ART: Roommates

Colt and Hallow. More art for Fumiko and the Finicky Nestmate, which rounds out the six who make up “Hisoka’s finest.” Boon & Moon are partners. Juuyu and Sinder are partners. And here are Colt and Hallow.

Roommates | art by FoxOfTwilight

Since When? Hallow was first introduced back in Governed by Whimsy. At the time, he was still an adolescent.

“You need to meet my friend. Hallow and I share a compartment. We’ve been friends since he was just a little guy.” Turning expectantly toward the door, Colt said, “Come along, Hallow. She’s warded.”
After a moment’s hesitation, Hallow stepped into the open. He was slim and pale, a youth with sharp features and a stiff manner. Straight black hair hung loose around his shoulders, and he glanced around the room with deep red eyes.
“Come along, Hallow,” Colt repeated. “Don’t be such a grump.”
Flashing a look of injury, Hallow flowed across the room with a swooping gait that caused the leathery folds that webbed under his arms to billow slightly. He presented himself to Greta with a silent bow.

Governed by Whimsy (Songs 04)

In Governed by Whimsy, Colt is the theater company’s healer. If you piece together the pertinent details, you’ll figure out that both Colt and Hallow are from the Glintrubble cooperative. “Glintrubble is a cooperative that specializes in mining and shaping the stones that amplify a reaver’s abilities. Their community includes horses, rabbits, and bats. And reavers, of course” (Michael Ward, Tsumiko and the Enslaved Fox). Yes, Hallow is a grandson of Trisk & Glinna Brunwinger.

His regional accent was a match for Colt’s, lending credence to their long association. “How do you do?
My name is Hallow Brunwinger. I apologize for withholding myself from association. Especially if my presence can bring some comfort.”
“You’re … half?”
“Yes.” He lifted an arm, giving her a clearer look at a misfit wing. “Bat clan.”
Greta asked, “Your mother?”
“She is well enough. My father was human.” Hallow’s gaze turned apologetic. “I’m not sure what any of you expect from me. It’s not as if I was much use during my own birthing.”
Colt slung his arm around Hallow’s shoulders. “You’re here. Isn’t that enough?”

Governed by Whimsy (Songs 04)

More than two centuries later, readers caught another glimpse of this duo in Mikoto and the Reaver Village. Sinder mentions them in passing, because he’s close to them. (Two words: elite taskforce.)

  • Lost in a daydream in which Juuyu and Hallow were sent to extract him, Sinder nearly missed his cue.
  • The man smoothed the shirt over his back, pulled free his thick braid, chafed his arms—all the fussing made Sinder miss Colt.
  • Surely there was some strategic significance here. Offensive and defensive potential? A possible means of protection, both for them and for their sibling? Hallow would figure it out if anyone could.
  • “Are they insane?” he muttered. Hallow was obsessed with tuned crystals, so Sinder had been exposed to every variation known to carry Cadmiel’s song. That’s why he knew that this rookie scheme might actually work. But not necessarily in the way they hoped.
  • Hallow must have grabbed the phone because his voice came sharp and clear. “Get to him. Immediately. His crystal’s vibrating nearly to pieces, and its song tells of pain.”

Mikoto and the Reaver Village

Which brings us to Book 5 in the Amaranthine Saga, when Fumiko meets the oft-mentioned “elite taskforce.” Hallow’s all grown up now.

**NOTE** If you haven’t yet read Fumiko and the Finicky Nestmate, the remainder of this post contains excerpts which might be considered spoilers. Comments are also suspect. You have been warned.

One of the men caught sight of her and turned from the task, a smile on his face. He strolled closer, already presenting his palms. “Hello, there. I’m Ricker Thunderhoof, but everyone calls me Colt.”
“Fumiko.” His hands were so large. “You’re the healer?”
Concern flickered through brown eyes. “Among other things. Do you need a healer?”

Fumiko and the Finicky Nestmate

“And look. Here’s my good friend. Come along, Hallow. Greet our hostess.”
The fifth guest swept up, his cloak rippling just above the weathered boards of the dock. He was easily as pale as Sinder, but his hair was black, and when he bowed over Fumiko’s hand, the eyes that lifted to hers were large, thick-lashed, and deeply, darkly red.
“How do you do? My name is Hallow Brunwinger.” His aristocratic air was accompanied by a British accent. “Thank you for giving shelter to our little group.”

Fumiko and the Finicky Nestmate

It seems worth mentioning that Colt did indeed apprentice himself to Hallow’s grandfather. He’s both a healer and a swordsman. Excerpted sentences:

  • [Hallow] passed a long, slender case to Colt, who shouldered it.
  • Juuyu wondered if he was about to face Colt the healer … or Colt the swordsman.
  • Colt stood quietly at his side, hand on his sword hilt, gaze roving.
  • At the water’s edge, Mirrim was sparring with Colt, both armed with swords. It looked dangerous, but they were clearly professionals.

Fumiko and the Finicky Nestmate

Does that mean …? Yes. Colt is (and always has been) Ricker Thunderhoof. No, Fira didn’t survive the intervening centuries. They met a very long time ago, since Followed by Thunder has a medieval-ish setting. The Amaranthine of the Glintrubble cooperative hadn’t learned about tending or anything at that point. The Brunwingers were the ones experienced with reavers, having come from an enclave far to the east. Fun Fact: Both Fira & Lufu are legit medieval names. Fira means “fiery,” and Lufu means “love.”

Why Roommates? Colt never stopped being everyone’s favorite uncle at Glintrubble, and this was especially true for a strange, sulky bat crosser who’d recently lost his father. Later, when teen!Hallow wanted to run away from home, Colt stepped in to make it possible. They’ve been traveling (and rooming) together ever since. There’s one spot in Fumiko where Colt refers to Hallow as “my boy.” Whether it’s acknowledged or not, deep down, Ricker considers the bat crosser his son.

Why Colt? He told you himself.

He gave a low whicker, and his smile brushed her temple. And so amidst the giddy clamor, beneath the herd’s notice, Ricker recklessly promised, “Forever onward, I am your colt.”

Followed by Thunder (Songs 02)

5 thoughts on “ART: Roommates

  1. That’s Fira’s green stone still in his hair, isn’t it? 🥺 Bless him. This post answers a bunch of questions I had about these two!

    Liked by 1 person

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