So, I promised to reveal more about the story and how it connects to Legends of Windemere. Well, here we are. This story will give some level of closure to Kira Grasdon, which means I have to touch on a few spoilers. I’m going to do my best to explain this without saying a lot though. Since I’ve said time and again that not all of the champions will survive against the Baron, it won’t be too bad. Besides, things aren’t even close to what they seem.
Two years after the battle, the world still believes that Luke Callindor is dead, but Kira swears that he is alive somewhere. Keep in mind that she suffered as many personal losses as the champions, which led to Luke being one of the few connections she had left. So, she took on this belief with rabid ferocity and this got her into trouble. Her anger strained the relationships she had, including with the surviving champions. She was spending money to follow every lead and not running the Grasdon Merchant House, which forced her partners to oust her from the company. They deemed her mentally unstable and took everything from her. Kira’s grief and anger destroyed what little remained of her old life, so she ended up on the streets of Gaia. Found starving on the streets, she was taken in by a brothel (legal and heavily regulated in Gaia) and nursed back to health. She’s been living there and helping out as bartender, gofer, and bouncer.
Quest of the Broken-Hearted starts after all of that when she runs into an old friend and gets the idea to challenge the city of Lacarsis. This is a city of evil and monsters that people never come out of, but adventurers have begun trying again. The reason is because the city has been moving more than it has in centuries, so the local kingdoms are worried that something is going on. Kira goes in alone and finds herself in an interesting situation that I’ll get into more in the future. This post is about her.
To be honest, I’d had this type of story for Kira planned for a long time. She began as a background figure and evolved into a major player of Legends of Windemere. I really wanted to see where the end of her path was going since I never felt like I was in full control of her. In some ways, this story comes off as the inevitable culmination that I couldn’t avoid. She’s no longer a supporting character, but the focus of her own adventure. I keep thinking that she’s been watching Luke, Nyx, and the others in order to prepare for this time. This is why I wanted to make sure it was an exciting and difficult challenge for her.
Kira has always depended on others while demonstrating glimmers of strength such as he battle with Yola and finding a reason to go on after the Bor’daruk massacre. Kira has always managed to pick herself up, but I wanted to see how far down she could claw herself back from. For that, I needed her to be alone and it ended up that she developed an apathy to her own survival. It isn’t that she wants to die, but she doesn’t care if it happens. This mentality turned her into a rather vicious figure who takes Luke Callindor’s daredevil style to a new level. While he did his stunts and feared death, Kira is doing them and not caring if she takes herself out. It even breaks up an odd question on if she’s become more of a monster than the creatures she’s battling. Still, you can see flickers of her old self coming through at times, which shows she’s not entirely over the edge. It was pretty difficult to write her with one foot in the abyss because I always had this urge to yank her back.
One interesting thing with this story is that this is technically my first one with a true female warrior as the lead. Nyx was a channeler, Sari and Mab are thieves, and Dariana was an immortal martial artist. This forced me to consider armor that goes along with her kusari-gama. You can’t do platemail with such an agile weapon, but I didn’t want to have her in street clothes. Didn’t help that the situation she starts in meant that she couldn’t afford good armor. Without spoiling anything, this became an interesting evolution of gear that kind of mimicked her changing personality. I’m actually really proud of what I gave her as final armor too, which I might mention in a post after the book is out.
Finally, I’m going to admit that this is a risky endeavor because Kira Grasdon also seems to be the most hated character in Legends of Windemere. I actually got more messages calling her names and wishing her death than hatred towards Stephen Kernaghan. That guy was a blatant sadistic rapist, but Kira was despised more because of the love triangle. I know I’m going to have some comments showing this too, which is why I’m drawing it into the open. So, I know there are people who would prefer she be tossed away and never return. Just so happens that I’m not one of them and I want to give the story that she earned. She’s always been a character who made mistakes and had a lot of growing to do, so she needs a better finale. Maybe the haters will get their wish and she’ll meet her end in Lacarsis. She’s definitely become self-destructive enough to make this her final battle. Guess there’s only one way to find out if you wish.