Lt. Kilos: the Sidekick

November 23, 2011

Lt. Kilos is the consummate sidekick in The League of Elder series. A Brown peasant from the city of Tusck on Onaris, Ki has been at Captain Davage’s side for over thirty years. She’s been a part of every LoE book so far.

"Kay Fights Lt. Kilos in a Bar" by Carol Phillips

As the focus of the League of Elder shifts from Captain Davage and Countess Sygillis to their son, Lord Kabyl and his cousins, it seemed natural to me to send Ki down the line to Kay’s side. There is a comfort factor that comes with Ki, and I wanted her there with Kay. Ki brings a lot to the table, she’s got her massive SK pistol for devastating firepower, she has her infallible Tweeter bird familiar and she has her amazing husband, the mysterious Professor A-to-Z who can find answers to virtually anything.

The problem with Ki is her very nature. She’s loyal, yet she’s skeptical and slow to give her loyalty. She loves being part of a group, yet she generally dislikes people. Additionally, Ki still considers Kay a child. She was his childhood mentor (Kay recalls he had a long-lasting “crush” on Ki), and even now that Kay is a young man she still views him as a child.

With Ki, she can like you, be fond of you and all that, however, she’ll really not respect you much, that’s just how she is.

The key to securing Ki’s services goes back to one of her most basic character traits: Ki is, at her heart, a brawler. She grew up fighting in Tusck, was a wreck in the Marines and was a well-known troublemaker in the bars dotting the Blanchefort village wharf (her association with Lord Blanchefort gave her immunity from the village magsitrate). As such, Ki will never truly give respect until you’ve bounced your fist off her face a couple of times.  Captain Davage challenged her to a fight upon their first meeting in order to gain her respect. Likewise, Countess Sygillis and Ki were in the gym settling their differences constantly after Syg came aboard the Seeker.  So, in order for Kay to win Ki over, it was inevitable that he take her on.

So, in a wharf-side bar, Kay and Ki duked it out, and after it was over, Ki saw Kay in a new light, and, as she did for his father, she stood at his side and entered the Temple of the Exploding Head.

copyright 2011, Ren Garcia and Carol Phillips

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Every person should know their limitations, and I know mine–I really, really suck at blurbing. I can write 300,000 word tomes, but God help me if I have to sum the damn thing up in 200 words or less. I go blank. I panic.

So here, for good or for ill is the rough back cover marketing blurb for Book V, The Temple of the Exploding Head. I have no idea if it’s any good or not. Thoughts appreciated.

copyright 2011, Ren Garcia

The House of Monama figures prominently in the Temple of the Exploding Head trilogy. Who are the Monamas and what differentiates them from the rest of the League??

“Sam” by Fantasio

This painting of Sam by Fantasio illustrates most of the various physical differences.

HAIR: Monamas have an incredibly thick and fast-growing head of hair that they normally wear down to their ankles. Their hair is invariably coal-black. Aside from their heads, Monamas are quite hairless.

NAILS/CLAWS: Monamas sport a formidable and iron-hard set of fingernails that can hack through a wooden door. Both male and female Monamas wear their nails rather long as they consider their nails a mark of beauty.

EYES: Monamas are well-known for their jet black eyes, including a lack of eye whites.

Note Sam’s black eyes, thick hair and claws hidden under her gloves (Painting by Fantasio)

PALLOR: Monamas are ghastly pale. Living in a perpetual fog by the lake, their skin is often chalk-white in coloration. Those select Monamas that choose to come out of the fog can develop a slight rose tint if they stay in the sun long enough.

BELLYBUTTON: Monamas lack a bellybutton. They find Elder’s belly buttons extremely seductive.

GIFT-LIKE ABILITIES: All Monamas have a number of Gift-like abilities that work when they are touching the ground. When elevated or away from Kana, these abilities vanish. Monamas can “Blink”, or teleport themselves vast distances. They can also transmit their thoughts across the ground and communicate without technology from far away. They also can transform themselves into various humanoid guises–Monama females are much better at it than the males. Monamas also are adept at seeing the future with a high degree of accuracy. Monama males are better at it than the females–female Monamas must partially bury themselves to see the future.

ANUIAN/CONOX: There are two distinct types of Monamas. The most common are the Conox, or “Lesser Monamas” who are rather small and thin of frame, standing on average about 5’2 – 5’5. Much less frequent are the Anuian, or “Greater Monamas” who are significantly bigger, stronger and faster than the Conox, standing about 6 feet tall. Anuians are much more full than the Conox and have markedly different facial features. The Conox, however, appear to be heartier than the Anuians, being a bit less susceptible to cold temperatures and can manage the rigors of space travel much better. The Anuians also require six months in the womb, as opposed to the Conox who require only three.

