The World of Conor Archer
Conor is seventeen years old and helps his dying mother out by playing the tin whistle in a pick-up band in one of the Irish pubs in downtown Chicago. He’s home-schooled, street-wise, and immensely talented musically. Conor has syndactyly, webbing between his fingers, which, while strange, does not affect his musical dexterity. But he knows he’s different, and his encounter with a strange biker at the bar one night changes his life forever.
Twin sister to Jace, Beth is smart, attractive and full of personality. A leader in school, she is much like her brother, offering the newly arrived Conor much needed friendship. She senses his pain on losing his mother and seeks to make him feel at home in Tinker’s Grove. As time goes on, she is deeply attracted to him and believes he feels the same. Her brother reluctantly watches the developing relationship, worried that the darkness that seems to pursue Conor will ensnare his beloved sister.
The first one to greet Conor as he steps off the bus into Tinker’s Grove, Troubles is a chocolate Labrador retriever with a mysterious side. Immediately forming a bond with Conor, the dog becomes his protector and companion. Abbot Malachy, who rescued the dog when he was a pup from the murderous Rafe McNabb, gives him to Conor and with that a psychic connection between dog and human is born. Conor discovers that Troubles is not only grounded in this world but in the Otherworld as well.
Captain of the football team in Tinker’s Grove, Jace is big, friendly, and a natural leader. Seventeen years old, he has a twin sister named Beth and is very protective of her. Blessed with a good intellect, he immediately befriends Conor Archer when he comes to town and senses that his friendship with the newcomer is going to lead to adventure and change. Always up for a challenge, Jace embraces that possibility with enthusiasm.
First appearing in SKELLIG, Hercules Columba Roddy, is an eighteen-year-old fisherman and tour guide in the town of Portmagee, Ireland. When Jace meets him, they begin a friendship immediately and take a tour of the Skellig islands. Colly is not what he seems. Presumably the son of an Irishman and an Indian immigrant, he actually is a Changeling, a fae creature disguised as a human, sent to watch for any incursions of the Otherworld into our reality. He is a shapeshifter whose secrets will cause many difficulties among his newfound friends.
(Click on map to see full screen)
Celtic Lore | Poetry | Magic | Music
Celtic Lore | Poetry | Magic | Music
Pictured is Merlin the Wizard for King Arthur. If you were to ask him what magic is, he would say it depends if you are pagan or Christian. Merlin had his foot in both traditions. For a pagan, magic is forcing neart (the life giving energy in all things) to act in a certain way by using spells. For a Christian, magic is working with neart (the divine energy animating all things) — no force or spells—and being so in tune with this power that massive things can be accomplished.
Changelings are part of the faerie realm but humans know them well for they sometimes masquerade as a parent’s child and take the real child’s place. Capable of great evil they are feared. In ROAN:The Tales Of Conor Archer, Conor must fight changelings who seek to possess the bodies of the “Dark Ones” the children of Tinker’s Grove who have special powers. In SKELLIG, the sequel to the first novel, a changeling becomes a main character central to Conor’s battle with evil.
THE SLUAGH ARE THE EVIL, RESTLESS DEAD. In Celtic mythology, they travel the night skies searching for souls near death to capture and enslave. In the novel, SKELLIG, Conor and friends face them several times. Often they appear as ravens from the sky, always from the west. If there is a sick person in the house, the Irish, will close all west windows to keep them out.
The chief evil force that Conor Archer must defeat in the novel ROAN is the Native American river demon "Piasa (pronounced "pie-ah-saw"). First described from rock paintings by the explorer Fr. Jacques Marquette in the 1600's as he discovered the upper Mississippi river, Piasa is a shapeshifting demon able to take the form of a winged bear or panther, able to exist underwater, and morph into a combination of animal features with a human face. It's main enemy is the Thunderbird, a form which Conor, also a shapeshifter, must learn to take if he has any hope of saving Tinker's Grove.
In one part of Conor's journey, he is crucified on the Crossroads Oak Tree to fulfill part of a prophecy. The Crossroads Oak represents a thin place where good and evil come together. It is the Tree of the World representing how good and evil war with one another in our existence. To Conor's right is the Morrigan, the ancient Celtic goddess whose three forms represent stages of life. As a child, she represents innocence, as a maiden she represents vitality and warfare, as a crone she represents death. To Conor's left is the White Stag of the Forest who represents the divine journey from this earthly existence to eternal life. It is a Christ Figure in the novel and mythology and represents goodness.
The Dullahan is Ireland's version of the Headless Horseman and may be the source of Washington Irving's Headless Horseman in "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow". The Dullahan is a creature of the Otherworld who carries his head on the pommel of a saddled kelpie--a scaly, demonic, water horse. The whip the Dullahan wields is made out of human spine and his prey are humans he seeks to enslave. If he utters their name, they die instantly and he takes their souls.
Also known as selkies, the Roan are the People of the Sea, seals in the ocean, men and women on land. They are from the Celtic Otherworld. Some say they fell with the fallen angels and those that fell to land became the Tuatha de Danaan, the faery people, while those that fell in the sea became the Roan. The Roan are shapeshifters and, though mysterious, have a good relationship with humans. Conor Archer is a combination of human and Roan.