Neslan Dormenor

"It’s a well known fact that what costs the most is esteemed, and should be esteemed the most. If someone achieves eminence in letters, it costs him time, loss of sleep, hunger, nakedness, headaches, indigestion, and other things associated with it. But for one to become a good soldier, it costs him everything it costs a student, but in such a larger degree that there is no comparison possible, because at every step he’s in danger of losing his life." -"Don Quixote" Ch XXXVIII

Neslan Dormenor is “The Crimson League’s” resident scholar. The eldest son of the Duke of Crescenton, whose domains form part of Podrar. I believe Argint Wicker mentions Crescenton once in passing, in speaking of Neslan, in “The Crimson League,” though the region features more prominently in the upcoming sequel. I named Crescenton in tribute to my hometown of New Orleans, the Crescent City. Like New Orleans, I see Crescenton nestled in the only bend in the Podra River in the region of the capital.

Neslan has three younger sisters, the eldest of whom, Kayla, died in childhood from illness. Kayla had the ability to rearrange wood particles, but she was the only magicked member of Neslan’s family. Neslan was always great friends with Lanokas, and was always, I would think, intimidated to some degree by Zalski, who was some years older and extremely assertive even as a child. Laskenay he always looked up to.

My first idea, on envisioning Neslan, was for him and a character named Ranler to be a kind of cooky pair who provided some comic relief, not unlike Fred and George Weasley in the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling. That intention disintegrated when I realized, one, that I would not be able to pull that off without basically copying Rowling’s characters, and two, that as a noble-born scholar and a thief, Neslan and Ranler would not likely be great chums.

Neslan is far from the best warrior in “The Crimson League.” Menikas, Lanokas, and Ranler are all more skilled with weapons than he, and the adolescent boys are better archers. Neslan, like Marius Pontmercy in Les Misérables, is more of a scholar and a poet than a soldier. That said, Neslan can hold his own with a sword, for he received training in the sport of fencing as a Duke’s son. Neslan is, in many ways, my version of the iconic man in the history of Spanish culture who chooses to pursue neither arms nor letters solely, but to excel in both. The greatest example of this stalwart figure from Spanish history is Garcilaso de la Vega.

Garcilaso de la Vega, c. 1501-1536

Garcilaso lived at the beginning of what is referred to as Spain’s Golden Age, and he is responsible for introducing the structural form of the sonnet to the Spanish language, thus revolutionizing Spanish poetry and literature. Though his precise date of birth is unknown, he died around the age of 35 from wounds received in battle, for he was also a soldier.

So, what do you think of Neslan? What passions do you have that equal his love for poetry? Comment below!

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One response to “Neslan Dormenor

  1. Pingback: When a writer meets a character. Well, a character’s doppelganger | Creative Writing with the Crimson League

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