Tarma shena Tale'sedrin is the sole survivor of the slaughter of her entire clan. After being gang-raped and strangled she is left for dead. Fleeing to the neighboring Clan Liha'irden, she clings to life and sanity by harboring her desire for revenge. However by the traditions of the clans she can only seek revenge by offering her service to the fourfold Shin'a'in Goddess, becoming Kal'enedral. Her sacrifice, which includes a pledge of celibacy for life and service to all the Shin'a'in clans, is accepted by the Warrior aspect of the Goddess becoming Kal'enedral. This is told in the song Wind's Four Quarters on the album Oathbound. She is trained in sword skill by spirit warriors, becoming adept enough to face the brigands who slew the members of her clan. However they are many and she is only one. One of her teachers cautions her to accept aid when it is offered.
The story of her meeting with the mage Kethry, is told in "Sword Sworn," originally published in Marion Zimmer Bradley's anthology Sword and Sorceress III and later in Mercedes Lackey's anthology Oathblood. After taking her revenge she and Kethry swear blood-oath becoming clansibs. As part of that bonding Kethry agrees to help Tarma restore the Clan Tale'sedrin and Kethry teases that she will become just a "Shin'a'in broodmare." However Tarma assures her that the Shin'a'in value their horses very highly.
Kethry leads Tarma into the Pelagir Forest after deciding that she needs a familiar. The kyree Warrl answers Kethry's call but instead of bonding to Kethry he chooses to bond with Tarma. Tarma, Kethry and Warrl become mercenaries eventually joining the Sunhawks commanded by Captain Idra. Idra was a princess of Rethwellan who chose to leave her privileged life and become a mercenary.Her innate skill and early training led her to rise through the ranks to become captain of the Sunhawks and beloved by her followers. After Idra's death at the hand of her traitorous brother Raschar, Tarma, Warrl and Kethry as well as the Sunhawks are key to the coup that places Idra's other brother, Prince Stefansen, on the throne of Rethwellan. During the coup they meet Prince Roald of Valdemar. Tarma comes to trust Roald after she prays to her Goddess and it is revealed to her that he, as well as all the Heralds of Valdemar, are chosen by Companions who are guardian spirits. As a reward for their service Tarma and her clan sister are given lands and a manor house with which to found the school that is their dream. There Tarma teaches her fighting and tactical skills while Kethry teaches magery. Tarma gets her wish to restore her clan when Kethry falls in love and marries the former Rethwellan archivist Jadrek bearing numerous children. The children are given the choice to join the Shin'a'in, which many of them do, becoming the seed of the re-born Clan of Tale'sedrin.