Swift Six Character Interview – Oeliana #Fantasy #ImmortalsBundle

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Tell us about yourself: (Name, race/species, etc.)

Oeliana, Nymph of the Shimmering Forest, Guardian of the Maiden’s Grove, Keeper of the Sacred Pools. I am a nymph – what you would call a forest spirit. I am born of the forest, and it cannot die whilst I live… but creatures of magic like myself are hunted and destroyed, so I live in seclusion.

I have skin the colour of polish oak, and hair as green as ivy. To you I’d look like a tall humanoid, to an elf I appear more Elvish, I can be the wind in the trees, or the bubbling springs.

Which book/world do you live in?  

My home is the Shimmering Forest, which is located in the land of Erana. Once the Great Forest covered all the land but then the gods, in their wisdom, gave life to the elves and trolls – who honour the forest, and the humans and fae – who do not. The Shimmering Forest is not live your forests, it is the Primal Forest, the Mother of All. It is magical; primal, raw and wild magic, like the days when the land was young, and the gods still walked here. My Glade is a Sacred Glade, of the old times, now the magic is fading, dying.

My story? My legend is told in The Legend of Oeliana, a short tale (I wanted more – one cannot recount a life of centuries in a few pages) and this, in turn, features in larger works, so I am told. I also feature in The Shining Citadel, when I assist the Lady of the Light, and the Lord of the Storm, with their quest to find the Shining Citadel of Lor’Arthinis. For when the Blood that Flows with Light again walks among us the magic will rise again! It will either save us or curse us to oblivion.

The Legend of Oeliana – Single https://bundlerabbit.com/products/detail/legend-oeliana

3d computer graphics of a  forest elf with lantern

How do you see your world?

My world is dying. Magic sustains it and once it was everywhere and in all things to some extent. But the races warred, and the Plague came, and the magic began to die or hide.  Some say magic is alive, and yes if the wind is alive, or fire, or water. It does not think as you or I think; it knows, it senses and it gives sentience when it chooses. It wants to live, and to replicate. It wants to flow through the land, circle in the sky and pour through the rivers. But the Plague fed on magic, sometimes corrupting, sometimes destroying after the Plague hit the Elven Kingdoms worst of all, and their civilisation fell to dust the Civilisation of Men arose on the ashes. And they blamed the elves for the Plague and the wars, and as the elves wielded the greatest magic all who were magical were hunted. The land wept, and is weeping still.

What part do you play in this tale?

I am the Keeper of the Heart of the Maiden – one of the Items of Power needed to unlock the spell on the Citadel. But in my own tale I saved an elven prince from the mighty Indis the Fierce – the lord of the forest. I see you think him a man of some sort? Humans are weak, their lives are fleeting like a summer breeze in the trees. No Indis was and is a Dire Boar and even the Great Cats walk in fear of the Tusked Lord. People, generally, are more foolish than beasts and thus this prince, Rii’Athellan – the Morning Star, took into his head to hunt the great Indis.

Perhaps I should have let Indis have his victory, I should not have interfered. This prince was handsome, and I was lonely, you see. Even a creature of magic craves a mate, and offspring.

I knew not that this prince had a wife-in-waiting and for the outcome to that dilemma you must read.

Do you consider yourself a good person/creature?

What are good and evil? That depends on one’s point of view. I do not kill without necessity, but I often do not save when I could. I have taken life and preserved it. I do not abide by the laws of men or elves, for they are not my laws and mean nothing to me. I do not think myself cruel – for cruelty serves no purpose except for its own sake.

The destruction of the forest, and the ruination of magic are wicked, and I will protect both my forest and my magic how best I may.

Do you follow any religion?

I have seen the gods, long ago, and I have consulted with the Lady of the Skies when the drought, or the snow comes. But I am not ‘religious’. I do not have to ‘believe’ in what I know to be real. Things either are or they aren’t. If they are then respect them, if they aren’t then there is no bother. The gods are not evil, nor are they good. They are the gods and do as they please.

What is your favourite colour/food/music (pick one)?

My favourite colour is green, my favourite food is the wild mushrooms which grow near to my cottage, and my favourite music is the bubbling of my pool in the full moon.

