Tuesday, July 30, 2019

The Seeker Hero

Ryder tightened his grip around the large rock in his hand. He’d scoured Idonne’s rocky seashore for months, searching for the perfect stone.

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 The first stone he’d brought back to his austere quarters had had a single sharp plane. He’d traded it out with four more before he’d settled on the one he held tonight. One of the stone’s edges sharpened into a jagged point. For weeks, night after night, lying awake on his pallet, he’d practiced shifting it into the right position. He didn’t need to look down now to know the stone’s point was centered.

For over a decade, Ryder, now nineteen, had been trained in the rigors of Idonnic research and documentation. Despite his lack of passion for the work, he had a talent. As Anton’s favorite, he’d been assigned to a closely guarded branch of Idonnic knowledge: the study of Umbra.

He’d read and reread every scrap of information the priests had collected about the mass of psychic ash accumulating in the Void. A product of mortal impotence, frustration, and failure, Umbra had formed a discrete identity and become self-aware over the eons. He intended to enter the realm of the material plane. He’d discovered a means to do so. He meant to destroy the Whole.

The priesthood would do nothing to stop the incarnation, and the Oath of Non-Interference Anton had contrived Ryder into taking a year ago—to the day—choked him. Vowing to chronicle and observe, but never to act, violated every fiber of his being.

There was also the ill-defined thing the young priest couldn’t name which called him. It radiated from deep within his heart, and of late, it left him sleepless most nights. As the summons grew more insistent, the need to leave Idonne dominated his thoughts. But he couldn’t leave without the sword.

Ryder examined the room. There were no guards, no spells of enchanted protection. Only the library’s labyrinth of marble halls hid Koldis from the rest of the enchanted world.

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The sword wasn’t safe. Rumors had already reached his ears. Sorcerers and witches from Kyrakkos sought the blade and its counterpart Ormrun. Although there had been no sightings of the bejeweled basin for over a hundred years, there was no evidence Ormrun had ever left the Realm of Faerie’s shores.

The magical sword and basin opened a portal in the veil between the worlds. Plunged into Ormrun, Koldis became the key to unlock the ancient door. Umbra could leave the Void and travel through the Parallel of Shadows. He could incarnate his consciousness into a vessel of his choosing.

Last week a war captain from Huros had dined with Anton. He’d asked about Koldis. His tone had been casual, but Ryder was convinced the pretense for the visit had been a charade. The captain sought the sword.

Ryder raised his arm. No one who wanted Umbra’s power for themselves was going to get it.

He would sail to Faerie with Koldis. — Chapter 5. The Renegade Priest, Half Faerie

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The farther I get away from the writing Daughter of Light, the more I love Ryder. Without a doubt, he was the most challenging character for me to work with because his integrity and strength are most pronounced in what he does ... and what he leaves unsaid.

From Morphology of the Folk Tale by V. Propp:


The departures of seeker heroes and victim heroes are ... different. The departures of the former have search as their goal, while that of the latter mark the beginning of a journey without searches ... 

In certain tales spatial transference of the hero is absent. The entire action takes place in one location. Sometimes, on the contrary, departure is intensified, assuming the character of flight.

There are two, okay, really multiple heroes in Daughter of Light, but the main story revolves around Melia and Ryder. Melia is a victim hero. She is where she is and who she is—figuratively and metaphorically—when the story opens by virtue of birth and circumstance. Birth and circumstance will always impinge on Melia's choices in unavoidable ways. Her heroism will ultimately depend on how she uses her legacy to transform the future. Sometimes the toughest thing in life is working with what we've got and where we're at.

Ryder, on the other hand, is a SEEKER HERO. Yay, for travel, movement, action and adventure! Ryder's departure from the world he's known as home is intensified by hostile feelings for his mentor and an inner imperative to protect the Whole. And then there is that "ill-defined thing ... which called him."

Run by Thompson Square captures the hopes and dreams of the young priest from Idonne's determined departure:

Run Lyrics:

I'm gonna buy a boat and sail
And I'm gonna grab the world by the tail
And I'm gonna live and love and believe
No matter what tomorrow brings

I'm gonna run as fast as I can
Hold every little moment in the palm of my hand
I'm gonna fly right into the sun
Gravity can't stop me, I've already begun
I'm gonna run, run, run

Love taught me how to cry
But life taught me how to fight
And time showed my eyes how to see
And I'm not afraid 'cause now I'm free

I'm gonna run as fast as I can
Hold every little moment in the palm of my hand
I'm gonna fly right into the sun
Gravity can't stop me, I've already begun
I'm gonna run, run, run

When it feels like the world is crashing down
Just keep your feet on the ground and run, run, run
When you're broken, tired, hurt or scared
Let the wind take you here and run, run, run

I'm gonna run as fast as I can
Hold every little moment in the palm of my hand
I'm gonna fly right into the sun
Gravity can't stop me, I've already begun
I'm gonna run, run, run
I'm gonna run, run, run

I'm gonna run, run, run
I'm gonna run, run, run

As a half-faerie, Melia is an outcast in the enchanted world where she lives with her two sisters and full-blood faerie mother. The girls' father has been exiled to the mortal world for breaking his faerie troth. When a tragic accident destroys what's left of Melia's fractured family, her mother is unforgiving. The punishment she metes out will leave her daughter torn between guilt and ecstasy, challenge the bonds between three sisters, and complicate Melia's relationship with a young priest who’s come to the Realm of Faerie on a mission of his own.

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