This post will contain spoilers. Don’t read unless you are okay with that, or better yet, finished Feast of the End, Lightning Heart.
This is will cover random design notes the rest of the dizaks I’ve talked about in the first book of Feast of the End. This also includes the character of Runi! But that comes later.
First up, Qoatls. These are the white snakes in Serpestaine Mountain that live in the ravines. They are an external magic type, and their magic allows them to produce a white mist. The Qoatls can move in such a way that they appear invisible to their prey while in the mist. It only works from that angle, though. When viewed from different locations, they can be seen a bit easier. The abilities aren’t quite as useful for Feastends who can’t move in that special way.
Serpestaine, what Serpestaine Mountain was named after. They make that place their home, but as they don’t show up in the story itself, I don’t have much notes on them. Consider them apex hunters, similar to Ampwolves in power.
Ampwolf, when I first made them, I didn’t have them directly facing the main characters. They were merely showing off just how strong and terrifying the upper levels of dizaks could be. Of course, I quickly changed my mind. Just showing off their light beams wasn’t going to be fun at all. Their names are a combination of Amplify and wolf. Woo portmanteaus.
I made them to show that was strong as magic, military and feastends are, the higher level of dizaks are still far more powerful. I also wanted to show how wild dizaks could become notorious and get names.
Ampwolves are an external magic type, though they are tough enough to beat most internal magic dizaks in physical combat. They can fire super-heated beams of light from their mouths.
The way I wanted them to look is a bit science-fiction, actually. That’s why they have plates over their bodies and a visor-like eyes. The visor-likeness helps prevent them from getting blinded.
Sisart, they were meant to evoke a creepy kind of cute, being pretty small with a fur-covered body, large; pointed ears and wide eyes. I don’t know the name of the real animal they were based on, but it appeared in the Madagascar movies. Mouse lemurs! That was it.
Sisarts are an external magic type. They are one of the dizaks in which the ability becomes more powerful when used by a feastend. Dizaks don’t communicate well with each other, so sisarts can only do simple lulluby-like effects. It’s enough to allow them to slash the throat of a much larger target.
When used by a feastend, they can turn the hypnosis voice into a commanding voice as long as the target understands the language. There are many ways to use it. Loud, sudden commands can catch a person off guard, but they must be simple. Quiet whispers can embed unconscious movements in a person, though if they realize it, they can easily resist.
The name of the sisart, well, it comes from something silly. It is a combination of the words sister and articulation, as in the little sister that begs you for stuff and you do it to keept her from annoying you.
Strikhart, the main dizak of the story. They were the third or so dizak I thought of, after lukrolds and angkrabs. If you remember that I originally wanted the main character’s name to be Furfur, you might be able to guess how I came upon their appearance (scale-covered deers). As for the scales, I don’t know why, but looking at the cover art, it works so well.
They are an external magic type with lightning magic. They can also transfer emotions through their lightning abilities. The name strikhart comes from lightning strike and the other word for deer, hart. And that is how I came up with the title of the first book. Lightning Heart. Overall, they are considered among the more powerful dizaks.
Now, as for Runi, he was a challenging character to make. Well, first off, I saw a sketch on Key and Peele that says even saying spoiler warning already puts people on alert for something “whoa” happening. But here we go, spoilers.
He was really tough to do because I knew I was killing him off. Originally, he wasn’t going with Selaf when she went to kill Macerich, but then I realized that gave him too little time with the readers. I wanted to show off his personality traits more and give the readers more time to know him. I was really worried how late I was introducing him in the first book that I even considered letting him live into the second book. It just wouldn’t work as well that way, though.
Runi is basically easy-going until a fight breaks out, then he’s all for it. I hoped I gave readers enough to his likeable nature. It’s one weakness of mine when writing, if I know I’m killing off a character, I tend not to develop them as much because it makes me sad to know they’re going away. And if I develop them too much, I find it hard to kill them off.
I tried to put in a lot of Selaf and Runi moments. He is probably the most important character to Selaf in this book. I’m sad he’s gone, but he had to go.
Skarni is Sophy’s dizak pet before she became a feastend. Well, I do plan to expound a bit on what happened between them in book two.
Whew, that’s about it for notes on Feast of the End, Lightning Heart. If you there are any other questions, I’ll see if I can answer them in the blog, or maybe they’ll be answered in future installments.
How about a sneak peak at a dizak that appears in book two?
Coeryp, they are probably the strangest one I’ve made, and one I really wanted to do. Rather than one animal, they are a colony of fungal-like creatures that reproduce through spores. Be careful around them as breathing them in would be really bad.