Tag Archives: character interview

Friday’s ‘Letter from Chalandris’: Nelson

Hey all! Greetings from camp! 🙂

Well no, not really. As I expected, there’s no internet on-site so I drove into town this morning to post last night’s writing. (We do have limited electricity, so I was able to write last night, thankfully.)

So, last night I wrote about Nelson, and a good-hearted lad he is, too. Very likeable. He was pleasant to write. Another child of misfortune like Landa and Rose. Between Jormund’s Rebellion and Carrack’s Uprising, it seems like there’s a lot of discontent in the kingdom so I’ll need to figure out why that is. It could be something as incidental as a weak central authority in the north part of the kingdom, or it could be something a bit more significant. Time will tell, so stay tuned as I figure it out.

New ‘Letter from Chalandris’: Landa

I’m a little late. Sorry.

Got in late last night, was too tired to write. Got up as early as I could and got right to work. I went ahead and wrote a little about Landa.

Now I need to get ready to go out of town a ways. I’m not likely to have internet where I’m going, so if I’m not posting that’ll be why. But I’ll still be writing, and I’ll have four more to post by noon Monday if I can’t post beforehand.

Enjoy the weekend, everyone!

New Letter from Chalandris: Meet Chastain

Hello everyone!

Two in a row!

I know this one is a bit short, but some characters are just a bit more tight-lipped, and that says something about them, too. And so we have Chastain, probably the least verbose member of ‘The Great Ernesto’s” traveling troupe of players. But as you’ll see, the story Chastain tells depends a great deal on who he’s talking to.

The First “Letter from Chalandris”: Meet Hyacinth Baker

Hello everyone!

Well, I’m off to a good start! That’s right, one-in-a-row! 🙂

The character’s name is Hyacinth Baker, also called “Rose”, and she has already taught me a great deal about her little corner of Chalandris. I am so stoked now to see how this process continues. This is just awesome!

Now, since I’ve been writing for nearly eight hours out of the past twelve, I’m going to make my eyes go dark.

New: Letters from Chalandris – and a plea for help

In my last post where I was questioning how to go about building my world, Sheryl Winters posted a great idea and I’m going to use it:

So, I will be introducing:

Letters from Chalandris

I’m not sure how to structure it yet, but I’m just going to write about Chalandris from the perspective of various characters, starting with minor characters first. I will create a new section on the website for these and post them for folks to read if they wish. They will be inconsistent for a couple of reasons. Some of the characters will be ‘unreliable narrators’, meaning that, for them, it will be more important to relate information in a way that benefits them personally than to tell the unvarnished truth. Think of how politicians act when they are fearful of being caught in a scandal and you’ll have a good idea of what that’s about. Another reason is that different characters will view the same people, places, and events differently, based upon their personal relationships, histories, prejudices, and other biases. Another thing that will create inconsistency will be that, as I continue this exercise, Chalandris itself will acquire greater breadth and depth as increasing levels of detail are fabricated, sometimes rendering previous installments obsolete. As this is a world-building exercise, it will rarely be productive to go back and edit previous installments to make them consistent on that basis. I will simply note the differences in my project notes and continue on.

To speed the process along, I’m going to do my best to write something every day and post the results on the following day. I’m going to treat each day as a firm deadline to try to develop some discipline that I have been lacking thus far. All writers go through periods when the words just don’t come. My reaction so far has been to whine to myself about it and focus on other things until the muse returns. This simply will not do. If I’m to make this a career I need to develop the discipline that will allow me to meet deadlines because, let’s face it: if some major publisher were to send me a contract today for a five-book deal providing say, five books in five to seven years, I’d be a fool to sign it. I just haven’t acquired the writing skills required to meet any reasonable deadlines and it’s just not fair to treat a publisher (or an agent, editor, etc.) in that fashion; very unprofessional. If I want this to be a career, then I must develop a professional-level skill set.

So, I’m going to ask you to hold me accountable. Keep my feet held hard against the fire. Pester the bejeezus out of me if I’m not posting on time every day (12:00 noon, US Eastern Daylight time {GMT -4}, weekends excluded). I absolutely need this. I know it, every one of you knows it, and I’m asking for help.

Thank you.

A character interview with Kerrigan, Greenfriar of Skelling:

Kerrigan, Greenfriar of Skelling

” ‘Friar Kerrigan, can you tell us how long you’ve been a follower of The Greenway?”

