Wednesday, August 17, 2011

NameThat Boy

Remember the Virtue Chronicles? Yes? No? Kind of?


Ancient Greek-ish culture, 8 Houses of government, each a different "virtue." Girl named Astraea in the House of Justice. Meets a peasant boy. Boy surprises her with his knowledge of government, and the corruption within it. The boy is smart, determined and out to expose said corruption.

Not bad, eh? But there is {at least XD} one hitch in the story so far:

El chico no tiene el nombre.

*clears throat*

The Boy doesn't have a name :3

I mean, he did at one point, but then I started second guessing and "ehh"-ing it, and now I'm not so sure. So, if you would, I'd really appreciate your opinion. I had a list of about 25 potential names, which became 10, which became 6, which is now 3. 3 potential names. Which one will it be?

If you've been reading this blog for any time at all you know I love names, and put a lot of stock in them. It's very important to me to get the Boy's name right. And asking you to name him out of the blue when you don't even him seems ridiculous, so I've decided to post the scene where he and Astraea meet.

If you want to and you have time, read through the scene and get a feel for the Boy. If you don't really care and would rather just pick a damn name, okay XD The choices are at the end. Leave a comment with your pick, por favor :D

{Also, thoughts on the scene...terrible criticism is better than nothing IMO.}

So here you go. Astraea and the Boy meet:

She glanced behind and saw that she’d fallen into a dark alleyway, shrouded in ominous shadows. A small smile pulled at her lips at her own clumsiness. She pulled herself to her feet and got a glance at her cream-colored robe. At least it had been cream-colored when she’d put it on. Smudges of dirt covered the hem and worked their way up to her waist. She almost chuckled; those laundering secrets would have been useful after all.

Suddenly her eyes flicked upward, almost of their own accord. She squinted, trying to sort through the darkness. There was something up there. There was something on the wall. She opened her mouth to demand that the shape show itself, but before she uttered a sound the shape detached itself and dropped the twenty feet to the ground, landing lightly with bent knees.
Astraea gasped, but quickly regained her composure and cut the sound short. It was a man, but aside from that the lighting was too poor to make out anything else.

“Who are you?” she demanded without thinking. The man’s eyes laughed.

“You wander into a dark alley that you clearly don’t belong in and the first thing you ask is who I am?”

Astraea frowned. “Maybe you’d like to know who I am then, peasant.” She regretted the arrogance in her tone immediately. The man was right, and it was beyond foolish to go around angering strange men alone and far from home. “I’m sorry, I don’t know why I…” He looked at her with an expression of stone. Astraea glanced around awkwardly. “I…” She turned on her heel and half ran out of the alley before stopping in her tracks at the crowded street.

“You don’t know where you are, do you?”

Astraea frowned over her shoulder. The man had come out from the shadows. She revised her original assessment. He wasn’t a man; he couldn’t have been much older than she was. His voice had made him sound even older than Ramiro. She turned back to the street.

“Of course I do.”

“Alright, so you are not a Daughter of Truth.”

Astraea looked back at him in spite of herself. “No. I’m not. And you’re not a Son of Wisdom.” The boy looked mischievously taken aback.

“Perhaps you’re of the House of Sarcasm,” he said. “But tell me, why am I not of Wisdom?”
Astraea looked him in the eye. His eyes were green-brown and large, framed by unexpectedly long lashes. “You’ve clearly figured out that I belong to one of the Houses,” she began. “and you’ve probably also deduced that I’m not where I ought to be. Therefore if you were wise, you would put as much distance as possible between yourself and me before you’re caught up in a kidnapping trial.”

“Ah,” he said, his eyes laughing again. “But the House of Peace doesn’t know you’re missing, does it? And Peace is the only House with the authority to arrest criminals.”

“News travels quickly between Houses when necessary,” Astraea said, raising a formidable eyebrow. The boy allowed himself a smile.

“Not a Daughter of Peace then, either,” he said quietly. Astraea’s eyebrow dropped.

“Perhaps I’ll tell them you kidnapped me,” she threatened.

“More evidence against your being of Truth…or Justice.”

Astraea’s eyes flew wide, fierce anger spiking through her body. “How dare you,” she said lowly. The boy’s face betrayed his genuine surprise.

