Age: About 100 (maturity for rys)
Physical appearance: Tall, blue skin, black hair, and possessing of feminine beauty.
Special skills: Duplicity, intimidation, mind control, inspiring loyalty, thought conception, battle magic, crafting enchanted objects and crystals.
Magical items: Enchanted arrows and sword
Onja is a rys female born of tabre parents that abandoned her because of her racial traits created by experimental reproductive spells. She was left to grow up fostered in various households in Jingten. She is reclusive and unpopular and eventually slips away into forbidden lands settled by humans where she discovers the immensity of her magical powers. When she finally returns to Jingten, tabre authorities imprison her, but she uses this opportunity to secretly seize control of those who oppress her.
The desire to free her rys from tabre dominion drives her unwavering ambitions. She also wants vengeance against the tabre and seeks their utter destruction. To add to her power she conquers several human tribes and gathers an army to aid her magical warriors in the invasion of the tabre homeland. She feels completely justified in all her actions and is seemingly incapable of remorse. The only thing she is apt to regret is when her temper spoils her otherwise well-planned strategies.
Author’s feelings about the character:
Onja is a character in six of the eight novels I have written, so I’ve spent many years with her flowing through my mind. I wanted to create a villain that was NOT tortured by her bad deeds. Anything she does is completely right because she has done it. There is no need to apologize for exercising her power. I did not want her to be a character that had any good within her. She does not sympathize or empathize. Any softness of feeling she may show is only manipulation to get something she wants.
In the novels of the Rys Rising series I aimed to create reader sympathy for her. In the beginning she seems to be only a rebel with a good cause to free her race from unjust overlords. Her enemies deserve her aggression, and watching her succeed is supposed to be pleasing. And for those who are loyal to her, she is the source of glory and power. To follow her is logical because she is so magnificent. To oppose her is borderline lunacy in the view of her loyal minions.
I hope that readers will never know what to expect from Onja. She is a leader who will make her followers think that she will grant their wishes, but she only serves herself. I feel that Onja embodies the truth of how the powerful manipulate the masses.
From Rys Rising: Book I
Onja was curious to use her power. She wanted to know what it would be like to challenge this tabre. He was powerful and educated. These traits were exactly why she needed Halor.
“Onja, you have not told me everything,” Halor complained. “You have nothing to fear. I only want to know what you have experienced. I will not judge your actions. That has already been done and it is over.”
Still projecting herself as a silly rys overburdened by his complex demands, Onja suggested that he examine her mind so that he could fully see what she knew. “I am not sure how to pick what I should tell you or how best to describe it. I am still trying to sort out my experiences, Master Halor,” she confessed.
The face of the tabre priest softened with understanding. “Of course, young one. This is why you never should have traveled so far from home. You are not able to understand,” Halor said, thinking that Daykash Breymer had to be paranoid to think she posed a threat.
Her naive invitation to read her mind made Halor realize that he had never actually examined the thoughts of the rys that he had governed all these years. To see the details of Onja’s thoughts could be extremely informative. Insights gained from Onja might perhaps help him prevent future mischief from the rys.
Halor also considered his new responsibility with Onja. The Kwellstan Sect was not pleased with him right now, and his plea to be merciful with Dacian would hardly benefit his career. Halor needed to succeed with Onja and produce a meek and harmless rys. Proving the Daykash wrong about her would be gratifying as well.
Halor decided to cast a control spell upon Onja’s mind when he processed her memories. Once she was amenable to his suggestions, he was guaranteed to succeed in curing her antisocial behavior.
He approached Onja. She watched him apprehensively. “What should I do, Master Halor?” she asked.
“Nothing, Onja,” he said. Starting to tap his fingers thoughtfully, Halor had to force himself to relax. Entering the thoughts of this young female unnerved him, and he tried to focus on the intellectual nature of the task instead of the intimacy of it.
Onja cringed when his magical mind wound around her memories. The eyes of the tabre priest were glowing white and she hated the closeness of his narrow face. He was ugly to her. Alien and unworthy to call himself her superior. But Onja forced herself to submit. She had to draw Halor in. She let him absorb her memories of the west and she did not hide anything. The more he saw of her activities, the more disturbed he became, and Onja could feel his rising worry.
“What were you doing to this Amar? What do you mean you will contact him again?” Halor demanded mentally.
Onja refused to answer. All the answers were in her thoughts if Halor had the stomach to find them.
The magic of the Nebakarz priest intensified, and Onja gasped. She had not felt the full mental assault of a trained Nebakarz tabre priest before and his strength bashed across her mind like a housekeeper chasing a mouse with a broom. Flickering tendrils of energy erupted over her face and blistered across her chest. Onja wanted to see into his mind but his thoughts were expertly shielded.
Halor cried out with disgust and anger. He gnashed his teeth and spoke mentally. “You wicked foolish thing. You dare think of driving the tabre from Jingten? You’ll be locked in some dark pit of stone!” he declared.
Onja decided her time had come. The tabre was off balance with surprise and disdain for her ambition. She summoned the power that she had always felt within her. Thought finally became action. Her lifeforce quickened with the living energy of the cosmos. She felt the world down to its super hot heart. The coldness of the high heavens chilled her with awesome power. Onja was untrained, untutored, and she had never before challenged another magic user, but her might overcame inexperience as her magic awoke from slumbering creation.
Tracy Falbe invites you to give her characters a chance to feel real to you. The Rys Rising fantasy series is driven by magic, passion, bravery, ambition, conquest, and defeat. Rys Rising: Book I is a free ebook and hopefully your gateway to an epic reading experience.
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