Excerpt

When the world was young, and the wild magic flowed like the Great River, there lived a nymph, a spirit of the forest. Such beings once walked beneath the sun and moon; they were creatures of magic, incarnation of tree, of water, and the very essence of life itself. Oeliana was the nymph’s name, for this was also the name of the pool, deep, still and silver, from which she had been born when first the sun caressed the land. Fish swam among bright green fronds, scales of silver and azure, frogs and toads rested on dark grey rocks, long tongues feeding on the hovering flies and dragon-flies which darted above, seeking even smaller creatures for their dinner. Deer, wild goats and boar fed upon fallen apples and the widespread fungi; the Shimmering Forest was bountiful to its inhabitants, animal and person alike. Herbs grew there, thick and tall, even in winter. The herbs of the forest provided medicine for those who knew their power. Wild-goats, now tamed, provided both milk and a substitute for the companionship she lacked.

Hers was a life of duty, she was custodian of the trees, the forest creatures and pools, and so her time passed, timeless as she was. Even the common elves visited Oeliana, seeking guidance and the wisdom of the forest, and occasionally healing when their own healers had failed. They would bring gifts of food and polished stones or shells and the pool slowly filled with the gifts, for what use were trinkets to a nymph? Yet she was lonely for those who came and did not stay, they came for their own ends, and left with no further thought of the nymph. The spirit of the forest craved the touch of another, for she had seen the lovers who sometimes came to her glade and heard their words of love and their cries of pleasure. Never had she been loved nor experienced the passion which fascinated her as the lovers moved together on beds of moss and leaves. Magic demanded a high price and Oeliana was a creature of magic, and loneliness was the price she paid. So she watched, longing for a companion, and she prayed to the ancient gods, for even immortals need the favour of higher beings on occasion.

Rii’Athellan, the Morning Star, was a hunter, magic showed itself in many ways and the elven princeling was graced with a goodly portion. This day he had given his entourage the slip. The forest contained many dangers, even for one of his bloodline, but he preferred to hunt alone; the larger and fiercer the beast the more it pleased the elven prince. As silent as the grey fox and confident as an eagle, Rii’Athellan crept towards the clearing on the trail of a huge dire-boar. His father thought him reckless, but the young man craved danger, bored as he was from the politics of court and wishing he was allowed a little more excitement. He was not the heir, and he had not yet found his place in the world; he cared not for diplomacy and was jealous of his brother. He knew the Grove of the Maiden; oft before had he brought the girls whom he also liked to hunt and capture, although they were more willing prey and his favoured weapon was not a bow. These passions were conducted, if not in secret then with discretion, for this lord of the elves had been promised long since to Almethea, the daughter of the house of Il’thricken, a house both powerful and magical. This bride he cared not for, but duty-bound he would suffer the marriage. Such a one had little choice; alliances were all when elves made war.

This particular beast was Indis the Fierce, large, ill-tempered and canny; even the Great Cats walked in fear of Indis and the boar himself feared nothing, for he had never yet met his match. As tall as the elf at the shoulder, the hooked tusks of the boar were as long as his forearm. The elf murmured a prayer to his gods and nocked his bow as the boar snuffled among the trees, gobbling orange fungus and fallen apples. Occupied with filling his mighty jaws, the boar did not hear the elf, nor perceive the threat.

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Links to book etc.

And as part of 

Immortals Bundle

Monsters, Myth and Mayhem Vol 2

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Also features in Tales of Erana: Myths and Legends

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And The Shining Citadel 

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Good Cop/Bad Cop Character Interview – M’alia and Hendrick – Fantasy

#Lightbeyondthestorm #fantasy

Here’s the first of one of the new-style interviews – Good cop/bad cop. These feature enemies, or even a couple of protagonists that don’t get on. So you get to meet the good guys AND the bad guys:) I thought I’d try it out on two of my own characters.

 

Names: M’alia Erlis – elven sorceress of Ilthendra. 

You may call me Commander Hendrick – Order of Witch-Hunters 

 Q1 Why are you on this adventure? 

M’alia: We left Ilthendra to find the heir to the House of Light; the ring of light had been returned and the Mirror of Watching sang. We could not believe the prophecy had come to be.

It was supposed to be an honour. Our grandfather was the last Eltenda to the Shining Citadel of Lor Ar’thinis and we thought we could find it with the heir’s help. We thought we could regain what had been taken from us. The City of Light has been lost for centuries – but magic is complex, it is mysterious and it has its own path and way. Just perhaps the Shining Citadel could be returned, perhaps the Lady of the Light could bring us freedom.

We are elves – we are nothing but slaves and we have no rights, our history is nothing, our culture is in ruins. We bring the Plague and the magic that corrupts goodly folk. At least that is the official line.

The elves of Ilthendra believed we were remote, we were safe. Complacency kills. Ignorance kills. But hope, now hope keeps you alive. It’s all I have now. It’s all any elf has.

