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What makes a villain?

Hey, folks! Still working on GrimFaerie Chronicles here. It appears on the page at whatever pace it wants, which is either frustrating or exciting, depending on the day. Some interesting possibilities are rolling around in my mind at the moment, and I'm waiting for a clearer picture of the story to emerge. It's fun, though, and as always, I hope y'all will enjoy it when it's ready!

The title of this email refers to my current, slow-cooking, epic fantasy project. I had an idea for it a loooong time ago, and finally started writing it back in October 2018. Of course, Grim Undertakings jumped ahead of it in line, but that's how Kane rolls. Even so, I got around 24K words in before I set that other story aside to work on GU. Now, I'm working on the next story in the GrimFaerie series, but that other's still calling me, whispering in my ear, telling me that it wants to be written. OK, I hear you, I hear you!

Darth Vader was one of my favorite villains. Seriously. I remember being in the theater as a young child, seeing him onscreen for the first time, and holding my breath in fear and excitement as he casually strolled through the smoke on Leia's ship as he boarded. It was totally silent in that theater except for the sounds of his mechanical breathing. WOW. Talk about making a first impression! As the series continued over the years, it became clear that Vader was a ruthless, terrifying character, but he had layers. He had not always been like that. Back then, I wondered what he had been like, before the cape, before the helmet. What made him like that?

Thanks to 'the prequels,' we all know that story by now. We all know better than to attack Obi-Wan when he's got the high ground. And we all know that young Anakin was led astray by a very powerful dark lord. However much you loved (or loved to hate) those movies, they showed the making of a famous villain. And to be honest, Anakin always seemed to be leaning in that direction anyway. He didn't need much of a push to go all Sithy...he was a pouty, arrogant, and angry young man, a perfect tool for the evil emperor.

So why tell you that? Bear with me, I'm getting there. In Mage's Burden, you're introduced to a guy who's a villain in every sense of the word: Mordak. He's straight-up evil. An indiscriminate killer bent on domination, willing to sacrifice anything to achieve his goals. He relishes the suffering of others, finds it amusing, and causes pain as a matter of course. Insane enough to make a deal with a Daemon-God for power, fully knowing the price he'd pay, Mordak is a dangerous, ruthless, and mighty villain.

But was he always like that? I think not. And I think there's a story or two that needs to be told. Many of my friends and fellow Star Wars fans were generally unhappy with how Anakin's backstory was depicted in the movies. Anakin was pretty unlikable, even when he was good! Mordak's tale is very different. It's tragic, exciting, and heartbreaking, from what I've seen of it so far. And don't worry...Mordak wasn't nearly as annoying as Anakin was. He was actually pretty cool. ;-)  

As always, dear readers, I'll keep you posted. This pic shows him as he appeared in the Fire of the Jidaan Trilogy. A master sorcerer, consumed by hatred and ambition, he's a bad, bad man.

Want to know more about this Mordak guy? Check out The Fire of the Jidaan Trilogy! It's classic Epic Fantasy, written for fans of Terry Brooks, Raymond E. Feist, Robert E. Howard, and Dennis L. McKiernan!


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