Haydon May
by Scot R. Stone
Thursday, January 13, 2005

Many of you are probably asking yourself, "Who is this character and why don't I remember him from Book One?" Even though Haydon May is a
minor character in the first book, he will make an appearance in each of the five Yawrana books. This is a character that plays his largest roles in
books 4 and 5. I think a majority of the authors who are published wouldn't mind making a cameo if a movie was made from one of his or her books.
If the Snowtear Wars ever went to movie production, this would be the character I would like to be. Stephen King gets into the act in many of his
movies. His most notable appearance that I can recall is in the first "Creepshow" movie. I think it is a small way to honor the author for creating the
story to begin with. I'm sure Peter Jackson would have loved to put J.R.R. Tolkien in somewhere in any of the three Lord of the Rings movies. I
believe J.K. Rowling was offered the part to play Harry Potter's mom in the first movie, but she decided to turn it down.

Who is Haydon May? He is a Yawranan guard, who starts out in Fifth Rank classification (the lowest of the guard classifications in Yawrana). Haydon
makes four minor appearances in
The Chimes of Yawrana. He is seen in the bell tower room of Candlewick Castle, on a dragul on the Waungee
Grasslands' battlefield, as a prisoner of the Lazul in the underground city of Maramis and finally in a Vision Pool room where Oreus Blake is anointed
a baron. Like I said, not a major role in the book, but if the character were to be portrayed in a movie, you would remember his face easily enough if
you were a fan of the series.

More about Haydon May: Haydon is a single parent. He has one daughter, Tonjia, who makes an appearance in the middle of Book 3, The Hollows of
Candlewick. Be sure to watch for her in the Vision Pools as well. She will come to play an importnat role in books 4 and 5. Haydon's wife becomes a
victim of the Black Fever, which is spreading throughout the territories of Yawrana in book 2. This is not mentioned in the book itself, which is why
you can only find these tidbits here! Unfortunately, Angela does not survive and is buried in the Catacombs of Emison with hundreds of others who
also were claimed by the disease. Watch for Haydon in "The Ice Shadows of Arna" at the Royal House Terriroty maker center and in the Grand Hall
at the end of the book.

Other unknown facts about Haydon that can only be found here:
1) Haydon was born in a fishing village along the coast of Overbay Territory. He was anointed the red band by High Elder Mosia Mathis at his
anointment.
2) Haydon will not remarry since losing his wife. He instead will devote his energies to serving the kingdom, climbing through the ranks, one level at a
time. His posts will change throughout the series as he takes on more important roles in his standing in the army.
3) Haydon will be one character I can guarantee will not die when the Snowtear Wars series comes to an end. Beyond him, anyone else is a gamble.

Oreus Blake

To not start off with the character who started it all for Scot R. Stone's career would be blasphemous. So, here we begin with Oreus Blake, one of the
original eight crewmembers of the gallant flying ship - The Star Gazer. For those of you who have read The Chimes of Yawrana, Book 1 of ~ The
Snowtear Wars, you know that Oreus comes from a humble background. Born near Beggar's Square in Uthan Mire Division of the country of Zonack
(on the world of Elvana), Oreus finds work with Captain Lanar Lanu and his men aboard the ship as a stock keeper and harpoon fisherman. But Lanu
envies one other talent Oreus possesses that really landed him work aboard his ship, being an experienced bowman. Oreus's bow was given to him by
his father before he was murdered (who murdered Oreus's father will be revealed in book 3). Oreus's mother died of bone cancer, which spurred
Oreus to find work outside of Uthan Mire. Oreus has one brother, Derrick, who works now at Weatherwood Castle in Zonack in the kitchens as an ice
carver. More details of Derrick will surface in book 5.

When readers first meet Oreus in book 1 of The Snowtear Wars, they learn he is 19, has green eyes, a black outfit disguising his wiry limbs, and
almost shoulder-length dark brown hair. But the part Oreus soon is to play in the war against the Lazuls will make him a legend to the Yawranans, and
possibly to the entire world. However, despite all this attention, the one that currently occupies Oreus's thoughts the most is the beautiful and intelligent
Princess Ola Yorokoh, daughter of King Doran Yorokoh and brother to Noran.

Unknown facts about Oreus that can only be found here:

1) Even though Oreus loves being a sailor, he would have preferred to stay with his family in Uthan Mire, despite the poor living conditions. He vows
one day to free the people of Uthan Mire from the oppression of Zonack's Royal Court.

2) Oreus hates his barony title, even though his anointment is crucial to many prophecies that will eventually play out in Yawranan history. He would
have rater remained a member of the white band to choose his own path in life: crafting superior bows.

3) Having children is not something Oreus highly values after becoming an orphan himself. He fears a similar occurrence happening to any sons or
daughters he would raise because of his duties to the kingdom. Being a baron has its advantages and... dangers.
Roma Yorokoh
by Scot R. Stone
The point of writing this section is not only to expand upon the main characters many readers have come to adore in my books, but also, more
importantly, to write about the peripheral characters. Have you ever read a novel where you liked a particular character but wished the author would
have written more about him or her?  I sure have. So, for the month of February I dedicate more detail to one of these types of characters. My wife
told me that out of all of King Noran Yorokoh's sisters, Roma was the most interesting to her because of her responsibilities to the kingdom. Roma, if
you remember from The Chimes of Yawrana, is the studious sentinel of the Historical Record Keep. The Keep is special to Yawrana, containing every
important document the kingdom has ever produced, including the sacred volumes of text written by the Elders, which include the prophecies they
have foreseen.  The Elders' volumes are locked away in a secret room within the Keep, which only the Elders and members of the Royal Court have
knowledge of. However, someone learned about the secret room in The Ice Shadows of Arna, and stole the duplicated copies of the Elders' works for
their own purposes, hoping to use the prophecies to change the outcome of the future. The secret room can be accessed behind the first High Elder's
statue, Yarba Scraw, on the first floor, next to the restoration desk.

Back to Roma. She is the third oldest of Doran Yorokoh's five children, and is the famed historian of the Yawranan culture. No other Yawranan can
match her knowledge of the kingdom, including the eleven others who work by her side to maintain the Keep. Any Yawranan is allowed visitation to
the Historical Record Keep, and only a small portion of the books stored there may be signed out for research purposes. Unlike any normal library,
Roma does not discourage loud talking. In fact, she even encourages troubadours to sing if their souls wish it. It is a place where freedom of thought is
to be promoted and shared, not suppressed. Roma and the Keep's servants will bring you food and drink in the dining area for those who are giving
their minds a break from intense studies, where no books or documents from the Keep are allowed. One unfortunate incident occurred during the first
year the Keep was opened when a guard accidentally spilled a cup of Brewhouse Mills coffee onto a piece of parchment that contained the details of
King Garagor's coronation. Most of the ink smeared, and the guard, well, was banished from the Keep from that day forward.

Roma's white hair distinguished her apart from her sisters, and is natural. Doran claimed she had been touched by the hand of the Maker, granting her
the gift of intelligence beyond all others. At an early age Roma was at the head of her class at Greenleaf Academy, receiving the highest marks of any
Yawranan who attended the esteemed university. With her nose always stuck in a book, Roma had no time for the arena games. Her sisters, Dea, Ola
and Anyiar, would occasionally force her from the Keep as they grew into adulthood, to stop her from becoming "too smart for her own good."

Other unknown facts about Roma that can only be found here:
1) She loves listening to spiritual music in the Keep as she works by some of Yawrana's newest entertainers.
2) In her spare time she loves to write her own fictional work. Writing heroic tales helps give her a break from all of the non-fiction works she reads all
day long.
3) She has a crush on Windal Barrow, even though the Overbay Territory baron currently is pursuing her sister Dea's hand since the Tournament of
Wills.
Hurley Tarver
by Scot R. Stone

Many of my fans ask me how I come up with the names of characters for my books. There are multiple ways I find names suitable for my story lines.
 Most of the time I just use a book of U.S. maps, and stare at every city town, bay, river, or any other labeled land formation you can think of to find
one that fits. I don't think you will ever see Topeka, Chesapeake or Miami as a name in my books, though. I look for obscure names that sound like
they would be part of a fantasy world. If I don't find what I am looking for in a map, sometimes I will use a friend's name or a friend of a friend. A
third way to come up with a name is to take two existing names and combine them to make a whole new word.

As for my character of the month this go round, I decided to use a name from my childhood.  I have many relatives who live in a small town in
northern Wisconsin, called Hurley. The countryside is beautiful in that region of the state, not far from the mighty Lake Superior. There's a place
called "Little Girl's Point" where my family and I went often to play on the shores of the lake. Most of the time the water is really cold, so it's best to
go swimming in the middle of the summer, or just stick to the beach. As for Hurley's last name-- yep, you guessed it. I pulled it from a map. So, both
his last name and first name were a combination of methods I employ.

And if you don't remember the character of Hurley, he only made one appearance in Book One of The Snowtear Wars:
The Chimes of Yawrana.  
He was the bartender that met the crew of Zonack when they first arrived on the shores of the Territory of Marshant. When our hero Oreus Blake and
the crew were taken to the outpost tower, they were set to dine with Baron Tauron Milet and his family to learn of their fates.  Hurley was instructed
by a servant named Katty to give the voyagers whatever they wanted. But what Katty really meant was to test their levels of alcohol tolerability. And
at the center of the test was Oreus Blake, the youngest of the group, who went through three drinks before he vomited the third one back up: The End
of the Road.

As for Hurley, well, he was anointed to the white band. His father and mother both worked in a town in Marshant Territory named Alsea, which is
located only ten miles from the tower. Henry Tarver is a respected blacksmith while his mother, Lonni, makes her wages as a drink tender in a local
entertainment pub named Front Stage. Once he reached the proper age for admittance to the pub - 16 - he would visit his mother when his classes had
finished for the year at Greenleaf Academy. Since white band members are allowed to pursue any trade they wish, Hurley decided to follow in his
mother's footsteps and keep the local "wild life" happy.

But the bar in Marshant Tower is not as ordinary as it may seem. Most of its visitors are guards, soldiers and House servants who serve the tower -
and the occasional outside visitor. There are two undercover soldiers on duty at all times, looking like patrons, who act as bouncers.  Hurley was hired
by the tower when Baron Milet held a contest to see who was the best drink tender in the territory. The reward for the winner: triple pay of any other
bartender in the territory.  Hurley won by a Landslide - that's actually the drink's name, believe it if you will.

Other unknown facts about Hurley that can only be found here:

1) Hurley does not tolerate those who leer at his female drink tenders. He treats his women co-workers as if he were their father, and won't hesitate to
have you thrown in one of the tower's cell chutes until you decided to behave yourself.

2) In his spare time, he would rather not be at the bar. A good dose of harmony music and the fresh salty breeze of the ocean on his face suits him just
fine as he relaxes in a popular tourist location on Marshant's shores call "Bake Away Beach," which is located five miles north along the coast where
Oreus's crew first arrived to fulfill a 4,000 year-old prophecy. Hurley can't stand pipe pinch-leaf smoking, so the beach is a good place to clear his
lungs from the smokey and heavily scented bar.

3) Hurley helps the baron host private receptions in the bar, after dinner, for the baron and his guests when called upon. The entire bar can be cleared
to accommodate any unexpected arrivals of Royal House members, such as another baron or the king himself.  In case you were wondering, Oreus
and his Zonack crew were just passing through the bar, so there was no need for it to be cleared. Hurley did enjoy meeting Oreus, and with the
passing of Tauron in the great grassland war of the Waungee, would come to serve Oreus at any given time. For those of you who have not read Book
One of the Snowtear Wars-- you probably can read between the lines what I mean by that.
Gailey and Haley Annalee
by Scot R. Stone                                                                                                                                                                  

Since I ran out of time to submit a character of the month for April, I decided to give you a double dose for May to make up for it, the Lazul twins
Gailey and Haley. Family emergencies took place in April that cut into my schedule. I do have to say all is well for now, and that we just had a scare
with my father
's heart. Apparently it attacked him when he wasn't looking.

Gailey and Haley were two of fifteen hundred Lazul children adopted by the Yawranans at the end of Book One in my Snowtear Wars series,
The
Chimes of Yawrana
. Both girls are gritty, strong-spirited warrior types who tend to challenge their adoptive mother, Baron Jada Annalee, from time
to time. Gailey is more outspoken than Haley. She asks many questions about her mysterious Lazul past, and the great city of Maramis that was
flooded. For those of you who have not read Book One, stop reading here. All Yawranans are forbidden by laws of the land from speaking about the
flood, caused by King Noran Yorokoh himself. It was Yorokoh
's wish to save the Lazul children from suffering the same fate as their parents, living
in a region whose resources were carelessly depleted over the centuries by the Lazul empire. The Yawranans began teaching the Lazul children how
to become closer to nature and respect it when they took them in. Since the Lazuls became enemies with the Yawranans over the snowtears, the only
way to wipe the memory of the past from the children was by a race called the Shonitaurs. With their memories suppressed by these black, lanky
riverbank dwelling creatures, the laws were put in place to prevent the memories from being dredged up accidentally, and a rebellion from occurring.

