Library of Characters: E. N. Leonard

At last we meet again, little book dragons! And thanks for having me, Lucy! It’s been so fun to participate in these character collections.

I’m E. N. Leonard, a Christian fantasy and dystopian writer who enjoys language, art, and wandering in the woods (preferably mountainous ones). I ramble about writing, art and travel at my newsletter  Back in December, I participated in A Chaotic Collection of Protagonists with my character Zéra Nathírya. Today, I’ve brought her father.

Introduce your antagonist to me—who is he? What story is he from? What is his personality?

I present Gunu Nathírya, Amalasandai general and traitor of Nydel. He’s from both my WIP Starsong and the WIP before it, which I still haven’t named. Gunu is a man who will surmount any obstacle to achieve what he thinks ought to be done whether it’s for his family or his troops. Determination and family define him. Ironically, he is “tied to his wife’s apron string,” so to speak. He will do anything for her even if it’s against his will or judgment. In this regard, he and Zéra share a trait of service but show different ways of using it.

Give a synopsis of his past.

Gunu grew up the second son of a Nydenya noble family with two brothers and two sisters. His family was not well liked due to their high-handed attitude, his younger brother’s shenanigans, and young Princess Nikthoona’s tendency to wind up in trouble whenever bringing justice upon Gunu’s family. This would have died down. The king even began to trust Gunu with diplomatic relations to the Amalasandai, who pressured him to make certain compromises that would put an ancient power within reach of Amalasand’s king. Then Gunu’s wife, Nussné, took to poisoning certain officials under orders from a mysterious entity from the dark, distant past. After this was discovered and the Nydenya imprisoned her, Gunu betrayed Nydel to Amalasand, fully aware of that country’s true aims…

What gave/gives you inspiration for him?

Well, Zéra had to have a dad, and she had to have a reason she wasn’t raised in her homeland 

His tale ended up fitting remarkably well with Nikthoona’s, so it all worked out. Also, a Story Embers flash fiction challenge inspired Gunu’s hatred for mushrooms.

“If they want to imprison my wife and look upon me with suspicion, then they shall have a reason.”  ~ Gunu Nathírya

How has his past shaped the villain he is now?

Growing up, Gunu’s family was filled with chaos, problems, and tension, and he didn’t want that to be in his own family. Once things headed that direction with Nussné’s arrest, he did everything he could to change this.

Does he see himself as a villain?

He doesn’t at all see himself as a villain. He believes he’s done his duty as a husband and father by protecting and providing for his family. Again when Zéra gets tangled in his past and the events moving apace now, he tries to prevent her from getting caught by the chaos.

Does he work alone? Or does he have ‘henchmen?’ 

Gunu is technically a bit of a henchman himself. In return for his help, the King of Amalasand made Gunu the general of his army, which means he has men to command, but they’re not there to achieve his every whim. 

Who is his arch nemesis, and why?

His arch nemesis was Princess Nikthoona. After she became less of an issue, the Eldress became the biggest pain in his side. Of course, he’s also got an enemy he doesn’t know about 

What is his favorite and least favorite part of being a villain?

Gunu clears his throat

“I’ll answer this one as I’m certain you’ll get it wrong. Now, if by ‘villain’ you mean ‘someone who makes reasonable choices in tough circumstances,’ my least favorite part of that is having to work with people I despise. That Eldress is the worst of them, and I bet the Amalasandai king doesn’t even realize how much power she has over the country.”

I shoot him an incredulous glance

“Now, as far as favorites, my family is safe and well off, all traffic gets out of my way, and I got rid of that pesky —”

“No spoilers!”

Sorry about that!

“O, Rélír! Lovely city, crumbling! By your own were you betrayed.” ~ Princess Nikthoona, quoting the Song of Rélír.

What is his greatest struggle or fear?

He fears that the Amalasandai government, especially the Eldress, which he works for will have no qualms betraying him and his family. Nydenya are already generally loathed in Amalasand. Now that the Amalasandai are being targeted by certain…attacks, Gunu is suspicious either Nussné didn’t complete her assignments to the big villain’s satisfaction, or Zéra is a target, and the Amalasandai will hand them over if aforementioned villain asks.

What is he most afraid of losing?

He is most afraid of losing his family and their love, especially through the means of those he works for, whether the rulers of Nydel or of Amalasand.

What does he want most? What is his ultimate motive?

Gunu’s ultimate desire and motive is the security of his family. He will betray or serve any entity in whatever way he believes is best for Nussné and Zéra. This might sound halfway noble, but Gunu does admit that he likes the power he gains through his schemes as well.

“Stay away from that nonsense, Zéra. Keep your feet on the ground and your head out of the clouds, and you’ll be able to see clearly.” ~ Gunu Nathírya

Character Appearance:

Hair? Eyes? Height?

Brown hair that is about chin length, green eyes like Zéra’s, and six feet or so tall. He’s also constantly getting sunburned. Being a Nydenya out in the desert all day is not fun, especially with all the armor he has to wear.

Opinions on ice cream vs. cake? Other?

He’s never had the pleasure of trying ice cream, but I know he’d love it as a way to combat Amalasandai heat. He’ll never admit that he DOES miss home with its cooler climate.

“It was for you and your mother.” ~ Gunu Nathírya

3 responses to “Library of Characters: E. N. Leonard”

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