“Well, I was born to it, as they say. My family took to The Green generations agone. Me Uncle Hardin was High Greensinger and piped for the march lord Hawkins, Lord o’ Brindle. Leastways, he did until Lord Hawkins’ liege lord, the Baron Taunton, come and called him out for a greenback, put sword to throat and torch to hall. That was criminal, it was. ‘Twould be right to charge the Baron with murder for all of ’em, me uncle included, but there’s no liege to petition for redress on account o’ them’s all bein’ a bunch o’ stiff-necked belly boys right on up to the Countess.

“Belly boys?”

“Sons of Belial. Followers of the Golden Rule of Gideon, they call themselves, but we of The Greenway know better.”

“I see. And the Countess?”

“That would be Countess Selyse of The Fallows. Selyse was a Darrymore from the south. The Darrymores are the worst possible combination: golden nobles with ambition. The story goes that in her youth, Selyse was promised to Lord Montgomery, the last unmarried son of the Duke of Calloway, which would make any of their issue cousins to the king. But the dashingly handsome young Lord Monty was lost at sea in a storm. Selyse’s mother, the Lady Anastasia, was inconsolable, they say.

“The next best match that could be found for Selyse was up here in the north with Lord Unger, the eldest son of Count Erving and heir to The Fallows. Well, Count Erving had one hip on the bier as they say, and his eldest, Lord Unger, was still unmarried in his middle years. As it turned out, Lord Unger was a large man of poor health and somewhat simple wit. Selyse was fine with her mother’s ambition when it led to a handsome match, but now that she was being forced to marry an “oafish lump” as she called him, she was suddenly not so supportive. Selyse was sore distressed, but Lady Anastasia would brook none of her daughter’s objections and a-fore long the two were wed.

“To make matters worse for Selyse, The Fallows had a long tradition of following The Greenway as long as anyone can remember, including most of our lords. And once Selyse was wed to Lord Unger, she found that while her simple lord would yield to her in most things, he refused to budge in his devotion to The Greenway. Even when the old Count finally found his bier and Unger was invested as Count of The Fallows, he only became more committed in his support, which vexed Countess Selyse no end. She prayed openly for her ill lord husband to find his bier.

“To hear her tell it, she wasted the best years of her life waiting for Count Unger to die, and after he finally breathed his last she petitioned the king to rule The Fallows as Countess as she refused to bear a child for the Count. She was granted her petition, and shortly thereafter she was herself invested as titular vassal to the king. Instead of bearing children, she fostered the issue of many of her lord husband’s vassals, which she saw were tutored to the Golden Rule behind Count Unger’s back. But despite her wealth and power, she still blames The Greenway for the misfortune of her wasted youth as she calls it, and she’s been set against us ever since she came to rule. By this time, most of her fosterlings have come to their seats and The Fallows now drips in gold and most of her vassal lords are unswerving in their devotion to her. Those of us who still follow The Greenway here in The Fallows do so at our own peril. But we’ll not turn our backs on what’s right.”

“So, what can you tell us about The Greenway? What do you teach?”

“We teach that Oberon, King o’ the Green, and Viviane, the Lady of the Lake, are not to be found in a fancy cathedral or some rustic abbey. They are all around us all the time. There’s no need to learn a hundred rules. As long as your heart is good and you do right by kith and kin, eternal reward is yours. We are part of the world and we return to the world when our journey here is done.”

“And the other Gods? The Golden Lord and the White Lady?”

“The Red Prince and the Iron Lady, you mean. Don’t be fooled by the pretty candles, gilded cloth, and marbled halls. They make everything pretty so that them that don’t look under the surface will be taken in, but it’s all a lie and no lie is as dangerous as a pretty lie that you want to hear.

“You see, long ages ago, Oberon discovered the truth and revealed it to us that Gideon and Bethany are imposters. That their true names are Belial, the Red Tyrant and Prince of Lies, and his consort is none other than Lillith, the Iron Lady. And they’ve got a grip on the hearts and minds of so many people, particularly in the south but here in the north, too.”

“So, Oberon didn’t rebel against Gideon?”

“Oh, he rebelled alright, and it’s lucky for all of us that he did! That was Oberon looking out for us and doing whatever was necessary to keep us safe, preserving the faith. Between the Greenway and the Golden Rule, the Greenway is older, by far. Once Oberon discovered that ‘Gideon’ was a fraud committed against us all by Belial, he had no choice but to rebel, or else allow the whole world to fall victim to Belial’s lies about the new ‘Golden Rule’.”

