I’ve talked about immortals on my blog a lot due to Dariana and the challenges that came from her immortality. The same problems came about in War of Nytefall, but the solutions were a little easier to find. Then again, it also brought about some new wrinkles too. While Dariana was a sole immortal, aside from the Baron and Stephen, the entire cast of the new series are vampires. That means I’m dealing with heroes and villains that are really hard to kill and injure.
That isn’t to say have an immortal cast is a bad thing if you do it correctly. If they can still be killed then you can maintain the sense of danger. People tend to mistake immortality for invulnerable, but these characters typically have some kind of weakness. It could be a specific weapon, the destruction of their sole, or needing to be killed by one of their own kind. At the very least, you need to have a way to incapacitate them, especially if they’re villains. This fits into immortality not always coming with superhuman strength, so you can trap them like a normal person. All of these things were considered while designing the Dawn Fangs.
One of the benefits of the entire cast being immortal is that this puts them on even ground and it nearly negates each other. There’s no underdog in this arena because everyone has the same lifespan and regenerative abilities. It was halfway through the book that I stopped paying any attention to this too. This didn’t matter and the fight scenes took on a more violent and bloody tone. Why would an immortal care about defense when they could heal quickly? Not to mention losing an arm means less if they can still win and reattach it. Regeneration takes longer, but it’s doable. That means the vampires fight taking great risks and making really big splashes.
The character of Gregorio Roman brings up another aspect of immortals, which is anachronism. You have to consider how the passage of time effects these characters as far as their mentality and humanity. Some may become more monstrous because life is seen as fleeting and killing is the only thrill they can get. Others may become hermits because the new world doesn’t make any sense or bores them. With vampires, you have different generations among the immortals too. Younger vampires will have one opinion on the world while older ones see things from a more ancient and jaded view. It’s not much different than grandchildren to grandparents, but with the time periods being in centuries instead of decades. So, you have a generational issue among this society of immortals that can cause friction. It’s a fairly common one too, which is why I went more for a few characters being out of touch.
So, what do you think about books where all of the characters are immortals? Do you have a favorite immortal?