I really haven’t gone into any of the supporting cast of Quest of the Brokenhearted, so now feels like the time. There really wasn’t much outside of the champions, Kira Grasdon, and the Shadow Earl. A few characters turned up to show more personality than I expected, but there isn’t much to say about them. It’s really only 4 characters who fill out the detailed cast, which is a little strange for this book. Since I wanted to focus mostly on Kira, I didn’t need a big group and each one was designed to have an effect on the hero’s journey. Well . . . There was one who was going to be a standout.
This is the young elf who is assigned to Kira as an attendant and ‘smells good’ to the monsters of Lacarsis. Now, an elf isn’t a monster, so she has an interesting backstory that explains her personality. Her parents stumbled into the city when she was an infant and quickly gave her up in exchange for their lives, which were promptly taken because of their cowardice. The Shadow Earl had his people raise Rayne, so she’s an elf who grew up among monsters. She knows nothing of the outside world and is quick to offer herself up for punishments. It’s her relationship with Kira that causes the most amount of growth for both characters. Both are damaged in different ways, but they receive some healing from their partnership.
Here’s the funny thing: Rayne has actually been around longer than Kira Grasdon. Back in college, I ran a Dungeons & Dragons game where a player was Rayne. This was an older version that was on an adventure, so Quest of the Brokenhearted is going to be giving her an origin. Part of this is because there’s always been a secret connection between Rayne and the champions even though she wasn’t active until long after their adventures finished. Not going to say what, but she is going to become a major player in Windemere’s Age of Heroes. Probably easy to figure that out since I’ve made it known that my old D&D game is going to be another series in the future.
That isn’t to say working with Rayne was early. In the game, she was an Elven thief with amnesia and a fear of ice that she couldn’t understand. It was the player’s first character, so we worked on creating an origin as we went. Sadly, it was one that I couldn’t use in the books because of how I designed Windemere. That’s what made me start figuring out a way to give her a background and I kept her at hand in case something came up. It didn’t work out for a few years since I was always thinking she would have to take the lead, but that routinely failed. Part of her big adventure was gaining the strength to stand on her own legs and be able to fight alongside the greater heroes of Windemere. I couldn’t have her start that way, so an origin came to mind. That’s when I looked at what she was going to become and spent a week brainstorming. To be fair, I was working the return desk at a Home Depot at the time and a mental break from the brutality was appreciated.
My decision came around the third attempt to outline Quest of the Brokenhearted where I added Rayne in as a friend of Kira. She just turned up in one version and then was adopted as a ward when the story was Kira being a vigilante. That didn’t work out and I even made them lovers at one point to see if that got the characters anywhere. Obviously, it didn’t and I nearly cut Rayne entirely until I streamlined the concept. She became the awkward servant with no knowledge of the outside world and that struck me as an incredible way to start this character off. I plan on her making an appearance in another series as well to help move her into position for her big series, which makes Rayne fairly unique in Windemere. She’ll be the only character to play a big role in four stories/series instead of having one big one and then various cameos.
As it stand right now, I’m not 100% certain where her growth will go. Normally, I would tell a funny story from the game version of the character, but that might reveal too much about the future. I do have an explanation for Rayne’s pet though, which is a gelatinous swine called a Gooie Pig. The player started her own game in her own world, which included a creature named a Guey Pig. I don’t remember the spelling, but it was pronounced Gweh. Not knowing this, I called it a Gooie Pig and she made the mistake of reacting rather dramatically to my error. Of course, I had to do it a few more times just to be a pain. I don’t even know what the thing looked like or did because I don’t think we ran into it. All I pictured was a very slimy pig and I had to put that into the story once I put Rayne in Lacarsis. Honestly, I’m kind of sad I made it a unique creature because I’d love to have it show up more often for comedy.