Character – “My father” through Raeyn’s eyes

My father’s eyes had always been hard and cold. But right now I finally understood the fear he inflicted on people whenever he looked at them like he looked at me now. Those eyes, blank amethysts, constricted to narrow slits as they focused on me kneeling in front of him. He looked like a snake ready to strike, his lips set to a think angry line and I knew his hands, though spotted and gnarled with age were still strong as his long fingers clenched the arms of his throne. Something warm trickled down my cheek. I knew his heavy ring had left a deep imprint of his sigil where he had hit me, the left side of my face was throbbing, my eye slowly swelling shut. But I wouldn’t look down.

People used to tell me I looked like a younger copy of my father, with the same white hair and dark lilac eyes that ran in the family and had nothing to do with age. Back then I was young and gullible enough to consider that a compliment to be compared to him.

Now I couldn’t help but shudder at seeing myself become like him, that lean, almost skeletal figure sitting on the throne of Illyria, governing with an ‘iron fist’ as they called it, his whole demeanor an image of professionalism. The way he looked at me, with a face that would have made marble feel warm and alive in comparison, told me more than words that he would do whatever was necessary in the blink of an eye. His thin white eyebrows drew together, his white beard quivering with rage as he addressed me in that deep, resonating voice that I used to call his ‘state voice’.

“Now, have you forgotten what happens to those who betray me, son?”

Villain Gallery

Someone’s been creative this weekend and got her “Villain Gallery” finished. I painted Dahlia Laras, Dawnelle Nymeron and Sirius Nymeron. In one of my more fickle moments

I decided to change Dawnelle’s hair color from dark brown to black (never could decide that during writing anyway and black is a much better contrast to the white hair that usually runs in her family ;))

Anyway, I was pondering putting some of my character art into the sidebar of the blog, but for now I just created a new page with all the paintings and sketches here.

Right now I’m really looking forward to moving in August, because guess what will decorate our living room then? 😀

My mother in law asked me yesterday if I wanted to participate in a painting contest and maybe sell one or the other of my character art. Honestly? No. I love painting my characters as a hobby on the side and I really enjoy visualizing them that way (it helps tons with writing them 😉 ) but I’m neither a good painter nor a serious artist. It’sa nice, relaxing hobby though and I’m already planning another bigger painting featuring Ares and Damian in some way. Will see where this one goes 😀

Anyway, here comes the Gallery of Villains:

Arturiel Valyr

Sirius “The Eye” Nymeron

Dawnelle Nymeron

Dahlia Laras

Villain – Sirius Nymeron: Scene

I’m thinking this gives you a pretty good impression of how Sirius Nymeron ‘ticks’. Just a note in advance: this is the entirely unedited version just in case you run into all kinds of appalling spelling, grammar and style mistakes 😉

“Rise, Soldier Leonard,” he finally said, his tone hinting at boredom.

Rising stiffly, I noticed that he wasn’t alone. Apart from the usual guards that followed him wherever he went, I saw Dawnelle sitting to his left, casting me a small smile. All in all they almost seemed to drown in the vastness of the hall. Despite all its modern appearance on the outside, the interior of the Palace of Light was more than just hinting at the splendor of ancient castles in what they called the Dark Age, back then.

Only then I became aware of the fact that I’d never even seen the Eye himself this close, in a private audience so to say. Sure, I’d seen him before in one of his glamorous public speeches, but that had always been an affair for the masses.

Shit, that’s what we’ve been waiting for all along. I could off him right now, if only I was fast enough…

…and entirely suicidal.

No, the thought eluded me soon enough. Looking at the Eye’s personal guard I knew enough to discard the very notion of drawing a weapon in their presence quickly. I wouldn’t even get to reach into my coat before I’d die. No, this wouldn’t get me anywhere. This wasn’t why I was here for.

“You called upon me, Your Highness?” I finally asked in a deferring tone as I raised my eyes from the marble floor in front of me.

With a flash the dream of my father’s death came back to me and I felt myself stiffen involuntarily. I didn’t need to look him in the eyes to know that their color was the same light violet that I’d seen through my father’s eyes before he’d died.

