You wouldn’t expect that Lina, a master of pyromancy with a personality as fiery as her hair – literally at times – is related to the patient and cold-wielding Rylai, but after a moment spent with the two of them, it would be difficult to forget. Although their mastery in magic may be wholly different, they certainly have a strong rivalry, each working to prove that their respective elemental affinities are superior.
Raised in a temperate environment, even at an early age they displayed an unparalleled talent in magic, much to the chagrin of their parents, who had to deal with the fallout from their natural abilities, as well as their constant quarrels. Although Lina usually won, her fiery personality allowing her to be much more cunning than her naive sister, it was everyone else who lost out. Their parents felt the brunt of it, losing home after home to their magic, but others suffered too, particularly through Rylai’s uncontrollable ability to freeze rivers and springs, as well as ruining crops and spoiling harvests through the introduction of frost.
It eventually got to the point where their parents decided that, if they were ever to be controlled, they had to be split and sent to people who could tame their powers – and hopefully their competitive spirits.
Lina was sent south to live with her patient aunt in the Desert of Misrule; a scorching, torrid place which was perfect for the budding pyromancer to develop her ability. Her arrival in the desert made an impact on the usually quiet and reserved inhabitants, with several powerful nobles sending their sons, and others coming of their own accord, to try and woo her. All left with singed hair and burnt skin though, with Lina happy to spurn their advances to focus on her magic.
While a lot of her ability was self-taught, she did spend some time in the Scintillant Waste, an equally hot desert. Here, she was taught by the Acolytes of the Solar Goddess, a people who could wield pyromancy and were also skilled artisans. While training the young Lina, they expressed a belief that her hair had been ‘touched by the light’ and using their artisanal skills, they created jewellery and trinkets for her to wear, allowing the light of the sun to kiss it further.
The Biting Cold
Rylai, on the other hand, was sent to the far north, towards the freezing realm of Icewrack, where she was taken in by a powerful wizard. Just like her, he specialised in the cold, and lived at the head of the Blueheart Glacier.
During her younger days, she angered her master enough to be exiled to the Boiling Sea, taking the time to meditate and develop her powers there, hoping to earn her spot as an apprentice back. Returning from her exile with a newfound mastery of her magic, she was found worthy of his teachings, and he allowed her once again to be his apprentice, teaching her for many years. Eventually, she was pronounced ready to continue her learning alone, replacing her master as he descended into the glacier to hibernate for a thousand years.
During her time alone, she seems to have made the friendly acquaintance of more individuals than Lina, working to help the farmers of Icewrack, even if some did find her to be somewhat unhinged. This lead to her becoming an acquaintance of Auroth, the Winter Wyvern, a powerful Eldwurm who made residence in an abandoned keep. When the Maiden came to stop the dragon from killing the people of Icewrack’s livestock, the bookwyrm provided payment for the livestock in the form of priceless artefacts, one of which was taken by Rylai for herself, ensuring that Auroth could continue living in her new, appropriated home without interruption.
The relationship between Lina and the Crystal Maiden is similar to that of Jakiro; two opposite elements brought together, whether in the same individual or together as siblings. However, while the Twin Head Dragon can reconcile these differences between its two personalities, it seems the two sisters will only be able to rest when one of them has proven they are superior to the other, whether it be the Maiden’s biting cold or the Slayer’s roaring flames.