Real Name: Valda
Identity/Class: Human mutated by magic
Occupation: Adventurer, former skater, diver
Affiliations: Dorcas (deceased), Heidi Bruker (apprentice)
Known Relatives: None.
Base of Operations: A cave in the Austrian mountains
First Appearance: Mandy (D.C.Thomson, 1968-82)
Powers/Abilities: Valda can talk to animals and has extensive knowledge of mystic herbs. She possesses superhuman strength and is able to make huge leaps. She does not age under normal circumstances, but must periodically bathe in the fire of life to sustain her youth; the onset of her need to revitalise can be rapid. She is also the speediest downhill skier of all time, and a skilled ice skater. Apparently able to generate music spontaneously (her skating was accompanied by unidentified music, confusing the technicians as nothing was set up for the public address system), and to influence people's actions (she apparently compelled the judges at the skating competition to evaluate her performance despite others protesting to the judges that she was not an official contestant).
History: 200 years ago Dorcas the gypsy found a young child whom she named Valda. She was brought up to know the secrets of the herbs and how to talk to animals. When Dorcas died, Valda travelled underground to the Emerald Grotto of Ice and Fire, where the cold flames gave her the secret of eternal youth. In modern times (1969) Valda emerged when the Earth split open, and bathed herself in the Fire of Life to regain her youth, before embarking on a series of adventures. She enjoyed testing herself and her skills by unofficially entering various contests, such as skating and skiing competitions.
Comments: Thanks to Carolyn Ritchie for informing me of Valda's ski-ing prowess.
Alison Bird notes "As I recall, although she was immortal, she did often "die" - a bit like Dr Who really, she gave her life energy to save a mortal at the end of one series of stories and was then resurrected for the next series. I seem to remember she used to have to recharge her life force fairly frequently."
Deborah adds "She did indeed almost die (not actually) regularly, having almost exhausted her super-powers saving a mortal or fighting some evil or other. On these occasions she steadily weakened and visibly aged towards her 200-year-old actual age. What saved her was some form of fire/ice combination, and the most easily accessible version of this was a 'magic' ice-like crystal she carried in a locket around her neck which, when held up to the sun, would bathe her in a reviving fiery light. Though this magic light was too powerful for mortals, and I think even dangerous to Valda herself, she could save mortals who were frozen/exhausted (she mostly lived in quite a wintry world) by holding them as she bathed them along with herself in the light. I think the crystal was from some secret magic place where she'd acquired her powers and which had since been destroyed."
Thanks to Ashira Teanby and Julia Francis for additional information.
Any Additions/Corrections? Please let me know.
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