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Aether Dancer Villain Contest - The Wordsmith's Forge
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
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ysabetwordsmith
Aether Dancer Villain Contest
This contest is running on the Aether Dancer Facebook page and on the IndieGoGo fundraiser page.  You may vote for your favorite villain(s) by Liking or Sharing that villain's post page (not the main page).  If you make a donation, you may earmark it for a given villain and that counts as a vote also.  Rules are listed in the contest post. Here is a direct link to the photo gallery.


My Picks

I'm judging based on character description far more than appearance, although a few did get a bump for good costuming.  In order of preference, I like these out of the 17 entrants...

Maddeningly, my favorite is not listed on the official page: Weißenbrot, privateer captain of the Shrike, the only honorable  antagonist submitted, and in my opinion the best job of characterization and among the strongest plot potential.  ("Let's find a villain with professional pride...")  I shall endeavor to find out why he has gone astray.  Perhaps there is a story in this.  (Original post was on a different page, and he's listed properly in the official post now.)  If you don't have a personal preference, I'd appreciate you throwing your support behind the captain here.

If you seek a villain, seek elsewhere. If you seek a man of honour with a soul as black as pitch, then you have found one.

I do not seek to rule the world. What would be the point? I would be ruler in name only. My council of governors would be the true rulers. How could I know that they were not lying to me? My ambitions are much smaller. I command my crew and they obey. That is all I need. Those who claim to rule the Earth do not rule the sky. I shall rain fire down upon them and watch their empires burn. Let them join me in the clouds, where men can contest each other unencumbered by the fetters of society. One of us shall touch the face of God. I doubt that it will be me. Pray that we face each other across naked steel. If you impress me, I will let you live but I will leave you with a scar to remember our encounter.

My name is Weißenbrot. I captain the Shrike, an airship that the timid call the 'Butcher Bird'. I am a privateer. Do not make the mistake of calling me a pirate. It would go badly for you if you did.

See now, THIS is the kind of character I'd like to see on television, or in this case, a webseries.  He's smart and powerful without being omnipotent.  He respects himself and his opponents, and they had better return the favor or else.  He's ruthless yet not unprincipled.  He has reasons  for doing the sometimes reprehensible things that he does, and they are well thought out even if they're not laudable.  Finally, he still has a sense of wonder, for he loves the sky and the stars and the way technology can bring humanity closer to greatness.  Come on, when was the last time you saw an antagonist who still had that  sense?  

I really, really want to see this guy on the big stage.  Not some popgun punk or sparkly vampire or mindless gibbering horror.  Because any characters going up against the captain had better come prepared with exceptional brains and brawn, or they're going to get chopped into dogmeat.  This is a good thing.  Great heroes require great adversaries.  The more formidable the opponent, the more impressive it looks if the heroes win.  If.  If is good.

But maybe you'd like something different, so these are some other promising options ...

Baron von Calstrong, master illusionist and relic hunter
DarkProfessor Paradigm, pirate hunter
Tobias, Emperor of the Red Fork
Baroness Lucretia Strange, Machiavellian politician
Professor Ravenscroft, mad scientist
Constance Bashford, would-be world ruler
Syfer Locke, Captain of the Banish Misfortune, mercenary, thief, assassin, spy
Master "Bones" Jangle, pirate cannibal, voodoo practitioner
Kassandra, hot redhead with gun

Finally, a big round of thanks to the project organizers, the donors who've chipped in so far, and the folks who submitted their characters for this contest.  Let's kick Hollywood in the can.  We can do better.

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