Volva is the guardian of the south, Agnistead.
She is the mysterious creature who walks both worlds and is based on the Norse legends of Odin.
Volva can be translated to mean “wand carrier” or “carrier of the magic staff”.
Like the Woo, the Unknown soldiers, she has her staff which is imbued with magics. Unlike the Woo, she is a good guy.
The southern quarter of Dagda Mead is where the secrets of the world are kept. It’s a library of information, with a wealth of valuable knowledge.
In the wrong hands it could be dangerous, apocalyptic even. Therefore it has to be well hidden with a keeper to guard it, and it has to be difficult to find and enter. Only Volva knows the way in to the library.
Agnistead itself is a tough place to get to.
It is surrounded by desserts and rocky hills inland and strange waters at the coastal side.
Although it is part of the kingdom, it has a ruler of its own and therefore its own political structure.
The people of Agnistead are native to the land. A small community divided into villages and hamlets, they are ruled by a chief. His role in The Way of Wytch is not particularly detailed nor does he have a large plotline. But he is integral to the story. He is the one chosen to care for Emeline.
The natives understand the connection between the earth and the sky, between dark and light, Volva has taught them how the world came into being. While she knows how it will end, she hasn’t shared this with them, only directs them to their truths.
Within the legends and mythology of the Volva, or Vala (anglicised) this was a collection of women, seers and prophets. The Goddess Freya was a Vala. I have taken this legend and created a character that, hopefully, will do the mythology justice whilst creating a rich character in my book. Therefore she is a combination of seer and a fire elemental.
She wears her blonde hair twisted up and around horns, and wears sweeping dresses to cover her hooven feet. The rest of her appearance is human like, so she can walk in the human world if needed and will gladly come to all who seek her out. She carries a sadness in her eyes and usually has a pensive expression, deeply thoughtful. But also a genuine and caring individual. When she moves it seems that the earth moves with her, as if sharing the same heartbeat, the same soul.
When moving in between the worlds she leaves a heat haze signature behind. Later on in the story when she is called upon, and it isn’t safe for her to show herself, rather than ignoring the call, she makes herself known through a temperature change and ripples in the atmosphere.
Her magic is a fire which she can create to overwhelm any enemy, consuming them in the flames. She can use it to send any one into a trance, and enjoys showing people their futures in the fiery embers, she also uses it to purify souls; she is shaman and heals people through soul retrieval.
She creates a magically powered forge for the people of Agnistead out of her fires, which is used for charging any metal that is forged within it. Blades, talisman, armour, even horse shoes.
Her staff is made up of three types of wood, traditionally the oak, ash and thorn. Portals can be opened with this staff.
Volva befriends our heroin, the protagonist Emeline. They form a close bond of friendship and love, and will have to fight together side by side to secure the future and the fate of magics. But, it is not only the humans who want magic to be banished, there are those like the Woo, who are magical themselves who want the end to come swiftly.
If she is captured, it is only water that will imprison her. Air and earth could free her, but unlike Volva, the guardians of the other three elements do not like to walk both worlds and can understand the need for magic and the mundane worlds to be separate from each other.