Where the Characters Come From: Barchel

And we conclude the week with a look at our villain.

This villain wants to bring back the being known as the Dark Lord or the Usurper (because he tried to replace the Gods with himself). The Dark Lord was bound by a series of spells in the past, and now Barchel wants to remove those spells and set the Usurper free.

I was honestly inspired by an old Mission: Impossible episode for part of this character’s personality. In that episode, the villain always referred to himself in the third person, and I thought that was indicative of mental… let’s say instability. I had previously written that the man who was inspired by the Usurper to write the book was driven insane by the process, so I figured that anyone in long contact with that book would likely have the same result. I’d also previously mentioned that spellbooks sometimes have unusual effects, so that fit with the system of magic as well.

In editing and revising, I decided to have Barchel start off speaking normally and gradually fall into referring to himself in the third person. His side of the story — or parts of it, anyway — are told in a series of interludes in the book.

Also pointing to Barchel’s being not all there, he thinks that he can release a being who gets sustenance by stealing the life force of others (necromancy) and somehow avoid being said being’s first meal. I think that shows a real lack of either intelligence or rationality, and to set up the theft of the book and the rest of the plan, Barchel had to be somewhat intelligent, so I chose lack of rationality.

He probably doesn’t rank up there with Sauron, but I think he came out as a pretty decent villain nonetheless.


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