Storge’s First Scene

It was far too lovely a day for a riot, but not even the cool breeze flapping the fabric of the trader’s multicolored tents could prevent Luca from taking advantage the fact that there was, in fact, a riot. No one was quite sure who noticed the Atilan erasing and inscribing the new tax decree onto the massive slab of sandstone that served as the city’s news board. No one was really sure who started shouting obscenities first. No one was entirely sure when the Atilan threw magic into the gathering crowd. No one was completely sure how many Debilan they had injured. 

It mattered little now. The body of the Atilan messenger lay motionless in the street.

Luca ducked and dodged through the throng. Red-faced shop keeps chanted curses against their rulers for this new grievance. He fixed his eyes on the ground, searching for valuables dropped in the scuffle. A dull gleam of polished stone caught his eye. He snatched the prize and stuffed it into his satchel without stopping to check what he had found. 

As the Atilan guards flocked to the scene, Luca glanced up at the brief distraction, and so did the wealthy-looking merchant standing to his side. The shouts rose to a roar as workers charged onto the platform. The smells of blood, sweat, and anger hung in the air as the bodies pressed together. Someone stumbled into the merchant. Coins tumbled from the purse that sat in his open hand. Luca stooped to pick them up before the man could stop him and mumbled an apology. Shoving the newfound loot into his knapsack, he flipped the cover shut, escaped the crowd, and hurried along a twisting side road. Luca ducked under the outside staircase of an old tenement building, searching for any onlookers. Satisfied that everyone else was off protesting, he sprinted up the stairs and onto the flat roof.

A girl waited for him in the shade of a makeshift canopy, focused on the brouhaha below them. She was young, with ruddy brown and freckled skin and curly dark brown hair in a braid that reached her waist. Her simple dress had long lost its creamy white color, and it was torn from an old fight. When she heard Luca mount the stairs, she tore her attention from the seething crowd to look up at her brother.

“They attacked the Atilan!” she hissed. “Did you see that!?”

“Kills the mood, huh?” Luca beckoned his sister towards him, away from the edge of the roof. “I thought I told you to stay out of sight.”

“If riots are distracting enough that you’re safe to go stealing, then I’m sure I’m safe aaalllll the way up here, watching your back.” She glanced down at the street before moving closer to him. “Find anything good?”

Luca nodded and flopped down next to her as he dumped out the bag, pushing back his hair as it fell into his face. They pocketed the coins first, before sorting through the rest of the oddities. Grace occasionally looked to the street. With mages conjuring a wall of magic, the guards pushed the rioters out of the plaza. A couple lingered to watch them collect the messenger who stumbled to his feet, disoriented but not wounded. The watchers scattered when the largest of the three guards pulled his seax knife from its sheath. 

Grace frowned and turned her attention back to their work. “Most of this stuff is junk. Enne would probably like this button. Pretty pattern, and you can feel the texture. Does it match the ones on the frock she’s making?” She held the button up to the early morning light, and the shiny metal glinted in the sun. 

Luca shrugged in reply before handing her the stone he had picked up, eyes gleaming with hope. “What about this?”

As Grace took the pebble, her eyes widened in surprise. Her fingers shocked with magic, and she dropped the thing back into Luca’s hands like a hot coal. “A charm! Not a powerful one, so don’t let me have it. Where did you find that?!”

“A few paces from the shops. My guess is that one of the Atilan dropped it in the scuffle.”

“Do you think they’ll come looking for it? If we’re caught-“

“No. Look, it’s so small. They won’t miss it.”

Grace nodded in agreement, when a sudden loud voice interrupted from behind them. “I don’t suppose you were planning to return that?”

The two kids jumped, spinning around to face the newcomer. Perched on the edge of the roof was an Avian. They were bird-like people who lived in the canyon cliffs along the river, and this one was taller than most, standing at seven feet tall. Four huge wings folded behind his torso – two at the shoulders and two at the waist. The reddish-brown plumage that covered nearly his entire body, save the palms of his hands and face, mirrored the color of the clay dirt of the desert. He wore a vest and loose breeches with several pockets that seemed stuffed with all sorts of strange things. Belted around his waist hung a stained artisan’s frock. Another harness strung over his shoulder, between his wings, and around his hip so that it could hold a large assortment of chisels, hammers, and knives. He wore no shoes; his taloned feet curled over the ledge of the roof to keep him balanced as he hunched over the two kids with his hand extended for the charm. Solid bronze eyes with sharp black pupils set deep in a human-like face, squinted in anger. The feather tufts at his ears pressed back against his head.

