Former protector and chief hunter of the Sun Village, former Master of the Palace, Winnowill‘s “jailor”, floater, telekinetic, mind-stunner.
Rayek’s name means “child of the rocks“, and he was the Sun Folk’s longtime chief hunter. Restless and brooding, and frequently denigrating his “dirt-digging” tribesmates, Rayek must be first in all things. Lifelong friend and lovemate of Leetah, they spent hundreds of years together before Cutter’s arrival changed their world. His primacy challenged after Recognition struck Leetah and the Wolfrider chief, Rayek invoked the village’s Trial of Head, Hand, and Heart, a traditional courtship ritual alien to the ragged newcomers. Thinking he had bested Cutter, Rayek’s arrogance led him to the the ultimate humiliation, when his rival saved his life. Losing his place and sense of purpose, Rayek left the Sun Village and found his way across the burning waste to the troll caves. There he found the captive rock-shaper, Ekuar, whose mentoring led to a radical growth in Rayek’s telekinetic powers. When Greymung and Guttlegraw’s trolls clashed, Rayek and Ekuar escaped to the Frozen Mountains, where they fell in with the Go-Backs and their fight to recover the Palace of the High Ones.
Rayek helped rescue the Wolfriders during an ambush, hauling Cutter from battle and helping Leetah heal his mortal wounds. Repaying the “debt” only to find his insecurities and jealousy reawakened, Rayek fought alongside Cutter’s Wolfriders and the Go-Backs to reclaim the Palace of the High Ones. After their victory, Rayek turned the Scroll of Colors, helping the elves learn of their origins. He remained after their departure, appointing himself Master of the Palace.
Three years later, Rayek left the Frozen Mountains to learn more about the Gliders. He parted bitterly with Go-Back chief Kahvi, who coldly told him that their child together had died during childbirth (though in truth, the infant Venka lived). Before he left for Blue Mountain, he warned the Go-Backs that he would destroy them if they allowed harm to befall Ekuar.
Rayek banded up with Leetah and the Wolfriders to help rescue their stolen cub, Windkin, from Blue Mountain. His overweening ego made him an easy target for seduction by Winnowill, whose quest for elfin purity reflected his own blindness to others’ needs. In the end, however, Rayek helped subdue her, leading the dead Gliders’ spirits back to the Palace.
Learning that the Go-Backs had failed to protect Ekuar, Rayek used the Gliders’ power to destroy their lodge, trapping Kahvi inside with (unbeknownst to him) his daughter. With the Palace’s ability to travel restored by the Gliders’ inestimable power, Rayek used it to reunite the Wolfriders and Sun Folk at Sorrow’s End—albeit under Cutter’s nominal command.
After guiding the Palace to the source of a psychic cry, which had afflicted young Suntop since the Palace’s restoration, Rayek learned that it was the voice of their own starfaring ancestors. Having arrived at the World of Two Moons in the distant future, an accident aboard their craft–the Palace–sent them and the vessel far into the world’s past. Concluding that he could return it to the future and prevent the accident from occurring, Rayek steals the Palace with Cutter’s family aboard, leaving him and the other Wolfriders “stranded” in the past.
Thousands of years later, thinking the Wolfriders long dead, Rayek sets out to gather the remaining elves, believing they could “survive” the time paradox he planned to create if they are within the Palace. Finding the Wolfriders still alive and uncooperative, however—and joined by Ekuar—he ultimately abandoned his plans.
Finding himself magically impotent, Rayek is comforted by his daughter, Venka. As Cutter and Rayek resolved their differences in a brutal fistfight, Winnowill attempted to take control of the Palace, resulting in it shattering over a human city.
At the culmination of a sharp struggle to recover the shards, Winnowill is decapitated by a human warlord. With her disembodied spirit threatening to become one with the palace itself, Rayek, still loving her (and, perhaps, her power) draws the spirit into himself. He now wanders the world with Ekuar, wearily fulfilling his job as both Winnowill’s jail and jailer.