Archmage Zykora is one of the highest ranking members of the Arcane Directorium. Unlike most of her colleagues she detests politics and is mostly occupied with her research. This attitude (of course) did her no favors and she would have been completely ignored within the Directorium, if not for her unparalleled talent in the magical arts.
As it turns out, word of her vast knowledge has reached the Emperor himself, who decided to ignore (or perhaps preferred) Zykora's apolitical attitude when choosing a mentor for his daughter, Princess Septima. What followed was predictable: Zykora was granted the title of Archmage, and suddenly she was no longer shunned by her peers. Even though she has direct access to the Emperor's family she never used her connections for personal gain. This is likely the reason Septima chose to stay with her even after her apprenticeship ended.
Zykora specializes in the nature of planes and the magic of extraplanar travel. This field has long been ignored in the Directorium, but there was a great spike in interest in the last few years. It is rumored that Zykora has discovered something comparable to the Edicts in significance.
It turned out that Zykora discovered a yet unknown, shielded plane of existence. Using an Edict she broke this barrier and sent several expeditions to this plane which returned with crystals infused with great magical powers. She did not know that this plane was the prison of the Sorrow, which she (inadvertently) set loose. Although initially she did manage to contain the Sorrow, the arrival of The Faultless Arrow allowed her to invade the pocket dimension where Zykora's laboratory was. She tried to stop the Sorrow by hastily creating an Edict, but the creature proved to be too powerful and it consumed her.