Fantasy Writers

Villains’ Character Castle

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    They sound cool!

    @this-is-not-an-alien @hannahrenner

    Soo… How are we going to start this? Are we going to pick up where we left off? Or are we going to start something new?

    Catholic Creed


    Sorry if I’m too blunt, but there is no point restarting this castle if we’re reluctant to play with the characters and refuse to get emotionally invested in this.


    Challenge time: @this-is-not-an-alien , @skylarynn , @erynne , @rusted-knight

    – We each find something we can get emotionally invested in – and we write about it in detail.  Something in our character AND in the castle.

    – We each commit to posting fiction weekly.  Yes, missing once and a while is okay, but we are five people – we can make this work.

    – We each play with a sympathetic character in every post.  Like, invent a poor maid we can cheer for or a British butler we all want to write anyway.  This character needs to be common property.  This will aid with emotional investment.



    This is your baby and your problem.  Stop baby-sitting and become the game master we all know you want to be.

    Get your head in the game. 😉


    This has been, awful-not-good-very-bad-pep-talks with @hannahrenner

    When life knocks you down, wait 'til it passes over you and then attack it from behind.




    *Raises left hand and puts right hand over heart* I Erynne, (not allowed to say last name) hereby promise to commit more time and effort to Villain Castle and to pay better attention to train brain not to get confused.

    If @this-is-not-an-alien can start us off with an idea (someone mentioned a Labyrinth and that sounded awesome) then we can continue. If it’s alright, let’s just stick with one storyline to keep the confusion down.


    Spear in hand, she crouches in the branches of a gnarled tree blue-green leaves tugging through her inky hair. It’s close, closer, still fuzzy but its shape is clear. Her hand tightens on the spear, waiting for the flat aerial fish to get just a little closer, its scales glittering blurrily with each wiggling flap of its fins. Meira flicks her hair out of her eyes, tensing for a leap just as something stirs between the foliage. With a cry she jumps the fish a second too late and it bubbles away, startled by something wandering through the foliage.
    “Gwah–look out!” Meira yells, tumbling back from the force of impact with nothing as she barely misses impaling somebody. She totters back, hauling her spear on her shoulders for balance. “Hullo! Ehr, sorry, gent! You unbattered, right?!”
    She bends over to see under the stranger’s hood and he tenses. Meira bobs back, trying to remember the polite way to greet a human but with a mental shrug reverts to her usual greeting.
    “Live well!” She says, her hand jumping to a salute showing her palm over her forehead, the spear tipping off her shoulder. Instantly she catches it, dipping into the appropriate bow, which gives the spear another chance to escape. “Meira Kalyani-silver! And you called?”
    “Um…” He gives a fractional shrug, eyes shifting uncomfortably. Cocking her head onto her shoulder she decides he looks so scrawny it makes her hurt. Meira juggles the spear back on her shoulders, gives up, and thunks the butt of the weapon on the ground in front of her.
    “I was spear-fishing!” She announces twisting her hands around the spear while swinging into it a little, wondering if he can look any more uncomfortable so she gives him a friendly jostle on the shoulder before everything jolted into darkness…

