Beautiful People - Akmennades

I began Gingerune with a bare handful of characters.  Truly, I had only five.  As you may have picked up on my sojourn through Plenilune (I was not really about when I was writing Adamantine) I have a knack for stumbling upon new characters at the merest turn of the road.  Well, a few thousand words in to Gingerune I had at least two new "primary" characters and a few secondary ones.  Unlike many of my Plenilune characters, the characters of Gingerune have to be cracked open and don't come dashing, prancing, leaping and bounding with open-faced smiles at me.  So I decided to do an in-depth "beautiful people" post - really a character fractalling.  I have only done one so far.  They take some doing, but I will probably do several other characters quite soon.  So here is my second new primary character.

akmennades, prince of thera

Who is your character as described in one sentence?
Akmennades is twenty-nine years old and heir-apparent of the island kingdom of Thera, lieutenant priest of the Rammerowt, Theran ambassador to neighbouring islands, and Lord High Admiral of the Theran fleet.

Who is your character as described by a few key words?
Silent, dangerous, tyrannical.

 Who is your character as described by one paragraph?
Akmennades is by nature a quiet person, and because of his position in the Theran government, very close to the queen and a very important person himself, he has learned the knack of silence and also how powerful a weapon it can be. Upon power he places a great price, having experienced helplessness at a young age. He holds all things tightly in his grasp and makes people feel, intuitively, that he has the power of life and death over them.

Who is your character as described by several key phrases?
A ship without a shore. A riptide on a moonless night. A man, curiously, such as men are wont to follow.

Who is your character as described by several paragraphs?
Akmennades is a man born to privilege and responsibility and he feels that weight keenly. He was also a man nearly not born, and that, too, he feels keenly as an omen of inevitable failure, a fate against which he fights desperately every day of his life. He lives in an iron dread and commands with an iron will. Perfection, the unswerving loyalty of his men, the glory of his dynasty, seem to lie always just beyond his fingertips. This turns his disposition tyrannical, his heart unwilling to kindness, and while he believes he has the capacity to be a great man, he feels the gods draw it, tauntingly, just out of his reach.

 He is a brilliant young man. He drives himself to greatness. His men, though they do not understand him, would follow him willingly into Hades. In his harsh way he loves Thera, much as a wolf loves its cubs. But he is also a man to hate, long and hard and unwaveringly, and he carries a great storm of hatred with him every day of his life.

What is your character’s extroversion or introversion preference?
While Akmennades is naturally cold and withdrawn and does not usually share his thoughts, he is always watching the interactions and listening to the discussions of his generals and the lords of Thera. Not much escapes his eye.

What is your character’s sensing or intuitive preference?
He is a well-balanced individual. He is as willing to weigh cold facts favourably as he is willing to listen to guts and instinct.

What are the weaknesses and strengths of your character?
He is an ambitious, driven character with a just if unmerciful mind, but the fear of failure, which pushes him to excel, also makes him vulnerable to doubt and despair.

What is your character’s love language?
Akmennades possesses the rough love of a god. He is a man of strength, high sentiment, and iron purpose which the will of no other man can sway, which are all traits that do not lend themselves to the normal human expressions of love.

What is the story of the changes of your character’s personality?
Not many people remember clearly their very early years—mostly before the age of five—but Akmennades remembers a strange, terrible man and his mother’s screams, a sense of abject terror fuelled by helplessness, fire, and a long blinding time of pain and darkness, oblivious to all but a sense of raging confusion. All other memories of happiness before that time were truncated by this single memory. As the years went by and he recovered to the best physical ability from his experience, the memory (and the confusion) has haunted him, his physical inabilities have always quietly mocked him, and the growing responsibilities to which he was born have aged him faster than is the case with many other boys. He knows, also, that he is a man who has death for a close friend.

What axioms and definitions influence your character’s decisions?
The only truly powerful people are the ones who understand pain.

