If Antrey Ranbren is the most important person in The Water Road trilogy, Strefer Quants is right behind her and, in truth, might have a case for knocking Antrey off the top. The Water Road itself is largely their two stories, splitting off from each making the same world shattering discovery.
Unlike Antrey, who’s a woman without a country, Strefer comes from the United Guilds of Altreria. As a Guilder, Strefer was raised without a traditional family, including a mother or father. This is reflected in her full name – Strefer Quants of the Guild of Writers. Quants is derived from Quantstown, where she was born. Her Guild affiliation is, just that – it shows to which Guild she owes loyalty.
Although Strefer is a Guilder, she works for a Telebrian in Tolenor. She’s the lesser of two reporters stations in the city for the (Sermont) Daily Register, the newspaper of record for the Telebrian capital. Strefer’s boss, Tevis, gets the plum assignments like covering the sessions of the Grand Council of the Triumvirate and writing about matters of state. Strefer, on the other hand, has a much rougher beat to cover.
Her attitude towards her job is summed up in this blurb from last week’s One Line Wednesday session on Twitter:
What we need is a murder. A nice juicy killing. Maybe among the well to do? Those are always good for business. #1lineWed #TheWaterRoad
— JD Byrne (@JDBAuthor) March 2, 2016
But it’s a job at which she’s very good, particularly when it comes to getting people to open up to her and talking her way into places where she probably shouldn’t be. She has the typical Guilder worldview that prioritizes doing what works and confronting reality head on, rather than adherence to high ideals of an earlier age.
When The Water Road begins, Strefer is in need of a good story (hence the blurb above). She’s about to find it.