A Fellow author recently interviewed Me about one of my lesser known characters from Dark Fey, so I chose to share the Character spotlight in its entirety today. I hope you will enjoy learning about The Healer, who becomes one of the main characters throughout the pages of book two, Standing In Shadows.
Tell me a bit about your character. Who are they, how old are they? What do they look like? His name is Evondair and he comes into the story in Dark Fey: Standing In Shadows. He is a youthful Healer just beginning his dedicated years of practice round about the age of 25, though I never do specify. He is an average height for a malefey, standing 5’10”, and has a trim, powerful physique. The golden-blond waves of his shoulder length hair accentuate the deep viridian of his eyes and his expansive white wings. He is beautifully handsome, but far from arrogant about it.
Do they have any strange or unique physical traits? Most Fey are either telepathic, empathic or have a gift of discernment and Evondair’s gift of discernment is exceptional. He is able to understand another as completely as they know themselves and can usually tell truth from lies with relative ease. Although he has no gift of magic, as some Fey do, he is also a skilled Healer of innate ability.
Does the character have any quirks? In spite of his harmonious nature, he has an impishly mischievous side, as well as an unpredictably short temper, particularly for a Healer.
Where do they live? What’s it like there? Evondair resides within the Temple Complex of Hwyndarin in simple quarters, but the Temple is the center of all learning and contemplation for the village, filled with lush gardens, tranquil devotionaries, vast libraries, and the Healing Wards where he studied and practices. Peopled by artisans, scholars, Celebrants, and the Triune Elders, it is by far the most luxurious and beneficial place to live on the entire continent.
What is their role in the story? Are they the protagonist/antagonist, a supporting character? Evondair stepped into the story of Standing In Shadows quietly, as his nature would dictate, but he has become a central, supporting character with a clear purpose. His harmonious inclination leads him to make a choice that will ultimately guide many others; changing the entire relationship between the Fey of the Light and the Dark Fey forever. (no spoilers here! 🙂 )
What do they do for a living? Evondair is a Healer, which is very much the same as a doctor, although the Fey of the Light practice holistic medicine, herbalism, and magic, for those who have such gifts. Although he is a practicing Healer, Evondair is also a voracious reader and is seldom found not studying to increase his knowledge of the healing arts.
What do they do for fun? Like many malefey, Evondair enjoys playing Vladokhyssum, a sport similar to Rugby and Kill the Carrier, though the entire match takes place on the wing. It is a comparatively violent sport in which one team member tries to score, being defended by only his three teammates, while twelve others attempt to stop him by (nearly) any means possible.
What is their greatest weakness, their greatest strength? Compassion for others and the confidence to do what he knows is right lies at the heart of Evondair’s nature, but his swift temper often leads him astray.
What is the best that ever happened to them? The worst? The best thing to ever happen to Evondair comes in book three, Breaking Into The Light, when he meets Kaylyya, his true mate. I cannot tell you the worst thing, as it would be too great a spoiler for book three.
What do they want from life? What are their goals? As a Healer, Evondair longs for harmony and a calm, quiet life, not only for himself, but for all. Although he is young, it does not take him long to understand that the only way to achieve the Peace he longs for is by becoming Peace.
Can you share a snippet from the book to give us a taste of Evondair’s character?
…..“The Reviled are tracking us; they are within the cavern and closing in. We cannot delay!” At hearing his warning, the golden-haired Fey glanced over his shoulder with noticeable trepidation, leaning closer to gather Gairynzvl more securely in his arms. With the Healer’s strong supportive embrace he finally found his feet, although he stood for a moment, collecting his senses. Before he could stagger onward, Evondair bid him to wait while he rummaged through the pack he carried between his nebulous wings, seeking his allotment of Quiroth, which he had not yet utilized.
“Drink this.” Handing the small bottle forward to Gairynzvl, who stood staring blankly into the distance in a muddled haze, he placed the bottle in his hand, waited; then physically lifted it to his mouth.
“It will strengthen you. Drink!” Again the Healer spoke with a surprisingly forceful tone and Gairynzvl shook himself at last, grasped the bottle more firmly and tilted it hastily over his lips. He remembered the foul tang of the amber liquid from the last time he had been required to drink it and his reaction to the strong, earthy flavor and pungent aroma was the same. Turning his head abruptly, he could not force himself to not spit it out; groaning in disgust and shuddering with revulsion at its taste, but the Healer would not be eluded so easily. Leaning close another time, he spoke with an unmistakably threatening tone.
