Destiny has always been strange in Windemere. Not as absolute as one would think because free will is a factor. A person may be destined to be in a certain place at a certain time, but it isn’t foretold how they will get there. It could be from the north after winning glory in a great battle or from the south on their way to sell parsnips at the market. A mortal in Windemere can always make a choice that alters the details of their destiny, but the core stays the same.
At least that’s how it usually works. Since this is a natural system of balance, there could be an event or being that appears when things are going too far to one side. This is a concept that gets investigated more in another series because the champions have no reason to even consider that an Anti-Fate/Anti-Free Will figure exists. Most people in Windemere have no idea that this is a thing that appears every couple hundred years if either free will or destiny is calling the shots too often. Gabriel is actually one of these beings and him becoming the Destiny God is why there hasn’t been another since. He tries really hard to avoid that possibility by staying neutral. Mostly because he fears that it will be a person who kills him.
Now, there are two other characters who undermine destiny over the course of the Legends of Windemere series. One does it intentionally and the other does it by accident. This shows how fragile this balance is and that it can be disrupted for a single person. When it comes to a prophecy like the one in the series even a small monkey wrench can cause a problem. One thing falls out of place and it can destroy a temple, make a test unbeatable, reduce a champion to half strength, or put all of the advantage to one side. Stephen came close to doing this when he decided the ‘game’ was no longer important and went for Nyx. Goes to show that destiny in Windemere only runs smoothly if everyone involved goes by the rules. So, which two haven’t and are factors in Ritual of the Lost Lamb?
Baron Arthuru Kernaghan
Some people may have guessed that the big baddie has attempted to undermine the laws of fate. In fact, that’s how he ended up in this position in the first place. The original champions were supposed to defeat him as a mortal, but Gabriel got in their way. This allowed the Baron to get the Ring of Destiny and become a god until he lost it to Gabriel and was sealed away. The prophecy still stood and the Baron was now protected by the Law of Influence, which meant he was almost outside of the rules in general. He has been poking holes in the prophecy this entire time. The biggest sign is that he’s been using agents instead of making it a one on six challenge where he waits for them to pass their tests. Corrupted temples, empowering other dark forces, forging evil weapons, and simply retaining some level of influence. Sure, nobody remembers he existed, but he’s done enough that the shock of his revival to history will challenge the prophecy’s power.
That’s not even counting the Baron’s newest attempt to kick over the chessboard. It is hinted that the champions now have to travel to the Baron’s home and fight him. They can still take their time to prepare and head out when they feel like it. Not only is the ball in their court, but so is the time clock. By kidnapping Luke and making a challenge, the Baron is forcing the others to make a decision. They can rush into a battle to save their friend and risk the prophecy before they’re ready. If they don’t then Luke continues to suffer and they will have to fight knowing they let one of their own down. Even if they find another way, the Baron has disrupted the idea that the champions are in charge. He is running the show and has merely let them move at their own pace.
Who read Curse of the Dark Wind? Not as many hands as I had hoped, so I’m going to have to wing this. Without going into too much detail, Luke takes on his champion temple and it requires a choice. It’s one that most would call a no-brainer since it would awaken his full power. Instead, Luke did something different and he’s actually be running in the dark ever since. Gabriel has hinted that he has no idea what will happen with the young warrior because of this choice. He’s called him a fool and a few people have begun calling him the weakest champion. It isn’t that he’s at half-strength either. Luke has simply used his free will to take another path the the Destiny God never expected. At the very least, he didn’t expect someone to take it and live long enough to be captured by the Baron. That’s another one who’s confused about the decision. What does it mean when you do something that causes at least two immortals to scratch their heads and wonder if you were repeatedly dropped on your head as a child? It means you’re Luke Callindor.
It will be interesting to see how this wrinkle plays out, especially considering Luke has been all about destiny for a while. He began as a young warrior determined to be a hero and believing it was his fate. Now, he’s become something more than that because it really was his fate. While the other five have fallen into their roles and powers without much trouble, Luke’s managed to make himself a free will infection. It hasn’t been very noticeable outside of his own difficulties in fighting some enemies and how he keeps getting into trouble. Sometimes it feels like the prophecy is trying to get him killed, so a replacement can be called upon. Then again, it might actually pull it off considering where Luke is now.