Hello, and welcome to another instalment of Character Snapshots!
Today we’ll be talking to Ghia, who was introduced in Bellica and continues her journey in The Jade Star of Athering. There will be spoilers for both books in this interview, so if you haven’t finished them and don’t want to be spoiled, don’t read ahead!
As before, my questions are bolded and the character’s answers are in italics.
Why don’t you tell us your name? I will, but before we begin, is this all…secret?
What do you mean? I mean…my family won’t read this, will they? Or the people of Atton.
No, of course not. It’s just between you, and me, and my blog readers. Right. Okay. Not sure what a blog is, but I don’t think anyone I know is a reader of it. Proceed, then.
Name? Ghia deCharity Lihin, formerly known as Ghia deHelene Donacella-Voto. It’s odd, having two names and two families.
You dropped the Exsil Vis from your name? Yes. Too confusing, otherwise. Besides, Voco has a lady in my cousin.
Age? 21, as of almost 2 months ago.
Time of snapshot? Jourd’Juno, 21st Duema, 4021.
Species? Magi-Terran. Oh. I mean Terran. I mean…sort of Magi but not really anymore. I mean…ugh. (She sighs.) I don’t know what I mean.
Sounds like there’s a story there. Is there ever. Apparently, Magi-Terrans have the option to resurrect ourselves if we die. Which we will, if we use our powers too much, because our hearts will explode. But to resurrect, we have to give up our powers, and effectively stop…being Magi. It’s all very confusing and no one is really sure how it happened, least of all me, and I’m the one who did it.
So you’re without your powers now? Yes. I used to speak with animals with my mind. I used to be able to conjure flame with a thought. I used to be able to fly. Now…I barely know how I think or feel, let alone anyone else.
That must be terribly difficult on you. Congratulations, you have won the prize for understatement of the year, and it’s only Duema! Yes, it’s difficult. I spent my entire life — twenty years — with these powers. Before meeting Rosa, of course, they were nothing. Little sparks of excitement. She turned them into a bonfire. But twenty years of knowing, like instinct, what someone is going to say; twenty years of using my powers to heal; twenty years of being able to keep myself and my loved ones safe because of that…that instinct. And now… (she shrugs helplessly.) I don’t know whether I’m coming or going most days. My instinct is gone. I can’t heal. I don’t even know how to talk to people. I’m a mess.
Surely there must be something Terran left to you that you can use? Some Terran instinct, or sixth sense? Oh, I’m sure there is. If I had any idea how to go about using it. I’m still learning how to be without my Magi-self. I haven’t yet had a chance to figure out my Terran self.
Aside from these difficulties, how’s your life going right now? Well. Let’s see. My dog Sila is recovering from yesterday’s upset, which was quite a large quake, even for Atton’s standards. Not that I’ve lived here long, but I’m told that small ones are a regular occurrence. The poor creature whined and hid in my bed before, during, and after the quake, but today she’s back to being in charge of the manor, surveying her property. In fact I think if you mentioned her behaviour yesterday she’d be embarrassed. My son is healthy and happy. At least, I think he’s happy; I can no longer see into his thoughts, and he’s a baby who’s not yet mastered speech or expression of emotions. My wife is adjusting to being the future Lord Lihin quite marvellously, and he’s been very patient with my current…
…depression? Yes, I suppose that’s a good way of putting it. Some days I’ll be fine; others, I can’t leave my bed. I haven’t yet found a balance between the two. Right now I’m just trying desperately to find the things that give me joy.
What gives you joy, Lady Ghia? (She pauses and looks up, thinking for a moment.) A hot cup of tea. A good book. The conservatory, on a warm day. Snuggling Jules. My son’s laughter. Oh, and learning how to knit.
You’re learning to knit? How did that come about? (Ghia shrugs.) I was very fond of the knit items I bought from artisans in Atton, and it occurred to me, upon returning home from our journey north, that I could add knitting to my skills. I can sew, after all. I know, Grandmama is not fond of my knowing or learning “men’s work,” but I can’t help it. And she’s so old-fashioned. Lots of women sew or knit these days. Doesn’t make me any less of a woman for doing so.
You’re quite right. Well, we have time for one more question, and then I have to let you go. You game? (Ghia smiles, and it lights up the room.) I’m always game.
Are you a morning person, or a night owl? (Ghia looks surprised, and she laughs.) You know…I don’t know? I spent so long as a healer, and we learn to get by on little sleep, switching from morning to late shifts at the drop of a fustanella. (A saucy wink.) Now that I’m not a healer anymore…I can keep to a diurnal schedule. And I haven’t yet figured out if I like it or not.
Something to find out, then. Thank you for your time, Lady Ghia. It was a pleasure speaking with you. The pleasure’s all mine. Let me know when you want to do it again.
I hope you enjoyed this little snapshot of Ghia after the events in The Jade Star of Athering. Comments are open for 7 days.
Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you next week!