Meet Brigid! She is a minor character from my upcoming middle grade portal fantasy novel, Runaways. She is a friend that the sisters meet in the Seelie Court, and the leader of a group of “powers” – humans that the fae have blessed with phenomenal abilities. I got new markers for Christmas and had to try them out on the POV character of my next newsletter story.
Every three months, I release a new short that features a side character from some corner of my fictional universe, and Brigid is the protagonist of this year’s Christmas special! Why are you posting about a Christmas special in January, I hear you ask? Shhhh. The story includes time travel and the holiday liturgical season doesn’t end until the 6th. This is totally legit.
Wait, do not walk away! Don’t wander off to play! You think you’ve heard this tale before? You think this rhyme will be a bore? Please give me but a fighting chance. I bet two cents you’ll be entranced.
This poem tells the story of one eccentric fellow who lived a rather eventful life (and afterlife)! Jack of Fables is the name I’ve given to the character behind the stories of Jack in the Beanstalk, Jack the Giant Killer, Jack be Nimble, Stingy Jack, Jack and Jill went up a hill, Jack O’Lantern, and Jack Frost. His story has been sitting in my phone notes since 2015, and I’ve been itching for a chance to tell it ever since. It made the perfect candidate for a newsletter launch giveaway as a short story, but when I put pen to paper, I found that poetry fit better, and had a ton of fun writing this new rhyming version. A special thanks to my good friend Siarven for beta reading this!
I did this illustration as a “cover” and a teaser for the story! Can you find the symbols from each of the fables I mentioned in the last paragraph? If you haven’t signed up for my mailing list yet, here is the link to do so. Once you sign up and confirm subscription, the first email should be sent right away. I hope you enjoy reading!
Role in the Story: Antagonist and Catalyst, the new Master of the Anarchists
Esil grew up in the insurgent band of Anarchists – a group of violent criminals that follow a cult of old, dead, and forgotten gods and have vowed to take down the Atilan, no matter the cost. When the previous Master is captured and publicly executed by the Atilan, he is responsible for the following counter strike that kills the rest of the high court and dozens of Debilan in the crossfire.
Soon after, he takes on the mantle of his leadership and his team begins doing their best to cause problems for the new queen, Lyss, and the Laine family. Viciously loyal to his friends, vengeance-driven, and a cheerfully destructive force, his actions soon lead to consequences none of them could have imagined.
Author’s note: this post has some minor edits to reflect changes in Lyss’s backstory decided on while revising Storge. This does not significantly affect his character or the overall plot, but I wanted to maintain consistency across my posts.
I’m sure you’ve noticed a change in art style between the previous character portraits I’ve shared and this one. That’s because the others were commissioned for me by my best friend! I plan to commission the artist again to complete portraits for my villains and side characters who we didn’t request the first time, so until I can do that, I’ll be drawing the character portraits as placeholders.There’s one more character post that will summarize several important side characters, and then I’m going to get into some worldbuilding lore!
If you’re new to the site, then more character art can be found on my Gallery page, and the rest of the character portraits and introductions can be found under the Storge page. Since next week is Halloween, I may take off posting for a week to participate in family festivities, but I’d also like to upload a special themed post if possible. Watch my tumblr (@ettawritesandstudies) and my IG (ettagraceauthor) for polls if you want a say! Thanks for reading!
Role in the Story: Antagonist and Tyrant, the self-appointed Atilan queen of Maaren.
At the start of the story, Lyss is a well-known Atilan woman who is married to one of the members of the Council. During an anarchist attack in the arena, the council is mostly killed, and in the moment of crisis, she seizes power and becomes the self-appointed queen and sole ruler of Maaren, disregarding the Trials and her council entierly.
She begins to answer the anarchist threat and search for the magical Debilan children who exposed their power trying to save people during the attack. The other Atilan either support, or are unwilling to cross her, and as she becomes more and more bold, it becomes clear the Anarchists aren’t backing down either. Because of her actions, soon the avians and the Laine family are pulled into a conflict they had wished to avoid. She’s a powerful magic user, compelling authority, clever manipulator, and a dead-serious threat to any who would stand in her way.
Author’s note: This bio has been rewritten to reflect changes made to her backstory during my edit of Storge. If you read the previous version, disregard that, because this is the most updated iteration of her character. This does not significantly affect the overall plot of the book, but it does make her story easier to tell and improves the worldbuilding and her intimidation as a villain and I wanted to reflect that here as well.
I’m sure you’ve noticed a change in art style between the previous character portraits I’ve shared and this one. That’s because the others were commissioned for me by my best friend! I plan to commission the artist again to complete portraits for my villains and side characters who we didn’t request the first time, so until I can do that, I’ll be drawing the character portraits as placeholders.
If you’re new to the site, then more character art can be found on my Gallery page, and the rest of the character portraits can be found under the Storge page. Next week, I’ll share Esil’s introduction, then I’ll have some side characters and worldbuilding lore to share with you, so stay tuned for that in the coming weeks. Thank you for reading!
