Updated: May 23

Hello! For ages and ages I wanted to write this blog about Tristan, his pals and some of the newcomers. I had also wanted to do a "If this character were 'real' what would they look like" sort of thing. I'm going to kind of mix the two a little. Throughout the day, I get various images sent to me of who readers picture when they think about the characters. I love that. Feel free to send them any time.

TRISTAN Arcade Kanes (Kathir Cyredanthem)

What more is there to say about this guy? Probably not much. He's talked a lot. I think the first photo is how I see him, with with a darker skin tone like like the last. I usually describe Markaytians in general with an olive skin tone.

Like, this picture. It's everything. It's EXACTLY Tristan to me. The softness but also hard. He's masculine ... but I could see him embracing his feminine side.

Maybe he gives this look when Corrik has said something he thinks is outlandish. "Really, Cyredathem?"

Hmmm. Here is a toss up. It could be lust. But it could also be that quiet calm he gets when he's dismembering someone alive in his mind (usually Corrik). I still most picture real life Tristan as a fashion designer even though I don't focus on much fashion-related stuff in the books. Either that or he'd be like a Scott Barnes, make up artist to J-Lo. I dunno why. Maybe I'm crazy! It's a far cry from Warlord, Hahaha! Either that or he would be a teacher. Tristan loves to teach and he loves books.

CORRIK Cyredanthem

The response to Corrik is so intriguing. This is what I think people think (though I could be wrong).

"Mock, you're not really going to write an arrogant guy who just ... stays arrogant, are you?"

Corrik is Corrik and I can't change him. I said to many, I HOPE he grows some by the last book, but I doubt he's going to do a 180. But did he grow or didn't he? That will be up to the reader to decide. I do think he became what Tristan needed from him. Plus, I love an arrogant Corrik. I found it totally hilarious. I had so much fun writing from his POV this time.

I was first introduced to this man (Xilmordas on IG) by @emmaloureads. Emma said the first was Corrik in the biker AU I wrote for the AU contest. I can totally see that. Also, the look on his face reminds me of the cool young adults I remember seeing in the 80's. I can see him falling in love with Tris thinking, "That mine is as beautiful as I am. He must be mine."

This persona is what I imagine when I write him. We know Corrik is arrogant and largely self-centred. But he loves Tristan to death and while it took him some time to get there, he's at a place where he tries to parse out the pieces that make up his fiery Markaytian. So I see this look for many reasons:

  • Trying to puzzle Tristan out.

  • Does he need a spanking now?

  • How much rope am I supposed to give him before I go over there?

  • Gods, his arse is the best thing Ylor has given me.

He's less likely to cross his arms AT Tristan. (Only less likely, not ZERO) So yeah, this is a pretty good visual of him. YOURS might be different and I am always open to seeing what yours is! I love seeing how people see these characters.

In this picture, Corrik is late for a business meeting, but of course he stops to take a selfie for his millions of instagram followers. The meeting can wait for him.

@rainbowromanticreader sent this to me one day. She has sussed out her perfect Corrik muse.

Then she said, "I love that he's beautiful but very masculine, that's how I picture Corrik. Like, he's absolutely stunning, but he will kill you."

@sparkleartz coined the term Pretty Boy Prince for him a the blog on him found HERE (with her art) has the most views ever on my site. Almost 1000 views!

ALRIK Cyredanthem

It was hard to find Alrik. In fact I didn't really find him. The first is the inspo image I've used of him since forever. We're talking YEARS. And yes, that second picture is the Witcher. "Mock, you can't think we're going to count him as 'real people'. You said real people versions!"

Look, the Witcher is real to me, okay?

I struggled to find anyone that was even close. In my mind, Alrik a massive entity. I hope I've made him come across that way. He's so big in my head. In the upcoming book. we get to see some range from him, but his largeness remains.

Alrik is always hard to me, but he softens for Tristan. It's both difficult and easy for him to do because softness goes against his nature, but he has to for Tristan because he can't bear otherwise.

In his hardness, he's unearthly-level beautiful. It's a raw and gritty sort of beauty down to his marrow. In real life, Alrik would probably be a marine or something. Or a mercenary for hire. He buys all his clothes at the army surplus. He wears shirts more often. He's quiet and in the background a lot but sees everything. He'd still give his life for Tristan (and their children) as his ultimate protector. But he's willing to spend extra for the good scotch. He has a training course in their backyard so he can keep in fighting form! Like, we're talking the big tires and trenches and crawling under barbed wire and stuff. He'd build tree forts for the kids.


When I saw these images, immediately Bayaden came to mind. Like, just look at those shoulder flexing out of the tank. Baya would definitely ride a bike. But he also likes a good scarf. Of everyone, he crosses his arms at Tristan the most. Paired with that look, he's definitely staring at Tristan who is up to something.

