villain: tarren kanichende: if the hero

A quick note on Danache linguistics–

The most common letter combinations are ‘ch’ (sh), ‘rr’ (split r), and ‘ii’, which is the same as the short ‘i’ but reserved for the end of words, such as the names Arielii and Remerdii. The letter ‘y’ is one of the most common vowel and changes from a hard to soft pronunciation depending on surrounding letters. ‘Rylan’ is hard (Rye-lan), ‘Wyrren’ is far softer (Were-ren).

Tarren II Kanichende
(tahr-ren kahn-E-shen-day)
“The elevated place.”

I’m thinking through the novel again and imagining how I’d write this book if, without changing any of the events, I tried to make Tarren the hero. If Blue Crystal had been told from his perspective, what would it turn into?

Different, certainly. Tarren has the unfortunate habit of stereotyping the people around him, with the exception of his children (but not his wife). Moreso than them, his closest companions are a pair of pet tigers, Time and Fate.

Things I’ve come up with so far…
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villain: tarren kanichende: introduction

King Tarren II Kanichende de Marla“The first and worst of all frauds is to cheat one’s self. All sin is easy after that.”

King Tarren II Kanichende de Marla

I’ve always had problems with King Kanichende– he makes threats that sometimes he doesn’t keep for some reason, and his drive wavers and falters. I’m not sure if this is a fault on his part, or if I’m trying to keep my protagonists from being killed immediately (short book). I’ll start with what I do know about him.

Tarren adored his little sister.

Arielii Kanichende, the golden princess of Vastii. Beautiful, graceful, popular Arielii, full of dry wit and wry humor. Arielii could make a fool out of anyone, build up or destroy reputations. Arielii had wings, and was so thin that she could glide across the chasm their city was built around and make a show out of it. Tarren had been against her marriage to Chyril Jadis to begin with; he wanted Arielii to stay in the royal city and her marble palaces, not travel over the god-forsaken surface to marry. Arielii left too eagerly, too happy for a chance to see new things, though Tarren would have done anything to bar her (and tried, unsuccessfully– he still thinks that someone had told Arielii of his plans to stop her).

Arielii went to Renideo to her new husband, who lived in a flatter, less glamorous manor amid a series of underground lakes. She wrote to Tarren on occasion, always promising to return to see him, and told him that while the buildings were less than impressive, she loved the swans, which lived across the cavern with the lakes between them and the humans. They were white, but where they lived the algae glowed, and it cast a blue light on their plumage. Blue swans beating their wings against the water, flying over the city, with plenty of room for her to join them. When Tarren became the king, he had his inside men within Renideo start to give him regular reports on his sister. She didn’t seem to be missing him. She had a daughter, a half-wit, which she let the servants raise in hopes of a better child. Several years later she was pregnant again, and that was the last that Tarren heard of her directly.

Tarren’s inside man detailed the facts of her death thus: Arielii had survived the labor and was doing well, while her son had been stillborn. Her husband and half-wit daughter went into the room and were left alone. When they left the room again, Arielii was dead, and the retarded girl stopped speaking entirely. She didn’t say anything again until she was almost ten. Chyril married again, and his next wife also did not live for long. By the time the territory directly south of Chyril’s holding turned hostile, Chyril was on his fourth wife and kept a private harem, but no other children. Wyrren Jadis, Arielii’s daughter, was nearly twenty. Despite the obvious mental ability retardation the girl was reputed to have written a long, detailed thesis on a highly dangerous form of magic, probably ghostwritten by one of her father’s practitioners for the sake of her reputation.

The rebellion of Aiche to the south was almost convenient. Tarren set his inside man to stage the presence of his assassins in Chyril’s castle and demanded his niece pay him a visit– she could have three maids, but no guards of her own, and would be returned after the rebellion, provided that Chyril did not join or come to the aid of Aiche. Chryil agreed, and sent his only child.

Wyrren Jadis de Renideo had her mother’s golden hair, but her face was stiff, immobile. Her eyes didn’t open more than halfway, her mouth hung slightly open, and she never moved her eyes– she turned her entire head when she wanted to look at something, a stiff, ugly mockery of his sister’s features. She came with three maids, one pretty, the other two as ugly as herself, one fat, the other scarred and sallow. She also came with a slave bound in gold, a serious looking red-haired man who wore a sword at each hip and moved like a bodyguard. Her father had set her up with a man as a ‘possession’, to claim him as property to give his daughter her own guard, Tarren was sure. Despite the breech in terms, Tarren was satisfied enough that the girl could be tricked into revealing the details of his sister’s murder.

showcase of villainy, part i

Villain Month

A week has passed since we started Villain Month! I’m really impressed by what people have come up with so far, so this is the first of four weekly showcases. Participants are listed in the order they signed up, then entries from oldest to newest.