Gailey and Haley thrived under the leadership of Baron Annalee, learning to care for themselves without harming the land. They took extensive
classes at Greenleaf Academy to learn fighting skills and specific topics Jada decided they needed to become functional members of the Yawranan
society. Well, even the best plans can go awry. Eventually a secret Lazul guild was formed by many of the Lazul children to take revenge against the
Yawranans once they learned what really happened to their elders.

Gailey and Haley are beginning to question their past as more and more children disappear from their Yawranan foster homes.  They are close to the
baron, but yet they wonder where their loyalties should lie.

The twins will be major characters in the later books in the snowtear wars series, and will cause an interesting twist that readers will enjoy.

Other unknown facts about Gailey and Haley that can only be found here:

1) The twins argue constantly and always try to one up each other to gain Jada
's favor. Haley once almost drowned in Emison Tower's moat trying to
keep up with Gailey in a race.  Gailey ended up saving her sister, and never let Haley hear the end of it.

2) Haley has taken a liking to General Rydor Regoria, Jada
's main love interest, while Gailey prefers Jada's other suitor, Baron Viktoran Ilos of
Serquist, the most disciplined warrior in Yawrana and wielder of the flaming sword
"Heaven's Light". Many times when the twins are practicing their
training, they pretend to be the general and baron. Gailey wins a majority of the fights. Whether this is foreshadowing of who will win Jada
's hand, the
fans will have to discover in the upcoming books.

3) Gailey and Haley were born during an eclipse of the female moon Radia. A person born during an eclipse in Yawranan society is considered to be
an individual who will single-handedly change the course of history. In the twins
' case, which one will it be? Or will it be both? By the end of the
series, fans will know the answer.

Question for the fans:

If you had the power to save a child from a fate that would be self-destructing, would you put forth the effort to intervene?  King Noran Yorokoh did,
and now his actions are being questioned by many of his followers as to whether it was a noble or foolish decision. The topic is debatable, but I will
leave it up to the fans to decide which they feel it was.
Each of the characters listed below have appeared in one of Scot R. Stone's novels. The description is to
give interested readers an insight to that character's lineage, homeland, features, mannerisms and their
relationship to the story itself. Some new facts have been included that are not mentioned in the books for
those of you who have read Scot's novels. Enjoy!
                                                                                                 
                                   
Johr Karagas
by Scot R. Stone                                                                                                    

Finally! I found some time to sneak in this character of the month for June. It has been busy with all the book signings and the writing going on.

This is my first bad guy character of the month. For those of you who have not read Book One, The Chimes of Yawrana, stop reading here.

Those of you who have read Book One will remember Johr was a baron of the northern house in Dowhaven Territory in the kingdom of Yawrana.
Johr was the oldest of the barons in service to the king (45), having served Doran Yorokoh for twenty-five years before he turned the other cheek,
seeking the throne for himself. Johr disapproved of Doran
's too relaxed demeanor, and sought to change many of the weaknesses that made Yawrana's
and its servants soft.

Johr eventually employed in secrecy the king
's royal jester, Kuall the Courageous (Kuall Middleden). Kuall's task: poison the king without getting
caught. Well, we all know he did succeed in offing Doran, but as for his secret lab in the underground labyrinth beneath the Grand Hall, that has now
been back-filled with dirt and rock. Unfortunately for Johr, his name appeared on a document linking him to Kuall and the king
's murder. And so Johr
was banished to the ice lands of Arna, a deadly wasteland north of Yawrana, filled with more monsters than anywhere else in the entire world of Elvana.

Enough for the recap. Let
's talk about Johr's background. "The Black Baron" was actually a very bright student at Greenleaf Academy in Yawrana,
ranking in the top five of his class of 350. His deep knowledge of the history of Yawrana made him an ideal candidate for baronhood. Lucky for him his
anointment also worked out in his favor. Johr was also one of the best fighters in the kingdom, and could stand toe-to-toe with almost any of the other
territory barons and generals. The only one who was truly a thorn in his side during his barony was Viktoran Ilos of the south house of Serquist. The
two respected each other, and usually stay out of each other
's way.  Johr, like the other barons, participated in the Gaming Arena challenges from time
to time to keep their skills sharp. Johr
's favorite was the Knuckles Dual, which only allowed the combatants to use their fists (without gloves) to fight.
Each pair of opponents would be chained by the ankle to a pole in a ten-foot diameter ring to face off.  To protect the participants
' pearly whites, the
gamers have to wear metal mouth guards. Johr was the running champion for ten consecutive years before he betrayed the throne.

Johr
's parents were high-standing members on the council board in Serquist Territory, another reason why he didn't step on Viktoran's toes. Johr, being
the hothead he is, rebelled often against his parents growing up, and was relieved the day he was anointed a baron. His mother Hexlena and father
Bogue were very proud of him, but didn
't think for a minute that Johr would share any of his wealth as baron with them. Instead, they celebrated
briefly afterward and then went their separate ways, rarely keeping contact. After his parents learned of his trial by the Elders for his involvement in the
plot to murder Doran, they broke off all contact with their son. Hexlena and Bogue always wondered where they had failed as parents, and felt the
blame was more on them than Johr for what he became. They eventually picked up and vanished. To this day no one knows where they have gone to.
Other unknown facts about Johr that can only be found here:

1)     Johr had no brothers or sisters. As an only child, many considered him spoiled because of it, never appreciating anything he was given. He always
enjoyed being pampered by those around him, but many of the Elders wonder if that was the factor that led to his downfall as a baron.

2)     In the winter months of Dowhaven, Johr often ventured south to get away from the extreme cold climate. His favorite pastime was underwater
fishing off the shores of Rock Rim Territory. His favorite fish to hunt with claw grabbers was Silver Fins. The fish grew to lengths of seven feet and
had lime green eyes that glowed in the darkness. Their silver scales and fins were spotted with black dots. They were elusive and rare creatures, making
the hunt all that more exciting for Johr.

3)     Johr was the only living baron who ever tamed a land crawler. The one that attacked King Noran Yorokoh on the main trail to the northern gates
of Dowhaven was not the one, in case you were wondering. After Johr tamed the land crawler his men did manage to capture, he had it brought to the
Arena Games at Candlewick Castle to be used for jousting. Doran Yorokoh banned the creature back to Dowhaven
's forest after the creature
accidentally killed one of the king
's personal guards by stepping on him. To this day, Baron Windal Barrow of Overbay Territory believed Johr was
aiming the land crawler at him.

After Johr was banished, his black stallion Paradox was given to General Rydor Regoria. The general thought the horse was too wild and eventually set
it free into the pastures of Emison Territory, where it could roam without the worry of Johr
's lashings.
Quinn Rainsmoke
by Scot R. Stone

Quinn Rainsmoke is the youngest first rank guard (twenty-four) ever to be assigned to a baron. Like Jime Drace, Quinn was hand picked for his post,
by Baron Oreus Blake. When it comes to assigning guards to protect barons, generals or the king, the army prefers to choose their own from the crop
of potentials, but they will step aside if a baron, general or the king insists on a particular individual they favor.

Oreus met Quinn soon after he started working as a baron in Marshant Territory. On his second day at the tower, Oreus accidentally bumped into
Quinn while he was doing a routine inspection of the grounds. Oreus wasn
't paying attention to what he was doing either, talking to Sergeant
Roundtree at the time. The sergeant was instructing Oreus on his duties as a baron when Quinn and Oreus collided at a corner near the dragul landing
platform. Quinn apologized profusely, asking for the baron
's forgiveness. Oreus laughed, saying he was not offended, but appreciated Quinn's humble
demeanor. From that day on, their relationship grew quickly, and Oreus learned that he could trust the guard with whatever task he assigned him.
Quinn reminded Oreus of himself, looking lost half the time, but still managing to find his way through most obstacles he encountered. Many guards
were outraged that Oreus had chosen Quinn to be Rydor
's successor as the territory champion, but Quinn and Oreus paid them no attention, expecting
the whispered accusations would soon fade away over time. They were right.

Quinn is also smaller than most guards, weighing in at only 160 pounds. Jime Drace (see biography below) is on the other end of the scale at 275. But
being biggest isn
't always best, especially in Quinn's case. The guard is better than a sword than most other army members, and is wise for his age.
While the other guards are touting as if they were immortal, Quinn takes life one day at a time, appreciat
ing its beauty and knowing that it is
unpredictable and ever changing. During his free time he can be found listening to the local Harmony Singers at the Tumbleweed Tavern, or reading by
the Old Churning Mill at the outer edge of the tower
's grounds. Quinn carries many nicknames. The most common ones you'll hear are cloud watcher,
dragul snack and slug. Quinn takes his accusations in stride, knowing they have no merit to them.

Other unknown facts about Quinn that can only be found here:

1) Quinn doesn
't bother chasing women, feeling time will present his match to him when it is good and ready. Not surprising, no woman has bothered
to ask him out yet.

2) He is a vegetarian, another reason why many of the other guards think he is weak.
"How can you expect to fight the enemy and inflict wounds if
you don
't have a taste for the flesh?" he recounts one guard saying to him. "With actual skill," he shot back.

3) Quinn likes to collect rare antiques. He searches local farms and residences when they have sales. To date, he has assorted as many as one hundred
and fifty-eight pieces, which include butter churns, harvest tables, wine presses and tapestries. Asked by his friends what he plans to do with all of this
"junk", Quinn says he will open his own store when he retires from the army and sell it all back at a large profit, and take his earnings to buy a large
piece of land to
"get away from it all."


Jime Drace
by Scot R. Stone

I thought it would a good idea to start exploring the background history of some of the guards of Yawrana for July and August. I do have to say I
considered hard about picking Bruneau Palidon and Blaynor Garsek as my first choices, but they
're all the guards are fun to talk about. I'll do the
king
's guards another time.

Jime Drace makes his first appearance as General Rydor Regoria
's guard in the second book of the Snowtear Wars series, The Ice Shadows of Arna.
We see him trying to stop Rydor from jousting Hennison, a stooge of Johr Karagas
's. Jime is considered more of a brute force than a refined fighter,
which is why Rydor chose him as his guard. Rydor took it upon himself to teach Jime those qualities as the guard serves him. Jime, however, thinks
Rydor is always being unfair and thinks the general is mocking him. But, eventually he does begin to understand that Rydor is more than qualified for
his position, making many of the other generals in the territories look unequal in stature.

Jime finished fifth among all students at the Greenleaf Academy in his class of anointed red band members. When all the other four students ahead of
him were assigned to posts in Candlewick Castle in the heart
's realm, Jime was left behind to serve the Tower of Dowhaven. He did not achieve his
first rank status as guard until he played a pivotal role in helping Rydor round up the last of Johr Karagas
's corrupted crew. Jime defeated three of
Johr
's most notable accomplices when he threw an eight-foot log in front of their cart before they could escape. The cart was flipped and ended up
trapping the men underneath. Rydor was very amused when he arrived on the scene, calling Jime
's act, "one to be remembered for the ages."

Jime was raised on a farm in Emison Territory. He had a talent for wrestling yellow horns and a knack for keeping draguls off his parent
's property
when it came time to pack meat that was to be shipped to Candlewick Castle (the smell was too potent for any dragul to ignore). Jime spent most of
his time, however, fishing on the shores of Emison in Drana Bay. His favorite fish to catch were spinfins, fish that swam in circles near the surface of
the water when it was time to feed at dawn. This made them easy to spot and catch, of course.

Jime and his friends tended to get into trouble from time to time. They were known to be night owls and were one time caught sneaking into Emison
Tower to gain access to the ale storage room. Jime claimed that it was not his idea.

Jime
's greatest triumph as a youth came when he saved a dragul from a poacher's snare without getting killed. Jime turned in the man responsible, and
then received a Pillar Award from Baron Jada Annalee for his bravery. Some of the Elders say it was that very accomplishment that catapulted him
onto his path as a guard.

Other unknown facts about Jime that can only be found here:

1) Jime was the youngest winner ever of the annual greased squealer catching competition, held at Emison Tower during its Victual Celebration. He
caught the elusive white-backed sprinter in less than ten seconds, a new tower record. After the event, he said the trick was using your arms instead of
your weight to grab it.

2) In the woods on the farm he grew up on, Jime had a secret treehouse he used to retreat to whenever he had a row with one of his five younger
brothers or his parents. He sometimes would spend the night in the treehouse after any bad arguments. To keep his brothers from finding his secret, he
put dragul skulls on the ground on every trail leading to it. He would collect the skulls in the woods or at the local marketplaces. But dragul skulls
weren
't cheap, and therefore he had to make trades using other valuables to acquire them. His scaring tactic paid off. He never found a set of
footprints beyond the skulls.

When Jime was anointed to the red band as an army member, he visited every local tavern in the Royal House Territory to celebrate, having one drink
at each, and making a toast the king, the kingdom and everyone else who would give him the time of day.
Baron Tauron Milet
by Scot R. Stone

I felt it was important to discuss Rydor Regoria's natural father a little more in-depth than I had in the books. We know that Tauron cheated on his
wife, Lady Cellela, by having a love affair with another woman named Asial Regoria. We also know that Tauron turned away from Asial when he
learned she was pregnant, embarrassed by what he had done, and was afraid of being stripped of his baronial title. Tauron did have four children with
Cellela, who he was trying to protect by banishing Asial: Rondall, Tawna, Cevin and Denador. Of the three boys, Denador was the most like Tauron,
very strict with his studies and has extensive knowledge of the history of the kingdom.