Anuian Monamas were once very common in the southern lands of Kana, but were said to have been wiped into extinction by a “compelling alien force”. They now only exist in rare birthings amid the Conox, where they must finish their gestation in an “Anuian Jar”, an external womb made of clay and brine.

HEAD SWARM: Monamas tend to fall into a profound, trance-like state when faced with traumatic situations. They call the trance “Head Swarm” and once in it they are difficult if not impossible to revive.

Sam wearing her “Snugs” pendant (Carol Phillips)

SUSCEPTIBILITY TO COLD: Any temperature below 60 degrees F is quickly fatal to a Monama. Even bundled up, the cold will render them sluggish and eventually kill them. Lady Poe of Blanchefort created a Silver tech pendant called Snugs (with the image of a hummingbird on the face) that creates enough warmth for a Monama to survive in the cold without limit. Take away the pendant, however, and the Monama will be dead within minutes.

STRENGTH/SPEED/ENDURANCE: In comparison to Elders, Monamas are incredibly strong. An average Monama is about ten times stronger than an average Elder, though the Elder Gift of Strength can usually match Monama strength. They also have amazing, jaguar-like speed with the endurance to match.

VULNERABILITY TO SPACE TRAVEL: Monamas do not do well when removed from Kana. Extended trips through space can be quickly fatal to them. They can survive on other worlds, however, they lose most of their gift-like abilities until they are returned to Kana.

LANGUAGES: Monamas speak a group of regional languages spoken nowhere else in the League. The Sisters at one time considered making the speaking of their native Anuie, Conox and Systrel languages illegal due to the fact that the Sisters cannot read the Monamas minds via the Stare, however, more reasonable heads prevailed. The people of Hoban find Monama accents very soothing. Monama bards and storytellers are popular on Hoban.

A Berserkacide (Carol Phillips)

EVIL NATURE: Although Monamas generally have very kind and modest personalities, they are convinced that they all carry within them a dark spirit of evil that is just waiting to come out. In their ancient writings they speak of the days when they were four-armed and evil and that the Gods in Jade and Sapphire freed them. The prospect of turning into a raging Berserkacide haunts them.

GODS IN JADE AND SAPPHIRE: The Monamas believe the benevolent Gods in Jade and Sapphire removed their ancient evil nature from them, along with their second pair of arms. They also believe they once bore the gods’ children.

SEX DRIVE/FECUNDITY: Monamas are well-known for their libidos and for their fecundity. They can have up to twelve children at a time in only three months. It is said Monamas can become carried away to the point of being dangerous when having sex.

copyright, 2011 Ren Garcia

Book V in the Temple of the Exploding Head series begins in a strange place.

"Carahil sees the Temple of the Exploding Head" by Carol Phillips

Carahil and Mabs (the infamous Cat Goddess of Zall 88) have journeyed to the Library of Time, a distant place where they have heard the story of all beings lives are written out from beginning to end and may be read like a book. Carahil and Mabs are gods (Carahil being a Nargal and Mabs being a Wind-Walker) but they have little knowledge of the intricacies of Time. Mabs is pregnant with their children and they’ve come to the Library to determine how best to raise their children; as gods or as unsuspecting younger folk.

At the Library, they meet the Proprietors: a mysterious pair named Fiddler Crow and Queen Wendilnight. They are admitted and allowed to see the story of their lives.

…And Carahil is appalled at what he sees. An Age of Blood where the Gods are gone and an insane evil spirit has lease to do what he pleases leading, eventually, to the end of the Universe. Carahil sees himself framed for crimes he didn’t commit, and then, of all things, he sees himself being eaten alive in a city of Many Forms.

The Proprietors see Carahil’s distress. He asks them if he can do something about this, if he could “fix” this bad future that’s coming. Fiddler Crow tells him it’s not possible to change the future and he will simply have to live with it.

However, Queen Wendilnight takes pity on Carahil and offers to help him in return for their service at a later time. Carahil and Mabs agree, and Queen Wendilnight shows them into the Time Tunnel Room. There, Carahil comes face to face with the time tunnel responsible for creating the bad future: the Temple of the Exploding Head and the Horned God who lives there.

copyright 2011, Ren Garcia and Carol Phillips