I spent the week working on Lord Kione Remerdii, from my novel ‘Blue Crystal’.


Saint Know-All spent the last week developing Archduke Richard Khiro.


LeLoOr has been working on Leonard Geier.


Karma Girl spent the week developing Veruca Marinme’.


Nilah spent the week contemplating her villain Redtooth, and came up with an idea for his motivation: envy.


Aldersgatecycle made a very in-depth post on Queen Maelys I, covering a bit of plot, a bit of quotes, personality, and basic facts.


Dory made a post titled ‘The Sorrowful Mind of a Villain‘ on Deviantart.com– unnamed to make the thoughts easier to relate to.


Nymeria examined Arturiel Valyr on her journal.


Amber (Terrorcookie) decided to develop her villain by haiku— she has two of them now, and a journal post serving as her central page.


And finally, Oliva wrote a long, very detailed character sheet for her villain Charles de Paul.


… Wow. Great job, you guys! I’m really impressed by what everyone has come up with so far!

A full list of participants can be found here, with links to their various websites. I’ll be posting another full showcase next Saturday, so stay turned!

Looking forward to next week’s projects!

the role of a villain

A post partially inspired by listening to Tarja (formally of the band ‘Nightwish’– I adore gothic/classical crossovers in music) on the drive home from work yesterday. This month so far has done exactly what I intended it to do, completely re-examining my plot from the antagonist’s perspective. Sometime between the tracks ‘Poison’ and ‘Damned and Divine’ it occurred to me that everything would be better if the ‘romance’ between the villain and the heroine was genuine, not a set up at all, on both sides.

First off, if I do this it would mean that I’m missing a good part of the story focusing on the heroine. I would have to display their relationship as aside while dealing with a bigger problem. I’d have to come up with another plot to thread in with the two I’ve already got going. But it makes the story stronger, it makes the ending even more powerful, and it gives me the chance to really focus on some of the important characters that I’ve neglected.

Villains, I’ve discovered, subscribe to the principal that hate is not the opposite of love; that’s indifference. Give the audience good reason to love your villain, and it’s easier to twist. His betrayal of the protagonists is also his betrayal of the audience.

..

Also, I’ll be starting my first weekly ‘Villain Month’ showcase on Saturday, linking to everyone’s projects!

villian: kione remerdii: scene

“Goodness is, so to speak, itself: badness is only spoiled goodness. And there must be something good first before it can be spoiled. We called sadism a sexual perversion; but you must first have the idea of a normal sexuality before you can talk of its being perverted; and you can see which is the perversion, because you can explain the perverted from the normal, and cannot explain the normal from the perverted.” -C.S. Lewis, ‘Mere Christianity’

((A sample of Kione’s POV, to practice the details of my villain. We’ll call it free-writing, and I make no promises as to the quality of the prose.))

Kione had sat with his usual glass of firewine through breakfast, swirling the liquid and picking at his food though his stomach protested with every bite that he forced down his throat. He had imagined himself presenting a front of high spirits on this anticipated day, and though he had thought that he had better control over himself than this, had relied several times on his nerves, he found them failing him. The sensation worsened when young Prince Davyer Kanichende looked at him and asked, “You’re not sad, are you?”

“Sad, my prince?” Kione smiled and shook his head. “I can rarely eat before an event of importance. The coronation certainly counts, if nothing else in the world would. You must be very excited.”

“Don’t forget, we’re taking off the traitor’s head today.”
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villain: kione remerdii: entj

ENTJ: Extraverted Intuitive Thinking Judging (from the Jung Typology Test)

* slightly expressed extravert
* distinctively expressed intuitive personality
* distinctively expressed thinking personality
* moderately expressed judging personality

So I took this test with Kione Remerdii in mind, using what I already knew about him. It emphasized that he’s completely ruthless, hates ’emotional’ or personal problems (he especially grows impatient with phobias), and is naturally tidy. And then I found that the professional personality assessment article fit him to a T. It’s… rather scary, actually.

