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Category: Character Insights

Insights into characters and how they act or react.

Nik Nitsvetov as Pietas Bringer of Chaos from books by Kayelle Allen

 

 

When cosplaying Pietas, Nik Nitsvetov revealed aspects of the character's transformation I had never considered. Here are before, during, and after shots as Nik transformed Pietas into the Bringer of Chaos.

Pietas transforms

Watching Nik cosplay Pietas opened my eyes to how the character himself might have envisioned the change from "normal" to "superhero." To be clear, the ritual changes nothing but mindset, but it is effective. It's a clear way for Pietas to accept the mantle of leadership in the face of battle. Watch the video to see the full transformation with music and a voiceover by voice actor Zack Black.

Step 1: Before the Ritual

Witness the transformation: Pietas morphs into the Bringer of Chaos @nitsvetov_cos @voicesbyzack #SciFi #Cosplay #MFRWhooks #PietasFans

 

 

Watch the transformation: Pietas morphs into the Bringer of Chaos @nitsvetov_cos @voicesbyzack #SciFi #Cosplay #MFRWhooks

The Ritual of Strength tranforms Pietas into the War Leader of the Ultras -- a fighting machine known as the Bringer of Chaos. He earned the title because his strongest Sempervian gift is Chaos, the ability to create chaotic feelings with no outside source. In battle, it mind-dazes an enemy. But with a lover, his gift renders a partner helpless, inundating them with overwhelming pleasure.

He has worn a mask in battle ever since defeating the First Division, a human special-ops group formed to fight Ultras. It came about because Pietas slew an enemy, and blood splashed across his eyes. Thinking the blood belonged to Pietas, the Ultra troops rallied to him and slaughtered the humans. By the end of the battle, the blood had dried almost black. Stories of how their "bandit king" had conquered the First Division filled the night. To his troops, he was now the conqueror of the First Division, and they gave him a new title to celebrate: First Conqueror, War Leader of the Ultras.

Look at the facial expressions as Pietas lifts the mask into place, hiding his true self and preparing to morph into the Bringer of Chaos.

Step 2: Ritual

Watch the transformation: Pietas morphs into the Bringer of Chaos @nitsvetov_cos @voicesbyzack #SciFi #Cosplay #MFRWhooks

Watch the transformation: Pietas morphs into the Bringer of Chaos @nitsvetov_cos @voicesbyzack #SciFi #Cosplay #MFRWhooks

The expression of utter confidence while Pietas is wearing the mask reveals how much performing the ritual affects him. In the left image, he's removing a small knife used in the ritual. The story behind this knife -- I bought it at OutlantaCon a few years ago. It was made from hand-forged metal, a handle of hand-carved wood, and sheathed in hand-tooled leather. One of a kind. In the story (a Bringer of Chaos book not out yet), Six makes this knife and gives it to Pietas. He has used it for thousands of years and it's so fragile he now keeps it in a glass case. He never parts with a gift from a friend if there is any way possible to keep it.

In the second photo, Nik performs the scene where Pietas makes a small cut in his skin, symbolically shedding blood for his people. He heals instantly, but the point is he is ready to die for his people. Look at those eyes. Nik transformed as much as Pietas.

Step 3: After the Ritual

Watch the transformation: Pietas morphs into the Bringer of Chaos @nitsvetov_cos @voicesbyzack #SciFi #Cosplay #MFRWhooks

Watch the transformation: Pietas morphs into the Bringer of Chaos @nitsvetov_cos @voicesbyzack #SciFi #Cosplay #MFRWhooks

When the ritual is complete, Pietas removes his mask. In Origin of Pietas, he paints on the mask with soot from a fire, and right after, he and Six are caught in a downpour. When Six sees Pietas's face, he bursts into laughter and says Pietas looks like a "weapon of mascara destruction."

On the first photo, notice the focus in those eyes as Pietas begins the transformation back to his usual self. The next picture shows him with the mask off and a partial smile. I love that photo. It's the backdrop for my email program. My interpretation of this image is that Pietas is happy to return to his (somewhat) normal life and be who he really is.

Witness the Next Live Cosplay

Sign up below and you'll be the first to know when the next Pietas cosplay takes place. The date will be between now and October 15th.

