First, I have to propose my own question- What is the measure of man? This question has been asked over and again, but only pertains to sci-fi and fantasy as of yet.
My original reason for writing the War of the Third Demon series was for safety reasons. This is also the reason I un-published and re-wrote Talon Fyre book one – to distance all of it from the fanfiction version I wrote two years ago. However, that soon became secondary to everything.
When I began War of the Third Demon, I originally intended to make a few short chapters of Electus’s upbringing, then skip ahead to when he began to train to fight against and eventually slay Fuhrer Rayburn. However, that also became secondary when I realized the fact that this prequel to series would give me a very big opportunity to experiment with world-building and character development.
When I first wrote in Radiata, I intended to make her into a no-nonsense femme fatale who didn’t need anyone to help her raising Electus. But then, well…. Yorek came into the picture.
Originally a minor character with a name inspired by nothing mere skull from the Shakespeare play “Hamlet”, Yorek quickly became a character I as a writer could heavily relate to. I decided to build upon him further, and with introspection of myself, make him a center focus and a co-star.
My thoughts soon shifted to the nature of love, at the nature of such a thing Tatsu Sekai. Not only this, but the technology and traditions. After thinking of the movie “Avatar”, I decided upon a very interesting mixture for it.
Technology – Primitive.
Approach to life- Spiritual.
Traditions – Archaic.
I guess I could coin it “Naturepunk”
As a society that uses plants, natural resources and magic to live, I thought ‘What would a dragon-run society based on Feudal Japan, Medieval England and Ancient Greece think of relationships?’
They would have views beyond most humans, of course.
I ran this question through my head over and over. What would Radiata ever see in her best friend Yorek due to being so insecure and weak? She was strong, powerful, beautiful and a government leader. He was just a grotesquely unattractive commoner.
Then it hit me.
These creatures aren’t human.
These creatures don’t have the same values (or lack thereof) that humans do.
Radiata, beautiful as she was, had been seen as a prize for a vast amount of her life. Yorek was emotionally damaged, but saw her for herself alone. This, and he was also very kind-hearted.
I will say in this article that dragons are the most spiritually-gifted race in Tatsu Sekai. The key to their gifts, however, is not only training. Radiata, despite seeming physically weaker and smaller than an older male, could easily overpower them based on one thing alone.
Dragons gain power not only from physical training, but mental and spiritual training. In the 2-light-lovel re-release of WotTD part 1 (especially in the second, “Mending of the Once-Broken”) Radiata is seen to be incredibly powerful despite being young and slightly less muscular than other creatures.
Why is this? Simple.
Radiata is gifted with an incredible, selfless-yet-assertive nature which she nurtured and cultivated for her entire life. This blessed her with not only vast magical abilities, but unnatural physical strength.
What it boils down to is thus- in this world, for dragons and other creatures, the soul is the source of power. Radiata had an incredibly strong and light-oriented soul, and so did Yorek.
Despite the fact that Yorek was insecure and slightly weak, Radiata saw his potential. More importantly, the fact that he was a strong-souled and very loving dragon. This caused her to see him as a potential mate. She, like so many of the great leaders in history, learned to look past outward appearances and ignored Yorek’s disgusting body. She knew him from a young age, and therefore already had a relationship with him.
Before you ask, in Tatsu Sekai, it is not uncommon for long-time friends, non-related stepsiblings or even cousins (much to my own disgust, I do have to admit that adding Feudal Japan’s customs to the mix made this world kind of weird) to become lovers. In addition, most of the citizens on this world are far from petty and shallow.
It’s easily seen that Radiata’s semi-masculine nature is complimented and counterbalanced by Yorek’s recognizably feminine one. Yin and Yang, dusk and dawn, male and female. This was another reason for their relationship to blossom and flourish. Lastly, there was the fact that they both thought they would never find a mate due to their appearance. One shone too brightly, and one was too dull to be seen.
What does this all boil down to? Simple.
Radiata chose Yorek because she was confident that his soul was worthy of her. The insecurity and weakness was something she was well aware he could overcome with enough support. She, like so many other citizens of Tatsu Sekai, looked for inner beauty when choosing a partner.
I will make this clear – At no point in her life did Radiata see Yorek as a mere “project”. When they were young, she saw him as her hope and light because he never once paid attention to the superficial qualities she so cursed. The fact that they always saw each other for what they truly were and lifted each other up is exactly what drew them to each other as mates. Despite Yorek’s flaws, Radiata realized that he was a tar-covered diamond she could forge into a beautiful artifact which she would keep for a lifetime.
I am aware this is not how humans usually choose partners, at least nowadays.
I wanted to show a world where the citizens choose partners because of who they are at their core.
I wanted to show a world with archaic views, but also one that places a very spiritual value upon love.
I wanted to show a world that can see that sometimes, beneath all the scars and damage, there can be a beautiful person.
This is why the first War of the Third Demon books circled mainly around the relationships of Yorek, Radiata, Tago and Kent. A lot of the character development and events in this will also tie into the next title, “War of the Third Demon: Dance of Forbidden Fruit” set roughly seven years in the future