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Category: Character Insights

Insights into characters and how they act or react.

Who Are the Ultras?

Who Are the Ultras?
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Who Are the Ultras?

The immortal race, introduced by
from Bringer of Chaos
Model: Nik Nitsvetov
Voice: Zack Black

The words are on the screen, but you will want to hear the music and the voice actor.
Together, Nik and Zack portray Pietas exactly as he looks and sounds to me when I write him.

Images, music and voiceover on this page are licensed and used with permission.

Turn on your speakers ~ click play ~ watch full screen

Who Are the Ultras featuring Nik Nitsvetov as Pietas
Voiceover performed by Zack Black
Images courtesy of:, Nik Nitsvetov and @by_cosphoto
Charon's Boat image custom designed by Nano-Core for the series
Video editor Zealot6 (
Based on the Sci Fi series Bringer of Chaos by Kayelle Allen
Music: Dreams of War by Orchestralis, licensed via Dual Horns Studios Ltd

Who Are the Ultras

The Terran Crescent might be the cradle of mankind, but it's also the birthplace of monsters. That's what the humans called Ultras. My people began life as slaves, human in appearance only. We were genetically enhanced and genetically mastered. We served our overlords without choice, bound by inbred shackles.

Though we knew how to obtain our freedom, we could not bestow it upon ourselves. Like Tantalus, we strove always for freedom, but its grasp lay beyond our reach.

When an accident released our premier scientist from captivity, he immediately set about freeing others. Not for our good, you understand, but his own.

My father never sought to benefit others unless it first benefitted him.

Once he overthrew enough shackles, my father took command. Our people cheered him in the streets, but factions arose that demanded equal power and left him no choice.

Once established, the High Council freed everyone. At least, every Ultra. Humans now served, subservient to the whim of their former slaves.

But one group sought to rule humans and Ultras.

Hiding among humans as humans, Ultras manipulated their brethren into peace talks. On an isolated starport in the central part of the galaxy, they captured the High Council and me, its Chancellor.

Holding us hostage, the traitors duped half a million loyal Ultras into surrendering, and then transported us across the galaxy to an undeveloped planet.

They exiled walking weapons who could never die.

Left us to survive under the most primitive conditions, and then...

Forgot us.

Huge mistake.

Pietas on Facebook
Pietas in the Bringer of Chaos series

Mask? Hey, Bringer of Chaos. What’s up with that? #scifi

The Bringer of Chaos hero wears a black mask painted on his face. It covers his eyes, up to and over the eyebrows. Why?

What’s with the mask?

When I started writing about Pietas, the hero of Bringer of Chaos: the Origin of Pietas, I had no idea he wore a mask. The mask had never been part of my plan. But one day I was searching for a picture of an angel for a graphic design project, and came across this fascinating image of a fallen angel and a horned demon. Since the angel was male and had long blond hair, I was immediately intrigued. Often, angels are portrayed as sweet females who look heavenward with a devoted expression. They seem about as dangerous as milk. However, in Bible stories, one of the first things angels say when they appear is “Fear not.” Why would they say that unless they inspired some kind of fear themselves? And the only named angels have male names. So, yes, I was fascinated to see a male angel. I clicked on the picture to get a better look.

Lo, and behold (sorry, I couldn’t resist that) the person looking out from the image seemed to be staring straight into my soul. I zoomed in to get a better view, and in that instant I knew I was looking at Pietas, despite the mask. He seemed to be saying “What took you so long? I’ve been waiting for you.” Look at this face! Arrogance personified. Those teal blue eyes pierce. He’s a dead ringer for Pietas.

Mask? Hey, Bringer of Chaos. What's up with that? #scifi

The photo shoot was a series of images between the one-winged angel and a horned female demon. The angel was being subjected to various bad things by the female, yet portrayed as sensual, rather than defeated. He was enjoying the attempted subjugation, but he wasn’t submitting. How like Pietas.

