Category Archives: Characters

Tristan Cole: Freeblade Thief and Assassin

The Heretic’s Quest: Tristan

Tristan is the most ruthless and effective thief and cutthroat in the Free Blade ranks.Tristan Cole is a member of an underground rebel group called the Free Blades.  He’s a thief and an assassin who loves to rob and kill members of the Serene.  He’s 5’ 11” tall, and shaved bald, but has a mustache and short beard.  He has hazel eyes and is 32 years old.  He’s lean and wiry, and very nimble and graceful.

Originally an orphan from Carthos Landing, Tristan’s past is unknown, but it’s clear that something terrible must have happened to him at some point, something that involved the Serene, because he hates them and kills them with inhuman zeal.

Some say he used to sing songs and draw quite a crowd in Carthos Landing, but in all the years he’s spent in the north with the Free Blades in the First City, none have ever heard him sing a single note.  He needs no musician’s muse to have his way with the ladies, however.  His handsome face, deep eyes, and charming wit can open a pair of legs as fast as his picks open locks and his daggers open throats.

Some also say Tristan used to be a good man, an honorable man of courage and integrity.  None know how he became an incorrigible thief and cutthroat, but no one dares to ask.

Ferris is a master designer and inventor of the world's most advanced technology

The Heretic’s Quest: Ferris

 Ferris is a master designer and inventor of the world's most advanced technology Ferris Magellen is an old man with a mind of gears and pulleys. With pipe in mouth and bushy eyebrows furrowed in fathomless concentration, his spidery fingers draw precise plans and schematics for the inventions that spawn from his mind.

As Grandmaster of the Barriers, Ferris leads the only group that enjoys immunity from Serene doctrine and oversight. Like his organization, Ferris remains neutral in all political matters, choosing to follow his predecessor’s footsteps as he steers his group clear of any entangling alliances with the Crown or the Sanctuary.

As far as Grandmaster go, Ferris isn’t the most inspired or innovative leader, but he very well may be the most thorough and methodical man to ever lead the Barriers. His memory and attention to details are unparalleled.

Since his brother and father died of plague, Ferris has been absent more and more from the lower levels of the Barrier Tower. As he approaches his final years and finds himself without heir or kin, Ferris is content to oversee operations from his cozy study. He leaves the workshops and forges for men with stronger fingers and better eyes.

His life and his plans are secure, productive, and uncomplicated, until he’s visited by a dark stranger with flaming red eyes.

 Ferris is a master designer and inventor of the world's most advanced technology

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The Heretic’s Quest: Killjoy, King of Bandits

Killjoy, king of bandits and brigands.Killjoy is an old war dog, long of tooth and grey of hair. His long grey mane is often braided into a single thick braid that runs the length of his back, reaching almost to his knees. He sometimes ties a spiked steel ball into the end of the braid, and he can use his massive neck muscles to whip the makeshift flail around with enough force to crush a man’s skull.

His beard and mustache are also long and grey, and his beard is usually braided to match his hair, minus the spiked ball. He favors light buckskin clothing, a huge two-handed cleaver, and a long bow. He’s a master hunter and tracker, and a very effective leader and teacher.

The Bandit King is old, but still very dangerous. From his hidden lair deep in the Mirrored Mountains, he leads and trains a group of skilled woodsmen-bandits called the Wraiths, who have preyed on caravans between North Reach and Elmek for years. He has no mercy in his heart for anyone, and no tolerance for incompetence, disobedience, or failure. Few of his men live more than five or six years after joining the Wraiths. If they don’t die on a raid, Killjoy eventually kills them for one reason or another.

His loyalty is only to himself, but his services and men are available for any manner of dirty work, if the price is right.

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The Heretic’s Quest: Anthony Reeves

Anthony Reeves: Innkeeper, pimp, adviser, and much moreAnthony Reeves is a fat old man with round, ruddy cheeks and triple chins. His crown is glossy bald, and but he has a full, thick, white beard and moustache. He laughs often and loudly, and his good mood is extremely contagious.

