Listening to the characters and letting them tell their story is, for me, the intriguing part about writing, and it saves me from paying exorbitant therapist bills. At its most basic level, it makes writing an exercise in discovery; finding out what each character has to say, what tale they have to tell. The exceptions are Angus and Arielle who were both made during my wife and I roleplaying.
This scene is plucked from book one; Chapter, The Immortals.
the characters of chaos
My name is Arielle Rhen’val. I fight to survive and thrive here at the Gates. Some of the other cadets think my being granddaughter to the Commandant grants me privilege.
They say my ex’s renowned reputation as the best swordsman ever known, protects me from harm.
They taunt me about my family’s status, saying it will elevate me to the next stages of my education without me lifting a finger.
They don’t know me. They don’t know that I will do whatever it takes to succeed.
I will thrash them and I will outsmart them all. I will break their bones and heal them, so that they can endure more of my punishment. I will show them things they’ve never seen before.
They will come to know me. I am Arielle Rhen’val and I hide under no ones shadow.
Hey, I'm Angus Kal'Parev. If my rugged good looks don't win you over, my nerdy charm will.
I can talk all day about my man crush, Phadrus. He's the author of many Occanium manuscripts and I'm his biggest fan.
My name is Logan Fel'Mekrin. I am the heir to House Fel'Mekrin and the greatest swordsman the Areth'kon has ever produced.
Magic does not touch me, and yet what I touch reveals the clairvoyant images others leave behind.
I know everyone thinks I am perfect, but inside I am broken and malformed. I long for the perfection others bestow on me, but it is a childish masquerade and I intend to shatter the facade.
Honor, glory and fame are my birthright. But, I do not want any of these things. Those are the truths others have created for me. I only want Arielle, the woman my conceit drove away from me.
I am Logan Fel'Mekrin, and I will follow my path whether it leads to success or to death.
I am Ba'ril. The Areth'kon is my life. I have studied and trained since I was old enough to walk, with the intention of becoming the perfect Elc'atar Guard.
I am disciplined.
I am tenacious.
I accomplish my goals.
I know who everyone is, where they're supposed to be and their assignment. That's right, I study the duty roster for the entire complex. A good commander holds the entire operation in their mind.
I am Nessah. I enjoy the brutality and bloodshed the Areth'kon has to offer and look forward to it being my life.
Don't think I won't scar every fiber of your being before I go down. You'll remember me forever by my name carved in your sin'del.
I'm Darien. I guess you could say I'm a hurlin' fanatic, but what's wrong with that? It's the perfect game and I'm a fecking genius on the field. If you enjoy spending time on the pitch, we'll get along fine, even if I hate every other thing about you. Gotta respect someone who can handle a hurley.
On or off the field, I believe in fair play. I know what is right, and I will do it regardless of the cost. Its my job to look out for those unable to defend themselves.
I do carry a shield, after all.
My name is Ti'vol, but some call me a misborn. I was cut out my mother's womb after she died trying to close a breach in the great city of Reven Marthal.
I've made my squad my family and they look after me. They taught me that even though I'm smaller and weaker than the other Blades, my steel will cut just as deep as my wits.
Darien calls me "killa", but he has no idea how accurate that is.
I may not amount to much in the Areth'kon, but they haven't seen the last of me.
I'm Caradoc, but some call me 'Doc for short.
My curse is to know things. I'm clairvoyant, so I can read the things others unintentionally leave behind when they touch something.
But I can't control it. I need to wear these damned gloves to keep the images at bay. It helps to keep everyone at a distance as well. Touching things is bad. Touching living things is worse.
Regardless, I am Areth'kon, nephew to the Field Marshal himself. I can perform my duty regardless of my curse.
Do you know who wins battles? It's not the largest army. It's the smartest.
That's the first rule. Out-think your opponent. Understand them better than they know themselves and plan accordingly.
If that doesn't work, bash at them relentlessly until they 're too broken to get back up.
Hi there. I'm Denuelle. You can call me Den.
Most people will say that I'm flighty and bubbly. They don't realize those bubbles come from deep within and are the product of my inner turmoil. One day they'll pop and I'm scared of what will replace them.
Oooh, did I scare you? Yeah I'll do that to folks.
I'm Ossian, and my merging skills take people off guard. I'll reappear when you least expect it so have your diapers ready. I'm training to be a scout, so I move about real stealthy-like.
I may not be much of a conversationalist, but that just means I've got alot on my mind. I watch, I learn. I get things done. No need for chit-chat.
Any fellow bakers out there?
Most people around here have life ass-backwards. They look at food as fuel to power all that running, marching and swordplay. But I know the truth. All that activity works up the appetite so you can appreciate a good meal. Nothing feeds the soul like a good, crusty loaf of bread. Well, other than my cinnamon rolls, that is. Seriously, there's been fights in the mess over my meals.
Sure, my cakes and pastries are rich and decadent. Hit the obstacle course and work it off. Why do you think I swing a hammer?
What's up? I'm Enid. I hit my target. All the time, every time.
I'm pretty sure I'm being hunted. My mother mysteriously disappeared while visiting relatives in the town of Andover. That damn town, folks are always going missing. Not even the Voyants are able to find a trace of them. I think whoever took her is coming for me next. Let them try, I've gotten good with this bow.
Hello. I am Gwendolyn Fel"Mekrin. Yes, I am the Daughter of Endeara, the Head of the House. Yes, I am sister to Logan, the Areth'kon's golden boy. Such is my burden in life. For all of our power and fame, we're not exactly what you'd call a happy family.
I don't measure up to Mom's standards, and I don't care for Logan's ideals of perfection. I follow my own path. If anyone has a problem with that, then it sucks to be them. Logan's not the only prodigy in the family. I'm just as accomplished with a sword as he is. I just don't flaunt it like my darling brother does.
I like my life just fine the way it is, and I will fight to keep my freedom.
Ya ever wonder where the bubbles in yer beer went? Aye took 'em.
Yep, that's me, Thomlin Kal'Parev, that mischievous rapscallion and prankster. Quick with a joke, faster with a pint and always one for a riotous good time.
One day Aye'll take over leadership of me noble House. But while me dear ole' Dad is still on the right side of the dirt, Aye think Aye'll have me a little fun.
Make no mistakes, Aye am Kal'Parev, right and true. Me honor is solid and sound. Aye keep me word and Aye do what is right.
Aye just make sure it's done with a bit o' flair and finesse.
Eternity is my torment, immortality my burden.
Be glad of death, mortals. It is a freedom from the weights and agony of this world. I am bound to this life by the Apostate, my father. Never to age, never to die. Never to change. Never to keep those I love by my side.
I forever walk the worlds - did you not know there were more than one? I know them all. That is all that is left to me; knowledge. The truth of what is and the memory of what was.
I am Rastef De'Veldrin.
The Extipana call me the Forever Man, and to them I am like a god. The Lethen'al call me the Lost Child, and to them I am a discomfort they do not understand.