The problem was, why was Pietas wearing a mask? At that point, I decided it didn’t matter. I liked the image. I bought it and put it aside for later. It would be inspiration for the real character when I wrote him. However, I kept going back and looking at the picture, and thinking “What’s with the mask?”

Pietas is the Gamemaster of Peril, a real-time role-playing game my immortals use as a means of both passing the time and also as a means of manipulating human society. In their various roles within Peril, the immortals introduce certain aspects into society and culture to direct mankind. Why? Peril, in itself, is a mask. It hides the real reason the immortals are among humans. Are they there to subjugate the human race, and turn it to their own collective will? Pietas, as the leader, directs every aspect of it. A little scary, isn’t it? Doesn’t it ring true in today’s society, where we hear conspiracy theories and stories about the illuminati, and secret, powerful groups directing mankind?

When I realized the mask had something to do with the role Pietas held in Peril, I went back and bought more images. The model’s name is Nik Nitsvetov, and he’s Russian. I would love to find images of him in other poses with and without the mask. I think I have everything he’s ever done. [editor’s note: Nik has since done a private cosplay as Pietas – see images in sidebar]

I’m writing books about Pietas. The first takes place in the distant past of my universe and is an origin tale about my immortals. His love story is very sketchy right now. I think I know who Pietas falls in love with, and in the current universe, that person is not a fan of his at all. In fact, that person is trying to undermine his authority and recruit his people away from him. Not a good way to start a relationship. Again, how like Pietas. He never does things the easy way.

Below is an excerpt in which he applies the mask. This is the first time he does it in Bringer of Chaos. The second time, it’s with an entirely different flair and for different reasons. Both scenes pack emotional wallops.

Mask Ritual

Early on the first morning of the peace talks, Pietas entered his round bathing room. Starlight filtered through the portal overhead. Sleek silver walls reflected the cool light.

He remained at the door, content to savor its calming glow. Its beauty did not dispel the worry niggling at his mind. Not given to trusting premonitions and omens, he grounded himself with meditation. Once he centered himself and calmed his spirit, Pietas took a deep, purifying breath, and with slow deliberation, exhaled.

“Time to begin. Lights.”

The room brightened.

His platinum hair streaming down his bare chest, he lifted his hands, palms up as if praying.

On the planet Kaffir, warriors used this ritual to summon spirits. He used it to affirm his own superior strength and prowess.

Before a copper fire pit, he plucked one blond hair, and fed it to the fire. It singed and melted.

“As fire has victory over life, so I have victory over my enemies.”

He passed a hand through the flame, and hissed at the searing heat, relishing the pain. He cupped his hand over the flame’s source, and held it until the fire went out. The burns on his palm cooled, and the skin healed. Of all the elements, fire alone had power to linger on an Ultra’s skin. He welcomed it as a symbol of victory.

“I am powerful, as fire is powerful.”

Pietas thrust both hands forward, clutched his fists, and yanked them back.

“I own the wind. I prevail over the breath of my enemies.”

In the bathing area, he took six steps down into a waist-deep pool.

“Water submits to my presence the way enemies submit to my will.”

He cupped water in his hands, lifted it, and let it pour down his arms.

“The blood of my enemies trickles into the pool of time, is absorbed, and forgotten.”

He pushed wet fingers through his hair, and released it.

“My mind is clear. I do not waver.”

He submersed, and rose, head thrown back, face lifted to the sparkle of stars above.

“My body submits to my will. No pain defeats me. No fear touches me.”

He swept his hands down his chest to his loins, and the tops of his thighs.

“My will is absolute.”

A scratching sound alerted him to the presence of his silver-skinned android servant. The creature entered, and Pietas fixed him with a hard glare. “Why did you interrupt me?”

“Your guest is here, my lord, in the living area.” He offered Pietas a towel.

“Leave it.” He waved the android away.

After exiting the pool, Pietas brushed off the water and wrung out his hair. He pulled out a tray holding half a dozen clasps. He chose a silver dragon studded with six turquoise stones, twisted his wet hair, and fastened it up, out of the way.

