Almost exactly to the day a month ago, I wrote a character profile for Pero de Alava’s bride, Anthea Manikos. I’ve been working a lot with Photoshop since that time. I wasn’t pleased with the photo I created to represent her, so here is an updated version of the photo I prefer over the other.
Working on the book’s character profiles is giving me an opportunity to work on my Photoshop skills, limited as they are… but they are improving.
Anthea, for those who had not read the other writing, is a young Greek woman whose father arranged for her to be wed to the Castellan of Parthenope, Rugerius Fabbro.
Rugerius is a brute, and that is his best quality.
Upon meeting Anthea, Rugerius assaulted her and her father, Nikitas.
Sheltering for hours alone in her quarters, Anthea realized that sooner or later the arrangement would be amended and she would probably still have to wed Rugerius. She went to the keep’s chapel to pray. And it was here that Pero accidently stumbled into her life. He fell head-over-heels for her immediately, swore them to the banns, and negotiated for her hand. Pero delivered her from the clutches of Rugerius and after a few more months passed, she agreed to wed Pero. He was decent enough to let her live at Capua and decide for herself if she would wed him or not. It didn’t take long for her to be convinced.
Pero took her to his ancestral home in Spain where she met his mother. They returned to Italy in glorious fashion as Pero arranged a beneficial trade deal with the Almohads.
Anthea was so happy. All she could think about was the preparations for the big day.
But then Pero got into an altercation with Rugerius in Parthenope. In fact, Pero decked him, breaking the Castellan’s jaw.
Pero wasn’t the same after that.
The Emperor that protected Pero had passed. Pero felt vulnerable. He wasn’t sleeping. He was haunted by strange visions. He was also having difficulty making decisions and performing his duties.
Anthea could not believe her ears and eyes the day a messenger arrived from Parthenope ordering Pero to leave his post and travel on Eagles Pass. He foolishly donned his armor and came to her room to bid her goodbye, spouting nonsense, attacking the providence of God and eventually breaking things and leaving, their betrothal ended.
That evening, still in tears, unsure what she would do without Pero, the castle at Capua was captured by Rugerius and his mercenaries. They slaughtered everyone – everyone but Anthea. She alone, she believed, was kept alive and taken prisoner.
Rugerius drugged her and took her south by carriage and boat to the island of Capri. In a mystical grotto, a strange giant magician wielding a magic crystal was instructed to enter her mind and destroy her.
“Deep down,” Rugerius preached, “you are an animal, Anthea, wild and sensual.” He nodded in the direction of the giant. “Sinibaldus is going to crawl up inside of you, crawl right into that pretty little head of yours and murder your modesty.”
– The Crystal Crux : Blue Grotto (Chapter 16)
Allen M Werner is the author of the epic fantasy series The Crystal Crux
There are currently four books available : Betrayal, Blue Grotto, Cold Knight, Shimmer