuryan proclaims that all he wants is to be with Syrúna, nothingi else matters to him. Reluctantly, Syrúna decides that she will nurse him back to a normal health, even if it means going against her own sexuality: she unwillingly has sex with Zuryan which she doesn't enjoy, she pretends to return his feelings of love, as he is brought back to a good health again, she agrees to become his wife.

The healthy-again Zuryan is approached by Ithyla, who attempts to guilt-trip him into giving up on Syrúna. Initially, she tries to be soft and discreet, trying to convince him to "give up on a woman who will never love him back but only suffer", but as Zuryan keeps chasing her away, she becomes more persistent and prone to ad-hominem attacks, insulting Zuryan as an "entitled male pig". She also continues to harass Syrúna, who kills her by stabbing her in the neck with a knife during her final attempt to rape. After the incident, Syrúna and Zuryan finally get married.

To Zuryan, everything seems alright. He is back to perfect health, he is happily hunting again, and he is married to the love of his life. For Syrúna however, things are not right at all. She is living a life of lie, and is starting to grow depressed because of it. She feels like she's a burden on Zuryan's shoulders, she keeps asking herself "Why me? He could be much happier if he chose a healthy woman, not a sick woman like me...". Her self-hatred only grows, not realizing that she is going to end up on the same situation as her husband. More and more troubled with her heart, Syrúna confesses her "sin" - her sexual orientation - to Edarrus Vaelbor, the priest. She tells him that she genuinely wants Zuryan to be happy, and that she hates her own body - "I want to love Zuryan so badly, but I can't. I want to make him happy, but I can't.I hate my body from all my heart. My mind wants to love Zuryan, but my body wants to reject him. My body wanted to take in Ithyla, but my mind wanted to reject her so much.". Edarrus, moved by her sorrow and regret, takes pity on her and tells her "Believe in your mind. If your mind won against Ithyla, your mind can win for Zuryan too". Encouraged by the priest, a flash of fire appears in Syrúna's eyes, and she suddenly begins to smile. Inspired, she begins working immediately.

After hours of thinking and doing calculations, the idea simply flashes through her mind. She mixes the various ingredients of the would-be sodobane, while her tears of joy fall into the mixture. She finishes the potion, records the ingredients names and amounts, then drinks it and sleeps. Waking up in the morning, she feels like something is different. Her body no longer tingles at the thought of cute girls, but instead desires Zuryan's affections. The following day, she passionately makes love with Zuryan, which she enjoys from start to finish. To make the couple even happier and luckier, her potion starts to get sold, her recipe gets sold for a large sum of money to the Church, making them rich. Syrúna and Zuryan lived happily ever after.

Characters Edit

  • Syrúna Alerothi: A High Elf female alchemist, she is the the childhood friend of Zuryan. Ever since her childhood, she was different from the other girls, having no interest in boys other than the ones who were her friends, like Zuryan. Growing up, she realized that she was unconsciously giving females the same lustful look males usually give them, while still having no interest in men. Her best friend Zuryan is the only person who knows about this dark secret of hers. As events drive Syrúna into becoming Zuryan's wife, her struggle with her sexuality intensifies, driving her into depression until she makes up her mind to invent a potion to cure her "mental disease". Eventually, she succeeds, inventing the sodobane and finally becomes happy to be with Zuryan.
  • Zuryan Aruth: A Wood Elf, the son of two Wood Elven immigrants to Froturn, convert to Titanism, skilled archer and hunter, and a childhood friend of Syrúna, later on becoming the one who keeps collecting alchemical ingredients for her. Earlier on, he is struck with a combination of depression and an a disease deemed incurable, he has a strong crush on Syrúna, who decides - despite their conflicting sexual orientations - to nurture him and become his wife.
  • Ithyla Scira: A High Elven woman who - just like Syrúna - is a lesbian, but unlike Syrúna, she is not at all ashamed of it - she only hides it in public, to avoid being arrested. She tries to convince Syrúna to embrace her sexuality, and attempts to guilt-trip Zuryan into giving up on Syrúna. She also persistently tries to make sexual advances on Syrúna, eventually culminating in her attempt to rape the unwilling Syrúna, who stabs her in the neck with a knife.
  • Edarrus Vaelbor: a kind High Elven priest, he agrees to keep people's crimes secrets if they confess and regret it. He also provides spiritual help to Syrúna, inspiring her to invent the sodobane.