He dried his face, gathered a brush, and picked up a pot of black face paint. Leaning in close to a freestanding mirror, he outlined a bandit’s mask from beneath his eyes to over his dark eyebrows, and filled it with black.

He’d worn the mask in battle ever since defeating the First Division, a human special-ops group formed to fight Ultras. It came about because Pietas had slain an enemy, and blood splashed across his eyes. Thinking the blood belonged to Pietas, the Ultra troops had rallied to him and slaughtered the humans. The blood dried almost black.

Stories of how their “bandit king” had conquered the First Division filled the night. The name stuck. To his troops, he was First Conqueror, War Leader of the Ultras.

Pietas turned his head side to side, surveying the effect.

His body would reject foreign matter on his skin. The Ultra metabolism protected from every perceived attack, even harmless face paint. He closed his eyes and sprayed sealant over the mask to delay its disappearance by a few hours.

Satisfied with his looks, Pietas pulled on a pair of loose white lounging pants. With a deep, cleansing breath, he opened the door. Damp, shirtless, barefoot, he padded into the adjacent room.

Read the first chapter
Free on KindleUnlimited
Heat level: PG13
Genre: action adventure, science fiction, space opera, military science fiction, space marine, genetic engineering
Publisher: Romance Lives Forever Books
Wordcount: 52,492 (186 pages)

To honor #PiDay 3.14 How Pietas became known as Pi #SciFi

To honor #PiDay 3.14 How Pietas became known as Pi #SciFi

It's Pi Day.
A day to eat pie and celebrate the irrational number that has delighted mathletes forever.
Here's a quick peek at how Pietas
got the nickname "Pi."

Pi? How dare you...

Days passed into weeks.

While Pietas healed, Six spent time hunting, fishing, gathering wood for the fire, hauling water. The man gave no indication of impatience, ever. Six was at his side, offering, assisting, without Pietas having to ask.

One evening after dinner, they stretched out side by side near the fire, staring up at the stars.

"Thank you, Six."

"For what?"

"You've been good to me. I appreciate it. I don't say that enough."

He folded his hands over his waist. "No problem. Glad to do it, Three Point One Four."

"Three point..." Pietas grappled with what the number might indicate. "Pardon?"

"I've decided that's your name. Now that we're friends."

"What are you talking about?"

"Your name." Six sat up. "Since you call me Six, I'm going to call you Three Point One Four."

"I fail to see the significance of the number."

"Really?" A big grin crossed Six's face. "And here I thought you were good at math. It's pi."

"No!" Pietas sat bolt upright. "I forbid you to call me that. I am Pietas. Pee-ah-toss."

"I dunno. I'm partial to Pi. I think I'll keep it."

"No. You may not call me Pi. My name is Pietas."

"Why not?"

"It is not my name!"

"Oh, you mean like Six isn't my name. It's a number."

"Simple remedy. Tell me your name."

The quiet lengthened, but then Six stretched both arms over his head, and gave a wide yawn. "Nah. I don't think so."

"Fine, then." Pietas settled himself on the ground once more. "Six it is."

"Guess I'm stuck with it." He grinned at Pietas as he stood. "Pi."

Pietas sent an empathic icicle Six's way. Infuriating person!

"Back at you, Ultra." He wandered off to prepare for sleep.

A captive of the people he loathes, the immortal Pietas is left for dead on the planet Sempervia. Six, a human soldier who is abandoned with him, offers food and water. A human, offering friendship? Surely, this is another trap, but to survive, Pietas must do that which he most detests. Trust a human...
Bringer of Chaos series Book 1
Amazon and Kindle Unlimited

Joss and Pietas meet (from Forged in Fire, a sweet scifi romance) #excerpt #Scifi

I’m writing the sequel to book one in the Bringer of Chaos series. The first was Origin of Pietas, the second is Forged in Fire. In it, we get a lovely flashback of his first love. When Joss and Pietas meet for the first time, he is young, isolated, and alone. This is from the work in progress. May have final edits before being released. Currently, it’s on track for Sept 2017.

