Pensive

When Roles Changed, Part 2

So where did I leave off on the whole changing roles subject?  I think I was just addressing Orphaeus’ relationship to Kelat.

I will freely admit that my giving into Danny Elfman love was what created Orphaeus Cygnus.  I’d always enjoyed his singing, but something about his score and vocals for A Nightmare Before Christmas triggered full-on obsession for me.  As a result, Orphaeus became a former Austrian opera singer who was brought over to the Hive of the Beast by Rebekah of Judea, Thiyennen’s blood daughter, a Dhampir, who was turned by her Blood Mother Kelat, making Orphaeus Kelat’s grandson.

Because of that, I always saw him as aligned with Kelat, and he would have actively sought out her prison tomb to release her.  Of course, the prison tomb scenario never came to fruition, but Orphaeus’ connection to Kelat was seemingly etched in stone.  It became part of the story arc, and the core reason for her choosing him to become the first Father of Memory.

His closeness to Kelat also dictated an unmitigated enmity between Orphaeus and Cadmus Pariah.  Actually that, combined with Orphaeus’ desire to reconcile the Hive of the Beast with the Great Hive, pretty much put the last nail in the coffin as far as those two were concerned.  Beasts were for Cadmus’ use until he was ready to dispose of them, and they had no other purpose.  For them to become upstanding citizenry within the Great Hive would be counterproductive to Cadmus’ motives, so the attempts of Orphaeus to redeem his tribe met with violent reprimand by Cadmus, and led to Cadmus being named Pariah, as was prophesied by Gideon the Mad.

At first, though, Orphaeus was only supposed to have a short appearance in The Chalice, and possibly be slain by Cadmus in the end.  But that honour fell to Paine Bryerson, who was the character anchored to my best friend Todd.  When Todd read about Paine, his first reaction was “You write about me, and I will sue your ass.”  To which I responded, “You threaten me with litigation, asshole, I will kill off your character.  In fact, he’ll be the only main character to die in the book.  And Cadmus will kill him, ‘cos I know how you hate Cadmus.”

Of course, all of this was joking between us, but Paine did turn out to be the one killed.  That was no joke.

I was so enamoured with Orphaeus Cygnus, though, I decided to thrust him and Cadmus together in a much closer proximity to one another in the next book, just to see what would happen.  At that point, Cadmus was already writing himself, and Orphaeus was close to that zen state of character development.  The Blood Crown was established almost solely on this premise, and it became my Vampiric answer to the Hope & Crosby Road movies.  Of the three books, even though The Chalice is my baby, The Blood Crown is my favourite, because it centers almost completely on my two favourite characters, Cadmus and Orphaeus.

During the time I was writing The Blood Crown, another incidental character of mine, who was mentioned only in passing in The Chalice, flared to the forefront as my friendship with Scott, of The Joker Blogs fame, began to develop.  Faust, the Disco Darling so brutally murdered by Cadmus during the Summer of Sam, demanded that his story be told.

And this turned out to be the most difficult and agonising piece of writing I had ever tackled.  I ended up soliciting impromptu therapy sessions from Megs and [Bad username: gunslingaaahhh] during the long nights of my writing what would become a novella inside The Blood Crown novel proper.  I also profoundly apologised to Scott on more than one occasion.  Faust went from being a Vampire with a cameo appearance, to an actual Vampire saint who would prove to be of great importance in the third book, mainly because Megs couldn’t bear to think he had actually been slaughtered.  Thanks to her, Faust got to live, albeit in a different incarnation, but live he did.

And now I’m working on The Harming Tree, which was initially going to be a collection of short stories on how Cadmus came to grips with his newfound emotions, one by one, with the help of his “new relic” for the New Hive, the dastardly and bloody Harming Tree.  But the writing of one of these short stories, introducing what was supposed to be another throwaway character that Cadmus would get to destroy, turned everything upside down.

Enter Flint.

This time, the character was one I couldn’t bring myself to kill.  And this pissed me off, because such a new character shouldn’t gain so much creative power in such a short period of time.  But there it is, and his existence has turned the original plans for The Harming Tree upside down.  I’m now thinking that it may be a fourth novel set in my Vampire world, dealing primarily with Cadmus’ assimilation of emotion and his repeated conflicts with a young Vampire he can’t seem to slaughter.

Needless to say, Flint pisses off Cadmus as much, if not more, than he does me.  And something tells me that his role in the arc stories of Cadmus Pariah is far from finished evolving.  Time only will say for certain what the future holds for the Relics characters and how they interact with one another.  One thing’s for certain, though; Orphaeus will definitely be making another appearance in the new stories.  In fact, I’m playing around with one right now.