I'm pleased to be have a wonderful guest today. As part of the Magic Appreciation Tour, fantasy author Tracy Falbe is here to give a glimpse into one of her characters--Loxane.
Be sure to check out Tracy's Rys Rising series and also her great giveaway at the bottom of this post!
Today’s stop on the Feel Real Fantasy blog tour celebrating the completion of the Rys Rising series by Tracy Falbe introduces readers to Loxane, Shamaness of the Kelsurs.
Age: Mid to late 20s
Physical appearance: Light skin, red hair, blue eyes, curvy athletic dancer’s body, numerous tattoos of an elk, eagles, snakes, etc.
Special skills: Leading shamanic rituals, trancing, dancing, authoritative, and in tune with the universe
Magical items: warding crystal and enchanted sword
Loxane belongs to the Kelsur Tribe, a vast nation of northern nomads that look down on agricultural civilization. She is descended from the special “blood of the sun” that denotes a small group of people that immigrated to the Kelsur region from the east. They are racially different than the original Kelsurs, but this adds to her distinctiveness. Loxane is a powerful Shamaness and possesses a very high status, equal but separate from the tribal elders.
Once a year, Loxane attends the Thievesmeet where her people interact with criminal elements from the fringe of the civilized world. After performing her very popular dance rituals, she takes the Overlord of the Kez, a notorious outlaw brotherhood, as a lover until the festival ends.
When Amar becomes the Overlord, he certainly enjoys his role in the Thievesmeet ritual, but he seeks a larger relationship with Loxane. He wants to use her influence with her tribe to entice the Kelsurs into joining his holy war in the service of his rys mistress Onja. Loxane is ultimately seduced by the magic of Onja and becomes her High Priestess. She leads men in battle and kills unbelievers without remorse.
Authors feelings about the character
Loxane springs from my contemplations of the primitive. She is not a civilized person. She looks down on civilized people because she thinks they are mostly ignorant slaves lacking in spiritual awareness. Her dispassionate attitude about life and death spring from her primal acceptance of the facts of life. We are born. We live. We die. Joy and grief weave the same cloth.
The talents of Loxane are mysterious. It’s hard to know if she is using some aromatic potion to influence people or the sheer psychological force of her personality. Perhaps it’s a combination. She is a woman that no man will even think of defying. All women feel inferior in her presence. She dominates because of her sexual potency and imposing physical presence. And Loxane loves power. She devotes herself to Onja even though she believes in her bones that the magical rys is truly perilous. But Loxane serves this power to enhance her own. The temptation cannot be resisted.
Although I’ve given much thought to Loxane as I wrote her, she remains remote to me. As a Kelsur would say I am “born under a roof” and part of civilization. I can never truly understand the Shamaness.
From Savage Storm: Rys Rising Book II
Amar then asked her why she visited the Kez Overlord and what did she want from him.
“To give you pleasure,” she answered promptly, and Kopok squirmed a little as he translated. It did not seem to be the right thing to say to his Lord but he supposed such awkwardness was part of being an interpreter.
Amar allowed himself a light chuckle. She had certainly succeeded in her mission, and he considered dismissing Kopok and returning to their bedding. Why struggle through conversation when their bodies could communicate with such ease?
But Amar pushed away that notion. He had to start asserting himself with her or he would be lost. He pressed her for an answer. His insistence that she set a price upon her company amused her somewhat. She teased him that he was tempting her to demand a gratuity, but finally she explained that taking a lover among her people caused difficulties. If she favored one chieftain with her company then jealousies were aroused among other chieftains. And if her attentions drifted from one man to another, then rivalries and conflicts could erupt. She often traveled among her people and committing to one man was not feasible for her. She had learned at a young age to restrict her affairs to casual dalliances with low ranking males. Then at her first Thievesmeet she had gotten the idea to offer herself to the Kez Overlord every year. Such a man would always be strong and powerful – truly worthy of her – yet such a relationship would still leave her free to travel among her people because the Kez must not commit to women.
“I think you would agree that our relationship enhances both our prestige,” she concluded.
Upon hearing the translation, Amar did not dispute her. She made sense. Although he still found it hard to believe that this supreme seductress wanted nothing specific from him, Amar decided he had pressed the issue enough. He proceeded with his plan to convince her to deepen her relationship with him. She might only want physical pleasure and a manly counterpart, but he had not exposed himself to her wanton witchy wiles for no return.
“I would like to learn more about your people, Loxane. Could you take me to these chiefs who crave your affections but cannot have them?” he asked and started to rub her feet and pet her ankles.
After the question was translated, Loxane grew thoughtful. She studied the hard young man sitting across from her. His shirt hung loose over his bulging shoulders and his brown bare chest was hard and clean. A simple leather pouch hung around his neck, and her experienced perceptions had guessed what it contained.
Instead of teasing open the subject with volleys of words, she said, “What do you want, Amar?”
He enjoyed the forthrightness. Her intellect was proving keen, and Amar’s natural disrespect for her lessened. He reciprocated her forthrightness and said that he sought an alliance with the Kelsur people so as to obtain warriors, as many as possible.
His answer surprised Loxane. Her two male attendants who waited behind the stalagmites stirred and leaned closer.
“I come to the Thievesmeet for pleasure. Not to barter with the spears of my hunters,” she stated stiffly.
As Amar listened to the translation, he plotted how best to tempt her. Loxane’s body and skills were her weapons, but Amar knew what tempted those who were already powerful: more power.
He said, “Would you like to see the rys? To go to their city in the mountains?”
She pulled back her feet and sat up. The hard look of a powerful Shamaness replaced her playful vixen-like demeanor and she began to speak with authority.
Kopok listened closely and gave his translation in quick bursts. On her behalf he said, “I have warned you about the rys. Stay away from them. Their magic will consume you. My ancestors fled the magic lands of the east to seek a place where people could know their spirits in peace and not be distracted by creatures that demand devotion but give no guidance or salvation.”
Amar shook his head. “I do not believe you. You knew that I was touched by a rys and still you came to me. To even know that I was touched by a rys in the first place, you must have some token of their power or been near one once. I believe that you want to see the rys. I believe that you want to be in the service of their true power instead of putting on your ritual performances.”
Kopok glanced nervously at Amar but still conveyed the words faithfully.
Loxane narrowed her eyes and suspicion sharpened her lovely face into a cruel and calculating pose. “You know nothing of my rituals,” she said.
Amar responded, “I understand that they are meant to awe people and make them worship your supposed powers.”
Kopok could barely utter such words to the Shamaness, but he was a Kez and he did as his Overlord bade him.
Amar slipped his warding crystal from its pouch. The blue glow startled the Shamaness, and she whispered a word of protection in her own language.
Amar held the enchanted sphere out toward her. “You have techniques that effect people and make them revere you, but my power is real. This is real,” he said forcefully.
Loxane turned her head a little but her eyes remained transfixed on his amazing charm. She had suspected that he had a rys-made enchantment but actually seeing it effected her more profoundly that she had expected.
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.
Start reading Rys Rising for free and enter the prize drawing. http://falbepublishing.com/braveluck/feel-real-fantasy-blog-tour.html