Posts Tagged ‘Lady Meadowlark’

Coffee klatch interview with Lady Meadowlark and Hunter Orodherthin

A coffee klatch interview with Lady Meadowlark and Hunter Orodherthin, the Children of Lady Nora, Daughter of Lady Aster of House T’Ralom of the Daoine.

Lark’s eyes sparkle as she drinks her chocolate milk. Yet even for Lark’s jovial appearance, I feel her scanning us, studying us. Orin is more sedate. He sits back, sipping his espresso but his eyes alternate resting upon the doors, the sidewalk outside, and me.

OrinnLark

Elizabeth: First let us start off by thanking you for coming down to Seattle. Earth is pretty far away from Talamh, is it not?

Orin (shrugging): The outside is the outside.

Lark: Quite far, but worth the trip, I am sure.

Elizabeth: So what are you plans in Seattle?

Lark: We came to this great city to find work and trade in order to bring wealth to the Daoine, of course. We will take in the sights as you call it of course. Your towers are quite impressive here.  You have wonderful drinks. I never had chocolate milk before.

Orin: Actually, I find it amazing how much food your people have. We just went into one of your grocery stores. Though it is too bad you no longer much in the way of a barter system.

Elizabeth: I see your named brother, Roan, is not beside you today?

Orin (shrugging again): With small children, he prefers not to travel so far from home. He sometimes he comes, sometimes he doesn’t.

Elizabeth: And your father is doing well?

Orin: Our father is a sick man. It is best that Lark keeps her apartments in the Great House.  I personally prefer Lark’s apartment with the Champion’s room to our father’s hut.

Elizabeth: So your relationship has had some ups and downs.

Lark (blushing): Every family has there problems but no matter has happened between us; Orin is my brother. Now he is my Champion too.

Cover_ksOrin just looks pissed off so I decide to change the subject. Elizabeth: And so in Mareton?

Lark: Roan, Orin and I shared an awful dream. There were so many sacrifices during the drought. At least, you will see we were ale to make a difference in Mareton.

Elizabeth: if you want to know the whole story, you can read more in Mareton’s Curse! On March 1st, the sequalization of our story will start at http://faminelands.com begins! Updates every Friday.

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Writing gray characters = fun (My favorite characters Lady Aster and Lord Brogan)

Okay for the past few days, I have written about how I write gray characters in Faminelands. I talked about both Orin and Lark, but today I am going to talk about how I wrote my two favorite characters: Lady Aster and her younger brother Lord Brogan.

Now in the main Famineland’s trilogy, Lady Aster don’t get a lot of panel time, but they were integral in Lark’s development as a warrior and her future within the House. They are very important characters in the freebie backstory which was given away with The Carp’s EyeThe History of Lady Meadowlark (as told by Lord Brogan)

The opening line is: As Champion of House T’Ralom Seasmhach, I swore to protect my elder sister, Lady Aster, as well as her descendants in blood or name. Aster is a wise and fair Matron. I hold her and her husband, Lord Arna, in high regard. For over five centuries, I have kept my vows and bear the scars of my service proudly.

When I wrote her, I always knew that Aster would serve the Fhorais Daoine and help their people survive. She has fought in countless wars, her history is bloody, and her name is legend. So everything I wrote about, I always kept that in mind. Sometimes it might seem as if she is cold or unfair, but what makes these characters both interesting to write and my favorites is they follow the Path of Valor even when they do not want to. They both suffer at times due to the code, yet they live by it, because it ultimately serves them and the people they are sworn to protect. Every choice, good, bad, or neutral, Aster makes for the good of her people and her House. Yet it is not blind faith that leads her, but logic, cunning, and the understanding of their enemies. Aster has made plenty of controversial decisions as Matron of House T’Ralóm, including keeping Brogan alive after the loss of his leg and most importantly to the Faminelands Series, Aster chooses the fate of Nora’s bastard daughter, Lark. This is told from Lark’s perspective in the Carp’s Eye and then a much closer version to the truth in the History…

