Alama, Pauline J.: "Raven-Wings on the Snow" A dark variation on Andersen's "The Wild Swans", providing a vile motive for the king's desire for a daughter.
Combs, Jan: The bardic narrator and her juggler partner borrow "Kendat's Ax", the town relic, to deal with a none-too-bright ogre. (A good archer would have worked just as well.)
Corwin, Richard: "The Glass Sword" continues Corwin's storyline from S&S #4 and _Spells of Wonder_. Kali has asked a boon: a mortal lifetime before she must return to Nirvana to weave the spell that in time will end the new age now dawning.
Dougherty-Carthum, Kati: Queen Dylas' closest friend has tried to teach her to think straight under pressure (so summarized because the specifics of self-defense obviously aren't the title's "Lessons Learned"). Capture by bandits puts Dylas to the test.
Edghill, India: "Tiger's Eye" Ratrichaya has been imprisoned to serve as her brother's Pavilion witch, in this alternate India in the time of Alexander's attempted conquest.
Edghill, Rosemary: "Little Rogue Riding Hood" grew into the novel _The Warslayer_.
Heald, Denise Lopes: The narrator, unable to master her father's power stones to help in his war against the magickers, became a thief to seek "The Needed Stone" from their very fortress.
Heydt, Dorothy J.: Like Linville's "Light", "In the Sacred Places of the Earth" concerns a woman seeking to retrieve a loved one perceived as 'virtue walking' - here her husband - from death, although this story involves the Eleusinian mysteries of Greece rather than ancient Egypt, and a task for Cynthia rather than simple directions. See S&S #19 for more of Cynthia: "I have been an impious woman in my day, and done several goddesses an injury and well they deserved it." :)
Holman, Howard: "The Tower of Song", font of magic, tests candidates for the position of Royal Bard, but none have survived in over a century, and "the Darkness with its Dark Things" is coming. Sketchy world-building, real story is the unnecessarily secret nature of the test.
Johnson, Michael Chesley: King Brald suffers from a curse he can't break alone; none of "The Stone Wives" - his 31 previous brides, now part of an incomplete chess set - conceived even once within her allotted year. But Tiwa of Elaan (#32), despite her resentment of imprisonment, is also a sorceress.
Lee, Mary Soon: "The Fall of the Kingdom" had its genesis with the birth and death of children: the narrator, who nursed the White Lady (not explicitly identified as Guenevere) after her own infant son's death, and her Lady's neglect of duty after the loss of her own child at birth.
Linville, Susan Urbanek: Nekhti's elder sister Ameni was her "Light", but at 15 has been killed by a runaway cart in Abydos; Nekhti is determined to restore her to life, but doesn't know the cost. (Her journey isn't easy, but neither is it realistically difficult.)
Manison, Pete D.: "Magic Threads" Kyreen the Weaver produces magical garments for many occasions, frequently to reinforce various mental states in the wearer, from passion to confidence.
Paxson, Diana L.: "A Passage of Power" features the wisewoman Bera. Shaky start with a muddle of vision/dream and waking, not clearly relevant to the bulk of the story. Plot: Since Bera's old teacher is dying (Bera's coping) and Halvor is dead, Halvor's children by a thrall have no protection from his widow's malice.
Perkins, Gerald: "The Queen in Yellow" - Katane of the Finger Lands - faces a forced marriage to the son of a conquering mage-queen, who cast an enchantment that reflects any of Katane's own magic back at her. (Don't confuse with Robert Chambers' _The King in Yellow_.)
Schmeidler, Lucy Cohen: Gavriella won the "Sword of Peace" as part of her battle spoils: an enchanted sword that resists shedding blood, having a mind of its own.
Silverthorne, Lisa: Sauchony's the only warrior left in the temple while the other sisters are on retreat; having paid more attention to sword-wielding than prophecy, she wouldn't even have known that "Armageddon" was coming this weekend, when she's drawn temple fire duty. (Yelling to four horsemen riding up: "Wait! Apocalypse is the next village over!") :)
Smeds, Dave: "The Land of Graves" The sorceress Tecia's excavation isn't pure archaeology, but intended to restore an ancient water system and reclaim a stretch of swampland - very practical. When she's summoned to come *at once* to deal with a revenant released by a tomb robber, she does *not* charge off like a fool to deal with something that won't come out again until twilight. :) Excellent story.
Waters, Elisabeth: "Bed of Roses" (Waters also performed the final assembly on the entire anthology after MZB's death.) Rosa rejected her suitor Dathan to join the Order of the Holy City - a fighting order whose members always work in trios from the 3 faiths involved. Rosa and her superiors suspect Dathan of engineering the kidnapping of Rosa's little brother that he's offered to "help" her with for a night in her bed.
Watt-Evans, Lawrence: "Arms and the Woman" Siria is actually a camp-follower, who attached herself to the expedition against the Undead Lord since, after all, the prophecy's very clear how simple it is to send him back to the grave for another 400 years, so it shouldn't be too dangerous. But given that the Council nearly didn't send the expedition in time after too much politicking, would they have made *all* the arrangements properly?