This very first character spotlight is going to focus on the character of Ayewoke. Ayewoke can be found as a character in the books, Lady ofSteinbrekka and Heart of Kylassame.
Ayewoke is a form of Magi, a woman with extraordinary powers who resides in an area of Kaldalangra known as Steinbrekka. Steinbrekka is a rocky, desolate region that is home to many supernatural creatures and people. The desolation of the realm has made it the perfect place for King Verikhan to send any people who come into his realm, either by accident or through kidnapping. There, they are brain-washed and, usually, die from the assault on their body and minds from the natural and supernatural forces in the region.
When Rhea goes to Steinbrekka to be brainwashed, she meets the ancient Magi, Ayewoke. There, Ayewoke gives her the help needed to survive the ordeal. She realizes that Rhea is not just an ordinary woman, and decides to act as her emotional guardian once Rhea leaves Steinbrekka. As Ayewoke is not welcome in the court of Kaldalangra, she achieves this by transforming into her other form; that of a little gray cat.
This character was born out of two very different but equally powerful images.
The first is an image that has always stuck in my head; that of the old-world tribal Matriarch. These women lived in a time when it was not possible to erase wrinkles, smooth lines, and dye their hair to hide the grays. The elderly were venerated and cherished for their deep wells of wisdom and experience, and considered vital members of the community.
These are women who have a primal, dignified beauty, and every wrinkle tells a tale of the full life they have lived.
It would not be hard to picture a woman, such as this, sitting on an isolated rocky peak in a supernatural region of another world.
The second image, oddly enough, is based on my childhood cat, Ewok. Ewok was a very special little gray cat (sound familiar?) that was always looking out for me while growing up. She would follow me into the woods for hikes, sleep beside me at night, and brush away my teenage tears with her little paws.
She was in her twelfth year when I began writing The Lady of Steinbrekka, and passed away in a mysterious fashion when I was writing the final chapter of the novel.