Rayne: Raised Among the Monsters

Deedlit from Lodoss War

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.

Rayne

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.

About Charles Yallowitz

Charles E. Yallowitz was born, raised, and educated in New York. Then he spent a few years in Florida, realized his fear of alligators, and moved back to the Empire State. When he isn't working hard on his epic fantasy stories, Charles can be found cooking or going on whatever adventure his son has planned for the day. 'Legends of Windemere' is his first series, but it certainly won't be his last.
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11 Responses to Rayne: Raised Among the Monsters

  1. L. Marie says:

    Rayne’s back story is indeed interesting. How cool that she’s been around for so long. Glad you found a good place for this character. It sounds like she didn’t give you peace until you did. 😀

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    • She always had the series based on the D&D game that I ran. The odd thing about her was that she always seemed to start in the last stage of her journey due to amnesia. I began to lose interest in that part of her and she just kind of floated into books that came before her big adventure. My only ‘regret’ is that I couldn’t find a way to give her a cameo in the Sin series.

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      • L. Marie says:

        At least you found a good use for her now.
        Why did you lose interest in her story? Because of the amnesia?

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      • Sorry that I wasn’t really clear about this in the post. I actually always had a good use for Rayne in a later series, but her backstory was very lacking. Part of it was because she came from a first time D&D player who was coming into the middle of a pre-existing game. We decided to give her amnesia to get her into the game quickly and let her focus more on the present and learning the rules. Once it was going over to the books, I found that the amnesia thing was partially a cop-out and the history we’d made wasn’t matching up to what Windemere had been turning into. So, I had her in her original series, but saw that she’d be incredibly weak compared to the daughter of Queen Trinity, twins out for revenge, a barbarian prince, and a magic-wielding prostitute who set off the big event. Rayne was only an Elven thief with a shaky past that was gradually eroding as the other characters became more flushed out for the books. So, I kept her in mind and began to see a few openings for her to show up and become a multi-series character. This gives her the past that she needs.

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  2. Rayne sounds like a very interesting character. I’m looking forward to learning more about her in the future. Thanks for sharing so,e parts of how you came around to creating her.

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  3. It is always enjoyable to get the story behind the character.

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  4. I love tales about things that stick with us. Sometimes years later they wind up in a story.

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