As second to Phileas Foote, Quinn’s responsibilities tend to weigh heavily upon him at times. While he knows he must be prepared to lead whenever their elder is away, and he rises to this challenge as often as is necessary and with a wisdom beyond his years, as far as Elli’s concerned, it is clear he worries greatly about failing his Noble brothers, failing Elli. And with just cause.
Though he is young, Quinn is the only one, aside from Phileas, old enough to remember what life was like before Elli was born, a time before dying became more common than living, back when their fathers’ fathers dreamt of the birth of Elindea, the Hope of their people, spinning tales of her remarkable beauty and unfathomable strength, inspiring greatness in even the smallest of their lot. He remembers when laughter wasn’t hardened by the grim truth that Hope came, as promised by Fate, but at a terrible price, a price which they are paying still today, with blood, flesh and bone, and far too many farewells. He can recall a day when the births of countless sons were celebrated at the Seat, when all of a new one’s clan would come together at the first full moon, and each naked, bawling infant was raised up by his elders to the song of the westward wind, as was done in ancient times. Sixteen long and bloody years have passed since the moon had the pleasure of bathing a newborn elf in her light. There is little joy to be found these days, when a child is born, life being what it is. But Quinn knows he is one of the lucky few, who can still feel the warmth of the sun on the back of his neck that last happy day he spent at his real mother’s home, while he played by the water’s edge with Ann, which is what makes more startlingly clear the memory of his first taste of terror, as his crying mother woke him in the middle of the night, hurrying him to dress. Grey had come to take him to Sun’s Cusp, where they hoped he would be safe, for Elindea was born at last, his own father was dead, and the idyllic world he knew, as a boy of nearly seven, was shattered.
It is out of these memories Quinn builds his dreams. When he is sat in silence, consumed by concern for his brothers, he worries most that he can never impress upon them just what it is they are truly fighting for. He fears that their battles, while fought honorably, can only be born out of raw vengeance, because they are too young to remember anything but this damnable life of tragedy and despair they are forced to live for Elli’s sake. As for Quinn, he fights for the hope he knew years ago, a hope he can still taste in the salt of the ocean and smell on Ann’s skin. He fights for the life he knew as a child, believing that one day, when all of this is said and done, they will raise sons and daughters of their own to the full moon and hear their songs sung by the westward wind once more. Their fathers’ fathers dreamt of a hope that might be, not knowing what would come. Quinn dreams of the hope that was.