    “Let me tell you a secret,” He kicks aside a pile of books with his foot, firelight blankly reflecting the murder-black glint in his eyes. Curled around Connel’s arm by her tail the green-sapphire draekonet puffs hot breath on his neck between her slim pointed nostrils. “People…they tend to accept the idea of monsters, just the idea of course, not the real thing.”
    The night air is cold and stagnant and bites into his fingers against the steel rim of the hilt sliding out the niche of his surcoat. As if reading her master’s mind, the draekonet shifts her scaly hide into his shoulder before pouncing onto the paper-splattered floor out of his way. “See, in your mind you’ve always assumed there’s some line some moral that one simply doesn’t cross. People assume that, isn’t that right, Tatira?” His eyes trail to the sleek draekonet, a darkly flickering smile twists the corner of his lips. “But you see, monsters really do exist, they hide in everyone, just untapped by most people because there’s always that line, that quiet little voice that says you simply…can’t do that it’s ‘wrong’”
    Candle in hand, he turns, dropping his gaze to the drooped form plastered to the chair, head stirring with a dizzy moan.
    “Ah, you’re awake.” Connel twirls the small blade around his fingers, strands of black hair in his face sharp against the dim gold of candlelight. “About time, I was afraid I’d have to find someone else to answer my questions.”
    “Where–what–?” The taste of panic caught in someone else’s eyes is something almost calmingly familiar meaning everything still going according to plan. He sets the candle beside the man, the knife sliding back to its hilt as his impatience fades back to the sidelines.
    “Now, before we begin, I’d like to fix a common misconception people have here. You probably have it in your mind, like I was telling my friend–” Connel motions to Tatira with his head, picking up a fractured book from the mess. “I was saying how every person has an untapped monster held back by that little inner voice called consequence.”
    “I don’t…don’t know what you’re…-”
    He laughs softly. In a second the tip of his sword slaps out of its scabbard with a sharp slick! under the man’s chin. His other hand flips over pages of a book set on the table, aching to be able to read written words.
    “Of course you don’t. Let me finish,” Connel says “you see, people don’t fear actions half as much as consequences. You…you probably wouldn’t dream of killing someone, after all you’d feel a lot afterwards, you’d lack that person’s existence from then on, not to mention you wouldn’t get away with it.
    “But I don’t fear consequences. So,” he says calmly “I have no line I’m afraid of crossing. See?”
    Lifting his head from the book he stares coolly into the man’s eyes. “So that sweet little voice in your head that says I wouldn’t unflinchingly break you. Entirely and at every level you can or can’t imagine. If you care about any aspect of your pointless little circle of existence, you’ll tell that naïve voice to go to the ghouls, and you’ll do everything you need to to survive which would be cooperating as much as you possibly can.
    “Do we have an understanding?”
    “I don’t…I don’t know anyth–”
    “First question,” Connel props his foot on the chair unnerving close, a green cord of tail coils between the wooden legs with a low crisp purr. “Now, I remember being told in the old war there was a certain herb or drug that people used to deactivate ability-borns’ powers. How do I find that drug?”
    “I can’t…I don’t kn…”
    “Think about it carefully,” Connel says “which are you more afraid of; the kingdom or the man with a sword under your throat?”
    “There’s…I don’t…I don’t know if…if it even exist–”
    “I’ll take hearsay,” He says in a disturbingly patience voice. Restless energy beginning to creep through his bones, visible from the eyes that lack all caution.
    “Ok…ok, it’s…there’s a pit in the Sioan Forest and there’s…so there’s the cnidarian, you know th–”
    “Yeah, go on.”
    “The nemato plant inside it’s…it’s the…just, I don’t know after…after that but it’s…any herbalist can–”
    “Sure, that works,” Connel lets Tatira scamper onto his arm and across his shoulders tangling his death-black hair like twisting shadows. He watches the tip of his reflective steel blade close to his captive’s face. “Next question, someone I’m looking for, an Alessio Eliakim, a man with a scar across his forehead–”
    His eyes widen
    “I don’t know any–!” Slam! Instinctively the man tries to jerk back, blood slowly trickles along the tip of his ear reddening the phantom-white blade. Connel tilts his head back to meet his eyes, hand clinched loosely along the hilt of the sword.
    “Remember I have nothing against my inner monster.” he says evenly “Now, take a breath and think about how you want to answer. Remember you have a family.”
    “I don’–” An icily flat look quells the man’s protest.
    “Think about it carefully,” Connel’s voice is very low. He releases a sigh. “You have two kids, both girls, you’re oldest is twelve. I don’t hurt kids but I wouldn’t imagine you want them to be orphans, especially not in this world, most stray kids are sold as slaves. Your girls are very pretty.”
    “I can’t…I can’t tell you anything about…about…nobody’s seen him since…since the–”
    “Don’t waste my time. Give me a trail,” he purrs “I know you can.”
    “Look he’s just–he’s just a nice boy there’s nothing–”
    “I want to do this the easy way, I don’t particularly like hurting people,” he says “but I’m very good at it. Most people think he’s dead anyway, just give me somewhere to look?”

    “I don’t know any–” The blade etches deeper into the chair, clipping several pinned threads of hair with it. “The Silver Tree! Like that Thayer legend, he’d…he’d if he’s still alive he’d have–”
    “Would he really be that crazy?”
    “That boy…that boy you don’t know him he…he’d…yes, he’d try”
    “Fine,” Connel withdraws the naked sword from the wood of the chair, the blade still touched with red and open to the gasping fire of the candle. “One final question; tell me about the prophecy.”
    Then the world swirled black before the scene changes…


    Ok ladies and gentlemen…actually I think there’s only ladies here…XD
    This will be a writing challenge to test our plot skills apparently since villains are nothing without malicious and applicable goals. So:
    1. Find one thing that will drive your character to say here not just forcibly but to complete a mission; this is a great change for worldbuilding your own story. We’re gonna work with ‘shadow’-characters and setting every element intended to drive your individual villain’s new or old goals.
    2. Establish stakes and raise them. The question of the round is: what would your villain die for? Show it and kill it :). Like worst fears only it’s the one thing they care about genuinely.
    3. The first room of the Labyrinth shows what they care about and gives each of them a mission to reach the second room to save that thing in a way that they have to work together.
    4. They require a guide; that’s the first townsperson they meet.
    To recap, the goal is to force each character to be invested in gaining something from the castle. The castle wants to narrow the chosens down to one person. Aaand it is past my bedtime game master will scene-out first challenge pending *wink at @hannahrenner*

    Don't let the voices in your head drive you insane;only some of them can drive; most are underage



    Ok, this sounds like a ton of fun!

