Giveaway and Contest
I’m working on a new book called Return of the Vhalgenn. It’s the sequel to The Last Vhalgenn, and is a crossover story from Trailing Kaiwulf.
This post is a quick introduction to the main characters of Return of the Vhalgenn. Writers and readers alike may enjoy seeing what the various people represent in a story. I used a software program called Dramatica to flesh out the plot. Click the name to learn more.
This crossover also gives a peek into the Terran Peace Team. “Team” (as the company refers to itself) performs interplanetary negotiations, and its ships are considered neutral territory. It also helps protect endangered people groups, refugees, and is a watchdog group for interplanetary asylum and amnesty cases. As you can imagine, there is plenty of opportunity for their negotiators (called Paracletes) to get into trouble. Team provides a high level of personal security for them by assigning them Psyche Guards. More about these guards in a future post.
Then there’s the Terran Colonial Smithsonian Society’s Department of Extra-Terrestrial Excavations. Talk about a mouthful! This group is on a search for mankind’s history in the galaxy. Its logo resembles a biohazard symbol — for good reason. They want to prove the myth of enhanced beings — hybrid creatures created by man milennia ago — is true. Scraps of records show they were located on the far side of the galaxy from Earth, but the true sites have been lost to the annals of time. A recent success in finding such beings is chronicled in Trailing Kaiwulf.
Which brings us to TRAIL, the Trace, Rescue, and Identification League (known by some as Thieves, Ruffians, A-holes, Idiots, and Liars). The item hasn’t been invented that they can’t find. Or hide. If you need to identify a body, or a relic, or research an esoteric bit of lore, TRAIL can help. For a price.
You’ll see more stories with all these groups. By the way — they have been infiltrated by immortals, so expect to see Sempervians, Chosen, and others. Now… into the book.
About Return of the Vhalgenn
Kierhe grew up hearing stories of Qarth, dragons, and venturing into the dreaded Denauerman Flats. As one of the famed Fae Guides, he makes a living guiding pilgrims from all parts of Qarth and Kellindahr to worship at the Gates of Life, and shows them how to pass their children beneath the soaring arches as the Fae commanded. So when outsiders want to dig up the Gates and release the Fae, Kierhe straps on his sword and prepares for war. The summer solstice is imminent, when the veil between worlds is thin. The Fae have talked to Kierhe in the past, and he worships them. What will releasing the gods unleash?
Theena is also a Fae Guide, and she’s as good a fighter as Kierhe. His ego gets him into scrapes, while Theena tends toward caution. While he’s a good listener, as a talker, he persuades better with fists and swords. Perhaps Theena’s level head can keep them out of war. If only Kierhe could see she’s a woman as well, but with her widowed father interfering in everything she does, the Fae popping up unannounced, and an enemy threatening everything they hold sacred, love will have to wait.
Meet the Characters
Kierhe Dahryc Loc Ohra, clan Draig (pronounced KEER-ee)
Protagonist and main character. The protagonist leads the story, and the overall concept represents his point of view. As a newborn, Kierhe was “passed through the gates” — a sacred rite that protects the child and provides a blessing from the Fae. His Aunt Raik was responsible for completing the ritual. As an adult, he bears an ivy tattoo on his chest, proclaiming his loyalty to the King of Qarth and Kellindahr, and against the “Treacherous Queen” who was beheaded not long after Kierhe was born. It matches a tattoo worn on the cheek of his Aunt Raik. Unknown to Kierhe, the queen was his mother, and everything he has been reared to believe about his past is a lie.
Ealee Katheena “Theena” Ohra, clan Ohra
Sidekick and impact character. The impact character forces the main character to face his problem. This sometimes seems as if the person is blocking them, but the function is to keep the hero from sweeping problems under the rug. Sometimes the impact character serves as the guide or guardian as well. In this story, the guardian function is held by another. The daughter of the master guidemaster to whom Kierhe is apprenticed, Theena has loved Kierhe from the day they met as children. Although to her the Gates of Life are merely pretty to look at and have no personal meaning, she accepts his belief that the Fae supposedly bless those lucky enough to have been passed through the Gates after birth. She is his champion and stands by him no matter what. She somehow manages to say and do the wrong thing every time she gets near Kierhe or opens her mouth. She and Kierhe are both apprenticed to her father (who runs the pilgrimage service for which they work).
