As Newton taught us, "For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction." That brings up the age old question, can good exist without the presence of evil? How would we be able to measure what "good" is without identifying its opposite?
In the Circeae system, the opposite of the Logia is the Strages. Translated from Latin, it means "the defeat."
My original name for this faction was the Viscera. They are cold, calculating, and their evil knows no bounds. I liked that name, but I wanted something a little less obvious. Many people are familiar with the term, "visceral." It brings to mind a powerful image, doesn't it? With that in mind, I wanted to give these guys an air of mystery. What are they about? Who are they exactly?
The story behind the Strages is as old as the Logia. It begins with a rebellion, long before Poison takes place. You know the legend. Loosely based on the Biblical account of Lucifer's fall, evil enters the Circeae system when five created beings, known as the Continuum decide they no longer wish to be in service to the Crown. They each possess great powers, and as a result of the rift, evil becomes manifest in a different being who calls himself Thaed (an anagram of death.)
I'll fill you in more about the Continuum another day. They are so super cool!
Thaed gathers followers, preparing to lead an offense against the Crown by attacking His people. He trains them, leads them, and guides them into darkness. It starts with a handful, but throughout the series, as he gains power, many more fall under his wing. Eventually, he will become the force behind the Progressive Legacy, the corrupt government that deposes the Ruler Prince and takes control of the system.
Just as the Logia have spiritual gifts, the Strages have special powers. Superior strength, mind-bending abilities, and destruction come as a result of playing with dark forces. Thaed introduces these abilities to mere humans by "crafting" them. I find the unknown and incomprehensible to be far scarier than the known and understandable. I've left the idea of crafting to be defined by each reader. To me, though, it's a terrible, painful process, involving physical, mental, and emotional pain. Something only evil would be willing to touch.
In Poison, the Strages bear marks of honor--similar to tattooed patterns on their skin. Now, I'm not placing judgment on those who have chosen to get tattoos, but I find the idea of someone being marked or branded as property of another disturbing. That's what has occurred with Thaed's followers. And the marks carry an emotional burden that can only be relieved by serving Thaed.
To be honest, this kind of thing makes me uncomfortable. I don't like delving into the mind of the villain. I don't like devising torture and torment for my sweet characters. But in order to introduce conflict to the storyline, it's necessary. Thankfully, in the Story of stories, and in my own humble creations, good always triumphs. God is victorious, and so is my Crown.
It's just the journey that seems treacherous...
Award-winning sci-fi author * Christ follower, wife, and mom * broadcast content producer. And yes, I am a real duchess. http://amzn.to/2eLTlH3