Dear readers, tonight with me is Halea, a priestess in the service of the dragon goddess, roaming the land hunting demons and sealing tears caused by the Chaos Dimension.
Tell us a little about where you grew up. What was it like there?
I don’t remember much about where I was born, but I was brought to the holy city of Ruinac after my father died when I was quite young. I’m one of very few born blessed by the dragon goddess, Tiamet, which means I’m far faster and stronger than an average human, and I also have the power to purify evil. That was a bit much for my poor mother to handle all on her own, and it just so happened my paternal grandfather is a cleric of Tiamet who lived and worked in Ruinac, so we joined him, and he mentored me on the path to becoming a priestess. Tiamet worshippers are tasked with fighting the evil of the Chaos Dimension that seeks to converge with our world. As for Ruinac, it wasn’t so great, just a crowded seaside city and it was hard to fit in because there weren’t many children like me. Sadly, when I was about twelve years old, a convergence destroyed the city, killing everyone in it, including my mother, and at the time, I thought it had killed my best friend Varg too. A convergence is a massive dimensional tear that can only be banished by sacrificing the life of a priestess, and let’s just say the ritual didn’t go as planned.
Did you have any cherished memories from your youth?
My fondest memory will always be of the day I first met my best friend, Varg. He was in the form of a wolf when I first saw him, and then he turned into a scrawny little wolf boy and threatened to eat me. Those were good times.
What do you do now?
These days I am an official oath-sworn priestess of Tiamet. Priestesses are given immortality in exchange for serving the goddess. We roam the land hunting and slaughtering demons and using our powers to seal dimensional rifts called tears. The work hours are kind of crazy and we’re not allowed to put anything or anyone above our duty, so no marriage, love, children, or anything else that can distract us from our calling. Kind of a thankless job, but it pays well, and if the demon’s don’t kill you or you don’t get chosen as a blood sacrifice, you get to live forever, so it’s not all bad.
What can you tell us about your latest adventure?
Well, it would seem my long term career plans didn’t turn out as I expected and I’ve been unwittingly thrust into a managerial position for which I’m vastly under-qualified. I’ll make the best of it – somehow.
What did you first think when you discovered that Varg survived the convergence?
At first, I couldn’t believe my eyes. For years I thought he was dead, and he thought I was dead too! It came as quite a shock, but I couldn’t have been happier. Seeing him again after all those years, even though we weren’t kids anymore, nothing had changed, and we were still just as close as we had been before the convergence separated us. Although I have to admit, he’s changed quite a bit. He’s not a scrawny little wolf boy anymore, and it’s just a bit distracting. I gotta keep reminding myself that I swore an oath.
What was the scariest thing in your adventures?
Being chosen as Tiamet’s next sacrifice to banish the convergence. I knew this job came with occupational hazards, but I was rather hoping I could avoid that one.
What is the worst thing about being a priestess?
Work-related injuries, nearly getting eaten alive on a fairly regular basis, having to cooperate with hostile therians on occasion, and possibly being used as a human sacrifice are all unfortunate realities of what I do. But I would have to say the worst thing is swearing an oath to devote myself exclusively to Tiamet, and then finding out not long afterward, that I’m probably not going to be able to keep that vow. Oops.
What is the best thing about it?
I love kicking ass and slaying demons. We may not know how to defeat the Chaos Dimension just yet, but we’ll find a way.
Tell us a little about your friends.
My oldest and dearest friend is Varg. Varg is a lycan and the first person to ever accept me for who I really am. Things have changed since we were kids though, now he’s the alpha of his pack, and I’m going to need his help, but I think he’s starting to see me as more than a friend, and that might complicate things. There are also my sisters in the faith, my fellow priestesses; Mama Dragon, Samesa, and Kalee. When we priestesses fight together, Chaos doesn’t stand a chance!
Any romantic involvement?
I’m, uh…well…you see I swore an oath and… Oh, gods, Tiamet’s going to kill me! I’m sorry, Tiamet. I couldn’t help it!
Are there any other complications getting in the way of your duties as a priestess?
Yeah, my boss. You see the head of my faith is a dragon therian named Lord Anshar. He’s the grandson of Tiamet and the most powerful therian on the planet. It’s his duty to perform the sacrificial ritual that banishes the convergence, but, let’s just say he’s been doing this job for too long and I don’t think he’s into it anymore. He kind of messed up one of the rituals and Chaos got out of hand, and that’s how Ruinac got destroyed. He’s under a lot of pressure to make sure the next sacrifice goes off without a hitch, but that means he’s got a dirty job to do, and I don’t think he’s too happy that I’m the next chosen sacrifice. I guess you can say my boss is literally going to kill me.
What’s your favorite relaxing pastime?
Running, sparring, and learning about medicine.
What does the future hold for you?
I think things between Varg and I are getting pretty serious, but we still have a major problem on our hands. The Chaos Dimension is still a threat to our world, and now, both of our lives may be in danger. I’m not sure how we’re going to get out of this mess. We’ll need a miracle.
Can you share a secret with us, which you’ve never told anyone else?
I might just be an alpha she-wolf that lives within a human skin.
J.M. Riddles is an avid lover of science fiction and fantasy. Some of her writing also features romance, paranormal, horror, surrealism, mature, and even young adult fiction. She holds a Bachelors degree in English Literature and four Associates degrees. Some of her interests include heavy metal, rock, sci-fi, fantasy, food, art, makeup, nature, and all things nerdy. She is currently hard at work on book three of the Convergence series.
You can find Halea on the pages of Torn Apart.
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