Christmas is fast approaching, and with it, the revelation of (some of) my new short stories! As a teaser, this week’s Savvy Saturday post gives a brief glimpse into the main characters of the stories I’ve been working on most recently. This includes characters you’ve met already (Eshmait from “Noble Memories” and Nikso from “Wolf Who Overcomes”) as well as some new faces…including a first look at Wittanruahk (Witt), the main character of my current work in progress! Are you ready? Then let’s go!
Noble Memories – A Fairy Tale of Cadaeren
Eshmait: The fabled son of Lord and Lady Eshmait, this young man’s story has enchanted the children of Cadaeren for hundreds of years. Like any fairy-tale hero, Eshmait has more noble traits than flaws. Besides his shamai talents – which include spinning rainbows out of mist and, more impressively, bringing clarity to old, faded memories – Eshmait is portrayed as being good, kind, trusting, and generous. It is an overabundance of these traits, rather than actual character flaws, that gets him in trouble throughout the story. Many listeners, for this reason, tend to sympathize more with the more human character in the story: Maretzai.
Maretzai: The eldest of seven peasant sisters, Maretzai is a resourceful, stubborn, aretz healer who harbors a deep sense of guilt regarding her parents’ death years before. Separated once from her sisters when it was discovered that she was an aretz, she is now willing to do whatever it takes to keep her family together – even if it means breaking the law. Some versions of the story of the White Prince tone down Maretzai’s anger toward Cadaeren’s nobility at the beginning of the tale in a blatant attempt to purge the story of any elements that could be harmful to the stability of Cadaeren’s stratified class system. Many of Cadaeren’s lords, however, continue to approve the story in its original version, believing that Maretzai’s character development and the ultimate outcome of the tale contributes a stronger, more positive message regarding Cadaeren’s nobility than could any more sanitized version of the tale.
Wolf Who Overcomes – A Story of Alepago
Nikso: At twelve years old, Nikso knows that she isn’t cut out to be a hunter of Toranquano. Hunters are brave and strong and respected by everyone; they’re chosen by the Great Wolf spirit to keep his people safe and bring him glory through victory. Nikso is none of those things. She is a skilled runner, to be sure, with a keen sense of direction, good tracking skills, and the ability to travel for long distances without tiring. But ever since her father was killed by a bear, she has been known as Nikso the timid – just the opposite of what the Great Wolf values in his people. As Nikso goes on her Lone Hunt, a rite of passage for every young Toranquanois, she secretly yearns for the opportunity to prove herself. The opportunity that comes, however, is as deadly as it is unexpected…
Work in Progress – A Story of Cadaeren
Wittanruahk: Known as Witt to his friends and family (and as “that crazy ruahk white-sash with the loon” to his enemies), Wittanruahk’s mission in life is to uncover the truth behind all of Cadaeren’s innumerable tales and legends – because the truth is often even stranger than the stories. Easily distracted, constantly on the move, eager for adventure, and always optimistic, Witt collects dangerous experiences like shamais collect books and aretzes collect herbs: compulsively. Thus far, his own intuition, cleverness, ruahk powers, and sheer luck have kept him alive, but given his inability to stick to a plan and his tendency to leap before he looks, Witt may one day find himself in more trouble than even he can get himself out of.
“Noble Memories” (formerly titled “The White Prince”) will be made available on Christmas Day 2014 to anyone who answers all questions of the Cadaeren Christmas Challenge, which will be posted here on the blog as well as permanently on the Quiz page of this website. “Wolf Who Overcomes” will be sent as a special Christmas present to the three fastest people to post the answer to any two (or more) of the questions of the Cadaerian Christmas Challenge on the A.L. Phillips facebook page. Excited? Have questions? Let me know what you think in the comments section below!