Name: Ozena Lyn
Which book/world do you live in?
I live in Erana, as the humans call it. My home was Szendro, until it was destroyed by slavers – that’s in the Shimmering Forest.
The books I am in are called The Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles, and The Shining Citadel.
Tell us about yourself: (Name, race/species, etc.)
I’m an elf, specifically a Forest Elf; elves were once the dominant race in Erana, but since the Plague, and the rule of the Order of Witch-Hunters the elves are lower than cattle. We are not free, and have no rights. Forest Elves tend to live in more traditional way, deep in the forest, or the wilderness but even there we are not safe. The Order or the Slavers can and do come at any time, believe me.
I am a huntress and archer by profession, and now a tracker. My father was the same, before he was killed many years ago. My mother was a craftswoman. Except for my sister and some more distant kin I had no family in Szendro but, in such communities, all elves are kin. We must be, for if we do not unite we will fall.
Many of the humans treat elves very badly, as I have said we have no rights under law and so maybe treated however the human wishes. We cannot move around the land without the required papers and with the consent of our owners. I am lucky, my human is kind and gives us much freedom. But many elves are not so fortunate.
I’m an adventurer – why should I recruit you to accompany me?
I am an archer adept, and a tracker. I was my old tutor’s best student – so he said. I won’t say I never miss, but it’s rare. I’m a fair swordswoman too. These days I know about poisons, stealth, concealment and how to kill efficiently. Once I was an innocent, naive you would say. That was before the Slavers came. There was not much to threaten us – except the odd bear or wolf. We were complacent. That will never happen again.
Archos (my human) tells me we would never have found the Shining Citadel without my skills. And the journey through the mountains and forest was very arduous.
Tell us about your companions? How do they see you?
Well, I hope Olek loves me! He does get exasperated, I know that. He is far more worldly than I and a good deal older. Sometimes I don’t understand the ways of the world beyond the forest, but I’m getting better.
Lord Archos – I haven’t a clue. We live in his house so I guess he likes me. Sometimes I feel second after him in Olek’s eyes. I know who he’d choose if he had to. Although I guess Olek has served Archos for more years than I have been alive – their bond is strong. Archos is not easy to live with. He is wise but often rather arrogant and he has a terrifying temper. He’s never used it on me, but I’d not like to truly cross him. Archos has powers beyond which not many can stand and, so I have been told, mages are passionate. That passion and emotion can fuel the magic. Most mages are weak and timid. They are treated even worse than elves – magic is forbidden – on pain of death, you see.
Archos is an Archmage – and revered by my society but often I feel rather stupid around the mages – Dii and Archos. They are far better educated and have seen so much more than I have. Magic is mysterious and dangerous – I can’t hope to understand it. I think he sees me as a child or an indulgence for Olek. I am very grateful for all his kindness but he is not an easy man to be around.
Dii and I are friends, she is kind and gentle. I can’t imagine what she’s been through. Dii will take my side sometimes if Archos and I disagree.
Th’alia – who joined us on our adventure to find the Citadel – does not like me. She is rude, not just to me but to everyone. I know she suffered at the hands of the Order but so has Dii, and Dii does not behave in such a way. Th’alia is supposed to be an Eltenda – a lore keeper and historian – but she thinks the old tales and the myths of our past are foolish. She does not believe and scorns those who do. She is highborn – nobility – and I am ‘just’ a hunter from a small village and humble stock.
What’s your most heroic exploit to date?
Finding the Shining Citadel! I was so worried we would never get there, we were lost and in trouble. We could not return home. It was finding the Citadel, find a way out of the forest or die trying. I still cannot believe it. This place is both the past and the future of the elves – a great city cloaked in magic with hundreds if not thousands of years of history. There are elves – well not living ones there but one day Lor’Arthinis will be great again. It’s a secret if the Order finds out they will try and destroy it.
What’s your greatest failure?
My sister. You’ll have to read to find out more. Please don’t make me talk about it.
Where do you think you’ll be in a decade?
Dead, probably. The fight we undertake is dangerous. I doubt all of us will live. If I am still alive I’d like to be raising a family in safety and freedom. Elves have little – but we do have hope. We must, or fall entirely.
Do you have a great love? (This could be a person/trait/item)
Olek. The elven men in the village were all rather dull in comparison. But they are all dead now, or missing. Olek is so worldly; deadly and kind in equal measures. He taught me to be brave, that a woman and an elf can be equal to a man and a human. He has shown me the world beyond the Shimmering Forest, and I know I will always be safe with him. Because of Olek, and to an extent Archos, I am far more confident, far surer of my skills.
The Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles – Book I
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The Shining Citadel
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British-born Alexandra Butcher (a/k/a A. L. Butcher) is an avid reader and creator of worlds, a poet, and a dreamer, a lover of science, natural history, history, and monkeys. Her prose has been described as ‘dark and gritty’ and her poetry as evocative. She writes with a sure and sometimes erotic sensibility of things that might have been, never were, but could be.
Alex is the author of the Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles and the Tales of Erana lyrical fantasy series. She also has several short stories in the fantasy, fantasy romance genres with occasional forays into gothic style horror. With a background in politics, classical studies, ancient history and myth, her affinities bring an eclectic and unique flavour in her work, mixing reality and dream in alchemical proportions that bring her characters and worlds to life.
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