Backstory From My Old Comics: Leona was the high priestess of Oni Village, where Dr. Honen Calzoun had originally come from. Honen was abandoned by his parents as a young child in the jungles of Oni Island. Although he met up with Zumo and the two helped each other survive, he eventually returned to the village after being badly-injured in an attack by a wild animal. Unable to go to his parents, he went to the mountain sanctuary instead and was taken in by Leona. Leona nursed him back to health and it wasn't long before they were in love. However, Leona is deeply-religious and true to her teachings.
In the Oni culture, they are forbidden to use high technology, machines, and weapons such as guns and bombs. Honen, fearing they would be wiped out or enslaved by magic users or others who have such technology, began building machines and weapons and encouraging other Onis to get behind his cause and do the same. Leona tried to stop him, but he refused, so she banished him from the village forever, with the threat of being killed on-sight if he ever returned. Honen was left heartbroken and frustrated, but he believed that someday he could return and prove to Leona that he was right. Ironically, the Oni Village did come under attack by magic users in his absence, and almost everyone was killed, including Leona. This incident fueled Honen with a hatred of all magical-blooded creatures and the desire to wipe them out.
Character Design Notes: Leona is a character who existed in my old scripts but was never actually drawn before. She was meant to appear in an episode in which Nucleo and Deuce discover Oni Island after trailing Honen's ship, XERA, there. However, this episode was cut because I felt it explained too much about Honen and I wanted to keep his past and species a mystery a little longer.
Eventually, towards the end of the series, Nucleo discovered that Honen was sick with a rare illness on his secret island. Honen explained his past in a series of flashbacks to Professor McRaven. This episode was written, but not drawn, so that's why there were no Leona sketches.
Leona in the RAU Gallery: Leona only appeared in the current series when a rift in the space-time continuum placed both her and Honen in the same time period together. Honen, believing he had been given a second chance to save her, tried to convince her to go with him. But Leona, upon seeing he was still building war machines, refused and they were once again separated. Although Honen still loves her and wishes she was alive, this incident forced him to realize that their relationship would never have worked. Leona will probably not appear in any future sketches.
First RAU Gallery Appearance: The Great Forum War Part 3: Honen's Vacation
First drawing of Leona Starling that I ever did.
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