I am writing currently about Vargas Mitchell, who is Vernon's friend and rival. They met each other during the tournament in the first book, but since then, have lived together. A friendship grew where trust was placed, and Vernon needed it for the trials he was about to go through at the Paladin academy.
Vargas on the other hand, wanted to get out into the light, he was a lightning mage after-all. Vernon was just always one step ahead, one shot quicker. This drives Vargas to push himself more and more, to become greater than a shadow of his friend and rival.
Shadow is the second story for Vargas, which will continue into The Honeymoon (which is getting a revision after the second draft). It will showcase some of what Vargas has had to go through, and his drive to become greater.
Also Blake McDermott has some awesome concept art over on his website.