A goblin skin-shaper named Urchul is the primary antagonist in Scion of the Dark Moon, though there are many others, ranging from scheming politicians to demons of the void. Goblins in the world of Terralis are a race of powerful beings that pose a constant threat to the other major race – humans. Goblin society is built around necromancy and demons, who they worship as gods.
The ‘bad guys’ in Scion of the Dark Moon work at opposing purposes from the protagonists, who are predominantly human. Though many of the antagonists are clearly ‘evil’ people (and creatures), some are not so clearly defined.
I find it easier to write about the bad guys. Bad guys are typically more dynamic, and definitely have fewer limitations. It’s a good reason to make ‘good guys’ somewhat ‘bad’!
Bad guys are fun to write because they have fewer acceptable limits – they typically do what they want, when they want, and they are more often unpredictable. These features lead to more possibilities for interesting writing. I feel less constraint when writing about the bad guys. In fantasy, this is particularly true because you can create all manner of diabolical plot lines for your antagonists, whereas your protagonists usually have to walk the ‘straight and narrow’.
My favorite bad guy is Urchul in Scion of the Dark Moon. He’s a goblin skin-shaper, an assassin who can take the appearance of those he kills by magically adhering their skin to his own. Though he would be considered repulsive and decidedly ‘evil’ to most of us, he was bred to do what he does, and feels he is serving his race in a justifiable way. His single-minded adherence to duty is actually a very respectable trait.
One of my favorite fictional bad guys is the robot Erasmus in Brian Herbert’s Dune prequels (The Butlerian Jihad, The Machine Crusade, and The Battle of Corrin). Erasmus is a sentient robot and one of the rulers of the Synchronized Empire that has enslaved most of humanity. Ironically, he is constantly torturing people in his eternal quest to ‘understand’ humans and be more like them. Ironically again, he ends up adopting a human ‘son’ who he grows to love, in his own way, which is his undoing in the end. This dichotomy, and the author’s brilliant portrayal, make Erasmus one of the best bad guys I’ve read in a long time.
Books by Kingsley Montgomery can be found at http://www.kvmbooks.com/.
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