At a glance, he seems to be the jovial, fatherly proprietor of the Happy Hearth Tavern and Brothel, an old family business in the heart of Elmek. To his credit, he is as he seems, but he’s also much more than that. In truth, ol’ Tony is a man with many hats, some more reputable than others.

In years past, he served as a friend and mentor to Alistar Keirnan, Alexi’s father. He also tried to take young Alexi under his wing, but Alexi was too brash and impudent to see the value of Tony’s assistance.  If he had listened to the innkeeper, Alexi may have avoided the doom that befell him.

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The Heretic’s Quest: Palmroy

Palmroy is Alexi’s nephew and squire.  After the boy’s father died in Alexi’s service, the House Father took Palmroy under his wing in an attempt to undo the pampering his sister had rendered.  However, Palmroy’s taste for luxury and soft living could not be rooted out.  When the story begins, Alexi can barely tolerate his nephew, and Palmroy hates his uncle.  Both would gladly be rid of the other, but the Fates have something else in mind.

Palmroy, Squire of Alexi Keirnan

 

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The Heretic’s Quest: Sentinel Casteel

Casteel: leader of the SereneJames Casteel is a small, frail man with bony, hawkish features, an indomitable will, and infinite ambition. He serves as the Emperor’s Sentinel, the head priest of the Empire’s only sanctioned religion. He’s tied with Alexi as the second-most powerful man in their country. Vast numbers of clergy, healers, and militant Templars wait for his command, eager to do their god’s will as decreed from Casteel’s mouth.

Casteel hated Alexi’s father, and tried to have him convicted of heresy, but his animosity apparently died with Alistar when the senior Keirnan fell to a cave bear in the Pass of Elmek. Since Alexi assumed the mantle of House Father, Casteel has bore no ill will towards him. In fact, it’s a modern legend, a tale told again and again in taverns across the realm, of how Casteel favored Alexi with a powerful blessing to protect him from Strogan magic. This ward from the Prophet allows Alexi to survive magical attacks that often kill men to his left and right.

In this way, Casteel has united forces with Alexi; the Sanctuary and the military are joined together to do the Prophet’s will and ensure the Emperor’s word is taught and enforced across the land.

At least, that’s the story Casteel has his Serene mentors teach to the masses during their holy services.

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The Heretic’s Quest: Warlock

The Warlock of the Heretic's QuestThe Warlock doesn’t appear often or for long in The Warlock’s Wake, but as the novel’s name suggests, he accomplishes more and sets more events into motion with a few simple words and actions than some people can do in a lifetime.

No matter how old, wise, or practiced a mage may be, all spell slingers have a finite amount of power. Certain things simply cannot be done. For example, no mage in history has ever been able to truly fly. Even Bane, with all of his power and skill, is bound by these mortal limits.

The Warlock is not. His power has no apparent limits. He is ageless and timeless. He was old when the Prophet yet walked the earth as a mortal man. Shrouded in a cloak of living shadow-fire, the tangible manifestation of chaos and entropy, the Warlock does whatever he wants, because none have the power to stop him.

His existence is not common knowledge in the Sarveki Empire. The tale of the Warlock is a Strogun legend not often told outside of the clan fire circles. Sometimes he isn’t seen for generations, and then he appears. He’s started wars and ended them. He’s saved entire towns from certain doom and slaughtered innocents by the hundreds. Most believe he’s insane. Others say his actions follow rhyme and reason, and it all fits a grand scheme, but not one that a mere mortal can understand, because human lives and memories are too short.

Alexi meets the source of the stories without ever knowing of the legends. Had he known something of the tales, perhaps events would have transpired differently.

But then, had that been the case, there would be no tale to tell. Hate the warlock if you wish. Fear him, or respect him, or idolize him, as you desire, but be sure to thank him. If it were not for him and his actions, none of this would exist. There would be no book, no story, no website.

