"To Live By The Sword": For centuries, Egypt's deserts have hidden the city of Bana-Mighdall, home to legions of Amazons - not unaging pacifists like those of Themyscira, but warlike mortals who trade weapons and mercenaries for slaves to breed with. By order of the steely Queen Anahid, these tr
Appearing in "To Live By The Sword"
- Amazons of Bana-Mighdall (First full appearance)
- Col. Hadal
- Abdul (Only appearance; dies)
- Egypt (Flashback and main story)
Synopsis for "To Live By The Sword"
For centuries, Egypt's deserts have hidden the city of Bana-Mighdall, home to legions of Amazons - not unaging pacifists like those of Themyscira, but warlike mortals who trade weapons and mercenaries for slaves to breed with. By order of the steely Queen Anahid, these trades are the city's only permissible contact with the outside world; all other outsiders are deemed enemies, and kept at bay by a magical sandstorm just past the city limits.
In a single night, however, two such outsiders have beached the city: the Cheetah and Wonder Woman. The former, led through the sandstorm by the Lasso of Truth, has killed two sentries and fled with the city's holiest relic. The latter, pursuing the former, finds herself indicted of these crimes by the Queen and rushed by scores of soldiers. When her explanations are scorned as lies, Wonder Woman handily beats the soldiers back, but takes every pain to avoid killing - a fact that interests the royal aide Nehebka, who convinces the Queen to call a truce.
Relieved, Wonder Woman immediately tries to reconcile with the Queen, only to be felled by a dart coated in Bana-Mighdall's deadliest poison; her explanations have only been accepted as proof of another enemy, not proof of her own innocence. Superhuman physiology helps Wonder Woman survive the poison, but she is still left severely paralyzed, and quickly consigned to Bana-Mighdall's slave-pens. There, she finds herself at the mercy of Kadesha Banu, the city's sadistic high priestess and chief scientist.
For many days, Wonder Woman struggles to survive Kadesha Banu's brutal experiments, little suspecting that Chuma has followed her into Egypt - or that his mistress lies similarly helpless in the nearby village of Syene Kesh. Far from enjoying her new spoils, Barbara Minerva has been plagued by a searing pain - much worse than any Urzkartaga had previously inflicted - ever since her raid on Bana-Mighdall, forcing her to hide in a rundown inn and spend most of her waking hours on alcohol.
Reports of such a hard-drinking Englishwoman soon spread throughout Syene Kesh and its surrounding regions, eventually reaching "Colonel" Hadal, a local warlord and regular trading partner of Bana-Mighdall. During their next trade, he relays these reports to Queen Anahid, who mercilessly kills some of his more impudent men but nevertheless accepts his word. Chuma, meanwhile, has already rejoined his mistress at Syene Kesh, only to find his usual brews useless for restoring her; to his horror, he realizes that Urzkartaga's power itself is dying.
Fate proves kinder to Wonder Woman, who - unable to free herself from the slave-pens - desperately prays for Gaea's help. By tapping the elemental clay of Wonder Woman's body, the Earth-Goddess is able to purge its poisons; thus restored, Wonder Woman escapes and confronts a horrified Kadesha Banu, who tries to attack with a poisoned dart, only to poison herself in the struggle. Though unsettled by this, Wonder Woman stays in the city to investigate, eventually finding Nehebka dictating to Queen Anahid's scribe.
With only the slightest hesitation, Wonder Woman knocks out both Nehebka and the scribe, and pores over the dictations. Though she has little experience with Bana-Mighdall's alphabet, the few recognizable words quickly confirm her worst fears: Queen Anahid has led a war-party against Syene Kesh, her target none other than Barbara Minerva.
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