Joss and Pietas Meet (Excerpt)

Joss and Pietas meet (from Forged in Fire, a sweet scifi romance) #excerpt #MFRWhooks @kayelleallen

Pietas didn’t sleep with Joss until he was twenty, but he fell in love with her at first sight.

He was sixteen. She was ageless.

The older woman had plucked him off the streets, fed and clothed him, given him a job and dignity. That wasn’t why he’d slept with her. It had taken several years to become her lover because he didn’t know how to ask. She told him later he’d been too young to know what he wanted and she’d promised herself she wouldn’t make the first move. This time, he knew how it was done, he had no intention of waiting, and he knew exactly what he wanted. Her.

As he hiked beside her, he recalled that first meeting. He’d been starving, standing in lines to join work crews. For days. No one would hire him. He had no identification. No money. His father had thrown him out with nothing. Obtaining his own weapons hadn’t been difficult. He’d wagered his skill to gain those. But a job? He had no war campaigns to claim and no ID to acquire passage for one. He was too proud to steal and far too proud to beg. He refused to buy falsified documents. He’d either earn his keep the right way or he’d starve.

Once you sell your honor, nothing else has value.

Once you sell your honor, nothing else has value. -- Pietas #Quotes Click To Tweet

The day had grown late and it had started raining. He ducked into a covered alley and huddled against the wall for protection from the wind. The greasy food cooking at the diner across the street had started smelling good two days ago. Skinny Ultras stopped by the diner’s back door every night and accepted a handful of scraps. A few picked through leavings. He would bear stomach cramps forever before he’d do that.

A female soldier passing by slowed, looked him up and down, and then stopped. She wore an officer’s uniform: simple black jacket, white blouse, black skirt, shiny shoes. “Hello.”

He stood taller. Finger-combing his hair, he smiled at her. “Hello.”

“Are you looking for work?”

“Yes, ma’am.”

She entered the alley, gesturing for him to accompany her.

He turned to follow, staggering with dizziness. No matter what kind of work she needed done, he would find a way to do it, hungry or not. Once they reached the alley’s deepest end, she pulled up her skirt and held out paper money.

It took a moment for it to register what she expected him to do. He’d never been around any women other than his mother and sister. Did people…do that…in an alley? Surely not. He must be mistaken. Surely she needed something else and he had misunderstood.

When he just stood there, she gestured with the money. “I don’t have all day, do you want this or not?”

He turned and fled and didn’t slow down until he reached the Ultra’s union hall. There, he dropped onto the ground in the drizzling rain, back against the wall. Arms resting on upraised knees, he hung his head, sopping wet, cold and miserable.

“Hello?” called a gentle voice.

“I am not for sale!” He clenched his teeth and glared up at her.

“That’s good to know.” The woman looking down at him was not the one who’d offered to buy him earlier.

Pietas clambered to his feet.

Unlike his platinum blond, her hair held tones of gold. Kind blue eyes seemed to look right through him. The rain had ceased and a beam of sunlight illuminated her. Seeing her, a man could believe in angels.

He pushed hair out of his face. “Sorry.”

“Don’t be. Are you Pietas?”

“I am.” Was this someone who could hire him? It wouldn’t do to look sloppy in front of her. He drew back his sodden hair into a tail and tossed it over his shoulder. Wiping wet hands on wetter clothes, he held himself in militarily correct posture. “How do you know me?”

“From your mother’s description.”

“My mother?” A wave of homesickness arose in him so strong he lost his breath. He might be new to the greater Ultra world, but he hadn’t been raised a fool. He kept his distance. “How do you know her?”

“Helia and I were created at the same time. She was scientist class and I was warrior, but we became friends. I introduced her to Mahikos. Thankfully, she doesn’t hold that against me.” A wry smile tilted her mouth. “She called me, told me she had a son named Pietas and a daughter named Dessy. She said you and your father had a fight and asked me to look for you. She sends her love.”

“You must be Joss!”

“That’s right.”

