Warden of the Amaranth Khmal
Warden Alexander “Alex” Laurent was born and raised as the younger son of a noble family in Rosemoor Dell. He and Caidy grew up together in Iera Castle, and fell in love. Rumors whispered across the province that they were to be wed — then Alex disappeared. Driven to serve, he had put his name in to join the Amaranth Khmal, known as the Blades to most, a shadowy Imperial organization dedicated to espionage. He spent four long years away from Rosemoor: training outside Mezrani City in the hot deserts of Tanunt; chasing pirates in the Free City of Swansea; and exploring the Whispering Plains of Danen. Now, he has been assigned back home, and has to face everyone he left behind.
Alex is tall and wiry, built like a runner, rather than a wrestler. Four years of hard work and physical training has sheared any softness away from his body, and he bears the scars of many lessons learned. He has thick, sandy hair which often sticks up at odd ends because when he’s nervous or thinking he runs his fingers through it. Eyes which are dark green and filled with tightly-controlled intensity frame a nose which looks like it’s been broken once, and a long, thin scar mars one cheekbone. Long hours spent in training have taught him how to hide any trace of fear, pain, or nerves, replacing it with cool indifference or quiet calculation.
Drawn to the Warden branch of the Blades, who are known for working with local guardsmen and helping small towns, Alex has long sought to feel like his work and service make a difference in the lives around him. Despite his noble birth, Alex always hated the affairs of court, from fancy parties to the formal outfits. He much prefers exploring the back alleys of a new city, sampling new foods and finding hidden corners to sit and think.
I love exploring people who feel things very intensely. For Alex, this is his drive to serve. He believes in public service, in his power to improve lives, and in the sacrifices he has made to become a Blade. It’s fascinating to examine as a writer, because everything he does, from socializing to eating in a local tavern, is colored by his work and how he sees the world. Alex is also fascinating because throughout the series, he is a character who really grows and is forced to question many elements he once held as fundamental: and discover his own path forward.
Alex is a funny character to write, because there are both heavy parallels to how I think and drastic differences. I think Alex gets some of his logical reasoning from me — the way he analyzes situations, and the types of solutions he comes up with. However, Alex has no problem kicking back, relaxing, and having a good time, which is certainly my polar opposite. Despite his dedication he has a healthy appreciation for work-life balance, which I’m still learning.
As I’ve written about before on my blog, much of my world-building and character design was inspired by Dungeons & Dragons (D&D). When a player designs a character in D&D, they consider four elements: what their prominent personality traits are; what they idealize or believe in; who or what they are bonded to; and what flaws they possess.
I used this process with my book characters to, in order to help flesh them out and help them feel more real! Below, I’ve outlined some of the key elements I see in Alex — as you’re reading Summer Twilight, make sure you keep track of how these different aspects of his personality influence his motives and decisions.
- I’m full of witty aphorisms and have a proverb for every occasion.
- I am always calm, no matter what the situation. I never raise my voice or let my emotions control me.
- I can stare down a hellhound without flinching.
- My favor, once lost, is lost forever.
- Aspiration. I’m determined to make something of myself.
- Community. It is the duty of all civilized people to strengthen the bonds of community and the security of civilization.
- Nation. My people and my kingdom are all that matter.
- I owe everything I’ve learned to my mentor — an objectively horrible person.
- I protect those who cannot protect themselves.
- Nothing is more important than other Blades.
- My loyalty to the Empire is unwavering.
- I judge others harshly, and myself even more severely.
- I can’t resist a pretty face.
- I like keeping secrets and won’t share them with anyone.
- I’m convinced no one could ever fool me the way I fool them.
Myers-Briggs Personality Type
Alex is an ISTJ, or a “Logistician”. He is very careful and composed, and prides himself on careful, rational approaches to problems. Dedicated to service, he has a tireless idealism — despite experiencing the less savory parts of life day in and day out, he never loses his faith that people deserve to be protected. He places incredibly high value on honesty and integrity, and takes these values seriously in his own life, dedicating himself completely to any given task.
However, such dedication comes with it’s own challenges and drawbacks. During his year in the Free City of Swansea, his mentor shifted much of her own work onto him, from writing reports to gathering intelligence, so she could pursue her own interests. Alex is also not particularly good at expressing his feelings, instead preferring to pack them away and ignore them until they pass….or burst out.
Dating Profile Bio
In the twenty-first century, social media defines our lives, and my beta readers voted that including the dating profile biography of each character was critical — so here we are!
Alex both loves food and to tell stories about his adventures (with the occasional embellishment, of course). I think his bio would include both these elements, with a little bit of intrigue woven in too!
Buy me a pint of Honeycomb Tea and I’ll tell you about the time I met the Pirate Queen.
Here are a couple of hidden or subtle elements of Alex that you’ll probably only pick up on by reading this article!
- My favorite moment of Alex in the entire book is in Chapter 5. You get to see him struggle with how to both do his job and be around people he loves, something I think a lot of us can relate to.
- Alex is eating in almost every scene. There are a couple of reasons for this 1) Food is a high priority (always); and 2) I’m usually hungry when I’m writing. The meals he eats are also a great glimpse into what daily life is like in Rosemoor!