Bayaden is a casual guy even though he's a Warlord. He's as strict as he needs to be on the field of course, but when he's off field, he likes to kick back for a couple of pints of mead with the guys and gals. He's especially close with his sister Deglan, which I know is only briefly brought up in the series, but it would be nice to write some sort of outtake with her there. He's totally a mechanic of some kind and is always found in "the shop" working on something. Teaching his son Denny. Refurbishing old cars.

He's got the cool sort of confidence this guy exudes. He's willing to stand back and watch Tristan and unlike Corrik, he doesn't have to wonder how much rope Tristan needs to hang himself. He knows and enjoys standing back to watch. It would stress Corrik out too much to simply watch Tristan and not go back and forth over "the right time" to intervene. Corrik knows when it's a situation that lands somewhere on the map of his more submissive wiring. He has a harder time with the brat side. Sometimes he gets it right and other times it's like stumbling through the darkness.

But Bayden is the ultimate brat's top. He has a feel for the brat in Tristan unlike his other men. Their love is raw and powerful. It's guided by instinct. He needs Bayaden in a unique way and now that he understands his brat self, he's not the same without him.

This is TOTAL Baya with his arms crossed AT Tristan. It's a different kind of arms crossed than Corrik. We know what this means. Tristan is caught. He has two choices: Confess, or run away.

DENNY Tar Jian (Bayaden Jr.)

This is Bayaden's son. "But Mock, he would only be about a year or so old. How?" I will leave that to the story to tell you. And yes, I do envision him as smaller and younger looking that this, but this has Denny's essence. Also, he's green. It was difficult to find green elf children. He also has black hair like Baya.

I can't say too much or I'll spoil. But let's just say, I could write a whole book about this boy.

DIEKIN Cyredanthem

Our sunshine brat. He's married to the lovely War Elf, Princess Ditira Cyredanthem.

The first picture is the inspo I've used, though, I would give him more muscles.

There was something very "Diekin" about the second man's face. Some sparkle to him for me. The final has his long hair!

Diekin's that "brat with brat experience" kind of brat I like to write who shows the other brats the way to navigate their brattness ... or who shows brat the way toward trouble. He and Tristan were instant friends. They understand each other and with how much Tristan missed Lucca, Diekin was a lovely way to soften the loss of seeing him every day.

He is a more responsible brat. He has to be with a mate like Ditira who he's hopelessly in love with.

There is something in this man's eyes that SCREAMS Diekin to me. Sunshine with a hint of mischief. In the audiobook, Curtis nails his voice perfectly.

This man has a little more of the Diekin look, though, I pictured Diekin as clean-shaven most of the time. Diekin is another side character that bloomed his way into the lime light. He has a fan club of his own and so I will be writing some fiery outtakes staring Diekin and Tris! In real life, Diekin would probably be a stay at home husband/dad. He's very devoted to Ditira and would be there to support all of her endeavours. Perhaps even working for her. He just ... wants to be where she is. Serving her in whatever way he can in and out of the bedroom. He does a mean taco night every Tuesday when Ditira is most tired (it's her longest day!) and wants something healthy yet comforting.

DITIRA Cyredanthem

Sparkle did this Ditira for me. I don't focus on the women so much in my ... anything. If my muse would allow it, I would focus on her and Diekin. Most women in my stories have rippling muscles. But, like, massive muscles. I've always been into large muscles for women. I was devastated when Wonder Woman was so small. They could have totally CGI'd some muscles on Gal Gadot. That would have been so cool.

One of the outtakes I will write will feature Ditira.

By @sparkleartz

Do you recognize her art? Sparkle fell in love with this couple (Ditira + Diekin) and is single-handedly responsible for bringing them more life. I love what she captured here with Ditira. She's got feminine grace but is clearly a warrior and not just because she's holding her sword. She's got the inner peace a warrior needs to keep with her in battle.

Ditira is blond like Corrik---they are twins (though she is MUCH more mature)--so not white like this image, but that sure-hearted gaze in her eyes was what attracted me to this image.

I need more massively muscle-y women in fiction. I NEED them. So I write them. Ditira can't just have muscles. She needs to have arms the size of cannons. This was the closest "blond" woman I could find to what I envision. Real life Dee does Cross Fit and competes in the Cross Fit games every year. Diekin shows with signs to cheer her on and all the supplements/ergogentic aids she'll need to keep her going through the day. Tristan joins them. She gives stern warmings for them not to goof off or spend too much time at the mead garden.

This is more like it. A muscle-packed beauty except she would be like 8 ft tall in Elf world. In "real world" she's a personal trainer with her own line of natural supplements. She totally spoils Diekin and loves to take him on vacation with the kids and separately on romantic getaways.