    The only problem is I have to use my brain (that’s a problem in itself) to figure out some sort of weakness for my heartless villain. Hm….

    I will post after someone else does so I know I’m doing it right *giant, awkward smile*

    • This reply was modified 1 week, 3 days ago by Erynne.

    Meira woke up with something cold plastered against her cheek. Blinking as she shoved herself to her elbow rubbing her bandaged forehead, gnarled inky strands of hair obscuring her vision.
    “Blinky that’s a fracture! Ouch.” She ran her fingers into a dent in her cheek lined with hairline cracks from her fall, already oozing with a blue paste that’ll firm and heal the injury as it dries. Unwrapping the bandage around her head she wiped the old fracture until it was reasonably smooth with the rest of her skin then readjusted the bandage to cover her cheek as well. That done, she hauled herself to her feet with the spear then quaked into her right knee.

    “Ack! Devils!” She cursed, yanking another strip of bandage from the pocket of her cheery pink outfit, when a noise behind her makes her freeze in the middle of a dais, hair hiding half her face. Meira whirled her spear around, uselessly flicking tresses of hair out of her face.
    “What’s out, who’s there?! Fight me fight me!”

    It was dim where Connel woke, quiet as night.
    Sword sliding from sheath, he skims the reflective waxed floor of a dais.
    “Come on, Tatira,” He tilted his gaze to the draekonet but she was gone.

    “Hullo?” Meira stumbled forward carefully, avoiding pressure on her leg, spear pointed warily. “Hullo?!”
    The dais beneath had the faint outline of a clock, the walls wired with vines. She squinted through the foggy shadows of the room until she found a door which she turned slowly. Spear-point first Meira knocked her hair out of her crystal-violet eyes and took a step out.
    It was wildly dark with flashes of phosphorous glow like the throat of a kaleidoscope, the sudden turning lights so loud she instinctively covered her ears even though there wasn’t any noise, squeezing her eyes tight.
    “Anybody out here?!” Meira shook herself, wincing but when she looked up she was standing in the middle of the dais again. With a cry she snatched up her spear again and charged the door. “I said fight me!!!”
    “I think that door has had enough, sweetheart.” The low pleasant voice made her whirl around, nearly tripping over herself and dropping her weapon. In a shadowy corner a man with a naked sword, a sardonic, bitter smile dancing under his smoke-dark eyes. “Now if you don’t mind telling me wher–”
    “Who’re you?” Meira took a step toward the stranger spear-tip lowered but also poised. A feline growl at his feet made her jump. “That’s…then you’re…”
    With a dry smile, swept into a polite bow. “That’s me, here among the living. And charming lady that you are what would your name b–?”
    He’s cut off with a war-yell as she hurled herself spear-point at his chest. In a second the weapon jerked out of her hand, her back pinned to the wall with a bare sword along her throat.
    “Alright, we can do this the hard way,” Connel said softly “I don’t have time to keep someone around who’s trying, rather pathetically, to kill me for no actual reason. But I understand, I get that reaction a lot, so I’ll let it slide this time. Just, if anything else happens, if you annoy me or slow me down…”
    She could feel the blade barely shift across her neck, his breath right above her forehead. He smiled and released her without so much as a glare.
    “I think I saw another door here, but you can stay here if you want.” Connel glanced back and tossed her spear which Meira caught instinctively. “Be a good girl, will you, and try not to impale me.”
    She glared at him, clenching her hands around the spear still feeling the ghost chill left by cold steel on her neck. With a shrug he turned away and opened the door.
    “…don’t know, I only came to be here a moment before you did.”
    On impulse, Meira bobbed over the bounty-hunter’s shoulder to see a vampire and a lady-warrior.

    “Ah, long life,” Connel greeted “do either of you happen to know what’s going on?”

