Unexpected Inspiration Relationship: The Trio

Etri finally lowered his head and turned towards his pair. He said nothing as he held his arms out. Words weren't needed when his intention was so clear. Within the span of a moment Adair and Blythe were wrapped in his embrace. That was one thing Adair could say about Etri's extreme height: long limbs made for good hugs.

"It opens, too. That way you can go up on the roof without having to go downstairs," Blythe said, her voice muffled by Etri’s coat.

As much as Adair loved Etri, he could never understand his obsession with sitting in the highest place available. While Adair knew Etri's weaving would prevent a fall, that didn't make the knowledge comfortable. But Adair's comfort wasn't important. What mattered was Etri could climb up high whenever he wanted and--

"I can see the stars," Etri breathed.

- excerpt from "Adair’s Domestic Fluff"

The triad was a trio long before their relationship turned romantic. Etri and Blythe had struck up an immediate friendship a few months prior to Book 1 (Colorweaver), fitting into each other's lives in a way that wasn't often the case for either of them. Both tend to keep to themselves and not reach out to other people, but they brought peace to each other's lives in a way that the rest of the loud carnival troupe couldn't fill. It was comforting having someone quietly beside you, ready to offer help if it was needed, but not pushing if it wasn’t. Etri began sitting on the roof of Blythe's wagon to be near to both her and his beloved stars, Blythe started asking Etri to help her study and memorize healing patterns.

As they were picking up each other's interests and habits, Adair stumbled into their carnival troupe's camp-- and slid effortlessly into their friendship like he'd been there all along. With his open heart and mind, he accepted Etri's strange quirks and magic just as quickly as he saw through Blythe's brusque words to know what she really felt underneath. In turn, Etri and Blythe were drawn to the sweet boy who needed their help. They fell naturally into the role of Adair's sentinels and it didn't surprise any of them all that much when they later realized that Adair's magic had inadvertently sparked the Artisans' triad bond between them.

The three balance each other perfectly, with each filling the role the other two need. Blythe's bluntness and decisiveness give direction to Etri's anxious worries and Adair's wishy-washy nature. Adair's heart gives a home and future to the other two who never felt like they truly belonged anywhere. Etri's quiet loyalty and support anchors the other two who are much more impulsive. Adair frequently says that their "hearts beat as one" and this is an accurate description of their link and their relationship.

I had made a moodboard previously for the trio, but that was more about them being a triad and less about who they are as people. In this one the quote pictures I found work so well for each of them. Blythe affectionately calls the other two "my dorks" or "my idiots" (depending on what they did), although to be honest she says the same thing about Sol and Dray, too. Her family is full of dorky idiots, but they're her dorky idiots. The significant others/spouses to artists are called muses and Blythe and Etri are absolutely Adair's inspiration. They ground his magic and if he isn't drawing one or both of them, it's probably because the cat's sleeping on top of his sketchbook. Etri writes poetry that often compares the other two to the stars, and with the triad link allowing him to know where they are at any moment, it's almost like they're his north star guiding him home. Part of his magic involves shifting into an intangible, ghostly form and crossing over to what he calls "the place of shadow." It means everything to him that Blythe and Adair aren't frightened by this and will go along with him when he temporarily leaves their world.



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