“It is good that the darkness is blinding; if Mardan could see, he would be only too happy to restrain you while I force you to drink.” Twisting to gaze backward at the Healer with astonishment, Gairynzvl scoffed, then shook his head when he neither moved away nor said anything further, demonstrating his intractable intentions through the silence of his piercing viridian stare alone. Raising the bottle to his mouth begrudgingly, Gairynzvl frowned ferociously at it, tilted his head back and drank its contents in one draught, hissing with loathing at the empty container before he handed it abruptly back to Evondair.
“You will thank me for this.” ….
And to wrap things up, does this character of a “theme” song (or several)? Definitely Twilight by Delerium (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gpBU74RRY3A&feature=youtu.be )
Discover Dark Fey:
The Epic YA Fantasy Trilogy Dark Fey is set in the fantastical realm of Jyndari, a world of beauty, magic, Bright Light and Devouring Darkness. It relates a story about the Life-changing Strength of Hope, the Value of Acceptance, and the world-changing Power of Forgiveness through a tale that is brutally beautiful.
The only way to achieve Peace is to become Peace.
Dark Fey Official Website: https://allthingsdarkfey.wixsite.com/feyandmusings
Beautiful Original Artwork by: Han AhReum
He Seeks with Visions pressing in,
Darkness Spiraling through the void;
Whispers of Unheard Dichotomy,
With Dreams so Delicately employed.
He Delves with Diligence Unleashed,
Insistent where fools may fear to tread;
As Shadows billow in the silver-lush light,
Trading Impetus for stealth instead.
He Merges with Yielding Starlit Sighs,
Grasping hold without a single Touch;
Voluptuous Night expanding before him
Like mist curling softly, Permeating much.
He Asks through Intractable, Silent tones,
Taking All he cares to Possess;
Stirring the Nighttide with Succulent auras,
Tempestuous fury in Alluring Aggress.
A Poetic Preview of Dark Fey: Breaking Into The Light
. *** A Dream-Stalker is a Dark Fey who comes in dreams, much like an incubus, to tempt, dismay, or to delve secrets otherwise unplundered. In Dark Fey: Breaking Into The Light, the leader of all Dark Fey possesses this rarest of all abilities and uses it remorselessly to serve his own, dark means. ***
Beautiful Artwork found on Pinterest. Credit Gratefully Acknowledged to the Original Artist. Thank You~
Fellow Fantasy author and blogger Assaph Mehr has a website solely dedicated to character interviews! Very Cool, right?! The Protagonist Speaks is dedicated to the characters living inside the books we love. Each week they aim to publish an interview with a protagonist from a novel they believe in. Yep, you read that right. The protagonist – or antagonist! – from the book. Not the author. Not the reviewer. The character. They aim to put the characters in the limelight – to be heard, to be felt. …Which is a notion I believe in as well, since I also do Character Spotlights.
So when Assaph said he’d enjoy talking with Gairynzvl, the lead of my Epic YA Fantasy Dark Fey Trilogy, I couldn’t refuse. Gairynzvl could, of course. One never knows when it comes to unpredictable malefey, but fortunately he was in a talkative mood. Below you will find the conversation, and the link to the full interview on Assaph’s site.
Tell us a little about where you grew up. What was it like there?
My life has been dichotic. I spent my first seven years in the village Hwyndarin with my family and the Fey of the Light. It is a place of simple beauty and communal living, where each villager shares life’s responsibilities and burdens. I was very young, but remember playing with friends and learning to fly amid the forests, streams and meadows bathed in sunlight.
When I reached 7 ½, I was abducted by the Reviled Fey and spent the next 15 years of my life trying to survive the gloom and shadows of their dark realm, the Uunglarda. No sunlight warms their barren dominion and the skies are choked with soot and poisonous fumes. I suffered the Integration; five years of neglect designed to turn childfey into monsters and each day was a torment of hunger, thirst, cold, and abuse.
Gosh, that sounds horrible. How did you manage to hold onto hope? Was is a cherished memory, a favourite toy you clung to, a friend?
We had no toys in the Uunglarda, and very few friends, but I was determined not to forget the ones I had and to see them again. I kept the Light alive any way I could, mostly by repeated prophecies I had already learned and secretly studying others. Although I had to keep it completely hidden, which was not easy in a place where you are forced to do horrible things every day, as time went on, I formed a few secret alliances with Dark Ones who wanted to escape as much as I did and our mutual dream of freedom kept hope alive.
What do you do now?
Even though I have returned to the Light and live in Hwyndarin once again, I spend much of my time training with an exclusive unit of Fey Guards dedicated to the covert operation of returning into the Uunglarda at undisclosed times to rescue younglings and those Dark Fey who wish to escape.