Check the links below to find more authors in this blog hop.

Pick up the first story in the Bringer of Chaos series, Lights Out, free by joining a reader group!
https://kayelleallen.com/reader-groups

Origin of Pietas

Origin of Pietas: Bringer of Chaos #SpaceOpera #SciFi

Forged in Fire

Forged in Fire: Bringer of Chaos #SpaceOpera #SciFi

Lights Out

Lights Out: Bringer of Chaos #SpaceOpera #SciFi


JOIN US FOR BOOKHOOKS
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.

Bringing Pietas to Life #Voiceover @voicesbyzack #Cosplayer @nitsvetov #PietasFans #SciFi #MFRWhooks #MFRWorg

Discovering Pietas through a voice actor and a cosplayer

Bringing Pietas to Life

Watching Nik Nitsvetov perform as Pietas during the Ritual of Strength cosplay, I understood my character and saw nuances I'd never caught when I wrote the character. I'll share those insights in a later post. Because I had hundreds of images to choose from, I saw things in the background that readers never see. It opened my eyes to my character in ways I never expected.

Here's a quick video to introduce Pietas.

An interview with Pietas, the immortal king during his initial period of exile on Sempervia, from the Bringer of Chaos science fiction series.
Pietas voice actor - Zack Black
Pietas model - Nik Nitsvetov

What's your experience?

Have you ever worked with a voice actor? How did it go? Where did you find them? I'd love to hear your comments and questions. Please leave a note in the comments.

Check the links below to find more authors in this blog hop.

Pick up the first story in the Bringer of Chaos series, Lights Out, free by joining a reader group!
https://kayelleallen.com/reader-groups

Origin of Pietas

Origin of Pietas: Bringer of Chaos #SpaceOpera #SciFi

Forged in Fire

Forged in Fire: Bringer of Chaos #SpaceOpera #SciFi

Lights Out

Lights Out: Bringer of Chaos #SpaceOpera #SciFi


Book Hooks - a blog hop sponsored by Marketing for Romance Writers

JOIN US FOR BOOKHOOKS

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.

Ready: Fight! Choreographing a fight scene #SciFi #MFRWhooks #PietasFans

Choreographing a fight scene is a challenge for any writer. Rewriting it in another story from a different character's point of view is a special kind of madness.

Ready: Fight!

Having written Origin of Pietas first, when I wrote Lights Out, a prequel introducing Six, I had to retell some of the story the way Six saw it. Note: Six was using the name Tornahdo then, a special ops moniker for the way he fought.

What did I do to ensure I got all the hits and bumps right? You can read about it in this post. In Lights Out, Tornahdo (as Six was known then) was one of eight special ops soldiers. They had all been in fights with immortals before this, but none of them had faced Pietas, the immortal king. Here's the scene from Lights Out, Tornahdo's POV.

Tornahdo has entered a closed section of a space station. It's been several minutes since all the air has been removed. Pietas is on the ground, but he's where cameras can't get a good look at him. While Tornahdo and the soldiers can hold their breaths a long time, no one is sure just how long the king can accomplish this feat. Immortals can manipulate human emotions, so to protect the ghosts, they've been fitted with a chip to suppress emotion.


Ready: Fight! Choreographing a fight scene #SciFi #MFRWhooks #PietasFansInside, as instructed, Tornahdo stayed near the back. Two of the eight ghosts closed in on the pod.

Pietas lay on the floor behind it. His body showed, not his face.

Tornahdo tingled with a fighter's high. The mix of anxiety and excitement kept his instincts on maximum alert.

Beside Pietas, a ghost stooped. The change in lighting angle showed the Ultra, limp on the floor. When turned, the body flopped. The ghost pressed two fingers against the throat.

With a jerk, Pietas yanked the man down while thrusting a hand up.

A pierce of mindless fear stabbed Tornahdo. He'd faced that snap of terror before. It meant two things. First, the Ultra was controlling their emotions. Second, the chip was worthless.

Pietas tripped the next ghost, jabbed an elbow into his neck.

Another spurt of fear and confusion.

All that training. Days of suffering, learning control. For nothing.

Pietas flashed into speed mode.

Tornahdo's world moved in slow motion.

A blur showed where the Ultra had been. Pietas halted, braced both hands on a pod and kicked a pair of ghosts behind him.

