Dear Reader Letter from Lee Roland on Vicious Moon
I am often asked about the Earth Mother and the Sisters of Justice characters in my Earth Witches series. They are the women who determine and drive the goals of the protagonists and antagonists as they travel through their world.
The Earth Mother was the first deity of humanity. She has thousands of names in every time and place where men have lived. The priests of the patriarchal sky gods labored thousands of years, at least until the 12th or 13th centuries, to destroy the beliefs of those who worshiped her as their primary deity—or at least have tried to drive them into hiding.
In dealing with her witches, the Mother is often arbitrary and contradictory. She makes plans and manipulates them for reasons that she only occasionally reveals. Earth witches are born with power to serve her by their magic. Others are chosen, not to wield magic, but to maintain order. They are the Sisters of Justice.
Earth witches, some incredibly powerful, carry magic within their bodies. The magic only ends with their death. It cannot be taken away. When witches take their vows to serve the Mother, they pledge their lives to her. She only has one basic rule: no magic is to be used for harm. That's it. Self defense is allowed, but no dark magic.
But what happens when a witch breaks the Mother's law? Witches are censured for minor infractions, and put to death for using magic to cause serious injury or mortality. Yet a powerful witch, skilled in magic, is highly unlikely to be contained by conventional authorities.
When a witch goes rogue, the Mother provides a remedy: The Sisters of Justice.
The Sisters of Justice are few in number. They're basically well-trained killers. They serve as messengers, enforcers and, at the Earth Mother's command, executioners. None have the power to use earth magic like a witch. Each is individually selected by the Mother.
They are young when chosen and have been damaged in some way. They come off the streets, out of prison, from shelters, but they all meet certain criteria, though the Mother has never unveiled what those criteria might be. Years of training, sometimes brutal, molds them.
One of their leaders says of them: We are the Sisters of Justice. For millennia we have served the ancient Earth Mother, the Mother of Men. Most of her servants see her as a nurturer, a giver of life. The Sisters of Justice see her darker image.
She hides that darker face and we, the Sisters of Justice, are abandoned—save when she needs us. We are the last she calls, when all of her earth witches' gentle methods fail. We worship her. We despise her. We are her dark angels, her servants. Our blades are sharp and we strike upon her command.
While the Sisters of Justice are highly trained and well armed with two special weapons are required to take down an evil witch. The Morié and the Solaire. The Morié is blade that can cut through any magical shield and the Solaire is an amulet that gives the Sister wearing it immunity to deadly magic.
The Triad is an execution squad. The Triad, three Sisters, is an execution squad. Two keep the witch distracted with conventional weapons, and one with the Morié and Solaire to go in for the kill. The two without protection of the Morié and the Solaire have a high mortality rate. Such are their lives and sacrifice to the Earth Mother.
The Sisters of Justice are not always nice women. They are driven and hard as granite. The problems that brought them to the Sisters do not go away. They are merely channeled into regulated violence.
They are, however, symbols of the strong female warrior in today's literature and testament to the Earth Mother's enduring presence her world.
In Vicious Moon, the third book in the Earth Witches series, you will see how the Earth Mother guides her witches and how the Sisters of Justice fulfill one of their roles. I hope you enjoy your journey into the Earth Mother's world.