“Justice? And yet you’d encourage the punishment of an innocent?”

Astraea’s anger melted into horror and stuck in her throat, making it difficult to breathe. “I wouldn’t have done that,” she managed, completely unmasked. “I wouldn’t have, really.” The boy cocked his head, studying her closely.

“I don’t know about that,” he said. Astraea scowled again.

“You don’t know anything,” she snapped. “You’re just a citizen.” She turned back to the street once again, but didn’t go out into it.

“How dare you,” the boy said, clearly mocking her. “When did citizenship become synonymous with ignorance?” Astraea frowned, but did not turn.

“Please. You don’t know the first thing about government.”

“No, of course not. Unless you mean about House members, Board members, Counselors, Advisors and High Justices.”

“Any fool can spout off that which he’s heard rumors about. It doesn’t make you any more intelligent.”

“House members: anyone and everyone born or married into a particular House. Board members: twenty-four officials who are elected by the House and are part of the jury in trials. Counselors: officials selected from the Board by the Advisors and High Justice. Also part of the jury. Advisors: three officials selected from the Council by the High Justice. Again, part of the jury in trials. And lastly, the High Justice: leader of the House, elected by the entire House. Serves as the judge in trials and can only be replaced if found unworthy by a ¾ majority of the House. Or if he resigns.”

A shocked silence settled itself in Astraea’s mouth. She breathed in and out, tapped her foot, blinked, and otherwise tried to reassemble the shards of her dignity. “Well,” she finally breathed, swallowing hard. “I suppose…”

“You were wrong?” the boy offered, his voice mockingly light. “It happens, Daughter of Injustice.”

Astraea turned on him, suddenly livid. “You will leave my House out of this, do you understand me? Peasant?” She took an involuntary step towards him, and he stepped back, eyebrows raised.

“Defensive. You sure you aren’t of War? They’re in charge of the defensive army, as I understand it.”

“Don’t pretend to understand anything,” Astraea said, her green eyes snapping. “You may know the technicalities, but do not presume to understand the intimate workings of the Houses.”

“Do you always talk like this?”

Astraea’s nostrils flared angrily.

“Now listen. You’re not making yourself or your House look any better by insulting me and my intelligence. I proved you wrong. Admit it and rise above it. Move on.” The cockiness was gone from his tone; he addressed her in earnest. Astraea immediately felt ashamed. She tucked a strand of hair behind her ear and swallowed hard.

“I misjudged you,” she admitted, though through gritted teeth. “But you misjudged me as well. I am not a Daughter of Injustice, and it disturbs me deeply that I’ve portrayed myself as such. I seek justice more sincerely than almost anyone I know. That is the truth.”

The boy nodded slowly never breaking eye contact. “A Daughter of Justice after all,” he said. “Perhaps.” A frown threatened in Astraea’s eyebrows and the boy raised his own. “What think you of the Travi Scandal, for instance?”

Astraea blinked. “The…what?” She winced. A citizen who knew more than she. It was nearly unbearable, but her curiosity outweighed her pride—for now.

“The Travi Scandal.” The boy frowned, then smirked. “You don’t know? They don’t tell you?” He shut his eyes and shook his head, turning around. A frustrated sound growled in his throat. “Of course not. Justice doesn’t apply inside the Houses, only to the commoners.” He turned on Astraea, poorly concealed fury in the back of his hazel eyes. “Not three years ago, Counselor Travi attempted to poison the High Mercyman and Truman, just before the annual Assembly of the House of Prangtar.” The hairs on the back of Astraea’s neck stood on end at the accusation. “Mercy and Truth were planning to vote against extending the death penalty to offenders as young as sixteen. Counselor Travi’s attempt failed, and the House of Justice resorted to bribing the vote counter, a young man from Truth ironically enough.” The boy’s jaw jerked in anger. “And that was that. Now citizens as young as you could lose their lives for a loaf of bread.”