I’ve also decided that Kione really doesn’t see himself as evil. And on several counts, what he does can be perfectly justified. Sure, he had hundreds of unexpecting noblemen slaughtered by proxy. But on the other hand, the way things were going, it was faster and less damaging than a naturally occurring revolt, which seemed to be building up. Yes, he was double-dealing (quatrupal dealing?), but this was politics. What else could be expected? And those commoners down in the depths of the city that he set up to die… it was his only chance for change. One can not walk into a city in hopes of conquering it. One must rock the boat a little, send people scattering so that the man in question can more easily find his place.

He also has no need to explain any of this to anyone.

(Keep going for the personality test results, if they so interest you.)
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villain: kione remerdii: family

Just a villain-ramble. I tried to do a character-building sheet (he protested, saying that his tastes made him out to be a snob), then an interview (I protested– he was plotting to torture me until I agreed to let him triumph at the end of the book). So here’s some basic information on Kione.

(Oh, and it’s my twenty-fourth birthday today. At least three people have plied or are planning on plying me with food. 🙂 It’s making me wish I could eat more than five bites of anything.)

Kione Remerdii
Also, Kione, with diamonds in his hair, Kione, celestite lord, Kione, of blue crystal.

Family
Kione is an only child, mostly due to his race’s high infant and child mortality rate; the Mordache are almost human, except for their access to ‘The Art’, a magic that comes too strong and often too hard to control at young ages. He had had a brother, who did not live past three. After he died, he was replaced with a bastard Mordache boy who showed great promise– or at least, good health. He was given the name of Kione’s dead brother, Sorche Remerdii, and raised as a noble despite the child’s outlandish looks– kinky curls and slanted eyes. Incidentally, Kione brought Sorche to Vastii when he traveled there, and upon his promotion gave Sorche real political power by binding him in gold: the symbol of a high-ranking slave, letting them represent their master in all matters and effectively turning him from the bastard foster-brother into Kione’s second in command.

That had worked out better than Kione’s father had intended. He had wanted his son to keep good company, but when none of his siblings had lived and none of the other gentleman’s children looked as if they’d challenge him, he picked Sorche for his promising talent and constitution, as a brother and a rival. Sorche has always been the healthier of the two, since Kione never grew above 5’8 and didn’t excel at the Art or in physical prowess.

Kione’s father, much like Kione, was a workaholic and a perfectionist. He was always finding ways to improve his holding, and under his care the Remerdii territory grew rapidly. Kione was often put in charge of people or places and given no help. The boy would grow and improve, or he would fail and be punished. By the time Kione reached his mid-twenties he was left to deal with the entire holding, then the diplomatic relations with other territories, essentially coming into his inheritance without his father showing any signs of growing ill. It was his father who suggested that the king was an incompetent fool, and that Kione should take his position from him, if he could. Kione surveyed the king’s city, found several weaknesses, and went to exploit them.

Of course, his method prefers double-dealing, treachery, and mass murder, but no one’s perfect. Right?

His mother was of relatively little importance. She acted more as a decoration than anything, always quietly in the background happiest when left to her own devices.

villain month: participants!

Eliza Wyatt presents Villain Month!

Welcome to Villain Month!

For the next thirty days, participants will be building up villains in whatever manner they see fit! Egors, overlords, serial killers, smothering mothers, mad scientists, gladiators, thugs, temptresses, poisoners, ambitious politicians, assassins, manipulative children, bullies; pick anything that appeals, and develop a villain!

The current participants:

Eliza Wyatt
Saint Know-All
MJ Cohen
Agarithia
Karma Girl
Seanchaí
Aolo
Sam
Poirotskull
Nilah
Aldersgatecycle
Dory
Shadow-of-ice
Nymeria
Evildex
Rachel Russell
Ashley
Amber
Olivia
Asustadizo
Bbirdmank

50%!

As of last night, I reached 47,533 words. 50% of my projected length. Woot!

That said, I had an idea that again deviates from my intended storyline, but sounded very good last night. This morning I remembered the idea, and promptly felt sick. Oh, it works. But it’s dark, even for me.

This has happened before. I lay down to sleep and my mind races. I see dialog, chapter layouts, characters dancing in my head as I lay there, and when I’ve been especially productive it can last for hours. But when I wake, I realize that these 2-a.m. thoughts are always rock-lodged-in-your-gut disturbing or melodramatic.

Anyone else think their judgment is skewed by early hours? Or is it just me?

evil resolution list

176. I will add indelible dye to the moat. It won’t stop anyone from swimming across, but even dim-witted guards should be able to figure out when someone has entered in this fashion.

I’m almost certain that this has been seen by most writers, but on the off-chance someone has not, take a look at the Evil Overlord’s resolution list. It’s a hysterical read. 🙂