The elfs of the Eastern Angles are, like their cousins in the West, tall, elegant and long-lived. They are olive-skinned, with a penchant for small, decorative tattoos. And they are obsessed with death; they desire above all other things, a good and honourable death. A good death can absolve a wasted life; a dishonourable death brings shame on an elf and her family.
The Fey Man begins with a visit from a small party of Easterners led by Neirin Tarian, Shield of the Eastern Angles, ruler of the elfs in the east. Privileged and arrogant, he has been Shield for only a short time by elfish standards and seeks an opportunity to step out from under his father’s shadow and win his people’s love.
Siomi has been protecting, guiding and caring for Lord Neirin since they were both children. Siomi seeks perfection in every deed, each morning reviewing the previous day and making amends for even the smallest slights.
Neirin is also accompanied by two soldiers. Brega‘s family lost a flourishing business and a strong reputation when her father suffered a shameful death. With no prospects and no future, she was forced to join the army to seek a good death and regain her honour. Brega has a sharp tongue and a unfavourable look, slow to trust and slower to forgive.
The other soldier is Draig, who joined the army out of a desire to serve. Huge even for an elf, he is strong, skilled and loyal. He is also one of Brega’s few friends; Draig recognises the pain and the decency behind Brega’s bitterness and Brega respects Draig’s unfailing honesty.
Neirin seeks to put an end to the Western advances before they reach the Eastern Angles. The libraries of the East tell him only the legendary sword Caledyr can free the dragons from the will of the West. No mortal alive knows where the sword lies, and so Neirin enlists the help of Thomas Rymour to help him find the immortal fay and therein find the sword.
Each race found in The Fey Man has had a different reaction to the legend of King Emyr that has shaped their personality and their philosophy. To the Eastern Angles, Emyr was an avatar of death that conquered them, and they grew to worship what they feared.
I also didn’t want readers to label the Easterners as “the good guys”. To that end each of them have habits, practices and ways of thinking that are unfamiliar and sometimes unlikeable. Of course it’s no fun to make a character one-dimensional, so don’t be surprised if some of these elfs aren’t what they seem.