Tauron is a very proud individual, so proud that it hurt him to turn away Asial and her son. Over time Rydor grew into a man and returned to Marshant
Tower, having been anointed a guard to protect it. Asial never told Rydor the identity of his father, but it was destiny for them to learn the truth about
one another, whether Tauron wanted it to happen or not. However, in the end, they kept their secret safe, but their relationship grew to a normal
father-son bond before Tauron died in the grassland war of the Waungee. As you remember, Tauron was struck by a Lazul electric tie-whip ball in the
temple, killing him. It was at that point their secret was revealed to the king.

Tauron is one of the characters in Book One who many have conflicting emotions for. On one hand you hate him for throwing out his lover and her
unborn child (Rydor), but on the other you feel you should forgive him for taking Rydor back to look after him. Is it a crime he should be forgiven for?
I'll leave that up to the reader. Tauron increased Rydor's training until he became the best fighter in all of Yawrana. Rydor was proclaimed the Western
House (Marshant) champion guard by Tauron two year's later, giving him the responsibility of being Tauron's personal first rank guard. By the laws of
the land, any House champion (personal guard) is only obligated to obey the baron they protect, the king, other high ranking House champions, or any
Yawranan general.
Tauron is an even-handed man, otherwise, when it came to dealing with matters of the Royal Court. He had a great affection for the draguls (even
more so than Baron Jada Annalee), the lovable dragon creatures of Yawrana. Plunav was his favorite, who he took out regularly for a daily ride to
keep his riding skills polished. Normally the king was against keeping the draguls away from the castle for too long a time, but knew of Tauron's
extreme liking for them, and therefore made an exception in his case.
Growing up, Tauron rarely got into trouble, staying to his studies. Many of his friends teased him because his nose was always stuck in a book.
Eventually his hard work paid off. When he was awarded a green band at his anointment, his friends were shocked, and then were devastated when
they received white bands. The baron had no hard feelings and wasn't one to gloat at another's expense. Tauron invited them to work at Marshant
Tower after graduation at the Academy (if they chose to attend additional schooling instead of returning home to work in their family businesses). All
of them, except one, passed on the offer. The lone individual who accepted, Perry Fein, held a position Tauron favored heavily -- a trainer of the
draguls.

Other unknown facts about Tauron that can only be found here:

1) Tauron felt a deep loss for Asial when he learned of her death through Rydor, and vowed to take care of Rydor for the rest of his days. He had the
dragul keep at Marshant Tower named after her first name. Tauron declared she had made many great contributions to the tower and grounds through
private monetary donations until her death, which included the restoration of the dragul keep. Most had never heard of the woman, but accepted
Tauron's word without question.

2) A heavy reader, Tauron created a grand library in Marshant that was only second to the impressive Historical Record Keep near Candlewick Castle.
Tauron prided himself on his education and those who sought to expand their own. He held many reading contests through the library, one for each
quarter of the year. The winners of the contests would receive grants to help pay for schooling at the esteemed Greenleaf Academy.

3) In the evenings Tauron usually spent his time conversing with the locals at the tower's Tavern. Hurley Tarver, bartender, was one of his personal
friends he confided in, from time to time. Tauron was known to be a light drinker, never going over his own limit. He despised drunks, especially mean
ones. Anyone who disturbed the calm atmosphere of Hurley's establishment was tossed in a dungeon cell without question until they sobered up. To
make sure that the guilty person learned their lesson, Tauron passed a local law in which the individual would be forced to clean outhouses and barn
stalls for fifty days straight. Not surprisingly, the tavern was the most orderly in the kingdom.
Nale Gunner
by Scot R. Stone

Well, we have come back to Oreus Blake's original crew of eight that came over on the drift ship Wind Gust from Zonack. At some point in time I hope
to give you all the complete background information on all of that crew that sailed the Sarapin to find Yawrana with Oreus. This month, we are going to
explore one of the lesser know members, Nale Gunner, who was one of three who became imprisoned by the Yawranans at the end of
Book One, The
Chimes of Yawrana
. As you remember, Nale was referred to as a cook and instruments' keeper by Captain Lanar Lanu. Really, "instruments" was a
soft term used in place of "weapons" to keep the Yawranans off edge. Nale stocked all weapons on board the ship, and actually was the one responsible
for finding Lanu his dart blowgun, which was disguised as a cane capped by a silver's whale tail. Nale purchased the cane from a special castle
craftsman who had hand-carved and polished it. It was a one of a kind, the first of its type ever made. It was the most expensive weapon Nale had
bought for the ship. He fell into the good graces of Lanu after he gave the captain the beautiful but deadly gift. Lanu replaced his old, plain oakaria cane
with the new one and let Nale in on the secret he and Berringer Crag were planning for the voyage - to pillage any new lands and bring back a horde of
wealth to Zonack so Lanu could gain great prestige with Queen Penelope Rimshaw III. What Oreus and the queen didn't know, however, is that Lanu
and the crewmembers who helped him would keep half the riches for themselves. There is a reason why Oreus wasn't told about Lanu's plan (and he
was the only one of the eight onboard who didn't know). You'll have to read the books to find out. Let's just say Oreus had a bit of a run-in with
someone who was very important to the Zonack Royal Court, which always weighed heavily on Lanu's mind since he took Oreus in to be part of the
crew.

Back to Nale. Having worked in Weatherwood Castle for five years as an assistant to the castle's head chef, Nale was the pride of the kitchens. He
worked hard, starting from the bottom up. First he was a dishwasher, and then graduated to cleaning the kitchens and stocking them. After two years he
found himself preparing the food for one more year, and then cooking it for the next two. No one except the head chef knew the kitchens better than
Nale, and that was something he used to his advantage. He began smuggling small portions of new food shipments out to sell them in the more
poverty-stricken areas of Zonack, specifically Oreus's home town of Beggar's Square, where healthy food was hard to come by. Oreus and Nale never
personally met before they ended up on Wind Gust together, but Oreus's father ran into Nale on occasion and had purchased some of the highly sought
after food from him. Nale was never caught, but doubt was beginning to circulate through the cooks as to why the shipments were turning up short.
Suspicions began to fall Nale's way, which prompted him to look for a way out. Enter Captain Lanu. When Nale heard of a new expedition seeking
crewmembers to search for new lands, he immediately applied. Lanu could sense there was something out of place about Gunner, which made him the
perfect fit to be one of his crew. Lanu assigned Nale to find as many high quality weapons as he could at half the expense. Gunner was more than up to
the challenge, supplying the ship with more weapons than any previous drift ship had been stocked with. When Nale gave Lanu back almost 1/3 of the
money he had given him to buy the weapons, Lanu suspected Gunner had stolen most of what he had collected. Lanu only smiled and gave him a pat
on the back, saying, "Somehow I think you will do well on this expedition. Let me tell you about another opportunity you might be interested in."

Other unknown facts about Nale that can only be found here:

1) Nale was poor once, much like Oreus, only he scoured the kitchen scraps that were thrown out by the castle's cooks. One day a cook caught him
rummaging through an old crate of wilted lettuce when he asked Nale if he was interested in a job. Apparently they needed someone to scrub the fat off
the wall behind the griddles - a job none of the cooks were interested in doing. Nale did it in record time. Since the cooks thought he could clean walls
so well, they decided to give him a chance as a dishwasher when their other one quit. Nale jumped at the opportunity, and so the wheels were set in
motion for him to one day be united with the crew of the Star Gazer.

2) Nale's favorite weapon is a harpoon. He loved to kill fish for the crew when the sea weather wasn't busily tossing their ship about. He managed to
hook a giant silver skimmer fish one day, which weighed more than fifty pounds. Nale harpooned it behind the right eye before it had the chance to dive
back under and disappear for good. Incidentally, it would be their last catch before they landed on the shores of Marshant Territory in Yawrana. The
catch supplied them meals for nearly a week, which was about all the crew could take.

3) Nale never talked about his past life, not with anyone. No one knows where he was born or where he was raised. However, Lanu did see him
speaking with a mysterious cloaked individual before they set sail to Yawrana. The individual, Lanu believed, was a member of the silently feared and
growing Night Walker crowd. No one exactly knew what the Night Walkers were about, or if they were even fully human. They hardly were ever seen
wandering about during the day, which made it all that more peculiar Nale was talking to one before they were ready to shove off. Lanu questioned
Nale about the encounter. He replied with a straight face, "He was just curious as to what our coordinates were, Captain." Lanu pressed and asked him
for more information. Nale didn't oblige and said, "I'd rather not talk about it--or them. It's bad luck. Let's just hope their presence here hasn't jinxed
our mission."
General Troy Fields
by Scot R. Stone

Here is a character that has truly become important in
The Snowtear Wars series. This character hardly made an appearance in the first book. You don't
hear about him until the Yawranans head off to the Waungee Grasslands to go war against the Lazuls. Then, in Book Two, he makes a slightly bigger
appearance when he takes a cart ride with Chief Braiy Decker, who is posing as a blind man.  Decker knows that army is after him at that point, and who
does he run into but the main man in charge!  Fields is very much a family man, but will be the first to run into battle to defend his king and kingdom. He
starts to show this in Book Three, which many of you will read in the near future. As the series moves along, he becomes more and more important in
each new book. In Book Five he will play his biggest role of the series.

All territory generals in Yawrana report to Fields, who is stationed at Candlewick Castle in the Royal House Territory. Fields is highly revered by most,
except the Majestic Messengers and Trail Racers, the long hare delivery runners of Yawrana. Fields meddles in the business of the messengers
constantly, ensuring they are abiding by the strict laws of the land.  The Trail Racers more commonly cause problems, taking shortcuts through farmers
'
fields to reach their intended recipients faster. Fields has been known to imprison messengers from time to time to send his own message that he means
what he says.

Fields also has been after the elusive Silhouettes. The secret society of women has been eluding him for years. No one in the army has ever been able to
reveal the identity of a single member. The Silhouettes are masters of illusions, entrancement, thievery, negotiating and disguise. They have even been
known to murder on occasion, which is why Fields has never given up hope on bringing down their ring. The headquarters of the Silhouettes is believed
by most to constantly be on the move to avoid the army, but Fields has his own opinion on the matter. The Silhouettes have been mingling in the affairs
of the Royal Court for countless years, mostly when the barons gather at the castle to meet with the king on important affairs. Yes, it is near Candlewick
Castle that Fields thinks the Silhouettes are hiding. Once The Snowtears have been destroyed, Fields vows he will refocus his efforts to put them all in
imprison.

Other unknown facts about Fields that can only be found here:

1) General Fields feels personally responsible for the death of Doran Yorokoh, Noran
's father. Fields had the choice of imprisoning court jester Kuall the
Courageous the night before Oreus and the other voyagers arrived from Zonack. Kuall was caught wandering through the Royal Gardens within the castle
after the midnight hour, which is forbidden for anyone not wearing a red armband. Kuall said he meant no harm, but mysteriously was never seen
entering the gardens in the first place. It wasn
't until Kuall's underground, hidden labyrinth was revealed that Fields understood how he had gained
entrance without being detected by the garden
's guards.  Frustrated, Fields had the entire labyrinth searched and filled in with rock. Many interesting
items were found during the search, most of which had been stolen throughout the years: golden wine goblets, royal family jewelry and cookbooks from
the kitchens. The most disturbing item found, however, was a tablet filled with beautiful drawings of Princess Dea Yorokoh. Fields could only conclude
the jester had been infatuated with her for several years.

2) Fields
's favorite weapon to wield is a muster battleaxe. The two handed axe is the biggest in the Yawranan family, weighing almost twelve pounds. He
also knows how to wield eight other weapons at the master level, which includes the short sword, the broadsword, the slip sling, the thrusting dagger, the
azzel staff, the long spear, the dicing chain and the choking lasso. Fields only considers three men in the army to be his match on the battlefield: General
Rydor Regoria of Dowhaven Territory, and the king
's two guards, Bruneau Palidon and Blaynor Garsek. Baron Johr Karagas was also once listed in this
group until he betrayed the throne.

3) General Fields spends most of his time doing routine checks throughout each of the wings of Candlewick Castle, looking for anything substandard or
out of place. Fields is the best of friends with the watchers, who can camouflage themselves so well that they
're practically invisible. From time to time he
sends them to spy on his own men to ensure they are keeping to their assigned duties. In exchange for the watchers
' services, Fields gives them rations of
their favorite Yawranan drink, krek wine. However, Fields fears his idea may have finally backfired on him. Too many watchers have left their posts in
Rock Rim Territory to take their turn in helping him. But, after further consideration, he believed it couldn
't hurt to have too many watchers around with
Herikech Illeon on the loose.
Major Whitepaw
by Scot R. Stone

The last Character of the Month for 2005 has arrived, and for the first time it
's not a human. Major Whitepaw (recently promoted in Ice Shadows) is this
month
's selection, and is what I refer to as a "dobbin". How did I come up with the term "dobbin"? Well, it's just one of those words I created out of my
head when I was thinking of other words. I was actually thinking of a robin, and made the tweak to come up with the new word. A robin, just so you
know, is the Wisconsin state bird, and Wisconsin, of course, is my home state.

