As part of a Characters in Costume Challenge, I chose to do the three main characters from Orphan’s Song, book one of the Song of Leira Trilogy. It’s the story of an orphan girl whose song contains far greater power than she ever could have imagined—a power some would give anything to possess. It’s the story of her guardian, a man who wrestles with a shadowed past that refuses to stay in the shadows. It’s the story of a young thief who longs for peace and safety only to find himself on a dangerous mission to steal a priceless treasure. Come and meet the characters …
Birdie is a sweet orphan girl of twelve who lives the life of a servant at the Sylvan Swan Inn. Ever since she can remember, she has heard a mysterious melody that no one else seems to hear. It is beautiful, achingly beautiful, and yet, somehow incomplete—five notes without any resolution. Though others scoff at her “madness,” Birdie cannot help believing that there is something behind the Song, something truer, deeper, more real than anything she can imagine.
This is the sort of outfit Birdie wears—a simple peasant’s dress, sturdy, homespun, made to endure, but well worn, though her dress would be more blue than green. She is small and of a petite build and has blue eyes and long dark hair that hangs down to the middle of her back. Her Guardian
Amos McElhenny is a traveling peddler with a shadowed past, and Birdie’s oldest and dearest friend. He always stops off at the Sylvan Swan when he travels through Hardale to check in on her and make sure that Master Dalton and his wife, Madame, are treating her well. Famous for his love for creative insults and inventive phrases like “Boggswoggle!” and “Flibbersticks and roughnash!” and “Slime-lickin’ scumgullions.”
Even sharper and more deadly than his tongue is his weapon of choice, a long dirk with a carved wooden grip, crowned with a bronze pommel in the shape of a hawk’s head with emerald eyes. A weapon with a past as shadowed and secretive as its owner.
Amos McElhenny is in his forties, of average height and stocky build. He has rather wild red hair, now sprinkled with grey, and wears a fine feathered cap. Replace the leather saddle bags (a little too Old West for a medieval fantasy) with burlap sacks that tie onto his little donkey’s pack saddle and you have a fairly accurate picture.
Ky Huntyr is a street wise thief and a member of the Underground – a group of orphans who have banded together to survive in a city under enemy occupation. He is thirteen and a little short for his age, but of wiry build. Has shaggy blonde hair and brown eyes. Can climb almost anything and knows how to walk “invisibly” through a crowd.
He also likes to walk on rooftops . . .
Ky’s favorite weapon is the sling which he wields with a frightful accuracy. He is familiar with, though less fond of, the sword. Every sword he has ever tried feels dull and lifeless in his hands, unbalanced, as though it responds to a rhythm he has yet to discover.
It is amazing what you can learn about your characters when you actually step into their clothes, and skin, and shoes (or lack there-of), and experience for a few moments what it really means to be Amos, or Ky, or Birdie. Quite fascinating!