Welcome to the first in a series of design notes about Feast of the End 3: Ancient Mandate. This post will be about Selaf, Tähti, Ooria and Miletta and how their characters changed in the third book. There will be spoilers here, so please go finish the book first!
Now, on to the characters and their finished developments.
Selaf, or should I call her by her real name, Hoku Stairlight? Yes, her last name is supposed to be Stairlight, not Starlight. Imagine if you are standing at the top of the stairs, and a light is above you. The base of the stairs are completely in darkness, however. That is the kind of thing I wanted to evoke with the name, Stairlight.
The first two books were really about Selaf growing as a person. This one is about her accepting that she has a home. Well, she’s accepted it already, and now she’s willing to do things to protect it. I tried to keep her tendencies to just get rid of problems in the simplest way there while also showing that it doesn’t always work.
As for still referring to her by Selaf even though we knew her real name, I’m trying to show that she has more of a connection to being a slave and Sorcnon than her original home. Is it actually mentally healthy for her to do that? I don’t really know.
What I did want to keep was her not being the “hero”. She’s doing things for one reason only, and that is to stop having people bother her. So really, she’s selfish but her end goals don’t hurt anyone.
Tähti, she has a much more subtle change. I think that’s mostly due to me focusing on Selaf’s story that much more. She’s really more of the initiator for change, but she’s grown from someone that goes along with whatever Miletta wanted to and was alright with doing bad things. Now, she will stand up for and fight for what she believes is right.
However, there are still hints that the upbringing in Sorcnon has affected her morality, and that’s something I tried to show. The largest instance is her view on slaves. She, like the rest of the people, don’t care about them. She would never do something to help them. The most she would do is not treat them badly.
I did want to show her a bit more capable of doing things on her own, but still not be the tru fighter type. It’s just not in her nature to do so.
Ooria does pretty much remain the same, I think. I mean, she’s already an adult and before Selaf, lived a pretty normal life. She had normal problems, like paying the bills and stuff. Pretty much Ooria had all of her development into the person she was before meeting Selaf.
I will reveal some things that I did not explicitly spell out in the book, though. First, the way she got her feastend powers was tricking the feastend. Both her and the bonethile that was her dizak was kept locked up in cages and by Shalti and abused. Of course, back then it was more normal BDSM stuff for Ooria and Shalti. But that built up the bonethile’s hatred of him that when the bonethile died, it gave Ooria his power just for the sake of revenge.
Next, Ooria will not be getting together with another guy any time soon. For one, she is still hurting over Shalti. For another, finding someone else with that particular set of interests is not easy. She is happy traveling around performing. The play she is in requires the death of her character, and people say the stabbing part is the most realistic scene they have ever seen.
Now, it is finally time for Miletta Tarea. Hoo, she went through a large change from my original thoughts. Super large spoilers ahead.
In my first idea, she was not the main obstacle at the end. She was supposed to become one of the Council Members instead. But, I think that not all character development will move them into a positive direction. The other reason I made her the antagonist is because the other bad guy had very little personal connection to the main character.
While I think that’s fine, I don’t know if it makes things as intense at the end. Also, the main bad guy hasn’t even really done anything at all before that point. So I wanted an antagonist that would be meaningful for Selaf to face. Miletta became the perfect character to fulfill that role.
Also, her conflict with Council Member Sirts has been planned since the end of the first book. I actually rewrote a bit of the first book to call attention to how Sirts won’t attend meetings with her.
Whew. This came out long. Next time, I’ll talk about Hallas, Mina, Cal and Cilleth (Ophrin)!