One summer’s day, Nora did not return from a mission as planned. Each day, the bowyer grew thinner and harder. A month later, we received word that Nora had indeed fallen in a battle. There was no body. I escorted my sister to the bowyer’s hut to deliver the news. For the first time, Aster held Lark as they both wept for Nora. The bowyer would not speak, but sat staring into the flames. During the Moon of Mourning, the bowyer ignored the food which was brought to his hut. Lark had only eaten a little before we heard his mad ramblings, the child’s screaming, and the sound of wood against flesh. After that, Lark scavenged for food.

A few more things happen, then  Calafas goes looking for Nora’s body.

Roan heard screams. He sent word to us and ran to the bowyer’s hut. The man held a bow as he dragged his daughter out the door but they had not food, nor warm clothes. The bowyer snapped, “Forgive us, Noble One, I search for my wife, and you stand in my way.”

Lady Aster called, “Calafas, Your sorrow might demand death, but what of your child?”

Hate filled the bowyer’s eyes as he stared at my sister. He did not seem to care that I unsheathed my sword as he took a step towards us. “I search for my wife, Lady, as YOU will not! My girl needs her mother.”

Lady Aster interrupted, “The child cannot make such a journey in her state.”

 

This History of Lady Meadowlark Page 9

Aster did this for a few reasons none of which were charity. Lark might be a bastard, but even so Aster does not want to lose Nora’s bloodline which is important to the Daoine and their Southern Cousins.

Lark was a good apprentice, but as all kids do she made a few serious mistakes. The picture below from the History… shows the aftermath of Lark’s affair with Galdor. Galdor is in the foreground. Aster and Arna are discussing what to do with both kids. Arna wants to send Lark to a temple, his sister’s House, anywhere but near Galdor who is the future Patron of House Sarralonde. Aster refuses him. In the background, while angry, Brogan and Roan (Brogan’s grown son) are comforting Lark.

Aster and Brogan took her on the road with them to keep her out of trouble. Spending three years with them on the road as a mercenary gave Lark a singular view of battle that would help her defeat her many enemies. Nora had an important job within the Daoine and her death made a hole in the ranks. Aster and Brogan train Lark to be the warrior that Nora was.

They train her well. Lark wins a war and becomes the Lady Meadowlark Daughter of Lady Nora. However after her ascension he can no longer be there for her the way he was when she was a girl. This pains him a great deal. Yet in his own words…

 I had no comfort to offer Lark. She was no longer my ward or considered a child. I would not risk accusation from one of the lower ranks. Lark did not blame me for this, her self loathing was complete. However I would not allow Nora’s scandal or Roan’s folly to be repeated. Lady Aster would find her a suitable nobleman who would be gentle, but that would take time.

Aster and I spoke at length of Lark’s sorrow. “Dear Sister, Perhaps it is best if Lark finds her own way: let her find Orin, perhaps even the bowyer if he lives.”

“Without a champion? The rumors…” I could see the sorrow in Aster’s eyes, she had lost her husband and many Children. She could not lose another.

I answered her, “Lark has spent time in the world. Orin would be a great warrior. We have heard rumors of valor and of debauchery. Truth is always somewhere in the middle.”

So we are talking about someone who let a young girl wander Talamh alone. Once The Carp’s Eye starts, Lark is on the road with Orin, Aster and Brogan are sources of information and advisors, but must leave her to her own path. Well, pretty much as you can see from this image from Living Stone.

Living Stone Page 25

Since part of Brogan’s duties include protecting Aster and her named bloodline which includes Lark.  In Living Stone, he is the one who warns Orin, “If she is harmed again, you will feel it tenfold.” Yep, that’s right, its Brogan who chooses Orin’s fate. Instead of public censor or death, he chooses to have Roan retrain Orin to be a nobleman.

