I always enjoy these link-ups, and it’s be fun using them to introduce you all to my next set of characters. So far you’ve met Grayden and Marik and I introduced Seren a while back with Kendra’s Character Encounters. Today I’d like to introduce you to Beren. Grayden and his childhood buddy, Wynn (I’ll introduce him more formally later) meet up with this fellow Academy Initiate in The Orb and the Airship as they are traveling to the Academy. The three young men hit it off and become good friends.
Today’s link-up focuses on the character’s appearance.
1. Give a brief overview of their looks, share a picture if you want!
Meet Beren. He is tall, with extremely broad shoulders. He has longish dark brown hair with light blue eyes that are more gray than blue.
Kind of Chris Hemsworth as Thor… but with darker hair and no beard… speaking of Chris Hemsworth…
Or maybe a little bit more Aidan Turner… but obviously a lot taller/broader.
I’m not sure. Neither one of these is quite young enough, as Beren is only 18 at the start of The Orb and the Airship. But they sort of have the right general features.
2. Share a snippet that includes a description of their appearance.
“What’s eating you?” Wynn asked.
“I asked them how much an extra ticket would cost,” Grayden looked apologetically at Dalmir, “they said it was ten silvers.”
Wynn nearly choked on the gulp of cider he had just taken. His face turned red as he attempted not to spray his mouthful of liquid across the table. Grayden glanced at him in concern, saw he was fine, and turned his eyes back to Dalmir. The man leaned back, a look of unconcern on his face.
“That shouldn’t be a problem.”
Wynn nearly choked again, and this time Grayden thumped his back until he stopped coughing.
“Shouldn’t be a problem?” Wynn wheezed out when the coughing fit ended. “That much money could buy me a good herd of horses in Dalsea.”
“But we are not in Dalsea,” Dalmir replied calmly, “and so I packed accordingly.”
Grayden just stared. He couldn’t think of a single thing to say, and so he got up and went to the bar to ask Nia for a mug of cider. Already at the bar was a group of young men, about his and Wynn’s age. Some of them were chatting with each other, others were standing silent, simply waiting for their drinks, nobody seemed to know each other. As Grayden walked up to the bar, he noticed that one of the young men was quite burly. He had longish dark brown hair, tied back at the nape of his neck with a black cord. He was fully half a foot taller than Dalmir, and broad across his shoulders. Grayden had to step up next to him in order to catch Nia’s eye. A massive sword was strapped to the other lad’s back. As he took a seat on one of the stools, the tall young man turned to him.
“Academy?” he asked. His voice was deep and his eyes were an odd shade of blue, almost more of a light gray.
Grayden nodded. “You?”
“Yes. My name’s Berenger,” he pronounced it bay-ren-zay. “But most people just call me Beren.”
“I’m Grayden. I’ve never heard a name like that, where are you from?”
“I hail from Gnupar, a small village in the Naelina Mountains, just north of the Telsuma border. And yourself?”
“Dalsea, in the foothills of the Black Mountains on the south edge of Dalma.”
Beren held out his hand. “It is a pleasure to meet you, Grayden of Dalsea.”
Grayden suppressed a smile at the other youth’s formality as he shook his hand.
Sorry, couldn’t resist giving you a bit more of the scene.
3. What is the first thing people might notice about him?
In most of the world, people would probably notice his height and broad shoulders first. But in his homeland, people consider Beren to be rather scrawny, so they would notice his “lack” of bulkiness.
4. What are his unique features? (freckles, big ears, birthmark, etc?)
He has a few scars from growing up with many brothers, all younger, but all bigger than him. His nose is slightly crooked (nothing as bad as Stephen Fry’s… but it’s obvious it’s been broken once or twice in good-natured scuffling that got out of hand).
5. How tall are they? What is their build (stocky, slender, petite, etc).
Beren is quite simply massive. He is eight feet tall (which is not too out of the norm for his people), and broad/bulky. Not in an overweight sort of way, more in a “this guy has worked hard every day of his life throwing hay bales around or tunneling through mountains with a really heavy pick-axe” sort of way.
6. What is their posture like? How do they carry themselves?
He carries himself with a lot of nobility. And he has a lot of grace that you might not expect in someone so large. The warrior training he has been subjected to has done its work. There is a lot of confidence about his posture and the way he carries himself, though his personality is quite humble.
7. Your character has been seen on a “lazy day” (free from usual routine/expectations): what are they wearing and how do they look?
He is probably wearing some older clothes than usual. He would be wearing the normal clothing of his people: dark woolen trousers, knee high boots, and a loose cotton shirt under a long, woolen, double-buttoned jacket. In the winter, he might be wearing a fur-lined cape instead of a jacket. Telsuma is never very warm at any time of the year, being fairly far north and in the mountains.
8. Do they wear glasses, accessories, or jewelry on a regular basis? Do they have any article of clothing that might be considered their trademark?
At home, Beren wears a signet ring. Though he tucks it away in his pack while he is traveling and at the Academy. Other than that, he usually carries a massive broadsword.
9. Have they ever been bullied or shamed because of their looks? Explain!
For this one, I’m just going to share another snippet:
Grayden took the offered mug of spiced cider and sat down at a table with Wynn and Dalmir. Wynn looked tired, and Grayden wondered how late his friend had stayed up. A few moments later, Berenger joined them, the big lad sitting on the bench across from Grayden and leaning back against the wall.
“My room is nice, but the furniture in this common area is not designed for my kind,” the burly Telsuman commented. There was no hint of complaint in his voice, he was just making conversation.
“Are all Telsumans built like you?” Wynn asked. “I thought maybe you were Academy-bound because of your size.”
Beren laughed. “Well, you’re right on one count, but not the way you think. I’m a bit on the small side in my homeland. I was chosen to study for entrance into the Academy because my family hoped it would make me grow stronger.”
Grayden’s eyes widened a bit as he stared at his new friend’s brawny arms and shoulders. “You’re joking.”
“No,” Beren shook his head earnestly. “Amongst other Telsumans, I am considered a runt… although I am rather a bit taller than most… my parents think my height is the reason for the scrawniness of my arms and shoulders.”
“Uh huh,” Wynn’s tone was clearly disbelieving. “Yep, if I had to pick one word to describe you, Beren, I’d definitely pick ‘scrawny.’”
“Truthfully,” Beren’s voice turned mournful. “My shoulders are only five swords wide, my brothers, though I have a full two hands in height on the tallest, can fit seven and nine swords across their backs respectively.”
Wynn looked down at his own sword and pulled it partway out of its sheath, he eyed it, and then stared appreciatively at the massive weapon at Beren’s hip. Shoving his blade back into its sheath, Wynn commented, “If you used my sword as a measurement, you could probably fit ten or twelve of them.”
10. Is he happy with how he looks? If he could change one thing about his appearance, what would it be?
Interestingly enough, despite being teased at times about his “scrawny” shoulders, he doesn’t really mind. The thing he would change if he could would be to straighten his nose back out, and he thinks his ears are too big (they aren’t, really, but one time when Beren was quite young, around 5 years old, some friends were visiting his family. They had a daughter who was a few years older than Beren, and she teased him mercilessly about having “big ears,” and to this day he’s kind of self-conscious about them. That’s part of the reason he likes to keep his hair a bit on the long-ish side.
So, dear Reader… what do you think of Berenger?