More character sketches for you to enjoy! Here are a few more major characters from the story that are part of Diwa and Kaffi’s life.
Graymar is Kaffi’s paddir (father, in the tintrite language) and the co-landlord of their estate with Diwa’s dad. Everything about him is BIG…he’s enormous, loud, strong and has one hell of an impressive wingspan, making him one of the best fliers in the neighborhood. He often comes across as grouchy, but he’s never shown outright anger or hate towards anyone. He takes his job — and his bond with Samuel — extremely seriously. He doesn’t have a direct Ghibli analogue, though he does have the crankiness of Yubaba from Spirited Away.
Samuel Parkes is Diwa’s dad and the co-landlord of the estate alongside Graymar. He and Gray were childhood friends, just like Diwa and Kaffi, and bonded early on in their lives. Samuel is haunted by his past and has to learn how to overcome his fears. He loves his family very much and does what he can for them, often putting them (and Gray) over his own happiness. He does all he can to ensure Diwa achieves his dreams. He’s your classic Dad character in many Ghibli films (I’m thinking of Koichi from Ponyo); kind-hearted, caring, and dutiful.
Tassh is an aanoupii (a minotaur-like being) who’s soft-spoken and often shy, but is also quite friendly and chatty once he gets to know you. He and his family work in construction, but his real love is horticulture. With Diwa’s help, he acquires a patch of garden on the estate, but soon becomes the estate’s lead gardener, leading to a major job change for him. I’d say he’s got a bit of Totoro in him, to be honest!
Iliah is Kaffi’s older ahmané (sister) and a budding culinary artist. She taught Kaffi many flying styles over the years, and made sure he never forgot his dreams and goals. She’s also good friends with Diwa’s older brother Aldrine and used to hang out with him when she was going to university. She’s very much based on Ursula from Kiki’s Delivery Service.
Two more characters to add to the gang. These two ladies are good examples of what happens when you don’t have nearly as much faith in your home team as you wish you did…or are expected to have.
Saone Lehanna (aka Sonia Lehane) also has the luck of being the youngest daughter of an extremely important man, Natianos Lehanna, a very wealthy CEO who just happens to be the high leader of the Shenaihu faction here in Bridgetown. Her older sisters are all shadow agents under Natianos and are already well integrated into his corporation. High expectations to live up to, for sure.
There’s just one problem — she’s no longer a full-blooded Shenaihu anymore. By mere chance, she happened to be at ground zero when Nehalé Usarai performed his Awakening ritual, which forced Saone to become a cho-nyhndah (an equal balance of Mendaihu and Shenaihu).
Kryssyna Piramados (aka Kristan Leguire), on the other hand, is from a regular blue-collar family o Shenaihu with a long history of agents in the Alien Relations Unit, and she’s just joined the Branden Hill HQ. She willingly went through the ritual of becoming cho-nyhndah soon after Saone’s forced awakening, which has pretty much made her the black sheep of her own family.
She met Saone in college, and they soon became ch0-shadhisi (that is, lovers and bound by spirit). Natianos dislikes Kryssyna, pretty much seeing her as a traitor, but to be honest, Kryss doesn’t give a shit about that at all. As long as she and Saone remain together, that’s all that matters.
And we’re back! My first bit of artwork now that I’m back on the whiteboard schedule is another character sketch for the Bridgetown Trilogy gang.
Christine Gorecki has an interesting background, as she was originally a tertiary character when I created her late in the ADoS story; she shows up in person in the last third of the novel when I needed to have someone ARU-related meet up with Sheila and Nick during a specific point in the plot. I ended up really liking her and gave her a major role in the trilogy.
She’s somewhat of a lone wolf. She’s highly intelligent and resourceful and originally used that to her advantage while she was part of the Alien Relations Unit. She’d decided about six months previous to the events in ADoS to take a temporary leave of absence to clear her head and deal with some very personal issues, and in the meantime she’d started freelancing as a detective as well as a low-level healer, which she runs out of a storefront on the ground level of the apartment building she owns.
