Looking Back: Top 10 Favorite Characters from the Shikaverse, Part 2
(NOTE: For those who don't know what these series of blog posts are, read the introduction here.)
Continued from this blog post.
#6: Toa Oggakia
First appearance: The Recruitment of Axonn (cameo)
Nailed it . . . Ive been lying and deceiving everyone, even Jokao, all this time. Almost everything I have said is a lie; every single bit of it. I have lied about my past, my connection with the Tuikas, and many, many other things that you dont even know about. And if I tell you or anyone else the t-truth . . . Everyone will hate me. B-but if I say nothing at all. . . . ("An Unlikely Alliance," Chapter 18: Truths & Falsehoods)
As her quote indicates, Toa Oggakia always had trouble trusting others. This is primarily due to how she was raised. She spent a good chunk of her life on Daxia in seclusion from the rest of the world. When you factor in the Order's policy of strict secrecy, it's no wonder she never learned how to trust or open up to others.
Even when she did get real friends who loved and trusted her, she still kept secrets from them. She learned to become less secretive, of course, but she still has this habit of keeping secrets from her friends even when they would benefit from knowing those secrets. In all likelihood, she will probably be this way for the rest of her life, although she can always get better
While I believe she's one of the more fleshed out characters from the Shikaverse, I do wish I could have explored her guilt a bit more. It's subtle, but if you pay careful attention to her dialogue in An Unlikely Alliance, you can tell that she still feels guilty about betraying her people 100,000 years ago. Even though she was justified in betraying the Kra-Matoran tribe, Oggak still considers herself one of them and so continues to feel guilty about betraying them, although it's not as severe as it once was.
Like Kiriah, I liked her so much that I decided to use her in more epics. She was a main character in The Ghost King's Tragedy and played a small role in Dawn of the New Century. She will also make an appearance in In the End, where her final fate will be revealed.
#7 Toa Teivel
First appearance: Tapestry of Evil
"Freedom is a fickle thing. You never appreciate it when you have it, and when it is taken away from you it becomes almost an obsession to have just a taste of freedom. That is how I feel now; I, along with every other blasted inhabitant of this land, wish to be free to roam the universe once more, as I did 100,000 years ago." ("Tapestry of Evil," Chapter 1: Shodios)
Out of all the characters on this list, Toa Teivel is the one I wished I could have explored the most. He was the most mysterious of the Shodios, the Shikaverse's all-Toa of Shadow Toa team, and the evilest as well.
He didn't start out evil. He was originally good. I honestly would have loved to explore exactly how he went from being a generally good Toa to a cold, calculating villain who cared little for the welfare of others. I do have an idea for a prequel epic focusing on the rise and fall of the Kra-Matoran Empire, in which he surely must have played an important role, but with In the End coming, I highly doubt I will ever write it.
One thing I am certain about, however, is that he, out of all of the Shodios, really wanted to be free. He despised Wyoko with every fiber of his being. He believed it was the right of the Kra-Matoran tribe to rule the Matoran universe. Wyoko is basically an external manifestation of his failure to lead his people to victory.
#8: Toa Darranas
First appearance: Dimension Hoppers
Yes, although thief is a term I do not prefer to use. I would call myself a hero, a crusader of righteousness and light who was chosen by destiny to purge the multiverse of evil. Any sane person can see that. ("Dimension Hoppers," Chapter 16: Questions Answered, Questions Raised)
Here's one of the few characters in the Shika Trilogy whom I feel justified in calling evil. Out of all the antagonists and villains in the Shikaverse, I'd say Toa Darranas was easily the most dangerous, in part because of the scope of his plans, but also because he was absolutely convinced that he was the good guy, no matter how many evil things he did.
Other villains, like Makuta Hajax and Toa Teivel, were at least capable of recognizing that some of their actions were not wise or moral. Darranas, on the other hand, was so convinced of his own righteousness and perfection that he thought that anything he did was good. Unlike some of the villains on this list, I don't believe Darranas could be redeemed. Redemption is only possible when you believe you need it. Darranas did not believe that he needed to be redeemed from anything.
