An Introduction

It’s long been my dream to write fiction… nonfiction is fine, but whenever I daydream my thoughts usually turn to stories. I’ve written a few things here and there over the years, but nothing I’m particularly proud of. Typically I’ll get an idea, power out some worldbuilding, character sketches, and maybe a few chapters before burning out and leaving the idea to rot, with the best it can hope for is for its components to be cannibalized by some future failed idea.

That’s not too common, though. More often, I’ll come up with a cast of leads who are well-drawn and who I like a lot… but have no idea which story they go in. These are perhaps the most tragic of all, as they never even have a chance to develop — they exist as static images, never able to grow or change because they don’t yet have events to react to. Today I’ll be introducing you to three such characters, who have been lurking in my head for over five years but are no closer to having a story now than they did when I first dreamed them up. I don’t even know what medium or genre they’re intended for. Novel? Video game? Short story? Episodic comic? Comedy? Tragedy? Parody? Adventure? Who knows.

Tyrus: A misanthropic bastard of the highest caliber. In no way an antihero, Tyrus is an evil jerk, knows he’s an evil jerk, and likes being an evil jerk. He’s such an evil jerk, in fact, that he was on the verge of taking over the known world before his enemies banded together and overthrew him.

Tyrus was once a disgustingly powerful sorcerer, so potent that at his height he could knock over whole cities as easily as breathing — which he did, often, with unnerving enthusiasm. The rulers of those cities, however, as well as the rulers of the cities who feared they might be next, put aside their own miscellaneous quarrels and managed to corner him and permanently seal away his magical talents. Every city he vowed to reduce to smoldering ashes appreciates their efforts, and everyone’s happy about the way things went — save Tyrus himself. Without his vast array of occult powers, and with no allies thanks to his years of hellraising and random acts of evil,Tyrus had little option but to flee into the wilderness and begin plotting his revenge.

And he did. Tyrus is now a mortal man without any magical powers to call on, but he’s still dangerously intelligent and ruthlessly ambitious, and is determined to regain his former glory and smite those who thwarted him the first time. He’s an all-but-unbeatable swordsman and can be alluringly charismatic when he wants to be, so it’s entirely possible that he might even succeed, someday. His knowledge of the arcane is unparalleled even if he can’t make much use of it right now, which is how he was able to summon up…

Ignatia: A female devil and succubus. Young by the standards of demons, Ignatia was accidentally summoned by Tyrus when he was looking for loopholes to his newly-sealed magic. (The curse that binds Tyrus prevents him from using his own magic, but doesn’t prevent him from contracting others to do it for him — Tyrus was looking to summon a powerful demon to do his magical heavy lifting for him.)

Ignatia is extremely powerful compared to mortals, but she’s inexperienced at applying her power in the mortal realm and often makes mistakes. She is also somewhat naive, even ingenuous — her knowledge of the mortal realm is not extensive, and she tends to get confused when she encounters something that doesn’t act like a fellow demon. She’s something of a ditz, but a very dangerous one.

Needless to say, Tyrus was very disappointed with his summoning of what he viewed as little more than a minor devil, and tried to abjure her. Ignatia wasn’t having any of it, though — mediocre though the mortal realm may be, it’s still miles better than the underworld, and she wasn’t going back there without a fight. Remaining in the mortal realm, however, means submitting herself to Tyrus’s control — but Ignatia quickly became adept at following Tyrus’s orders to the letter without actually giving him what he wants, much to his annoyance.

Tyrus and Ignatia hate each other with a passion — he is annoyed by her youth and inexperience; she hates his sullen, antisocial nature — but are grudging allies.  If Tyrus is killed, Ignatia will be forced to return to the underworld, which is something she wants to avoid at all costs. Together they’ve wreaked a lot of havoc, only some of it intentional. Their antics have attracted the attention of…

Lioria: One of the oldest archangels in the celestial realm. Lioria was ancient when the most advanced form of life was a form of slime drifting in the ocean, and has all the cynicism and detachment that implies. She finds the celestial realm to be stultifying, and often takes mortal form to observe mortals who pique her interest — and Tyrus is right up her alley. Supposedly she’s following him in order to prevent him from meddling with the fabric of reality — a nice angelic duty — but in actuality she does so merely for her own amusement, and is even willing to help him if she feels she can get away with it.

Lioria has a dry, sardonic sense of humor and loves to needle her traveling companions. Unlike Ignatia, Tyrus has no hold over her and is unable to restrain her, so she pretty much does what she likes. She can be very funny and likable, but she occasionally lets slip the towering contempt she has for mortal life just as a general rule. She’s willing to break the rules just to see things move, and doesn’t much care if people die as a result. (However, angels cannot directly hurt mortals, so she is unable to directly kill anyone.) Even Ignatia is somewhat shocked by her apathy regarding the mortal world.

–Both Ignatia and Lioria utilize powerful glamors that keep anyone from noticing their true natures. Both are spiritual beings in reality, but Ignatia takes the form of a sinfully voluptuous redheaded young woman, while Lioria wears the skin of a pale-skinned, blonde priestess in her early thirties.

–In this story, the celestial realm (heaven) and the underworld (hell) are obviously real, but they don’t come into conflict much. They’re supposed to, in theory, but in practice they spend more time squabbling amongst themselves than seeing to either their counterparts or the mortal realm. The celestial realm is a vast bureaucracy which oversees every aspect of reality — but it’s bloated to the extent that most of what the bureaucracy regulates is in fact the bureaucracy. There’s a God, but it’s so difficult to actually speak to Him that it’s impossible to tell if any of the celestial realm’s directives actually come from Him rather than one of his angelic middlemen. Nothing actually gets done there. This is why Lioria spends so much time in the mortal realm — it’s such a vast circle-jerk that she grows disgusted if she stays there too long.

The underworld, by contrast, is more or less a running battle, and has been since it came into existence. Demons, being demons, are far too busy stabbing each other in the back and trying to grab power over the underworld for themselves to spend any time tempting mortals or fighting angels. The result of this is that the mortal realm mostly muddles along at its own pace, ignored by both the upper and lower realms.

…And that’s the setup. Like I said, I have no idea what to do with this basic framework. Some days I feel it might work better as a novel, with Tyrus and his accomplices trying to regain his throne, while others I like it better as an episodic comedy, where Tyrus tries a new plan each installment only to fail Pinky-and-the-Brain-style, while Ignatia and Lioria spend their time laughing at him behind his back.

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