Last week, a group I'm in started discussing anti-heroes and complex heroes, and it got me thinking about my villain, Alugiac, from the Mind Over trilogy. I thought I'd share his growth from villain to redeemed hero.
In Mind Over Mind, Deryl, a psychic human, has been manipulated by an alien called Alugiac. Alugiac would come to him in his dreams, teach him fighting skills (first with swords, then with his telepathy) and indoctrinate him. At first, the lessons were a welcome escape from the grief of losing his mother, but eventually they started changing Deryl’s attitudes. They manifested themselves in the waking world, too, until he psychically stops the heart of a bully who’d tormented him. (Deryl does CPR and brings the boy back, but this is the last straw, and he’s institutionalized.) Alugiac leaves him alone for awhile, but comes back to resume training, and Deryl realizes he wants to use him as a long-distance weapon in the fight against another world. Deryl refuses and managed to fight him off. This one is out by DragonMoon, BTW. http://www.amazon.com/Mind-Over-Karina-L-Fabian/dp/1897492367
In the second book, Mind Over Psyche, Deryl teleports to an alien world called Kanaan, where he meets and falls in love with Tasmae, who is psychically linked to her planet. She can manipulate the weather, even to redirecting earthquakes and quelling volcanoes. She also has a rare talent: being able to harness the energy of her world and the life on it and use that to repel a planet that periodically comes too close to hers. (They call the planet Barin.) They are at war with Barin, and in the last war, she was nearly killed by one of her people who went insane and turned traitor: Alugiac. Alugiac has joined the Barin and is in fact their Great Prophet and the religious leader that united the nations of Barin. Alugiac catchies Deryl and Tasmae in a psychic netherworld. He gives Deryl a choice: Obey him and have everything he wants (including Tasmae) or die and Tasmae with him. Of course, they fight back, and in the end, Deryl breaks through Alugiac’s insanity. However, they leave Alugiac in the netherworld, struggling to come to terms with all he’s done. This one comes out in September.
In the final book, Mind Over All (which I’m writing), Alugiac is back, only with a twist. Deryl is working with him to try to stop the war between Kanaan (where Deryl and Tasmae live) and Barin, where Alugiac is the Great Prophet. Here’s the fun thing: Alugiac went insane because he realized that each time someone like Tasmae used her power to repel Barin, they basically cause worldwide disasters. The Barin live underground because their world is barely habitable most of the year. They depend on their technology and know that the world is thrown out of orbit every few centuries, but don’t know why. Alugiac, who was Tasmae’s Godfather, knows why—and he knows that she is the most powerful of her kind. She won’t just move Barin, with all the horrible repercussions. She will destroy it, and probably Kanaan as well. That’s why he was trying to kill her, and unable to do it “in person,” was training Deryl as a psychic assassin. The Barin also realize their planet is doomed, which is why they are planning a full exodus to Kanaan. Deryl, of course, is working toward a better solution, but in the meantime, the strain is pushing Alugiac back toward his insanity from before. So he’ll be fighting himself as well as the people of Barin, trying to convince them to stand down and trust in God.
I’m just about to the really fun scenes, where Deryl goes to Barin to try to save that world. He’s known there (thanks to Alugiac the Prophet) as God’s Wrath, which was supposed to be used against Kanaan. Deryl’s best friend from Earth, Joshua, is going with him. He’ll be known as God’s Mercy. I’m still not sure how it will work out, but I do know that in the end, Alugiac will sacrifice himself to overcome his dark side, but not before he nearly kills Tasmae.
When I started writing the first book, I had no idea this was where it would lead. Alugiac was supposed to stay the villain, but he's far more interesting as a redeemed one.
What do you think of redeemed villains? Who's your favorite and why?