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A Hyrkanian warrior, Red Sonja lived with her family in a humble home within the Western Hyrkanian steppes. When she had just turned 17 years old, a group of cruel mercenaries killed Sonja's father, Ivor, along with her mother and two younger brothers before burning down their hut and all of its possessions. She survived,only to be raped by the mercenary captain. Answering her cry for revenge, the red goddess Scathach appeared to Sonja, and instilled in her incredible skill in the handling of swords or other weapons on the condition that she would never lay with a man unless he defeated her in fair combat.

After Sonja's encounter with the bandits who murdered her family, she began training with the sword, hiring herself out as a sellsword to those who could pay her handsomely for her abilities. During these times, she encountered Conan, though the two of them clashed in personality. It was also during these times Sonja ran into the mercenary leader who was responsible for the destruction of her old life. Alas, he was the victim of bandits on the road. Driven mad by the tortures of the bandits, and not feeling any measure of revenge by killing the helpless man, she leaves him to die on the road.

Red Sonja and Conan cross paths several times later on, but again, their personalities usually cause them to be very short-lived allies.

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