A dobbin is basically a tall hare that walks and talks, and stands at the same height or up to two feet taller than your average human. They are referred to
by many Yawranans as
"long hares" as well, because of their unusual size. All other hares in the kingdom are basic creatures with limited intelligence, and
are
n't considered by the dobbins to be part of the same species. Dobbins do, in fact, eat other hares if they're hungry enough, with no guilt associated to
their actions whatsoever.

Dobbins prefer to be called
"dobbins", but accept "long hares" as well, since the reference has been around since the kingdom rose to power. Dobbins that
are not of adult age are simply called
"dibbins".

Dobbins integrated themselves into the Yawranan society quite nicely as the kingdom grew. Many were hired (paid in food or money) to complete the
construction of the territory outpost towers, and the gleaming Candlewick Castle at the heart of the kingdom. They love to do grunt work, for few of
them are true thinkers. And only the true thinkers obtain the most coveted positions in the kingdom: the right to be a mail deliverer for the fabled Majestic
Messenger or Trail Racers. Dobbins, you see, are meant to run, and running is what they love to do best. So, to run for money and food is the dream of a
lifetime to them. The Majestic Messengers were the first delivery group to be founded in the territories, and to this day still have the rights to deliver mail
on all of the easy routes and roads within the kingdom.  However, due to this oversight, a new group of hares, called the Trail Racers, formed to
challenge the mighty Majestic Messengers to provide cheaper and even faster delivery to the Yawranans. They began to stake claim to the remaining
roads and routes and became recognized as the only competitor the Majestic Messengers ever had to fear losing their business to. How long this feud will
go on, one can only guess.

Now that that
's all explained and out of the way, we can get on with the actual character description. One of the most important characters readers have
come to enjoy in the series is Major Whitepaw of the Majestic Messengers. Whitepaw first plays a significant role in the series in
Book Two, The Ice
Shadows of Arna
. Whitepaw hooks up with Chief Braiy Decker to help solve the mystery of the fires that have scorched and killed three of the ancient
sequera trees, and the prophets who resided within.  My favorite scene that I thoroughly enjoyed writing that included Whitepaw was the roller scene.
Decker and Whitepaw both drove a roller to meet a Silhouette for more answers on the prophets
' deaths. On their journey, Whitepaw contracts the
hideous black plague. Chief Decker would have seen the disease on Whitepaw sooner, if his whole body wasn
't covered by his black fur (excluding his
one white right paw
-- hence how his name was derived).

Whitepaw is a prankster when he
's not delivering messages. He's played every joke you can think of on the other runners, and even makes light of the
worst dilemmas. Most of the messengers hate him for this characteristic. They
're all too busy with the business to have time for his games. Whitepaw is
smart, though. He knows every other messenge
r's weakness, and calls them on it whenever he needs an advantage or favor.

Only three times in his life has he ever delivered a package to the Silhouettes, the dangerous, secretive women who walk in shadow and do jobs
considered by the king
's army to be unlawful. Each of the three packages he delivered all had bizarre addresses and unusual names, which he gathered
were to protect the identities of the recipients. And each Silhouette only showed herself if she was certain no army member was present. All messengers
fear involving the army for any delivery, and therefore keep to themselves to prevent their throats from being slit when this type of delivery came up. All
three encounters almost ended with him losing his life anyway. Whitepaw was shorted on the payment by all three recipients when the packages were
delivered. Unfortunately, none of them saw it his way.

Other unknown facts about Whitepaw that can only be found here:

1) Whitepaw
's favorite food is jelly jots and griddle carrus cakes from the Sunrise Barrel House in the Royal House Territory. Although, as with most
dobbins, their favorite foods change on a whim, depending on how close in proximity they are to their next meal. Whitepaw routinely flosses and brushes
after each meal. After all, who would want to look at an unkept messenger when they received their package?

2) He does have reading glasses, but hates wearing them in front of any of the barons or the king. To wear glasses is to admit a fault, and that is
something that doesn
't sit well with Whitepaw, or any other dobbin for that matter. And as for Whitepaw's uniforms, they're the only clothes he likes to
wear. He
's had the same set of uniforms since he was chosen to be a runner. They've been repaired more than fifty times each and every new rip or hole
caused by a delivery scrape is covered with a moon or star patch. His uniforms contain more moons and stars than any other messenger in the business.
Just so you all know, new uniforms contain only a single crescent moon and star patch on each limb and the torso when they are first issued. Each dobbin
is given eight uniforms, one licensed for each territory in the kingdom.

3) Whitepaw is the only messenger who refuses to run on holidays. It
's the only thing that's been holding him back from being promoted all these years.
General Hithel has scolded him for letting his boxes backpile on these days, and says he has no excuse since he has no living relatives to visit anyway.
However, Hithel can
't get too mad at him. He was the same way when he was Whitepaw's age. And how old is Whitepaw by the end of Book Two?  
Fifteen. That
's right, he's been a messenger since he was five years old, and is the youngest long hare to ever obtain one of the coveted messenger
openings.
Thedius Wilde
by Scot R. Stone

Here we are again, back to Oreus Blake
's original crew of eight that came over with him on the Star Gazer from Zonack to meet the Yawranans for the
first time.  Thedius, as you recall, was referred by Captain Lanar Lanu as being a
"gaming traps expert" and was noted to be "third icommand". Thedius's
hair is gray and as wild as his name. He has little respect for royalty and their competency in any matter, especially fighting. This, of course, was a major
oversight on his part, and led to his downfall against King Noran Yorokoh (Deardrop) in Yawrana. Read Book One for the details of the fight in Chapter
thirteen if you
've forgotten them. We know how Thedius died, but what were his beginnings like? Pull up a chair and sit down to find out.

Thedius was born in the Cold Winds Division of Zonack, which borders the Sarapin Sea on the northern half of the kingdom. The Division is said to be
filled with more cutthroats and thieves than any other division in Zonack, partly because of the barbarians who live north of the division on the massive
island of Phyre Heights. Few trust the barbarians, for many of the clans raid the northern coast for riches.  The kingdom is in a quandary of identifying
which clans are responsible. The clans all point the finger at one another, and any who have been caught have taken their lives before had to talk. Worst
of all, there are said to be over fifty different clans living on the island, making the task all that more impossible to sort out the good from the bad.
Thedius Wilde was caught in several raids when he was younger. His parents Evan and Lacey were murdered by barbarians, which led him down a road
of thievery to stay alive and make a living.

Eventually he crossed paths with a younger Lanar Lanu, before he became captain. At that time Lanu was a cabin boy, and Thedius was working in a
fish-gutting house. They met on the Shifting Docks on the northernmost shores of the division when Lanu was returning from an expedition that was said
to have gone past Phyre Heights and into the unknown iceberg waters. Lanu told Thedius many terrifying and wondrous tales of mystical giants that
inhabited that region, which intrigued Thedius to the point of wanting to go into sailing himself. The giants, Lanu had said, were nearly god-like beings
who could wade through the icy waters as if they were taking a bath, and then would return to land to guard their vast treasures. Whether the tales Lanu
told Thedius were true or not, Thedius didn
't care. Anything outside of the Cold Winds Division had to have been better than the life he'd been living.
Thedius had to find out for himself what the rest of the world was like. Lanu promised him that if he ever became captain, he would offer Thedius a
handsome wage to be part of his crew. Thedius agreed, and that bargain one day came true when Lanu came calling.

Thedius
's first job for Lanu was to find other members of the crew for the expedition to the East. Thedius enlisted two prospects, Morgun Rutwill and
Boris Groffen. Thedius met Boris in a tavern called the Rusty Beard. He had come to learn that Boris left his clan for his own personal reasons and was
looking for work. Thedius, of course, hated barbarians because of what they did to his parents, but the captain needed strength for his small crew, and
Boris fit the bill. After an intense interview, Thedius hired him because of his ability to speak Yawranan well. Most barbarians spoke in a crude language
that few could understand. They were savages, in Thedius
's opinion, but he was willing to take a risk to please the captain. However, Thedius warned
Boris that if he stepped out of line, he would be quickly disposed of. Boris was unaffected by the threat. Morgun was a simpler find, an acquaintance of
Thedius
's from the fish-gutting house he was employed at for a very short period of time.

Other unknown facts about Thedius that can only be found here:

1) Thedius hated Zonack royalty more than the barbarians who were responsible for the deaths of his parents. Queen Penelope Rimshaw II never did
anything to stop the clan raids from Phyre Heights, which led Thedius to believe in their incompetency.

A Zonack knight named Sir Leonard Cape disappeared in the Cold Winds Division after riding along a lone ridge one night. Thedius was the man in
charge of the band who attacked the knight, and was the one who held the dagger who slit Cape
's throat. Cape's body was discovered in a cave on the
coast a year later with all his monies missing. The murder left the other knights in an uproar, and so it led to the Queen
's decision to begin a manhunt for
those responsible. Thedius and his band were never captured, but many innocents were taken instead to pay the price. Families of the taken victims
vowed to find the real killers so they could free their loved ones from the dungeons of Weatherwood Castle. At that point, Thedius thought it best to
accept Lanu
's offer to join his crew and leave his life of thievery.

2) Thedius
's nickname in his roving bandit band was "Stalemate." If Thedius couldn't win a fight, the worst he ever did was break even, or get even later.
His skills were revered by his followers, and rarely did anyone ever challenge him to lead the band. His stalemate streak, however, ended when he met
Noran in Yawrana.

He spent ten years traveling with the group of night bandits he led, and posed as a dock worker during the days to hide his secret. The wealth he and his
men and women cohorts collected over that time was said to have surpassed even some of the knights. Thedius gave half of what they had amassed to
the others, while burying his half somewhere near the crumbling sea defense fortifications of the First Knights, which are located near Wing Rock on the
western coast of the Division of Barecrop. Thedius
's men got wind of his plans, but to this day have been unable to locate the buried treasure.
Chief Braiy Decker
by Scot R. Stone

Of all the men in uniform in the world of Elvana, the flame fighters are the most fun to write about for me. They are the protectors of the forests of
Yawrana, its most valuable resource. Fires pose a dangerous threat to this kingdom, since the kingdom is heavily populated by trees. But fire, as we
learned in Book Two, can be especially devastating to the prophet Elders who live within the ancient sequeras. The closest thing to a city in the kingdom
is Candlewick Castle, but even outside its walls most of the forest and land has remained preserved over time. And because of these reasons, the flame
fighters must be highly skilled at their positions.

The most famous of the flame fighters that will appear in The Snowtear Wars series is Chief Braiy Decker, a member of a Royal House Territory station
located just south of the castle. The Chief was good friends with King Doran Yorokoh, and  knew his son Noran since the day he was born. He has
been like a second father to Noran, and is one of the few Noran will allow him to call him by his own name without the use of his title.

Braiy Decker takes his work seriously, and has seen many people perish by fires over the years in his line of work. He takes any losses personally and
reflects a long time on what went wrong during his crew
's rescue efforts. He doesn't allow much room for mistakes, and trains his men hard to be as
close to perfect as they can, so deaths can be few and far between. Waterhouse Station Number Two has the fewest recorded deaths on its record, for
both civilians and flame fighters, and Chief Decker plans to keep it that way.

If you have read Book Two of the Snowtear Wars, then you know that the Chief just turned fifty, and now is courting a woman, the lovely Miss Shana
Belle. He met Shana at Staffing Headquarters in the Royal House Territory while trying to find out the culprits who set fire to the Elders
' sequeras. He
and Shana have dated regularly since King Noran
's marriage, but there are no plans for an engagement at this time. However, that doesn't stop them
from making it known to others that they
're a hot pair. The chief invited Shana to the waterhouse once and had the entire first floor of filled with fire
and ice roses to surprise her. Since then, she has gone on all their evening fire chases and has helped in any capacity she can, whether it
's pumping the
waterwagon and driving one of the carts. Some already say it
's only a matter of time before they're married. The Chief has asked Shana several times to
quit her job at Staffing Headquarters, knowing that her boss Mr. Crandon is a buffoon to work for. Shana has been stubborn on the topic, and says the
only way she
'll quit is if she has to change her address. The Chief knows what this means, but still hasn't gone shopping for the ring.

Other unknown facts about the Chief that can only be found here:

1) The day the Chief was anointed to the Orange Band, he helped save the Vision Pools from burning to the ground when a candle was accidentally
placed on a freshly stained windowsill by one of the building
's caretakers. The fire didn't spread beyond the chamber, and was doused when the Chief
cleverly rerouted one of the pool
's waterfalls that poured through a ceiling toward the flames. Anyone who questioned the Elders' anointments that day
were silenced.

2) During his thirty years of service to the waterhouse, the Chief only had to put out two fires in Candlewick Castle. The first was started by a peasant in
the Grand Hall, who was angry the king had given an acre of land to the man
's neighbor instead of to him. He took a candle off an entry table and set
fire to a drape covering the green stained-glass window on the western wall. The Hall was quickly evacuated and the flame fighters called to the scene by
way of the Majestic Messenger service. By the time they arrived, half the hall was consumed. It took nearly a year to scrub the stones clean of soot and
replace all the damaged furniture. But the important save that day was the king
's and queen's throne chairs, which were carved into two living sequera
trees that ran from the floor to the high ceiling and beyond. The Chief and his men were repaid handsomely for their valiant efforts, their yearly salaries
doubled. The second fire will occur in Book Three of
The Snowtear Wars. Although, I won't be able to give all the particulars of the fire since the book
has yet to be released. Let
's just say it will involve our favorite bad guy, Herikech Illeon.