Luca clasped the charm to his chest as dread and panic mounted. He shifted his weight onto his feet and braced himself against the stairs, ready to run. He pulled Grace to his side, not for her own protection, but for restraint. She snapped into a fighting stance, and had her hands balled into fists, though they stayed by her sides. Neither answered the question.

The avian seemed to notice their discomfort. He forced a smile and lowered his wings, as if trying to appear nonthreatening. Luca, still threatened, forced himself to smile back. The avian repeated his question. “Are you going to return that?”

Storge Summarized: A Comic Sans PowerPoint

Cover slide: a background that shows a yellow rose on a green bush with comic sans text. The title reads "Storge" a comic sans powerpoint by Etta Grace. surrounding it are the phrases High Fantasy, no romance, magic and religion are related, snarky chapter titles, disability rep, sibling banter literally 24/7, fantasy political drama and themes and symbolism for days.
Slide 2, labeled Worldbuilding. It has two pictures of a city on the banks of a river and one of the petra edifices. It reads "There are two parts of a city state: human and avian. They're called maaren. they trade with each other-that's important later. Kind of in the desert. A river cuts a canyon through the mountains which have anti-gravity magic that lets the stone buildings tower into the sky like a jenga tower. not your typical high fantasy setting.
Slide 3: titled Politics (okok I know this is boring bear with me for two seconds) It is sectioned into 4 parts. 
The Atilan:
Upper class humans
Do magic
Better than You ™
The Debilan:
Everyone else
Generally poor
Can’t do magic, (in strikethrough) not allowed, idk what you’re talking about I’ve never heard of magic in my life
The Anarchists:
They don’t like you
Want to overthrow the government
Extra™
The Avians (not humans):
Want to stay out of drama
Generally pretty chill
Traders and crafts folk
Slide 4: Titled "Magic! How does it work?" 
What most people think – 
There’s a whole bunch of gods and the Atilan can do magic because they’re demigods and the “purest” one gets to be in charge
Debilan are mundane servants of the Atilan and the gods

What Actually Happens – 
Magic is a part of the world’s natural energy and can do all sorts of cool stuff
Anyone can do magic.
The anarchists have their own religion, and then there’s a small monotheistic group that’s in hiding because they don’t! conform! And the Atilan Don’t! Like! That! They both have different ideas about magic too but those aren’t relevant right now

To the right side is a drawing of Luca doing magic with golden lines floating around him with the caption "shameless art promo"
Slide 5: titled "Characters!! The laine kids" There are portraits for all 3 and read:
Luca
16
Lovable idiot
Impulsively heroic
Magic battery
Doing his best
Enne
19
Stressed older sister
Aesthetic queen
Can amplify magic
Btw she’s blind
Grace
12 (Not a baby!)
She is beauty
She is Grace
She will punch you in the face
Can silence magic
Slide 6: Characters (Avian amulearn siblings)
There are two pictures for the two characters. 
Acheran
21
Makes magical stuff
Looks mean, actually a pacifist
Socially awkward eccentric introvert
Kind of a mess (someone help him)
Chara
24
Politician/debater
Miss popular
Does not have the time for this nonsense
Slide 7: last slide for characters these are villains. Again, each has a picture.
Lyss Anray
Atilan queen
Used to getting her way
Stabby
Dramatics
Easily angered with little sense of humor
unfortunately
Esil
Anarchist leader
Stabby
Dramatics
Actually a pretty cool guy once you get pass the trauma and murder
A slide titled "our tangentially related stories stacked in a trench coat masquerading as a plot part 1" It reads as follows: 
The Atilan and the Anarchists hate each other and fight a lot. 
Sometimes the Debilan riot when they get caught in the crossfire.  
It’s a “fun” time. The Laines and Avians are trying to stay out of it. 
Luca and Grace make friends with Acheran when they accidently steal from him. Oops.
The trouble starts when Atilan capture the Anarchist leader and try to publicly execute him. 
The Anarchists object (obviously) and stage a rescue mission 
This goes HORRIBLY WRONG. 
Lots of people die and Luca and Grace throw themselves into it to save people using their magic.
This is bad for may reasons (obviously) 
It metaphorically dumps gasoline onto an already smoldering city
There is a text box with the first line of the story, which reads, "“It was far too lovely a day for a riot, but not even the but not even the cool breeze flapping the fabric of the trader's multicolored tents could prevent Luca from taking advantage of the fact that there was, in fact, a riot.”
The last slide, titled "Four tangentially related stories stacked in a trench coat masquerading as a plot part 2" It reads, "Lyss and Esil take over the Atilan and Anarchists respectively and begin antagonizing each other. It doesn’t take long for the city to slip into almost civil war
The Laine family goes into hiding because now people are searching for the magic Debilan kids and they don’t want any part of this mess
Lyss tries to bully the Avians into getting involved so Chara is thrown into political tensions while Acheran tries to decide what’s right and wrong
The story splits four ways to follow all the different groups and rotates between their points of view as they deal with the ~consequences~
Everything is more complicated than it probably needs to be
Plot! Twists! About! Backstory!
So…. Yeah!"
There is a conspiracy theorist man meme in the bottom right corner with my icon over the face, with the caption "actual footage of me outlining this book."

