Dear readers, tonight with me is a young woman who grew up on the fringes of the empire of Atlantis. 

She is here to tell us about her travels across oceans and ancient worlds (from Atlantis to Ancient Egypt), her inherent mental powers, and her mysterious visions.

Tell us a little about where you grew up. What was it like there?

I grew up on a small island called Chinza.  It’s in the middle of the world’s biggest ocean and far away from any other place.  I didn’t even know that there was anything beyond the big blue horizon until I was about 12 solar cycles in age and met Tozar, who was hiding in my cave and told me he came from a land far away.   Up to that point, I lived outside the village with my mother who was always unhappy and picking on me for everything.  It wasn’t really a nice a place, and everyone thought I was strange because my skin was paler than everyone else’s.  People sort of avoided my mother and me, so I grew up playing by myself in the caves.  Chinza is a volcanic island and has lots of caves, so I used to explore those and play in them.  It was a dull and boring place until some strange people wearing white robes came to Chinza and began making huge stone statues that looked like people.  I spied on them once and saw that they used strange and special powers to make the big stone statues.

What was the most important thing that happened in your life?

Tozar – the man I found hiding in a cave on Chinza – took me away from that depressing place and told me about the Atlan Empire and the beautiful City of Atlán, where he lived.  The Atlan people have advanced knowledge and technology, as well as special abilities that enable them to transform elements such as sand to stone and metal to gold, just with the power of their minds!  They can also summon visions of faraway places and people using the reflection of a still body of water.  But the most exciting thing is that I found out that my father was an Atlan with such powers, and that I inherited those abilities from him!   At first I couldn’t believe that a plain girl like me could learn to summon visions of distant places, transform sand into stone, make heavy stone blocks almost weightless and then build my own small pyramid to harness lunar and cosmic energies!

What do you do now?

When I became an adult, I went to the City of Atlán to be with Tozar, and that’s where I attended a school to learn about healing and herbs.  Besides being a Healer, I also became part of the High Council of Atlán, alongside Tozar, helping to solve people’s problems, big and small.  But the biggest challenge was when the Dark Master started subverting our way of life, causing death and suffering among poor and helpless people.  That’s when we discovered that I had extra special powers of summoning visions, and this helped us stop the Dark Master…at least we thought so at first.

What is the worst thing about being an Atlan with these superhuman abilities?

Having these special powers is such a big responsibility, and I’m so grateful that my father taught me how to control them.  After I was exposed to special cosmic energies in the Pyramid’s secret room, I had so much new power that walls were cracking and vases breaking all around me as soon as I got a little bit irritable!   The worst thing was, I even killed someone with this energy without laying a hand on him, but he was a follower of the Dark Master, and not a helpless, innocent bystander.  Even so, it was really shocking for me to see what I was capable of, and I desperately needed help to learn how to control it! But now I feel obligated to help the innocent who are defenseless, fight the Dark Ones and somehow stop the Dark Master…

What is the best thing about it?

Even though it was upsetting to leave first my home in Atlan, then Safu and now Varappa, I really love discovering new places, meeting different people and learning lots of things along the way.  And even though it’s tough, these ordeals have made me stronger and wiser.

What can you tell us about your latest adventure?

My latest experience – which ended very badly – was in the strange land of Varappa, far away from anywhere else, but it used to be an Atlan colony, so it had advanced technology and an intelligent society.  But it developed in other directions on its own after separating from Atlán, so I learned about exciting new things such as flying vessels called Rapid Transport Enclosures and also time loops and the controversial technology that enabled me to go back in time to save my mother’s life on Chinza.

What did you first think when you found out that the Dark Master had cheated death?

Well, it was probably the most horrid feeling I’d ever had.  Sort of a mix of dread and hopelessness because I figured if he had found a way to detach his Consciousness from his physical body, and then stay alive on a spiritual plane, then we could never really stop him.  Not only could he go on living indefinitely, but he constantly grew in power and new skills which he passed on to his followers.  That’s why the Conjurers in Varappa were so terrible that Goram and I decided we had to destroy them by any means possible.  We hoped that the Dark Master was among them when the pyramid exploded and destroyed the city, catching him off guard before his Consciousness could leave his mortal body, but we left there not knowing for sure yet…

What was the scariest thing in your adventures?

When I thought I was stuck back in time because I couldn’t see the crystal portal I had made which let me manipulate the time loops that regularly occur in Varappa.  I thought I wasn’t going to get back and that I’d made a big mistake, but then I passed out, the portal broke down and then my father was able to find me – what a relief!

Tell us a little about your friends.

They’re new friends, and until recently, I thought they were my enemies because they were followers of the Dark Master.  But when things got really bad, they came to help me and chose our side.  I didn’t like Charmer of Snakes at first because of his lop-sided smile and the way his head wobbles when he talks, but he’s always hanging around Yarqi, so I’m getting used to him.  Yarqi is a mysterious woman with many secrets, and I’m strangely drawn to her for some reason.  I think she feels the same way about me.

Whom (or what) do you really hate?

The Dark Master, of course!  He has caused so much suffering among innocent and helpless people, and he keeps misleading Atlans, turning them against Atlan principles and the things that have made the Atlan Empire such a wonderful, happy place.  He has cheated death, and he keeps finding new ways to control people.  Brrr…just the thought of him makes my blood run cold!  But there’s this other person, too… My father’s strange little servant, Hari Tal, who always gives me such a horrible, hateful look.  I can’t help despising him in return, even though I don’t want to!

What’s your favourite drink, colour, and relaxing pastime?

Mmm, my favourite drink is a mango lassi – that’s a yoghurt drink from Varappa, which my husband, Aradin, introduced to me.  He’s part Varappan, so I got to know a lot of new and exotic foods from him.  My favourite colour is purple, and before my life got crazy hectic, I used to play a stringed instrument called the Vuda, and I made colourful wall-hangings out of textiles and dyed threads.

What does the future hold for you?

I wish I knew!  Right now things are very uncertain, and I’ve had to leave a new home three times now because of upheavals and other problems.  All I want is to live in peace with my family, but the Dark Master and his followers have made that impossible lately!   Now we have to travel to the Land at the Top of the World to get help from some wise Masters there who can help us.  I have a really bad feeling about it, though, especially the way that strange little man, Hari Tal, keeps looking at me.  And my father is really angry with me over some things I’ve done.

Can you share a secret with us, which you’ve never told anyone else?

People look up to me and think I’m very competent because of the things I can do, but inside I feel very insecure, and I don’t think I could do any of this without my family.  But my family relationships are strained right now, which makes me feel even more insecure and vulnerable.  I hope no one ever sees this weak and fragile side of me!

Born and raised in Sydney, Australia, Barbara has loved to write since early school days, and has now combined her travel experiences and interests in history, folklore and people in this fantastic adventure. She now resides in Tumut, New South Wales, with her husband and their dog, Cisco.

You can find Rhuna on the pages of her eponymous book series, starting with Rhuna – Keeper of Wisdom (or the first 3 volumes as a boxed-set).

Join us next week to meet the best assassin, trying to to atone for his mistake. Please follow the site by email (bottom-right) to be notified when the next interview is posted.