Research For ‘The Council Of Twelve’ Series

When I got the idea to my ‘Council Of Twelve’ series, I considered doing some research, start with finding ‘experts.’ I talked to two people I considered experts: a nun and a monk.

Unfortunately, both were not as good as experts as I had hoped. The nun is an amazing, wonderful personality with a huge golden heart, selfless, helpful, pious – and an avid reader and a big fan of fantasy books. I could not ask even one of the many questions I had; she didn’t stop talking, telling me about all the fantastic books she already read. By listening to her, I had the impression, in her imagination, she actually wrote my entire series. It was an enjoyable, interesting afternoon, but I got home with nothing than a headache.

The priest was a different kind of expert. He answered most of my questions with quotes directly out of the bible, and he was not at all a fan of my idea for that series. He found, the fight Good versus Evil should be left to our Lord. I can only agree with that, but I had not planned to single-handedly fight Hades and the entire Underworld! I was only planning to write a book, for Heaven’s sake, and we’re not talking about a non-fiction reality report. We’re talking about a fantasy book series. Towards the end of that conversation, I had the impression if I ever wrote that ‘Council Of Twelve’ series, my ‘expert’ would do anything to get me excommunicated and not only that; I would be going directly to the Catholic ‘jail’ and my soul would be grilling in the inferno for all eternity.

I cured that headache too and decided to write the series anyway, even without Father Thomas’ blessing.

The wonderful thing about fantasy books, as compared to history books (or all non-fiction, of course) is, that the creation of worlds, characters, and magic does not need as much research as the book that entwines around existing facts. The Council Of Twelve series bases on values, the Christian values I grew up with, and a few of the characters that cement my beliefs.

Since I now got the few already existing characters, I started adding up with more figures and creatures on the good side…

However, the evil side needed more of my attention. In my book, it exists, but it’s not like I’m an expert on that side. Therefore I went on a research crusade. I needed demons… I needed to ‘build’ a picture of the evil side. And I had to build antagonists…. not one, but uncountable ones.

An inexhaustible source of information in my case was ‘Wikipedia’. I got quite a few lists from them. Theological Demons and their classification, Demonology, a list of fictional demons, and a list of legendary creatures. Occasionally these lists helped me while writing.

But what helped me the most was the List of Demons in the Ars Goetia.

It not only gives the name of the respective demon but also its look, what kind of demon it is, what command it’s under, and the legions of minions under its control. Now…

I know that the evil side exists, just as I know the good side exists. That is rooted in the beliefs I grew up with. But I’m writing fantasy books for young adults. I have to keep it simple. This list is not a fact list… I, therefore, permit myself the freedom to use the respective creature I need – and I don’t feel very guilty adjusting the demons a bit in order to be useful for my current scene.

With a little bit of my own spicy humor, I allowed myself to object the common existing demon-name-lists by leaving the fallen Archangel Lucifer’s name as it was and positioning him on the top of the seven thrones of Hell. Experts on that might kick my butt for that, but no matter how many ‘bad guys’ there are, in the series, I’m working on fighting them. I figure, one more isn’t that much of a drama.

Also, I did not forget that Evil tempts with softness, with the illusion of love and with beauty… Demons in my books rarely look like leathery wings carrying, flying, and walking horror creatures…

Lucifer is a beautiful as a personified sin… and so are his minions in the form we humans can understand… But when they are home… where they live… in their place and their environment… that’s different. Then the entire extent of the evilness they hold becomes obvious – and visible.

 

 

Picture courtesy of Google.com

 

Ethel

My birth name is „Ethel“. This is, as I was told, an old English girl’s name, some independent form of “Ethelred.” That would be fine with me if I weren’t male! I figure my name was sort of an expression of Lucifer’s askew humor. At least he most of the time convulses with laughter when calling me.

As compared to what humans think demons are not only made, they’re born as well. I am, in fact, the living prove that I’m telling the truth.

My father and mother, Braxxus and Persophee, some “mediocre” distractors (demons who confuse human senses to tempt them doing evil) met during some hellish fire party and fell in love. That’s what they told me, even though I strongly suspect they were more physically attracted to each other than anything else. From that moment on, they copulated as often as they could. From what Persophee said, I am their “love bundle.” I’d rather say, the result of this more than equivocal mating became me.

Unfortunately, these two demons had a bet going with Lucifer and lost. As consequence, I was compelled to serve as the footman of a minion, of the minion of the minion of Lucifer’s master demon. Since Lucifer found me and the bet so hilarious, he often used me as his personal doormat and had tons of fun with that.

He thought it fascinating that I looked more human than anyone else in Hell. Both of my producers had scales and horns and except the somehow unexpected wiry hair that was standing up on my head and nearly looked like goat horns I had nothing demonic on me. When I was sent to Earth the first time, I could do so without the need of being changed. People shied away from me eventually because I seemed to smell weird, but after a few hours of bathing and a couple proper clothes I almost felt human and was accepted as one. That first time I discovered the beauty in this new world. I saw flowers, trees, green grass and ponds, parks, zoos and watched birds, cats and dogs…

To me, it was almost painful to sow evil amongst mankind. I hesitated to do what I was sent to do and this annoyed the Master of all Evil. He ordered me back and punished me painfully.

That day I decided I had enough. I know, my kind normally enjoys wallowing in anger, rage, crime, pain, depression and murder. But I was sick of it. I felt like drowning in greed, bullying, sins, and blood. I did not want that anymore and decided to get out. Of course, it isn’t exactly easy to change sides. But the thought of existing within evilness was unthinkable to me.

Finally, Lucifer helped me unintentionally by promoting me to become a distractor. He turned me into an extraordinarily handsome man to make it easier for me to tempt humans by being attractive to them. Additionally, to complete my physiognomy he re-named me “Jesse”, the “Gift-giver”. He nearly wet himself of laughter, explaining, that I indeed brought gifts to mankind: the gift of sin.

In my opinion, he got me closer to what I wanted. Of course, I need to be careful now. Guardian Angels don’t know mercy! But since I am here, on Earth, it is time to take action to free me…

Picture courtesy of: http://ahmajokeri.deviantart.com/art/Monster-eye-256588421
Picture courtesy of:
http://ahmajokeri.deviantart.com/art/Monster-eye-256588421

 

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What do you think: Would you like to help me finding out if “Ethel” is fascinating enough to become a new character in my next novella?