Every adventure needs a hero. Across the Anlei’s Legacy arc (Peers of Beinan books one, two, and three), three knights of Ten-Ar emerge as great heroes, each facing very different challenges and each with very different skills and personalities. Let’s look at the first two of these heroes: Lord Knight Corann from “The Great Succession Crisis,” and his descendant, Lord Knight Elendir from “Ghosts of the Past.”
In book one, The Great Succession Crisis, we meet Corann, son of the legendary knight Cariadoc and Lady Priestess Cordelia. At least one reviewer to date describes Corann as “archtypical” and in many ways they are right.
Based in part on medieval literary figures such as King Arthur and Sir Lancelot of Camelot and historical figures such as King Richard I (Lionheart) and Prince Edward (the Black Prince) of Woodstock (historical note: Edward was not called the “black prince” until the 16th century), Corann is the emblem of medieval chivalry, honor, military talent, and courtly ways. As the son of the most powerful knight of his time and the second most powerful priestess of his time (Lady Priestess Cordelia was the first protege to High Priestess/Princess Consort Wehe), Corann is a sort of prodigy, intentionally conceived to become the ultimate priest-knight — not unlike the legends concerning King Arthur.
Corann rarely makes mistakes. Following the medieval ideal of unrequited love, he loves Anlei for many yen-ars (Beinarian years; one yen-ar is equal to three Earth years) without a word to anyone else concerning his feelings. In fact, it takes the very real possibility of losing his true love to the power-game of the Great Succession Crisis to provoke Corann into speaking his heart to the woman he loves. Corann serves without thought of reward in a true embodiment of medieval chivalry. Corann, the perfect knight, succeeds where others fail, taking his place at the side of the woman he loves until the very end.
Three generations later, Corann’s descendant by King Lyr IV’s eldest daughter Elaine is Lord Knight Elendir, son of Lord Healer Devon and Lady Healer Keelia. Where Corann was perfect, Elendir is flawed. As a writer, I designed Elendir to face the same challenges as most of us face. In chapter one of “Ghosts of the Past” we see Elendir elevated to knighthood at the age of sixty yen-ars (roughly age 20 by our lifespan). Orphaned by two terrorist attacks on healing centers, Elendir starts off life haunted and wounded in spirit. This makes Elendir vulnerable manipulation by women like Princess Cathryn and Lady Elita who know how to use their feminine charms for their own agendas in a way very similar to what so many of us experience as we grow into young adulthood.
Despite Elendir’s intense training as a knight of Ten-Ar, Elendir really struggles in the first three or four chapters of “Ghosts of the Past” against the pull of his hormones. He sets goals, then fails, overcome by first Cathryn, then Elita — to the ruin of countless innocent lives.
In the end, it is the talents of Lady Mind-Healer Feawen that finally helps Elendir become the man he always wants to be. Unlike his ancestor, he cannot overcome his flaws alone. It takes psychotherapy to overcome his flaws and help him grow past the vulnerabilities of his youth.
Despite common blood, Corann and Elendir could not be more different as men. As ideal as Corann is, Elendir is equally flawed. Both men are good. Both are heroes. But both men walk radically different paths and make very different choices. The archtypical knight, Corann, lives as a role model of love, chivalry,and martial prowess. Elendir lives his life fighting against his flaws, against grief and against his lack of will power. In that, he is just like us, struggling each day against himself as much as against the external forces tearing Beinan apart.