Of course, this gave me something of a dichotomy when it came to choosing one for this post.
Should I find you a villain from the Aeserion Trilogy? Can't - they're all in the middle of reworking, and thus everything I write here is probably incorrect. Besides, spoilers!
What about a villain from the new novel I started last week? Sadly, that won't work either - you guys would have no idea who I was on about.
A villain from a past NaNo, then? Now that got me thinking.
Of course, I couldn't settle for just any old villain - I wanted to find one that would be impressive. Terrifying. Skin-tingling. And not eat me when I dragged him out of his lair to answer the questions.
I half succeeded. It may have cost an arm and a leg - quite literally, I'm typing this with my nose, 'cause I'm so talented - but you lovely people will have an insight into the most terrifying entity who currently inhabits my head.
You all know the lovely Vidal. Meet his many-times-great-grandson.
Sephirax; "Sixknives", "The Shadow", "The Bane of Tanelorn". Murderer and madman.
Even the Stormlord bloodline, notorious murderers, liars, thieves and worse, have disowned him. And you're about to see why.
1. What is their motive?
It depends what he's doing. Sometimes it's part of a long-term plan. Sometimes it's a spurr of the moment necessity. Sometimes there's a personal grudge involved. Sometimes it's a red herring to throw his enemies off the scent. Sometimes it's for kicks and giggles.
2. What are they prepared to do to get what they want?
Anything. Sephirax has all the morals of a rock. And a good deal less sensitivity. The fact he's dancing dangerously close to insanity doesn't really help his moral compass.
3. Are they evil to the core, or simply misunderstood?
In the beginning, he did what he did because he had no choice - it was that, or starve and die, taking the one person he cared about, and who cared about him, with him. Now, though? There's no doubt he's lost his mind - or some of it, at least. But whether it's the madness, or Sephirax's own twisted soul that drives him now, no one knows. Depends who you ask. And if they'll tell you anything.
4. What was their past like? What about their childhood? Was there one defining moment that made them embrace their evil ways?
Sephirax started out in the world much the same way Vidal did - a bastard to a high-born lady, who died not long after his birth, and whose father never claimed him. He grew up fairly wild in the custody of the midwife's family, but they kicked him out the moment they could. He was strange. Very very strange. But sweet enough beneath that - he had a knack for mischief, and a distinct lack of any sort of conscience, but he never meant to cause harm. Not at first.
Unfortunately, the development of his exceedingly powerful mentalist abilities soon lead him towards darker and darker acts, drawn by a strange morbid curiosity with pushing the limits of his power. His friends, who were all he had in the world, started to fear him. And so did everyone else. This seemingly inexplicable rejection twisted like a knife in Sephirax, and he went south when he was still scarce more than a child, looking for something nobody is sure of. No one knows what happened to him, but when he came back, Tanelorn had no idea what it had created. Or what a bloodstained nightmare his madness would wreak upon them.
5. Now that they’re evil, have they turned their back on everyone, or is there still someone in their life that they care for? (Brother? Daughter? Love interest? Mother? Someone who is just as evil as they are?)
Love is a word Sephirax regards with the worst sort of scorn. The world's rejection of him made him bitter, and he'll happily use the loved ones of others to get what he wants - whether it be crucial to his job, or just because he feels the urge to destroy something.
But there is one tiny little corner of his rotten heart that beats for someone else. His deafblind, crippled half-sister, Eli, rescued from the clutches of their mother's family who sought to exploit her Stormlord blood and use her as a political pawn. Her protection and welfare is all that stands between her brother's descent into lunacy and death.
And, despite his bitterness towards them, Sephirax still agonises over actions concerning his old friends. Sometimes his old memories inspire a strange act of mercy. Sometimes they drive him to atrocities.
6. Do they like hugs?
Only from Eli. She sleeps curled up in his arms every night.
*aside* In his heart of hearts, he loves them. But don't try. He'll do something horrible to you.
7. Are they plagued by something? (Nightmares, terrible thoughts?)
Enemies. Shifting webs of treachery. Lies. Deceit. Bitter memories. Fear. His own mental demons. And a new foe, stalking in his shadow, disappearing every time he looks. But he knows it's there. And he knows it's coming for him.
8. Who are they more similar to: Gollum or Maleficent?
Sephirax is a Malificent from the outset, but inside he's just as lost as Gollum ever was. He's both terrified of and intrigued by the power he has at his disposal, though his concern for Eli and his occasional fits of doubt and agony over the wreck of his life torment him near constantly. But he has made his choice, and he pays the price. Great power has, quite literally, lead to madness.
9. If your villain could have their choice of transportation what would it be?
He would love to be able to teleport. There are thousands of stories that he can - though according to these stories he's also able to fly, steals souls just by making eye-contact, can walk through walls, and his father was a dragon. Teleportation would be a wonderful compliment to his job, and would cover up several of his somewhat limiting physical and mental weaknesses nicely. Even he can't kill a foe from halfway across the city, however much he would want to.
10. If you met your villain in the street, how afraid would you be? Are they evil enough to kill their creator?
I would just stand there and hope he killed me quickly. I couldn't outrun him - stubby-legged human vs nine and a half feet of muscle and malice is hardly a fair match. I couldn't outfight him - brittle-boned and physically deteriorating or no, if he kicked me hard enough most of my organs would explode. And, at close range, he could tear me apart from the inside out, literally or using his mentalism, depending what mood he was in. Heck, he'd probably hunt me down with the intention of killing me if he was bored. He's that nasty. And has that little regard for life.
Thankfully, I've given him a "squeaky toy" list of other characters he's allowed to maim to his heart's content. That seems to be keeping him happy ... for now.
Now ... who's up for a scary story?
- Charley R