The Widow Harun
Queen Regent of Ulgarth and Princess of the Shaaran Lion Tribe, Wife of Mongke
Artusas is a short but beautiful Shaaran woman who often goes veiled in public. She has the body and grace of a warrior and is never found without her trademark curved blade.
Artusas was born a high-ranking woman of the Shaaran Lion tribe and became a powerful person when she was married to Mongke, Chief of the Hyena tribe. Their marriage was childless, however, so the eventual Khan of All Shaarans would be Yakub, son of Mongke‘s cousin Arigh Boke. Frustrated, the ambitious Mongke took a second wife, Shatila of Ulgarth, with whom he fathered Drasna, the next King of that land. Artusas was now the Queen Regent of Ulgarth and the wife of one of The Nine Noyan, but her fortunes couldn’t disguise the bitterness she still held over her lack of children. These feelings eventually turned to hatred for Anawat, Arigh Boke‘s wife and a high-ranking woman of the once-rival Ankheg tribe, whom she despised for the rest of her days. In 1427 she saw a chance to embarrass her rival and advance her husband’s fortunes in the power struggles within The Golden Family by entering the final race of the horse fair at Shaarmid, where she and Anawat would compete head to head in adjacent lanes. The wagers were steep and the race almost a blowout, but though Artusas and her Dambraai Drow’s Bane held a commanding lead for most of the track, West Wind, the Lhesperan ridden by Anawat, pulled ahead in the final length, defeated Artusas and even managed to place. This has dampened the conflict between the two women and for the moment forestalled a more direct confrontation between their branches of the family, but the ill feelings are not gone.
Artusas never met Llewellyn or the two Raptorans, who were reluctant to investigate her mount after being told many times that a member of The Golden Family was above reproach in any question of race-fixing.