One character that doesn’t get a lot of attention on the blog is Nyder Fortune. He’s an agent of Baron Kernaghan, but he isn’t the type to go into the field. He isn’t a warrior like General Vile, a caster like Queen Trinity, a goddess like Yola Biggs, or a psychopath like Stephen Kernaghan. Nyder is nothing more than a gnome who wants to invent and experiment without limitations. This means he doesn’t leave Shayd and only shows up during the villain scenes. There are times he’s only made one appearance in a book, but he does hold an important role in the series.
First, I should point out what Nyder wants and where he comes from. His family has been working for the Baron since the Great Cataclysm. They created the Weapon Dragons and design various magi-tech weapons. The reason they didn’t stay with the other gnomes is because the Fortune family wanted to work without ethics. Because the Baron gave them this gift of freedom, they have always been incredibly loyal to him. This isn’t to say that the rest of the world doesn’t know about them since they’ve interacted with other gnomes at times. Mostly to see what their fellow inventors are doing and perhaps push it to a level that the restrained inventor refuses to attempt. Nyder has mentioned taking a lot of interest in Fritz Warrenberg’s creations, but it’s unclear how much he’s stolen and changed to meet his own needs. One reason is because the Baron isn’t a big fan of inventions and is more focused on constant upgrades to the Weapon Dragons.
Now, what is the role that Nyder holds in the series besides evil inventor? He acts as the adviser to the Baron and proves to be one of the few who can be honest without getting killed. He is respectful and always points out that his wisdom can be ignored without his feeling getting hurt. Nyder simply wants to voice his opinion in case it is enough to help his master. Because of his desire to only be heard instead of obeyed, the Baron is more inclined to listen to him. It proves that Nyder only has his best interests in mind and isn’t trying to push a personal agenda.
One of the interesting evolutions of this relationship is that they sometimes come off as close friends. Originally, the Baron being a great source of evil didn’t strike me as a character that would have casual conversations. He certainly wouldn’t come to a subordinate with a personal problems like what happened at the beginning of Charms of the Feykin. Yet there it was and Nyder calmly gave his honest opinion along with suggestions to fix the issue. This is what really brought him into a new realm even though he was acting like an adviser and messenger before. It was Book 11 where the Baron suddenly had some kind of friend. In a way, it reminds me a little of the Mr. Burns and Smithers relationship in The Simpsons.
So, what will happen when Nyder has to actually face a champion? Well, a plus side in Ritual of the Lost Lamb is that it’s only Luke who is being tortured and not much of a threat. I’m sure Nyder will be itching to experiment or at least observe while the Baron pokes and prods. The problem with champions is that pushing too hard into their auras causes them to explode, so they’ve never been able to do a thorough examination. Nyder might not let this opportunity get away, but it all depends on what his dark master wants to do.