3) The Chief loves spicy food. He says it keeps his blood young and helps make his body resilient against flames. Whether this is actually true or not, no
one knows. But his medical records show that he has never received any serious burns in all his years of service, which has converted other flame
fighters to believing there
's something more behind this fact than just luck. They all now have spiced up their foods a little bit more to see if they can
attain the same results.  The Chief
's favorite dishes contain Waterhouse Hot Sauce or the Majestic Messenger's own bottled Red Carrus Root Powder.
Anyiar Yorokoh
by Scot R. Stone

Anyiar is the second child of Doran and Mia Yorokoh
's that I'm presenting more background information on. The first was Roma, if you recall. You
may go back down to the section for February, 2005 if you would like to revisit the entry on her. Anyiar is the fourth oldest of the five Yorokoh
siblings, and only two years older than her brother Noran, who is now the current king of Yawrana.

In Book One,
The Chimes of Yawrana, I explained that Anyiar's main responsibility to the kingdom is "garments and dwellings creator for all the
territories in Yawrana
". Well, to be truthful, she worries more about what fashions the members of the Royal Court are wearing, than the members of
the other Bands. And her contributions to any dwellings are really only limited to Candlewick Castle, The Historical Record Keep, The Dragul Keep,
and the seven territorial towers, not including Rock Rim. But since it was decided by Noran that Rock Rim was to have a permanent occupied post,
Ola immediately went to work to design the new lavish interiors to make the newly anointed baron and general (Irvin Yeats) right at home.
Occasionally Anyiar will also dabble in design upgrades for the Matcher Towers in the marketplaces.

You, the readers, may think that Anyiar
's responsibilities are strange, but how the Yawranan commoners perceive the members of the colored bands is
vital to their faith in their leaders. The Yawranans are not vain by any means, and Anyiar ensures that whatever garments the Green Band members are
wearing, they will not look too pretentious or bold. Her designs must portray strength and pride, which is why the kingdom
's emblem, the dragul, is
depicted on most Yawranan outfits. Too much jewelry would give the impression of arrogance, and if the clothes are too plain they would make the
wearer appear weak or vulnerable.

Why does this have to be a princess
's task, you ask? Because Anyiar chose to do it. Any other princess in any other kingdom could have easily just let
a responsibility like this fall on the shoulders of servants, but this is not the Yawranan way. No Yawranan princess wants to just waltz through life
without dedicating some energy to bettering the world. Everyone must dedicate their lives to a craft, a purpose, if one isn
't already chosen for them
through the process of anointment. A princess is the only member of the Green Band who can choose to do what they wish, while holding the power
that they have inherited through blood ties. They also have the privilege of changing their responsibilities at any time they wish.

Everyone in Candlewick Castle believes Anyiar to be satisfied with her chosen work, so don
't expect her to change anytime soon. Who can blame her?
Her work has drawn rave reviews from local tailors, especially for the garments she created for Noran
's coronation and wedding. Anyiar considers her
finest design to be Queen Willow Deardrop
's bridal dress. Please revisit the end of Book Two, The Ice Shadows of Arna, for the description of this
lovely vision.

Other unknown facts about Anyiar that can only be found here:

1) She has recently taken on the dismal challenge, at the request of the Elders, to work with miners on expanding the Catacombs of Emison. This must
be done to accommodate more bodies. All of the dead are brought to these catacombs. This will be the seventh expansion since Yawrana
's beginning.
After the Black Fever and the Waungee Grasslands War, space for the dead became limited, and will run out entirely within the next few years. Some
bodies will have to be temporarily moved to allow the tunnels to be lengthened. She expects the project to be completed in three years time.

2) Anyiar told Noran that she also had a visitation by her father
's spirit the same night Noran did. Noran says that Dea, Ola and Roma have never
stated if they also were given a message. He doesn
't want to ask them if they were either, for fear of finding out what his father may have told them.
Anyiar
's message from Doran wasn't exactly pleasant, you see. According to her father's spirit, she will one night in the near future learn whom she will
marry. She will be walking through the crisp autumn air in the gardens of Candlewick Castle alone, and will encounter an unidentified man sitting on a
bench. He will be distraught, bearing a pendant of a crescent moon with an arrow piercing its center.

3) Anyiar is close to her sister Roma, who is in charge of The Historical Record Keep. When they are not attending to their responsibilities, or getting
into trouble, they use their spare time to visit and bear gifts to the sick and elderly in the medicine centers of the Royal House Territory.
Slim
by Scot R. Stone

If you happen to live in the kingdom of Yawrana, check your old shoes before you throw them out. You just might find a fire mouse nestled inside! Fire
mice, as you might guess, love warmth and hate any kind of a cold draft. They love to sit by the fireside or drink a hot cup of cider as they pour over
details in the documents they have written for important Band members in the territories. Writing and reading are their favorite things to do, and what
better way to do them than wrapped up in a cozy towel or apron? From all their lounging about, fire mice aren
't as fast and agile as they could be -- if
they just got out and took a breath fresh of air once in a while they might be in better shape. But doing business is what they do best and they
'll work
around the clock if they have to, to get things done right. They won
't rest until a project is completed, and once it's done, they sleep until the next one
starts. Some might think they work too hard, but they
're really at rest while they are working, which makes them more productive than any other
creature or human in the kingdom, including dobbins.

A fire mouse first makes an appearance in the second book of The Snowtear Wars, The Ice Shadows of Arna. Slim quickly befriends Baron Jada
Annalee and General Rydor Regoria in their search for the cause of the Black Fever. Because of his attention to detail, he accidentally reveals the cause
of the fever while talking to Rydor at a campfire Gillwood Territory. Slim will be the only fire mouse who plays a prominent role in The Snowtear Wars
series, but that doesn
't mean more of them won't show up in future Elvana installments.

Slim was born in an abandoned blacksmith
's boot in the Territory of Emison. He's four years old when he makes his appearance in Book Two, having
worked at the marketplace for half his life. He decided to leave his family in Emison so he could be closer to the magnificent Candlewick Castle, where it
is said ghosts haunt some of older corridors. Slim makes visits to the castle regularly to study and record his findings. He claims to have seen several
spirits roaming the halls late at night when everyone but the guards are asleep. But the guards don
't have the strength of vision he has to catch the wispy
apparitions, which float around constantly, revealing themselves only when they wish to, and to whom they wish to. Some of the more notable ghosts
Slim has reported seeing are King Doran Yorokoh, Chief Sal Escall and former High Elder Mosia Mathis. Why they spirits have chosen to stay behind in
the physical world and not move onto the spiritual realm is unknown, but he wishes he could talk to them to find out! Only Mosia Mathis has
acknowledged his presence, giving him a wink as he passed by. By the time Slim mustered up the courage to ask him a question, the late Nax Elder was
gone. Naxs, as Slim knows, have a great affection for all forms of forest life.

Other unknown facts about Slim that can only be found here:

1) A fire mouse usually weighs no more than half a pound. Slim, however, is the largest of his race, topping the scale at
one pound, eight ounces. He is
not as easy to miss as the others because of his unusual size. His mother attributes his weight to his love for cattle grains, some of which are heavily
dosed with growth hormones. Slim doesn
't care because they taste so good.

2) Fire mice are often mistaken for sea or cave rats, which they take great offense to. Never mention the word
"rat" to them, or you might find yourself
covered in a bottle of black ink (which is hard to get out of your clothes I
've heard).  Treat them with the respect they deserve, and they might leave you
a gift of some kind in your shoe when you
're not looking.

3) Slim has a knack for finding mathematical mistakes in the accounting books of marketplace matchers. When reporting their annual sales, some
matchers have been known to fudge numbers and not pay the proper taxes to support the preservations of the lands. Sli
m's fire mouse co-workers keep
close tabs on all materials and food that are shipped in and out Myriad Merchants Marketplace. Any numbers that don
't match up, he reports to the
provisioners immediately for further inspection, which can result in heavy fines for those who break the Law of Consumer Trust.
Grogge Wouk
by Scot R. Stone

The infamous Lazul spy has jumped onto the page for this
Character of the Month selection, and it's a long one. We know Grogge infiltrated the
Yawranans, disguised as a blind man who worked in a flame fighter waterhouse, and that he took Prince Noran Yorokoh as hostage in an attempt to get a
clear path out of the territories. We also know that he died at the hands of our hero, Oreus Blake, who put an arrow in his back as he was trying to run to
the prince and murder him while he lay unconscious on the floor. However, there is little else known about the man himself, and we
'll address some of
that now.

(Caution: Read no further if you haven
't read Book One)
While on their journey to find the fabled snowtears, Rydor and Oreus came across a dead baskal (a giant Waungee Grasslands
' snake) at the outer edge
of Rock Rim Territory. The snake was noted to have had its venom gland removed. And that venom was the very same that found its way onto King
Doran Yorokoh
's and Queen Mia Yorokoh's dinner plates. Doran consumed so much of the poison, he died overnight. Mia, having ingested only a small
amount, became sick for days, until the snowtears, of course, revived her back to full health. But have you ever asked yourself how the baskal got into
the territories? You got it. Grogge brought it there.

The Lazuls, as you remember, ride the baskals like gandalays (Yawranan horses). The distance from the Waungee Grasslands to Yawrana is very vast,
filled by a treacherous sea of sand dunes, making it almost impossible for someone to reach one from the other. Only three creatures can carry a
Yawranan or Lazul through the dunes with a much lesser degree of difficulty: a dragul (Yawranan dragon), a baskal, and a nefar (an ancient, gargantuan
Yawranan creature rarely seen or heard from--and even is thought to be extinct by some). Draguls and baskals can be tamed, but nefars, never (too wild
and would rather die than be touched by a human).

So why, do you ask, don
't the Yawranans and Lazuls use the draguls and the baskals more often to dare travel across the Pydora Dunes? Because, until
the end of Book One, the majority of Yawranans believed the Lazuls had only been a myth. They were also restricted from crossing the southern border
of Rock Rim Territory by Yawranan laws, for their own safety. None, it was said, ever survived the desert who entered it. The baskals, on the other
hand, hate seawater and the dunes
' scorching rays, preferring to stay within the cool grasses of the Wuangee.

So how did Grogge get the snake from the grasslands to the territories of Yawrana? Glad you asked. By a secret underground passage the Lazuls
stumbled upon, owned by the desert
's guardians. These creatures, if you recall, were referred to as the Volars. And Rydor, Oreus and Noran did meet
them on their journey back from the snowtear mound, but we won
't get into that here. But, I will tell you, this same tunnel was use by the trio to exit the
dunes to escape the desert before it claimed them. The Volars, of course, escorted them most of the way, considering the tunnel has hundreds of off-
shooting branches, many of which lead to disastrous ends.

When the entrance to the Volars
' tunnel was found by the Lazuls, Grogge consulted King Heritoch Illeon's seer, Sarc, to see if he could see into the
future, or past, for knowledge on the deep and winding tunnel. Sarc saw the future, and the possibilities of the Yawranan kingdom being for their own
taking. It was all King Heritoch had to hear to order Grogge to take on the challenge and pursue gathering information for the Lazuls for a surprise war on
the Yawranans. His plan was executed almost until its end, as you know, but the random fires Grogge was causing to create distractions so he could enter
the Vision Pools cost him in the end. His only communication to the Lazuls was through the use of the pools, to speak regularly with Sarc, who opened
the elemental channel at specific times during the day or night. Unfortunately, Grogge was not clever enough to devise a better way than the fires to get
inside the secured quarters from time to time.

Grogge, in fact, was scheduled to leave the territories in less than ten days, having almost completed his mission by gathering maps, royalty information
and confidential army documents, before he was caught. His collection was uncovered by Oreus in the attic of the waterhouse, and then it was the arrow-
in-the-back thing.

Grogge not only trained for his mission for two years, but then it took him another year to get through the Volars
' tunnels before he escaped near Mount
Grim, with his life and his baskal barely intact. The Volars, after that, heightened their security and alerted their leader, The Mother of Life, of what had
happened. Grogge, like any Lazul, was used to living in underground tunnels like the Volars, and could stand sitting in the pitch-black caverns for days on
end without losing his nerve. His patience paid off, but the horrors he encountered in many of those tunnels he vowed to himself he would never speak of
if he ever returned to his homeland. Hopefully these stories will someday be revealed by the Volars, since they are the ones who retraced his steps to
learn how he found his way through.

As for his journey through Rock Rim, Grogge
's fingers were cut and bled continuously after he was forced to abandon his mount when it turned on him.
The baskal, which he named Muck, also didn
't appreciate the jagged rocks and steep inclines that littered the region. And when the food became scarce
for the creature, trust was lost, along with its patience. Muck wanted Grogge to become its next meal, and that is a story for another time.

In addition to losing Muck, Grogge also had to slip past the watchers, sentries for the Yawranans who could turn invisible at will. He crawled through the
lowest ravines and rock worm trails he could find to avoid their detection, until, at last, he reached the first farm at the outermost village at the northern
edge of Rock Rim. Exhausted, wounded and bruised, Grogge slept in the farmer
's hay loft for weeks, nursing himself until he was back to full strength
and ready to implement his destiny.

