I claimed a new badge from the Merit Badger today, the Villain Badge (click image for badge specifics)!
BEHOLD, my friends, let me introduce to you the dastardly, megolomaniac, power-grabbing GRAND VIZIER!
(Of COURSE he’s a grand vizier, aren’t ALL dastardly wizards?)
Below is an abbreviated excerpt from one of my older WIPs, currently shelved because of its super-long Epic Fantasy setup, which I do not yet have the skills to handle. It is the very first thing I wrote for this character, and he has gone through some evolutions since, but I love this character, even though he’s a total sociopath and complete dickhead. (Also, upon re-reading this, written at the tender age of 19, I see that my prose leaves much to be desired.)
The Grand Vizier followed behind the silent Council of Lords as they exited the judgment hall in a despairing line of rich brocades and flowing silks. His conscience did not bother him; he prided himself as a man who had no conscience. A conscience is burden, a self-destructive construct of the mind that poisons the spirit. It serves well the weak-minded, who must serve, and females, who must nurture the young, but it is a serious liability for men in positions of power. A conscience is the powerful man’s death–his utter futility to justify his own existence, negating his destiny has a ruler of men.
The evidence could be seen all around him, in the self-delusioned fools who would not sleep well this night. But he was glad, nonetheless, that the councilors were “honorable” men of conscience, for it made them malleable and easy to manipulate. Their obsessions with morality, with Right and Wrong, provided him a potent leverage with which he prodded them down paths they would normally not take. Some he blackmailed with their own guilt, and to others, he gave sops to feed their pride. All were convinced to make choices that they believed would be for the better–choices that inevitably led them to the next, then to the next, leading ultimately to the final decision they made this day.
It had not been hard to convince them to betray their consciences, but many had resisted longer than he thought they would. One in particular had required constant stimulus, but he too, had capitulated in the end. But time had flowed on while he had prodded the Council toward the path of his own choosing, and now the month of the Summoning was upon them, and the game had not yet begun. He had very little time left, and now he must hurry, lest the window of opportunity pass.
His name was Omar Kasem Abul, but no one called him that. Indeed, the last fool who had dared to do so wound up chained to the wall of the deepest dungeon, and most likely died there. He had never bothered to check. That fool may have been his father, but even he should have known never to demean his rank by calling him his name. His name may be Omar Kasem Abul, but to those outside his household he was the Vizier, and to those within, simply the Master. And to himself? Well, his is the only existence that matters, and he referred to himself simply as “I.” He was an uncomplicated man, and his desires equally uncomplicated. And besides, is it not said in the Holy Book that the name of the One True God is “I?”
Abul smiled thinly in amusement at his vanity. He was nowhere near godhood, yet. But he was the closest thing to godliness among mortal men. It may be vanity to acknowledge his superiority over others, but foolish to deny it.
It is equally foolish to believe that vanity is a sin. His mother had believed that, devoutly; that humility would bring her great rewards and the blessings of Heaven. The silly, meddling clerics had taught her that, and what did that belief get her but tossed out into the street and left in the dirt to die.
He wondered with offhand curiosity if she still lived, and if she was enjoying her life among the humble and the meek. Indeed! He snorted. And how do you like your patch of inherited earth? Is it just as you’ve imagined Heaven to be? Dust and rotting bones?
Chuckling to himself, Omar Kasem Abul, Grand Vizier of the Great Empire of the Ari’eli’ma, Master of his House and the next “I AM,” put the past behind him and planned for the future. It would be a very perfect future indeed.
Ooh, now isn’t that a spine-chiller?!