Astraea’s eyes stared icily at the boy. “I cannot believe someone would spread such vicious, inaccurate rumors. Nothing of the kind happened, do you hear me? Nothing. My father was the High Justice three years ago. He would have known if Counselor Travi had been planning an assassination! He would have stopped it, without a doubt.” Astraea shook her head, a fierce smile coming. “I am sorry to disappoint you, but there was no scandal. The leaders of each House met together, as usual, and discussed the benefits versus the risks. The benefits were found superior. They voted. The age for the death penalty was lowered. That is all that happened.” She exhaled harshly, raising an eyebrow at the boy. “Surely you don’t think me so simple as to have missed two murder attempts within my own House.”

The boy shook his head grimly. “I don’t think you simple at all. That is why it’s all the more disturbing that you didn’t know.”

Astraea narrowed her eyes and shook her own head. “You must be insane,” she said plainly. “I mean it, really insane. You’re talking about the House of Justice. The House of

The boy tilted his head thoughtfully. “You may know this,” he began obligingly. “Counselor Travi stepped down from his position as Counselor less than a week after the Meeting.”

Astraea stared intently at the boy, her eyes fierce with passion. “I’ve got to get back,” she said abruptly, passing a hand tiredly over her face. “Or they really will think I’ve been kidnapped.” She turned to the street for at least the fifth time and frowned into the crowd.

Which way had she been going? To the right, but now she wasn’t sure if that was correct after all. The buildings were so tall and close together it was impossible to see the House Hill.

“It’s difficult enough when you know where you’re going,” said the boy. Astraea could hear the laughter in his voice again. “Especially for someone who has no experience navigating the street.”

“Are you going to offer a suggestion, or are you just being obnoxious?”

“I can take you back, Daughter of Arrogance, if you’d like.”

Astraea would have loved to refuse the offer, but realistically… “Very well, Son of Exasperation. To the marble staircase, if you please.”

She made a move towards the pressing crowds, but felt a hand on her arm holding her back. She flinched away from the touch, giving the boy a scathing look. He removed his hand and beckoned her farther into the alley.

“What?” Astraea said, growing irritated. “We’re not going that way; you’re taking me back to the marble stairs, you—”

“As I said, you have no experience navigating the street, and I will not be the one to teach you in this crowd.” His eyes laughed again, a foreign expression that fascinated Astraea. “Shortcut. Come.”

A moment later he was halfway down the alley, taking the dirty darkness with long strides. Astraea felt a stab of panic. “A shortcut?” she cried angrily, jogging forward a few steps. “I’ll go no such route!” The boy had disappeared. Astraea stopped. “Hello?”

A head of the boy’s shaggy brown hair poked out from a distant corner. “Yes?” Astraea could hear the smirk in his voice from halfway down the alley. He chuckled. “I suppose you’ll have to trust me.”

“I don’t. I’ll trust no one who spreads up lies about my House.”

The boy grunted thoughtfully and stepped back out into the alley. “Well, suppose you trust me for now, on loan as it were, and do some research when you get home. If I’m lying, arrest me for slander. I’m sure Truth would be all too willing to assist. If I’m not,” he tilted his head. “dig a little deeper. Agreed?"



P.S. Btw, I found this random hott guy while trying to find pictures for the Boy. Enjoy.



  1. NICE! You HAVE to finish that story :)

    As for the names, I don't like Brayden, but that's only because I know someone by that name and it reminds me of him too much. Markus is close, but to me Alekos fits better.

    You are a great writer Stephanie :D

  2. I don't like Brayden either. For me it's just to easy to mistake it with Brandon. Markus seems to normal also, but I like Alekos because it's unusal and fits with the era your story is set in :)

  3. JW: Thanks! I hope to :)

    Yeah, a lot of people don't like that one. Alekos is winning by an absolute landslide. The only problem is that Brayden is his original name, and I'm having so much trouble giving it up, you know? It's like it accidentally became part of his identity.

    Hazel: That is true. And Alekos does fit the best.


  4. Well, shouldn't the name be one that you are happiest with? I still like Alekos, but it's your vision.

  5. I loved reading that, it was so good! You already know my opinion on the name thing lol but there were 2 things I noticed. 1)when the guys firsts shows up it says that she couldn't tell anything other than the fact that he was a man but then it says that his eyes laughed. how could we/she have known that "the man's eyes laughed" if she can't even see his face? and 2) Astraea says "I’ll trust no one who spreads up lies about my House.” is it supposed to be "spreads up lies"?