This might be a short post only because this isn’t a big part of the book. I think. It is a hallmark though. Desirae Duvall was the major villain of War of Nytefall: Ravenous and she is currently the only one outside of the main group of baddies to survive. This wasn’t the original plan either. Sort of. I think?
Here’s the thing about Desirae. She’s the character who moved in and out of this series the most. Some versions had her as a key member while she never appeared in others. I had this idea of having her show up once and then let her survive long enough to be brought back as a better villain in another series. Part of the reason for this mess was that she wasn’t a very flushed out character when used in the game, so I didn’t have a good feel for her. I had ‘seductive vampire whore who loves money and manipulation’ as her only explanation. There wasn’t much more to her. The original plan was to gather information, but Chastity Sullivan had that role. What to do?
I had no plan, so I just wrote her with the intention of her holding out long enough to make the book fun. Surprisingly, my not having a plan and some other lingering emotions resulted in her being a scene stealer. At least for me. Desirae ended up taking the strength of Kai Stavros and Chastity Sullivan, mixing in a playful demeanor, and running circles around everyone. I found that she fit into a vampire niche that I never attempted to fill, which was the cunning seductress. Not that I write sex scenes, but she makes it clear that she’s a lustful being. That threw some characters off. I also did a power change during the final outline and adjusted it throughout the book, which ended up answering some other questions. Ever find a piece of a story puzzle that you didn’t even know was missing? I think that’s Desirae here.
Now, what’s her role? Well, it’s very small here and it connects to the newest monster on the block. Those who read War of Nytefall: Ravenous already know and it gets explained more here. It doesn’t shed her in the best of light either, but she has her reasons for it. The blow to her ego and reputation is easy to recover from. It’s why she may be showing up a few more times during the rest of the series too. This gives me a more active villain who doesn’t really care about Clyde’s dreams, Xavier’s ambitions, or the vampire civil war. She’s probably the monkey wrench that everyone else in the series needs thrown into their plans at this point. Hopefully people enjoy that aspect since it could be what starts the finale ball rolling.
Let me open the floor. Have you ever had a character that you thought was a toss away turn into a major player in story events?