Olinda, before she was the Great Witch

When Ryth meets the Great Witch, Olinda, he sees an old woman with white curly hair, a slim body, with slender arms and hands. Frail looking, kind, yet bearing some strength our protagonist sensed when she helped him off the floor. For #internationalwomensday, we will talk about Olinda, a side character in the Black Wing series.

“At least you know what your hair color looked like,” she teased, trying to make light of the situation. “When I was born, a head full of teal covered my head.”

– Olinda in The Hunted Prince

To date, Olinda is known for being the oldest human in Altendria, though it isn’t true, she doesn’t correct them. In Altendria, humans can live up to 200 years. There is no exact age for Olinda except that she is over 500 years old.

Title of the Great Witch

The title of Great Witch is not something you can buy or influence into gaining. No intellect in stellar magic or talent can win a witch such a title. It is gained only through widespread acknowledgment of deeds. Of course, a former Great Witch could put a word or two, but it generally hangs on the shoulder of what a witch has done.

When Olinda was in her prime she was no witch and no student of the Order. She never even stepped foot in the Flora or Crimson Order. She lived a quiet and strange isolated life in a forest not far from Vistra, a town nestled between the safe entryway to Talon’arc. The Lunar Wars existed then, and Olinda often closed her doors to those who were affected by the monstrous war.

It is unclear who she met, but she opened her doors in the next Lunar War and offered to heal wounded soldiers, tend the victims, and aid the orphans. One thing that is clear is that she became a follower of The Way. This is the only hint that who she met must have converted her to the one God faith.

Seeing the Lunar War for the first time.

The sound of battle was often heard in Olinda’s cottage home. After learning to care for the wounded, this time she decided to see for herself how bad it was. With the moon peering behind her back, she gazed at the flames below. Humans, Dwarves, Denonis, and Elves looked like ants in the Eroga lands, pushing back the constant advance of the Cloaked Knight and his monstrous army.

From the bloody war, stellar spilled in the air from witches and wizards who defended the Strongholds of each kingdom. Something stirred inside Olinda that night. Taking a simple branch from a tree, she used it like a wand and entered the fight.

Olinda in her youth, with her teal-colored hair amidst the night

The title as Great Witch was won for her contribution in keeping witches and wizards safe during the Lunar Wars, aiding the Cardinal Points in their tasks, and for her ability to cast lighting without a wand or staff. As the Great Witch, Olinda oversees the Flora and Crimson Order, but such schools do not like her intervention as the schools like to remain independent.

The Great Witch in The Hunted Prince

When Ryth first meets Olinda, he and everyone and their mother would describe her as a kind, old woman who smiles often and is forgiving of others. It’s important to note that Olinda has various important roles to play, though only a side character; she is often behind the scenes. One of her greatest passion is studying all forms of magic, as she is a hard believer that there can be an end to the Lunar Wars.

Expect to see more of Olinda in Black Wings

Though I have  mentioned her past, Olinda says less. Who was she before she opened her doors to the desolated people of the Lunar War? In the 500 years she gained Altendria’s trust There was no family, no children, and no spouse. Perhaps as the series continues, this strong and kind witch will show us more.