Tag Archives: character

Character Spotlight: Tyrrus Gruthsfield

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It’s high time I covered a baddy, so this week’s post is about Tyrrus Gruthsfield. Now, I don’t like to think of him as a baddy, although he’s definitely a villain in books 1 & 2. I just dislike characters who are evil through and through. I grew up watching cartoonishly evil bad guys in movies and on TV that were evil simply for the sake of being evil, and those always bothered me a bit (I should probably write a post on this later.) The point is, Tyrrus isn’t a villain because he wants to be evil. Like all proper villains, Tyrrus thinks he’s the hero of his own story—in this case a story of loss, love and abandonment.

We first meet Tyrrus when he appears in the last act of Must Love Dragons as the ruthless head of the corrupt Rangers Union. But we also know he and Linus have a history together. Let’s look into that, shall we?

 

 

Image copyright ©2014 Monica Marier

Image copyright ©2014 Monica Marier

 HISTORY

Linus met Tyrrus when upon passing his entrance exams at the Rangers Union to become a Pre-One Ranger, or a Ranger-in-training. This is an apprenticeship period where a Ranger is usually assigned to an E-10 Ranger in good standing to have as mentor. The trainers assigned Linus to Tyrrus Gruthsfield, who was in his late 30’s at the time. Tyrrus was a rugged, jovial dandy bachelor, with a love of adventure and a lust for high living. He and Linus bonded straight away. Linus was in awe of this rugged expert of the wilderness and his bombastic personality. Tyrrus fed off of Linus’ admiration, and his youthful outlook made Tyrrus feel like he himself was a young teen again.

When Linus had finished his year under Gruthsfield as a student and graduated to E-1, he continued to travel and work with Tyrrus as a friend and compatriot. Linus became a family to Tyrrus, who had grown up as an orphan in the Rangers Union’s boys home for foundlings and had never known a family.  And Linus, who had always had to fight with his dozen siblings for attention, enjoyed the singular attention Gruthsfield was giving him and eventually left his father’s house to live at the Union boarding house with Gruthsfield and other young bachelors.

Tyrrus tried to advise Linus as best he could on how best to navigate the rocky path of his late teens into adulthood, but it was myopic and sometimes self-serving. Tyrrus had avoided growing up, and didn’t really want Linus to either. It’s possible that a lot of Linus’ early missteps (bad relationships, hijinks, faux pas, his drinking habits) were either from Tyrrus’ lack of direction or from simply bad advice.

It was about five years after their pairing, when Linus began to make friends and peers in his own age-group, that his relationship with the then 40-something Tyrrus became strained. Tyrrus became more controlling of Linus and his free-time and assignments. He subtly tried to orchestrate fallings out between Linus and his friends, and when that didn’t work, he would bombard Linus with accusations of betrayal and callousness.  

Linus didn’t take well to Gruthsfield’s constant intrusion on his life—feeling like he was tied to the apron strings of a clucking, nagging mother hen. By the time when Linus was beginning to slip into depression, alcohol, and a dangerous affair—a time when Gruthsfield genuinely wanted to help Linus—it was too late. Linus had already stopped listening to Grusthfield.

 The incident with Tchineline (as outlined in Runs in Goods Condition) was the final breaking point and, soon after, Linus severed ties with his ex-mentor. Tyrrus and Linus most likely had no contact with eachother until the events of Must Love Dragons. Linus was more than aware of Gruthfield’s rise to power in the Union, but was only a disinterested bystander at the time. He had no idea that during that twenty-some years in-between Gruthfield had spent it brooding on the loss of his only friend and family, and becoming harder and more twisted as the realization of his own mortality grew more apparent and tortured him with the passage of time.

 

Fun Facts:

*The name Tyrrus is (rather obviously) taken from the Greek tyrannos meaning monarch or King.

*Gruthsfield’s actions have always been chiefly fueled by his fear of aging and death. It’s what draws him closer to true villainy as he begins to enter old age.

*He probably assaulted Linus a few times in their younger days, but played it off later as nothing. That unrequited attraction, as well as his emotional manipulation was a key factor in their falling out and later turned into the hatred we see in the books.

*Tyrrus was the one who blackballed Linus from renewing his Ranger’s E-10 license prior to the events of Must Love Dragons. After failing to ban him entirely, he brought up the motion to make Linus restart as an E-1.

* In my head, his voice sounds like the late Tony Jay.

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Satus update– Writing Demons

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Having trouble with the Blog right now. My hands can’t art and even the simplest circle is causing problems. Between severe thunderstorms, checking on my basement to see if it’s flooding, and migraines, my writing demons have been tormenting me and I have to exorcise. It’s not as bad as that one time back in ’07 when I stopped eating and sleeping for two weeks. It’s not even a constant thing, it’s just 20 ideas seizing me and pulling me in a million different direction. I feel like a wine-glass player trying to play Owl City’s Fireflies.

