A Deceptive Enemy
An excerpt from an untitled work by Phil Martin
Dec. 11, 2013
We’re back to where we left off.
Adela is a guardian who brings Arlan from our world and into her far-off realm. She had fended off a demon attack but inadvertently brought Arlan into her world. Adela’s realm is a place where superficial appearances dominate reality. Thus, I’ve named this the Superficial Realm or the Realm of the Superficials, whichever sounds good for now.
Adela already told Arlan about a great Chasm that spooks her realm from its outer edge. Now she informs him about a well-known enemy.
Below Adela’s continued monologue, I wrote some background information about my antagonist.
Adela speaking to Arlan:
“What all of us fear the most about the Chasm is Florian, our realm’s greatest enemy by far.”
“Florian was once a noble Guardian. Like his brother Lucian, Florian possessed great power. From his hands, he gave life and beauty to all things green that bears leaves, fruits and flowers in our realm. It was his purpose. With his companion, Flora, he tended the great garden.”
“Then, things changed. Florian and his companion abused their great abilities. The couple thought they could assume the duties of Lucian and what was rightfully his. To control and manipulate light energy, Florian wanted to overthrow his brother. So, he assembled a third of the Guardians and waged war of rebellion in our sacred city Liora.
“Fortunately, Florian’s attempted coup proved to be futile. Lucian’s radiance alone proved to be too great for opposition.”
“After Florian and his force fell mightily in defeat, Lucian and our realm’s protectors cast Florian and his rebels to the great Chasm. Originally, the Chasm had no purpose. Now it is the dwelling place for Florian. Although the Chasm is his residence, he and his demons roam to and fro throughout our realm with an agenda of capturing wandering souls and using them for works of darkness and destructiveness. And, as you have learned, our enemy’s influence is equally in your earthly realm as much as ours.
“Florian is the shrewdest being, and he can never be trusted. Although he displays beauty in his works, he is deceptive and cunning in his ways, and his works are very vain. Florian will try any thing to manipulate our ways to conform to his so that he can drag others to join him and his force into the bleak depths of the feared Chasm of Despair.”
Meaning behind Florian’s name:
It seems every tale about good and evil needs a formidable antagonist.
In a lot of stories it seems that the antagonist and its characterization are very noticeable. A great example of the obvious characterization of an enemy is through the use of the color black and other dark colors. Look at the Old West outlaw with his black hat or Darth Vader in his black cloak.
My antagonist will have an association with darkness. However, I wanted to also give my antagonist other characteristics that would mask his inward darkness.
While on a run about a year ago, a college buddy shared his perception of what Satan may be like to him. He and I both accept that Satan, or the devil, is our greatest enemy and that his works are of darkness against our faith in Christ.
Interestingly, my buddy also shared with me a perspective I had never previously considered. He said he also thought of the devil and his ways as being beautiful. He meant “beautiful” as in the devil and his ways have a type of beauty or attraction to us that are deceptive at its surface.
Since that run with my buddy, I thought about ways to support his perspective of the devil having a deceptive beauty. This wasn’t hard. During our run, I thought about temptation. Temptations seem appealing to us because of their delusions of fulfilling something for us. Although temptations may seem attractive to us, they may lead us to sin, drawing us farther from God and dangerously closer to the devil.
Much like how we may often play into the devil’s hand through temptation, I want my tale’s characters to relate to my antagonist.
Florian is my antagonist’s name. The name means “flower,” according to an online database. Along with having a dark character, I wanted Florian to be “flowery” or “beautifully deceptive” by his own beauty and works.