Dept of Extra-Terrestrial Excavations
Dr Viva Post (from Trailing Kaiwulf)
Antagonist. In this story, the antagonist is not an evil person, but opposite the hero in goals and needs. It’s the job of archaeologist Viva Post to get information and rescue the people trapped in another dimension on Kierhe’s world. Her recent discovery of identical so-called “Gates of Life” on the planet Ust makes her the reigning expert on the matter. In addition, she’s involved with the only person who can move between the “real world” and the Shadow dimension, a young man she met on Ust.
Kaiwulf Driacson (from Trailing Kaiwulf)
Emotion. This character represents the “feeling” or “uncontrolled” motivation aspect. In some stories, they wreak havoc. In this one, he is balanced by a strong sense of justice that adds control. Passionate, Kaiwulf reacts strongly to injustice or falsehoods. He is a fish out of water on the planet Stachien, and especially around the highly educated Viva, but he adores her. His homeworld is a backward planet of barbarians who live in huts. The last of a dying race, he is capable of moving between dimensions and is the only person who can verify whether the Fae are a trapped people, a myth, or if they even exist.
Contagonist. This character may take either side, and sometimes takes both. (This is a Dramatica term.) Lianne has been sent by the Terran Peace Team to oversee the rescue of an endangered people group (referred to as the Fae on Stachien) If Dr Post is right, and the Fae are simply people in another dimension, Lianne is in the unenviable position of possibly destroying the religion and faith of another group.
The Last Vhalgenn
Raik Ty Draig, clan Ddumach (from The Last Vhalgenn)
Guardian. The guardian represents the conscience of a story. Raik is Kierhe’s aunt, his mother’s sister-in-law. In reality, she is Raik Ty Hellesbor, and is bonded to the King of Qarth and Kellindahr. She hid the truth of Kierhe’s birth because his mother, the former queen, was a traitor. To protect the newborn Kierhe, Raik and the king agreed Kierhe would never know the truth. The family that reared him had a stillborn son (named Kierhe), and that child was passed off as baby Dahryc, the son of the traitorous queen. The boy was buried with her. Raik was the mastermind behind hiding him, and has remained at his side to protect him ever since. Her story is told in The Last Vhalgenn.
Terran Peace Team
Skeptic. In a sense, the skeptic character is a heckler to the hero, and is designed to make him and other characters react or explain themselves. This gives the reader an opportunity to understand various aspects of the story better, and to be reminded of the reason certain things are done. “Why do we have to do X?” the skeptic might ask, and is told, “Because…etc.” This character is useful late in a story to remind the reader about a goal or limitation. As an example, consider the dwarf Balin in the Hobbit film series.) Reared in a Terran Peace Team enclave to become a Psyche Guard (the elite protectors of the Terran Peace Team’s negotiators), Rhoman does not believe in things he cannot see or touch, and thinks the idea of looking for “fairies” to be ludicrous. Things are either right or wrong, and a decision is either black or white. There is no gray.
Reason. Representing logic and control, this character can sometimes be hard to relate to. To provide more empathy, I’ve given her an impulsive, childlike side that loves life. Like Rhoman, Milli was reared in a Terran Peace Team enclave. Her life is devoted to reason and justice, yet she is aware of spiritual things. She is fascinated by the paranormal, and things that can’t be defined. While Rhoman would bypass a flower without a second thought, Milli is apt to pick it and study it in detail. They are not related, but carry the same last name to identify which enclave reared them.
So there you have it — a quick intro to the characters of the story. Bookmark the site or follow the blog to read more as it comes out. I’ll be posting sneak peeks as I continue to write the story. Sign up for one email when the book is released: Author Alarms.
To win a copy of The Last Vhalgenn (pdf or Kindle), leave a comment and your email. I’ll draw one name by Monday, July 7th.
Everyone is welcome to download a freebie! Here’s a link to an illustrated eBook called Behind the Scenes with The Last Vhalgenn. This is an inside look at the characters and setting in the story. When you click the link, this will either offer you a download, or open in a new window, depending on your settings. To read it, you need Adobe Reader, available free. http://is.gd/vhalgenn_peek
If you’re stopping by on Friday, July 4th — Happy Independence Day to all who celebrate it.