Here are the ideas and backgrounds of my various characters, along with pics of actors or other images that help me visualize them better. Some actors and images you may recognize, some you may not. I’m a very visual person, so this helps me ‘get into’ the world(s) I’m creating.
…is the name of the continent which is the setting of my fantasy novel-in-the-works. Rayne is from the eastern end of this continent, from a village called Waterbrow. The first part of this story is set in Rayne’s child/young adulthood, with a tentative title of Windhorses. So she will get two characterizations here, one for her 12 year old self, and the second for her grown-up persona.
Being raised by her brothers, Rayne never really learned about being girly. From early on, she refused to wear skirts and even wanted to cut her hair like her brothers. She has a special touch with animals, horses especially, and has spent her life working on her family’s horse farm and looking forward to visits from her honorary family, an older Traveler couple, that were present when she was born. Despite not knowing her mother, who died in childbirth with her, Rayne has inherited her mother’s abilities, though the charm with animals is the only form it takes this early in her life. The rest will come later. Angus is her oldest brother and the head of her family. Angus is fiercely protective of his little sister, but this often takes the form of him being overbearing and restrictive to her and she resents it. Only the incident that sends her into the mountains alone the winter of her twelfth year teaches both of them how important both holding onto and letting go of family really is.
Angus is 12 years Rayne’s senior, her oldest brother. The night she was born and their mother died, their father, Niall, vanished, grief-stricken. Angus had no choice but to take charge of his family and has taken that role ever since. He is assisted by a Traveler couple who happen by and help take care of the children, though he is deeply susicious at first. Forced to grow up very quickly, Angus is very serious and unbending, especially when it comes to Rayne. Being the free spirit that she is, she bridles against his restrictions more and more the older she gets. It all comes to a head in her twelfth year.
Niall is a veteran of the cavalry and came back to the abadoned family farm to breed horses. At the time of Rayne’s story, their family is known for producing beautiful strong horses capable of speed. Their horses are popular with knights and nobility alike. Niall runs most of the breeding and sales of the farm; Angus runs the day-to-day operations and makes most of the decisions regarding the farm and his siblings. Niall is also an excellent storyteller and Rayne gets some of her dramatic sense from him.
When Rayne’s mother died in childbirth with her, Niall was despondent and ran off in the night. He was forcibly returned several weeks later by kinsmen of the Traveler couple that stopped to help them. He never fully recovered from his beloved wife’s death and, as Rayne grew, she was the very image of her mother, with her high-spirited personality. Rayne has never known her father to be anything but melancholy so it doesn’t occur to her that he’s any different. It still hurts her that he sometimes avoids her, especially near Beltane, her birthday. Angus finally confronts him about it and Niall realizes how much time he has wasted mourning and not being more of a parent to his only daughter.
Rayne is almost an alter ego for me. Though we’re not very similar physically (she’s nearly 6 feet tall and lanky, I’m 5’9″ and… what’s the opposite of lanky?) we share similar beliefs about the world and our place in it. She’s the youngest of five, the rest are brothers, and she spent her childhood proving ‘yes I can’ to their taunts of ‘betcha can’t’. Aside from heights and lightning, she’s pretty fearless but is fairly reserved, not feeling the need to demonstrate her abilities to anyone anymore. As she grows older and she becomes independant, she learns more about her powers and eventually becomes quite a force to be reckoned with.
Rayne’s childhood story has become about her relationship with her oldest brother Angus, the head of the family. Her adult story is becoming about her relationship with her brother of the heart, Keresh.
Keresh is not my creation. He actually was created by a friend who played him amazingly on an online RPG I played back in the day. Rayne and Keresh became friends as did Tommy and I. He graciously allowed me to include him in my story which recounts the adventures Rayne had living in Crowsport (not the original name of the city, but that name is the property of the originators of the game and I no longer have contact with them).
Keresh’s lineage is of the desert people far to the south and west of the continent of Melior but he has n o memory of his parents or family. His earliest memories are of fighting in gladitorial-like combat as a slave of the Neth, the dark elves. Eventually he wins his freedom and is a formidible fighter. He becomes a brother to Rayne, replacing the ones she left behind on the farm.
Valerie is divorced, victim of an unfaithful husband and an overbearing mother-in-law. She spent her entire marriage trying not to rock the boat, trying to keep the peace to preserve her marriage. She had this idea that if the marriage failed, somehow she was personally responsible and therefore a failure herself. The story begins with her returning to the family home in north Florida and taking posession of her childhood home on the shore of fictional Cooper Lake, her sister and brother-in-law also living on the property in their own house. Valerie has swallowed her pride and come home to live and work in her sister’s veterinary clinic. It takes some time for her to settle in and accept her freedom; still, as badly as her marriage ended, she has no interest in any new romantic entanglements. Or so she thinks.
Widower, father, airline captain, next door neighbor and friend of Alan, Valerie’s brother-in-law, he’s come back to Florida with the intention of tying up loose ends; sell his home, pay off any lingering debts. He goes to the veterinary clinic to pay a small balance and finds Valerie there working as a receptionist. Something about her makes him find excuses to stay around. He starts playing racquetball with Alan again, delays selling his house. He and Valerie talk as he comes and goes from the clinic. An incident occurs that has Valerie taking Daniel to the emergency room. His hands are pretty useless for a few days and she helps him out. Soon, he is able to reciprocate the help and the two of them become friends in their own right. They aren’t dating per se, but they do go out and enjoy one another’s company. He still persists in wearing his wedding band, even though his wife has been dead almost two years. Valerie never asks him about it, not feeling like it’s her place to ask something so personal.