For some time, I thought of including a character who is mute in my second fantasy book. They would only be able to speak in wheezing, incoherent whispers and only their family and bodyguards would be able to understand what they are saying. I got the idea of an old movie I saw years back in which an old mobster could barely speak and could only be understood by his enforcers. Like that mobster, this character will be a high-ranking individual in society. Also, this character will be wickedly frightening with a sword.
When I improved Numen the Slayer, I introduced two new characters, Lucille and Margaret. Lucille is the kennelmaster’s daughter while Margaret is the stablemaster’s daughter. Both are servants of House Magnus and were raised by fathers who wanted sons instead of daughters. As a result, these two girls are tough tomboys. Due to their upbringings, they are able to connect with hounds and horses better than humans. In fact, Lucille is rarely seen without her three hounds. Due to being an apprentice kennelmaster, Lucille and her hounds participated in multiple hunts with Baron Viktor Magnus. Margaret also shares a chivalrous relationship with another Magnus servant who aspires to be a knight. Lucille is so petite that she looks much younger than she really is with messy blonde hair and a constantly sad face. Margaret is tall and willowy with coarse brown hair and high cheekbones. As servants and animal caretakers, the two girls have no prior experience as warriors. When they are forced into the wilderness with their liege, they are forced to adapt to their situation and learn how to fight. I named these characters after my family’s deceased German Shepherds, Lucy and Maggy, and I hope you like them.
I know this is going to raise some debate amongst you, but there is something I need to get off my chest. I am not particularly fond of Kenshin Himura from Rurouni Kenshin. I know that he suffered from internal struggle, but in terms of fighting skills he seemed all but invincible. While I can connect with his psychological issues, I think he would have seemed more human if he actually lost two or three fights (five tops). His first duel with Sojiro does not count because that was a draw and not a real loss. His training with his master Hiko Seijuro also does not count because he is the man who taught Kenshin everything he knows so he is obviously going to be superior to him. His Amakeru Ryu No Hirameki being bested by Enishi’s Kufuku Zettosei also does not count because he kept fighting even though it should have been physically impossible for him to do so. There are times in which I think Kenshin received injuries that should have either crippled or killed him and he still kept fighting. It is like the author was depicting a god of war instead of a normal man. If Kenshin fought two or three opponents that not even he can defeat then I might like him better because it would prove that even he had limits in terms of combat. What do you think?
Here is one of the anti-villains of Numen the Slayer, Emperor Autem Sylva III. Autem is the current emperor of Gradaia and is a complex and morally ambiguous character. A politically astute young man, Autem is obsessed with securing his dynasty’s future and status and is willing to eliminate members of his own family or tamper with unholy magic to achieve that goal. He covertly commits a number of atrocities to secure his position as emperor and yet is plagued by a sense of guilt when he sleeps at night. In battle, Autem wears gold armor and wields the Ferruman metal sword, Gryphclaw. When creating Autem, I drew inspiration from the historical Richard III as well as Macbeth. As the series progresses, Autem’s character will evolve as he continues to fight for the future of his dynasty.
One of the more interesting characters of Numen the Slayer is the former pit fighter known as Clovis Virtus. Clovis started out as the son of a blacksmith before being abducted by slavers when he was thirteen and forced to fight in gladitorial death matches. After eight years, Clovis became a hardened survivor of a hundred death matches. He is rarely seen without his great helm, which sports bull horns. His weapon of choice is an iron war hammer. Due to fighting for so long, Clovis becomes an individual who is always seeking a good battle. I named him after the Frankish king known as Clovis during the Dark Ages.