They flew backward. Slow.

Momentum carried the Ultra straight toward Tornahdo.

Stumbling out of the way, Tornahdo went down in a tumble, taking out the ghost beside him, who knocked down the last two.


From Origin of Pietas: Bringer of Chaos

Pietas's point of view, same scene. No air means no sound.

Crowded as the space was between his life-pod and the wall, two ghosts crept into it. Six spots of light showed on the other side. Eight ghosts then. That would be a much better fight. One nudged him with a foot.

Suppressing a smile, Pietas continued to play dead.Ready: Fight! Choreographing a fight scene #SciFi #MFRWhooks #PietasFans

Ghost One bent down, turned him onto his back.

Pietas let his body flop.

The guy came in closer, checked for a pulse.

Pietas opened his eyes.

The ghost's alarm fed Pietas energy.

He yanked him down, hard, while jamming the heel of his hand up. The ghost's head snapped back, and Pietas felt his bones crack. He shoved him aside and went after Ghost Two.

Pietas gripped his leg and tripped him. He jammed an elbow down onto the man's neck. Bones broke. The ghost's stab of dying fear spiked the energy from the first, and Pietas mixed it with his gift of chaos. He flung the vortex of emotions outward, broadcasting confusion and terror.

He activated his ability called zip. The pseudo speed meant he could move at a regular pace, but humans perceived him as a blur. They could not focus on him long enough to get close. To him, everyone moved in slow motion.

He flipped onto his feet, braced both hands on his pod, and kicked Three and Four square in the chest.

He pushed off the pod, and the momentum carried him straight into the arms of Five and Six. They stumbled backward, tumbling Seven and Eight onto the floor.

Writing different points of view

As you can see, the two viewpoints tell the same story, but the emotions reveal levels of attachment that are quite different.

Tornahdo knows he's had.

Pietas has hope he can escape.

Each is facing a person who refuses to quit, no matter how hard the going gets. Which will prevail?

Read the full story in Lights Out: Bringer of Chaos, and follow through with Origin of Pietas and its sequel, Forged in Fire.

If you like Pietas, you're in luck. He's in most of the Antonello Brothers series set in the far future from the Bringer of Chaos series. When you're immortal, you come back over and over and over. But does that mean he wins the fight in this scene? What's the word for damned if you do and damned if you don't? Hmm, how about screwed...

Check the links below to find more authors in this blog hop.

Pick up the first story in the Bringer of Chaos series, Lights Out, free by joining a reader group!
https://kayelleallen.com/reader-groups

Origin of Pietas

Origin of Pietas: Bringer of Chaos #SpaceOpera #SciFi

Forged in Fire

Forged in Fire: Bringer of Chaos #SpaceOpera #SciFi

Lights Out

Lights Out: Bringer of Chaos #SpaceOpera #SciFi


JOIN US FOR BOOKHOOKS
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.

He had to work with a what!? #SciFi #Romance #Excerpt

In this scene from At the Mercy of Her Pleasure, Senth gets a chance to free his brother from a cruel master, but the price is steep...

Work with a what...?

"If this job succeeds, I guarantee your brother will be freed in a week."

Senth tried not to show his glee, but a smile pasted itself across his face anyway.

The Harbinger shook his head in a way that said, What am I to do with you?

"What do I have to do for Khyff's freedom?"

"Khyffen was right. The job we're meeting about tonight is risky. I don't usually give you a choice, but this time I'm going to because of the job's importance. In return for your brother's freedom, I want a few promises."

"I'll do whatever it takes."

The Harbinger's mouth lifted at one side. "Never admit that to anyone again."

"Sorry, sir."

"Senthys, you understand why I've kept you on Shackle?"

While Khyff's master had addicted Khyff to Thrust, which put his sex drive into overload, Shackle did the opposite to Senth. Since puberty, he'd never known life without it.

"Yes, Sen'dai."

"Good." The Harbinger tapped a knuckle against his mouth, frowning at him. "You know what they'd do to you if you lost control again, don't you? Where they'd take you this time?"

"Yes, sir." He stiffened. "I don't want that."