What does your character believe about origins?
He believes in the gods, though he does not love them; he believes in the Rammerowt, though—unlike his mother—he is continually perplexed by their lying out of his reach. If legends are true—and there are not many left—and if he is of the royal house and a priest of the Rammerowt, the power of the Rammerowt, he feels, ought to lie within his control. Stubbornly, silently, the four powers remain dead.

What does your character believe about the afterlife?
He believes it is a raw, pure state of pain in which the spirit, torn forcibly by wills against its own from the body, cannot grow numb nor flinch nor flee, no more than a lidless eye can blink and shut out the sight of the world.

What does your character believe about law?
Personal preference, wealth, and comfort are weaknesses that cloud the perfect execution of justice. Great nations are ones with rigid morals, safe sea-ways, a simple home life, frugality, and strong work ethic among its people. The vices, in any level of society, exhibited in any crime, are marks of weakness to be thrown out at once as a bad fruit is thrown from the basket lest it soil the rest of the vintage.

How does your character’s family life influence his decisions?
He is as yet only heir-apparent; though he has many responsibilities and is a great mover and shaker of the state and navy, he is still in the shadow of his mother whom he feels, intuitively, that he should feel affection for, and yet whom he quietly despises. She is in many ways as hard and unbending as he, and like iron they are continually clashing. She is, in his eyes, too subjective in her rule and far too driven by her own desires—not seeing, even in his rigid adherence to justice, that he, too, is no less influenced by his fears and passions.

When a person first meets your character, what does he know about him?
That he might have the potential to be good, but that he is implacable, bitter, and omen of ill things, and that he is strangely—almost alarmingly—the kind of man to throw one’s lot in with.

When someone is an enemy of your character, how does he see him?
Stubborn, fighting like a hunting bird with clipped wings against the horror of an inevitable cage, whose strength is at the same time his weakness, and in whose eyes one can see the long dark road of a despair that leads to death.

When someone has been a friend of your character for years, what does he know about him?
He does not trust himself and trusts others still less. He is a man convinced of power and yet fears he will never attain it. He is a man to be followed unquestioningly, proudly, and loved unconditionally, though he himself shows no betraying glimpse of love. He can be kind, but not loving.

What is something about your character which no one else knows, which no one will ever know?
The nightmares.

He wore [the mask] now, and behind it streamed the blue-grey feathers of the storm petrel so that he seemed, for all he was too small and too ornately dressed for his size, a thing of prancing beauty, a thing scornful of the earth. In every line of him, in the motionless human features carved into his mask, Ginger saw an implacable soul, bitter as a falcon, inhuman as a god. 

7 ripostes:

  1. Ooh, this character is an interesting one. Not the type of person you want to meet in a dark alleyway at night of course, but certainly interesting. ;) I'm quite excited to be hearing more about Gingerune.


  2. Wow. I am really really intrigued by this dude. I love the idea that he's small but powerful as well as virulent. And that I do have a question though: does Gingerune occur in the same world as Plenilune? Is Plenilune just a country or is it a world? I never quite found out. :)

  3. Akmennades sounds fascinating, Jenny! I am thoroughly piqued. I admire how in-depth and three-dimensional he already sounds (even so early on in your story) and how his gruff and tyrannical character is not stereotypical, but deep in and of himself... also, his contradictory traits and how he despises the faults of his mother's which he himself unwittingly possesses, is very realistic and real I think. I love that!

    What an excellent collection of questions to really pry into your characters. You made them up yourself, right? I need to do one for my new main character, Jane Priscilla Wilson, but its been so hard because I still feel like I hardly know anything of her...

  4. I'm glad you like him! I didn't make up the questions myself. They are part of a "Character Fractalling" sheet that I got some years ago (I don't remember where from); I did not do all of the questions, but definitely the lion's share. The exercise is well-built; the most mundane, obscure, seemingly pointless question, once answered, unlocks heretofore unimagined aspects of a character, and each question builds admirably on the one before.

  5. I do like him! Do you mind if I copy the questions for a later date for one of my own characters? Of course I'll credit you :D.

  6. There is no need to credit me, as I didn't make up the questions myself, but if it makes you feel better then go right ahead. :)