Role in the Story: Leader, responsible for the trade of her city and the well being of her people.
Chara is an extremely driven and determined Avian who will work herself until exhaustion to achieve her goals. She’s a public servant, first and foremost, and her focus is entirely dedicated to helping her city and friends however she can use her power and position to do so. She’s idealistic and prizes fairness and justice in her work, and doesn’t approve of people seeing her shaken. Chara keeps meticulous organization and appearance in order to uphold the facade, even if she’s stressing over her responsibility to keep her people well-supplied and well-fed.
Despite her ambition and devotion to her work, her heart is ultimately with her loved ones, and she prizes the work of her brother, Acheran, and the company of her friends in the Laine family.
This is the last of the character introductions for the main characters in my current WIP, Storge, which is in its editing phase! Next up are introductions for my two villains, as well as a list of several important side characters. In the meantime, you can find the other character introductions linked to the Storge page of this blog, and more art on the Gallery page. Thanks for reading!
Role in the Story: Observer, a scientist studying magic though his art of charm making.
Acheran is one of the pacifist Avians living in the cliff-city near Maaren. He is a charm maker – though he can’t perform spells, he’s excellent at sensing magic in his surroundings and channeling it into the materials he works with in order to create his art that functions as batteries for the Atilan to use in their work. He’s extremely curious about the natural world and practical applications of the magic he works with and loves solving problems. When he gets going on a project, he won’t rest until he’s figured it out or someone forcibly stops him and often forgets to eat and sleep as a result of this. Likewise, if something bores him, he’ll avoid it at all costs.
Upon a first meeting, Acheran may seem quiet, clumsy, and disorganized, preferring to avoid conflict and content to sit back and merely observe the world. But Acheran’s connection to his city runs deep through his sister Chara, and his friends in the Laine family, and he must do his best to navigate an increasingly volatile situation, wondering what’s the right thing to do, and if he has the will to commit to it.
This is the one of several character introductions for my current WIP, Storge, which is in its editing phase! If you want to see Acheran’s sister, Chara, make sure you check back next Friday! In the meantime, you can find the other character introductions linked to the Storge page of this blog, and more art on the Gallery page. Thanks for reading! 🙂
Role in the Story: The Fighter, a Debilan girl who kills magic and resists it all
Grace is generally a very friendly and enthusiastic chatterbox who enjoys the small joys and fun side of life from the perspective of a child and mercilessly teasing her older siblings. Most would underestimate her as a “silly little girl” but she will not hesitate to throw herself into a fight to protect her family or defend their name. She’s stubborn, loud, honest, and unapologetic, even when going against foes seemingly much more powerful than her.
This is the third of several character introductions for my current WIP, Storge, which is in its editing phase. We’re going to take a break from these for just a moment, however, as next week is a very special post! Come back next Friday to read an interview with Max Gray about how he’s developed his author’s platform, and the character introductions will resume with Acheran on the 18th. Thanks for reading!
Role In The Story: The Guard, a Debilan girl who can hear magic, the cautious voice of reason
Enne is a sarcastic and suspicious introvert who would do anything to keep her family safe. She doesn’t make friends easily, but she loves her younger siblings dearly but also doesn’t hesitate to call them dumb for their bad decisions (in true eldest sister fashion). She’s the careful and calculating counterbalance to Luca and Grace’s impulsivity and a chronically underestimated opponent because of her blindness. Despite her harsh facade, she’s a soft heart that maybe worries a little to much, likes to collect trinkets, pick flowers, and listen to the stories of history and myth. She finds friends and allies in Acheran and Chara, and learns to give their harsh world a second chance.
This is the first of several character introductions for my current WIP, Storge, which is in its editing phase! If you want to see Luca and Enne’s younger, Grace, make sure you check back next Friday! Thanks for reading! 🙂
Role In The Story: Protagonist, a debilan boy hiding powerful magic, the inspiration others need, impulsively self-sacrificing hero, teenager who’s in over his head
Despite having a rough early life, Luca does his best to keep an optimistic face for his family and friends. He’s very talkative and won’t hesitate to do silly things to make someone crack a smile, but under the cheery demeanor, there’s a depth of motivation that most miss. He values his freedom and above all, wants his family to be safe, and happy. When there are so many other constraints controlling their life – what little liberties he can take, he will. Lucian is friendly and outgoing and does his best not to get on anyone’s bad side and stay out of trouble – to varying degrees of success. He’s very close to his family and though he’s often the butt of his sister’s good-natured jokes, he won’t hesitate to tease back. He makes friends quickly and is quick to win over Acheran and Chara (possibly despite their better judgment), who become his closest confidants and greatest ally over the course of the story.
This is the first of several character introductions for my current WIP, Storge, which is in its editing phase! If you want to see Luca’s older sister, Enne, make sure you check back on Friday! Thanks for reading! 🙂