So among the many brain diseases in my head, are the following:

1) Creation story and mythos for the Paracelos Books (Linus Saga and Madame Bluestocking’s Pennyhorrid)

2) Madame Bluestocking Pennyhorrid Book 2 (working title, the Lost Mines of Nadoras)

3 Linus Saga Book 3 Edits 

4) Linus Saga Book 4 finishing

5) Weird elseworld involving the cast of CRIT! in Arkham MA with Lovecraftian Monsters (trust me. this will come in handy)

6) Skeleton Crew scripts, current one featuring another Dunstan and Avi flashback.

And various other ideas and projects of indiscernible value. 

If you would like these projects to keep existing, please consider helping me to afford a new computer while my old one continues to die tragically.

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So please donate and share my Gofundme.

Next week will proceed as usual with various posts and Character Wednesday of Orin Weedwhacker.

Character Spotlight Irene Weedwhacker

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This week I’ve heard requests for info on Linus’s kids. So starting with Irene, I’ll introduce everyone to the whole brood. This week’s kid is Irene Weedwhacker.

 

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Irene Weedwhacker (age 15)

 

She’s mentioned first in Must Love Dragons but we really get to know her in Runs In Good Condition. She’s Linus’s oldest child and pretty much third in command at the Weedwhacker household. She’s not much based off of my real-life daughter, but rather based instead on my experiences as an oldest child helping to raise very young children. We’re going to watch her grow up in this series as she comes into adulthood and some of the decisions that entails.

So why is she in a relationship with a 20-year-old in the book?

I have to say, that as far as characters not behaving themselves, those two are the worst. Irene and Morfindel can not and will not listen to me and so this very awkward and not entirely wholesome attachment is just beyond my control. I think I feel about the same as Linus does about it—furious and offended.

The reason it happened is probably because of two things:

a) Irene is very mature for her age. The eldest child of seven is the one who grows up the fastest. She’s been momma number two since kid four was born and has had to shoulder a lot of responsibilities and duties that most teens don’t have to endure. This has made her very stoic, level-headed, and impatient to be recognized and respected as an adult. If she already has to have the duties of an adult, why shouldn’t she be treated like one?

b) Morfindel is very immature for his age. Since Morf spent most of his childhood cloistered away with other boys, he’s got a lot of growing up to do still.

So what we get here is the meeting of two people, seven years apart, who mentally are the same age. We’ll see in the series if that playing field stays level or not, but considering Irene and Morfindel are already “engaged to be engaged”…

Facts about Irene:

1. She’s not much of a hausfrau and has no ambition to be. She’s very good at watching kids and organizing things, but she can’t cook, or sew, and hates cleaning. She prefers to read books and socialize with girls her age, even if she feels that the other girls don’t always understand what she’s talking about or share her opinions.

2. Irene has been trying to get her Dad let her go to University and it is for one reason only: so she can get two blessed minutes to herself for once. Irene has become painfully aware that her entire life has revovled around doing things for other people and is starting to wonder who she really is. Terrified that she might be roped into being unofficial nanny to the family for the rest of her life, Irene wants to get away by the only outlet that a self-respecting girl of an upper-middle-class family can achieve it: school.

3. Irene, and all of her brothers and sisters, look exactly like Linus’s dad, Hilmiel. I will reveal why in a few books, but there’s a reason for it.

4. In Tereand, Irene’s age group has a few ways to keep themselves entertained.
* Assemblies Big parties with local young people. Some are simple card parties where groups can play whist, cassino, or quadrille. Some have a band playing music and lots of food and dancing where young people can meet and interact in a chaperoned environment.

* Chocolate Houses Coffee houses are so last year! The young people in Tereand meet eachother at Chocolate Houses to sample drinking chocolate (laced with spices), to talk about the latest song books released by their favorite artists, new trends in clothing, and occasionally to hear a whiny ponce play the guitar or recite poetry

*Parks There are many public parks in Tereand where groups can meet to play battledores, croquet, cricket, boules, or simply bring their easel’s to paint or sketch

Some would think that Irene would never be at a loss for things to do or people to do them with, but then some have never tried to get dinner into six other children when Mum and Dad were both running late.

That’s it for this week’s spotlight! Next week I’ll do Oldest Boychild Carson.

Thanks for reading, and please consider donating to my art:

Character Spotlight Deirdre the Indomitable

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I got some requests to cover Deirdre this week so here’s the lowdown on Linus Weedwhacker’s other half.

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We meet Deirdre at the end of the first book in the Linus Saga, Must Love Dragons, but she’s a constant presence throughout the book and her relationship with Linus is the linchpin in the series. It’s no secret that Deirdre is a 300-ish-year-old red dragon. Her father was a Human wizard with the gift of shape changing. Ulric the White was famous for changing into various creatures to see how they lived. He got a bit in over his head when he transformed into a red dragon and met Deirdre’s imposing mum. One clutch later, Betty took off leaving Ulric the Dragon with five baby boy dragons and one girl dragon. The boys left the nest as soon as they learned to fly,but the girl stayed with him.

