Poor Ormod

I envision Cedeira’s culture as, essentially, Theme Park Germanic Medieval Europe with some actual historical tidbits. It’d be more accurate to say that it’s analogous to northern half of Europe in general (including northeastern), but dominated by a minority of quasi-Anglo-Saxon elite from northern Cedeira.

(That is, they’re concentrated in northern Cedeira now. Originally, they weren’t from there at all; their ancestors lived in what is now central Marelia, and were driven out first by dragons, and later by dryads and Elentians.)

One of the things I did to underscore the association was to use Anglo-Saxon or Anglo-Saxon-inspired names for the Cedeiran characters, usually with an eye to meaning. So, the children of the Poldan family:

Bletsung: blessing

Ormod: sad, despairing, hopeless

Giva: gift

Wynedra: stream-joy

One of these is not like the others.

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Giva and Ormod are probably the healthiest pair of siblings I’ve written, which is probably also the reason they’re separated so early. (Spoiler, I guess?) They’re simply a normal brother-sister pair placed under extraordinary circumstances.

Of course, that’s Giva’s shtick, really. She’s not an ~everyman~ since she’s basically a grumpy cat in the body of a thirteen-year-old minor noble, but a lot of her life revolves around being “the normal one.”

In her birth family, for instance, she was the good child–not beautiful and gracious like her sister Bletsung, not erratic and cheerfully irresponsible like her brother Ormod, but rather dutiful and disciplined, bright in an observant, painstaking sort of way rather than brilliant, attractive and scrupulously correct rather than charming.

She has pleasant, normal relationships with her siblings, and her stepmother, and her father. Nothing really dysfunctional or w/e. Then she’s sucked into a frankly bizarre circumstance on multiple levels–because she’s exposed as a witch (i.e., mage). She ends up being enclosed with this group of other underage mages who are shut away because of Specialness–either they’re political refugees of a kind, or have some incredible gift, or both, or something else.

Giva herself, however, is only there because of circumstances entirely out of her control that have virtually nothing to do with any qualities of her own, beyond the simple fact that she has magic. It’s not that she has any political significance whatsoever where she is. It’s not that she’s magically super powerful; she’s on the upper end of normal and she’s in a place where literally everyone is a mage. It’s not even related to her particular gifts, which are not especially rare (they’re a bit uncommon to have as one’s strongest gifts, but common in themselves, and she is just not that powerful). She’s there because she was involved in something that she didn’t actually cause to happen and doesn’t really understand.

So, while she’s a foreigner and has her distinct personality, she’s kind of this normal person with a normal-ish background and relationships. Ormod’s role was mostly just to be Giva’s very ordinary older brother whom she misses, a sort of personification of the life she lost.

(Giva’s comfort with Arceptra partially springing from her–A’s–similarity to Ormod was an unexpected development =D)

@crocordile asked:

writing meme,

something that’s already happened, retold from another character’s perspective

At first, Ormod laughed it off. Giva, a witch? Just because some black-haired hag out of Nerocna said she was?


When he went to see her, he said, “You’re too dull to be a witch. Witches have demons to do their sums.”

She barely smiled. Her face was white, her eyes wide and staring unless he talked to her. So he talked. He talked and talked and talked until he hardly knew what he said. And when she slept, or Elfrida shooed him away, he crept into the little room overlooking the gardens, where neither his father nor Elfrida ever went. In his lap he held the case of jewels Bletsung had left behind. He’d never cared much about them; Elfrida made a better replacement for his mother than the cold stones.

He held up a necklace. In the sunshine, a blue stone and big white pearls gleamed with a bright clear light, like a waterfall. He could almost—not quite—hear his mother’s voice again, singing nonsense. He’d chanted the same nonsense at Giva after Mama died, made games out of it

On and on the clear stream goes, hop hop skip jump, on and on it brightly flows, last one to the stump has to sit beside Brother Edric—

Ormod dropped the necklace in the case and cried.