Lady Touvree Temmere is Janner Kohl’s love interest in “Relvan’s Rescue”. She was a bit player in the version of the story I submitted to various markets early last year, a few lines of conversation in the third scene that alluded to a shared past. Her part now would be considered leading lady material, a main character second only to Janner. She appears in the third paragraph of the first scene by name then in person by the fifth paragraph, and maintains a strong presence throughout the rest of the tale.
This new role adds a depth and complexity to both Janner Kohl and the story that was sorely lacking in the original version. The differences are evident right from the start, and have resulted in changes that reach much farther into the story than I initially imagined. Yet, for all those changes, the plot and pace of the story remain largely intact. It has been very exciting to see it all come together.
I’m posting the first scene from the originally submitted “Relvan’s Rescue” below. I’ll include the revised opening scene in a later post for comparison.
“Captain Kohl, come in.”
Janner Kohl stepped through the open doorway and into the spartan, wood-paneled office of the commander of the Blue Lightning Brigade. A simple but sturdy desk divided the room in half. Janner stopped before the two unfinished chairs reserved for visitors. He stood with his arms at his side and his broad shoulders pulled back, the model of a professional soldier.
“You asked to see me, Commander Aminoss?”
“Yes, please sit.” The commander motioned toward the plain chairs. Janner nodded and slipped into the one on the right, keeping his eyes on the hard planes and dark features of Aminoss’s face. “The Brigade has received a new commission, and I’d like for you to take it on.”
Janner’s eyebrows shot up. “Can we spare the men, sir? We’re pretty heavily committed to Lhapp’s defense against Lord Tyrran’s Crimson Feathers.”
“Let me worry about the allocation of our forces, Captain. Besides, the commission comes from one of the city’s council members, and there’s the possibility it could have an impact on the war.”
“Understood, sir. I didn’t mean to question your judgment.”
“Relax, Captain. I appreciate your concern for the bigger picture. It’s one of the reasons I want you to lead this mission.”
“Thank you, sir. What’s the job?”
“One of Lord Temmere’s sons, Relvan, was supposed to arrive in Byzantum earlier this week to start seminary. A letter from the dean of the college arrived yesterday. The boy’s ship never made port.”
Janner felt a rush of emotions, but tried to keep them from showing on his face by playing with the trimmed line of hair that ran along his jaw and around his mouth. Lord Temmere had always been a strong supporter of the Brigade, both as a voice on the council and personally. Janner respected him and was even willing to admit he liked Temmere despite the way things had turned out. Holding grudges went against Janner’s philosophy.
The emotions, however, stemmed not from his feelings for Lord Temmere, but for the Lady Touvree Temmere. Janner’s work for the Brigade had helped take his mind off losing her and he thought that part of his past resolved. He feared his reaction meant otherwise.
“Are there any leads?” Frustration tinged Janner’s voice, more at the revelation of his inability to let go of the past than over the fate of Temmere’s son. Regrets caused doubt, and doubt got soldiers killed.
Aminoss arched an eyebrow. Janner could see the curiosity in his eyes.
“Actually, yes,” the commander said. “A raft was picked up a few miles from Byzantum’s harbor. A survivor from the transport carrying Relvan was found aboard. Apparently, the ship was attacked by pirates, and captives were taken. The boy was among them.
“I have contracted the Glory to take you and a team to Aurtoga in the Garrikean Archipelago. That’s the best place to start. The Glory’s captain is a good man, and his ship is the fastest in port. As for team members, I’ve compiled a list of who’s available. I’m assuming you’ll want Sergeant Daro as your second.”
Janner nodded and took the list from Aminoss. Mig Daro had joined the Brigade at roughly the same time as Janner, and the two had served together on several missions. He owed the burly man his life many times over and couldn’t think of anyone he would rather have covering his back.
A frown grew on Janner’s face as he read through the names. “None of these men have any field experience. What about Kellig or Rictor?”
“Kellig is already on assignment, and Rictor was injured during the assault on Blackfang. It will be at least a month before he’s healed. This is what you have to work with, Captain.”
“Yes, sir. Anything else?”
“No. You’re dismissed. The Glory sails in two days. Be sure to file your mission plan before you leave.”