Hello Hello! If you’re unfamiliar with this format of story summarizing, the Comic Sans PowerPoint is a trend started over on writeblr by user @incadescent-creativity. I thought it would be fun to share an updated version of my original powerpoint here too as a quick intro to the story. If you’re new to my site, welcome! You can check out my Storge page for links to more detailed posts about this story, and feel free to ask me questions if you want to know more. If you’ve been following this site for a while, then welcome to the long awaited TL;DR of the last four months of posts! Let me know in the comments if you found this useful and informative (or at least entertaining lol).

The Worldbuilding of Maaren pt. 2

Like it says in the title, this is the counterpart to an original post about some of the big groups that affect the plot of Storge. That first post got pretty long last week, so I decided to split it up and post the rest of the lore today! This will elaborate on some of the groups mentioned in part 1, so if you’re confused you can read part 1 here to learn about the background of the world, geography, Atilan, and Debilan groups!

The Avians

Hundreds of years ago, the avians used to be a nomadic group, but the cliffs of Maaren’s canyon provided the perfect place to build more permanent structures for weathering storms and resting en route. At the time, the land was controlled by the Atilan, and though they didn’t posses the technology at the time to retrieve the precious metals and magical elements from the cliffs, they didn’t want to give it up either. For a time it looked like the clash would turn violent, but the humans, knowing they could be devestated by attacks from the sky, and the avians, not wanting to resort to that violence, came to a different agreement.

A battle of wits would be held. If the avians won, they would be allowed to settle there and establish their own government. If the Atilan won, the avians would not only loose the chance to live there, but also the trade ties that provided them with food. Two competitors were chosen – the High Lord at the time, and an intellegent girl who was the scribe to the Avian leader. Their riddles were so evenly matched, the each had the first two correct, but they couldn’t reach an agreement for the the last one on loophole grounds, and they settled for a compromise. The avians could settle and begin building, with a council of their own, but they would need to answer to the Atilan council for any final decisions.

This system still exists in the present-day story of Storge. In the intervening time, the cliff city has become a thriving cultural hub for their people. They survive mainly off of trade, having a tradition of master craftsmen who work with the materials found in the cliffs. Avians cannot perform magic, much like the Debilan aren’t supposed to, but some are incredibly accurate at detecting it, making them invaluable in finding deposits of the materials and making them into charms and devices to be sold to the Atilan. Their society is matriarchial, though while only females may be educated at the prestigious new academy that trains girls in logic, history, law, science, engineering, and the humanities, a sharp wit and cleverness in your work is prized universally. While most follow Daziam, there are many followers of the Artist as well due to its emphasis on creation and beauty, and the smaller religion is not systematically stamped out within their city walls as it is in the human counterpart of Maaren. There are five Magistras on the high council, and they are chosen through a rigorous testing and apprenticeship program. Chara serves as the recently instated Magistra of Trade during the story.

The Anarchists

These are outliers – a very small and very violent group of furious Debilan and disgraced Atilan who hate the high council and have made it their life’s mission to disable the system. They would call themselves revolutionaries, but they operate through intimidation tactics and terror attacks, disregarding anyone who gets hurt in the crossfire in an attempt to get at the Atilan. They use highly illegal and powerful magic for massive amounts of destruction, and worship of pantheon of old gods that came before the Daziam ones – only known about from carvings found in ancient carvings in the tunnels and caverns beneath the cities. They focus on deities with an underworld or “madness” connection – death, drunkenness, and general chaos is seen as the great equalizer; magic is a way for them to tap into that power.

Despite being so violent, those within the group care for each other deeply and think of each other as family and there is order within the camp. They are led by a Master and a few of their close friends who serve as liutenants. Dying for the cause is understood as a likely end, but they are fiercly protective of each other and mourn their dead by celebrating their life and sacrifice with festivities. Over the course of the story, they grow more and more bold with their attacks in an attempt to force the Atilan’s hand, and the city is on the brink of war between the two sects, each trying to wipe out the other. In this conflict, the Debilan and Avians are dragged into the center of something they never started nor want to be inolved in at all.

