Last Friday I asked you whose underwear drawer you’d prefer to snoop through. I was really, really, really hoping you’d choose the Seamstress, because even though she’s a minor character in Shrilugh and The Darkening, boy oh boy does she have a story.
But you chose the Stableman. And really, that’s okay, because he’s got a slightly bigger role to play in The Darkening than the Seamstress does. I promise his underwear drawer won’t spoil anything about the book…
…but it’ll definitely give you some bones to chew on (if you’re the bone-chewing sort. I personally find the habit disgusting. *tries to shove away memories of Grandpa gnawing on his chicken bones*).
The Stableman’s name is Kevan. If you’ve read Shrilugh, your first inkling of him came early on in the third part of the book, and you were introduced to him in the very last chapter.
Kevan is a fairly simple guy. He’s middle-aged. He’s never been married. He loved his mother, God rest her soul. He keeps a portrait of her tucked under a scarf she made him one winter. He never wears it, but sometimes he looks at it and chuckles. She was a practical woman, and the thought of a perfectly good scarf going unused for the sake of sentiment – in his underwear drawer no less – would have left her stuttering in astonishment.
Wrapped up in the scarf, a little shorter than the length of his forearm, is a pointed piece of wood. Well, not wood, exactly – it’s a thorn from an Eiri tree. A dark, irregular stain covers most of it. This particular thorn is harmless – now – but Eiri trees are known for two things: the delectable fruit they bear, and the deadly poison their thorny brambles produce. This particular thorn once found its way into Kevan’s belly. Had it not been for his cousin’s fast thinking, his mother would never have knit him a scarf that now sat, unused, in his underwear drawer. She’d have made him funeral clothes, instead.
A pipe and a pouch of tobacco are tucked off to the side. The pipe was a gift from Rein’s father, Steren Torvald. Steren was the man who’d hired him for this job, and Steren was the reason Kevan stuck around. He’d been a man of high moral standards, of honor, and it was in his memory that Kevan continued his employment on the Torvald estate. He’d never thought of his current employer as anything more than a self-indulgent heir to a legacy he didn’t deserve.
The pouch of tobacco is tied with braided horse hair, from the mane of the horse he and his cousin shared growing up. Misty had been a short grey mare whose gait was so rough it’d shake your teeth out of your gums. His cousin had loved that horse, and hated it when Kevan would use the nickname he’d coined for her: ‘Fartsy’. But what did he expect? Every third step that horse took was punctuated with a ripping fart so pungent it’d make your eyes water. Even so, when Misty died, Kevan had cut a lock of her mane and kept it. If not for the memory of his horse, then for the memory of a childhood well spent.
So that’s the Stableman’s underwear drawer. Was it what you expected? Do you want to know more about this guy? Does it bring up any questions you’d like to ask? If I can answer them without any spoilers, I will!
Your choices for next week’s underwear drawer romp are as follows:
The Sovereign, a servant girl in the Sovereign’s employ, or Merryn