Hello, threes of fans! I am home from a whirlwind trip to Oregon over the weekend. My parents are moving to southern Idaho, near my sister, and we wanted to help them take some things to their new property. We drove down on Thursday, rented a U-Haul trailer and loaded it on Friday, hauled the trailer and drove one of my parents’ vehicles to their new property on Saturday, unloaded with my sister, nephew, and brother-in-law, and drove home on Sunday.
Here’s actual footage of The Man and me when we got home:
Anyway, I’m finally starting to get a list of blog post topics together for the coming months, and I thought I’d start adding a few more character profiles for some of the minor roles in The Taurin Chronicles. These will be a bit shorter than the previous ones, but I thought it would be fun to give you all a little more insight into some of the folks who make this crazy world I’ve invented go around.
Since I’m planning to finally publish the second Ian Mac Roy story soon (release date TBA), I thought I’d kick off this endeavor with a profile on my favorite wealthy vagabond.
Character Profile: Ian Mac Roy
As the third son of King Cedric Mac Roy of Eirya, Ian was born into privilege and has never wanted for anything. With two older brothers who both have sons, Ian knows that it’s very unlikely he’ll ever be called on to inherit the throne. This reality doesn’t bother him in the slightest; in fact, Ian uses his distance from the throne as justification to pursue his own interests–namely, exploring the world by sea.
Ian is a man of good humor, generous spirit, and solid work ethic. He is vaguely uncomfortable with his title and prefers to be treated as “one of the boys.” I think some of his discomfort comes from knowing that his father was a commoner who made his own way in Eirya before winning the heart of the Princess Royale; Ian doesn’t want to discredit his familial reputation by becoming a lazy spendthrift who relies on his family connections.
Though he doesn’t talk about his religious faith much, Ian has a deep-running reliance on the central tenets of the church. I think the fact that he is only a year older than Igraine helped him refine his beliefs; they would have been through church rites around the same time, and her skepticism would have fueled his own curiosity. Ian is one of those religious people who takes challenges to his faith as an excuse to think through arguments and come to his own conclusions–and Igraine would have offered him plenty of challenges!
Ian counted himself lucky to be a third son. He wasn’t burdened with the weight of the crown as Liam, his oldest brother, and he didn’t have the responsibility of the army as did his second brother, Cullen. Even Igraine had duty and obligation that Ian didn’t—everyone expected her to marry well. For Ian, there was only the sea. – Deception at Sea, Chapter 4
“Igraine. I’m not here for Father or Mother or our brothers or anyone else. I have nothing in mind but to make sure you are well and whole. I don’t care if you come back to Eirya or disguise yourself as a boy and become the first mate of a ship. I’m here because you’re my sister and I love you.” – Bloodbonded, Chapter 27
“Alshada wants him to live. That’s the only thing that makes sense.” – Unquickened, Chapter 17
How It Started
As I started to write Igraine, I recognized immediately that she was at her best when she had strong foils. Whether it was Braedan, Ronan Kerry, Logan, Rory Nolan, or Connor, Igraine sort of needs someone to goad her into expressing the best of herself. Sometimes that’s a female character, but most often, it’s a man. I had to figure out where that came from, and the obvious answer was that Igraine must have brothers.
Igraine’s two oldest brothers are several years older than she is, but Ian is only a year older. Since they are so close in age, they played closely together and most likely went through their early schooling together. There was a point in childhood where their paths diverged–where Igraine was directed toward proper feminine things and Ian started to learn the role of a prince.
I know that Igraine found this divergence profoundly unfair, but I think Ian did as well. As a man with strong independent leanings of his own, he had no desire to see his sister relegated to a role she didn’t want. I think Ian has a strong egalitarian streak similar to Igraine’s; the difference is that as a man and a prince, he has more power to make a real difference in driving equality between the sexes.
A Royal Vagabond
As part of his early education, Ian spent time patrolling the northern seas with the Eiryan navy. During that time, he fell in love with the sea. All he wanted to do for most of his young adulthood was work on a ship and enjoy the wind in his face.
He didn’t really need money and had no interest in conquest; his only motive was to explore the world.
I really wanted to write some things about Ian–in part to flesh out his character, but also to explore the world of Taura and see what secrets and mysteries awaited in the far corners of that world. But when the main character is generally good-natured and not particularly prone to attracting conflict, and when the author has enough nonsense to deal with in the main series, what kind of story is appropriate? I didn’t want to make Ian into a pirate or create any ties that couldn’t be undone, so…
I decided he could be an amateur detective as he travels around the world.
Ian’s first adventure, Deception at Sea, takes place about two years before the events of Bloodbonded. I always intended to give Ian a trilogy of adventures and then have him show up on Taura to help his sister. He does show up in Bloodbonded and then again in Unquickened, but then he leaves to go ask his parents to help Taura.
And this is where things get complicated.
Because back in Deception at Sea, Ian met a girl–a very pretty princess from another country who was serving as a saya to give herself some freedom from the obligations of a princess. I’m sure that Ian recognized his sister in the circumstances that drove Princess Ursula to move to another country as a servant of the church, but he also saw in her a curious, intelligent woman who would be a good match for a prince. At her request, he arranged for her to go to Eirya and live with his parents for a while.
I think Ian writes to Ursula regularly, and I think he is hoping to see her again eventually and kindle a romance. But it’s tough, because if Ian settles down, his adventures might be over.
So what’s in store for Ian and Ursula and the adventures at sea?
I intend to finish the second Ian adventure soon. The third one is in development in my head. Beyond that, I know Ian will have a role in the remainder of The Taurin Chronicles, but maybe then he and Ursula will have their own adventures.
I suspect he will have earned some more adventure time by then.
Next week, I’m going to start a series that dives into my 10 Rules for 2023 in more detail. This series may end up being highly personal, and your mileage may vary, but I’d like to write more about wellness and wellbeing, so I thought I’d start there. See you next week!