Every book has a back story, and mine is no different. Before you even begin to write, you have to build your world. Part of that process is filling it with unique and memorable characters. It’s been said many times, and it still remains true: you must build your characters and give them dimension. What are their strengths, weaknesses, physical attributes, and flaws? How will they change throughout the book? Perhaps they don’t change at all because their personality prohibits them from learning from past mistakes. All of this needs to be figured out, preferably before you set hands to keyboard to write sentence one.
Occasionally there will be that one character who surprises you in the middle of your book by slowly having changed without you intending it. Sometimes that’s fun and okay, but what you want to avoid is when your characters suddenly do things that are out of character for them. If you want them to be read a certain way, it is up to you to write them that way.
Now, it would be ideal if I followed my own advice. However, I must admit I did not write out detailed descriptions and traits for my characters before I started writing book 1. I suffer from the delusion that I have it all mapped out in my head and somehow I can remember it all. Plus, I half-believe that characters will write themselves if you don’t think about it too hard. Hopefully they didn’t suffer for it (I don’t think they did?). Regardless, I have done it the traditional way for book 2, and I must admit it makes the whole process easier. I did end up writing character descriptions for book 1 after the fact. Hardly helpful, I know. But it is kind of fun to look at all of them and see how they did or didn’t change throughout the book.
So here they are. I tried not to add any spoilers, although some couldn’t be helped. At your discretion, you can read these before, after, or along with the book. Enjoy!
THE CHARACTERS OF THE WINDKEEPER
Morgan is a spirited, impulsive youth who holds fast to her ideals. She has an opinion on most everything and is not afraid to voice it. Still growing into her adult features, she is short, green eyed, and has long, curly auburn hair. At the beginning, she is fifteen years old. She starts out as a typical, slightly immature teenager; she doesn’t exactly know who she is going to be yet, but she does know that she doesn’t belong in the small town in which she’s been raised. She has always had a way with animals. When she learns that she has magic, her reaction is mixed; she is excited by it, but angry that it was kept a secret from her. She is in a unique situation because she is still mostly a child, but now has a great responsibility thrust upon her. She has to come to terms with that and try to accept it. Over the course of the book, Morgan has to face several confrontations that test her maturity and integrity. She handles each situation with a mixture of childish boldness and adult logic. This utilization of different levels of maturity is often why she is able to succeed where others might fail because of holding back.
Magic: Morgan’s magic is mixed. Her father was an earth mage of Gealgath and her mother was an air mage of Norbane. Therefore, Morgan has the magic of both air an earth. Her qualities with air are such that she is an Indigo Wind mage (the strongest a mage can naturally be without further study). Her magical tool for air is a copper panpipe. Her qualities in earth are such that she is a keeper: a mage with the ability to speak with, influence, and control earth animals. Her power stone is the mineral beryl, variety morganite. Her link is the marlen, Alpha Heliodor.
Master Roden Ravenstorm (The Stormseer)
Roden is the most powerful air mage of Norbane, as well as an accomplished seer and scholar. His appearance can only be described as formidable; he is tall with black hair and grey eyes, and his aura speaks of storms brewing on the horizon. At the age of thirty-five, he considers himself superior to other humans because of his many accomplishments and unusual lack of need for the baser things in life, such as human companionship. As the story continues, Roden is forced to confront the realization that he is not so different from other people after all; Morgan brings out a humanity in him that he didn’t know he had. Torn by guilt for using her and the burning desire to do what’s right no matter the cost to her or anyone else, he must now reevaluate his priorities and figure out what really is most important to him. Before he can truly do that, he must first come to terms with his newly discovered humanity.
Magic: Roden is an air mage, as well as a seer. The seer trait comes from his father’s line. The gift of a seer is separate from the elemental gift, and springs from an ancestry on the continent of Svalta, kingdom Svengai. There are two types of mages that hail from Svengai: seers and nulls. They are bordered by the smaller kingdom of Valta, land of the shapeshifters. Roden’s air power is the strongest ever known to a human, at the level of Raven Storm. That means he can control the largest, most vicious storms and hurricanes imaginable. His link is a large raven named Richi.
Heliodor is a marlen. He is one of the ten alphas, and leader of pack six. His mate is Beta Amethyst. He is roughly the size of a draft horse. His wings are distinctly of peregrine origin and his body and form are wolf-like. He has avian talons on his hind feet, and his tail can fan out for flight or fold down when he isn’t using it. His coloring is mostly russet and dark grey. Along with all the other marlens, Heliodor fled humans long ago and went into hiding because of a vision they had that frightened them. He is far from pleased when Morgan and Roden find their hiding place and interrupt their solitude, but he soon takes a liking to them. He is especially fond of Morgan, and the two of them form a bond. However, it is not until the end of the book that he submits to linking with her. Heliodor is wise, fair and knowledgeable, as well as playful. However, at the same time he can be a little cantankerous and aloof. He often gives Morgan sage advice, while at the same time exhibiting feral, inhuman behavior. This reminds the reader that he is not a pet, but a sentient and lethal being in his own right.
Magic: All marlens are creatures of air and earth; they are the guardians of this type of magic for the whole world. They are otherwise known as Eld Creatures. Their tools of magic are built into them: they use their voices to activate air magic and their hearts are made of their power stones for earth magic. Heliodor’s heart is made primarily of the mineral beryl, variety heliodor. All marlens are named for their power stones, just as human mages are. Like Morgan, Heliodor’s field in earth magic is Animal Communication and Location.
