Dear readers, tonight with me are two women from a world reminiscent of our Ancient Rome, but with one distinct difference: she is a sorceress, a mage of Spirit and Fire.
Tell us a little about growing up in the Temple of Juno. What was it like there?
Latona: Blissful. Not all the priestesses and acolytes live in the house behind the Temple, of course, but my family thought it best, since my magic was so strong, that I stay with Gaia Claudia so that she could guide me. I missed my mother and my sister Aula, but Claudia was everything I could’ve hoped for in a mentor — and it was exciting, to be so small and yet feel a part of something so big. The most important people in Aven would come to consult the High Priestess of Juno, and Claudia let me observe at her side, even before I was really old enough to understand the politics of it all.
Any cherished memories from that time?
Latona: The first time I served as Claudia’s acolyte during the Cantrinalia. It was held at the House of the Vestals that year, and everything was so graceful and immaculate. I was only seven, the youngest girl there, and I’d never been around so many mages working in concert before. I only saw glimpses of the colors of the elements in action — I’m still a bit shaky with that particular talent, I’m afraid — but I could feel all of it, everyone’s hopes blending together. It was… euphoric.
You left the Temple after Gaia Claudia’s death a few years later. How have you been using your magic since then?
Latona: Oh, the… the usual ways. For a patrician wife, I mean. Just… just little things. I use Fire magic to keep the house’s hypocaust running properly in the winter, and little Spirit charms at parties and such, to liven up the mood. But that’s really — (A deep, long breath) It was made quite clear to me that, outside the purview of the Temple, I needed to take care and remain within… appropriate boundaries. (A thin smile) It wouldn’t do to appear ostentatious, after all.
Because we heard that Dictator Ocella had asked for you to use your Spirit magic at his behest.
Latona: No. No, absolutely not. I– I am not capable of the sort of manipulative magic that Ocella requested of me. And even if I had been, I would not have sullied the gods’ gifts in such a way, whatever rumor may fabricate to the contrary.Continue reading “Latona and Aula (of From Unseen Fire, by Cass Morris)”