Today I continue my short blog series, 5 Things You Didn’t Know (About My Characters). Today we focus on the male protagonists of The Royal Gift and Kateti: Raneth Bayre and Hanjour Rouche.
Raneth Bayre – The Common Kingdoms Series
First Appearance: The Royal Gift
Last Appearance So Far: Seecole War
Fact One: he reads fantasy and sci-fi books.
At the beginning of the series, books and plays were the main form of entertainment in the Giften Kingdom, due to the importation tax squabble between King Philander II of the Southern Kingdom and King Cray. Their “heavy discussion” as Cray puts it, is eventually resolved later in the series, resulting in cars, computers, mobiles and other technological devices filtering through into the Giften citizen’s lives on a more regular basis.
Due to that tax, Raneth developed a habit of reading every night before bed, finding that he liked fantasy and sci-fi. Later on, Aldora gets him reading romance books too, partly because they are smaller books, so he still has time to read books as Cray’s orders demand more and more of his time. He can’t stand reading newspapers, but does it anyway for the local knowledge and big news when he’s out on assignment. He also adores reading military reports, which his dad has a habit of leaving around their home.
Fact Two: he is Cray’s primary go-to-guy when he needs to decide something, or needs a puzzle solved.
Cray used to be a royal official too, but he never got to the top rank of MRT – Raneth’s rank. The additional training Raneth received revealed that he was good at puzzles, specifically at those that involve patterns. King Cray started to rely on Raneth’s ability to spot patterns in people’s behaviour, writing and group movements to assist some decisions he makes.
Fact Three: Raneth expects to live no more than twenty-five years.
All Bayres are caught in the Bayre-Frey Feud, but with the blood-gifted Bayres, this is especially so. Usually when a blood-gifted Bayre has a child of their own, their primary missions in life changes to hunting and killing the Master Frey and teaching their child everything about the family’s blood-gift before they perish (which takes nine years to master). As an heir, you’re also in danger because the Frey can grow bored of you – the Frey’s lifestyle revolves around hunting the Bayre family, so to eliminate them entirely is something they’re not willing to do. The Master Frey will play for years a game of cat and mouse, learning the blood-gifted Bayre heir’s habits, how they think and their commonly used fighting moves. If the Master Frey kills the Master Bayre, the Frey then has everything he needs to know about the heir to kill them once they have had a child.
It’s because of this that the blood-gifted Bayres have an average life span of twenty-five years before they’re murdered. Raneth has been brought up knowing this.
Fact Four: he is one of three founders of a small racing car company, and competes as their primary driver.
Being a young royal official, the wages he gets are sometimes more than he knows what to do with. It resulted in him and two others (Ramage and Rider) creating a startup car racing company in 2004 in the neighbouring Southern Kingdom. Though cars take until ANTIs to start appearing in the series itself, they have won a few trophies and keep their cars in a warehouse in the Southern Kingdom’s capital, where many of the races are located. The race series they take part in have moving obstacles on the tracks, which is handy later on in the series when Raneth becomes the Director of Specialised Royal Official Projects at BCRI.
Fact Five: he has very few memories of his mother.
With his mother dying when he was five by Thane’s hand, Raneth doesn’t have many remaining memories of Kalela Bayre. He has one of her and his father painting star constellations onto his bedroom ceiling, so he would learn them and be able to navigate from them as he grew older. The other is her murder, which he tries not to remember.
Hanjour Rouche – The Sizael Serial Series
First Appearance: Kateti
Last Appearance So Far: Afien’s Howl 3
Fact One: he spent some years of his childhood in Deabition with his mother.
Though he was often shipped to his father in Lemora and then later to Caften City in Sizael Kingdom, Hanjour’s mother liked to keep a close eye on him, and made sure he spent just as much time learning Deabition politics and lords as he did assassinry from his father. It’s due to this that he speaks with a heavy Deabition accent, though if he wishes to, he can pass his accent off as Sizaeling too, thanks to spending time with Shane to pick up the differences in pronunciation.
Fact Two: Hanjour competes with his cousin, Shane.
The two Rouche cousins are fiercely competitive with one another. A perfect example: in 2015, the same year Kateti is set, the gossip reveals that Shane is said to have shot three people with one crossbow bolt to complete a contract. Though gossip theorists (an actual job in the world of Seno) have decided that it is likely he simply held the bolt and stabbed each in the neck with it, Hanjour is looking for a way to one-up it. When Mairi later tells him that he and Kateti caused street parties in Afien’s Howl 1 due to their actions in the story, Kateti, he feels he has accomplished it, because Shane has never had a street celebration.
Fact Three: he rarely accepts contracts in Thenasus City.
Thenasus is one of the largest and oldest cities in Sizael Kingdom, north of Caften City. It’s also one of the cities with a high crime rate and excess crime organisations. He doesn’t like dealing with organised thieves and thugs due to how it affects his guild’s success ratings, so he refuses almost all Thenasus City contracts.
Fact Four: he is romantically interested in Kateti.
In Kateti, the scene where he and Kateti are alone might have ended differently if Kateti wasn’t part of the guild’s family by that point. Hanjour rarely takes an interest in more than a one-night stand, but for Kateti, he’s considering more, if he can get past his guild rule.
Fact Five: he hates his mother.
He and Shane both hate Petra Rouche, Hanjour’s mother. She’s bossy, persistent, and often marries for money before poisoning her husbands. Both the Rouche cousins think that Petra did the same to Hanjour’s father, who died of a heart attack. With her continuing orders thrown at Hanjour relating to his guild, he tends to find every way possible to keep her in Deabition, away from him and his cousin. Unfortunately, when Deabition was sucked into a huge hole and the Treveneari danced naked around it, Peta wasn’t in it. We get to see her in Afien’s Howl 3, when we read of Shane’s contributions into the investigation that Mairi and Dimitri started in book one.