Other unknown facts about Grogge that can only be found here:

1) Grogge has a face that resembles an ugly fish known as a mickle, and he likes to eat them too. Grogge has never been married, because there was no
living Lazul uglier than him. And considering the population of the Lazuls had been decreasing for the last few centuries, due to the shortages of food, he
decided to invest all his energies into pleasing the twin Lazul kings instead of pursuing heirs.

2) Like draguls, most baskals aren
't easily tamed. It took Grogge two years before his baskal would allow him to ride it. The creature could have easily
killed him with one bite during this training period. However, with a muzzle in place on the serpent, there was little chance of that happening. First the
baskal has to get used to slithering around with a basket seat on its back, and then a rider in it--one year for each feat to be accomplished. The rider must
also learn to feed the snake to help it gain confidence in its new master. Usually any creature under a hundred pounds will suffice, like a gragon or
Shonitaur, for example. Once a baskal trusts its rider, the bond is for life and it will do whatever is necessary to protect the one who feeds it. Meals are
not easily come by in the Grasslands because of the food shortage, so the serpents eventually become accustomed to the regular feedings, returning from
the grasses for their new masters for more. Each baskal is tagged before it is released back into the wild, so the Lazuls can keep tabs on which snake
belongs to whom!

3) Unknown to Grogge, his father was killed by King Heritoch for disobeying a direct order. Ironically, Peinn Wouk was put in charge of a thousand
miners who were ordered to dig a safe tunnel passage to Yawrana along Verdant Forest as the first phase to their war plans. The tunnel only made it as
far as the Pydora Dunes, when they encountered a strange, blue and crackling lightning that kept collapsing their route. Peinn complained about the
lightning to Heritoch, stating they could dig no further because of the large numbers of men they had lost due to the strange phenomenon. Heritoch
persisted they continue, and Peinn begrudgingly obeyed, until his own life was almost lost. After that, he and his remaining men tried to hide from
Heritoch in Verdant Forest, living on little food. For a while he remained safe, until Sarc discovered the project had been abandoned. Heritoch became
enraged and ordered Peinn and his men to be hunted down like gandalays to be slaughtered. Most of the forest was stripped of its branches looking for
them, and when they were caught, Heritoch blamed them for its destruction. The forest was renamed to Bare Bark, and Peinn and his disobedient miners
were hung from the few branches that remained. Some say their spirits still haunt the woods. At the time of Peinn
's death, Grogge was only an infant,
and his mother kept the truth hidden from him, ashamed for what Peinn had done. She was belittled for most of her life because of his act of cowardice,
and as for the tunnel, it eventually did find use for King Noran Yorokoh and Oreus Blake during the great Grassland War of the Waungee.
Hethro Trayson
by Scot R. Stone

What would it be like to walk in weather that consistently drops below twenty degrees, and is accompanied by fifty mph winds and a blinding blanket of
snow that can last for days? Ask Hethro Trayson, one two dozen guards who patrol the northern wall top of Dowhaven Territory. That wall, as many of
you know, is adjacent to one of the fiercest regions known in the kingdom of Yawrana. It is inhabited by creatures who kill on site and hunt for days
without rest. Demons walk in its breath and the majority of those who are banished there rarely last more than a night. The place, of course, is Arna.

So how does an unlucky guard draw the short straw to be given such an assignment? Disobeying the direct commands of an officer is a good way to start,
but would anyone willingly volunteer to enter that kind of domain? Hethro is that kind of man, and one of the few to have ever done it. Many in his family
thought him mad, while some of his comrades believed it to be a good way to harden one
's soul and find one's self on a fast track to be promoted to a
higher rank. Hethro, though, had a different purpose in mind altogether: revenge.

(Spoiler alert!  Stop reading here if you haven
't read Book Two of the Snowtear Wars, The Ice Shadows of Arna)

How would you feel if you trained day and night for five years of your life, readying yourself for war against an unknown enemy, only to learn that your
king has invited the snake in the door to sleep with you? Hethro was as livid as the Lazuls are gray. Many serving the red band gave their blood, sweat and
tears for the land
's protection, and were just as horrified by King Yorokoh's decision as Hethro was. They disappeared from their posts and vanished into
the thick of the night without leaving any word behind as to their plans. They will be hunted by the army for going against the oath they pledged their lives
to. General Rydor Regoria believes a small portion of them joined Johr Karagas
's forces after the baron was banished to Arna, and still roam the woods
today, waiting and watching for the right time to influence the seats of power in the Royal Court for a better Yawrana. But Hethro felt running was for
cowards and there were better ways to carry out his plans than hiding like a fool in the brush.

During his years of service at watch on the northern gates of Dowhaven, he began to change the opinions of those he worked with, slowly poisoning their
minds to feel different about where their allegiance should lie. They turned a blind eye as Hethro opened a secret door in the northern wall to allow his
former leader throug
h: Johr. Hethro was more than willing to play his part to ensure King Yorokoh and his subjects would fail in their mission to retrieve
their loved ones, and would be waiting for Johr to return from Dowhaven Territory. If things were to go awry, he was to be prepared to carry out the next
phase of Johr
's plan, which he most certainly ready for.

For years Hethro walked the long walls through the long nights, warming his hands by lit oil cauldrons and watching the drops of moisture from his breath
turn to icicles the moments they touched the frozen air, contemplating how he could one day take his vengeance. He laughed as he watched countless
animals die by the claws of predators in the icy wastes. As they were eaten alive and dragged off to hidden caves and underneath shelf overhangs, he
smiled, thinking one day it would be the king who would find his end in that manner. He clung to that thought as the cold penetrated his soul and turned his
thoughts to murder. He would wait, as long as took, until his Johr returned from Arna to unleash his plan.

For it was Hethro himself, you see, who helped aid Johr escape the pack of ravenous maddons who attacked him when Baron Windal Barrow and the
army dropped him beyond the northern gates to fend for himself. Johr ran and screamed for his life, and the baron and his men only shook their heads in
shame, leaving the former baron to deal with what had sowed.  Johr was fortunate a blizzard was blowing in from the north that night, forcing Baron
Barrow and the others to leave before they could verify his death. The moment they were gone from sight, Hethro left his position along the wall,
informing the other guards he was sick and had to find rest. The secret entrance into Arna was waiting as he slipped through with an armload of supplies to
take to his fallen master.

The only way to help Johr was to take the maddons attacking him by surprise. He fought them off with throwing daggers and his azzel staff. Even though
his plan had worked, Johr was left heavily wounded. Luckily for the baron, he carried a pouchful of the precious and curative snowtears with him that he
had stolen from the Star Gazer for such situations. He promised Hethro he would be rewarded heavily if he helped him devise a way to kill the king.

The solution found them before they settled on one, in the form of two other banished convicts who patrolled the ice wastes along the northern wall for
new members for their army of outcasts, staying just out of view of the guards
' watch. Johr was the perfect man their leader Iven Pickrell had been waiting
for. Johr would be the one who could lead his men, and those waiting for orders in the territories, in an uprising against the Royal Court for a new
monarchy
, a stronger one. And so the Hethro and Johr each went their own way, influencing the future to take a turn for the worse.

Other unknown facts about Hethro that can only be found here:

1) Hethro hates card and coin games, after having played all of them way too many times atop the northern walls of Dowhaven. He would much rather sit
and listen to the cries of the wind
's fury and share in its anger, its grief.

2) His father was a wealthy nobleman of the Brigbaw Local Sector Board, who voted for increased protection along all the borders of Dowhaven Territory
before the Zonack voyagers were destined to arrive.  Johr Karagas approved of the measure, and unknown to him at the time, his decision on where to
place those troops would one day help him reenter the territory after banishment. Ninety percent of added troops would be placed along the southern and
western borders, leaving the northern open and vulnerable.

3) Hethro and the other guards at the northern gate like to regularly play a throwing dagger game they call
"See who can kill a snow lizard from the greatest
distance.
"
Immana Illeon
by Scot R. Stone

The snowtears are the most coveted trophies on the world of Elvana. The flowers can cure any disease and heal any wound, no matter how devastating
they are. However, the flowers can allow someone to live forever, as long as there is an endless supply of them. But in Immana Illeon
's case, the blessings
of the snowtears became her greatest nightmare.

Her husband, Herishen Illeon, King of the Lazuls, brother to Kings Herikech and Heritoch, wanted a new world where violence and greed didn
't rule the
day. The bloodshed that had been spilled over the centuries from battles caused by the Lazuls needed to end. The land was spoiling, its food and resources
wasting away from careless use. It was time for Herishen and his followers to move on. Immana was in agreement with Herishen, and wished to become
the new world
's first queen. But they needed a waterproof plan to make it work, one that wouldn't be split apart by Herishen's brothers. The escape to the
unknown northern lands was the only direction to go; the western, southern and eastern borders were surrounded by the seemingly endless Sarapin, Nonn
and Racorn seas.

The road was to be a difficult one. A vast sea of sand stood in their way called the Dunes of Pydora. Anyone who entered it perished. And taking to the
north by using boats would resign them to a worse course. The dark waters were filled with monsters who could capsize a vessel in the bat of an eyelash,
leaving the remaining victims to be devoured by gatha and flathead sharks swimming along the reefs.

The Dunes of Pydora had formed almost overnight after a major battle erupted between the four major tribes of the Waungee Grasslands. Many died, over
half, turning the long blades red. With so many having passed on, and much of the land left in ruin because of the war, the Lazuls believed they had
angered each of the gods they worshipped: Mersa, Grasno, Qualine and Trelo. It was then that a leader came forth to unite them from the Nonn Tribe,
Ramseur Illeon, father of the triplet kings (Herishen and his brothers). But even after their unification, rumblings were already beginning within the ranks,
determined to break the new kingdom apart in time to return the four tribes to their old ways. As Herishen grew into adulthood, he could see this happening.
But it was Immana who stayed his hand from joining in the fight, to consider a better solution for their people than submitting to the old ways. And so their
plan formed to start a new kingdom, one without strife and conflict.

It was clearly understood that Kings Heritoch and Herikech would kill them if they were caught. Their escape had to swift and in the day. The boiling sun
would slow his brothers
' hunters, hunt hounds and baskal mounts. A Lazul had to be fully prepared to deal with the scorching heat of the rays, which could
kill them if they weren
't properly protected. Being underground dwellers, the Lazuls preferred the company of the twin moons of Elvana, Lumly and Radia.
Taking Heritoch and Herikech by surprise by using this plan would give Herishen and his people enough time and distance to reach the dunes to become a
free nation. Dealing with the dunes would be another matter entirely, but Immana was already working on that.

She prayed to the spirits who ruled the dunes and asked for her people
's guidance through. Dozens of nights she sat at the sand sea's border, crying tears
for forgiveness for what their people had done to the grasslands. She begged for a safe passage through.
"We will give back to the land if you give us this
one chance to start anew!
" she cried to the stars and moons. Her answer from the gods would not come until her last visit, the day before Herikech's and
Heritoch
's armies invaded Herishen's lands to temporarily spoil their plans.

The four gods did not appear before her as she had wished and prayed for. Only one spirit appeared, not bearing the names of any of the four. The Mother
of Life found her weeping in the grass blades, her head hung low between her knees.  Immana was startled when she looked up to see the spirit before her,
and asked for her name. When the spirit revealed it, she asked The Mother of Life if she was a god. The spirit said,
"No, but I was once an innocent who
died during the great battle of the Four Tribes, before Ramseur united them.
" Immana then understood that the spirit had to have once been a Lazul. "The
four gods you pray to will not answer your requests,
" The Mother of Life said. "They thrive on war, and would gladly watch you die for their own
pleasure.
" Immana listened from that point on, hearing fully what the spirit had to say. If Immana and her people truly wanted to start anew, she would
have to make a sacrifice to save them. Immana asked what that sacrifice would be, but the Mother of Life could not explain, saying,
"You must ready your
soul for what is to come, for it will take a leap of faith on your part for what you are about to do.
"

When Herishen and his people arrived nine nights later, Immana and he became separated as Heritoch
's forces caught them and drove them apart in a
surprise attack. Immana saw Heritoch
's army had used a secret tunnel to gain the distance they had lost to cut them off. In the final moments he saw her,
Herishen could only gasp and fall to his knees, crying out for her to reconsider what she was doing. Immana stood before Heritoch
's army, a blade pressed
against the evil king
's throat. She asked the army to allow her people to flee or she would murder their king. Herishen cried for her to release him, but she
refused, saying she loved him and always would, and to not let her sacrifice be forgotten.

A blinding blue flash filled the night sky, and thousands of tiny thorn creatures appeared from nowhere in the sand, ready to guide Herishen and his people
through the treacherous region. Herishen blew her a kiss and shed a tear as he and his followers marched toward their destiny in the north. After her people
had vanished, Heritoch foolishly ordered his army after them. Blue lightning crackled and filled the sky, killing all who stepped foot on sand. A third of his
army were roasted, and The Mother of Life
's boomed as the rest retreated, saying, "Never enter here again or you shall suffer the same fate as those who
have died tonight.
"

Immana let Herikech fall to the ground, unharmed. She expected a spear or arrow to take her life at any moment after that, but Herikech cried that he
wanted her alive, shielding her body with his own. When none flew, he whirled on her and spat,
"You will suffer for all time for what you've done!" He
slapped her and threw her to the ground after he had regained his composure.
"Your meals from this day on will consist only of water and white petals."
Immana broke down and cried, understanding what he had meant. What was once meant to be a blessing for their kind was now to be her damnation.