Don’t let the color fool you, boy. His are the eyes of a snake… It was pointless to lie to him, pointless. He’ll see. The Eye sees everything…

I could almost taste the bile rising inside me as I remembered the cause why we were here. I had to swallow hard, guarding myself, slamming my shields into place, letting nothing of the resentment that broiled inside myself show.

Ultimately, this was merely another thing I’d done before, another aspect of my training and the life I’d chosen. This was but another test and one that would have delighted Orpheus to no end had he lived to see it.

I finally made myself look up, made myself hold that stare of pure amethyst without flinching. Only who tried to hide something would be reluctant to face the Eye’s gaze and I wasn’t about to draw any suspicions onto myself.

To my surprise I found that Nymeron was smiling at me; it was merely a thin crescent line in his silver-bearded face, nevertheless it was there. He looked me over with the same appraising gaze his daughter had studied me the night before. He gave me a faint nod of acknowledgement.

“I see my daughter has chosen you for her guard. Not that I doubt her judgment in any way, but you may understand a father’s worry about the safety of his only daughter. I also trust that you are aware of the honor she did you with this and what this honor entails?”

Bowing my head, I nodded gravely, acutely aware that I actually meant it. Somehow his voice made me want to do exactly what he told me to do. Part of me was terrified as I realized just that, but this part was quickly smothered by a nearly crushing sense that obliged me to obedience.

This was bad. Very bad.

What is going on here?

Did I even care? As long as I did whatever he told me to do, I’d be all right. For a moment I felt myself walking a thin line between pretense and reality; all of a sudden it was hard to think clearly at all.

If I hadn’t known better I’d have called it magic, some sort of hypnosis invading my mind and for a moment I was even inclined to believe my own deception.

Eventually realization of what he was doing hit home though and it cost me everything not to break loose from the hold Nymeron had established on my mind.

“Yes, I am aware of that, Your Highness. It is an honor. At your service.” My voice was surprisingly clear as I spoke at last. Again everything inside me told me that this was the right thing to do, that I wanted to protect the Eye and his daughter with my very life. I prayed very hard that he wouldn’t realize that my vows weren’t as sincere as they appeared to be.

When he spoke next, it almost felt as if he was inside my head. His lips weren’t moving.

“You’ll obey to her and her alone and always be at her side.”

I will.

“You’ll protect her with your life if need be.”

I will.

“You’ll swear by your life and the Light itself.”

I swear.

Our World is Safety. Safety is the Watch.

Our World is just, Justice is the Watch.

Our World is good, Goodness is the Eye.

Our lives are pure, Purity is the Light.

Let the Light protect us,

Let the Light judge us,

Let the Light guide us,

Let the Light shine on us,

Always and Forever.

I hadn’t even realized that I’d spoken alound, but when I came around again, it was Dawnelle’s hand who drew me to my feet. I couldn’t remember when I’d sunk to my knees again.

Frankly, I didn’t remember much of everything. My heart skipped a beat at the realization.

Fuck.

“Now that that’s settled, I’m glad to welcome you as a regular part of my daughter’s guard,” Nymeron said, his voice suddenly normal again, every hint of manipulation vanished as if it had never been there.

Thinking about it, I had no clue what it was that he had just done and with the onset of panic I felt how the memory of his voice inside my head was fading. I knew it was important, that I had to hold on to it somehow, but the thought eluded me as soon as it had appeared.

Something was definitely wrong here.

What did he just do?

Did it matter?

Distantly, I registered Dawnelle making me take off my coat, before helping me into another one that was almost identical to the one I had worn before. Apart from the embroidery on its left side. I didn’t have to look down to know that it was Dawn’s emblem, mirroring the one she was still wearing now, only to take it off and slip it over my own head.

“Welcome to my guard, Raphael,” she said smiling that innocent smile again. I bowed my head, submissively.

“It is an honor to serve you.”

Inside me something wanted to run away screaming, but I stood my ground, waiting for the Eye to dismiss me.

