Insights: Lew Luster and his ‘Men’.

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“You ever negotiate for your life before? Today is a great day to start.” — Lew Luster

It’s been a while since I’ve done an insight post, but I had Lew on the brain working on KINGLESS COUNTRY.

Every story needs antagonists, and Two Destroyers has three primary ones.   I wanted to talk today about Lew Luster, one of the ‘bad guys’ of the story.

I’ve mentioned before that Pange, the world of my novel, consists of several major nations.   Lew Luster was born in the Nation of Aquan.   Like many of the people of Pange he has two natural magic gifts, Water and Wind.  He is among the usual population who only uses his gift for utility and it has no bearing on his formidable martial ability.

Lew grew up in Jal, the capital of Aquan.  He watched the slow decline of his country and his King surrendering his nation to crime lords.  At the age of thirteen he went west to serve under one of these lords and learned the way of the sword.   He grew into the role of a ‘fixer’, cleaning up messes left by his colleagues.  Lew grew tired of the work and tried his hand at being a Mercenary.

He took well to mercenary work and worked close to the border of Aquan and Geldbane, focusing primarily on bounties.  Here he built a partnership with a man named Habel Drox and axe-man of dubious renown.   Habel isn’t much for plans preferring the play the role of an attack dog.   He took to Lew’s strong sense of conviction and to no qualms in being his right hand man.

With Habel’s aid Lew gathered ne’er –do-wells until they were seven strong.  Soon after, Lew caught the eye of the Gelban Military.

Lew and his band were commissioned to fight in the Dendargian war.  It is through these battles Lew met Helgando Barrington Jr.  (Hush) and set his sights on worming into the three major mercenary companies.   This ‘in’ would take his band of mercenaries straight to the top of the food chain.

At Twenty-Nine Lew Luster has grown into a ruthless man, with grandeur in his agenda.    He stretches the limited diplomatic immunity he has been granted to make things work for his motley crew, but isn’t shy about making it clear he’s only looking out for number one.

From a fighting perspective, Lew is a consummate duelist specializing in fighting one on one.   However, it doesn’t mean he fights fair.   Lew is at his best when he is unarmed and his opponent wields a weapon.  Put simply, Lew specializes in killing people with their own sword.

Besides Hable, he has five trusted mercenaries he makes habit of travelling with.

Yuri Tulse is an unassuming Erdaki scholar.   Though formidable with a blade, she prefers strategic and an analytic approach.  She serves the mercenary group as a tactician and true second in command.  Of Lew’s ‘men’ she has the highest success rate of her bounties.  Despite being level headed and calm, people tend to go missing when she is in town.   The odds of it being a coincidence are lower than her bounty failure rate.

Joseph Wiley is an unabashed psychopath of dubious origins, though his magic confirms him as a Gelban.  He favors two daggers as his weapons of choice and is a Sanguine enthusiast.   Joseph’s bounties almost never come back in one piece.   Thankfully, he keeps his enthusiastic curiosity of the human anatomy focused on his foes, passing time with his obsession with art, tattoos and piercings.

Sibil Bleak is picturesque example of Aquan beauty: tall, blonde, blue-eyed and deadly.   She favors both the bow and the sword but tends to leave more broken bodies off the battlefield than on it.  She has a bad reputation of taking disappointment from under-performing lovers very poorly.  Anyone stupid enough to dismiss her vanity as a sign of inexperience doesn’t live long either.

Ollie “Big Dwarf” Popper is half Norill giant and half Gelban.   His lineage gives him the odd magical mixture of Earth and Fire, something only the reclusive ‘little people’ of Margus and Yulos are born naturally with.   However, unlike the underground people of those nations, he towers over his group at a commanding seven feet and a half tall.  Terrifyingly strong and smart, Ollie has a powder keg temper that is well known in the Mercenary circles.

Kilsa Uker is a former Gladiator from the Southern Aquan regions, Lew convinced her to retire from the arena and join his entourage.   She favors the Javelin and dons a careful approach to fighting.   Kilsa rarely approaches her prey, instead opting to impale them with a thrown javelin or gut them on a counter attack.   The most level headed and calm of any of Lew’s ‘men’ she never angers, she just gets even.  Of Lew’s men she has seen the most combat and bears the most scars.

Needless to say Lew has gathered a group of sociopaths and has his own set of issues.

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