That’s very heroic, but also dangerous, isn’t it? Have you always been driven to risk so much for others?
It is unquestionably dangerous, but also a self-rewarding sacrifice and one I am very willing to make, especially when I can see childfey restored to their families or those who will love and care for them. I would never call myself heroic, though I might agree with driven. Some of my friends describe me as tenacious and the Reviled thought me infuriatingly stubborn, (well, some of my friends say that too!) I simply choose to believe that positive action creates positive results and this conviction has proven true. Consequently, I am motivated to do more because it is so satisfying.
When you first decided to take such risks to help yourself and others, did you think you would succeed?
Honestly, no, but it was all I had; it was the only thing that kept me from being consumed by darkness. When I doubted, I forced myself to read and re-read the ancient texts, searching for anything that might help. When I met others who were doing what I was, it became easier to believe we would achieve our goal, but it was only when I first saw Ayla, the Fey of the Light Child Guardian who helped me when no one else would, that I knew with certainty I would stand in the Light once more.
Reaching out to her was extremely risky, wasn’t it? What was the most frightening thing about risking so much?
I risked everything and, believe me, it was terrifying. I lived in fear for months. If the Reviled had found out or caught me, I would have faced unbearable torture as a traitor. If Ayla had chosen not to listen to me and help, my only chance of escape would have failed, and if she had told others about the dark one who was following her for months trying to communicate with her from the shadows, I could have been captured and thrown into the Prison of Daylight; executed by the same Light I sought to return to.
Fey of the Light are taught from a very young age to fear the Reviled. As one of them, what was the hardest thing you had to do to convince her she could trust you?
The night I chose to confront her was stormy and the darkness aided my crossing, but I knew coming face to face with a Dark Fey, alone, would frighten her immeasurably. So, I had taught myself a spell that would protect her from the Legion I was forced to traveled with by casting a brilliant light, which would block them from crossing over to harm her and give me time to convince her I was no threat. It was difficult not only because I had no desire to scare her, but the light I used to protect her, at the time, was lethal to me. If she had not chosen to act and help me, it would have killed me.
Risking so much was certainly difficult; so, what was the best part of that night?
Ayla used her very special gifts to help me escape the torrent of light I had created. She covered me with her body; extended her strength to bolster my own and physically dragged me into the darkness of the parlor before it was too late. I remember standing there in the shadows trying to catch my breath as the sensation of burning I had been suffering subsided. She lay on the floor at my feet, utterly exhausted and overwhelmed; yet she did not try to run from me. In fact, she reached up to touch my hand, as if making sure I was all right. It was an extremely intense moment. For 15 years, no one had done anything for me; yet, although she was frightened, overcome, and wracked by physical and emotional pain that was not her own (because she had connected with mine), she did not retreat from me, but chose to draw closer.
That was and still is the most indescribable feeling I have ever experienced.
Are you still close to Ayla?
Yes, I am.
What does the future hold for the two of you?
She is my Beloved One, but this is all I will say.
Some things are too personal to talk about?
Something like that.
(smiling) I understand, but before we end our conversation, can you share a secret with us, which you’ve never told anyone else?
Hmmm? Sure, I know something, a very old prophecy, that can change the world for all Fey……
I would like to thank Assaph for this marvelous opportunity. It was a pleasure learning more about Gairynzvl, even for me, who wrote him. Please be sure to visit The Protagonist Speaks to read more fantastic character interviews (or to set one up for your own character!)
Beautiful Original Artwork by HJGArt and Negshin at Deviantart.com
Thankful for the Blessing of my Fey, who have Inspired me; led me into a new Realm, and opened doors I never imagined I’d ever walk through!
Day 49 of 365 of the Daily Thankfulness Journal Challenge
Original artwork in order from left to right, top to bottom:by Shuangwen on DeviantArt, Negshin at Deviantart.com, Portrait of unknown model found on Pinterest and modified by me; by: Ruoxin Zhang; Image found on stock free wallpapers.com; by: eclipsy at deviantart.com; by omupied at Deviantart.com; by: Dusan Markovic
Subtle Dialog spinning in my Mind
Capture the Essence
Ethereal in Kind
Speaking of Tales Unwhispered
Of heroes and Villains, both new and Olde.
Splendid Rhapsody Entreating my Thoughts
Into which I am Caught
Tumbling through my Heart
Bardic Romance For any who Hear it!
Beautiful Artwork found at Wallpaperscraft.com Credit Gratefully Acknowledged to the Original Artist. Thank You!
