Who is Cyrign?
We are very much a visual species. Something catches our eye, and we take notice. A person walking into a bookstore, viewing movies or on the Internet sees artwork; the picture that captures their attention and they decide to investigate. What if that artwork could walk into the room and carry on a conversation with you? What if the character came alive? With this thought in mind, on behalf of Blackbyrne Publishing I begin looking for a cosplay artist that could bring life to the half dark elf, Cyrign. Lucky I found Shantel Knight. Shantel created the costume for Cyrign and begin working with writer Douglas Lloyd to do just that, bring Cyrign to life.Cyrign was born in the dark core, a hostile environment where those of mixed blood are chattel to be traded between dark elves as laborers, house servants, or fodder; sent out to attack the well defended outposts of rival races, while the more valuable troops are saved for use elsewhere. This would've been Cyrign’s fate had her mother not been a Blade Mistress, a woman hired to kill those the dark elf nobility wanted eliminated, but didn't wish to publicly execute. Cyrign’s mother taught her how to kill an opponent quickly. The places to cut that caused the target to bleed out, how to hide a small blade in her clothing or hair, and the use of poisonous plants. Poisons involve skill. They kill different people at varied rates. A poison that killed one individual might make another violently ill and then the chance for subtlety is lost and a more direct method must be employed. Cyrign learned her lessons well, for the key to her survival depended on it as she grew older. Her mother taught her how to open locks that protect the target’s person and possessions. She was instructed in the art of seduction: that slight hint of
pleasure which could distract a target long enough to remove a head in a blade strike. Cyrign remained safe under her mother's protection for many years. As the siren matured, her beauty attracted the attention of slavers who begin to take bids from wealthy dark elves. Dark elves who wished to have a trophy with which to decorate their homes. When the bids reached astronomical levels, they grabbed Cyrign in the dead of night and sold her to a prearranged buyer. Her mother was powerless to kill Cyrign’s owner, as she was now legally his property. His death would mean both mother and daughter would be executed as a gruesome example of what happened to those that broke dark elf laws. Fortunately Cyrign’s mother had taught her daughter well within a week her owner was dead, the victim of a sudden heart attack. Had Cyrign not used this moment to make her escape, her owner's body would not have been more closely examined in a small cut found beneath his tongue.Cyrign could not remain in the dark core and hope to evade capture. Her only chance of escape was to flee to the surface realm and hope that her pursuers would not follow. After months of running she arrived on the surface. Exhausted, unable to travel any further, she waited, hoping that the bounty hunters following her had lost the trail. Unfortunately, they emerged the following day and continued their pursuit. Cyrign killed them. Not quickly and efficiently as she had been taught, but recklessly slowly. Her skills weakened by fatigue, she could not strike the deadly blows necessary to quickly bring down her adversaries. They wounded her, but in doing so, lost their own lives. She left their dead bodies rotting on the ground, a warning for any others that followed, then turned eastward and began her journey across the surface world. With the death of the bounty hunters, Cyrign knew assassins who eliminated anything that stood in their way would now pursue her. She set out eastward across the surface world looking for a place she could hide. It was nearly a year later, when a chance encounter in a back alley in the town of Raven Port introduced her to a creature capable of protecting her.For the reader, this is where Cyrign's story begins...