“And Bethany is Lillith?”

“Aye, and that’s a particularly mean fraud, that. Lillith puts on her alabaster gown and cloaks herself in beauty, calls herself Bethany, draws you in, and then she has you ensnared. She is insidious and ruthless. As dangerous as Belial may be, I actually think Lillith is the more dangerous of the two. Gideon and Bethany, indeed!”

“And what of Chalandris?”

“Chalandris is the Spirit of the World, the perfect embodiment of the ideals of Oberon and Viviane. It is no coincidence that the perfect spirit of nature aligns so perfectly with the Green Path, and further proof that the ‘Golden Rule of Gideon’ is a fraud.

A character interview with Salas, Archdeacon of Redfarthing Abbey:

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Salas, Archdeacon of Redfarthing Abbey

“Father Salas, as an authority on matters of The Golden Rule of Gideon, if you were instructing a new convert, what would you say is the most important thing they should know about it?”

“A greenback?”, Salas spit on the ground in contempt.

“No, let’s say it’s someone from across the sea. An islander, perhaps.”

“Almost as bad, but at least an islander’ll usually keep ‘is word. You can ne’er trust a greeenback. They are no respecters of laws nor of men, and commit all manner of treacheries.” He paused to take a sip of ale and swallowed it hard.

“Well, to start, our patron, Gideon, is the supreme power of the world. He created everything, even the other gods, though some of them rebelled and ain’t worth my spit, nor a newcomer’s spare thought.

“It is Gideon who caused the oldest faith, The Golden Rule, to be written. The Golden Rule is the complete collection of the doctrine Gideon set out for us, and our dedication to following The Golden Rule determines our fate. In the end, Gideon weighs us, gives us our due measure, and if we are found wanting, he takes his due from us.”

“I see. You mentioned other gods?”

“Aye, I did. Gideon’s consort is Bethany – called the White Lady. She is the goddess of home and hearth, gives us comfort in times of need, and if we do right by her she might well intercede for us with Gideon at the Great Reckoning if we are good and share our blessings with others and with the Church.

“Then there are the Dark Gods that rebelled. Their followers call them Oberon and Viviane, but we know them by their true names; for they are none other than Bachus, the Horned One and Morrigan, the Death Crone, masked to lead the unwary astray with their false faith that they call The Greenway.

“And finally, there is Chalandris, the Spirit of the World. Chalandris inhabits all the land and the deepest oceans, from the desert wastes to the highest mountains, across the plains and the hills and valleys, the meadows and swamps. Chalandris takes no side between the Lord and Lady of Light and the Dark Ones, but looks after the world instead. The Greenway of Bachus and Morrigan is nothing more than a twisted version of the laws of nature adapted to serve their own dark purposes. This is how you can see that their Greenway is false, for all it is, is a mockery of Chalandris.”

“You mentioned a Great Reckoning? What is that?”

“At the end of all days, Bethany will descend in all her glory, collect all the souls of the world so they will not suffer. Then, she will draw up all the souls of those who have died throughout all the ages and they will be brought together to Gideon’s Golden Hall, where every life that has ever been lived will be judged by Gideon according to The Golden Rule, with Bethany interceding on behalf of those who have earned it. Those who are deemed worthy will dwell with Gideon and Bethany for all eternity in their Golden Halls, while those who are found wanting will receive a traitor’s death, same as that Bachus and his Crone.”

“You said that the Dark Gods rebelled. What happened there?”

“Aye. Seems as back at the dawn of the world, Oberon, who had been created, you’ll remember, by Gideon, thought that he should rule it. Gideon had even created Oberon’s consort, the beautiful Viviane. But that wasn’t enough for Oberon. He was greedy. So great was his greed and envy that he was completely consumed by it. His greed and envy influenced Viviane, as well, and before long, they both looked upon Gideon’s works as their own birthright. But to come into what they believed was their inheritance, they had to be rid of Gideon and usurp his place in the heavens. But Gideon is wise and saw the treachery in their hearts; and once he saw what they had become, he cast them down before they could unseat him. Gideon then named Oberon “Bachus, the Horned One”, and he took back Viviane’s beauty and named her “Morrigan, the Death Crone”.  The Dark Gods, Bachus and Morrigan, lie always in wait to lead astray those who waver in their faith to follow The Golden Rule. It is not good to even speak of them.”