“Growing up, Mother told me all about you. She said you were the sister she never had.”

“Did she?” Her amusement came through the aether, as warm and embracing as his mother’s had ever been. “I’m glad to know that. I wish she’d told me about you.”

“I’m sorry.”

“Don’t be. That isn’t your fault.”

“Is Mother here? Have you seen her?”

“No. But she was worried so I said I’d try to find you. Looks like I did. She said to try the work halls. This should have been the first place I looked.” Smiling, she spread her hands. “But I finally found you.”

Surely it wasn’t wrong to fall in love so fast. Mother had said not to trust strange women, and from his experience with the one earlier, she’d been right. But this was Joss. Her friend and sister. Pietas took two steps toward her, stopped himself and stuck his hands in his pockets.

Joss offered her hand. When he shook it, she clasped both of hers around his.

The moment she touched him he knew he would survive. He could do anything. His life was not over before it began. He’d had no idea then she was using her gift of Clarity to help him see his path. All he knew was this amazing woman cared about him.

“Thank you for looking for me. Finding me.”

“My pleasure.” She slid her fingertips down his jaw, out to the dimple in his chin and released him. “Now, let’s get you off these streets, into some dry clothes, and find you a meal. If you want to, you can call your mother.”

(download a pdf of the Joss and Pietas meet excerpt taken from Bringer of Chaos: Forged in Fire, sweet science fiction romance – coming soon)

Three ways to know when this book is released:

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The Ritual of Strength #Video from Bringer of Chaos #SciFi #MFRWhooks


Turn on your speakers!

You will want to hear the music and the voice actor. Zack's performance is exactly the way Pietas sounds in my head.
It's as if this video was filmed in my imagination and brought to life in reality.

When the idea for this video came to me, at first I could not see it as anything more than a wistful dream. It was something that might be amazing but would never happen. If it hadn't been for my assistant, Lisa Lowe's, belief that it could happen, this video would never have been created. I owe her a huge debt.

The cosplayer and model, Nik Nitsvetov, worked diligently to portray the immortal king. I do not think anyone will ever come close to matching his performance. He was magnificent as Pietas. His photographer, Belyaeva Yuliya (known as by_cosphoto), is a master of lighting and shadow. She makes the light itself kiss Nik in these pictures.

When Zack Black speaks the words, he says them with the same cadence, pronunciation, and literal voice that I hear in my head. Bringing these two men together to create this video is nothing short of a miracle, and I do not throw that word around lightly.

It took months of behind the scenes work, planning, buying costume pieces, writing the script, talking with the performers, tweaking every aspect of this film. It's just under two minutes of screen time, but represents hundreds of hours of work. I sincerely thank all those who helped me make this a reality.

I hope you will watch to the end and share it with your friends.

Ritual of Strength

Turn on your speakers ~ click play ~ watch full screen

Pietas ap Lorectic, Immortal King performing the Ritual of Strength featured in the Bringer of Chaos series
Ritual of Strength performed by Nik Nitsvetov
Voiceover performed by Zack Black
Images courtesy of: Nik Nitsvetov and @by_cosphoto
Based on the Sci Fi series Bringer of Chaos by Kayelle Allen
Music: Coming of Time by Orchestralis, licensed via Dual Horns Studios Ltd

The Pietas Ritual of Strength

I am Pietas.
First Conqueror.
War Leader of the Ultras.
As fire has victory over life, so I have victory over my enemies.
I am powerful, as fire is powerful.
I own the wind -- I prevail over the breath of my enemies.
Water submits to my presence the way enemies submit to my will.
The blood of my enemies trickles into the pool of time, is absorbed, and forgotten.
My body submits to my will.
No pain defeats me.
No fear touches me.
My will is absolute.
I am bigger than any fear.
I prevail in every circumstance.
I face every foe.
I vanquish every enemy.
I overcome.
I am indomitable.
I am invincible.

Book Hooks is a weekly meme hosted by Marketing for Romance Writers as part of the MFRW Authors Blog. It's a chance each week for you the reader to discover current works in progress or previously published books by possibly new-to-you authors. Thank you for stopping by. Please say hello or leave a note in the comments.