Christine shares a very close friendship with Alec Poe; she is often the first person he thinks of when he needs outside (non-Vigil) help, and trusts her completely, and the feeling is mutual. She’s also close friends with Caren Johnson and her sister Denni, and looks after them from a distance.
Please welcome Alec Poe, emha si edha! Alec looks a little tired here for his mug shot, but that’s because HR took it first thing in the morning, and he’s not a morning person. More to the point, he’s definitely a night owl.
A little bit about Alec, who’s often referred to as “Poe” at HQ and by his closest friends: he’s half-Meraladian and was given up for adoption when he was an infant, and grew up with the Poe family in the blue collar McCleever South district, where he still lives in the same apartment. Like his ARU partner Caren his extrasensory abilities are above average (this will be a major plot point later on). He’s very protective of his friends and extended family. He’s a semi-habitual smoker who often lights up when he’s under severe stress. In large crowds he’s more of an observer than a participant, but within his inner circle of friends he’s quite intelligent and chatty.
A two-fer this time, featuring Sheila and Nick. They’re Caren and Alec’s team two on the ARU. Admittedly rough (eyes and eye symmetry seem to be the hardest for me), but I like how they came out. These two are my favorite secondary characters in the Bridgetown trilogy, as they seem to have that “we’re from a different book but somehow we got dropped here” aura about them. They do have very important roles, however.
Sheila Kennedy is Caren’s former ARU partner; they split up while Caren was on LOA due to her parents’ deaths. They have an extremely close friendship that transcends some boundaries — they were lovers for a very brief time as well — and though they are on separate teams now, they remain very close friends. She’s that girl you knew in college who was loud and silly and friends with everyone, and you’d better be far away if you piss her off. Her extrasensory abilities aren’t as strong as, say, Caren’s or Alec’s, but she has a knack for using them in unconventional ways to get the job done when need be.
Nick Slater on the other hand comes from the darker edge of Bridgetown; he was both part of the B-town Metro Police and a bodyguard for various government visitors. He left the BMPD because he felt he could do more working for the Alien Relations Unit. This is an interesting decision, considering unlike most of ARU agents, he shows no outward signs of having any extrasensory abilities. He is, however, extremely observant and stronger than he looks.
Edit: I’ve gone back and done a bit of similar description for the Caren and Denni drawings, if you’re so interested. It’s two entries below!
Something I’ve been doing lately as part of my whiteboard schedule is doing some kind of drawing at least once a week. I’m trying to break out of my doodly comic style (I call it my “Murph” style after the character I used to draw in college) and attempt something a little more realistic. The last few weeks I’ve been trying out characters from the Bridgetown Trilogy.
Here’s a perky looking Denni:
Denni is an extremely intelligent girl for her age and nearly all of her classes are Advanced status. She’s amiable with everyone, but she saves her real emotions for her closest friends, of which there are few. Her closest friend is a boisterous and diminutive girl named Amna Ehramanis, a half-blood human (she has both Earther and Meraladian blood from both sides of the family and damn proud of it). She seems to have taken the deaths of her parents (also ARU agents) a bit better than Caren; she still mourns for them but instinctively feels that their spirits have remained close by to watch over them, and that has helped her heal.
And here’s her older sister Caren, wearing her Alien Relations Unit uniform:
Caren Johnson doesn’t look too happy here, and it’s because she hasn’t been truly happy for a long time, not since their parents died under questionable circumstances. She herself did not know how they’d died while on a case until nearly six months later. She’s healed somewhat, but she now feels frustrated and directionless, and feels she needs to do more to make everything right, especially now that she’s taking care of Denni. Despite all that, she still cares deeply about her fellow ARU partners and everyone else close to her, and will go out of her way to do what is right for them.
This is actually kind of a fun exercise! I know these characters so well, and yet all this time I never really got around to visualizing them in this manner. [There’s also the fact that this is a half-serious attempt at drawing the characters for a possible webcomic version down the line, but that’ll be some time in the future. For now I’m just trying to get them onto paper!]
I will of course add more sketches as they pop up!