The slurking emptiness of the portal spiraled in confounding directions, blackness folding upon darkness, disorientating and robbing him of every sense. Silence filled his hearing, emptiness touched his hands, and piercing blackness robbed his sight as he forced himself to step through the numbing cold nothingness. Three steps, Gairynzvl had told him; three steps and he would be through the portal, but in the darkness where he lost all perception, including that of his own body, he could not be sure how many steps he had taken and the slowly turning abyss offered no perspective. Wholly uncertain, Evondair took another step.
The scrunch of gravel beneath his boots reoriented his senses as he took a final step and found himself standing on a dusty, barren track of greyish gravel surrounded by jagged outcroppings of bare rock. A fetid stench hung upon the thin air and leaching downward from a colourless sky, sooty rain in the form of a heavy mist shrouded everything. As the remaining Liberators crossed into the Uunglarda, Evondair moved away from the portal and gazed around curiously; yet even as he sought to familiarize himself with the empty wasteland stretching away before him in both directions and ignore the malodorous stench that made him snort in disgust more than once, he reached out through his exceptional gift of discernment.
The action was instinctual; a means of understanding his surroundings and those within it, but opening his mind to the darkness of the Uunglarda was not only an ill-conceived idea, but a thoroughly dangerous endeavor and he instantly regretted it. With the force of a rushing tide, desperate loneliness and unremitting anguish poured into his being, overwhelming him so completely that he raised his hands to cover his eyes and doubled over with physical pain. Memories as scathing as a lashing torment serrated through his thoughts; sadistic brutality and remorseless cruelty that drew a profound groan from behind his clenched teeth before the irrepressible tears of more souls than he could number pressed into him like a thousand blades.
He did not say a word, in truth he could not, but as the waves of despair and suffering sought to drag him into the colourless shadows and ensnare him, he fought to withdraw his discernment from the darkness even as it grasped and clawed at his mind like a ravaging monster. He could have screamed; he could have cried bitter tears; he could have cursed repeatedly in fluent Dlalth as the comprehension of the dark language of the Reviled filled his mind as clearly as his own did, but he did none of these things. As the deluge of misery wrenched at his mind and heart and the dejectedness of the lost Fey of the Light tore at his sanity, he centered his thoughts on the only thing in all of existence that was capable of defeating the darkness. Filling his mind’s eye with an image of bright, clear, sparkling Light, he focused his attention on the wails and screams shattering his thoughts and answered their cries for mercy with the strongest weapon at his disposal.
Unspoken, yet heard as clearly as thunder rolling across the scorched heavens, the compassionate love that filled his entire spirit reached outward benevolently, silencing the calamitous uproar as a breathless pause stretched across the gloom.
Discover more about Dark Fey here
Image found on Pinterest. Credit Gratefully Acknowledged to the original Photographer. Thank You~
As I prepare to complete book three of the Dark Fey Trilogy this weekend (YAY!) I thought I might share the characters with you and (hopefully) spark your interest.
(Click the links to read a full post about the character)
Gairynzvl – The Dark Fey Himself, who inspired the tale and whose life as a captive in the dark realm of the Uunglarda compels change.
Mardan – Rival of Gairynzvl who opposes his every action, until he realizes how much he has risked and how much he has to give.
Evondair – The forceful Healer who would rather be reading, but chooses to join Gairynzvl and, ultimately, changes the course of Fey history.
Ayla – Initially, the main character about who the story first revolves. Her weakness is her greatest strength, without whom, Gairynzvl never would have had a chance.
Bryth – A minor character who takes on greater responsibilities in book two and three. He is a Fey Guard Captain, ready to defend with his life; yet, also, ever ready with a quick jibe. He holds those around him together and reminds them of their responsibilities. The attached link shows a bit of his humourous side.
Ilys – a Dark Fey shedemon who comes into the story in book two. She’s known Gairynzvl a long time, in many ways. A Fey of the Light who was abducted as a childfey and, as a result, lives with haunting memories every day; she is a portrayal of PTSD.
Rehstaed – (pronounced with a trilled R-eh-stayed) is introduced in Dark Fey: Standing In Shadows and becomes one of the central, supporting characters in the story. He suffered so horrifying a loss in his personal life that he now simply exists day to day, lost in an addiction to temple wine that makes his life bearable.
Veryth – Although he is a supporting character in the trilogy, his contributions are vital to the story and, indeed, the Fey with whom he interacts. His influence is gentle, yet powerful.
If you’ve read the books, I’d love to know: Who is your favourite character…and why?
