Warning: Spoilers Ahead! Seriously!
No, seriously. This is a listing of some of the major characters in the Ancient Dreams trilogy, and some of the information, while primarily background explaining how they got to the point where they’re introduced to the story, is potentially heavily spoiler-laden. So forge ahead at your own risk.
Race: Dungeon/Tree (Apparently Willow)
Age: Unknown (12,000 + years)
Description: This is a tough one, thus, I’m only writing up Sistina’s dryad and tree appearances.
As a dryad, Sistina is approximately six feet (182 cm) in height, and has pale, wood-grain patterned skin. She is voluptuous, as one of her previous lives was a succubus, and she has green eyes the color of newly budded leaves. Her hair falls almost to her knees, and is a deep golden blond, while her lips are a burnished gold.
As a tree, Sistina is approximately 200 feet (61 meters) tall at the moment, with pale, smooth white bark. Her branches extend outward and drape like those of a weeping willow, and all across the bark flicker motes of pale light that waver and move. Clustered among the leaves are ruby ‘berries’ that have formed after Sistina recovered the ruby in which she was imprisoned for millennia.
History: Sistina was once a succubus named Avendrial, and was a being of great power. She was imprisoned in a soul stone by the human summoner Gauros, which he enchanted to hide every hint of her presence within it, drawing on her magical power, and eventually on her memories and very soul in order to destroy her utterly. Her soulstone was acquired by the elven noble Sistina Constella, whom she came to treasure the company of. After centuries of accompanying the noblewoman, she was buried in Sistina’s tomb.
After untold millennia, Sistina’s tomb was robbed, and the raider slain by a trap. The soulstone was cracked by the trap, and her escaping soul energy nurtured a seed that finished destroying her prison. The seed merges with her soul just before she’s dragged back to the abyss, reincarnating her as a tree. She finds herself in an underground cavern, where the graveyard had been buried by an unknown cataclysm. Over centuries of growing, she linked to a ley line node of earth and a ley line node of water, while expanding an aura of mana which is her domain, where she can also utilize her mana to change reality to a limited extent.
Phynis Constella, Crown Princess of Sifaren
Race: Dusk Elf
Description: Phynis is approximately five foot seven inches tall (170 cm), has light brown skin and bright blue eyes. Her hair is naturally silver, but she dyes it a light pink. Curvy for an elf, Phynis has what most humans would consider an attractive, if petite, figure. Phynis favors simple dresses, but wears trousers and simpler clothing as needed for travel.
History: Phynis is the eldest daughter of Queen Calath Iris Constella, and as such was raised to rule the elven nation. She has three younger siblings, while her father died when she was young in a rare frost drake attack. Phynis, as the heir, has primarily focused on learning how to rule, while her skill at arms or magic has languished due to the elven tendency to believe that she had plenty of time to learn in the future. She has been popular among the common folk, while many nobles are ambivalent about her as a ruler for varying reasons, but she was hardly hated.
Due to the war with Kelvanis, Phynis eventually visited the border barony of Galthor to reassure the baron of Her Majesty’s support and to examine the defenses he had put into place in the case of a full-scale war with Kelvanis. On her trip back, she and her all-female guards were ambushed deep behind Sifaren’s border by agents of Kelvanis, and her entire company was captured and taken to the border fortress of Grayhold. There she was branded with a royal blue slave brand, called a ‘royal crest’, and implanted with a mindshard that she was kept unaware of the existence of. Along with other captives, Phynis was sent in a caravan to the western stronghold of Kelvanis, Westgate, where she was to be teleported to their capital of Kelvanath. Instead her under-guarded caravan was ambushed by an infiltrating group of Sifaren scouts lead by Captain Vendis, who detaches a group of scouts as a diversion before leading Phynis and the other rescued elves toward the Godsrage Mountains, to take a hidden pass in their escape.
Jared Falgrave, Adjudicator of Western Kelvanis
Description: Somehow, I appear to have gone through all of Ancient Ruins without ever describing Jared. I am somewhat embarrassed. Next time I revise the book I’m going to have to fix this. Probably describe him from Topaz’s perspective.
Jared is a fairly tall man, standing five foot eleven inches (180 cm) and with short brown hair that he keeps neat. He keeps clean-shaven and has calm brown eyes, and is fairly handsome with something of a lantern jaw. Jared favors simple clothing for the most part, though he takes care to ensure it is well-maintained.
History: Born thirty years after Archon Ulvian Sorvos took control of Kelvanis, Jared was born to House Falgrave, a failing merchant house on the edge of the realm. He grew up watching his family’s fortunes dwindle as the family was forced to sell off the slaves that tended their fields. As a last, failing gasp for power, his father apprenticed Jared to Master Elrod Caspian, a powerful mage in Kelvanath. Unfortunately for his family, while Jared had truly immense mana reserves, he was utterly unsuited for the intricacies of spellcraft, and they fell into financial ruin shortly thereafter, as his father committed suicide.
Jared joined the government, determined to gain a position by his own merit, as frustrated as he was by his lack of magical talent. He first became a scribe, then an assistant to a Lower Justicar. Eventually he became a Lower Justicar himself, and trained with the army. Jared participated in some of the final conquests of the territory that now became Western Kelvanis, and garnered the attention of Ulvian Sorvos when one of his superiors tried to take credit for Jared’s leadership. Impressed by his record, Ulvian apprenticed Jared to an Adjudicator for a year, then gave him command of Western Kelvanis as Adjudicator (equivalent to a duke) when his predecessor was assassinated. Under Jared’s leadership, the attempts of Sifaren and Yisara to raid Kelvanis’ new territory has diminished markedly.
Lily of Vernglade
Race: Dawn Elf
Description: Lily is relatively short, at five foot four inches (162 cm) in height. She has blue eyes, blonde hair, and fair skin. Slender and petite by the standards of humans, she is prettier than average, and tends to wear simple clothing or jewelry, to the point of nearly abhorring more complex garments.
History: Lily was born in the town of Vernglade, and had nothing of particular note happening around her as she grew up. She had a particular talent at gardening, and with her relative beauty in the small town, she was expected to marry the mayor’s son in a decade or two. Never one with particular ambitions, Lily would have done so had Vernglade not been raided by Kelvanis.
After being enslaved by Kelvanis, Lily was just pretty enough to avoid the slave legions, but not beautiful enough to be sent to the brothels. She was purchased by Baroness Diane Tanna, a noble living in Westgate who enjoyed occasionally dallying with the help, where Lily was a gardener for the noblewoman. Due to a badly expressed order by the baroness, Lily was able to escape, and fled west toward the mountains, hoping to lose any pursuit in the foothills.
Side Notes: Lily is in an odd position for a character. Her role in Ancient Ruins has changed more than any other character, without me expecting it. Originally I intended her to match up with Phynis and form an odd peasant and royalty pairing, yet I quickly realized that Lily simply would never dare contemplate such a possibility. The match quickly began growing more and more unlikely…and then, when I didn’t intend it to happen, Lily ended up in a happy relationship with someone else in the story. Thus ended my intention to have Lily be the primary love interest for Phynis. Even so, I adore this character due to her being the most normal individual caught up heavily in the story.
More to come…