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The Key to Destiny

The Key to Destiny

One character I haven’t talked about much is Reianna. You may have noticed a lot of my characters interact in various settings, but Reianna is always off on her own. Her story is isolated from most of my multiverse. I don’t think she’ll ever cross into any of my other worlds, and I’m not sure if her story will even be written. But I do still enjoy writing bits and pieces of it, even if they seem oddly random on their own.

The original concept behind Reianna was, as is so often the case, a question; what if fate just can’t manage on it’s own? What if there are people out there, heroes of some kind, who ensure that things work out the way they’re supposed to? If you read a lot of speculative fiction, you can certainly see the potential for such figures. It isn’t uncommon for a wizard or a war hero to melt out of the background just in the nick of time – what if they were actually the same person? What if they had the ability to travel through time and space to exactly where they were needed to ensure things always worked out for the best?

Looking back now, it sounds remarkably similar to Doctor Who; but I came up with all this more than a decade before I heard about the show.

The more I played with the idea, the more I saw it’s flaws; how did these heroes become agents of fate? If fate is a force, rather than a person, how would it choose its facilitators? Does it make sense for the heroes of fate to be fated to their task? I’m not a huge fan of the chosen one trope. The more I thought about it, the more it made sense that the heroes of fate would be self-assigned. Perhaps someone saw a need to do good in the universe and established a way of doing it with minimal fuss. They would need to have an immense sense of dedication, a good moral compass and the ability to travel through time, but that’s no problem for an epic fantasy story.

But what if these self-appointed agents of fate didn’t have such an outstanding moral compass? Or what if they ignored the morals of other cultures and civilizations and tried to bend the entire universe to their will? After all, the ability to travel through time and space to any point where fate needs defending might just go to a person’s head. They might almost consider themselves god-like and not care about what lesser beings consider correct.

And so my heroes slowly morphed into villains, corrupted by their own good intent, made cold, calculating and condescending by the tools of their trade. Thus the Destarians (which probably need a new name) were born. They are a race of time mages, with the innate talent to move through and manipulate time to their whims. Once upon a time, the Destarians monitored the multiverse through which they moved to ensure that nothing interfered with the delicate balance of the universe. They righted wrongs where they found them, gently nudged heroes into action and defeated evil when it grew too powerful. But as time went on, evil came to mean anything Destarians disliked or anything that threatened their power. And defending good came to mean shaping the future according to our design.

Destarians inhabit a strange land which regularly moves through time and space; it often returns to the same place, but never to the same time. From their strange and mystifying homeland, they can travel to any point in time, as well as moving between worlds. Each undergoes a regimented training program designed to help them appropriately manipulate time in the various assignments they serve throughout their lifetime. Power is extremely important to Destarian culture, since the purest bloodlines are always considered to have the most power (and woe to those who prove otherwise).

So where does Reianna fit in? Every so often, an exceptional Destarian is born. These are called the chosen. (I didn’t always hate the chosen one trope as much as I hate it now.) The chosen have the power to enter a series of ancient Destarain temples which the Destarians caused to be lost in time. It is believed that those who enter the temple can summon a power so great it can change the fabric of the universe. This is how the heroes of fate have maintained the balance for so long. Reianna manifested such power, and wielded it with such cleverness in her early years, she was labeled a chosen and hailed as prodigy that would one day lead them to greatness.

But there were plenty of Destarians who wanted to steal the ability to wield that power for themselves. So they hatched a plan; on the night of Reianna’s sixteenth birthday, her parents were murdered and she was framed for the deed. Despite evidence of her innocence, Reianna was banished, and locked out of the time portals that would allow her to return home. Shortly thereafter she was captured by a wicked queen who believed she could rend the power from Reianna’s body and use it to gain access to the lost temples. Her attempts to steal that power caused Reianna so much trauma she lost all memory of her time before the dungeons.

Of course, by the time she regained her memories, Reianna had come to view her people, and their noble purpose in a different light. But who’s to say she makes any better of a hero herself?

Needless to say, it’s an old idea, and it needs a lot of work. But I keep coming back to it, keep fiddling with it, wondering what shape it will eventually take. Here are the bits and pieces of Reianna’s story I’ve written so far:

That’s Gunna Leave a Mark
Images are Blurred
Blood of the Chosen
How they Relate to their Race

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