Unlike her mother and brothers, Deirdre was very attached to her father and the two kept each other company. Ulric taught his daughter how to shape change and educated her as best he could. Despite their mutual camaraderie, in a few centuries Ulric began to feel old and tired. One day changed back into a human for the last time and quietly passed away, leaving Deirdre alone.

She was a little befuddled by her newfound freedom and after a few clumsy raids on neighbouring sheep, she found herself the target of several attacks by locals and treasure-hunters. She began to feel that life was nothing but a horrible struggle to defend yourself from everyone else. She was hurt and lonely and didn’t understand why everyone was determined to kill her.

That’s when a drunk Linus stumbled into her cave and did something different: he fell over and had a seizure. Most likely it was because he was the only person who hadn’t taken a punch at her, or  maybe it was her human half calling out to her, or that she felt a need to help a dying man, like she’d helped her father, she felt an instant attachment to Linus and the two were cemented together by fate.

It wasn’t exactly a love-at-first-sight, happily ever after Disney, tra-la-la, love story. There were a lot of teething troubles, as there generally is when you suddenly stop being a 12-ton fire-breathing sauroid and become a fragile, soft, pink, monkey-creature. Between complicated human mating ritual and the rather straight-forward but unfulfilling dragon rituals but after so many years and a lot of kids it seems to have worked out for them. Deidre is a stoic amazon warrior matriarch, even if she waffles between confidant and insecure frequently. The confidence comes out when she forgets that she’s not a dragon anymore. The insecurity comes out when she remembers.

 

Fun Facts:

*Her first name was Deirdre and eventually became Deirdremagorafangowenetherix (DEE-dree-ma-GO-rah-FAN-go-wen-ETH-er-ix). Dragons get bored with their names and after a long time or a great victory they like to celebrate by adding a syllable to their names. A long name is usually the sign of an old dragon or a vain one.

*She actually LIKES being a mother of lots of kids. Dragon clutches are usually around six or seven so large families are typical in dragon family if not always so intimate. If anything she’s probably just frustrated that she has to do it in so many goes to get the family -size she wants.

* Deirdre has to be very careful about changing back into a Dragon. She misses being a Dragon a lot but since her magic is dampened in her human form, she’s worried about how it will go. She had a few close calls early on, so she hasn’t changed form in nearly 15 years. She misses flying most of all.

* Her five brothers are named (in short form) Barney, Enoch, Wallace, Carl, and Orin. Orin was Deirdre’s closest thing to a childhood friend, and her favorite brother (which is whom Orin is named after). Barney, on the other hand, keeps trying to get Deirdre to get the kids to come to his cave so he can eat them.

*Carson has inherited some of his grandfather, Ulric’s, ability to use magic and is interested in  becoming a wizard.

*Deirdre’s mum HATES Linus and he is not allowed to visit her under any circumstances. She’s a very kind grandmother to the kids, however, despite a chilly but civil relationship with her daughter. Deirdre never really forgave her mother for abandoning them.

*Her voice in my head sounds like Isabella Rossilini

 

 

Getting to Know Morfindel

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(Note: This is a repost after the first page got deleted. Apologies)
Character Wednesday!

I had a request for one on Morfindel Cunlias this week and I’m happy to oblige.

Here’s Morf!

morfindel

Morf comes from both the Linus Saga books and its parallel dimension CRIT! He’s a young Elf, only 20 when we meet him, who still has a lot of growing to do. He tries to do his very best at all times, but usually ends up stymieing himself with his own naivete and impulsive nature.

He started off as a nuisance newbie hanging on Linus but over the series he’s starting to become Linus’ best friend… a bond that’s put to the test a lot when he falls for Linus’ oldest daughter.

SO! Some fun facts.

* To answer most people’s question, his surname, Cunlias, is pronounced “Koon-lees.”

*His mannerisms and personality are based on one of my best friends.

*Morfindel thinks of Linus as a father figure, even if Linus would rather think of him as a younger brother. He tends to gravitate to fatherly figures after being raised in a male mission since he was three. It also explains his avid attraction to women yet his complete inability to comprehend them.

*He has yellow eyes (those exist, I’ve seen them!) which hint at his true roots. More on that in future books.

*I cut Morfindel’s hair off out of spite because I hated drawing it in the comic. Much sooner in the book, and those tresses’ days are numbered in the comic too. I HATE long hair.

*Morf hates raisins. The monastery used raisins to sweeten a lot of dishes for the children and Morf  got thoroughly sick of them early on.

 

That’s all for this week! Let me know who you want for next week.