Another new character showing up in War of Nytefall: Eulogy is Magrus the Purifier, who is hard to explain. Well, not that hard, but I don’t really know where to go with him since he’s fairly simple. Not a bad thing there . . . Let me try again.
Magrus was always meant to show up in the finale of Clyde’s story. I had him down as a powerful hunter who would push the Dawn Fangs to their limits. He’d kill a bunch off too since he was going to be Van Helsing or a version of him at first. This plan kept getting pushed aside because I never got a good idea of how the ending would work. So, Magrus remained a name on a page with maybe a sentence to remind me who he was when I got around to him. Then, the vampires jumped to Windemere and the poor guy got even more lost in the shuffle.
Every time I came up with a version of Magrus, I accidentally used it for someone else in an earlier book. He was a priest with a weapon designed to kill Clyde? Given to Leo Kandrel in Eradication. A destructive monster who would be the biggest threat to the Dawn Fangs? Alastyre in Savagery. A paladin leading an army to defeat the vampire threat? Lord Adam of Greco in Anarchy. Poor guy couldn’t catch a break even when I thought he was in the clear. So, I ended up shelving him for most of the series in terms of planning and focused on the other new characters. This way, I would have a niche for him to fit into by the time I reached this point.
Magrus the Purifier finally stepped onto the page as a retired paladin of Zaria the Purity Goddess. He was a mortal feared by vampires because he could always discern their kind from others. This is because he lost his eyes and had them replaced with spells that can be shifted into various vision enchantments. I made him rather vain too because he’s an old man wearing robes padded to make him appear muscular. Although, he is still smart and tough enough to be a threat. I think because I never got a sense that this version was worth putting into a fight. He simply didn’t have that demeanor and I went for really old and worn in terms of his physical fitness. The man has been fighting vampires for decades, so the mileage is going to show.
Instead, I made him a special investigator for the Zarian temple. With a fake Clyde running around causing mayhem, he’s been pulled into action to see what’s going on and where the truth lies. I liked this version because he’s still a threat depending on the information he unearths. I no longer had this marching, battle hungry holy warrior determined to kill Clyde. There were already enough of those types of enemies in previous books. Now, I had someone who would help reveal the truth of the final battle. At least that’s what I hoped.
Magrus worked better as a symbol of the holy side of Windemere being ready to give Dawn Fangs the benefit of the doubt. I was surprised that he came out neutral and refused to believe what was presented to him. He required so many layers of evidence that he wouldn’t be budged by lies or even simple explanations. It made him more difficult to work into scenes because he became focused entirely on this issue. He didn’t care about the peace talks, the Vampire War, or anything else going on. Not to the extent that I could put him into those scenes, which meant he became fairly limited. On the plus side, this also meant I didn’t overextend the character into oblivion.
I’m still happy with how Magrus turned out even though it’s nothing like I expected him to be. Would I have liked to do more with him? Yes, but I can’t do anything about that. I tried more and that muddied the waters. He served his purpose and definitely stands out as a unique character, which is a challenge in a final book. You always want the 11th hour cast members to be memorable and I think he will be.