No one gets by alone in this world, and magas are no exception. On today's installment of our countdown to High Maga, we meet Eolyn's sisters in magic, Adiana of Selkynsen and Maga Renate. Both appeared as minor characters in Eolyn; both assume more important roles in this second novel. Adiana and Renate teach music and magic, respectively, as part of Eolyn's new coven. They each bring unique gifts to the Aekelahr, and they are each dedicated, in their own way, to the restoration of women's magic.
Adiana of Selkynsen
Adiana was born to a family of wealthy merchants. Her parents recognized her talent for music when she was very young, at a time when the purges of the Magas were in full swing. Though Adiana was not a maga, her parents feared knowledge of music would ignite dangerous suspicions, so they sent their young daughter to a neighboring kingdom to complete her studies.
While Adiana was away, the purges claimed her parents. Her mother was burned at the stake and her father beheaded. At the age of fifteen, Adiana found herself orphaned, denied of her inheritance, and left to fend for herself.
Adiana’s fate turned for the better thanks to her father’s former steward, who rescued Adiana from the streets and took her in as his own daughter. Some years later, Mage Corey recruited Adiana into his Circle, where she quickly established herself as his most valued musician.
By the time we meet Adiana in High Maga, she has become Eolyn's closest friend. In many ways, she is the co-protagonist of the story. Though war separates them, their paths remain connected. Adiana does not command magic like her friend, but her extraordinary music confers its own power, and its own promise of salvation.
Renate was trained in magic during the last years of the Old Orders. A youthful woman when the war started against Kedehen, she survived the purges that followed through somewhat shady circumstances. She chose to betray her sisters in magic and to publicly renounced her own powers.
The bitter burden of this failure haunts Renate for the rest of her life. In the wake of the purges, she finds an uneasy peace as a dance mistress for Corey's Circle. Here she meets Eolyn, who eventually invites her to help renew women's magic as part of the fledgling coven of Moehn.
Renate brings to the coven a wealth of knowledge from the kingdom's oldest traditions of magic. She is strict in nature and demands the highest standards of discipline from all her students.
She believes that one day the Gods will exact a price for her cowardice and failure during the purges. Every morning and every evening she reflects upon this expectation, and she prays for the strength to meet her moment of ultimate sacrifice with dignity, humility, and courage.
I had thought to introduce you to Sir Borten this week too, who is another important character of the Aekelahr, but I've decided to hold off on that just a little longer.
Next week, another preview of the novel with a scene featuring Adiana and Renate.