Blaylscith scattered in all directions through puddles of murky, gray water as a battalion of mud-spattered Legionnaires tramped into the bustling encampment. Straggling behind the main group and panting with over-exertion, a second unit followed closely, but unlike the former, who marched in unison and carried their weapons with strength and purpose; those who followed were ragged and in visible disarray. Many of these bore scars that stood out in vivid contrast against their pallid complexions and others nursed fresh wounds; a testament to their harrowing existence, which was exemplified when the unit came to a halt and many stragglers stumbled or nearly collapsed out of fatigue.
When the battalion of Demonfey ahead of them stopped, they stamped the ends of their spears into the ground or clapped their swords against shields as they voiced a growling, unified exclamation that echoed along the bleak way and sent shivers of fear through any who heard them.
“Raah!” These were the Legionnaires of the Realm; fiercely loyal to their Centurion and vicious of nature, not only in battle, but with any who crossed them. Their uniforms were spattered by the mud of the road, but they were in good repair; made of finely worked leathers treated with oil to repel water, and their weapons were fashioned of exceptionally-wrought steel by skilled Dlalth hands in the forges of Vrasduuhl, the centermost and chief city of the Uunglarda.
In contrast to this disciplined, brutally efficient regiment, those who followed behind were under-nourished, poorly equipped with second-hand, over-utilized weapons, and wore clothing that had been repeatedly patched, were soaked through from the pouring rain and distinctly unclean. These were Legionnaires who had been forced to undertake their oaths of service after years of harsh punishments and deprivation. They were the insignificant and the irrelevant; the expendable vanguard who would suffer the greatest number of injuries and fatalities before the highly-trained, ferocious Demonfey ever stepped onto the field of battle.
As icy rain leeched down in heavy torrents, the battalion of Demonfey were rapidly processed and sent off toward the tent where hearty provisions awaited them. The remaining Legionnaires were left standing in the downpour with little thought to their comfort or the fact that several had fallen out of utter exhaustion. Lying in the pooling rain, their needs were ignored by those standing round them. They were all fully cognizant of the fact that any display of compassion would only result in further torment or punishment, but although they were weary beyond measure and, in spite of the fact that some had not eaten for days, they stood in the downpour with grim, mute endurance and waited.
Long after the Legionnaires of the Realm had enjoyed a satisfying meal, one of the Captains returned to those still waiting in the rain, who were now shivering violently from weariness and exposure to the elements. Compelling them to undergo an inspection, the Captain first released only those who were still able to follow his instructions while he callously ignored those who had fallen or who could no longer force themselves to obey. Sending the first group off to the provisions tent to scavenge whatever food and drink might remain, the Captain then summoned one of his Lieutenants who carried a barbed lash. Mercilessly, he stalked through those few who remained hunched against the deluge, handing them the lash and forcing them to beat those who had fallen until they scrabbled, wailing, to their feet. Only when all the remaining nonessential Legionnaires were once again standing, did the Captain give consent for them to join the others in search of any provisions that might yet remain.
This is a snippet from book three of the Dark Fey Trilogy, Breaking Into The Light. It is an unexpected insight into the life of a Dark Fey Legionnaire. Book three of the series is filled with shifting perspectives as both sides learn to See each other as they truly are, opening the portal trust and, ultimately………
Amazing artwork found on Pinterest. Credit Gratefully Acknowledged to the original Artist(s)
A Fellow author recently interviewed Me about one of my lesser known characters from Dark Fey, so I chose to share the Character spotlight in its entirety today. I hope you will enjoy learning about The Healer, who becomes one of the main characters throughout the pages of book two, Standing In Shadows.
His thoughts filled with violence as the frenzy of bloodlust took hold of the Eternal and, when he bared his teeth at the Fey, Gairynzvl understood clearly just what purpose his glinting fangs served. Rather than back away in fear, however; he flexed his powerful wings with equal aggression and delved deeper, listening to the thoughts that filled Jean’s mind even as he rushed forward and grasped the Fey by his neck. Glaring back at the Eternal with every measure of composure he could manage, Gairynzvl took Jean by both arms with an iron-like clasp and beat his wings forcefully. Rising up from the ground at a daunting rate of speed was unexpected enough to redirect his attention and Jean paused to look down at the receding rooftop with an evident combination of astonishment and respect for the Fey’s countermove.
“Kill me and you may not live to regret it.” Gairynzvl hissed viperously as they ascended, continuing hastily before his quick-witted adversary had time to interject some acerbic reply. “But before you rip my throat out, will you allow me to pose one final question?” Jean’s black eyes locked with lavender-ice and he growled ferociously in return.
“It’s not like I have a lot of choice.” The Fey smiled with vexing charm, halting their upward climb and turning them in a slow circle before beginning to descend. Jean could not silence himself.
