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Redemption for this villain?

Discussion in 'Writing Discussions' started by rktho, Jun 3, 2018.

  1. rktho

    rktho Troubadour

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    So in my book, there is an order of dark wizards called Kenshi. The Kenshi are a splinter group of the Shazarians, which are good wizards. The Shazarians protect the Elder Swords (the Deconstructed MacGuffin of my series.)

    For thousands, perhaps even over a million years, the Shazarians had been the guardians of magic. Their grand master was called the Rivanaran. He was chosen by the Rishnaran (Writer in the dragon language, the name of the omnipotent creator) to serve as his mouthpiece, a direct revelator of his will. There has been a long tradition of initiating the imperial family into the order (unlike Jedi, anyone can be a Shazarian if they go through the process of unlocking their innate powers; every dragon is more or less equally sensitive to magic. The Rivanaran is an exception as he is even more powerful.) The emperor takes his two sons to be initiated as Shazarians. Khriza, the eldest and first in line for the throne, "fails" his test and cannot unlock his powers. But this means that he is destined to be the Rivanaran when the current one dies, and he must unlock his powers another way.

    Khriza's brother Fiandarsh feels gypped; his brother is the emperor AND the Rivanaran. It doesn't help that he finds an ancient evil that (metaphorically) whispers in his ear and intensifies these jealous feelings. (I'm thinking along the lines of a book, written long ago by a dark wizard, from which Fiandarsh acquires the knowledge to start his own dark wizard group. The book is almost tailored to him.)

    The Rivanaran dies and Khriza takes his place, unsure of his worthiness as he has not yet unlocked his powers. The emperor dies and Khriza assumes the throne. Fiandarsh is sent to a neighboring land of Kadresh as a diplomat, basically just to check up on them and make sure they're still allies and stuff. These dragons are ruled by a chief. Fiandarsh meets the chief's brother, Ragul, who is jealous of his brother's throne. Fiandarsh, seeing an opportunity, conspires with the Ragul. Ragul arranges for his brother's murder and then blames the resulting assassination on Fiandarsh, and his first act as chief is to go to war with Fiandarsh's land to avenge his brother. Fiandarsh provides information to Ragul, pulling strings to turn the war in a direction that will lead Fiandarsh to the throne. When Fiandarsh realizes Ragul has imperialistic ambitions and intends to take the land for himself, Fiandarsh arranges a battle where Khriza is forced to kill him. Khriza's killing of Ragul serves to replace the chief with someone Fiandarsh trusts more and also to increase (and legitimize) the anger against Khriza by the Kadreshians.

    Fiandarsh also takes advantage of a feud between two lieutenants that breaks out over a promotion; Fiandarsh both causes them to believe the promotion is rightfully theirs. A duel is arranged behind Khriza's back, and Khriza's most trusted captain, Rissa, is roped into being a second to one of them (which the other one takes personally.) Fiandarsh, using magic, ensures that they both die. When Khriza finds out, Fiandarsh blames Rissa, and Rissa does not object because, unaware of Fiandarsh's manipulation, he truly feels he is to blame for their deaths. He is removed from the army. He later redeems himself by sneaking into the enemy camp and assassinating their leader (appointed de facto for the duration of the war due to his tactical genius, his death does not affect the line of succession in the chieftanship.)

    Peace is made between the two warring peoples, and Fiandarsh, disappointed, leads his cult of dark wizards (amassed over the course of the war) against the Shazarian monastery and takes one of the swords. The Kenshi then travel across the continent on a conquest to collect the others, decimating wizard orders of other species along the way. Finally, the war reaches a climax and the Kenshi lose. Fiandarsh invokes a spell to reset time to before the war began, but due to Khriza's intervention, fails to make it through the portal before it closes. Since nobody took advantage of the time reset, nobody retains their knowledge from before the reset and everything happens again exactly as before, up to that point, where Fiandarsh attempts to do it again. However, the spell can only be performed once, and Fiandarsh wasted his chance.

    Fiandarsh dies (not sure how yet-- suicide? killed by Khriza? hiding alone and dying of old age?) but continues on as a malevolent spirit. Due to the actions of the warring wizards, the Rishnaran has altered historical memory to erase knowledge of magic from non-wizards. Both Shazarians and Kenshi now form small, secret groups, carefully hiding their magic from the common folk. Khriza's and Fiandarsh's ghosts serve as guiding forces for their respective factions. There has not been a Rivanaran since Khriza's death (of natural causes after a long and prosperous reign.)

    My main villain, Zarakharn (the current emperor) is apprenticed to Fiandarsh, who has been dead for so long his language has died with him (except among wizards and intellectuals.) Fiandarsh has lied to Zarakharn and made him to believe there is only one living Kenshi, when in fact he has four other apprentices. Zarakharn figures this out on his own, and after he is defeated by the Shazarians, he employs Fiandarsh's time resetting trick to resurrect himself without Fiandarsh's knowledge. Fiandarsh, unaware that Zarakharn failed him (and Zarakharn having taken steps to prevent repeating the mistake) introduces him to the other Kenshi. They work together, but Zarakharn's personal grudge against the Shazarians interferes with his planning and allows them to escape. Zarakharn is left for dead by the Kenshi and he goes rogue, taking his own apprentice, and twisting him against his loved ones.) The Shazarians accidentally stumble on and release a Kenshi who has been trapped in a magical cave for many generations, having wandered in and never found the way out. This Kenshi allies himself with Zarakharn temporarily but betrays him when he realizes Zarakharn is not a Kenshi anymore, and that the Kenshi have not gone extinct in his absence.

    Zarakharn is the first in the race between the Shazarians, the Kenshi and the ex-Kenshi, to unite the Elder Swords and unlock their power. All of them team up to defeat him, by entering a magical dimension where the Swords' power is held and destroying the source. (The source reforms over periods of years and this is how Fiandarsh was defeated the first time.) Zarakharn dies and the Rishnaran appears, imparting counsel (and comfort) to the survivors of the final battle.

    Ok. All that to ask... Can Fiandarsh be redeemed, and how should I do it?

    Palpatine was evil from the beginning and corrupted Anakin Skywalker, a good person, to the Dark Side. Fiandarsh and Zarakharn are the reverse; Fiandarsh was once a good dragon, while Zarakharn was born amoral and only needed a sufficient outlet to fuel his ambition. The apprentice is irredeemable. I want the master, however, to be redeemed. (And so does Khriza, because Fiandarsh's fall broke his heart.) This redemption would take place at the very end, during or after the final battle. How do I get Fiandarsh to see the evil of his ways, and what would be a powerful way for him to atone for them (or begin to atone for them?)
     
  2. rktho

    rktho Troubadour

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    Crap, wrong thread.
     
  3. rkthorktho Sounds a little bit like Skyrim. Just with more characters!
     
  4. rktho

    rktho Troubadour

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    Thanks! Never played that game, only heard of it.
     
  5. rkthorktho On YouTube, there are let’s plays.—And a lot of those are in English.
     
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