Other unknown facts about Immana that can only be found here:

1) During the four thousand years Immana remained in prison in the dungeon cells of the Waungee underground, she created three different, new
languages, scratching them into the stone blocks of the walls surrounding her with sharp shale rocks she pried up from the uneven floor. The guards
believed the writings to be nonsense, and left them as they were found. Out of all the writings, a word unlike all the others caught the lead guard
's eye as he
exited the cell: Oreus. In Lazul and Yawranan tongue, this word means
"Champion."

2) Only once in all the years she was in the cell did Herishen and Herikech visit her, desiring to learn the secrets of the blue spirit and thorn creatures who
helped Herishen and his followers escape. Immana warned them, saying those who inhabited the dunes would never help the rodents of the grasslands. Her
words angered them, spurring them take her to the torture chambers. She was beaten, whipped, clubbed, stabbed, stretched and burned to make her talk,
but she bore the intolerable pains until she was fed the snowtears, before death could claim her after each ordeal.

After Herishen and Herikech learned of Yawrana
's new king, Johr Karagas, through their spy Grogge Wouk, they decided to abandon their efforts with
Immana and try to strike a deal with Johr. Immana laughed at them, saying the Yawranans were too smart to believe anything they said.
"One can always
see a forked tongue, no matter what words are spilling from it!
" she cried as they left her. "You will be poisoned by your own words!"

3) Immana stayed in love with Herishen all the years she was imprisoned, never regretting what she had done for him. His freedom and happiness meant
more to her than anything. But he and his people had no snowtears, and all those she knew would die as she lived through the ages with King Herikech and
Heritoch, strong and healthy. After two hundred years she tried to devise ways to take her own life so she could join her husband on the next plane of
existence. Having almost succeeded on multiple accounts, the guards began doing random check-ups on her, thwarting any other efforts she would put
forth. Eventually she succumbed to life and waited until death was ready to take her.
Phoren Sharx
by Scot R. Stone

Ladies, watch where you put your purse, you might just find it missing if you leave it unattended too long in the Yawranan marketplaces. Some thieves are
hired by the vendors to snatch a bag or two, to help make up for a slow day of sales. One vendor who falls into this category is Phoren Sharx, owner of Lot
22, Charms for Children, in Union Utility Marketplace in Serquist Territory. You might wonder how such vendors survive in business if they are known to
be involved in such practices. The matter is simple really. Don
't get caught and you won't be put out of business. So what's the best way to avoid the army's
watchful eye? Run a booth that appears innocent. What
's less harmless than a business that attends to children's ailments?

However, Baron Viktoran Ilos knows Phoren is not all that he seems beneath that ring of sandy brown hair encircling his head. Phoren has more
"magic"
pockets inside his outfit than anyone in Yawrana, including the Royal Court
's jester. Those pockets are so well disguised that the army would literally have to
pull the entire ensemble apart at all the seams to discover them all. Leave no task unchecked by Viktoran, though. He did exactly that with Phoren once,
discovering the slippery snake had more gold on him for the day than he had reported to marketplace
's provisioner. When Viktoran asked where he got it all,
Phoren replied,
"Tips, Baron. You would be surprised how thankful people become when you have the cure that vanishes their child's sickness." Not
believing the vendor
's word for a moment, Viktoran replied, "Then you won't mind donating them to the local children's camp charity group to give back to
those who have made your business successful.
" Phoren's face couldn't have been whiter, and no one could really argue with a baron, unless, of course, the
person wanted to land himself in hot water. By social standards, arguing with a baron was considered an infringement, which came with a price tag
- a favor
owed. Phoren told Viktoran he wasn
't arguing with him, which continued to further it, provoking Viktoran to slap him with his "social" fine.

Phoren is one of the oldest vendors in all the territories, having been in business for twenty-three years. He bid for his lot after the previous owner retired his
booth, paying more than fifty thousand dilons for the space in a heated auction. Phoren wasted no time, jumping in the very next day by throwing up a
stained and leaky tent to work out of until he could make back some money to build a normal booth out of which to work. His selling tactics changed over
the years as he tried one gimmick after the next to attract customers attentions. In time he eventually discovered that the one who speaks the least and makes
his stand the simplest is the one who makes the most money. People seemed to respond better to not being hassled as they walked by, turning their attention
to a calmer individual who was not set on pushing every product in their face before they
've had a chance to exhale.

Settling on bold reds, greens, blues and yellows for his booth
's design seemed to appeal to the masses the best. "You can stand out without having to be
gaudy,
" he once advised another vendor who pressed him for advice.

But Phoren
's real secret to repeat business is a simple oversight on his competitions' part: customers always appreciate good service. As he puts it, "You can
sell them lice if they feel you
're only looking out for their best interests."

Other unknown facts about Phoren that can only be found here:

1) Phoren deals with more than fifty suppliers for his booth. Out of all the matchers in Serquist
's main trading center, he's the one who you'll always find
open the earliest and closing last. You just never know when a child is going to come down with swamp flu or a rash caused by riverbug bites.

2) Phoren
's nickname is "Tagless Bags" for a reason. He will never put a price on any product when he knows he can con more money out of a buyer by
discussing all the positives about the item with them first. The only ones he must sell products to under their market value are members of the army or Royal
Court, otherwise they might report him for unfair trading practices, bringing an end to his business. Some buyers have witnessed his favoritism firsthand, and
will wait for his magical
"Hot Sale" sign to appear when a red or green band member wanders his way, jumping in to strike a quick deal while the authority
figure is still present. Don
't worry for Phoren, though, he has enough victims wandering his way to make up for those kinds of losses.

3) Where there
's a coin there's a way. Phoren will find the cure to any sickness, even if he has to make one up. He's even come up with a special "sickness
detector
" scope you can purchase, which supposedly can tell if your child is faking an illness to get out of his or her classes at the local education center. The
reviews on its accuracy have been mixed.
Dea Yorokoh
by Scot R. Stone

Holding the distinction of being the oldest child of King Doran Yorokoh and Queen Mia, Dea has lived up to the responsibilities that have come with that
distinction. In the first book of
The Snowtear Wars, it is stated she is responsible for all beast and fowl that roam the lands of Yawrana, looking after their
best interests as if they were her own children. Dea glides as she walks across a floor with the grace of a swoop crane, and dances like a glow bug on a
breeze in the moon mist of a summer night.

However, beneath this polished exterior there lies a young and brave woman who will stand for what
's right, even if it threatens her own life. She will
endure hardships, if the kingdom requires her to do so, and has thrown herself into the center of more fires in the defense of animals than one can count.
She is as dependable as she can be, and has never let her parents down, even when she was forced to marry the intolerable and brutish Baron Johr
Karagas. Luckily for her, that marriage was short-lived.

Of all the Yorokoh princesses, Dea was the most responsible, and would constantly be getting Ola, Roma and Anyiar out of trouble. She didn
't understand
the reasons for the rebellious acts, finding them childish and self-centered. Dea always felt she and Noran had old souls, because of their strength in
leadership and ability to quickly recognize how to solve complex problems. She wanted very badly to be an adult, but it wasn
't because she wanted to
escape her parents
' sight. She knew being a princess would always keep her in the limelight, no matter how old she was. Being an adult to her meant
experiencing greater adventures and accomplishments, ones that could make a difference in the world. And due to her position within the royal family, she
would one day have the power to put her skills to proper use. Since she was of royal blood, there was no need for her to be anointed, like the others of her
age in the kingdom. So she celebrated her entry into what the Yawranans refer to as the
"laboring age", by forming a permanent group dedicated to helping
wild wounded and lost animals. The animal medicine maker centers in the kingdom were always inundated with domestic animal cases, and never had
enough resources to tend to wild ones. Her approach struck a positive chord with her parents, and from then on she was assigned, as she saw fit, to
oversee all matters regarding any animals, domestic or wild, within the kingdom. The special organization she had founded was properly named on her
behalf - Defense for Every Animal (DEA).

Other unknown facts about Dea that can only be found here:

1) She is the only princess who has kept a consistent, everyday journal about her private life. No one in the kingdom knows of it, as she keeps it safely
hidden behind a loose hearthstone in the fireplace in her private bedroom chamber. It holds secrets about her desires for love with General Troy Fields,
Guard Blaynor Garsek, and most recently, Baron Windal Barrow of Overbay Territory. Even though she has never been with any of these men, they have
each played an influential part in her life. Windal, of course, almost died on her behalf while fighting for her hand in marriage during The Tournament of
Wills.

Blaynor was her first heart
's interest, though. The guard was one of King Doran's personal favorites. She loved her father, and the more time she spent
with him, the more time she was near Blaynor. At first she thought him to be stuffy like all the other guards, but gradually she could see through that rough
and rigid exterior to see the real man that he was
: valiant, chivalrous, gentle, compassionate and light-hearted. She could never bring herself to tell him of
her repressed interest, for it would outrage her father, and her respect for Doran
's feelings ran deeper than her own.

As for Troy Fields, the general once saved her life from an enraged karrik after it freed itself from a trap set by a poacher. She arrived first on the scene
when she got wind from a guard that a farmer reported the beast had dragged the toothed leg trap into his field to try and rid itself of it. Dea and the guard
successfully tranquilized the creature, long enough to help free it. It awoke, however, when she was nursing its wound, and found herself running for her
life when it turned on her. The guard was injured and knocked unconscious when he tried to intervene, but she was spared when Fields arrived with a
group of men after word of the incident spread. They netted the creature and took it to the Royal House animal medicine makers to have it restored to full
health. Dea, of course, was delighted with the general for having spared the creature. The general knew it was what the princess would have wanted, and
saw no purpose in destroying it, since it was a victim of an illegal trapping. Dea sent the general letters of affection for his heroic deed, which he ignored for
as long as he could. Finally, when she demanded a reply, he courteously informed her that he was to be married soon in a private ceremony. The thought
of him being unavailable nearly devastated her, but Dea was strong, and found a way to cope with her loss by avoiding him altogether. She decided it
would have never worked anyway, since she was far too young for him. But, in her final thoughts about her love for him, she decided she could always
hold a small part of her heart for the general, if he somehow ever should be separated from his wife.

2) One could also find in her journal, if it were to be discovered, information about her involvement in an incident regarding the death of a Trail Racer
messenger in Dowhaven. It is said in her journal that the poor long hare was attacked violently in the forest one night while delivering a package to Maxhaw
Mansion. She investigated the matter personally when a friend of the deceased messenger slipped the news to her privately, outraged the other messengers
were trying to cover it up for the sake of saving face for the business. She was horrified by the anguish portrayed on the corpse
's face, and demanded that
the killer be hunted and caught immediately. But before it could be determined what kind of creature or person could have done such an act, Elder Elenoi
Ironwood came to her chambers to tell her to not investigate the matter any further, for it could disrupt an important chain of events about to take place in
the kingdom. Dea was never one to trifle with a prophecy, and decided to comply by her wish.

3) Dea worked side by side with her sister Ola on many wildlife projects, since Ola resided over all matters pertaining to plants in the kingdom. On one
joint venture, Dea informed Ola of all the endangered species that existed within the kingdom, and Ola, in turn, informed Dea of the plants on which those
creatures feasted. Together, and with the help of the King, they assigned a large section of land within the Royal House Territory to be used as a refuge for
these animals until they could repopulate back to healthy numbers. It took years to develop the land and transport the animals and plants to the territory for
the project to work, but in the end it became a raving success that would never be forgotten.
The Blade Brothers
by Scot R. Stone

When all of the Loop Troop learned of the Blade Brothers
' demise at the hands of the Yawranan army, there was widespread rumor that Mardoc the
Magnificent had threatened them into working for him. We
're just shocked by the whole turn of events," said Marian the Minstrel, who recently left her
position to be King Deardrop
's new court jester. "I never would have guessed Taon and Tanan to voluntarily attack a member of the red band. Their
alliance with Mardoc came as surprise to all of us. The Brothers usually kept to themselves, but were always helpful when others were in need. To see
them resort to such low standards is suspicious and I
'm looking forward to hearing the results of the army's investigation in the matter."

The report Marian referred to was never officially released to any media outlets in Yawrana, by strict orders of General Troy Fields of Candlewick Castle.
Releasing the information, the army feared, would cause a protest from Loop Troop supporters and the entertainers themselves.
"The information is very
sensitive, and will not be released any time soon,
" Fields told the The Sunrise Inquiry, a popular newspaper that circulates throughout the Royal House
Territory.
"Anyone looking into this knows that the Black Fever has caused too much grief already, and should look elsewhere for answers. The death of
the Blade Brothers is unfortunate, and we don
't want to jump to any conclusions and end up painting anyone in the wrong light."

Taon, being the older of the two by a year, died at the appalling age of thirty-four. Close friends have stated that the two have no families or intimate
relations they know of.
"There are many rumors we're trying to squash," said Jurnin the Spider Lady, one of the few entertainers who talked to the
brothers on a regular basis.
"Some people think they needed extra money, but that doesn't even make sense. Everyone knows that colored band members
make enough money to live comfortably, and then some. Others have said they thought Taon got himself into trouble with gambling. But with as much as
the Loop Troop travels, I don
't see that happening, unless he lost it to other members of the Troop. But even that's a stretch, considering how open and
honest most of us are with each other. Even Mardoc
's involvement raised eyebrows. He had to have been desperate. Very desperate." Jurnin wiped away
a tear at the end of her testimony, showing others in the Troop how hard the interview with The Sunrise Inquiry had been on her.