“If you wanted to dance, I could have asked the orchestra to play some Strauss.” Thirty feet from the rooftop, Gairynzvl inclined his head with exaggerated courtesy and let go of Jean’s arms. He plummeted to the ground amid the fluttering black of his coat, looking every bit the dark raven he was, and landed with surprising agility, neither falling nor staggering. Regaining his orientation, he glared viciously upward at the descending Fey, the red mists rushing over him, but Jean could not stop himself from laughing. Alighting several feet from the unpredictable Eternal, Gairynzvl watched his amusement cautiously, probing further into his thoughts in spite of polite decorum.
“If your existence here is as abhorrent to you as you claim, what have you to lose? The Light of Jyndari may not be fatal to you.” Recovering from his atypical display of mirth, Jean drew a deep breath and stalked closer.
“Light is light and I don’t fancy incinerating myself on a whim.” Gairynzvl shook his head.
“That is like saying blood is blood, but even now I can hear you debating whether or not my blood will satisfy you.” The revelation that he could read his thoughts rekindled the flame of his anger, causing the Eternal to move within inches of the brazen Fey with another growl.
“And just how might you know what I am debating?”
“We all have our gifts.”
“You may not want to read my mind. It just might make me angry.” Gairynzvl smirked with understanding; for the moment they enjoyed a truce and it was all he required.
“I do not know much about your realm, but you do. You know enough, at least, to wonder if my blood will satisfy you as a human’s might, which is vastly different than pigs blood or that of the wolf. I only suggest that Light is no different. Your body knows only the light of your realm; the Light of Jyndari is an unrecognized source of energy and may not be lethal.” Jean could not dispute the Fey’s logic, but sneered all the same.
“Yet if it is, I will not live long enough to say I told you so.”
“As I am not from this place, my blood may be equally as deadly; yet it is a risk you seem eager to take.” Considering the Fey’s argument pensively, his silence provided Gairynzvl a final opportunity, not only to save his own life, but to perhaps change the Eternals as well.
“If you are able to cross and stand beneath the radiance of our Light, will it not give you what you seek most; to breathe life and liberty without the compulsion for violence that you claim to detest? To gain some measure of purpose through the freedom of choice to live as you wish, rather than as you are forced?” The intensity of Jean’s glare pierced the Fey. He was certain he was right, but everything he knew was violence. How would he change that? It was a question he did not need to ask.
“I once lived a life of violence much as you do, but the Light of Jyndari changed me, allowed me to Prevail over the darkness and find a purpose for my life. It can do the same for you.”
“Is having a purpose so important?”
“You seem to believe so.” Jeans glare darkened.
“I asked you not to do that.” Once again, the Fey smiled with annoying charisma. Turning to gesture at the slowly undulating darkness of the portal, he questioned without speaking; yet Jean knew precisely what he was not saying. Looking round him at the garish glamour of the Rhineland and his, as yet, unconscious sometimes-friend, he took a hesitant step forward. If the Fey was right, then what he offered was as irresistible to the Eternal as blood itself, but the realization sent a myriad other questions tumbling through his mind. What would he do in this new realm and what would he consume if their blood was poisonous?
Gairynzvl reached outward toward the portal and spoke the dark words of Dlalth required to reverse its path, turning back to gaze at Jean with a wry smile even as he indicated that he should step through its dark surface.
“All very good questions, but you have time to debate them later.” Stopping beside the Fey, the dark raven reached out and laid his hand on his throat.
“If I have time to debate them, I may also have time for lunch.”
The portal opened, darkness pulling on darkness and Jean could not keep his feet from moving forward into the spiraling blackness. Letting go of the Fey, he stepped inward, hesitation and uncertainty filling every fiber of his being, but there was no turning back and what did he have, after all, to turn back for? The slurking pitch was utterly disorientating, but, in spite of not knowing which way was up or back, he took another step and felt the unexpected plush of undergrowth beneath his boots.
Light poured into the portal with terrifying velocity and the Eternal, born to death and darkness, stepped out into a brilliant glimmering of sunlight, which streamed through emeraldine branches. Warmth surrounded him for the first time in his life and the unexpected sensation made him squeeze his eyes closed in horror, certain it was the beginning of the end for him, but nothing happened. Birdsong filled the air more sweet than any concerto or symphony he had ever heard and the blush of the Light of Jyndari made him sigh profoundly. The rush of red mists that ever swirled in the depths of his being began to dissipate and the gnawing hunger he had always known was inexplicably quelled. Opening his eyes, he stared upward at the green canopy of a forest so beautiful he could not combat the tears that sprang from somewhere deep within him. Turning, he watched Gairynzvl step out of the portal, an insolent smirk upon his face, but the rush of anger he had always fought no longer compelled him to violence. Still, he had not changed all that much.
