nathanialroyale: (Nathan)


This rambling stemmed from a discussion on how readers often sympathize with Villains who have either a sad or traumatic past or a past where they could have chosen to be good men even though they ended up being bad ones.

Of course, Snape was a center piece to other peoples discussion of this topic so I mention him at the end.


I’m writing my novels from two points of view, that of the characters considered the protagonist and antagonist, chronicling the protagonist’s short, gravely ill, life. Nathanael is altruistic, compassionate and forgiving. Drefan is self-destructive, rageful and biting.


Drefan my antagonist has a (to put it very lightly) shitty life and goes through hell before his mind snaps and he uses the necromantic powers he has inherited as well as the powers of his God to take revenge on the world :/ I do this because I want to know his story, where he was and what brought him to today. I want him to rage at his life and its unfairness, to curse the Gods and himself. Yet Drefan never once asks for sympathy because he sees it as pity and he’s too strong for that.

He refuses to allow himself to feel shame for what he has done after he regains himself and sees that his undead have butchered millions. He realizes if he starts on himself with guilt and shame that he will likely lose his mind again. He won’t ask for forgiveness because he knows he doesn’t deserve it. Drefan surrounds himself, on purpose, with those who remind him of his sins so he won’t forget because there are those who do forgive him regardless of his crimes.

I don’t really want to tell his story as a means of garnering sympathy for him, it would honestly piss him off I did so. Redemption isn’t something he is asking for, he hates that it is Nathanael’s forgiveness which is the last piece that finishes rebuilding his mind.(While this was happening others were piecing his mind back together so this ‘healing’’ does not actually depend as deeply on the boy’s forgiveness as Drefan is lead to believe and the reader knows this.)

He calls Nath weak and foolish for the forgiveness, walking out on the teen almost immediately afterward although Nathanael forgiving Drefan was the focus of the protagonist’s journey. Drefan remains angry and bitter, filled with rage at himself and the world and isolates himself in his own personal hell once he realizes what he has done. But he won’t ever say he is sorry because what difference would that make? Honestly? It won’t bring back the dead.

By the definition of Redemption by Webster I never give him that. It takes him until he’s 50 years old, 20 years post novels to let go of the past and the abuse that saw his mind break to pieces. Even then, stepping out of the palace confronts Drefan with what he has done when he sees the black roses that grow in the cracks of the cobblestone streets. Each of those black roses is a person he had a hand in killing, and the Capitol city is filled with them.

Redemption is atonement for guilt, to atone for faults or mistakes. What the hell could you possibly do to make up for the deaths of over 5,585,627 of your own people? Or of over 7,383,635 people worldwide? Nothing.

If anything it pisses off Drefan and confounds him when anyone forgives him for the Scourge War. He tends to think their simpletons for it (like wtf?)…heh

I don’t think a villain needs to redeemed, I don’t think a character’s past is only told for the sake of sympathy. I want to better understand each character, their motivations, and their pain. But understanding does not have to equal forgiveness.

On the topic of Snape, I could understand his past and still see his later choices as wrong ones. I could find him an intriguing character, feel sad for when he died yet still wish he had been a better man while knowing that he was not. Snape was a bitter and at times vile man whose choices made him who he was. The redemption of villains does not make them interesting characters in and of itself. Some characters, as was previously mentioned, may forgive the villain and many others won’t, much like the readers.

That to me is the most realistic outcome.


(And I know those numbers were like really fucking specific, I have done the math for war causalities and those were what I came up with. He killed over 50% of his own people and over 30% of the people of the opposing Empire. Dude done fucked up.)


Finally after 15 years of working on these two books (jesu?!) I have working titles!!

Book 1: Unrepentant Hopes
Book 2: Unrepentant Dreams

nathanialroyale: (Nathan)

The etymology of the word Monster reveals but one rather simple definition. According to Cohen, monster “derives from the Latin monstrum, a divine portent, usually of misfortune. Augustine [ … ] thought the Latin noun to stem from monstrare, ’to show’ ; Isidore of Seville [ … ] glossed monstrum as contra naturam and connected it to monere, ’to warn”’ (“Use” 48). Classicist Catherine Atherton slightly expands on monstrum, noting that “one of the traditional roles played by monsters-as the standard etymology of the Latin monstrum indicates-is to signal or presage event or advent, even more terrifying or violently destructive than the monster itself’ (vii). Thus, the monster is that which demonstrates or warns that something has gone-or is going to go-awry.

~ Monsters We Become: The Development of the Inhuman Narrative Voice.


The scene in which Nathanael heard his Father call him a Monster and an AU What If? Scene in which Nathanael confronts his Mother about his Father calling him a Monster.


"Yet something has to be done."
Leaning against his parent's door, Nathanael's ear is pressed against it to hear better the conversation taking place within.
"The council is becoming restless; politics are keeping us away more often. Who will care for him?"
"Thom is here, he will do his duty as his husband to look after him, it cannot be helped we are away so much Elaina."
"Yes with Thom he will be alright but...Can-," a moment's silence, "Can we really trust him around Drefan? What if Drefan hurts him again? I do not know if he would tell us." My mother’s voice held soft doubt.
"What could you possibly mean; he would, of course, tell us if he was in pain. Have we ever given him a reason not to believe he could?"
"Nay of course not but this is something else entirely. Earlier when I was cleaning his wounds I found a cut down his left arm, a cut that could only have been self-inflicted. His other wounds were nothing like this from Drefan."
"Our son is a cutter? Nathanael knows that he will lose the light of his spirit to such..
.perverse practices. He must realize without the light of soul he is only a shell, a..a Monster."
...I am?
A Monster...


