"He smelled faintly of leaves, earth, and morning wind, his rusty brown hair ruffled about his ears and littered with fragments of bark and leaves, like the crown of a woodland king. He stepped lightly . . . but through his radiated confidence Elillian sensed a deep darkness about him, as of one who walked too near to death."
~(The Heir of Ariad, pg. 251)
We interrupt this regularly scheduled July of James to celebrate the birthday of The Heir of Ariad's most mysterious and complex character. Please enjoy this little sneak peek into the anomaly that is Rydel of Robinsdwel!
Name: Rydel of Robinsdwel [rid-ELL}
Age: 28 winters
Ethnicity: Robin (clan of the birdfolk)
Birth date: 17 Solya
Birthplace: Robinsdwel (capital city of the Robin clan)
Weight: 102.6lbs (light, due to hollow bones)
Body type: lean, sinewy, wiry
Hair colour: russet red-brown
Eye colour: viper-green
Weapon of choice: double green-hilted knives
Biological skills: enhanced sight and hearing, enhanced balance, hollow bones
Talents, Traits and Abilities:
Strong and silent personality: Rydel is not a big talker, but he's a formidable warrior, a keen-eyed watchman, and a wood-wise guide, so when he speaks, it demands attention from allies and enemies alike.
Unreadable mind: twenty years of burying his feelings have resulted in a pretty effective emotional mask. It's next to impossible to know what Rydel is thinking at any given moment, which works to his advantage in many cases.
Silent movements: Rydel's hollow bones render his footfalls almost soundless and allow him to move through the forest without leaving a trail.
Armed combat: Rydel is deadly with his green-hilted daggers, both as hand-to-hand weapons and as longer-distance throwing knives.
The birdfolk are a species of humanoid forest-dwellers created by Aradin at the dawn of the world from the feathers of fowl. Though not literally birds, the three birdfolk clans share clear attributes with the birds of Ariad, including hollow bones, heightened vision and hearing, and enhanced balance.
One of three bird-folk clans, the Robins dwell in the northern Nirtuikkan region of Ariad and are the primary orchard-keepers and vinedressers of the world. Their harvests produce the highest quality of Ariadi wine, which they trade with the Skyads for melsith, or cloudwater, among other goods. It is likely due to their perpetual involvement in wine-making that the Robins are the merriest of the birdfolk; dances are held daily in the treetop city of Robinsdwel, and it is a shortfall of most Robins that they are unable to take anything seriously for any extended length of time.
The Robins are light-hearted, foolish, and ebullient—with only one exception.
Rydel of Robinsdwel.