Reyn Frosch is a character in The Darkling Child. He is a teenager who possesses the power of the wishsong and uses it to support himself as a minstrel, singing in taverns and bars and playing a stringed instrument called the elleryn to support himself. His magic attracts the attention of the sorcerer Arcannen.
Reyn was the son of a baker and a homemaker who lived in a Southland village just below the Duln forests. He used to fish with his father in the streams that ran through the woods surrounding the village, and he'd take walks to the market with his mother. When he was eight years old he was badly beaten by a group of boys, so badly that he lost consciousness, had broken bones, and took a long time to recover.
When Reyn was well again, the boys came after him once more. However, this time he cried out in fear, and a powerful magic in his voice knocked the boys off their feet, rendering many of them unconscious and causing the rest to flee.
Several days later, a couple of the boys returned with a man who was father to one of the boys. He was a drunk with a knife who threatened to cut out Reyn's tongue. Terrified, Reyn screamed again, but this time his magic was even more powerful, and it shredded the man into a pile of indistinct flesh.
The boys fled, and Reyn, who was left catatonic for several minutes, recovered and fled as well. He told his parents what had happened.
Unfortunately, the boys who fled had begun telling the townspeople what had happened as well. The boys, who never admitted their dark intentions against Reyn or the fact that Reyn had been threatened with a knife, called Reyn a monster, a possessed creature, and demanded that he be stopped. Soon the townspeople were up in arms about Reyn and a mob formed.
A miller who did business with Reyn's father warned him about what was coming, and Reyn's father convinced the miller to hide and spirit Reyn away in his wagon. As the wagon left, Reyn wasn't able to see what was happening, but he heard the mob breaking into his home and dragging his parents out. They were stoned to death by the mob.
Although the miller's family sheltered Reyn for awhile, the folks who had killed his parents had begun widening their search for him to outlying communities and so it was decided by the time Reyn turned eleven that he would have to go. The miller took him to a city far enough away and sufficiently populous that he would not be found, and there Reyn began living own his own.
As he grew up and learned to fend for himself, a few more violent incidents made Reyn realize he would never be able to rid himself of the magic in his voice. He eventually adopted a strict regimen of emotional control over his life in order to avoid any extreme emotions that would cause the dark side of his voice to resurface.
Eventually, Reyn began supporting himself as a singer, using his magic to convey to his listeners any emotion he wanted them to feel. With the help of his magic, he was able to make a decent living as a minstrel and singer, working in Southland villages and moving on quickly if the violent side of his magic resurfaced. Every time he lost control of his magic Reyn would go catatonic for a short while, helpless and vulnerable to whatever was happening around him.
Quest to Avenge the People of ArbroxEdit
Reyn is working as a tavern singer in the Southland village of Portlow when he meets the sorcerer Arcannen. Disturbed by the fact that Arcannen knows he possesses magic, Reyn avoids the man initially. During a break between sets, Reyn is targeted outside the tavern by the Fortren brothers, Yancel and Borry, who resent him for what they see as Reyn's ability to manipulate others and to turn men soft and emotional with his cleverness and talent. They smash Reyn's elleryn and attack Reyn himself, at which point he screams, unleashing his magic. Yancel and Borry are killed almost instantly and Reyn goes catatonic.
The use of the magic alerts the Druids at Paranor. One Druid in particular, Avelene, notices that the signal caused by the magic seems to be identical to the signal detected five years earlier when Paxon Leah's sister Chrysallin Leah used the wishsong in Wayford to defend herself. The Ard Rhys Isaturin sends Avelene and Paxon into the Southland to investigate.
When Reyn awakens, the tavern owner Gammon offers to shelter him for a time and sneak him out of the village, but Reyn insists on leaving as soon as possible. However, Arcannen reappears and urges Reyn to stay in the village for a couple more days while he takes care of some business, promising to take Reyn away with him and to teach him about his magic and how to control it.
