Guest post by Tracy Falbe - A profile of Cruce Chenomet

Jeroen Steenbeeke  
Regular readers of this blog will know I often participate in the Writer's Cafe on the Kindleboards, primarily to get in touch with other authors. On this forum, I encountered fellow fantasy writer Tracy Falbe, who was looking for people to participate in her blog tour. I of course happily obliged. In her blog tour, she presents excerpts from her work, as well as character profiles. I am currently reading her novel Rys Rising, which I can definitely recommend. So, without further ado, here's Tracy:

Todays stop on the Feel Real Fantasy blog tour celebrating the completion of the Rys Rising series by Tracy Falbe introduces readers to Cruce Chenomet, a brave man who defends his people.

Age: 18 at beginning of epic
Physical appearance: Brown hair, blue eyes, average height, athletic build
Special skills: A good friend, devoted to his people, brave, daring, leadership, combat training
Magical items: At first he claims an enchanted sword and armor from dead rys enemies but then gains an enchanted sword and armor from his tabre allies.

Cruce is the heir of the powerful Chenomet family of Nufal. His heritage goes deep into history with his family name appearing on the Founding Tablets of his human civilization. Like all humans in Nufal he is under the spiritual leadership of the tabre of the Kwellstan Sect. His family has grown very wealthy supplying the needs of the tabre for centuries.

Although Cruce is accustomed to wealth and privilege, he craves to be tested physically and mentally as most young men do. He is recruited to the militia that defends the Nufalese frontier from savages by Gehr Bradelvo who seeks to add Cruces wealth and influence to the cause of the militia. Despite these motives, Gehr becomes a true friend and mentor to Cruce.

In the first novels of the series, Cruce is hardened and changed by brutal encounters with the savages. These trials shape him into a tough warrior and capable commander. During these formative years, he learns that his rash actions can have severe consequences and his character gradually evolves into a more considerate persona, but he never loses his boldness. He is under great pressure to revive his familys suddenly failing political influence and hell defy humans and magical tabre to get what he needs.

But all of his political troubles are increasingly a sideshow to the looming crisis of the rys invasion. The tabre rulers of Nufal have created a terrible enemy in the rys that threaten their entire civilization.

Authors feelings about the character:
I created Cruce Chenomet as a fantasy character meant to let readers experience an epic and fantastic life. Hes rich, nice looking, and brave. He likes women and women like him, although he comes to learn that his multiple relationships add to the stress of his life. And his good heart constantly struggles with his recurring moral lapses. Despite his flaws in his personal relationships, he truly is a hero to his people and never flinches from their defense.

In Cruce I explored the brash enthusiasm and ambitions of youth and how they gradually are tempered on the journey to maturity. In the beginning Cruce is a hard fighting and hard partying young man, but mounting traumas and high stakes threats to his homeland drag him into embracing the sometimes bitter duties of adulthood.

From Savage Storm: Rys Rising Book II

The men plodded across the dark land in silence. Awful images replayed in their minds and crushing emotions churned in their chests. At length, Vrostan found his voice. Thank you, Chenomet, he said although words could scarcely convey his gratitude.

Hebenstens gratitude struck Cruce as funny, but he dare not chuckle lest a barrel of hysterics spill out. He was too weary, too battered by violence to concern himself with the political intrigues that separated their families. Kwellstan and all that usually mattered felt totally insignificant at that moment.

Cruce said, When I said you could die, I didnt mean it. Im sorry.

Vrostan choked on an overwrought laugh. I wanted you to get killed too, he confessed.

Cruce shook his head, ashamed now of their shared juvenile rivalries amid such a serious situation. Can we agree not to wish death on each other? he asked.

Yes, Vrostan said with much sincerity.

Truleo met them outside Bigalia. It was still full night, and the tabre softly called their names as they approached so as not to startle them.

The tabre led them to the village that had been transformed into a hastily fortified camp. Every handy scrap of wood had been used to make fencing, and dirt walls had been quickly dug up. Tents filled all the spaces between the small homes and barns. Only a few lanterns still burned and many exhausted men were slumped in huddled clumps.

Truleo took them to the tent of Bellastan Carver and then excused himself. The tabre was weary and desired solitude. His sojourn among the humans had opened his mind to grim facts of life and death that he needed to sort out.

Carver received his returning commander and command trainee with excited relief. Four Kahtep commanders including Adonto shared his tent as well, and they roused themselves and lit more lanterns. Carver barked orders for clean warm water and towels, and Adonto busied himself with getting them strong drinks of thick dark beer. A blanket was tossed over Vrostans bare shoulders. The two young men slurped the beer from drinking gourds and shuddered as the alcohol massaged their overtaxed bodies from the inside. Adonto quickly refilled their cups, but they drank more slowly now.

Carver praised the Great Divinity for their return and then asked a few preliminary questions. The barest facts of Vrostan and Drumonds captivity were given along with Cruces obvious rescue, but then Vrostan started to clutch his head and tremble. The stress was overtaking him. Carver gestured for Adonto to help the recruit and he softly asked the other commanders to leave them.

Carver moved Cruce to the other side of the tent and stretched him out on a blanket. While Adonto tended Vrostan, Carver helped Cruce out of his armor and outer clothes. By the lantern light, he washed Cruces many small wounds that had gone unnoticed all day.

Working with strong knowing hands, Carver said, You did well, lad. Your fighters drew the savages back and we put the punishment on them all day. Many are dead. Your losses were light and you did everything right, lad. Everything. You can rest now.

Cruce could not yet rest. Too much tormented him and his nerves were wild with fright and murderous passions.

I was too late to save Drumond, he said, and the words were squeezed from him painfully. He sat up and Carver put a hand on his shoulder. Cruce then told Carver the ugly details about Drumonds torture. He could barely utter the words, but it seemed he must tell or the brutal images would rule his life forever. I had to kill him, Cruce said and then slumped. He thought he might cry but he was beyond such an outpouring. His emotions reeled too much to settle upon just grief.

You did right, Carver murmured several times.

Cruce lifted his bloodshot gaze and then related to his Militia Master how he had viciously disposed of the shaman, and Carver nodded with sinister approval, knowing this was a message that the savages would understand better than others. Such strength in this one, Carver thought.

Easing Cruce back down to the blanket, Carver said, Rest now, Cruce Chenomet of Nufal. You need rest.

Still resisting, Cruce said weakly, Gehr? Did he make it back?

Carver nodded. Tomorrow you go see your Bradelvo friend, but now you be resting.

Cruce shook his head. It felt like every cell of his body was shaking and his heart was as split as Drumonds.

Melting with empathy, Carver put a strong meaty hand on Cruces cheek. Getting yourself better takes time. First thing is to rest. Then bit by bit you heal, he said.

But not all the way, Master, Cruce said, already knowing the truth.

The Militia Master shook his head. No, lad, not all the way better. No.

Tracy Falbe invites you to give her characters a chance to feel real to you. The Rys Rising fantasy series is driven by magic, passion, bravery, ambition, conquest, and defeat. Rys Rising: Book I is a free ebook and hopefully your gateway to an epic reading experience.

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