From the group who left Ilthendra only myself and my sister remain. Our companions were tortured and executed. I will never forget their screams. I am a prisoner in this fort, and my twin, Th’alia, has been sent with the Witch-Hunter to trap the heir and deliver the whereabouts Citadel to the Order of Witch-Hunters. I fear for my sister’s safety, she is not strong and I do not know if either of us will survive this.

Hendrick: This adventure as you call it is my duty! I am a Commander in the Order of Witch-Hunters and my word is law in this land. These elves dare to think they have rights, they wish to seek this magic town, and regain their riches and their filthy magic. Elves are nothing more than slaves and magic must be eradicated! This city and its wealth will fill my coffers, um the Order’s coffers.  That elven witch is wrong – the elves have no hope.

And then, of course, there is the defeat of the Archmage Lord Archos of Tremellic. He is the lover of this elven sorceress they seek. His demise will ensure my promotion. That bastard has been trouble to the Order for years; yet he wields power and influence, one cannot simply walk into his domain and arrest such a man on rumours. That man is clever and rich he pays bribes and sweeteners; no one dares touch him. I know my duty – he does not frighten me like he frightens the rank and file. He is just a man and men can be killed. He’s a filthy mage and all mages will fall to my magebane sword.

 

Q2 who is your nemesis? Why is this? 

M’alia: I am a forest elf, therefore in the eyes of the Order I am a slave. I am a mage too and my existence is forbidden. Here and now I am a pawn.  The Order is my nemesis…

Hendrick: Mages. Everyone knows magic brings the Plague. The elves almost brought mankind down, with war, disease and magic. The price they paid was high but well-deserved. Humans are the rulers now – and magic will be tamed.

 M’alia: Magic will never be tamed; you’re like the others – you do not understand. Magic is everywhere, it is wild and will not be enslaved. The Order has ruled for centuries but still magic finds a way.

 

Q3 at your final showdown what are your plans (promise we won’t tell). 

M’alia: if by some blessings of the gods I still draw breath I will fry that evil bastard. I will not forget my treatment, what I have been forced to do, or the death of Elfkind at his hands. I will not go quietly. If I must burn this place and all in it I shall.

Hendrick: Pah! You think I fear an elven mage half my age? I have killed far greater than you, witch. Soon you will cease to be of use or entertainment to me.

As for that bloody Magelord Archos of Tremellic, I look forward to the day I can sink my Baneblade in his vile hide. All mages fall to Banecrystal – he will do the same. I have a whip studded with it; there is little more satisfying than flaying the magic from a mage.

 

Q4 define a hero. 

M’alia: A hero is one who will put themselves before others, no matter the cost. One who will do what others will not, dare not. A hero will free others even if that freedom costs him all.

 Hendrick: A hero is a man who sticks to his duty, who will sacrifice popularity for doing what he thinks is right.  Reluctantly I agree with the witch – a hero is one who will do what others will not.

Witch-Hunters are not popular, those who rule by arms rarely are. We protect the greater populace from the perfidy of magic, from the risk of the Plague, and from themselves. Freedom is not a commodity peasants and elves can be trusted with. The Order brings peace – there have been border wars, and occasional rebellions but the Great Wars of Old are a mere history lesson. A hero brings peace whether it is wanted or not.

M’alia: It is not peace, it is tyranny. What value is peace if it beneath an iron fist? What value has peace to the slave?

 

Q5 define a villain. 

M’alia: *Looks at Hendrick. A villain is someone who uses others for his own ends, who takes away the rights of another, and who causes harm simply because he can.

Hendrick: A villain is one who defies the law, who harms innocents and threatens the peace.

 

Q6 why do you think the other person is on the path he or she is?  

M’alia: Hendrick is greedy and cruel. He wishes to subjugate the elves and take what remains of our culture. He wants the wealth and honour. He believes he is right. He is wrong.

Hendrick: *Shrugs. Why should I give a damn what motivates elves? They have hope, apparently, but like all elven filth that will come to nothing. They have nothing, they are nothing. Let the elves and mages find this magic city – then it will belong to me, to the Order. I am the Order.

 

Q7 what are your feelings about the other person?

M’alia: You need to ask me that? How do you think I feel about him?

Hendrick: I do not care what witches think of me. I am their scourge. Do I care for this elf? Don’t be ridiculous, I care no more for this one than any other piece of property. She serves to satisfy my lust, and is a means to get the Archmage and his friends. She has knowledge that I require – beyond that she is nothing. If I want a woman I can take one – I have no time or inclination for the burdens of marriage.  One elf is much the same as another.