“You don’t live in these trees do you?” Gairynzvl pretended to laugh with marked sarcasm and pointed into the distance where the Eternal, whose vision remained as remarkable as ever, could see a village with clusters of quaint cottages and buildings nestled into the woodland.
“Lunch is at the tavern.”
~A Collaboration by Morgan and Richard M. Ankers. Richard’s contributions are highlighted for you in italics to set his writing apart from my own. We hope you will enjoyed this collaboration and debut of Character Interactions.
If you find the notion intriguing and would like to set your own characters in some new and entirely different situation, drop me a line or a comment to discuss the possibilities 🙂
“Purpose! I have no purpose, unless it is killing time in awaiting the end? Being alone?
“You’ll always have me,” whimpered the man on the floor. “Always.” Jean silenced him with a kick.
“Must you feel the need to demonstrate your superiority in such ways?” Gairynzvl had never once looked away, his stare continuing to break down any barriers between the two.
Jean sighed, as the Fey shook his imposing wings and cracked his neck.
“All I wish for is peace and quiet. Unfortunately, violence is often the only way to secure it. Especially where Sir Walter Merryweather is concerned,” Jean added.
Gairynzvl glanced at the comatose form on the rooftop, then back to Jean. He appraised the brooding form before him and struck upon a revelation. “You do not desire death; you feel it imposed upon you.”
“And you brood in the darkness because you cannot smile in the light. I do not know your kind completely, not yet, but I sense this true.”
“You see much, winged one.”
“I prefer Gairynzvl.”
“We all prefer something.”
Gairynzvl took a long, deep breath, eyes narrowing, and sniffed. “If light is all you wish for, then it is a gift I may bestow.”
“I am Fey, and as such may open portals to worlds other than your own, as you have borne witness to. I can give you light, Jean. And I will if you wish it.”
“I could not stand before it.”
“Not all light is the same.”
The raven of a man staggered backwards. If he had sought to impose himself upon the Fey in a brash display of strength, his actions dismissed that persona. Gairynzvl had offered him the one thing that nobody else ever had or could. Yet Jean remained Eternal, descended of the vampires of old, and the promise of that which he imagined a lie tore at him. The Eternal grew troubled, the red mists falling, clouding his vision, his judgment, his sanity.
Gairynzvl readied himself.
~A Collaboration by Morgan and Richard M. Ankers. Richard’s contributions are highlighted for you in italics to set his writing apart from my own. We hope you will enjoy this collaboration and debut of Character Interactions. Be sure to stop back for the finale tomorrow 🙂
Gairynzvl did not need to be empathic to understand the man facing him was dangerous and he did not need to delve telepathically to know that one wrong word or movement on his part and he could be facing oblivion. It was not a prospect he fancied, so when his lavender-ice stare met the brooding black glare of the stranger’s he lowered his expansive wings in an instinctual indication of deference. The man bore no weapon, but upon closer examination, he realized the dark raven needed none. Glinting from his sardonic grin, twin fangs as foreboding as any wolves warned the Fey of his lethal capacity; thus he stood silently to choose his words wisely before speaking.
“It was not my purpose to cross to wherever this is,” he offered as diplomatically as he might contrive to sound, glancing round him with undeniable curiosity; “any more than it is my intention to interrupt you.”
“It would only have been an interruption if he’d got away.”
Gairynzvl grinned at that, a swift gesture that drew a matching response. “My name is Gairynzvl,” said the Fey offering his hand. “Might I ask where I am?”
“Jean,” replied the man in black, dropping his victim to the graveled rooftop. “And I often ask myself that very same thing.”
The brooding fellow stalked forward, threw his coattails to one side and took the Fey’s hand. Their handshake was swift, but genuine.
The place was not unpleasant, but neither did it overly appeal. Gairynzvl’s eyes swept the night allowing Jean the freedom to appraise him. Though his wings were distinctly peculiar, his powerful physique suggested, if put to it, he would be a formidable opponent.
“Why does the water run red?” the Fey inquired, his feathers rustling in the breeze.
“Because it’s blood.”
“Blood, you say. Hm, this is indeed a strange and wonderful place.”
“If by strange and wonderful, you mean bordering on dead, then yes.”
“First impressions would suggest this a world not bordering on death but of death, albeit a luxurious one.”
“You should never read too much into first impressions, otherwise I’d be offering you bird seed.”
Gairynzvl did not rise to the bait; Jean’s smirk suggested he was impressed.