That is also what made him so interesting. Darranas's black and white view of the world meant he did not believe anything was off limits if it brought him closer to his overall goal. Whereas Kiriah and to (to a slightly lesser extent) Isarot dealt frequently with their own self-doubt and uncertainties, Darranas never doubted his own righteousness for even a second. He was probably one of the scarier characters for me to write because I understand how alluring the certainty that a black-and-white view of the world brings, even if I wholeheartedly reject it.
Darranas didn't start out this crazy, but even before he turned, he always had a tendency to view his enemies as unrepentent villains who deserved whatever they got. I think it's too easy for someone with that personality to cross the line from justice-seeker to revenging crusader.
Though Darranas spoke often about punishing villains, in the end, I think he became just as bad as the people he fought, if not worse. And that is always sad.
First appearance: An Unlikely Alliance
"I may very well have to take this island all by myself. Oh well . . . I did it once. I could so easily do it again." ("An Unlikely Alliance," Chapter 21: Target Locked)
Raider was a Dark Hunter, one of the best and oldest. His personality was professional and efficient. He did not allow himself to be distracted by emotion or petty quarrels, at least while working. All he cared about doing was getting the job done, whether its putting down a possible Dark Hunter rebellion or investigating the theft of an object that the Shadowed One had his eyes on.
His personality, I believe, led him to become a sniper. While he can hold his own in a fight, he is absolutely deadly with a sniper. Looking back, I probably should have named him Sniper or something. I tried to justify his codename in An Unlikely Alliance, but the explanation always seemed a little too incredulous to me (he raided whole islands by himself? Really?). I guess Raider is a pretty cool name, though.
What I like best about Raider, however, is the role he played in An Unlikely Alliance. To me, he was that kind of character whose mere appearance is enough to jack up the tension in a scene. He didn't succeed in killing any of the protagonists, but every time he appeared I was never sure who he would kill (or try to kill, at least) next. Unpredictable characters like Raider are awesome to read and write about.
I can confirm that he will appear in In the End. I felt like I needed to bring him back one last time before the Shikaverse's end, considering that several of my other favorite characters have all appeared in the Dawn Duology so far.
First appearance: Dimension Hoppers: The Other Tale
Do you wonder why I live here? Its because the Dark Hunters never come around here. I am safe as long as I keep quiet." ("Dimension Hoppers: The Other Tale," Chapter Four)
Kafor is an interesting example of a character. While writing Dimension Hoppers, I knew she was going to play a large role in Dawn of the New Century. So I introduced her early on in Dimension Hoppers: The Other Tale, primarily to foreshadow Dawn with her future-seeing ability.
She is definitely one of the more cowardly characters I've written, although she would probably describe herself as shrewd. Due to the fact that the Dark Hunters have been on her tail for many years, she has a hard time trusting anyone except her sole friend, a bartender named Barc. Looking back, I wish I could have figured out exactly how the two of them became such good friends in the first place. Maybe I will figure it out in In the End, though that seems unlikely to me.
Due to living most of her life on the run, Kafor has always had a difficult time thinking longterm. She thinks as far ahead as is necessary to protect her life from the Dark Hunters. This is one aspect of her personality that I tried to explore in Dawn and will hopefully bring to a satisfying conclusion in In the End. In the Dawn Duology, she now faces the possibility of a Dark Hunter-free future, the implications of which she is just starting to grasp.
I like writing her dialogue. She's extremely sarcastic, which annoys pretty much everyone else. Even better, she doesn't see a reason to apologize for her sarcasm, either. When most of the people around you are stupid or hate you, why should you treat them considerately?
Of course I cannot say what her final fate will be. You'll have to read In the End to find out that.
I have a couple of announcements about the Shikaverse I'd like to make.
First, I just finished the third draft of In the End. All that I need to do now is go through and do the usual three rounds of editing that I do with every epic. I still cannot give a release date any more specific than early/mid 2014, though.
Second, because some readers have requested it and because it is currently no longer available on BZP, I will be reposting the entire Shika Trilogy right here on the BZP forums. Instead of doing three separate topics for each epic, however, I will be posting the entire trilogy in one topic, which will be called "The Shika Trilogy Omnibus." Expect to see the omnibus in the Epics forum on Wednesday, January 1st, 2014.
See y'all later,
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