Gammon is suspicious and urges Reyn not to trust Arcannen, but Reyn lingers in Portlow. When Paxon and Avelene find Gammon during their search for Reyn, Gammon is equally suspicious of them and lies, saying that Reyn has already left the village. He then goes back into the tavern to warn Reyn and to urge him to flee. Paxon catches Reyn leaving out the back entrance of the tavern and attempts to talk to him, but a burst of magic fire from behind Reyn frightens him into running away.
Reyn is caught on the outskirts of Portlow by the Fortren family, who had been watching the roads out of the village to exact vengeance for Borry and Yancel's deaths. They smash the new elleryn Gammon had given to Reyn as a gift, and Reyn himself is about to be killed when Arcannen appears and uses his magic to to light the entire Fortren family on fire. Arcannen takes Reyn away aboard his airship, where Reyn meets Lariana, a beautiful girl purchased by Arcannen for the express purpose of gaining Reyn's trust and making him fall in love with her.
On the airship, Arcannen explains to Reyn that the magic he possesses is the wishsong, and that this means that Reyn, despite his surname, must be a descendant of the Ohmsfords, the only family that possesses the wishsong magic. Reyn admits to Arcannen that he has lost control of his magic and killed people with it, but he does not reveal that he goes catatonic after losing control because he is uncomfortable revealing such a major weakness to the sorcerer.
Arcannen takes Lariana and Reyn to the ruins of the coastal fortress community of Arbrox, where the Federation military unit known as the Red Slash had recently killed every single person except for Arcannen himself. Arcannen explains to his young companions the injustice and atrocity of the massacre at Arbrox and his desire to exact revenge on the Red Slash for what had happened. When Reyn protests, declaring he won't use the wishsong to kill people, Arcannen assures him that he won't ask that of Reyn, but Reyn remains doubtful.
Under Arcannen's orders, Lariana assists Reyn in learning how to create lifelike images with the wishsong. During one of their practice sessions, Reyn goes catatonic after successfully creating a succession of images. He confesses to Lariana that this weakness is a feature of his use of the magic in stressful situations, and she promises not to tell Arcannen about it. By this point it is clear that the young pair are deeply in love with each other.
Soon after Dallen Usurient, the commander of the Red Slash, returns to Arbrox with a small company of violent criminals and chained beasts to exterminate Arcannen once and for all. Lariana, Reyn, and Arcannen are forced to defend themselves against the company: Arcannen disappears from the fight early, Reyn uses the wishsong to confuse the beasts into attacking Mallich, the creatures' trainer, and Lariana uses a flash rip to kill the Hammer, an executioner from the Federation prisons. Paxon and Avelene arrive in time to see Usurient shoot Arcannen with a flash rip and to see Reyn use the wishsong when he and Lariana are attacked by the serial killer Bael Etris.
This unexpected use of the wishsong leaves Reyn catatonic, and Bael Etris recovers quickly enough to knock out Lariana and capture Reyn. Paxon and Avelene confront the killer, who insists that Arcannen isn't dead and that what was shot down was merely an image of the sorcerer. He is proven correct when a huge explosion occurs, after which Reyn has gone missing and Bael Etris is left impaled on a steel rod. Paxon, Avelene, and Lariana team up to go after Arcannen and Reyn.
Knowing that Reyn possesses the wishsong and that he can account for all of Railing Ohmsford's descendants, Paxon realizes that Reyn must be a descendant of Railing's twin brother Redden. While not explicitly stated, it becomes clear that Redden's use of the Crimson Elfstones against Demons in the Forbidding and against the Ilse Witch must have infused his blood with the Elfstones' magic and passed it down to his descendants, just as the use of the Blue Elfstones had similarly affected Wil Ohmsford's blood and resulted in the inheritance of the wishsong in Wil's descendants.
In Redden's case, however, the magic of the Crimson Elfstones was passed down in combination with the magic of the wishsong, which was already in Redden's blood, meaning that Reyn inherited a completely new kind of magic in his wishsong. This would explain why a red light or haze appears when Reyn loses control of his wishsong, and why he goes catatonic after losing control, just as Redden had done after his battle against the Ilse Witch.
