This week’s teaser comes from Bloodlust: Will to Power, the Second Domains of the Chosen Book
One of my guilty joys is writing nasty characters. I loved describing Karmal’s casual viciousness, Scarmaker’s skin-crawling predatory sadism, and even Zellin’s fractured, dissonant mind.
Ultimately that kind of villain is rare is real life. Even betrayal by a trusted friend is not common for most people. On the other hand, in modern life, our media is inundated with brutal punditry, misinformation, and nasty personal attacks. Gaius Gerald White and his wife Octavia Victoria White are representative of that kind of villainy in the Domains. They control the Arena Post, a journal that covers all of the salacious Gossip surrounding the Great Games and certain popular Chosen.
Gaius uses his perch to attack Sadira, saying she is more of a diva then a fighter. This follows the real world, where I find tabloids tend to target pretty young women and then pester them ceaselessly to get them to disintegrate; or at least they did until the Kardashians became professional trainwrecks (No insult intended, I actually think that this might be an astute business move, fulfilling a obvious demand). Gaius doesn’t bother with the truth about Sadira, instead selling constant tales of affairs, orgies, and romps.
GG White is a demagogue, almost a caricature of people like Rupert Murdoch. He works well in the Domains of the Chosen series because he represents the kind of ugly attention that fame and power can bring and also because he is an antagonist that Sadira cannot overcome through brute force, at least without succumbing to villainy herself.
In Red Glory his wife reveals that he has several servants, bodysculpted to look like Sadira. Nasty.
Later on, his focus moves to Gavin:
Will somebody please kill this man?
Whenever I am overwhelmed by the paltry politics and relentless regulation of The Great Games, and need to be reminded about what I truly love about the Arena, I make my way to a wonderful little place called Dregs and watch a Death Leagues match. I find that the raw, brutal purity of these games can cleanse even the worst of the contrived machinations of the Faction Games from my mind. It is a sacred pilgrimage for any true fan.
Rabble matches are a particular favourite. No other event strips away the veneer of civilization to show our true nature. The desperate men and women of Dregs pit themselves against a Gladiator of the arena, or a fearsome monster, in one last gamble to better themselves. It is all or nothing. Most of them will die, but a few of the strongest will survive, earning a better life over the broken bodies of their competitors. Many a great man has shown his will to kill as a rabbleman and gone on to greater things. It is a true lesson about the raw nature of life, and one of those events that everyone who loves Great Games should experience at least once.
Imagine my disgust when I ventured for my pilgrimage and encountered a Gladiator in the Death Leagues who was actively working against the traditions of our last connection to the games of old. Lionfang, some reject from the Faction Leagues is working his way through Supplicant’s Arena so he can challenge Valaran diVolcanus for killing his friend.
Here I was watching a rabble match where no one was dying. I felt violated, as if I was losing some vital part of myself. Thank Ezuis that Baron Bones was there to rescue the match. The rules that The Deliberative impose on the games, do allow a Gladiator to show mercy if he wishes, but these are the DEATH LEAGUES. If you don’t want to kill, by the ancestors, stay out!
I’m all for vendettas, but this Lionfang does not belong in the Death Leagues. Someone kill him before he turns our last great traditional league, a true treasure of the Empire, into yet another rules-bound faction fan-wank.
Ah, the appeal to tradition to justify the horrors that we inflict on others. I think that I will leave it there.