My Entry for the Hobbits and Hippogriffs Character Design Contest!

by - 9:33 PM

So, in case you didn't know, the lovely Kathryn of Hobbits and Hippogriffs is having a character design contest. Basically what happens is you create a fictional character and whosever she likes best she'll use in the next story she writes (be sure to check out her blog for more information)! I decided I'd give it a go, because why not? :) It was actually super fun. It runs 'till the 20th, so there are still a few days left to enter if you're interested!

My character:

Genre: Fantasy. Given that this is me doing it, this probably didn't come as a shock, but I just wanted to clarify that she lives in a fantasy world - not futuristic (like Hunger Games), historic (like Civil War or Renaissance), or any other type.

Name: Emeris Greygrove Finch.

Age: 14

Appearance: About five and a half feet tall, slender and agile, narrow face, large grey eyes, light brown skin, long brown hair that, when loose, goes down almost to her feet (and therefore she keeps it in an elaborate braid that can best be described as a rope braid with tiny braid strands worked through it).

Personality: She is adventurous yet practical and thoughtful. She is also persistent and good at making friends. She has a clear head, but can be very sensitive and holds grudges. She has a longing to travel, even though she loves her home, and to see the world.

Outfit: Tan dress (to blend in with ze desert) with long sleeves (to protect against ze sun) and a skirt in between ankle and knee length so as to protect legs from sun but at the same time allow for freedom of movement. Laced-up like bodice piece (soooo not a sewing terms expert over here ;) ) same tan color as dress. Laced-up bodice piece kind of looks like the one on this dress:

YAY TAURIEL and I hope we're getting the picture 
Tall, soft, light brown boots, on the outside of which are sewn tiny pockets to put little bits of herbs and other kick-knacks in. Soft light brown leggings, underneath the dress and tucked into the boots. Brown leather bracers similar to the ones above.

In fact, the whole outfit is quite similar to the one above - just a bit simpler and with a different color scheme. :)

And at night, the desert gets freezing, so if Emeris is out after sundown, she throws on a matching tan thick cloak.

Family: Mother, father (deceased, to be elaborated on later), a little brother (6), and an older brother (16)

Her world: Emeris lives in a mountain valley where, in her words, "the ends of the Earth touch the ends of the sky". The valley is called Akaishar, and its people Ashai (NOTE: This is the name of the valley itself only, not a country or mountain range or anything). Akaishar is surrounded by tall, steep, grey cliffs, wherein they have carved their dwellings; each home has three or four rooms. The outsides of the front "doors" are carved with designs and symbols to represent the family living there. The climate of Akaishar is desert: gravelly sand on the ground, sagebrush clinging to the cliffs, always a hot sun, always a blue sky. The Ashai are very skilled in the realms of medicine, archery, pottery, and horseback riding, and take great pride in this. They are also very self-contained in relation to other communities and settlements in the mountains: i.e., don't bother us, and we won't bother you. The social hierarchy is organized that there are several Elders who are masters at a particular craft - this generally means the masters at horse riding, archery, pottery, medicines, and lore + knowledge. They are a council in charge of making decisions and rules for Akaishar. Until children reach 10, they generally stay at home and help with housework, and when they reach 10 they start working in the fields to grow food for Akaishar. Once they reach about fifteen, they decide if they want to specialize in medicine, pottery, archery, or horses, and start studying under an Elder of that particular craft. (A few here and there will choose lore, but not very many.) (Emeris is currently in the decision-making process for which craft she'll go into; she's leaning towards either medicine or archery.) Equal amounts of men and women do everything, i.e., medicine isn't a "female" career or archery a "male" one - each craft is about 50/50 men and women.
An important feature of Emeris's culture to note is the naming traditions. Usually, the parents will pick a first and last name (Emeris and Finch) for their child at birth. This is what everyone calls them as a child and what only their family calls them as they grow up more. As the child grows up more and enters their late tween/early teen years, the Akaishar community as a whole will pick a name for them based on characteristics they have observed of the person (Greygrove, which shall be explained shortly). This is generally what the community calls them. When the person enters their late teens/early twenties and starts practicing their chosen craft, they choose another middle name for themselves based on what they have discovered about themselves and who they are as a person. (Emeris hasn't figured out hers yet.) This is generally a name only used by close friends. So, for example, Emeris's parents call her "Emeris" "Finch" "Emmy" "Finchie" or other variations of the two names. The community - people who don't know her, distant acquaintances, the Elders - call her "Greygrove". And when she picks her "self name", only very very close friends will call her that (in the mean time, they stick with "Emeris" or "Emmy").
As for "Greygrove", it comes from two things. The first part, "grey", alludes to the fact that Emeris's eyes are grey, unlike most of the Ashai, whose eyes are brown. Elder Alanna says this sets her apart for great things, but Emeris isn't so sure about that. "Grove" comes from how Emeris's father died when she was nine. His favorite plant was sagebrush - he said because it was sharp and scratchy on the outside, but made a good salve for rashes and burns on the inside. (Her father chose the medicine craft.) He said that was an important lesson in life: to always look at what is on the inside of people, not the outside. He liked the sagebrush because it reminded him daily of that when he went out to gather it. So, since his death, Emeris has tended a small plot of sagebrush in his memory - like a little grove.

Basically, Akaishar looks kind of like this:

Aaaaand I think that's it! :) If I forgot anything, please comment below. Good luck to everyone who enters, and remember that you are all beautiful pickles!


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  1. She actually sounds like a really great character. I'd definitely read a book with her as the main character

  2. Thank you for your entry, it looks very creative and interesting. I shall take it into account when I add up all the entries and stories.

    Thank you!

    1. You're welcome; it was my pleasure to do this, and it was very fun! :)

      - Ellie

    *deeeeeeep breath*
    MMM HMMM it sounds like Tatooine, only cooler.
    I want to see or hear more of Emeris. Doing her stuff. I hope you win so a story gets written about her!

      Thank you so much! :) We'll have to see.

      - Ellie

    2. Indeed, exactly what I thought! If Leia had lived on the Moisture Farm on Tatooine with Luke, then that is EXACTLY what she would have worn! (I'm a big Star Wars fan, as well as a LOTR nerd). I really, really hope that your character is picked. :)

    3. Really? Gosh. I was just trying to think of something someone might logically wear in a desert. Oh, well. :)
      Thank you so much!

      - Ellie

    4. Oh, I mean it as a compliment! Tatooine IS in the desert. :)

    5. I know! :) No worries.

      - Ellie

    Are you going to be writing a story with her, or is this just for the contest? I think she's just too unique of a character to leave her without her own tales! And do you want to be a writer, Ellie? Because if you do, I'm going to give you a giant hug from one aspiring writer to the next. :D

    1. Thank you so much, dear! :)
      If I lose, I'll probably end up writing something with her, but if I win, I'll have to work it out with Kathryn, since she'll be both of ours in a sense.

      - Ellie

  5. Emeris sounds really cool! (Plus I love her name!)
    Akaishar is an amazing name and the picture looks so pretty.
    She seems like an amazing character!
    I would enter but there's only two days left.

    1. Thank you! :)
      You can totally still do it! Not many people seem to have entered, so you'd have a good chance. And it didn't take me much more than a few hours to come up with Emeris, so you definitely have time - probably even more if you did a modern-day or historical character and not have to invent a whole world and culture for them. You would do great - if you want to enter, you should!

      - Ellie


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