 

Q8 where will you be 10 years from now? 

M’alia: Most likely dead. If I am not perhaps at home in Ilthendra, with my sister and my friends.

Hendrick: I will be promoted to High-Commander. I will have power, wealth and glory for serving my land.

 

Q9 do you have anything you’d like to say to your nemesis, that you may not get the chance to say when you meet? 

M’alia: My nemesis is all Witch-Hunters. I will say this: Elves are not property, magic is not a creature to be tamed. Both are free, both exist despite the Order. The more magic is subjugated the wilder and craftier it will become. Magic is, has been and always shall be.  The elves were once great and can be again. Freedom is relative.

Hendrick: When I meet the Archmage I will ensure he knows the might of the Order and the right of the Order.

 

Q10 why should readers believe YOU are right? 

M’alia: Why am I right? I did not claim to be right, I simply say elves and mages are not ‘wrong’ simply for who and what they are.

Hendrick: The Order of Witch-Hunters uphold the law, the peace and the safety of the people. It is our right to remove those deemed a threat. Elves brought the Plague which almost destroyed the human kingdom, and still they bring their nefarious ways. Magic is dangerous! It’s perfidy creeps in good people and turns them bad.

M’alia: That’s a lie! Magic is like any other skill or weapon – if the user is bad then it will be used for evil. Magic heals, it sees what others cannot, it brings learning and joy. If it is hidden, and it’s practitioners have to live as outlaws it’s no surprise they must commit a crime. One whose very existence is forbidden has no recourse to law to protect them.

Hendrick: The law is right, it cannot be other.

 

M’alia and Hendrick appear here:

The Shining Citadel – The Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles – Book II

Who rules in this game of intrigue where magic is forbidden and elves enslaved? Journey where beliefs shatter like glass, truth is unwelcome and monsters from ancient times abound: share the romance and revenge, magic and passion, and the wages of greed in a world of darkest fantasy. (18 age rated).

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Wind from the Abyss – Sci Fi – Book Spotlight

This Author’s Cut Edition is revised and expanded by the author and presented in a format designed to enhance your reading experience with larger, easy-to-read print, more generous margins, and covers designed for these premium editions.

Wind from the Abyss is the third volume in Janet Morris’ classic Silistra Quartet, continuing one woman’s quest for self-realization in a distant tomorrow. Aristocrat. Outcast. Picara. Slave. Ruler …. She is descended from the masters of the universe. To hold her he challenges the gods themselves.

Praise for Janet Morris’ Silistra Quartet: “The amazing and erotic adventures of the most beautiful courtesan in tomorrow’s universe.” — Fred Pohl

“Engrossing characters in a marvelous adventure.” — Charles N. Brown, Locus Magazine.

“The best single example of prostitution used in fantasy is Janet Morris’ Silsitra series.” — Anne K. Kahler, The Picara: From Hera to Fantasy Heroine.

Wind from the Abyss starts with this . . . Author’s Note – Since, at the beginning of this tale, I did not recollect myself nor retain even the slightest glimmer of such understanding as would have led me to an awareness of the significance of the various occurrences that transpired at the Lake of Horns then, I am adding this preface, though it was no part of my initial conception, that the meaningfulness of the events described by “Khys’ Estri” (as I have come to think of the shadow-self I was while the dharen held my skills and memory in abeyance) not be witheld from you as they were from me. I knew myself not: I was Estri because the girl Carth supposedly found wandering in the forest stripped of comprehension and identity chose that name. There, perhaps, lies the greatest irony of all, that I named myself anew after Estri Hadrath diet Estrazi, who in reality I had once been. And perhaps it is not irony at all, but an expression of Khys’ humor, an implicit dissertation by him who structured my experiences, my very thoughts, for nearly two years, until his audacity drove him to bring together once more Sereth crill Tyris, past-Slayer, then the outlawed Ebvrasea, then arrar to the dharen himself; Chayin rendi Inekte, cahndor of Nemar, co-cahndor of the Taken Lands, chosen so of Tar-Kesa, and at that time Khys’ puppet-vassal; and myself, former Well-Keepress, tiask of Nemar, and lastly becoming the chaldless outlaw who had come to judgment and endured ongoing retribution at the dharen’s hands. To test his hesting, his power over owkahen, the time-coming-to-be, did Khys put us together, all three, in his Day-Keeper’s city — and from that moment onward, the Weathers of Life became fixed: siphoned into a singular future; sealed tight as a dead god in his mausoleum, whose every move brought him closer to the sum total, obliteration. So did the dharen Khys bespeak it, himself. . . .

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