Arcannen takes Reyn to a hideout in the Southland city of Sterne. Reyn, who by this point has realized that Arcannen is not the mentor he was hoping for but merely someone out to use him, is horrified when Arcannen reveals he wants to kill not just Usurient but every single soldier in the Red Slash with Reyn's assistance. The sorcerer threatens to kill Lariana in front of Reyn if he does not comply.
Lariana leads Paxon and Avelene to Sterne but loses them inside an abandoned building so that she can return to Arcannen and Reyn alone. When Reyn confronts her and asks what the nature of her relationship with the sorcerer is, Lariana admits that she was hired to make Reyn fall in love with her, but she insists that she has fallen in love with Reyn herself and is concerned first and foremost for him and not for Arcannen. She declares that they need to get away from Arcannen if they want to stop him from continuing to use Reyn's powers for his own ends, and they resolve to protect each other no matter what happens.
Arcannen challenges Usurient and the entire Red Slash unit to meet him at the Horn of Honor, a monument to fallen soldiers that sits in the Federation burial grounds out on a bluff above the city. He goes to the bluff with only Reyn and Lariana accompanying him.
Usurient, confident of victory, speaks tauntingly at Arcannen, but he is cut short when Reyn, under Arcannen's orders and with Lariana's emotional support, uses the wishsong to immobilize him and all five hundred of the soldiers of the Red Slash. Faced with a completely motionless unit of soldiers, Arcannen tortures Usurient briefly before setting him on fire, and then methodically sets row after row of soldiers on fire.
As the carnage unfolds, Reyn is horrified and begins losing his grip on his magic. Paxon and Avelene, who managed to get free of Lariana's ruse as well as the prisons that Usurient had thrown them in, arrive to help, but Reyn is as afraid of falling into the hands of the Druids as he is of Arcannen and he flees, astonishing Lariana by calling on Arcannen to help them.
Arcannen faces Paxon and Avelene, and Paxon takes the brunt of the sorcerer's initial attack before Avelene comes in with her own magic. As they duel, Reyn and Lariana are seen running to the edge of the bluff, and those soldiers who had not yet been set on fire and were now released from the magic of the wishsong turned on the young couple, firing projectiles at them until they both collapsed.
The deaths of the young couple distract Arcannen, Avelene, and Paxon, but Arcannen recovers first and strikes a mortal blow against Avelene. Paxon goes after Arcannen in a rage, using his sword to deflect the sorcerer's attacks, and just as in their last battle five years ago, Arcannen wears out and decides to flee, leaving Paxon alone with Avelene, who dies in the Highlander's arms.
Paxon is left emotionally bereft and sickened by all he has seen in his time as the Ard Rhys's Blade. In addition to the betrayal by his friend Sebec and the deaths of Aphenglow Elessedil and Starks, he had witnessed Avelene's death and Arcannen's exploitation of Reyn to kill Dallen Usurient and all five hundred soldiers of the Red Slash.
Paxon requests to Isaturin that he be allowed some time away from Paranor. Knowing that the remains of Lariana and Reyn were never found at the Horn of Honor, he spends time looking for Reyn and months later finds him alive and well in the Westland village of Backing Fell, living with Lariana and paying penance for the deaths at the Horn of Honor by using his wishsong to heal people.
While Paxon is heartened to find Reyn safe and alive, neither Reyn nor Lariana is happy to see him, and Paxon is disturbed by how mentally broken and how dependent on Lariana Reyn seems to be after the massacre at Sterne. He leaves Reyn without bothering to tell him of his heritage as the descendant of Redden Ohmsford, and without mentioning that he and Paxon are in fact cousins.
After Paxon leaves, Lariana announces to Reyn that she is pregnant with his child.
Despite being only sixteen years old, Reyn is already six feet tall, with broad shoulders and a build that suggests he can handle himself in a physical fight. He has shaggy blond hair.