The two stood together in silent contemplation, gazing out across the Rhineland as though friends for centuries. But Jean could no more hide his bitterness towards life from Gairynzvl than he could the moon from the sky; such were the Fey’s gifts. Hence, the advantage lay with the newcomer.
Twisting round to gaze at the man who lay unconscious where Jean had dropped him, the Fey could not silence the query that escaped him in a markedly sarcastic tone.
“Friend of yours?”
“On occasion.” Jean’s terse reply warned him to go no further down that path. Scoffing with a grin, Gairynzvl returned the banter of the raven glaring at him speculatively.
“Then, although I may not be here long, I shall endeavor to not make you my friend.”
“That would be wise.” The blunt honesty of his deprecating remark mirrored the flood of anger and resentment that rushed from Jean so forcefully the insightful Fey could scarce defend himself from it. The sensation was one the former Legionnaire was all too familiar with and he frowned upon recognizing the other’s pain, but knew better than to remark on it unless he wished to learn, first hand, just what function his fangs performed.
“Where are you going?”
“The Uunglarda.” Jean shook his head.
“Never heard of it. Beyond the borders of New Europa, is it?” Gairynzvl shook his head, gesturing at the darkness from which he had stepped and Jean noticed, for the first time, how in that spot the shadows wavered and warped like the despoiled waters of the Danube below.
“Beyond this realm, although it, too, is a place of darkness and death, unlike my own realm of Light, life and purpose.” Jean sneered.
“Something some of us will never know.” Gairynzvl’s lavender-ice stare captured Jean’s, piercing him to his core.
“Your lifeforce is certainly unusual, but it is as potent as my own and I suspect your purpose is no different.”
~A Collaboration by Morgan and Richard M. Ankers. Richard’s contributions are highlighted for you in italics to set his writing apart from my own. We hope you will enjoy this collaboration and debut of Character Interactions. Be sure to stop back / watch for upcoming installments.
Welcome to the debut of Character Interactions! In this first installment, you will find a unique interaction between Richard M. Anker’s lead character, the Eternal Lord, Jean and the lead character of my own Dark Fey Trilogy, Prevailed Fey of the Light, Gairynzvl. Richard’s contributions are highlighted for you in italics to set his writing apart from my own. We hope you will enjoy this collaboration and debut of Character Interactions. Be sure to stop back / watch for upcoming installments.
Opening portals into other realms was just one of Gairynzvl’s many gifts. As a Fey of the Light he was born telepathic as well as partially empathic, which allowed him to read the thoughts of another without difficulty. He could also sense the stronger emotions of others, though he had been taught from a young age not to delve without permission. During the years he spent among the Reviled, he had also been taught the unique skill of opening portals; which the Dlalth exploited to their own dark purposes; yet it was a gift he was thankful for, nevertheless.
Standing before the mirror he intended to utilize to pass into that dark realm, he stretched out his hands and spoke the incantation to prepare the glass for crossing; the guttural Dlalth words he spoke causing the reflective pane to ripple like the waters of a disturbed pond. His deep voice pressed into its surface, penetrating the darkly silver abyss, opening it into the beyond, and the shadows that swirled and heavy darkness that reached through the void pulled at him, compelling him inward. Grasping the sword he wore sheathed at his side and folding his expansive wings tightly, he stepped forward into the slurking emptiness, pushing his way through the murky nothingness of the portal outward into the waiting domain on the other side, but it was a domain he could never have anticipated.
The darkness, tinged with the silver of an unrecognized moon, illuminated a rooftop, one Gairynzvl teetered on, in full view of a river awash in dark crimson. This was not the world the Fey intended, a different night, a different place, but, still, it intrigued. He flexed his wings, their beating stirring up an overbearing pomade of some strange flower, both unknown and unwanted. There appeared to be music playing from down below and a casual glance over a steep drop revealed the flickering light of myriad candles, an overly bright accompaniment to the internal merriment. All very strange. All very new.
Gairyznvl prepared to make the leap to a broad balcony below, when distracted by a grunt and the crunching as of gravel to his back, he paused. With a curse of frustration at having been the observed and not the observer, the Fey spun about-face. There before him locked in a one-sided struggle were two men. One, a dark raven of a man, appeared to be throttling the life out of a rather gaudily attired other, who hung from the first’s grip, his shock of messy blond hair waggling back and forth across his face. The throttled man, seeing Gairyznvl, attempted a cheery wave before an involuntary last shake silenced him, possibly for good, and the man in black turned to face his witness. The fire in his eyes suggested he was not best pleased. He was not best pleased at all.
~A Collaboration by Morgan and Richard M. Ankers.