I’m not sure if this is something I plan on doing regularly, like Author Quotes or Dream Drabbles, but it is something I’ve been thinking about doing for a while now. I have an awful lot of characters in my head at all times, and sometimes, it helps me just to talk about them a little. I started drawing as an attempt to get some of that character energy out, too, so you’ll find these studies accompanied by some of my simple little sketches of them, too. Since Mother’s Day was Sunday, I was thinking of one of my favourite characters who is a mother, Aelis Maria (Starran) Battarack, to start us out. Most of these will likely be characters from my science fiction and fantasy world of Aryneth, which college has firmly put out of my head shouldn’t take too much of my energy, but my heart has been yearning for it a lot again.
Born the daughter of a minor lord in the war-ridden continent of Kyano, Aelis Maria Starran was never really satisfied as her lot in life as mostly a bargaining chip between nations. She knew from a very young age that she was mostly going to be sold off to someone for marriage, and rebelled against it as much as she could. Often, this took the form of running away and going on adventures all her own, which enraged her father and allowed the Starran Guard to become very adept at wide-scale hide-and-seek.
She is seen to the left with her first born son, Nolan Locke Battarack.
Eventually, knowing there was to be a grand carnival there that her father would not allow her to attend, Aelis Maria took off for the kingdom of Asalom to enjoy the festivities. Unfortunately, the leader of the kingdom at the time, a man by the name of Han, was one of the top suitors for Aelis Maria, and things got around that she was in town, so an invitation was extended to her to stay with him in the palace. If she refused, she would immediately be sent back to Starran, so she grudgingly obliged to spend her time with him. It was far better than missing the carnival entirely, after all!
Such detainment proved very serendipitous for Aelis Maria. Han had in captivity another young woman by the name of Zephyr Apylo, who was said to have mysterious powers that Han was hoping to exploit. The two became friends almost instantly, and, through Aelis Maria’s influence, Zephyr was spared a dark and lonely entrapment in Han’s castle. It was also because of Zephyr that Aelis Maria met her future husband, Locke Mandrake Battarack, who not only lead the cavalcade during the carnival to rescue Zephyr, but also then became the ruler of the Asalom valley, in fulfillment of the great prophecies that named him one of the great rulers of the new world.
Locke very easily fell for Aelis Maria; Aelis Maria was a little bit harder of a sell, uncertain about Locke not only as a lover but as a person in general. She became good friends with many of the other women in his party, though they didn’t help things much, as they all felt an attraction to the man. Eventually, though, Locke won over Aelis Maria’s heart and they were married, and she became a queen in her own right.
She is seen above, middle, with Megg ak’djnn and Rrynn Songbird Locin, who are trying to convince her that Locke is absolutely unsuitable for a love interest…probably to suit their own interests!
Once Locke had settled into the kingdom, now called Battarack, their lives were mostly a quiet one, as far as a life working hard on bringing peace to the land could be. Aelis Maria eventually bore Locke a son, named Nolan Locke, and a second child was soon on its way. Jack Hederrick, however, was not as healthy as his older brother and did not make it very far into infancy before he died. The death was a hard blow on Aelis Maria, and it sparked within her a sort of hypochondria that was suggested earlier, but really settled in after that. Still, Aelis Maria continued to have four more children: Megg Serene, Annamaria, Drake, and Caitlyn. She was constantly feigning sickness, or fatigue, but, eventually, she found herself incredibly ill, though her family was there the whole time to support her and she passed in peace.
Aelis Maria’s younger life is inspired very heavily by the heroine of Catherine, Called Birdy by Karen Cushman; I even named her after Birdy’s best friend Aelis, which I still think is an incredibly beautiful name. She first shows up in what will be the second or third (probably third) book of what I hope will be the “base” Aryneth series that starts it all, entitled “To Cross a River of Blood.” That is where we have Locke and Co. traveling to the Carnival at Asalom, and where the two fated lovers will meet. Her later life is modeled heavily on my own mother, which is probably why she comes to mind when I think of Mother’s Day. My mother lost a child after her first one, before I was born, and I’ve seen how profoundly it effected her. However, my mother does have lupus, and she is frequently ill, so Aelis Maria’s hypochondria is more of a fictional interpretation. My mother is a strong woman, and so is Aelis Maria.
And now, after typing all that, I’m definitely feeling inspired to get back to my book this month, which takes place in Aryneth, so this character profile thing might show up again. It’s a great way to remind me of why I love about my stories and get to want to writing them! Thanks for reading!