And in the upcoming Mareton’s Curse, Aster will begin make other decsions that will effect Orin and Lark’s future happiness. As I alluded to, Lark will be married to someone whose main attribute is that he has a suitable bloodline. Love has nothing to do with it.

If you like what you see, please consider donating to the Print Faminelands: Mareton’s Curse Kickstarter Campaign.

There are lots of exciting rewards that start at $1.00 and go up to $500. There is even a chance for you to be the King or Queen of Mareton and interact with Lark, Orin and Roan in the book.

Check it out!

Writing gray character = fun! (Character Development of Lark)

In the second part of Writing gray characters= fun, I am going to introduce you to Lady Meadowlark, Daughter of Lady Nora and Calafas the Bowyer. Younger sister to Oroderthin and older sister to Calthal.

Though Lark is a “good” character, she too falls in the realm of a gray character– primarily because she will do anything to succeed. She believes in the “ends justifies the means” even when she is the one who faces loss by her decisions.

Lark was Nora’s first child to prove her place in House T’Ralom and named beloved granddaughter of Lady Aster. As I said in Orin’s post, Lark came to me very close to fully formed. It was her counterpart which was the question. Even so, there were a few things I needed to work out when I first began to write the stories.

Obviously the first issue was their relationship. The second one was how do I make this young lady on a dangerous quest a little more interesting?

Hypothesis: the most boring stories are wishes that come true without trials. Lark has two spoken goals in bringing Orin back to the Daoine. First of all, she believes this will cure their father’s broken heart and make him well. Secondly it will prove that Nora’s bloodline is strong. She also has one private wish: that Orin will provide kinship that she needs.

So those are her goals, but how did I make Lark herself more interesting?

As I said in the previous post: making Lark and Orin siblings makes it easier for them to be cruel to each other without dire consequences, while Orin is basically a villain softened through the eyes of his little sister, what makes Lark interesting is her hard side mixing with her weakness.

Hardness:

1) She is not an ingenue. Prior to The Carp’s Eye, she fought both the internal and external enemies of the Darien and won a war for the Daoine which has caused her promotion to Lady of the Forest at the tender age of 85. (If she had been a human girl, she would have been about 14).  She knows how to win wars. Throughout the books, the reader sees it is her who sees how to get things done.

2) She doesn’t like hurting people, but she will do what is necessary.  

Lark’s memory of her nights with Galdor from Living Stone

3)  Unlike other young maidens, she is not a virgin. Prior to her journey to find Orin, she had an affair with Galdor– a boy from her village. She is in love with him, but his jealousy of her promotion tore them apart.  Orin knows she made a “little mistake with Galdor” and like many big brothers, he doesn’t particularly want her talking to boys until she is older.  Lark likes talking to boys and will even disobey Orin to do so, but she doesn’t sleep around simply because she understands how babies are made. (Lord Brogan and Healer Nonia made sure of this fact after Galdor.)

Weakness:

1) Lark was abandoned many times in her life, now her need for companionship and love is so great that she accepts abuse.  (As I said in the previous post, physical abuse of children was a learned behavior in their household/society.) As an adult brother of a child normally he would have authority over her, but Lark is not just a kid anymore, she is also a Lady of the Daoine. Inside the village, due to her rank, if she ever tells anyone that Orin hits her, their extended family will kill them, so she keeps quiet.

Another point which is related, but not exactly a weakness is Lark has had such a tough life, that she prefers death to failure. She doesn’t always think of the consequences of her actions and will put her life and her place in the House on the line. The reader sees this during the Goblin Skirmishes when she stood up against the entire counsel, how she stood against Malak in order to protect Orin during the Carp’s Eye and how she disobeyed Orin in Living Stone because she knew of the job (and as you can see from the image below rescued two puppies in the process.)

So that is an introduction to Lark’s character. How do you form your characters?

If you like what you see consider supporting the Print Faminelands: Mareton’s Curse Kickstarter Campaign which is running between Mid- October to Mid November. More information to follow….

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