Oya everyone! How are you doing this fine day? Good? Good! Fantastic, even! Well guess what your day is about to get better because you are about to meet Jack Cochlain, the Very Best Boy.
In my opinion, anyway.
Jack is a character in my book Embers Burning. You know, the one I’ve been working on for three years and currently despise. I don’t despise him though. He’s cool.
Jack is Brendan’s best friend, Brendan being one of the main characters. His nickname is Cunnartach, a word that means ‘dangerous’ or ‘accident-prone’, which kinda explains a lot already. He’s one of those guys who’s a lovable troublemaker, can annoy people without being thought of as annoying, climbs trees and causes problems and Han Solo grins while he does it.
He’s very fun to write.
Also he looks kinda like this;
And also kinda like this;
Jack is part of a group called the Gan Ceol, which means ‘without music’. In the world of the book, most humans have some sort of power that links to where they live/their ancestry. Pyrokinesis and hydrokinesis and the ability to heal or move energy around are some of them. But Gan Ceol don’t, for whatever reason.
(I mean, I know the reason. But nobody else does)
Instead they are naturally charming and persuasive, good at making friends and figuring out conflicts, confident. In Jack’s case, extremely confident. Gan Ceol people are often employed as diplomats to keep civil wars from breaking out every two weeks between the kingdoms, and they’re quite good at it.
And then there’s Jack.
He may or may not have caused an entire festival to go up in flames.
Here’s some snippets of him.
“Like I said, courtyard.” I shoved the shorter boy ahead of me through the corridor into the bright sunshine of late afternoon. As soon as we got outside, Jack, being Jack, scaled the nearest tree and hung upside down from one of the branches. Several sticks and leaves were caught in his curly black hair.
Jack’s grin returned. “Oh, he was raging. Yelled on and on ’bout how I almost ruined the Autumn Festival, and how he was never letting me out of the house again, and if I ever tried something like that again I was done, sir, absolutely done.” He raised his eyebrows. “Not that I would. I never pull the same thing twice.”
“Maybe,” Jack said cheerfully, “We’ll find more bandits. Or wolves. Or, I don’t know, a vrakyd or something.”
“Vrakyds don’t live on Stryla, you naff-nut.” I said.
“Well maybe one does. Maybe it swam across from Tyra, and it’s been living in the woods, eating sheep every now and then, but mostly squirrels or something.” His imagination was really going now, his arms gesturing wildly. “It’s probably old and scarred up from battles, that’s probably why it came over here anyway, cause it fought everything on Tyra already and wanted more. He’s basically indestructible, and we’ll be the ones to find him! We’ll be heroes! Again!”
I laughed. “Sure. Cunnartach the Bold, slayer of vrakyds! The girls will faint when they hear your name!”
“Yep!” Jack smirked. “They’ll make songs, legends! Tapestries! Bards will sing of my great victories in every tavern in Leifer! You think they’ll make a statue?” He posed dramatically.
I snorted. “Uh huh. Now we just have to find a vrakyd for you to fight.”
He stopped posing. “Well, yeah, that’d probably be a good first step.”
“WHAT IN BLAZES DID I MISS!?”
My head snapped up to face Jack running across the dirt street, sling out and ready. I remembered all at once our conversation earlier in the day, and almost laughed. Poor Jack . . .
He skidded to a stop in front of me, eyes wide and mouth open. “Did you just . . . you just fought vrakyds without me!?”
“Jack, right?” He winked. “Aye, that boy could probably battle every monster and villain on the green earth and still be raring for more.” (this is a sailor named Sam talking)
“Oya, Brendan. I was just telling Ter a story my da told me and Sara last night.” Sara was Jack’s younger sister. She was going to turn twelve in December. “It’s a great one. There’s this dragon named Zeylf who lives in Mount Ona, this big volcano in Magnus. He wears armor made of hardened molten rock, cause they have that sort of thing in volcanoes. So anyway Zeylf has a huge hoard of gold and treasure and things that he’s stolen from towns and stuff and hid in the volcano.”
“And the king wants the gold back, right? So he sends out a bunch of rangers and warriors to take the gold back. But the volcano’s got a bunch of tunnels and pits and things so they can’t get through. So the prince says ‘I’ll go try’. The king thinks it’s too dangerous, but the prince is really brave so he gets his own dragon named Valor and flies right through the top of the volcano.”
“Then Zeylf gets really mad and starts trying to blast the prince and Valor out of the volcano. But Valor’s the best flier in the kingdom and none of the fire hits him.”
“Right, so Valor dodges the next blast of fire, and the prince yells, ‘Oy, Zeylf! You’ve taken what isn’t yours, and I’m here to get it back.’ And Zeylf gets even madder, and roars so loud they hear it in Crystalwynn and they say, ‘Oh, the volcano must be erupting.’
“He gets up off his shiny hoard and tries to fly up and snatch the prince right out of the sky. But his rock armor is so heavy that as soon as he gets off his hoard, he falls straight into the fire at the bottom of the volcano and no one has to worry about him anymore. Then the prince gets all the gold and gives it back to the people. The end.”
“Go have an adventure, all right?” His voice broke. “A real zikers one, with lots of monsters and sword fights and saving damsels and stuff. And tell me all about it after you’re done saving the world.”
And that’s Jack. Unfortunately he’s only really in part two of the book, and the epilogue, but I’m hoping to have him play a pretty big part in the next two books as well, doing the adventurer stuff that he does.
Cos he’s fun to write.
Hopefully I’ll get my life together and actually write the book so you guys can meet him for yourselves.
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