And here we start the promos that will hopefully whet the appetite for War of Nytefall: Ravenous. The plan is to release it next month and I’m been trying to figure out how I should start. Well, I’m going to begin this with a bang. This is the newest Dawn Fang to step into Windemere and she’s possibly one of my favorite characters to write. In fact, Desirae Duvall is the reason I had to rewrite the outlines for the volumes that came afterwards.
So, who is she?
Desirae is a type of character that I never tried to write before. She has some really cool powers that I won’t get into here because you need a reason to read the book. They are at the core of the overall problem, but so is her personality. That is what had me enjoy writing Deisrae so much. She isn’t a fighter and actively avoids confrontations whenever she can. To do so, she comes up with plans and thinks on her feet in order to get away from a situation. One would call her conniving and they’d be right. Many times, I felt like I was writing a more troublesome, less moral version of Chastity Sullivan. That character is already pretty loose, so Desirae was downright open for business. She just jumped off the page with her antics and pretty obvious innuendos. Yup, the sexual vampire has entered the arena.
Let’s be clear though. I don’t write sex scenes or detail any nudity if there is any. It is clear that Desirae enjoys sex and uses it to both relax, expand her business, and focus some of her powers. The hub of her business is also a secret brothel called the Pleasure Shadow, which is how she began creating her empire. She seduces men and women with no hesitation. People might already be turning off to this, but there are a few reasons why this makes her a very dangerous opponent. Not that she can charm Clyde, but seduction works off charisma and being able to read a person instantly. He’s never faced someone like this and she could easily be the smartest Dawn Fang in the entire series. After all, she created a globe-spanning empire that the information networks of Kai Stavros (spymaster) and Chastity Sullivan (information broker extraordinaire) didn’t even know about. Much of this ability comes from her ability to get in close to people and she uses it for seduction when it’s ramped up to its full power.
Now, this isn’t to say that Desirae is perfect or always in control. In fact, much of the story revolves around some of her actions going off the rails. She is desperately trying to bring everything back to what it was before, which brings in the attention of those that she’s been hoping to avoid. Namely, Nytefall and Nyte. For all of her confidence and charisma, Desirae is able to screw up and she does it hard. That’s another reason why I liked writing her because she rarely took disaster with panic. She has the calm and rational mind that I wish I had in real life. Something goes wrong? Well, back to the drawing board and toss this out to keep the hounds at bay. Need to manipulate a few more people to buy some time? Not a problem. Whatever she needs to do, she’ll do it as long as it doesn’t involve getting herself killed.
A funny thing about Desirae is that she began as a big player in ‘Realm of the Night’, which was the original series title for War of Nytefall. Then, I reduced her to a minor role, forgot about her for a few years, moved her to another series, forgot about her again, and eventually placed her in another minor role. It was probably only recently that I sat down and flushed her out to be the major antagonist that she is now. If I decide to bring her back then she might make some cameos in other series, but a lot depends on how people take to her. She’s kind of a hard sell because of the open sexuality. It was to the point when even her origin gets a little shaky.
As with all the Dawn Fangs, I’m going to end this with how she started. Desirae started in a ‘Vampire: The Masquerade’ game and was played by the ex-wife. It was a challenge for her to play a character that wasn’t combat oriented. We convinced to go very far off her usual path by making a vampire prostitute who gathered information for blackmail and the local nobles. Aside from getting annoyed at one of the male players and showing that she could do the seduction thing, there wasn’t really much to Desirae. She was there and didn’t do a lot because fights would break out all the time. Since the character wasn’t a heavy hitter, she didn’t really get involved. I don’t remember how long she lasted and I don’t think the ex-wife enjoyed the experience. There was even a point where she hated that I had Desirae listed as a book character. To get out of this trouble, I did a massive redesign of her to the point where really only the name and connection to prostitution remains. I even made her an elf. Pretty happy with how the whole thing turned out too.