In Legends of Windemere, people are introduced to one who we could consider the female lead. Nyx debuts in the second book (Prodigy of Rainbow Tower) for a few reasons. One is that she is a caster (Windemere term for wizard), so she wouldn’t be found in a warrior academy where the first book took place. Also, this allowed me to have Luke Callindor and Nyx debut without overshadowing each other. He is already established and now I can have her enter the adventure. Little did I realize, Nyx would be a bigger catalyst than any of the other heroes.
Nyx talks to Luke about being raised to fight an approaching evil and he promises to help her in her destiny. This officially puts him on the overarching story line path and she tends to be the one who connects the other heroes as well. She is childhood friends with Sari, a love interest for Delvin, partnered with Timoran, and the first to work closely with Dariana. If Luke Callindor is the courage of the champions then Nyx is the core because everyone connects to her. She also stands out as being the only one who has been aware of her destiny and trained from a young age to fight Baron Kernaghan. Even Dariana, who has lived for centuries, had a long time before she discovered her true calling. This awareness has been the driving force for Nyx, which opened her up to a story that is fairly unique among the champions.
You can see that all of the heroes have plans for after the final battle, except for Nyx who was raised to only think about that moment. Part of her evolution is discovering the possibility that she will live and needs some kind of future. Her initial fear of letting people get close, except for Luke and Sari acting like siblings, is most evident in how she reacts to Delvin’s comments. He compliments her in an attempt to be charming since he really likes her, but she responds either with mild violence, silence, or any number of resistant actions. Yet, it’s made clear that it isn’t that she isn’t interested, but that she doesn’t know what to do. Her own feelings are alien and uncomfortable since they don’t connect to her destiny. This is where she matures from the short-fused caster to a more mild tempered maternal figure. Not only with Delvin too, which you can see by how she refers to the other champions:
- Luke Callindor is her little brother.
- Sari is her little sister.
- Timoran Wrath is her big brother.
- Dariana is her big sister.
- Delvin is . . . Delvin because calling him a brother would be weird.
For those that don’t know her origin, Nyx’s hometown was burned to the ground by demons when she was a small child. Her father had already been killed before she was born and her mother died in the fire. So, she was raised by Cyril and Willow, who are two of the most powerful casters in Windemere. While they acted as her parents, they had more of a teacher role in her mind. She considers them family, but there is a block in her mind that makes her yearn for a lot of connections. This goes against her instinct to keep people at a distance because her ‘inevitable’ (in her mind) death would make them sad. Yet, she creates a surrogate family from the champions and many of the friends that they make along the way. Kira Grasdon, Fizzle, Aedyn Karwyn, Fritz Warrenberg, and the rest of the supporting cast fall into her non-blood related family tree. So, Nyx’s growth is more a social one than a physical one.
I mentioned last week that Luke Callindor has a champion core of courage. Nyx is defiance/willpower/determination because she is a character who does not give up. Many times, she will be beaten into the ground and she gets up for more as long as she isn’t unconscious. Her allies attain a similar level of determination when they are with her and she takes strength from their presence. This makes her the most powerful of the champions too. Being a channeler is a big boost in itself since it means she can absorb magic and cast any spell that she can imagine. Once you add a lot of stamina and willpower, she can edge out the immortal Dariana. Although, it could be a tie there because Nyx doesn’t have a clear answer for psychic powers.
To be honest, Nyx is a difficult character to write about. Long ago, I played Luke Callindor in my first college Dungeons & Dragons game. A girl joined in the second semester to play her first game ever and created Nyx. She would charge into battle without a second thought and promptly get knocked out. Her spells were never at the same level as those in the book, so there is a world of difference between the two versions. That makes it a little easier, but the girl is still my ex-wife and the game is still where we met. Yeah, not the greatest thing to mention on this post, but this is a look behind the curtain. I can still write Nyx, but there are difficult memories attached to her. One of the reasons I can use her without much of a problem is because she never became an item with Luke Callindor, so art didn’t come close to mimicking life. Let this be a lesson to other authors. Be careful who you use for inspiration and try to find some separation between fiction and reality in case things go askew.