The rumor most of the Loop Troop entertainers believe to be true, however, links the Blade Brothers to Mardoc
's sister, Marlene, who was a Royal
House Territory medicine maker. One source who talked to the Inquiry, who wished not to be identified, said Marlene was working on a cure for The
Black Fever when The Blade Brothers visited her. Marlene denies involvement with the Brothers, but the source stated she spoke with them at great
length, and for them to tell Mardoc she was doing everything within her power to help find a cure. She asked the two why they came to her instead of
Mardoc. They answered by saying they were helping him by running his errands so he could stay near Flurian during her delicate state. When she said she
didn
't believe their explanation, that Mardoc would have come to her himself if he thought he was going to lose Flurian to the Black Fever, the Brothers
said they owed him
"their utmost allegiance." It is said the allegiance was formed, according to the source, because of the Brothers' involvement with the
Lazuls. Mardoc caught Taon and Tanan giving weapons to underage Lazul children, who were forming a secret guild. When Mardoc told them he would
turn them into the authorities if they didn
't help him, they immediately obeyed. Knowing the Brothers would kill him if he made such a threat, Mardoc also
mentioned he had told someone else of the Brothers
' secret, and that if anything were ever to happen to him, his confidant would release the information
to the army. Having no other choice, the Brothers gave their allegiance to help him save his wife.

If this rumor is in fact real, then it raises more questions. Why would the Brothers resort to helping Lazul refugees? And why would they give the children
weapons instead of food and money? The source believes they were tricked or had their lives threatened by Herikech Illeon himself, King of the Lazuls.
Considering the Loop Troop entertainers weren
't far from the swamps of Serquist Territory when they assisted Mardoc in his plans, there's no reason to
think the story was fabricated. Whether or not it can ever fully be proved, only time will tell.

Other unknown facts about The Blade Brothers that can only be found here:

1) Taon and Tanan rarely argued, but the one thing they never seemed to agree on was who should perform a particular stunt in their routine, which
involved one of them catching a blade in midair in their teeth from the other. Tanan lost this argument more times than not, which is to no one
's surprise
since he
's the younger of the two.

2) The Blade Brothers first began practicing their skills when they were only twelve and nine. One day their parents caught them in the backyard throwing
their dinner silverware at the barn, trying to strike a bulls-eye they had painted on the door. They were both sent to their rooms without supper, after they
cleaned and put away every utensil they had used. This delayed the Brothers interest in the art form until they were anointed to the yellow band. Their
parents suggested they take singing lessons at the Academy, but neither of them liked to sing. On their way back home from their anointments, Taon saw a
poster advertising the Loop Troo
p's recent event at the castle. It was then they talked of the day they had thrown their parents' cutlery at the barn, and
decided to redevelop their skills for a new act the Troop wouldn
't be able to resist.

3) The Brothers are color blind, but astoundingly both held an interest in art, and stated if the gig with their knife throwing didn
't work out, they would
switch their career to painting. Only yellow band artists could portray and sell their work in the Territory Galleries throughout the kingdom, which brought
in the largest paying customers. Taon preferred impressionistic works while Tanan leaned toward portraits.


Kuall the Courageous
by Scot R. Stone

Work is work, but when you begin to hold a grudge against it day in and day out, it can lead you down a bitter path of resentment. Before you know it,
you hate everyone around you and everything they stand for. You can either join them, or find a way to replace them, and Kuall
's chance to do this came
at the right time and by the right man who also hated the convoluted laws of the kingdom. There needed to be a new monarchy, a new direction for the
people of Yawrana, and he could be a part of that new line if he helped his benefactor remove his obstacles, which included the King, his wife and his heir.

Kuall was no fool, and knew he had to get around the guards of Candlewick Castle in order to carry out his plan. That meant using a series of sacred
tombs and tunnels that lay beneath the castle. The new kings of Yawrana had no idea these tombs and tunnels existed, which allowed the thieves who
accidentally discovered them to pillage them with little effort long ago. By the time the court entertainers of the land stumbled upon them, the riches of the
past were long gone”sold off, melted down and resold at the marketplaces. But the missing treasures didn
't matter to Kuall when he learned of the tunnels.
The previous jester who informed him of them was the only person who knew about them within the castle, and he had recently died. Kuall removed the
tombs and tunnels of the deceased, and relocated the bodies to a place deep in the forest of Bramble Wood. He left the ancient Court members in
unmarked graves”another law he broke. Eventually the labyrinth of tunnels was completely converted to accommodate his intricate scheme for creating
the poison, administering it and getting someone else blamed for the atrocity.

And what of the poison, you ask? From who did Kuall receive the baskal venom? Glad you came here to find out, in case you were wondering. Kuall
could speak watcher, which he learned at The Greenleaf Academy. He overheard a
conversation from one of the Royal Garden watchers that they had
stumbled upon a strange, dead and rotting serpent in Rock Rim territory. From what they could tell, and how long it had been dead, a Baronial Advisor
must
've killed it. And the most recent one to have visited Rock Rim was Hennison Arsin from Dowhaven Territory. One of the tasks of a Baronial
Advisor was to deliver food and beverage to the watchers in Rock Rim, in exchange for the service they provided to the kingdom for guarding the southern
border of the kingdom from any unforeseen invasions.

Kuall immediately sent word to Hennison to learn if it was, in fact, he who killed the serpent. Hennison confirmed the watchers
' suspicion, and asked if
they had any intentions of doing anything with the snake. Kuall said they didn
't, and since it was dead and already half rotten, they thought it best to say a
prayer for its demise and leave it for time to take. Kuall then implemented the second phase of his plan, which meant extracting the venom gland of the
baskal and testing its potency. That meant getting around the watchers
' posts without being seen, which led to him crawling through deep crevices within
the territory to reach the serpent. His patience paid off, however, and gave him the catalyst to set his plans into motion. He labored for nearly a year,
mixing poisonous solutions, including the venom, until the right one was identified and could be slipped into the King
's drink. When he was ready, he
contacted his benefactor to inform him of his plan, and that
's when something he hadn't counted on happened, and gave him another idea to consider.

Strange voyagers, from what he had heard from the Majestic Messengers, had just landed on the shores of Marshant Territory, validating an ancient vision
by Elder Harland Ghere
, The Oreus Prophecy. While the word spread like wildfire throughout the kingdom about its unfolding, he meticulously set into
motion his devious plan to coincide with the voyagers
' arrival at the castle. They would be yet another avenue for concern for the Royal Court, and blame.
Everything was perfect, and would appease his relentless benefactor, who had just sent him another warning letter.
"Just in case," Kuall said, "I'll keep this
one if something goes wrong and I need to prove I
'm not in this alone." The jester knew that men who desired power tended to frame or kill those who
helped them achieve their pedestals. The letter could be his way out of the mess if things somehow got fouled up. It was best to prepare for all scenarios.
There were always unknown variables that found their way into any scenario, which could alter the desired outcome.

Other unknown facts about Kuall that can only be found here:

1) Kuall has a birthmark in the shape of a falling star across one eye. He was ridiculed for it in his childhood, prompting him to try and remove it with his
father
's razor. The incident ended up with a trip to the medicine maker center, and several weeks of recovery.

2) Yellow band members do some training with Loop Troop entertainers to learn their acrobatic skills. However, Kuall also picked up another skill when
he befriended a young woman named Marian the Minstrel, who taught him how to sing and write songs. Her work with him was instrumental to him being
promoted to Court Jester, replacing Verdel the Venturous.

3) The only part of Kuall
's employment he actually enjoyed was the Arena games. He loved being the center of attention for thousands of people, and
took great delight in watching Baron Johr Karagas defeat Baron Windal Barrow for the crown of Yawrana. After all, the realization of his dreams had
finally been culminated in that moment.

Morgun Rutwill
by Scot R. Stone

We have come to the third installment of The Star Gazer
's crew, and one of Oreus Blake's former crewmates, Morgun Rutwill. Morgun, as you know,
was the second youngest among Captain Lanar Lanu
's enlisted men, with Oreus being the youngest, of course. But Morgun was far from being as naive as
Oreus was, and was given the privilege of being a part Lanu
's plans from time to time, which meant money was going to fill his pockets if he obeyed and
did as he was ordered to. For Morgun, that was easy enough, until one fateful day they landed in a mysterious land called Yawrana.

Finding new land wasn
't a surprise to the men, for that's what their goals were, and to reap the rewards that accompanied it. Once Lanu learned of the
Yawranans
' interest in Oreus Blake, though, the Captain decided to give Morgun a job of the utmost importance he could trust him with -- to spy on Oreus
when he wasn
't with the crew and learn why the Yawranans were so enamored with him. Allowing Oreus to casually wander off from time to time
allowed Morgun to carry out his task. And the first opportunity that presented itself arose when the young bowman was confronted by the Western House
Champion, a guard named Rydor Regoria, alone in Marshant Tower
's Yard.

Morgun was delighted he would have something to report to the Captain, but he had to get closer to hear what they were saying. And what was with that
piece of paper Blake was reading? Was it the one Lanu had told him about, the one that had been hidden under Oreus’s pillow by the Yawranans for
only him to find? If he could get his hands on it without being caught
, yes, steal it, then the Captain finally could learn of its contents without Oreus
rebelling against the crew. If they were going to obtain treasure on this mission, then they needed Oreus to be dubious as to their intentions, and to keep a
close relationship with Yawranans to distract them. That meant appearing innocent and keeping their cover as
"New Culture Cultivators." Unfortunately
for Morgun, his ability to get closer to the Rydor and Oreus was impeded by Baron Tauron Milet, who also happened to be watching the two men from a
distance as well.

Startled by Tauron
's interruption, Morgun dismissed his spying as only a concern for the welfare of his crewmates. He quickly was ushered away by one
of Milet
's guards to receive a tour of the tower instead, which infuriated Morgun. But he kept his frustrations on the tip of tongue and complied so he
wouldn
't anger the Baron. There would have to be another time for him to find out why Oreus was being contacted.

Three more times Morgun tried to lean of the secrets being passed between Oreus and the Yawranans. His second chance came when Oreus was talking
alone with the Prince of Yawrana, Noran Yorokoh, in the Vision Pools Chambers at Candlewick Castle. But due to the waterfall
's noise, he could only
hear parts of their conversation. And to his dismay, there wasn
't enough information given to provide a report to Lanu yet.

Opportunity Three came when Morgun saw Rydor Regoria enter Oreus
's bedchambers the morning after King Doran Yorokoh's death. The thickness of
the walls and door only muffled the two
's verbal exchange, prompting Lanu to enter and find out for himself what was going on. Morgun could tell the
Captain was growing tired of his failures, and would soon be reducing his cut of the loot if he couldn
't do better.

Finally, his last chance came when Oreus returned from finding the flowers called the snowtears. The bowman was giving the Yawranan Royal Court
entirely too much company lately, and he was going to get to the bottom of it! However, not realizing how clever the King
's guards were, he soon found
himself being spied upon by Blaynor Garsek, who soon confronted him when he found Morgun skulking in the corner of the Grand Hall, watching Oreus,
Noran and Rydor search for the answer to Doran Yorokoh
's mysterious middle of the night riddle. When he was confronted by Blaynor, he muttered, "I
lost my way from the squatter.
" Squatter, in Zonack, as you've probably guessed, is another term used for a toilet. Blaynor told him he wasn't allowed in
the Hall without an armed escort, especially when the King was present. He apologized, but Blaynor called upon a guard named Vanus to escort him back
to his room, and to make sure he didn
't accidentally "get lost" again.

Devastated by his run of bad luck, Morgun wanted Oreus Blake dead. He hated being bested by a buffoon younger than him, and Oreus was as gullible as
they came. If he wasn
't careful, he would find himself demoted below the bowman, which was something he couldn't bear to think of. There was only one
way to keep such circumstances from happening. If only Morgun knew he was going to fail at that, too, he surely would
've taken up another line of work.  

Other unknown facts about Morgun that can only be found here:

1) He holds the distinction of being the faster fish house gutter in the Cold Winds Division of Zonack. His work came with a nick or two here and there,
but the pay was better if you could churn out a larger volume for a day
's work. The major complaint he had about the job led him to joining Lanu's crew.
He put it best, saying,
"I can't get the smell of those stinkin' slimies off my hands."

2) Morgun was to be paid a higher sum of money for his work on Lanu
's crew than Roy Stoffer and Boris Groffen put together, thanks to Thedius Wilde
for touting his abilities to Lanu when he was first hired. To disguise his higher pay, however, Morgun was to take orders from the two men so it wouldn
't
raise a problem. Morgun hated this, but the money was too hard to pass up, so he did as he was ordered, even if it grated on him to have to report to two
"Miserable lumps."

3) In his spare time, when he was still a fish house gutter, he spent his time parading around other towns in other divisions as a dignitary, trying to make a
name for himself so he could find a higher paying job elsewhere. He never succeeded at his plan, of course. Maybe the people he was proposing offers to
could smell the
"slimies" on him.