"A Monster."
"You..heard Peter say that?" Elaina whispers to her only child, her hands reaching out toward the nine-year-old.
There is only silence as Nathanael's eyes fall to the floor.
The Queen gathers the boy into her embrace, "Sometimes those we love say things because they are afraid."
The Prince's eyes are filled with tears at his own anger, willing himself to banish the vile emotions
he was taught he should not feel. He looks up to his mother trying to hide how upset he was,"What have I done? I hurt no-no one but me! He's my father, he shouldn't be afraid of me!"
"He's not afraid of you
Nathanael, he's afraid for you."
As though that simple difference made the pain any less deep.


As Cawson, Andriano, and Cohen note, acknowledgement of the monster is a necessary step in human development because in all ways it is human...  Thus, a society must transcend the limitations of the past by discovering ways to include the unique until, ultimately, everything that is inherently human can be acknowledged and incorporated, including those aspects we often attribute to the monstrous in a misdirected attempt to exorcise ourselves of sin and imperfection. Monsters are the way to this transcendence.

Monsters We Become: The Development of the Inhuman Narrative Voice.
nathanialroyale: (Nathan)
Title: Anoush, Child Avatar of Nanqa
Rating: (PG-13) 
Content Notes/Warnings:   
20+ years past the events of the novels, the Lord of Darkness has had his soul be born in the body of a girl child, and has grown up with her. He has done so in his wish to understand his peoples, and to live as they have. [Also, the Lord's enemies would never think he would take the form of a child, as such a form is it not?]

Warnings:Battle scene
Main Character/s: Anoush, Varteres (Anoush's Father,) and Lord Nanqa, God of Darkness/Honor/Undead.
Plot: Uncontrolled undead, remnant of the Scourge war many years ago, attack a small village in Royale. As the guards are losing, this little girl takes the chance to make the difference.
Location: The Village of Taschair, Imperial Royalian Empire.


The Master-less undead had attacked the gates of the small town of Taschair. Overwhelmed, many guardsmen had died, and those still standing had suffered tremendous damage from both, teeth, claw, and magic. 

Breaking into a run, escaping the confines of her father’s embrace, the little girl moved un-noticed toward the fray. A guardsman’s agonized scream as his arm was torn to shreds had been the last that she could take to hear. Tiny feet made little noise as found herself at the battle’s center. Throwing herself to the ground at the feet of the most powerful of the undead, her voice broke upon the syllables of the incantation.

Barely heard above the den of the clash, blood began to run from the child’s nose as she sank into the mud in her ribbons and dress. It was the rain that had begun to fall that brought the fight to a stuttering stop, slowly petering, a hiss filling the air. Like acid, the divine rainwater hit the flesh of the undead, steam escaping into the skies with their screams of agony. Flesh began to disintegrate from the effects of the spell, trapping the monsters where they stood. 

The rain washed the living with healing magics, wrapping about those alive and those dead. That same purple luminescence picked up the dead from the ground, suspending them as it flashed through the layers of dress before settling them back upon their feet. All of those who had died, awoke, their eyes popping open, and lips gasping upon their first, returned breaths. 

Around a man’s destroyed arm, the purple light encased the flesh, and filled the terrible wound, reforming bones and muscle, nerve and tissue. It was not pretty, nor was it painless, and the act blacked out the man who had a sheer scream upon his lips. 

Nothing was left in this muddy field to mark that the undead had ever been there, and the newly living starred, in such a mixture of awe, and terror at the realization of their second chances. The earth around them seeped of blood, gorging upon this feast that would strengthen it in the years to come. But that purple luminescence had not left, it wafted like fog about this place, a substance known for its Resurrection of the loyal dead.

Yet, lastly laying there at the heart of all of this was its propagator. The father had run after her, but had been pushed back by the power, like a wall of force he could not push through. But here, now, on her front in the blood was the little girl in her pink dress, her hair still done up in it’s matching ribbons. He falls to his knees by her side, gathering her bloodied form into his embrace, crushing Anoush to him as he heard her faltering, but living breaths. No more then seven, her face had been half hidden in the bloodied ground, stigmatized by her Dark God so the battle could be won. 

The Avatar of Lord Nanqa, lived another day, but would need many to recover, and shakily, the village Butcher presses a kiss to her bloodied brow. Up now, he makes his way back toward the village, wishing to spirit her away to some semblance of safety. It does not surprise him, however, when, later, the many guardsman come to his home. No, they know now who, and what this seemingly ordinary little girl is, and all he can do is be by his daughter’s side as they kneel before her bed. Their heads touch the floor in reverence, and Nanqa’s name is a litany, her own only following long after. To the people, to this world, his daughter is Nanqa incarnate, and because of this he will always wonder, would anyone ever see her as his little girl? 

Anoush, the child who loves to learn, the girl who tells him not to be afraid when she does something reckless. Who also, tells him to always trust in their Lord, and gives him the brightest, and biggest smiles. Oh, this child may indeed hold the soul of a powerful God within her, but she is still her mother’s daughter, and will always be her father’s, everything.


nathanialroyale: (Default)

June 2017

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