Below is an excerpt from Risking Honesty in which Lowenna is talking to Karnoss about how she is continuing to struggle to come to terms with all that is entailed in being Ethra born. She draws on events which took place in Gathering Darkness and Strengthening Spirit to illustrate her perception that her powers have caused disruption and misery in her life. Karnoss suggests that those events weren’t her fault and that she needs to accept who she is and embrace the potential she holds.
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“Lowenna, you must accept who you are. You are Ethra born.”
She shook her head. “No, I don’t want to be. All it means is death and misery, nightmares and fear.”
“It doesn’t have to. Look at what you have done here, this luscious beauty. Remember what you did when you healed my forest of the parasitic illness.”
“I was raised by priestesses to believe that the Goddess is good and generous, kind and wise. I used to pray to Her to protect me from the nightmares which have always haunted my sleep, with lingering terror filling my days. I saw things as a child that no one should witness. When I discovered that I was Ethra born, I realised that the Goddess that I had been praying to for protection, had been the one torturing me.”
“Lowenna.” Karnoss laid a hand on her arm. She kept her attention on the fish swimming around the edge of the pool.
“When I realised that I was Ethra born, at first I was awed, excited. However, as soon as I acknowledged who I was, Mortimer tried to kill me. I had to go against everything that I had been taught, everything I believed in, in order to defeat him. I couldn’t let him kill any more people. He had already killed Shang-Lae and Lochlan and so many more. They died because of me, because Mortimer wanted an Ethra born.”
Lowenna paused to wipe away the tears rolling down her cheeks. Karnoss waited patiently, without interrupting.
“Even you were harmed because of who I am. Because Azarius wanted my power, he brought disease to your forest.”
“You can’t blame yourself for that. Azarius’ actions were not your fault, nor Mortimer’s. They were unkind, selfish people whose actions harmed others. You were courageous to use your power to stop them.”
“It’s not a power I want. All it means to me is terror and having to do or endure things that I have no control over, that I do not want.”
“You could use your power for good. You could be a healer of great renown, a revered high priestess, a powerful leader.”
Lowenna held out her hand to forestall more words.
“No. I’ve worked hard to learn the healing arts the same way as anyone else. I won’t cheat or disrupt natural processes by using my powers. That wouldn’t be right and I don’t want to draw attention. Azarius and Mortimer have shown me that if anyone knew who I really was, they would use me, cause me harm and risk endangering those I care about. I want to protect Hope and Theo and the life we’ve built together. I wanted Hope to have a family with normal parents, a loving stable upbringing.”
“So, you’ve been ignoring Ethra’s energy within you, denying it, suppressing it,” Karnoss stated.
“I don’t want to be Ethra born.”