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Olennika Potcracker
Style '
Start of Reign
Coronation Date
End of Reign
Regency Council
Heir Apparent
Heir Presumptive
Style '
Reigning Monarch
Biographical Information
Honorific Viymese (female honorific for a Mage)
Born unknown
Nationality Namornese
Magical Information
Magic Ambient magic
Type Cooking magic
Ranking Great mage
Institution University of Lightsbridge
Accreditation Mages' credential (at least)
Student(s) Jorality Bancanor
Specialization Cooking
Fire magic
Creations Food that would turn green if poisoned and roll to the poisoner
Physical Description
Gender Female
Hair Black
Eyes Black
Family Information
Adoptive Parents
Adoptive Children
Other Family
Patron God
Rank Great mage (likely)
Residence Yorgiry's Hospital; Kugisko, Namorn
Occupation Head cook at Yorgiry's Hospital
Head cook for Empress Berenene (former)
Affiliation Namorn
Law Enforcement of
Guard District
Guard Watch
Training Partners
Previous Partner
Current Partner
Guard Badge
Bibliographical Information
Circle Universe character
First Mentioned '
Only Mentioned '
First Appeared '
Last Appeared '
Latest Appearance '
Only Appearance Cold Fire
Last Mentioned '

Olennika Potcracker (pronounced oh-LEHN-ee-kah) is an ambient cook mage based in the Namornese city of Kugisko. She is immensely powerful and perhaps considered a great-mage.



As she served the empress, it is likely that she received her magical education at the University of Lightsbridge in Karang, as is standard among the Namornese imperial mages; Quenaill Shieldsman and Ishabal Ladyhammer both studied at the university[1].

Serving the empress

Olennika served in Dancruan as Empress Berenene's head cook. She showed her prowess even in that, and created foods that would turn certain colors if poison had been added, as well as foods that would roll to the person that added the poison[2].

She was thrown into the Syth one day in an attempt to keep her from warning the empress. Potcracker survived and claimed that she saw a vision of the goddess Yorgiry, and said the only reason she was alive was because of the goddess. Thus, she resigned her position as head cook, left the imperial court for Kugisko, and served the goddess who saved her life at Yorgiry's Hospital in Blackfly Bog. The empress gave her a large amount of money in order to build and run the hospital[2].

Yorgiry's Hospital

As the head cook at the hospital, Olennika rarely took beginning students, so Matazidah Bancanor did not put her on the list of possible magical teachers[2]. When Jorality Banconor's ambient cooking magic was discovered by Daja Kisubo, Jory tricked Daja into taking her to Yorgiry's Hospital to meet with Potcracker[2].

Instead of turning the two away, Olennika gave Jory a chance. To test the girl, she told Jory to bring different spices from unlabeled jars in her workroom. She claimed that if Jory was serious, she would know the different spices. Jory passed and Potcracker agreed to take her on as a probationary student to see if they can both work well together. Potcracker asked Daja to continue the meditation lessons with Jory, as it would be far too loud in the hospital to concentrate[3].

Arsonist attack

Bennat Ladradun made his final attack on Yorgiry's Hospital, using the oil stores in order to create blasts. Olennika readily accepted Daja's help, already holding off a huge amount of heat and flame using her magic. She scolded Daja by saying that at least she knew when to quite before she died. Olennika told Daja that there was a ward that housed some of the city's mentally ill, and that no one would go to them because of everything else. Daja accepted the task in getting them to safety.

Upon catching the serial arsonist Bennat Ladradun, the city sentenced him to death by burning, according to custom. The other custom was that the arsonist be burned at the scene of his greatest crime, which would be Yorgiry's Hospital. Hospital officials turned down this idea flatly, saying that the hospital was a site of healing, not of death or judicial matters. Olennika was present at the execution and used her magic to help burn up Ladradun quicker to make it painless. She did this with many other fire using mages, like Daja and Frostpine.

Rebuilding the hospital

The entire city got to work in rebuilding the hospital, and Olennika worked as well.

Magical abilities

She is possibly a great-mage, as her food helped Berenene foil assassinations many times, something that the empress prized her for. Plus, after Bennat Ladradun set the fire in Yorgiry's Hospital, she was able to hold back a huge amount of heat and flame so that others could escape. She can also distinguish spices by magical feel, which is why none of the bottles in her workroom are labeled.

Physical description

Olennika has an olive skinned white face with snapping black eyes. Her black hair is described as soft and shadowy, like dark wool.

Personality and traits

Olennika is a stern woman, but is willing to give people a chance. She has a frightening and imposing personality at times. She is very philanthropic and helps the poor and the sick. She does not think much of the wealthier residents of Kugisko, and called them leeches and parasites quite a few times. She does not attend banquets or events hosted by the Mages' Society because she dislikes the rich.

Daja noted that Olennika's stern manner would be good to temper Jory's wild and dramatic spirit.


Olennika only appears in Cold Fire.

Notes and references

  1. The Will of the Empress
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Cold Fire, Ch. 5 (pp. 115—117; Scholastic paperback)
  3. Cold Fire, Ch. 6

See also

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