I am hoping that the key to having way too many important characters is simply not worrying about it too much, and instead letting different characters be in the “main” role at different points in time. I know that it has been pulled off successfully in other books, where there is a big group of central characters that travels around together on some quest or adventure, and over time one gets to know their individual personas because different events tend to focus on different aspects of each character. Sure hoping that works with this book. I want the reader to slowly get to know these people, to understand what makes each one of them tick, to see how their disparate backgrounds have shaped them each and informs the decisions they make in the present story.
Now that I have publicly fretted about the number of people featured in the story, you should probably know the identities of the rest of the nearly-main characters. There is a group of 7 young women that are critical to the plot, all 20 Summers old, from widely varying backgrounds and locations.
Nirran Ardorex (pronounced NEAR-en ARR-door-ecks) is good friends with Sica (pronounced SEEK-uh) Woodrand. They both grew up in and around Jesserin Duchy, and both took apprentice positions with the Jesserin City local patrol at age 18 Summers. They both had skills very well suited for police and security work; Nirran is an excellent acrobat and archer, and the very tall Sica is a skilled spear fighter and tactician/commander.
The Princess Darian Greystone has grown up with a number of close friends in the vicinity of the enormous Greystone Castle, in the busy center of Greystone City. Among them are the twin sisters Jerine and Jeressa (pronounced jer-REEN and jer-RESSA) Masterson, daughters of the First Monitor (man in charge) of the Erinor College (the network of schools throughout the Protectorates). As such, Jerine and Jeressa have both been raised to be scholars, but both have also found that they excelled at riding, at archery, and at swordplay. Darian herself is the Crown Princess of the Greystone Protectorates since she is the only heir to the throne of her mother, Lorillin, the Queen of Greystone. Darian has lived a protected life until just recently, when she was given some freedom to begin experimenting with her remarkable abilities as a sword fighter and a field general.
One of the most traditionally revered cultural artifacts in the free countries of the known Land is the honor and position granted to Bards. The Priory of Bards, as the all-female organization is officially known, is charged with the memorization and performance of the old tales from Greystone’s misty, unwritten past. As such, they have traditionally served as unofficial historians as well as lauded entertainers, even though in recent times the historical accuracy of many Bard’s tales has come into question. A rising star among the Bards by the name of My Cordollas (core-DOH-lus) is also central to the tale of the First Proving.
Lastly, there is Anelia Perithen, daughter of the very wealthy Ark Perithen of the expansive Perithen Farms of Jall duchy. While Anelia was raised in relative luxury as the daughter of the largest farm owner in the known Land, she has always taken it upon herself to work with her hands and learn about life side-by-side with the farm hands and harvesters. An accomplished quarter-staff wielder, she successfully led the defense of several of the Perithen farms against groups of raiders from the west, thereby earning the praise and loyalty of many in Jall duchy.
These seven women, along with the eight men in the last post, completes the cast of characters that are central to the First Proving. Of course, this list is only of prominent good-guy characters. Soon, I will post much simpler introductions of some of the bad-guys in the story.
Thanks for reading! And please feel free to post questions or comments if you have any!