Want to meet Pietas in person? @nitsvetov #MFRWhooks #SpaceOpera #Cosplay

Want to meet Pietas in person? #MFRWhooks #SpaceOpera #CosplayTickets to Sempervia are pretty pricey this time of year. After all, the planet lies all the way across the galaxy. So if you want to meet Pietas in person, that’s a bit unlikely. However, how about getting to know the model who portrays him?

Meet Nik Nitsvetov, a Russian cosplayer whose face has graced books, posters and banners since I first discovered him in 2015. Here’s the story of how that happened. I must give a shout out to my friend and media assistant, Lisa Lowe, who lovingly but firmly insisted I could do this, even when I was terrifed to even approach Nik and ask. If it hadn’t been for her, I would never have had the courage. I’m such a fangirl over Nik that I was afraid I’d get his attention and then just stand there with my mouth open or worse, babble about how much I admire his work. LOL Lisa kept gently pushing me toward the door and finally–finally–I got up the courage to knock. I was floored when he said yes!

Check out the image above. On the left — that’s Nik in costume for an exotic photo shoot. On the right is his face when you zoom in to that same picture. Quite a surprise, isn’t it? Look at those soulful eyes and solemn expression. Click here to download a desktop sized image of the closeup on the right for your computer or tablet. It will open a very large image in a new window. Then, on a PC, right click. On a Mac, click and hold. When a dialog box opens, choose save or download. This is my own destop picture. Yes, I stare at Nik every day, all day. Purely as research for writing about Pietas, you understand. It’s tough writing about Pietas, but someone has to do it. *wink*Want to meet Pietas in person? #MFRWhooks #SpaceOpera #Cosplay

I’ve had the honor of getting to know Nik a little better over the last few months, and he has agreed to do a cosplay of Pietas. He has set up a location for a photo shoot, we’ve gathered costumes, ordered appropriate wigs, and made sure makeup is on hand. Nearly everything is ready. Only a few items remain.

Once those are in place and we have the date, Nik and his photographer (Julia) will stream the photo shoot live from Russia. I keep pinching myself when I think about this. I will have the chance to see my character walking around, living and breathing. I don’t know if my heart can take it!

My immortal king will make history. He’s dreamed of conquering the galaxy. He’s certainly conquered my heart. I’ve loved Pietas since forever and I adore Nik and Julia. I can’t wait to make this happen.

The art on the right is a drawing by my son, Jamin Allen, a graphic designer. The pose was modeled after Nik, who was posing as Cloud from Final Fantasy. That picture is in the Pietas coloring book. Click Free Books in the menu at the top, then Coloring Books (there are seven) to download your own copy.

Meet Pietas in Person — via Nik Nitsvetov

Would you like to see the live stream? Here’s how.

#1 and most important, you must follow Nik on Instagram (if you don’t have an account, now is the time to get one). You won’t be able to see the stream unless you do.

If you like what you see, please consider supporting Nik on Patreon. I do. His exclusive work is incredible.

When will it happen? Sometime this month (or next), if all goes according to plan. It will almost certainly be on a weekend (everyone is working, despite the summer).

Here’s how to know when you will meet Pietas in person.

Like my Facebook page and you’ll see an announcement about the photo shoot there.

Follow me on Twitter and you’ll see a tweet about it pinned to my home page.

Join my Romance Lives Forever Reader Group and you’ll hear about it in a special edition of my newsletter.

I hope you’ll take part in this opportunity to meet Pietas in person. It’s going to be fun! How often do you get to watch an immortal king make history?

Please leave a comment and if you have questions, let me know. I’ll do my best to answer.

Book Hooks is a weekly meme hosted by Marketing for Romance Writers as part of the MFRW Authors Blog. It’s a chance each week for you the reader to discover current works in progress or previously published books by possibly new-to-you authors. Thank you for stopping by. Please say hello or leave a note in the comments.

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