Let’s get back to the books for a minute, because really, that’s what I’m trying to sell you. A few people have asked how it started, or when it started, so I’ll explain quickly here. My fellow geeks/nerds/what-have-you find it interesting.
Dungeons and Dragons. Yep. Azbaelus, the Demon Prince of note, was originally a D&D character. We’d been playing a while, and were looking into new and more advanced adventures (this was circa 2nd or 2.5 ed), and I’d always been deeply fascinated by the drow elves. I’d had the DarkStar character for a few years, a fighter/mage who advanced to a pretty high level.
DarkStar was against everything the typical drow stood for. She was Lawful Evil, and not a fan of Lolth or any of her cult, or ways; hence the dual class of mage, not cleric. She worshipped the archdukes of Hell (hey, there weren’t a lot of lawful evil gods known at the time, and I don’t think the small sect of good drow who worship Ellistrae had been introduced, either).
Azbaelus was the result of a love philtre, DarkStar, and a figurine of wondrous power. To the diehard D&D buffs, you may remember the obsidian steed. So he was essentially the first dark elf centaur ever.
I worked a lot out with the DM at the time to make him playable, limiting his innate abilities (he would grow into them later) and giving him a shapechange ability because, let’s be honest…centaurs don’t fit in a whole lotta places. Stairs? Forget it. Those 5′ or 10′ wide dungeon hallways? Not happening.
But in the interest of keeping my own lore straight, again, he went lawful evil (I won’t delve into his background too much because some of it comes out in the books, and his own biography is the planned 5th), being a mortal minion of Hell. He is technically a dual-class fighter/cleric, and at his peak got to levels 28/31 (my friends and I never played level limits by race or class…I for one felt why play something that limits you? What’s the fun of an arbitrary stopping point?).
So the story did sort of start there. Where Frank, Sun and Moon came from, and Damia, I honestly don’t remember. I did try to pull it away from D&D, if only to not have TSR suing my ass later (this was before Wizards of the Coast happened). I rethought the whole racial layout of elves. My world doesn’t have wood elves, high elves, drow elves, half-elves, sea elves, etc. I divvy them into 3 basics: Heighkyn (Light, or Fair elves), Dharkyn (Black elves), and Rhiankyn (Red elves). Azzie explains some of this, mostly in his own story. I rethought how magic worked. I redid the mythology away from the D&D pantheons, using more of a blend between our own known mythologies and a hint of the Christian creation, except with the twist of the Creator not being a god, but something other and above, that made “the” gods. Of course, being humans, we still tend to worship the Creator as “God”, and he just lets it go. Interference is not his way; the Balance will work out.
It’s touched on in Scale, but I also did a twist on that most basic Christian concept: the Fall. It’s the backstory of Malefis, and the rest of it will come out in the third (untitled) book. Hell is a loose compilation of D&D and Dante but populated MY way. The story of the Fall also explains what became of Lucifer and Satan, often confused but not the same individual.
I’ll take a break here, and I will continue with more of what and where and why…because you won’t even guess where the idea for Ylithriel, the home world of Sun and Moon, came from.