If you haven’t read Quintana of Charyn, do not read on beyond the bold print. Somewhere down the track I’ll work out how to hide certain posts, but for now I have no idea. I’m putting two of my versions of once minor character, Perri the Savage, to split the page (Michael Fassbender and Mark Strong).
The minor characters of this trilogy have played the biggest roles in some of the crucial moments in the novel, especially Rafuel, Dorcas and even Olivier. Rafuel’s story strand was the last to be completed and I think there is a draft out there where he is either dead or he doesn’t get found. In all probability he should have died but I kept on going back to the priests of Trists who sent out eight scholars and I couldn’t bear for all of them to be lost to Charyn. So I made sure Rafuel lived, although it may have made literary sense for him to die. But haven’t I killed enough people with a keyboard?
Once I had decided on his fate, in my head Rafuel’s story was to conclude in the following way. After the battle in the valley at the end of Part two, Lucian and Perri, desperate to find out what happened to Rafuel out of guilt of having kept him in the valley, managed to capture one of Donashe’s men for interrogation. In the following weeks, the Priests of Trists were threatening war if the Lumaterans didn’t hand the prisoner over. They were just as desperate to get Rafuel back and find out how Rothen and their lads died. So when I decided that Rafuel would live, my first plan was that Lucian and Perri would find out where Rafuel was being kept, take Froi and Harker with them, and find a half-dead Rafuel. But I scraped that plan because it’s never a good idea to introduce a whole new subplot in Part 3 when everything really should have been leaning towards the conclusion of Froi and Quintana’s journey.
I tend to have a strong connection to my minor characters (think Lady Celie and Ferragost). I don’t think they are big enough for a novel, but one day I want to write about some of them. Perhaps Olivier. Believe it or not, I also want to write about the poor Osterian arch duke’s daughter who is destined to marry Feliciano. What happens when you belong to the most boring kingdom in the land and you’re betrothed to someone with bad dress sense? I actually think there’s more to Feliciano than he even knows.
And then of course there’s Jehr of Yutlind Sud. I know it may have seemed as if that strand of the story went nowhere, but there’s a reason for everything. It was a little marker for me, a reminder that there are other stories out there. What’s happened to Jehr? How doe he combine a kingdom that’s been broken in half for thousands upon thousands of years. Will there be a main player in Yutlind Nord? I have no idea, but who knows.
But my favourite minor character is Dorcas. I think I knew from the moment I wrote the line from Gargarin back in FofExiles, that he didn’t want to die at the hands of someone like Dorcas who only knew how to follow orders, I was intrigued. I always knew that Dorcas would kill Bestiano. It may have seemed right for Froi to do it, but that would have been too predictable. I thought it made more sense for Froi to kill Donashe. It’s actually part of his bond. Donashe brought danger to Lumatere and Froi always vowed he’d kill anyone who did that.
More importantly, I didn’t want Froi being the conquering hero who murders the man who raped the girl he loved.What happened to Quintana at the hands of Bestiano was never there so I could create a scenario to make a hero out of Froi and have him save the day. I wanted Dorcas to kill Bestiano, because Dorcas was one of many men who stood by and allowed Quintana’s misery to happen. Dorcas kills Bestiano out of the despair of bidding to the will of a man he trusted and if Bastion deserved to die at the hands of anyone, it was to be one of the men who followed his base orders with regret.