“It was a pleasure to meet you, Lieutenant Leonard.”

“Lieutenant?” I echoed him, dumbstruck. “But-”

“Oh I forget to tell you that,” Dawnelle said cheerfully, her smile never faltering. “Accepting anybody below the rank of Lieutenant into my guard is out of the question so…well I don’t think you’d mind a raise in rank, would you?”

“No…No, I’m surprised that’s all,” I managed hastily, trying to swallow the voice that started to yell “Yes, I do!” inside me. I honestly didn’t want any part of this, but who was I to object.

“I’m sure you’ll live up to it,” she whispered into my ear suggestively.

“I’ll do my best.” It never ceased to surprise me how I kept a rein on my voice before I turned to leave after a dismissive nod from Nymeron.

“I trust you won’t disappoint us, Lieutenant Leonard.”

“Rest assured that I won’t, your Highness,” the reply came smoothly and without hesitation, making me wonder exactly how much of it was lie and how much truth.

The Gods damn me, but my life wasn’t getting any easier.

Villain – Sirius Nymeron

~Character Sheet~

Name: Sirius Nymeron, The Eye of the Empire of Light (or another fancy way of saying ‘Emperor’)

Age: 62

Appearance: Not even six feet tall, Nymeron should inspire people to say “I expected you to be taller”, but they never get that far. With eyes a shade of dark lilac in an almost ascetic face and hair that’s been silvery white since he was born, people find it hard to put an age to him as he aged rather well and refuses to succumb to a quiet life in the Palace only. If anything, power and the knowledge of how to wield it sustains Sirius and he relishes being a public person, upholding the image of the Empire by showing strength and certainty  without failure.

Family: As of now we know precious little about Nymeron’s parents and family background and it’ll remain open for now. What the Hellenes do know about him is tied to the Unification Wars, his role in consolidating the parties at war and being one of the main agents in drawing up the treaties of Unification etc. The public image of Nymeron’s past is a political one without anything leaking out about him as a person. He’s known for his efforts to keep it that way and publicly he’s been a clean slate. Sirius Nymeron is personified professionalism – at least most of the time.

He never officially married after assuming his position as the Eye, but he has two children, his son and heir Raeyn and Dawnelle, five years younger than him. Their mother, or mothers for that matter are unknown to the public and I’m leaving it open for now to avoid spoilers 😉

Both Raeyn and Dawnelle are acknowledged as ‘legitimate’ since Nymeron detests the notion of bastards and the general idea of degradation that goes along with the concept. Some take this as a hint that Nymeron himself was not a ‘legitimate’ child.

Of course there are rumors about Nymeron’s multiple affairs with different women, one of the more spectacular ones indicating that the mother of his children ‘disappeared’ after Nymeron finding out that she was Cursed. This rumor only is fueled when Raeyn mysteriously vanishes just before he turns twenty and Nymeron turns the entire Empire upside down to find his ‘lost son’, but fails. No need to say that the public is convinced that Raeyn must show signs of the Curse to disappear like that.

In general, Nymeron neither crushes those rumors about his person, nor does he try to encourage them. In his opinion they are something that go hand in hand with his personality and he likes to think of himself as mysterious as long as it serves his purposes.

After his futile search for Raeyn, he officially declares him as lost and instals Dawnelle as his heir, while speculations are that this had been his plan all the time since Dawnelle proved to be the more apt learner as far as politics and intrigue were concerned.

Profession: Nymeron is one of those apparently born to rule. He craves power and knows how to use it to his own ends. He plays on intrigue and manipulation without letting anyone notice they are being played all along. Some may call his ability to twist every situation to his benefit as uncanny, others don’t doubt his ultimate righteousness. Whatever he does, Sirius Nymeron does it for the good of the many, even if that means hunting down those unfortunate enough to be Cursed with magical abilities that ultimately lead to their death – if they’re lucky. That’s as far as common perception of the Curse goes and Nymeron definitely doesn’t try to change that particular image.

In the end he’s one of those villains who aren’t evil per se, he’s just following his own ideals, doing what he thinks best for his Empire, and betimes himself.