Saturday, November 29, 2014

Meet Baen the Caster!

Baen is a massive amüli and a master caster--one who directs a group of magicians. He has a knotted red beard and shoulder-long red hair, which he ties back with a strip of leather. Wings of ruddy red and brown help him fly from deck-to-deck on the sky ship, and he takes orders from no one other than Captain Melroc. The two are close friends, and as the story progresses, it’s revealed that Baen sustained magical wounds during a battle, and that the injuries cannot be healed. Magic can’t heal magical ailments, and so, as the wounds spread closer to his heart, he becomes frailer.

After an accident aboard the sky-ship which magic would have helped prevent, Baen offers to teach Frendyl some magic. Baen’s an honest, at-face-value person, and doesn’t hide how he feels or who he cares about. When he’s upset, he shows it, such as when Frendyl casts a spell before he’s ready and injures himself if the process.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

What They're After

The Blood of the Sun is made from the blood of the first amüli king, who is rumored to be the strongest amüli to have ever lived. Due to his power, the gem is fabled to have unprecedented abilities and is rumored to even be able to heal magical wounds. Magic itself is dangerous, and few amüli ever completely master the art; most who study it take great care, as it has the capacity to make them Soulless. Because magic-inflicted wounds never heal—even with the aid of a spell—a gem that could heal such injuries could fetch a high price.

More than its healing abilities draws amüli to this stone, however. The faction attempting to oust the current monarch and replace him with the pretender are driven to acquire the stone so they might undo the bond between amüli and Soulbound humans. This bond was created two thousand years ago, and only the Blood of the Sun is powerful enough to rip it apart.

At the same token, the stone itself is alive, inhabited by a sliver of consciousness of the first amüli king, who is determined to reunite the gem with his bones--which are trapped in the Catacombs. He will do anything he can to force Frendyl into the pitch-black labyrinthine dungeon, including causing the Soullessness of those Frendyl holds dear. The Blood of the Sun feeds off of magic and sustains its life force with the energy the gods provide, but it also must take life in order to keep what consciousness remains intact. Without the blood-price paid, the old king will fall victim to time and cease to be.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Meet Kellyn "Kel" Wynbre

Kel is a Krune on her mother’s side, and has messy, short dark brown hair and dark violet eyes. She’s eight—too young to do more than glide when in the air—and on her way to meet her betrothed, someone she describes as a flightless ninny. Unlike most ladies her age, Kel prefers to dress like a boy when she can, often wearing enormous, dirty shirts, an over-sized cap, and leather breeches. Her wings, which match Frendyl’s and her cousin Melroc’s, are a mallard hen’s and helped her father make a lucrative match for her.

Women are seldom allowed to learn magic in the amüli society, and when she discovers Frendyl is learning, she demands he teach her. Her Cousin Melroc is the captain of the ship, and does all he can to stop her, but she manages to get her way simply due to her forceful nature.

When insulted by Jae during one supper, Kel dumps hot soup on her and leaves, thus beginning a long series of running gags. If Jae threatens to wipe boogers on her, Kel reacts by either dumping something on her—soup, water, broth, milk—or pushing her off the edge of the ship. Regardless of this relationship, Kel views Jae as an older sister, as Kel is the only daughter in a family with eight children.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Meet Jaecrel "Jae"

Okay, so, initially, Jae was a young boy, but I've changed him to be a girl after a long discussion with my fabulous editor, Philip A. Lee, which makes for a more dynamic character. Although Jae remains a strong character, only her gender seems to have changed (I could have made her more effeminate, but I feel like that wouldn't be true to the character herself and the personality that she continues to have).

Jae never reveals her surname, and is eleven. She has sandy-blonde hair, freckles, piercing dark blue eyes, and mourning dove wings. Unlike Navyni, whose seriousness often overpowers his ability to engage in light conversations, Jae will joke about anything—boogers included. Her favorite person to pick on—other than Frendyl—is Kel, Frendyl’s second cousin. She delights in wiping boogers on Kel—until she dumps hot soup on Jae's lap, that is.

While Jae may seem care-free on the outside, she hides a deep-rooted terror—terror that she might become Soulless—lose her soul and live in a limbo-like state of non-being—if she does not do as commanded. Jae’s in league with an amüli known as the pretender, and must find the Blood of the Sun if she’s to survive. When she follows Frendyl into the swamp to search for the stone, she traps Frendyl underground in a mad attempt to steal the gem and to save herself.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Meet Captain Melroc Krune

Frendyl meets so many people on his journey to find the Blood of the Sun, and one of the authorities in his life is his uncle, Melroc Krune, who captains the sky-ship Frendyl sails across the world on. Melroc is only one of a number of authority figures, but he's more like Frendyl than most of the others, and his influence on Frendyl becomes evident in The Soulbound Curse, where Frendyl plays a part in capturing Clae Vojtech for his cousin, Mizendrel.

Captain Melroc, like his nephew, has pale eyes, though his are violet, and masses of black, tangled hair. He wears his hair long and keeps a Viking-esque beard, which is braided at random and has jade and wooden beads woven throughout. Like Frendyl and Kel, he has the wings of a mallard hen. Leather is his choice of clothing—a black leather vest, brown leather breeches, and massive, boiled leather boots. Like all amüli, his clothing is made to fit comfortably around his enormous wings.

Melroc was born into an enormous family. He has two brothers and four sisters; Frendyl’s father is Melroc’s oldest brother and current patriarch of the Krune family. Unlike his brother, though, Melroc—while massive—often refuses to be an imposing person. He prefers to give commands after gaining the respect of others, not through force, and is an avid player of xiangqi, favoring the General. When he’s concerned or in deep thought, he chews on the pointer-finger knuckle on his left hand.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Meet Navyni Yassla

The second of the Meet-the-Characters series is Navyni Yassla, who is the father of Yaranda and Azalie Yassla (both appear in The Soulbound Curse). Because every manuscript and short story I write takes place in the same world, I have the unique opportunity to delve into the minds and actions of characters that may only play a background--or non-visual role--in other parts of the overall story. Navyni is such a character, and others--such as Eblyn (who appears in The Vow of the Four Kings, Frendyl Krune and the Snake Across the Sea, and an as-yet untitled graphic novel series)--help to draw the threads of life together throughout the massive series.

Navyni is thirteen years old and comes from a powerful family in a city called Madirakov. He’s African in appearance, with long, black hair, which is often braided into multitudes of strange shapes, and held in place with clasps and combs of gold. His eyebrows are pierced in gold rings, and he has the wings of a lilac-breasted roller. Because he’s from a much warmer climate, Navyni garbs himself in light-colored, breezy robes, and as the first-born son of a powerful family, he has taken on a momentous task—revenge.

Navyni’s drive stems from a burning passion to reclaim his family’s lands. A cunning cousin of his ousted his family from power, and even froze his only older sister in time while she was pregnant. Due to his path, Navyni is an expert in the art of battling with a double-bladed staff called, “The One who Eats Breath.” He’s drawn to Frendyl’s outgoing nature and the similarity of their personal journeys.