Master Nuala (Sage) Skymist
Nuala is the elderly mage charged with taking care of Morgan while she’s in hiding. Nuala is near seventy, but eccentric and unusually spry for her age. She is a tiny woman with long white hair and beady black eyes. Strong-willed and feisty, she is not someone you would want to cross, as she always manages to get her way. Nuala judiciously lives by two mottos: “freedom above all else,” and “tea fixes everything.” She loves Morgan and thinks of her as her own daughter, seeing as she never had a husband or children of her own.
Magic: Like Morgan, Nuala is a mage of mixed elemental magic. She has the magic of Eldemere and of Norbane (water and air). Her abilities in air took her as far as Sky Mist. She did not pursue it further because her true passion was in the water magic of healing. She is an herbal healer and the addition of water into her herbal remedies activates her power. Her link is a female duck (a creature of air and water) named Suak.
Hazel is Morgan’s best friend growing up, and a citizen of Norbane with no magical abilities. She has a gift for herbal healing and often assists Nuala in her work. When Nuala is summoned back to the University, Hazel goes with her so that she can learn to become a true healer. Hazel is a practical, down-to-earth girl. She has sleek brown hair and sharp brown eyes.
Prince Adyn (Adonyss Elestor Ramier Norland IV)
Golden-haired and blue-eyed, Adyn Norland is the much-sought-after crown prince of Norbane. He is an outgoing, slightly spoiled young man and, like most royalty, used to getting what he wants. Despite this, he is a truly likeable person. He meets Morgan at the beginning of the book and becomes intrigued and instantly infatuated with her. Unsure of how to take this, Morgan keeps him at arm’s length, but he is undaunted in his pursuit of her and makes his intentions clear. He is a man who hides nothing. He has never had to work for much of anything before, which is one reason why Morgan intrigues him so much. He learns the painful lesson that sometimes you don’t always get what you desire, even if you work hard for it. Over the course of time, Adyn makes the transition from spoiled boy to rational leader of men. This transition is helped along by his love for Morgan and willingness to change, and culminates in his sudden ascension to the throne.
Princess Corinne Norland
Princess Corinne is a sheltered, although sharp individual. Flaxen haired and blue-eyed, her life is one of frivolity and femininity. It is obvious her ladies in waiting think of nothing but fine dresses, getting a husband, and the politics of court, but there is an implication that Corinne could be something more if she applied herself. At sixteen, she is still young, and even more immature than most because of her sheltered upbringing. There is a stark contrast in maturity between her and Morgan, seeing as they are both the same age and yet act so differently because of their situations in life. The contrast is further defined, as she is so materialistic and well-bred, whereas Morgan puts no value in such things and is clearly better-suited to the wild.
King Adonyss Elestor Ramier Norland III
and Queen Felicity Norland
King Adonyss is a golden-haired lion of a man. He is a wise and benevolent ruler of his people and their safety is always forefront in his mind. He is a kind man, but prone to impatience and sudden tempers. The slaughter of his people weighs heavily on his mind and it upsets him that he is unable to do more for them as their king.
Queen Felicity is a pillar of resolve. There is little that can faze her, and she takes everything in stride. Flaxen-haired and dark-browed, she is the epitome of a well-groomed lady. She is unafraid to challenge her husband, when necessary, and does so with poise. Adonyss sometimes complains about this, and they often bicker, but it is obvious they love one another and he respects her opinion.
WARNING: The next guy is a total spoiler. If you like at all to be surprised by things, don’t read his bio.
Deceptive and cunning, Emer keeps to the shadows for almost the entire book. He is only hinted at once, near the beginning of the story. The reference is meant to make the reader wonder at it, but eventually forget it was even made until he shows up again. He is a back-stage puppet master. His power lies in his ability to manipulate from afar, seize on opportunities, turn them to his advantage, and control people’s minds with his twisted form of Keeper magic. He is Morgan’s father, although he has no particular attachment to her. He is of standard height and build, with shocking red hair and green eyes. He relies too heavily upon his past successes and his ability to deceive using magic. This overconfidence is what eventually seals his fate, seeing as no sane man would take on three powerful mages and a marlen all by himself. As for his motives and goals, those will become clear in later books. He has only just been introduced.
Magic: Emer is an earth mage with a specialty in the field of Animal Communication and Location. His power stone is the mineral beryl, variety emerald. He has discovered a new, twisted form of keeper magic that enables him to deceive the minds of others and make them believe whatever he wants them to believe.
Belydor the Dragon
(Image to come if I ever get around to finishing it)
Belydor is the human-hating, miserly old dragon who lives in the North Lands—or so he appears to be. Mostly coal black with an underbelly and accents of pure gold, he truly is a creature of terrible beauty. Hating humans is a bit of an exaggeration, although he has never sought to correct the assumption. In fact, he encourages it. His feelings toward humans are somewhat complex, and can best be described as academic. By rights, any humans who happen upon his land are his to command, kill, or do with how he pleases. He has seized on this opportunity to do an experiment of sorts. He keeps a human farm in the North Lands and uses it to conduct his studies. His goal is to determine whether humans are actually noble and brave, or if at some point all of them can be reduced down to their basest forms just to stay alive. It is his hope that at least some humans can retain their dignity in the face of death, but has met with no success as of yet.
Magic: Like marlens, dragons are creatures of eld magic. They are guardians of all magic on earth that is of water and fire. Although not mentioned in the book, but hinted at, his specialty for water is ice. Fire doesn’t have specialties (much like air), only levels.