|Perennially overworked Justa|
When I started over, I decided Doña Lambra was negative enough. She didn't need a snarky sidekick. So Justa became a sweet girl who longs for a normal life, but her ties to Lambra won't permit the freedom to pursue it. She took on more of the characteristics associated with her name, which is the same as an early Spanish martyr saint, and whose meaning has to do with fairness or justice, and then it turned out that she needed a snarky foil. That sassy role is filled by Gotina, a minor character.
|Using the distaff and watching the kid|
She was born into a family of the minor nobility the same year as Lambra, and she looks enough like her that they could be sisters. In Part Two of Seven Noble Knights, our hero, Mudarra, is afraid she might be Doña Lambra when he first meets Justa. She comes into Lambra's household as a foster child when her parents are killed in a border raid, and lives as if she were Lambra's sister until Lambra's parents are killed. From that moment on, Lambra treats Justa as her personal servant, and Justa suffers it because she has nowhere else to go. The ties created when Lambra's family took her in are not easily broken, but everyone has their breaking point. When Justa finds hers, the story comes to an end.
It's a pretty important role for someone who started out as a snarky maid.
This is artist Ayal Pinkus's rendition of Doña Lambra.
Justa looks a lot like her, but she never gets to throw a fit.
"She may control everything I do,
but she doesn't have any secrets from me."
Smart readers who subscribe to my mailing list will get to catch a glimpse of how Justa's and Doña Lambra's characters were formed in a prequel story in December, just in time to celebrate the release of Seven Noble Knights!