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[an error occurred while processing this directive] Jaya Ballard, task mage

Quick Status — Jaya
BirthplaceDominaria, continent of Terisiare
Borncirca 2850-2920 AR (Argivian Reckoning)
DiedStill alive.
Lifeform TypeHuman (circa 2850-2934 AR)
Planeswalker (2934- AR)

Written by member Jaya

"Frankly, destruction is best left to professionals." —Jaya Ballard, task mage

Like many mercenaries, not much is known about Jaya Ballard's past. Jaya Ballard is a mercenary with magic on her side--a task mage. Most task mages have little experience in magic other than "neat tricks" and do not often branch out of even one color. A task mage, like other mercenaries, serves themself first...and others only at a price; owing allegiance to none.

"I strive for elegance and speed in my work." —Jaya Ballard, task mage

While Jaya Ballard is not known to be on the "owing" end of deals, one of her survival tactics (in an ice age, survival is looked on as a measure of success) is to ensure there are others who "owe" her. She is known to leave this "favors" scattered around different areas, with people who will not likely refuse, until the very moment it would benefit her most. Among those who have fallen to the "owing" side of deals with Jaya are Belenda Danisdotter of the Kjeldor, Lovisa Coldeyes . . . and Jodah, the Archmage of the School of the Unseen.

"Eenie, meenie, minie, moe . . . oh, why not all of them?" —Jaya Ballard, task mage

The Eternal Ice, by Gary Ruddell Probably the most famous favor (debt included) Jaya ever did for someone was when she infiltrated Tresserhorn—the very fortress of Lim-Dûl, the Necromancer--in order to free Jodah from the mental and physical prison Lim-Dûl had created to control and harness the archmage's abilities. Jodah may owe the task mage, but the two hold a long-standing allegiance that is very unlike a task mage . . . and has gotten Jaya into places where there was no money involved, as well.

"The only true 'art' these beasts possess is the art of noise!" —Jaya Ballard, task mage

The first instance of this "free work," which is very un-task-mage-like behavior, was when she joined the allied Kjeldoran and Balduvian forces amassed against the undead legions of Lim-Dûl. Kjeldor and Balduvia took the field, and the planeswalker Leshrac took his minion, Lim-Dûl away from the plane with him to the nomadic plane—Shandalar. Once Terisiare was safe, and the survival of its people ensured, she was sure to express her task mage side as soon as she could, taking the severed hand of Lim-Dûl that was adorned with many precious rings. Fee collected, time to move on . . . .

"Yes, I think 'toast' is an appropriate description." —Jaya Ballard, task mage

Jodah, the Archmage, had dragged Jaya Ballard into the war, and the two seperated afterwards. Freyalise, the planeswalker, had cast the worldspell of melting before their very eyes. She had used Jodah's magic mirror and an ice cauldron to create an effect not-unlike that of the infamous Golgothian Cylex that had pre-maturely started the Ice Age. She returned the mirror to Jodah and left the plane to handle itself in the dramatic weather changes that would follow. Without Jodah, or another unifying force, the alliances made between Kjeldor and Balduvia were erroding. Jaya Ballard's fame kept her in no need of work, and her sources were rather open about the fact that neither Jodah or any from his School of the Unseen had come to help with the alliances melting away with the snow.

"Leaves more room for the big ones to fight in, you know." —Jaya Ballard, task mage

Jaya found Jodah locked away in his school, showing his near-immortal age more than ever before and apathetic about the political situation in Kjeldor and Balduv. Jaya had to show Jodah the severed hand of Lim-Dûl (now ringless, of course) to convince him to leave with her, and, while they "were out," remend some old, wounded prides. Jaya Ballard and Jodah the Archmage, together with the strong leaders of Balduvia and the King of Kjeldor, ensured that the two nations would survive together, and not destroy each other. Then the rumors came, through Arcum Dagsson, of the Soldev's destruction.

"Oh no, not you again?!" —Jaya Ballard, task mage

Jodah, ushered along by Jaya, entered the deeper caverns of the Soldevi Cult of the Machine. Here, Jaya Ballard admitted to the archmage a secret she had held inside her since leaving the field of battle where Lim-Dûl had been defeated. She had taken it from his severed hand. One of the rings she took stole her mind, enchanted her, then corrupted her. She had cut open her hand and placed it inside her flesh, because this ring knew Jodah, and it wanted for his death. Her mind slowly gave way to a much older mind, the mind that had seduced Lim-Dûl, a mind that had been dead long before she was even born—the mind of Mairsil, the Pretender. Mairsil felt safe showing himself to Jodah in this body, the body of Jodah's one and only friend—Jaya Ballard.

"Overkill? This isn't a game of Kick-the-Ouphe!" —Jaya Ballard, task mage

Soldev was crushed in the ensuing battle, Mairsil torturing Jodah with magical batteries of spells, and Jodah trying to weaken Mairsil while searching desperately for a way to save his friend. Still warming inside of his jacket was his magic mirror—the talisman Freyalise had charged with magic thinking that Jodah carried the spark of the planeswalkers. Jodah believed the spark was not within him, but there had been another there when Freyalise had cast the warming spell and felt the spark . . . Jaya Ballard. Mairsil did not know this, and while Mairsil towered into a gigantic form over the city, Jodah shattered the mirror in Mairsil's face—the face of Jaya—driving its shards deep into her as the magic discharged.

"Who needs the sun when you've got me around?" —Jaya Ballard, task mage

The Shattered Alliance, by Gary Ruddell The spark inside of the task mage flared, consuming Jodah and Mairsil within it. Her ascension burned away her body, and with it the ring, and cleansed from her soul the presence of the Pretender, Mairsil. Jodah found himself floating inside her presence, and once she took form, found that her skin was like bronze and her hair made of fire. She helped him re-claim the School of the Unseen and remove from it the bottomless pit that his treatorous second-hand—Gerda Äagesdotter—had allowed to be moved there from Tresserhorn in part of her deal to de-throne Jodah as Archmage, "bloody" Eternal. Jaya Ballard gave Jodah a charm that would immortalize his youth, and parted ways to walk the planes; as is the call of all planeswalkers.

"If you'd been there, you would've run from that deer, too!" —Jaya Ballard, task mage

Jaya Ballard's quick, fiery wit, auburn hair and possibly the best tan during the Ice Age marked her as a source of warmth in very cold times. For a price, she knew how to channel that warmth to get almost anything done, although those who knew her as a mortal have seen that, for a good and true cause, she is really a sucker at heart.

"GOTCHA!" —Jaya Ballard, task mage

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