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The Heretic’s Quest: Shadow Bane

It is unclear if Bane is even human. He’s shaped like a man, but he’s over seven feet tall, and no one knows what he looks like. In every encounter, his body and face are always totally concealed by clothing or armor. He favors black steel armor with very thick plates on his shins and forearms, which he uses to block attacks in battle. He carries no shield or weapons, and bears no standard. His eyes are made of crimson fire, and his body often glows with magical golden light.

Many characters in Heretic have mysterious pasts, but Bane is a total mystery. No one knows from whence he came or what he plans to do, but his apparent agenda seems to involve waging and winning a war against the Serene.

The New Prophets have uncovered unknown prophecies that seem to foretell the arrival of a new champion, the cleaning of the existing order, and the dawn of a new age.

Bane is the self-proclaimed champion of that prophesy. He wields powerful magic as easily as most men breathe. He has no equal in battle, despite his lack of weapons. He knows secrets and forgotten lore that no living man could possibly know.

At every turn, he uses knowledge or force to bind others to his cause, but no one really knows if he speaks true or not. Perhaps he does intend to overthrow the Serene. Perhaps he has another less blatant agenda. Only Bane knows for sure.

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The Heretic’s Quest: Mary Keirnan

Mary Keirnan is a scout in Alexi’s witch-hunting party. She has straight blond hair and brown eyes. Her hair comes to her shoulders when it’s down, but she usually has it pulled up into a knot to keep it out of her way. She’s twenty-four years old. She’s 5’ 4” tall and petite. Her facial features are lean and sharp. She’s attractive, but not a stunning beauty.

She wears leather armor that offers light, full body protection, but it doesn’t have any tassels or decorations to dangle and get caught as she stalks through the woods. Her armor also doesn’t accentuate her feminine form. In fact, it actually subdues her curves to the point where she can pass as a man if she has her hair up and her helmet on. She carries a long sword across her back, twin short swords on each hip, hung from cross-slung belts, and two daggers on the same belts that hold her short swords.

Mary is a woman caught in a man’s world. Lord Keirnan is the only commander who allows women to fight in his House forces, and when Mary is among those forces, she’s a valued and respected warrior. Unfortunately, she quickly finds herself alone in her world and society, and many times her life would be easier if she could swing her hips and flirt as skillfully as she swings a sword and bashes skulls, but she does the best she can.

Somewhere, under the armor and scars, a sensual woman exists behind the gruff soldier exterior she must always show the world. Sometimes her femininity is buried so far inside that she has trouble finding it. Most days Mary doesn’t even pause to consider or miss the life she might have led, had she picked up a butter churn or loom instead of a sword and crossbow, but sometimes, just sometimes, her skin longs to wear silk dresses instead of leather armor. Her hands wish to comb her hair instead of sharpening her sword. Unfortunately, her problem is not that she’s forgotten how to indulge her softer side; she never learned how.

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The Heretic’s Quest: Alexi Keirnan

Alexi Keirnan is the main character of The Heretic’s Quest. He’s the House Father of the most powerful noble house within the Sarveki Empire, and he’s also the Hand of the Emperor, which means he’s the commander-in-chief of the entire Imperial military. He’s the second-most powerful man in the entire Empire, and probably the most fearsome living warrior of his people.

He’s about 6’ tall, and he has blue eyes. He’s 38 years old. He’s got big bones, a big frame, and big muscles. He wears heavy plate armor and carries his family’s ax, which is a two-handed, double-bladed weapon. His armor is simple and formed close to his body, with no frills or decorations to get in his way. When it comes to battle, Alexi favors function over appearance.

Alexi is a man of opposites. He has a mind of cold logic and a heart of fiery passion. He can be intelligent and wise, the consummate diplomat at times, but at other times he can be a man of very direct and lethal action. Above all things, he cherishes his family, both his immediate blood relations and the members of his House. As long as they are safe and prosperous, nothing else matters. As the book progresses, his priorities shift away from his family, but you’ll have to read the story to see how that affects him and his world.