Follow Her Ladyship's Quest and enjoy my 8-part Good Friends and Great Reads blog series. Every Thursday through September 19th, I'll be sharing insights about powerful relationships between characters from my fantasy series. Join the literary discussion by leaving comments about fictional friends that felt like your friends too.
See also Part 1 Dreibrand and Tytido
Part 2 Dreibrand and Shan
Part 3 Shan and Taischek
Part 4 Dreibrand and Faychan
Part 5 Cruce and Gehr
Part 6 Amar and Urlen
Part 7 Urlen and Demeda
As a writer, I found an interesting challenge in developing a platonic male and female friendship in the Rys Rising fantasy series. The characters Urlen and Demeda had complex motivations behind their friendship. Any romantic tension that existed was not acted upon. Even so, I really enjoyed their interaction and will share now some insight into their relationship in this 7th part of my 8-part blog series on fictional friendships.
When Urlen meets Princess Demeda for the first time she has been kidnapped by the outlaw society he belongs to. The outlaws want to disrupt a treaty marriage between two tribes and sow strife.
Demeda has thrown herself at the outlaw leader Amar because she wants to lose her virginity and become unworthy for marriage. Despite her rebellious behavior, she has little grasp of what deserting her privileged position will mean to the rest of her life.
As Demeda adapts to the outlaw life, Urlen quietly supports her acceptance among the outlaws. Urlen is a scholar and scribe and often feels out of place among his notorious warrior brothers. He enjoys the company of Demeda because her feminine presence is less threatening. She offers him company that does not make him feel physically inadequate.
From Urlen, Demeda gains important guidance as she carves out a new existence for herself. She desires greatly to maintain her position with Amar because she wants access to his prestige. But he is a powerful man and Demeda is not the only woman who has attracted his attention.
In this scene from Savage Storm: Rys Rising Book II Urlen invites Demeda into the outlaws’ inner circle so she can have a second chance at garnering the favor of Amar.
Demeda gripped the hawk amulet around her neck and sternly told herself to be strong. The woman of the dro-shalum must not be reduced to cringing despair over his dalliance with another woman. Demeda knew she had grown accustomed to being the only woman with whom Amar was known to consort, but in a practical sense she had no reason to believe that Amar would be faithful to her. That was ridiculous and Demeda hardened her heart to the fact. She had accepted worse facts about her life, and just because she had not gained Amar’s fidelity did not mean that she must relinquish her ambition to be his woman. Every woman born of a wealthy household knew that she would have to defend her status among several wifely rivals. The outlaw life appeared to be no different in that respect, except that Demeda had more freedom to act in her defense.
“Take me to Amar,” she said.
“He’s with another woman. What could you possibly hope to—”
“All the more reason!” Demeda declared. “Take me to him now.”
Urlen considered her demand carefully. He was unsure what the consequences of denying her would be. Demeda had certainly proven herself resourceful and aggressive. And when Urlen was truly honest with himself, he knew that he wanted Demeda to join the entourage of the Kez Overlord. But Urlen had to manage the situation.
He said, “I will take you to him, but you MUST WAIT.”
Demeda glowered at him, trying to decide how to transform progress into full compliance. Despite the physical pain of her rampaging emotions, she realized that she hardly wanted to see Amar in the arms of another woman. Urlen was right to make her wait.
“How long?” she asked and her tone expressed her grating turmoil.
Urlen was not sure. “Tonight at least,” he said and then offered his company as consolation. “Demeda, I know that I have made you unhappy with this news, and I do not wish to leave you alone with such pain upon your heart. Let me escort you about the Thievesmeet. There are jugglers, acrobats, fire eaters, singing, dancing, everything. If ever there was a place to take your mind from things it is here. Join me and try not to despair. I will help you get to Amar. I promise.”
Throughout the saga Demeda and Urlen are bound by their differences from the outlaws around them. They value each other and rely on their friendship as the trials of the saga intensify. In a world torn by war and ruled by magic, they are neither strong nor fierce, but they eventually exert great influence because of other talents.
Urlen and Demeda are just one pair of characters in the epic Rys Rising series. Enjoy a unique saga told from many angles. Download Rys Rising: Book I for free at Brave Luck Books.
Please comment about fictional friendships that had an impact on you.