That covers the 4 main groups of Maaren, their religions, and their magic! I understand it’s a lot, but in telling this story, I wanted to accurately reflect the complexities that exist in our society, to make world seem more realistic. This all plays into the plot in various ways, but is revealed in parts over the course of the story, so there’s no exposition dumps right in the first chapter. Again, this is meant to be more of a reference guide, so that those of you reading this blog before reading the story can know what I’m actually talking about.

I also have one redaction to make from one of my previous character introductions. In the process of editing, I’ve realized that one of the more complicated aspects of the formerly-known-as Lady Elize’s backstory isn’t really necessary to the plot, and by changing it to something simpler, not only can I make the backstory less confusing, but I can also make her more intimidating as a villain. I’ve edited that post to reflect this new change, and put a note at the bottom to explain the change, so if you want to read Lyss’s updated bio, you can find that here.

Thank you for reading! Let me know what you think or feel free to leave questions in the comments! 🙂

The Worldbuilding of Maaren pt. 1

Welcome to the world of Laoche! This is the home of all the stories in the (appropriately named) Laoche Chronicles, including a main trilogy (that has yet to be named) and the prequel, Storge. While all of these stories take place in the same world, Storge focuses on a conflict in one specific reason – a powerful city-state called Maaren. Because this is a socio-political conflict, I mainly focused on worldbuilding the class system, governmnet, and religions of the city, and that’s what I’d like to discuss in more depth today! In the future, I’ll elaborate some more on the lore, magic system, and flora and fauna of the world in the future, but for now this will focus on the main topics that are releveant to the understanding of the story.

All of this would be explained in-story as well as the reader follows along with the main characters going about their lives and navigating the conflict, so this isn’t strictly necessary to know before getting into the story. However, I’ve found that explaining it in an informational way like this helps people understand what on earth I’m talking about online, so I hope this can also be useful as a reference guide of sorts!

The Geography

Image ID: a map of the city I attempted to paint. It’s not very detailed, so I’ll explain below, but wanted to include it as reference. It shows a landmass with the Maariad Sea to the North, and a river emptying into the sea that cuts a canyon through the inland mountains. The city itself is on the coast built up along the river.

Maaren is home to two groups of people – a large human city on the coast that’s built up around the river and sustains itself on farming the banks, and the Avian population that lives in the cliffs. Avians are a race of bird-folk with four wings that live and work in the cliffs of the canyon (including the characters of Acheran and Chara – check out their bios or the fanart page to see what avians look like). They built their city by carving homes out of the rock, and constructing on top of the existing mountians with what they dug out, so that the buildings tower into the sky above the river. The cliffs are full of valuable mineral, gemstone, and precious metal deposits, which are used for creating magical as well as utilitarian things.

The Atilan

The ruling class of Maaren’s human city, consisting of a small number of noble families who have the privilege of using magic. Their position at the top of the social ladder is enforced by the leading religion, Daziam. Followers worship a pantheon of dieties that hold domain over common aspects of daily life, led by Daza, the god of the sun and fire, and his wife Nymbi, goddess of the river and ocean, who created the world and other dieties through their powers. It is belived that the Atilan are the only people who can perform specifically structured magic, becasue they are directly descended from or are otherwise chosen by the gods and using magic is a way of tapping into their power, while the Debilan exist to serve.

The government consists of a council of 5 Atilan, including one High Lord/Lady who is the tiebreaker on decisions and final say-so on important issues. These are chosen whenever the previous ruler dies through a tournament called the Trials. Young ambitious Atilan will compete in several challenges in which they fight, argue, and perform magic to show that they’re the most powerful and most in-tune with the gods, with weaker competitoris being eliminated and sent back home. The person that wins becomes the new ruler, and the four closest runner-ups become their new council. During the Trials, the entire city watches and celebrates and enjoys time off of work.

The Debilan

Almost everyone else in the city! This is a blanket term for any human who is not an Atilan, who cannot do magic, and labors for their living, and can range from street beggars to rich merchants that aren’t a part of the ruling class. They have little say in how the government operates, though they can air their grievances to a system of beurecratic channels created by lower-ranking Atilan that handle the problems and take the biggest issues to the council. Many concern themselves with providing for their families, enjoying the company of friends, and entertaining themselves at any of the plazas that serve as the social centers of the city. They also frequent the arena where the Trials occur, as well as plays, other smaller tournaments, and public punishments. Most Debilan follow Daziam in imitating the example of the Atilan, who’s magic abilities are revered and respected. Though most don’t even try attempting magic themselves, they still leave offerings and pray to their favored patrons in order to ensure blessings and saftey for their homes.

