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Making of a Novel, Part 6


This is a continuing series of posts about the writing of my novel, Starveyors. You can start at the beginning and catch up at your own pace, or just read on and try to figure it all out on your own. There’s a link list for these posts on the blog’s sidebar to your right.

Character Motivations and Backgrounds Part 2

Admiral Alba Mayer

Head of the Starveyors and the man who founded the organization to help merge elements of the Alliance Fleet with free elements of the Votainion Armada. Mayer was part of the peace negotiations for the planet Khara. Khara was the first planet to leave the Empire and join the Alliance. While there he became close friends with Pentos, an up and coming politician in the capital city.

Mayer has lived on Khara and many other Votainion worlds in his long, military career. He knows more about how the Votainions think and act than most Alliance military officers. Part of the core principles of the Starveyors is to mend relations and work together with their former enemy to peacefully explore the galaxy. He knows that the peaceful exploration part may not come in his lifetime. There are so many screwed up planets in the Empire that it will be a long time before they are all mended and the unit can focus on exploration.

He wants the war to be over as quickly as possible. He no longer fears or hates his enemy and sees the Votainion people as worthy citizens of the galaxy who were mistreated and misguided by their leaders. This puts him at odds with his fellow military leaders. Many of whom have led long and bloody lives fighting the Votainions and would like nothing better than to exterminate them all from the galaxy.

Mayer is a dignified and compassionate man who believes in the peace process and knows that a healing between the races must happen, eventually. He has lighter, black skin and a tightly trimmed mustache. His intellect and attention to the people under his command let him see things that others miss and allow him insight that can help create a lasting peace. It was his idea to team up a young officer with a talent for negotiating with a timid, intellectual historian to lead the peace talks that could end the war.

Opposite Mayer in the Alliance Fleet is the Admiral of the Fleet, Dal Richter.

Admiral of the Fleet, Dal Richter

Richter is a composite character of all the hardened military leaders of the past. His life is one long, bloody struggle against the Votainions.  He represents the war and the bitter distaste many feel towards the enemy. He wants nothing more than for the peace talks to fail, so that he can completely destroy the enemy’s home world. Richter has amassed the largest interstellar fleet ever at Voton.

Richter is like a ticking clock on a huge pile of dynamite. He has an itchy trigger finger and wants nothing more than to pull the trigger on his invasion force. Richter is a tall, imposing figure with short, white hair that stands on end and dark, beady eyes that seem to bore holes through lead. He has a back story that connects him to the Chief Architect of the Votainion Armada – Verhom. Suffice it to say, that both men equally hate each other in epic fashion. The challenge when writing each of these characters will be to make them less of a stereotype and more of an archetype. That is a fine line to walk. I’m hoping that their back story helps make them more interesting rather than just plane silly.

Chief Architect – Verhom

This is the Votainion in charge of the remaining Empire forces. He was physically wounded by Richter in battle and it has left him with plenty of external and internal scars. Typically the Chief Architect is the main villain in these Star Trilogy books. But in this book Verhom is just one of two possible villains. The other of course is Dal Richter the leader of the Alliance military. Both of them would rather have one final battle to end the war, winner takes all then muck about in lengthy peace negotiations. This is of course directly counter to ending the war peacefully, which is what the heros are trying to accomplish.

Verhom is short and stocky, with dark blue skin tones and a heavy, traditionally Votainion brow.  He’s missing an arm, from a duel with Richter years ago. He’s never had it repaired or replaced with a mechanical arm. His face is scared with former lacerations from countless duels. He’s pretty frightening to look at.

President Jem Hargrove

President Hargrove is the civilian leader in charge of the Alliance during this time period.   We don’t get too involved in his character, but we do know that he see’s ending the war during his administration to be his paramount duty. The President is now ruling from the planet Prahran, which is quite different than what it was in Starforgers and in Starstrikers. Selene was the original seat of power for the old Federation and the new Alliance. But late in the war, as more and more Votainion planets joined the Alliance, the seat of power was moved to Prahran, because it was more central to the newly aquired Alliance controlled space.

Hargrove is a native of Prahran and he believes that his planet was long wronged by the Federation and deserves to be the sight of the surrender. But the military prefers to keep things at Voton, safely away from civilians. Still, Hargrove has his fingers in the process as much as he can. Hargrove is of average hight and build, with wavy blond hair and dark, blue eyes. He has the practiced smile of a career politician.

Emperor Krey-Nykostra

The last Emperor of Voton, Krey-Nykostyra is a direct blood relative of Empress Nykostra, the one who started the Great War. The current leader of the remaining Empire forces is of sound mind and able body. He is well loved by his staff and the remaining Kastra who had stood with him until the very end.

But Krey is not going to let his Empire crumble in a final battle. He is interested in preserving the history of the Empire and he’s even more interested in righting his good family name. Empress Nykostra has been blamed for having started the war that eventually has led to the destruction of the Empire. The war has raged for a thousand years and consumed the resources of dozens of planets. Most of those planets were left bare and wasted, their life forms forced into slavery or made extinct by environmental destruction and over hunting.

Krey is a student of history and he wants to bring the seat of power for the Empire back to where the race originated – Selene. But the current Alliance President doesn’t want to allow them to occupy ground on the home world of the humans. So the talks have stalled as the diplomats try and resolve this thorny issue. Krey is a tall, studious man with flowing robes and a graying beard. His skin is a lighter blue than most and his brow is less pronounced, giving him a less barbaric look.

Khiden – Soothsayer

The traditional guides to the royal bloodline on Voton are the Soothsayers. Khiden is an old, Soothsayer that offers guidance to the Emperor. He knows the Empire will soon reach its end and wants to make sure Krey obtains some sacred ground on Selene. Khiden is the voice for peace in the Emperor’s court. But he is not liked by the warriors like Verhom. The Soothsayers are blamed for sending the Armada into Alliance space and starting the war. Most of the high command in the Fleet despise them.

Next time I’ll talk about the Silicants and then we can move on to the outline.



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