Fantasy author Tracy Falbe is celebrating her completion of her Rys Rising series with a blog tour and raffle. Her blog tour consists of many awesome and interesting posts, character descriptions, story excerps, and more, concluding with a prize of an $25 Etsy gift. See the schedule and follow the tour by clicking through with the above banner.
Today’s stop on the Feel Real Fantasy blog tour celebrating the completion of the Rys Rising series by Tracy Falbe introduces readers to Urlen, scribe and outlaw.
Age: About 30
Physical appearance: Dark skin, black hair, widow’s peak, slight build
Special skills: Literate in seven languages, scholar, royal scribe, capable administrator
Magical items: None
Urlen was on track to have a wonderful and long career as the royal scribe of the Nurati Tribe. He was devoted to his work and gaining a good reputation in the scholarly community of the tribal kingdoms. Of course it all unwinds in disaster when he begins a secret affair with a princess. He first encounters her when she sneaks into his library. She is trying to learn to read. Literacy is forbidden to women, but Urlen instantly falls in love with her and takes her on as a clandestine pupil. When discovered, they are sentenced to death. She is publically executed and Urlen is hauled to a Sky Temple and left chained to a rock to die. This is the point he enters the story. Amar and the mysterious rys Onja find him close to death and save him.
Urlen will be a best and true friend to Amar always. Although Amar rises to become a notorious warlord, he values the softer skills of Urlen, who excels at intrigue and running the expanding war machine that Amar is building for Onja. Urlen’s fellow outlaws of the Kezanada Brotherhood are initially uncertain about him because he is not a warrior. He never even lifts a weapon, but he can write letters that keep kings up at night. But Urlen’s close relationship with Amar bestows special status and he gradually gains respect and authority among the warriors.
Author’s feelings about the character:
With Urlen I wanted to create an alternative type of fantasy character that was not magical or a strong fighter. I like to think of him as a helpful nerd. He is an educated man and appreciates the finer things civilization has to offer. His intellect and knowledge are very beneficial to Amar, and they devise many cunning strategies together as they conquer multiple tribes. In the beginning Urlen is insecure as an outlaw and warmonger. He knows the other warriors do not value him, but he gradually warms to his role because he can never go back to his old life. Even so, old vulnerabilities nag at him. Although his rising notoriety pleases him, he regrets the loss of respect among scholars. He had hoped to be counted among the great minds of his civilization, but the scholarly community will not forgive him for his state crimes.
From Savage Storm: Rys Rising Book II
Urlen unloaded his scrolls on the table and said, “I can’t believe I’m actually in the Roshnareng. I had always hoped to travel here. Did you know this is the greatest library in the world?”
“Never heard of it,” Amar admitted although he knew it would disappoint his friend.
“Oh,” Urlen said, hoping he had not embarrassed Amar. He should not have presumed that a young man from an obscure tribe would know about the Roshnareng. He continued, “What you see here is not everything. There are vaults throughout this building with rare texts and ancient objects, even a skull that is supposedly from the first human. I’ve only barely glanced at what’s here. There’s so much to see.”
Amar was smiling by now, happy to see Urlen so excited.
Urlen reined in his childish glee. Clearing his throat, he asked what the status of the city was.
“Calm. Onja and I have the palace and the royal family is locked up,” Amar explained.
“The King has not accepted Onja?” Urlen asked, and Amar knew the source of his friend’s worry and shared in it.
“The King will come around. Who can resist Onja?” Amar said.
Urlen nodded. The thought of persistent rejection from the tribe’s monarch was ridiculous. Urlen ran a hand over the scrolls on the table and said that he had selected some writings that explored what elements in religions appealed to people most. “I thought I should study so that maybe I can be helpful,” he added.
Amar said, “Good idea. Onja is going to meet with the religious leaders tomorrow and begin reforming the beliefs of this tribe. I’m sure she would like to hear good ideas from us.”
“Then I hope I can serve our Goddess well,” Urlen said. Then he steepled his fingers in front of his mouth. A thoughtful and unhappy expression erased his excitement and he continued, “Those men I have detained in the theater need to be educated about Onja. They are very influential scholars whose ideas and opinions shape the attitudes of elite society.”
“Then make them understand,” Amar said carelessly.
“They won’t listen to me,” Urlen admitted. He shriveled with the pain of rejection, and Amar pitied him and softly asked why.
“Because of my crime. Even here they know that I taught a woman to read. I am dead to them,” Urlen answered. “They won’t listen to me.”
A gust of cold anger over the discourtesy shown Urlen provoked Amar. Looking forward to delivering punishment, Amar nudged Cybar and said, “They’ll soon regret which criminal they chose to listen to.”
Cybar chuckled, recognizing that his master was in a mood to kill.
Urlen almost protested but he decided to wait and see what happened. He was hurt and having Amar intimidate the scholars on his behalf was irresistible.
Amar continued, “But first Urlen, I need your opinion. What would happen if we have to kill the royal family and its loyal nobles? Wouldn’t there be chaos?”
Urlen winced but forced himself to focus on the intellectual elements. “Well, Onja could make the situation different. It seems most of the populace falls under her influence easily. And who could blame them? Her power is evident and obeying her is wise, natural even.”
“But Onja is not here to rule. She is here to be worshipped and given what she needs. The small matters of governing the domain are beneath her,” Amar said.
Urlen ran his hands through his hair, making his widow’s peak fluff up. He said, “If the King does not convert, surely one of his heirs would cooperate for the sake of the tribe and then the existing order would continue. And, well this might sound strange, but Demeda might serve that purpose nicely.” Urlen was a little surprised that he had actually suggested it, but he hoped that it would be a good way to protect Demeda from a possible massacre.
“I’ve had the same thought,” Amar confessed.
Urlen brightened considerably, and he dove into exploring the details. “Of course, her being a woman is problematic but perhaps a minor detail considering that Onja is reworking the whole religious fabric of society,” he said.
After mulling over the ideas, Amar said, “You’re right, Urlen. We can get some portion of the royal family to cooperate. And until then I will exploit Demeda’s loyalty. She is a Sabar’Uto royal and her public declaration of faith in Onja will get the ruling class started in the right direction. Now, shall we go educate the scholars?”
Amar stood up, but Urlen hesitated. As wounded as he was by the rejection of men that he had once aspired to be counted among, the scribe was not sure if he wanted to see what Amar would do.
Noticing the scribe’s squeamishness, Amar said, “You’re Kezanada now, Urlen. Do not shrink from that which makes us strong.”
Tracy Falbe invites you to give her characters a chance to feel real to you. The Rys Rising fantasy series is driven by magic, passion, bravery, ambition, conquest, and defeat. Rys Rising: Book I is a free ebook and hopefully your gateway to an epic reading experience.