A small number of Debilan who have figured out magic however, have turned away from the Daziam temples to follow a single creator diety known only as the Artist. They worship in back alleys and underground catacombs for fear of being discovered, and actively practice their abilities with the other members. They believe that their magic can be a powerful asset and strong emphasis is put on the idea of creation – mothers are honored for raising and teaching their children, craftspeople decorate their spaces of worship, and they appreciate nature as being another part of the Artist’s creation. They also treat each other as one extended family, greeting and saying goodbye to each other with the phrase “Storge” – a wish for blessings with the connontation of familial love. The Atilan persecute this group as heretics when possible, and this is the faith that the Laine family practices.

This got pretty long when I was first drafting it, so I’ve decided to split it up into two weeks so it’s a little easier to read. Next week, I’ll be discussing more about the Avians and the Anarchists, two other groups that play important roles in the main conflict of the story. Feel free to leave questions in the comments if you’re curious about any of the information here, or let me know what you find most interesting! Thanks for reading!

Character Introduction: Lyss Anray

[Image ID: A pencil drawing done on plain paper of a woman, shown as a portrait from the bust up. She has wavy loose hair and shaded skin meant to convey a light brown skin-tone in greyscale. She wears a white dress with a halter top and neckline. Her head is angled down slightly and she looks up at the audience with a scowl. End Image ID.]

Age: 37

Role in the Story: Antagonist and Tyrant, the self-appointed Atilan queen of Maaren.

About:

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. Becasue 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 notcied 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!

Character Introduction: Magistra Chara Amulearn

[Image ID: A digitally drawn portrait of an Avian from the neck up. She has a human-like face, dark skin with cool undertones and flecked with orange light, and “hair” of feathers covering his head. She looks at the viewer with a neuteral expression. Her plumage is various shades of blue, white, and black. Though not shown in the drawing, Avians have four wings and she wears a loose fitting wrap-style dress and bangles. This portrait was done by @_.par0xysm._ on Instagram! End Image ID.]

Age: 24

Role in the Story: Leader, responsible for the trade of her city and the well being of her people.

About:

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 responsibilty 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! 

Character Introduction: Acheran Amulearn

[Image ID: A digitally drawn portrait of an Avian from the neck up. He has a human-like face, dark skin with orange-red undertones and blue highlights, and “hair” of feathers covering his head. He has an angular face, and looks at the viewer with a neuteral expression. His plumage is organe red, and his feathers are fluffy and disheveled. Though not shown in the drawing, Avians have four wings, he wears loose fitting work clothing and carries belts and straps full of carving tools. This portrait was done by @_.par0xysm._ on Instagram! End Image ID.]

Age: 21

Role in the Story: Observer, a scientest studying magic though his art of charm making.

About:

Acheran is one of the pacafist 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, prefering to avoid conflict and content to sit back and merely observe the world. But Acherans 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 commmit 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! 🙂

Character Introduction: Grace Laine

Image ID: A digitally drawn portrait of a young girl drawn from the neck up. She has warm ruddy brown skin and dark freckles, dark brown hair in a cloud of tight curls around her head, and large brown eyes. She looks straight foward with a neuteral expression and wears a yellow headpand with a bow. Though not shown in the photo, she wears an old and simply styled sundress that’s been patched and torn several times. This portrait was done by @_.par0xysm._ on Instagram!

Age: 12

Role in the Story: The Fighter, a debilan girl who kills magic and resists it all

About:

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 unapolagetic, 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!

Character Introduction: Enne Laine

Image ID: A digitally drawn portrait of a teenaged girl from the neck up. Enne has warm brown skin with golden undertones and freckles dusted across her nose. Her dark brown hair is shoulder length and cork-screw curly. Her eyes are dark brown, she wears gold hoop earings and she looks at the audience with a neuteral expression. Though not shown in the picture, she’s tall and thin, dresses neatly in carefully mended white pracital day dresses that fall to her knees and sandals. This portrait was done by @_.par0xysm._ on Instagram!

Age: 19

Role In The Story: The Guard, a debilan girl who can hear magic, the cautious voice of reason

About:

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! 🙂

Character Introduction: Luca Laine

Image ID: A digitally drawn portrait showing a teenaged boy from the neck up. Lucian has light-brown skin, an angular jaw, and choppy straight brown hair that reaches chin-level. Though not shown in his portrait, he’s average height, thin, and acrobatic. His clothes are mostly his father’s old things that don’t fit so they’re too large, threadbare, and patchy but comfortable and worn in. He always wears long sleeves to cover fractal-shaped burn scars on his arms and back that glow golden with magic. This portrait was done by @_.par0xysm._ on Instagram!

Age: 16

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

About:

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! 🙂