Bestiary #6: The Nature Spirit
The Nature Spirit.
I may not always be very vocal about it, but I am a staunch believer in environmental conservation and the preservation of life on our big, green planet. For Prince of Azra, I wanted to include a sort of echo of that sentiment. It came in the form of Tala, a nature spirit, and among the last of her race, the primordial Ancients who ruled the realm before humans and elves came to reside in it.
An idea I wanted to specifically touch on is the idea of man destroying the world around them, though I won't pretend that all was established as I had envisioned it. I especially wanted this to come from the protagonists' side of things: it wasn't exactly the enemies of our heroes that tore apart the land, but their own people and predecessors. Tala was meant to be the personification of an earth scorned, and one that was out for blood. It was always going to be her at the end of the road, ready and waiting to do her work.
Long before I knew the names of all my protagonists, I knew Tala's name, and I knew her role. Her conception preceded the idea of the Ancients and of nature spirits, but contained in her were the ideas that led to them. Just as she was always meant to be there at the end of Lucian, Khora, and Richard's long journey, I knew that she would be the one to kill the Prince.
I also wanted to establish that unfinished battle between Tala and Azra's founder, Levi, as well as the branding that would never leave her face. One more mark of the damages brought onto the land by mortalkind.
I have more that I'd like to add to this bestiary post, but that won't be until after The Sworn Defender has been released, and I can talk freely on what comes next.