    Don't let the voices in your head drive you insane;only some of them can drive; most are underage


    Before anyone could answer the floor shimmers green, brighter and brighter as it inches to a large throne. The door behind them vanished and Meira jumped back.
    “What the blinker!?”
    The room expanded filling into a circular gold center where each of them stood. Meira gapped, instinctively thrusting her spear in front of her face, staring at her new companions as if they might have an explanation.
    “Welcome,” Thrilled a mechanical female voice from apparently-not-very-thin air. “Welcome everyone to the Choosing. It is a very special honor to participate in this exercise.
    “I’m sure you are all very alarmed, please; relax, death is an inevitable consequence.”
    “That automatically makes me feel better.” Connel muttered in a snide tone.
    “At the end of each puzzle is a prize, but only one of you may win it in each round. There is only one Chosen and over the course of each excise we will making the selection. The first one of you to reach the end of the Labyrinth will have complete control of the Castle, and freedom to return home.
    But only one can survive the entirety.”
    “I ain’t selling two pins for this Castle!” Meira burst “Yo! Come out and fight like a freeborn!”
    “The first test will be presented in the morning. Those who die during fights will be respawned here, in the Grand Hall or will vanish completely if their chances run out. You can receive aid from the Pawns in the Castle; all members of the adventure not controlled by one particular writer, these pawns will be important in future matches as you grow your guild and battle for supremacy.
    Now, something each of you want deeply is missing to be returned only at the close of the match. Tonight, however, relax and gain Pawns at the ball.”
    A large silver door opens into a glittering room beyond, rippling with music and laughter studded with jewels and a theater gauze of magical facade. Something fluttered around Meira and she yelped, glancing down to find a fiery-rose symbol embezzled on a stone in her hand. Fire-Rose Guild.
    Each person seemed to have a symbol now. Connel’s was a draekon, but she couldn’t see everyone else’s. Were they expected to recruit members (yes, in case anyone was wondering, yes! XD)? Music danced louder from the court of the other room, and suddenly each of the four of them was competition for the others…

    Don't let the voices in your head drive you insane;only some of them can drive; most are underage

    Catholic Creed

    Geez, turn my back for a couple days to take an exam and my little sister has?  completely? restarted this wild ride?

    M’kay.  If that is how she’s gonna play it…


    Grimme wove through the crowd of Pawns carefully, keeping her maid-outfit as prim and proper as possible.

    White and black of course.  Like a proper chess board.

    This was a chance – a ridiculous, ludicrous, promising chance.

    It was hope.  She hadn’t hoped since Wy…

    She held out the tray of alcoholic beverages.  They were NOT anything her father served at his balls.

    The smell and taste reminded her more of the times she worked at her brother’s forge, covering herself with blue-iron dust, getting color in her hair that wouldn’t wash out for months.

    Her mother hated her “most un-lady-like behavior.”

    Grimme maintained her carefully blank face and – wow – she didn’t realize until right now how good a mask servants needed.  It was exactly the same as the one required when she was dolled up in ball-gowns and make-up (both of which, someone else had to put on her).

    “I should have come as a boy.” she muttered.

    The butler frowned at her, before subtly winking.  She smiled back – “Softly darling.  No one needs to see your teeth.  Save those smiles for the special people in your life.

    In a foreign castle, she didn’t expect her personal ghosts.

    “Yes, I own quite a few mines.” drawled one drunk Pawn, patting his swollen belly and fine vest.

    “On the contrary, this new power will bring us to the new age.” argued another – very much sober – Pawn.  He was leaning closely to a woman who was leaning away.

    Grimme frowned as she saw her symbol – the battle-ax surmounting an anvil – was stitched into both Pawn’s clothes.

    “No.” she whispered.  “Even you aren’t that cruel.”

    But Oaken-Door was.

    She always would be.

    Grimme wondered if she should sneak back to the greenhouse.  Maybe the others were ready to play this game?  They would be good allies.

    Pit-vipers, even the evil scientist was better.

    She studiously avoided the new Chosen.  They wouldn’t know her.  She knew enough about them.  And she didn’t want to.

    This wasn’t her castle.

    She wasn’t supposed to have this power.

    Not here.

    But she did.  And the flashes of information from the assassin/bounty-hunter were more than she wanted to deal with.

    “Pull yourself together.  You’ve hired worse.”

    “How could you do this?  You murdered him in cold blood.”

    “Better him than me.”

    “He had a wife.”

    “He had a mistress, 10 concubines, and 15 slaves.”

    “I don’t even recognize you anymore.”

    “What would Mom say?”

    “She would say… ‘Why did it take you so long?'” Grimme stared intently at the punchbowl.  She shuddered as one of the Pawns walked through her.

    “Basically a ghost now.” she smirked at her reflection in the pale red liquid.

    “Alright Oaken Door.  Play your games.”  She looked up, tipping her head.  “I’m done for the night.”

    Her head snapped back, her eyes glowed blue, and she truly vanished.

    Far away, beyond sight of the castle, hundreds of electric-blue eyes opened.  The Warning and Message rose and hundreds of legs took ponderous steps forward.

    When life knocks you down, wait 'til it passes over you and then attack it from behind.

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