So as it turns out, there is a character of mine that I connect with above all other characters. There is a single entity that I myself have created and poured so much of everything into that this one character is my favorite above all others.
And I mean, I've created dozens, if not hundreds, of characters. I've created shadow assassins literally made of shadows, I've made dwarves that the earth itself bowed down before, I've made undersea shark wranglers and outcast dragons and blood magi, but there's one character that stands above all the rest.
And he's a villain. He's black as pitch.
We're talking about a torturer of children. A force of nature. A beast with the power of all the elements of the planet and none of the restraint of morals and ethics.
If you've read the Throne of Ao, you know it is not a villain's story. It's a story about a hero, Valistair, and about friendship. Val and Uri. Val and Maryl. Friends that no betrayal can separate. There's no room for a villain's victory.
But Melek is such a delicious kind of evil.
He's charismatic when he isn't being compared to the boy scout character of Valistair. He's dark and there's such hatred within, but there's so much capacity for love if you'd just put him first. So much comfortable danger.
It's a hero's story. It's Act I of the (planned) threefold trilogies. You want to root for Val and Uri, but you can't help but root for Melek too. You can't help but understand the dread logic behind his actions. You want him to find acceptance, even if that means the body count has to climb.
It's too bad the story ended before we could truly find out the results of Melek's actions.
Oh, but wait, what's this? A portion of the prologue of the second trilogy revealing what happens next?
Hmm. Considering that The Throne of Ao is in the process of being rewritten and expanded into a trilogy, maybe it's premature to reveal an unfinished portion of the next trilogy, tentatively titled The Towers of Aeruen. And yet, maybe it's long past due?
You can decide. Spoilers ahead if you haven't read Book 1. Specifically, if you don't know what happens to Melek at the end of the book, you should probably go read that first. This is an unfinished, unedited, unproofread version BTW. I just couldn't keep the secret any longer.
He was their hero.
There had never been an elf like him. A god in battle, with seemingly limitless magick. He had brought their community prestige, fame, and wealth.
So when, against all odds, he fell in battle and lay dying, it was no surprise that the elves of his community pooled their newfound wealth to transport him to Yesuria, the floating capitol of the empire, and hire no less than twelve master restorers to fan the spark of life within his cold body.
Five major leylines run across Yesuria, bringing the precious lithia from across the Realms into the everyday lives of the elves. The great nexus is available to the wealthy and privileged for the working of impossible magicks at the intersection of all five. The twelve restorers stood in a six-pointed star around the slumbering hero, tapping into the great leylines as only masters of their craft can.
The ritual was long, the magicks were complex and varied. Fully immersed in as much lithia as any wizard ever drew upon, the restorers began to lose sight of their material existence. Slowly, cautiously, the restorers bent and weaved the lithia as they crafted the careful spells that would restore the fallen hero. Only a single spark of life remained inside him, the slightest mistake would snuff out that spark forever.
Hours of struggle went by. Finally, the exhausted restorers were ready to place the magicks into him.
Something went wrong.
The fragile spark of life they worked so long to cultivate erupted into an inferno as a true Gate to the Realm of Lysia formed within the hero, drawing ever more magicks along the nexus. The restorers surrendered to the flow of lithia that poured into the new Gate. Their natural barriers against drawing too much magick shattered as more and more lithia burst through them to reach the terrible spark of life at their center.
Even the great leylines of Ao began to dim as the hero absorbed more and more magick. All over the planet, the technology and magicks of the elves began to fail as the lithia of the entire world flowed into him. Deprived of its magicks, the floating heaven of Yesuria began to fall.
The believed-infinite magicks of the Realm of Lysia that had birthed the elves and flowed through the leylines of Ao was being used up to rush into the receptacle at the center of those twelve restorers. No creature alive in either universe had ever seen anything like it since the Lumen Masolovat.
And then it stopped.For an impossible second all the elven magicks in the world were contained within a single being. Elves across the world cried out in fear at the end of the world.
The magicks flooded back, crashing against each elf across the world.The magick reserves of the heavens began to fill, Yesuria caught and righted itself several hundred meters lower, the magickal technology of the high elves resumed functioning and the leylines flared into existence, bright and steady again.
The twelve restorers who had unwittingly been the tools of this cataclysm looked around at each other. They found themselves not only whole and well, but with a more powerful connection to Lysia than ever before. Their magicks had increased exponentially, but all of their improvement paled in comparison to the magicks of the creature in front of them. Having proved already that his hume magicks were a match for a god, the being they had restored was now endowed with the Lithia—a permanent Gate to the Realm of Lysia that allowed elven magick to flow into him.
Oaths and prayers to the ancient gods crossed the lips of the restorers as they fell to their knees one by one in front of this being. For the first time in history, a hume had acquired the Lithia, and controlled more magick alone than the great archwizards of the Alyres combined.
The hero stood. His newfound powers raced through his body, dueling and dancing with the magicks of his birth. His own body became a battleground, but for the first time in his life, the hero was in total control.