The setting of Sinon and the three principal characters are grabbing me, all of which I have now made Lego models of. Here’s a shot of thieves’ guild of Sinon run by Irma, a benevolent but cruel river dragon who runs the guild disguised as an old tall woman with perfect teeth and long silver hair.
Braden was a minifigure in a playset that included a dragon and her lair on the second storey. He trains and mentors my main character of the Sinon series of short stories I’m working on, the first of which is published to this blog as the post “A Psychic Rises in Sinon.” Braden mentors Portia, a street thief with a few skills mastered and a warren of her own child thieves she looks after. Portia reads minds, and uses her abilities to great advantage when it comes to setting up a blackmailing operation in the guild.
Braden began his life as a soldier in the army of Dashan, a neighbouring city state’s and was out of work when peace came to Dashan. He had no skills, couldn’t read, was too old to apprentice to a tradesperson–so he became a thief. A violent, terrifying one. He clashed first with a district crime lord for robbing on her territory. He killed the gang of armed, armoured thugs sent to see him out of the city, dead or alive. He fought and killed the city guard sent to arrest him. The Prince’s own elite guard were sent to kill a clear menace to everyone in Sinon.
Braden fascinates me because he’s an unrepentant killer, mugger, burglar, and he’s used violence and killed poor people who were only trying to keep what was theirs. He targeted the rich for burglaries, which got the Prince’s royal guard hunting in the streets like rabid dog. His violent ways just didn’t translate into crime that was very likely to go unnoticed. But, he has grown another side of himself. He is also a lover. Loves the poor. He works passionately on projects to help the poor, from feeding them to housing them. Irma considers Braden’s projects good public relations for The Scales and the guild.
Green and black leather armour. You can see the power in his build. Brute force and violence filled his early years of criminal life. Irma taught him, aimed him at her enemies, and allowed him to foster a city with a heart. The gold medallion denotes his membership in the guild of 203 thieves of Sinon.
Braden is to Portia, another violent soul, what Irma was to Braden. He sees himself in Portia, a violent person that takes from others with brute force. She takes thoughts. He took property and lives. No one could stop either of them. But his violent ways brought him trouble he couldn’t deal with. He isn’t sure what threats exist to Portia in the realm of the mind that she moves in but fears her own powers may corrupt her. Make her a victimizer without qualification, without limit. Braden didn’t like killing innocent people. Didn’t like who he was. He fears Portia will become someone she and all would hate. Braden is confidant to her, moral compass, and tutor in fighting and the various arts of criminal enterprise. Braden sees in Portia a natural leader, as he has found himself to be, mentoring many young warriors and thieves.
Braden has many adventures with Portia, taking her prospecting with him, learning to enjoy conversations with her. Helping her work out how to make the most of her power, use the information she could get so easily. A rift developed between the pair the first time Portia sent a thought to Braden. He’d always assumed he’d been safe from her mind reading, when in fact she routinely read everyone’s mind. Anyone’s. She was not yet a very moral person. The practice emerged from a mother cat’s need to take care of a litter of twenty thief cats and see if they were misbehaving or lying to her, getting into trouble, taking foolish risks out of greed.
Braden is startled when she sends him a message telepathically, her first send: simply “I love you.” She does so without meaning to, a new function of her psychic abilities, but Braden feels violated. Asks her if she has read his mind. She admits she has always done so and did with everyone. A long talk later, their relationship had changed slightly, but permanently, and Portia always felt the pain of that change. It taught her that she was really stealing when she read others minds. It was her moral epiphany. Don’t steal from friends. Steal from the wealthy. Her first moral principle.
Braden is a little like the character from A History of Violence, a reformed nicer criminal. No longer a barbarian but a man becoming cultivated under Irma’s watch. Irma made of Braden not only a master thief but a good master of thieves, collector of secrets, extender of influence, exchanger of favours, and murderer still. Banditry is still within his brief. And he has no issues with killing armed guards of merchant caravans.
I’ll be writing at least a few stories of Portia, my main character in the Sinon stories, and Braden will certainly be in them!
Please read the post “A Psychic Rises to Sinon,” a short story intended for print publication.
Happy New Year dear readers!
Mark from Toronto.
PS. Oh, I should plug my editing service. I edited fantasy fiction for Harlequin’s fantasy imprint Luna Books for years and am available for hire to help you get your manuscript in good shape to interest an editor or agent. I can be found here: