So I took a challenge from the wonderful, Athelas, to write a short stories about my main villain’s right hand man. You can view her post here (https://craftingstoriesinred.wordpress.com/2015/02/03/get-to-know-your-characters-challenge-right-hand-man/) and there is still time to enter her contest if you would like!
I was really excited to take this challenge! I have written a lot about Ra’ Hazak, in my first book, who is a traitorous elf who betrayed his kind to work as Nakavar’s right hand man. But I had yet to write a scene which included actually Nakavar, my main villain, or a dialogue scene with his powerful assassin, Anarr.
Here were some of Athelas’ prompts I combined and used:
- Your villain’s right-hand man is between three and ten. Write something that shows what their life was like at that point.
- Write about the time when your villain and his right-hand man (or woman) met.
- Your character has lost something important—what is it, where is it, and why do they need it?
So now, I have this little scene which I will probably never include in my novels, but it has been a fun exercise. It takes place just after the first chapter in my book but many years before the second.
Please enjoy and check out Athelas’ website if you have time!
In the lonely Matae’ desert, towers rose out of the flowing sands. And under those dark towers, dark tunnels lead to dark rooms. But at the end of one such tunnel, one room was lit a bit better than the others, though it truly could not have been called bright with its grey stone walls and dancing shadows. Yet, a little girl still squinted in the dim light, as she stood, feet apart, head straight forward, in the center of the room. There was no innocence in her freshly scared face, just grey determination.
But she could hardly be called a child. Her wise, grey eyes stared blankly, and her pointed ears and auburn hair were the only traits she inheritated from her Eshaem ancestors. No, she was more monster than child, more dragon than elf. She was a Livyahak—albeit an eight-year-old one. And her dragon wings, tipped with venomous fangs, testified to her guilt.
“Is she not the perfect specimen, Ra’ Hazak?”
Two elves strode into the room. The first casually waved his hand, and the entire room lit up as if it was noon day. Though the Livyahak girl blinked, she did not move and only shifted her focus to the two men who would decide her destiny.
“Naturally.” In the brighter light, their features became clear. The second speaker was an Eshaem elf like the ancestors of the creatures he created, but with his bright red hair, dull blue eyes, and wide face, he was far from the normal standards of beauty.
But beauty does not matter when one was raising an army, miles underground.
Or, after looking at the second elf, perhaps beauty became all the more potent in an underground city.
He was tall and pale; his long black hair rested on his strong shoulders. One would have thought he was the ideal form of a Shama’em elf, but if one looked close, his outwardly blue eyes swirled occasionally with red like a fire was fighting for control. He was too perfectly formed to be an elf—no, he was something far more dangerous. The lithe man was a Ro’ah, one of the powerful shapeshifters made of fire and wind. And he was the only one to ever rebel against his King.
The two advanced: the Ro’ah with flowing strides, whose feet upon close examination, did not even touch the floor. Yet, the Eshaem elf, Ra’ Hazak, stepped with more force and determination. But the young Livyahak was unmoving and only followed her lords with her grey eyes.
As the Ro’ah drew close, he stopped only a few feet in front of the girl. Kneeling down, he reached out to touch a fresh, swelling brand which scarred her face. Then he turned to his scientist. “So young, Ra’ Hazak! The child is the youngest to past the pain tests.”
“Yes, that is why we are here.” The man frowned and fidgeted with a testing vial which he had temporarily forgotten in his pocket.
“Of course, I say it for the sake of this little one. There is no other way she could learn that she is such a prodigy.” He turned back to the quiet girl, who seemed content to listen and observe. “Do you have a name, child?”
“Anarr.” She focused her small gaze on the man in front of her. “And you are Nakavar.”
The beautiful man smiled. “Yes, I am the fallen Ro’ah, but one day you will help me rise again.”
Nakavar opened his arms and suddenly a great wind swirled in the room even though they were miles underground. Ra’ Hazak put his vial back into his pocket and frowned disapprovingly. But the little girl with the dragon wings did not move. Then the wind stilled. Suddenly the temperature of the room rose, and dozens of elves were walking around the room and talking, as if they were in one of their markets hundreds of miles away. Bursting into musical laugher, Nakavar grinned as the scene changed, and the elves were now writhing and screaming in a fire. Then it was all gone, and they stood alone in the room.
Still the Livyahak did not comment or flinch at Nakavar’s displays of power.
“Are you not afraid, child?” The Ro’ah knelt down to be on her level.
Once again, the girl, Anarr, fixed her wise, grey eyes on her lord. “No. Or I don’t think so. What is it?”
Nakavar blinked. “Pardon me?”
“What is ‘afraid,’ sir?”
Shaking his head in wonder, Nakavar looked back at his right hand man. “I’m always amazed, Ra’ Hazak, at what we created. A creature without fear. What a marvelous existence for these little ones. Perhaps Malakh could take away their lives, but never could He torture them with fear and rejection.”
“No.” Ra’ Hazak cleared his throat. “This is what you did, Nakavar. I had no part in their apathy. I only ensured that your creations lived and were physically ideal. It was your curse which took away their emotions.”
“But of course,” Nakavar nodded his regal head as he turned back to his test subject. “Child, your pain test was very impressive, and I will ensure your training is accelerated, even among Delwic standards. You will be the best.”
“I am the best, but I have much to learn.”
“Yes. I see two paths for your future; yet, I am curious to your preference. Child, would you rather lead my armies or become my personal assassin?”
“I’d rather work alone, sir.”
“Then as assassin will be your destiny. Ra’ Hazak, lead—“
Anarr’s small hand shot out and clenched onto Nakavar’s embroidered purple robe. “But, sir. I want something from you.”
Eyes wide in awe, Nakavar whistled softly to himself. “They truly feel no fear, do they, Ra’ Hazak? You are fortunate I value you, child. I will listen to your plea.”
“I am missing something—and I want it. I’ve read the books about the mentalities of elves, and they want to do things. I just do them. Something presses them to act certain ways, and then they—their actions—they—they… Certain actions satisfy the elves and other things don’t. They have a pull towards certain things and a push away from others. I want that, sir. My world is still, but theirs has a living wind directing them. May I have that, sir? Can you give it to me?”
For a moment, Nakavar was silent, and his handsomely sharp face reflective and sad. “You do not want emotion, child. Trust me. You do not want the ability to feel. It only clouds your thinking and provides a weakness for the Enemy to exploit. No, child. You do not know what you ask.”
“But, at least, their world moves, sir. My world is still.”
After a moment, Nakavar looked to Ra’ Hazak, who seemed completely uninterested in the conversation and had once again started to study his vial. “I will give you a moment of what you ask. But not until you have succeeded in your first mission and failed in your second. Then we will see if you still want it.”
“Sir.” The Livyahak nodded, but still did not look away.
Standing up, Nakavar cleared his throat in a gentlemanly but demanding way, and Ra’ Hazak looked up, putting his vial into his trouser pocket again. “The child will be my assassin as I eradicate the elves and take Malekh’s throne. Take her to the training camps and ensure that she gets the most experience.”
For the first time, Ra’ Hazak grinned, a rotting, toothy grin unlike Nakavar’s refined, delicate one. “She will know everything and experience everything—except emotion. There will be no torture or mental trick which she does not understand.”
I’d really encourage you to take Athelas’ challenge, too, and if you do, then I would love to read about your villains, too!