Characters

Black Dog of the Sea: Protagonists Part 1

This is the first of several posts about some of the more significant characters in The Black Dog of the Sea. In fiction there’s often a lot of backstory an author knows about a character that doesn’t make it into the book because it’s not relevant to the story. These posts will let readers dive deeper into the backstory of the characters in my novel, without giving anything away for those who haven’t read it yet.

So without further ado…

Corvin

Have you ever felt like you just don’t belong?

Corvin was adopted by the sylvie*. He doesn’t know what sort of creature he is, only that whatever it is, it’s nothing like his adoptive family.

The sylvie are peaceful by nature, preferring to endure and avoid conflict rather than defend themselves. Corvin struggled to understand this as a child, and as he grew older, he increasingly began to defy the guidance of the grove elders, using his wits to misdirect marauding humans or other threats away from the grove, and even physically confronting them when necessary.

His own adoptive family, despite raising more than a few eyebrows at his behavior, never saw a great deal of difference between him and themselves. Sylvie children are seldom raised by their biological family; when sylvie become parents they often give their child to a friend to raise, generally expecting one in return. Thus the members of sylvie families often look quite different from one another. To them, Corvin was just a little more different.

But Corvin knew the rest of the sylvie didn’t see it quite the same way. At least not in every regard. Very early on it became clear to everyone that Corvin was aging at roughly the same rate as a human, or about five times faster than the sylvie. For the most part, this meant very little to them. The complication only became clear when Corvin started attending gatherings of the sylvie as a young man.

A few of the sylvie girls seemed to like him, one in particular. Her name was Calla, and she had silver-green skin and pale strawberry blonde hair, and sang like a bird. But despite her evident interest in him, she persisted in keeping him at arms length.

Eventually Corvin realized that, assuming he continued aging at the same rate, if he married a sylvie he would grow old and die before their child became an adult. He could imagine that prospect very attractive. Not to mention the possibility that his children might inherit his shorter lifespan.

Though the sylvie groves were the only home he’d ever known, he knew he had no future there. It was only a matter of time before something happened to force him to leave…

*Sylvie are dryad/human hybrids. They are very similar to humans in appearance, except that their skin is green, ranging in shade from the pale silvery green of sage to the deep green of holly. They live in large nomadic communities called groves.

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