September Sylph Series: Heyou!
September 15, 2011 17 Comments
No, not you. Heyou, the battle sylph.
It’s a silly name, I know, but it’s the perfect example of L.J. McDonald’s quirky humor. To find out how Heyou got his ridiculous name, read on, as we continue our celebration of Queen of the Sylph‘s release with a weekly sylph profile!
Sylph (n): a mythological creature composed of the elements. The term, which originated in Paracelsus, commonly describes sylphs as invisible beings of air or “faeries of the air.” L.J. McDonald’s sylphs are either fire sylphs, air sylphs, water sylphs, earth sylphs, or battle sylphs. Battle sylphs are unique to L.J.’s original fantasy world; they are creatures of magic, unrelentingly male, who were traditionally bound to a male master in a sacrificial ritual. In L.J.’s debut, The Battle Sylph, everything changes when this dark ritual goes awry and a battle sylph is bound to a woman instead.
Namesake: The first word a master speaks to his/her battler becomes his name. The first thing Solie says to her sylph is “heyou.” Here’s an excerpt from their first meeting: “The battler landed on the altar, bracing itself atop her, a beast formed of smoke and lightening, staring downward. She felt its emotions, its interest and its curiosity. Its eyes stared into hers, and she blushed as it slowly looked down the length of her body and then back up again. It purred, bent its head, and licked her from her navel up across her breasts and along her neck…What had the king said? Name it. ‘Hey, you,’ she managed, barely able to speak at all, she was so frightened. She swallowed, trying to get her tongue untied enough to ask its name, and it breathed warm air on her. Heyou it repeated softly, the sound echoing in her mind. Had she just named it?”
Species: Battle Sylph
Form: Battle sylphs can generally transform into any shape they wish. A battle sylph’s natural form is incorporeal and looks something like a cloud of smoke and lightning. In the human form Heyou originally takes (unknowingly modifying himself after all the men he had seen over time) Solie thinks to herself that “she’d never liked hair that short, and he was really rather skinny, his features rather plain and unremarkable. For someone who could change his shape, he’d certainly picked a boring one.” Once Solie tells him this, she helps mold him into a more likeable male. From then on, Heyou dons long, brown, straight hair, has a strong, broad muscular build, long legs, an angular and symmetrical face, and a height just a little taller than herself. Solie remarks “he became a stunning young man…the kind she was sure even her aunt would sneak a look at in the streets.”
Personality: As far as sylphs go, Heyou is a young one, so the defining element of his personality is his youthful sense of humor. He’s also playful, likeable, and incredibly loyal to and flirtatious with Solie. There’s a lot of growth in his character throughout the series but he never loses these core elements of his being.
Master: Solie, a young, beautiful woman initially intended as a sacrifice to lure a battler to a male master, but she ends up being bonded to the battler instead. In the process, Solie becomes the first female to be mated to a battle sylph and eventually the Queen of the sylphs.
Heyou highlights: The last paragraph on page 95 of Queen of the Sylphs (I don’t want to give anything away by quoting). I think this whole sub-plot in Queen is absolutely hilarious.
Check in next Thursday for a sylph profile on Claw!
If you were given a battler, what would you want its human form to look like? Leave a comment below and let us know what your preference is. We’ll be choosing one lucky commenter to win the entire series in trade after the last sylph profile (09/29)!