Introducing the Muses – Ry Phirunaden

Last week, you were introduced to my dark Hunter, Melakim Fahre, this week, I have the pleasure of introducing the gentleman thief, coinessuer of the female form in all its variations, and sometimes cross-dresser, Ry Phirunaden.

That ONE cross-dressing incident only happened because he needed a creative way to avoid the Law, honest!

Ry’s Artistic Evolution:

The Short Bio: Ry likes to play up being the mystery man by pretending his past is more complicated than it really is. He will often lie to sensationalize it, but what can be told of the truth is that he was a child of a destitute noble family. His family saw more potential in their heir, his sister Ciela, and so put his needs second to hers to the point of neglecting him utterly. He ran amok as a form of getting attention, womanizing and getting into fights around town until he was finally enlisted in the Elvish military by his parents as a way to somehow bring honor to the family. It was their hope also that he might be killed at the front lines as a way to be rid of him for good.

In the army, he found a family amongst the other misplaced grunts and descended into a world of drugs, women, and atrocities, returning home as a war criminal instead of a hero. He and his other comrades earned the name Wing Cutters from their habit of taking the dismembered wings of faeries as trophies. Each bares a tribal tattoo that marks them as a Cutter.

The Cutters were put on trial for their crimes, made scapegoats by their government, and Ry completely disowned by his family. Instead of dying at the gallows, however, he was offered a position by an up and coming duke as a secret mercenary for the Elvish government. Ry opted to live, though someone was sent to die in his place. There is not even a grave marker placed for him at his family tomb.

Now when not in the covert service of the government, he spends the long years of his Elvish lifespan in boredom doing whatever odd jobs come his way and whatever sparks his waning interest in life.

The Long Bio: Available Here

What Inspired This Character?

Ry started out as one of those background characters invented purely as a foil to the main character, who was in this case, Melakim. He was to be the thorn in Melakim’s side, his stalker, his rival as a fellow Hunter, and the culprit for getting poor naive Mae addicted to smoking weed. Since those days, however, he’s found a place in my heart as one of my all-time favorite characters to write for and has far surpassed status as merely ‘supporting cast’. Ry comes easily to me and I never have to think when he is on scene, which is perhaps a bit disturbing when I think about it overly much.

Ry is one of those characters that I can toss into a scene anywhere and something fun or unexpected will happen. In one story line, he returns to his home and slaughters his entire family, with the exception of his sister. While in another completely different storyline, he falls for a lovely lady strong enough to kick his butt who then inspires him to reform his ways (if only for a little while). Anything can and will happen when a character has the moral flexibility to be good or evil.

Again, I think he emerged as a reaction against all the wholesome characters I invented in the past and evolved into yet another hero with a skewed sense of morality, for as much as he enjoys playing the villain. A villain is never a villain without something in his past that made him want to kick the dog. Perhaps he was attacked by a dog and scarred as a child? That’s how I like my characters and what interests me in any story…finding out the why.

Unfortunately for Ry,the endless years of his near-immortal life have caused him to take on jobs solely out of boredom. He’s been a circus performer, a waiter, a deck hand, a bodyguard, and oft-times, a Hunter. His stories are endless, but there will always be that hint of his unspectacular past that haunts him and reminds him that his life isn’t really worth much at the end of the day, and he knows it.

Which is why I named him Phirunaden, an amalgamation of a name which means those who walk the rainy path with Ry being a spin on the Gypsy name Rye, meaning Gentleman. Ry is yet another character awaiting novelization.

How do you get inspired for this character?

For Ry, Afro Celt Sound System rings in my head channeling the Celtic feel Elves in my stories have. Not to mention that the lead singer sounds a lot like how I imagine him to sound. Anything with a smart, slippery gentleman thief in it (mainly fantasy novels and games like Thief) gets my gears going for him.

Ry’s Playlist: Available Here

Until the next Muse, who are your personal favorite characters of your own creation? Why do they inspire you? How do you prepare yourself to write or draw for them?


  1. ban says:

    i love characters – all characters. love how different they are, how they got their habits, fears, goals … thanks for giving us a glimpse of ry !

  2. Angela Sasser says:

    Excellent. I wish you luck in your character creation! It is indeed a fun and most fulfilling past time…at least till you end up with too many who all demand your attention.

  3. Angela Sasser says:

    You are most welcome. I love seeing how people become inspired to create characters and how they play off of them so I hope that these ‘muse’ posts help inspire others the same way these characters have inspired me.

  4. Hayley E. Lavik says:

    Attempting again to comment after my ineptitude last time.

    Ry is one of those characters that really seems to just come to life on the page and do exactly what he pleases. He could not have sat for long as a minor character.

    I love Ry’s devil-may-care nature, so delightfully roguish, and his flare for showmanship, such as embellishing his past for dramatic effect. He tries, but deep down there’s a little mundane, which helps to explain why he does the things he does.

    I also love that among his mundane bits and pieces, he’s worked as a waiter. Makes me think of Mirrormask.

    There’s something so appealing about rogues in all their forms. Although Ry and Alkaia are like night and day in their demeanour, there’s something about them that really draws me in and makes me want to know more. Later on, I hope to explore different ‘types’ of rogues as well, as they offer such incredibly wide characterization while still somehow falling into the same broad category. I suppose Kern counts as a type of rogue as well, even though he arose from a completely different intent. I’m still torn on whether he could be a protagonist (certainly not a ‘good guy’) or if he’s a villain through and through.

    I think it’s the liminal aspect of rogues that’s so appealing. They tread the edges of society, carving their own rules rather than adhering to those imposed upon them. They see the places we normally never see, and take the roundabout routes to get to them. That’s probably why cats are so often characterized as roguish as well, for going by gutter and tree limb rather than just taking the sidewalk.

    With rogues we get to creep behind the stage, in rafters, wander the mall at night when everyone else has gone. Those are the sort of things I’ve always loved, always wanted to do. Maybe not everyone has those desires, but I think that’s what appeals to me. I love the pickpocket work, the con artists, the highwaymen, but most of all I love that aspect of the lifestyle that lets a rogue go where they shouldn’t and tinker in the workings. Some day my interest in back-stage theatre doings and rogues will probably collide in a 16th or 17th century historical novel. For now, I remember being a kid in the high school theatre for a performance, and spending most of the show looking up at the catwalk and rigging near the ceiling and narrating little stories in my head about someone (possibly my Darkwing Duck fan character) creeping about in those places I’d never get to go.

    And wow.. this topic has totally just revealed to me why I made Alkaia the sort of thief I did. How bizarre. I never even thought about it until now.

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