For War of Nytefall: Eradication, I needed to create a villain from outside of the vampire world. Well, I didn’t really ‘need’ to since I could have had a vampire wield the Fist of Durag. Just made more sense since I didn’t want to bother with the question of why he or she was immune to the depowering light. To be fair, I hadn’t named the weapon yet, so it wasn’t connected to the Sun God. That came about once I decided that the old enemies from book one should return. Sort of since I called it orb for 3 chapters before realizing it needed a name. Is this confusing? Well, there’s a reason for that and it’s called Leo Kandrel.
This guy was a packet of notes for a while that didn’t have any direction. I think I had him as a minor hunter in the original version then he vanished for a while. Another villain adopted him as an expendable pawn, but he was used as a shield by chapter two . . . of the outline. Seems to be a trend with some of these characters that they go through a missing stage and a pathetic stage. It wasn’t until I really buckled down and focused on the series progression that I found a home for Leo. It clicked when I made him a dwarf since I hadn’t done much with them, especially making one a villain. He was tough, conniving, and dedicated to wiping all vampires off the face of Windemere. At least that was the plan because then I began writing.
The oddest thing with Leo Kandrel is that he isn’t very consistent in his behavior. I thought it was because I wrote this book so soon after the divorce started, so the problem was with me. Then I edited the book several times in the hopes of locking him down, but it continued bouncing around. Took me a while to realize that he was supposed to be a character who would be brave in one instant and then cowardly. He can be noble and decisive when in the presence of some characters, but confused and bumbling around others. I integrated this into his secret and Clyde picks up on the inconsistency at one point. Maybe that feeds his fear and worry since he can’t predict an enemy that won’t stick to one mindset.
I can’t go into great detail about Leo’s past because it possesses spoilers. He is a Duragian whose sect uses a Demon-Winged Sun as their symbol. They are splitting from the main temple because Leo wants to destroy the Dawn Fangs. The main force is waiting to see if they pose a real threat thanks to the Garians sharing their information. Some even think the Dawn Fangs are blessed by Durag, which angered Leo to the point where he started on his own crusade. That’s where the Fist of Durag comes in since it is the orb that Clyde tried to steal in the prologue of Loyalty. Nobody gave that artifact much thought even though it was buried along with Clyde and the Durag Temple. Here it is with the power to hurt or kill him and it’s in the hands of a wandering zealot. So, Leo is definitely a character whose existence revolves around that weapon.
Is there more to him? Yes. I can’t really get into it though because he has a lot of juicy secrets that come out in the story. Feel free to buy War of Nytefall: Eradication and enjoy the reveals.