"Keep that in mind over the next week. After five days without Shackle, you'll start withdrawal. Your heart will pound. Your head will feel like it's splitting apart. You'd be as high and strung out as Khyff is on weekends. There's a possibility of stroke if you quit cold. It's dangerous. You must taper off the drug. Do you understand?"

He nodded. "I do, sir."

"This job should take four days, so it's important to return as soon as it's over."

"Yes, sir."

"I'll dose you before you leave to ensure you have the full five-day effect."

"Thank you, sir."

"The reason I've told you all this is because you'll be working side by side with a Better."

Senth opened his mouth, shut it again, and then mouthed, Better?

"Listen to me, my young Deshai. Despite the romantic nonsense you've heard about Betters being extraordinary lovers, their kisses can poison you. If her saliva mixes with yours, she can control your mind. The touch of her hands will drive you insane. There are ancient myths about sirens, women who used their voices to lure men and then slay them. Betters aren't mythical. They're real. If she subjects you to her passion, you'll be at the mercy of her pleasure forever."

Senth swallowed against the tight feeling in his throat and nodded to show he understood.

"This woman is dangerous. Under other circumstances, I wouldn't let any of my people work with her kind, but in this case... I have my reasons. I trust you to obey me. As long as you return in fewer than five days, losing control won't even be an option. Shackle will protect you from her. Besides, if you come back to me no longer a virgin, I will know. The deal for Khyffen's freedom will be off."

"How would you know I wasn't a virgin?" Senth bit his lips the moment the words escaped, shocked at himself for even asking the question.

His Sen'dai lowered his eyelids and angled his head toward Senth like a bird of prey sighting its next meal. "Is that going to be a problem?"

Senth reached a foot back, feeling for the next lower step. "No, sir."

"You know what happens when you displease me."

"I wouldn't want to do that."

"No, you wouldn't." The Man leaned in until the dark, predatory eyes filled Senth's vision.

When Senth stumbled on the stairs, Saint-Cyr grabbed his arm, steadying him. Senth raised a hand to his brow.

"Senthys? Are you all right?"

"Fine, Sen'dai. Sorry."

"Good." He made a hand sign--a fist with thumb down and then up--which put Senth on guard. "It's time to meet your Better partner."

Check the links below to find more authors in this blog hop.

You'll find these characters mentioned in many books in my story universe.
Download a printable book list and check them off as you read.


JOIN US FOR BOOKHOOKS
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.

Could her diplomatic immunity save his brother? Excerpt: For Women Only #SciFi #Romance #MFRWhooks #MFRWorg

The diplomatic immunity of an alien ambassador might be the only thing that saves Khyff's brother...

Diplomatic Immunity

In this excerpt from For Women Only, Ambassador Mehfawni Ruh has just discovered her brother, Dallon, has been murdered. She must return to her home planet. But she's Khyff's only hope of saving his brother.

The chill in the room had nothing to do with air temperature. Now that Mehfawni knew about her brother's death, Khyff felt the collective gaze of her all-female staff stab into him. He didn't need telepathy to read their thoughts. Their body language shouted at him.

Be gone, alien. Get out. You don't belong here.

Fawni's eyes filled with tears as she looked up at him.

Khyff melted. No matter how much the others hated him and wanted him gone, he couldn't leave her alone with this kind of news. What if it had been Senth who'd died? That possibility was all too real.

Khyff wrapped both arms around her and held her tightly against him, his cheek against her hair. "Oh, Fawni, I'm so sorry."

She clutched his leather jacket and clung to him as if all the strength had seeped out of her. He stroked her hair and kissed her brow.

"This can't be true." Her voice was muffled against his jacket. She turned and faced Kata. "There's been a mistake. It has to be wrong."

Kata didn't lift her gaze. "I'm sorry, Eetzesar. The news came directly from Tzesar Ehldani."

Khyff expected Mehfawni to crumble. He could feel her shaking. But she drew herself up to her full height and took two steps away from him. With one hand on Kata's arm, she looked around the room at her staff. Ten Kin gazed back at her, their expressions full of pride and sorrow.

She cleared her throat. "Thank you. All of you. Kata, when do we return home?"

The young assistant looked up, revealing the tracks of tears on her face. "At dawn, Eetzesar."

He wanted to hold Mehfawni, bring her back into his arms, but she kept her back rigid, her head high.

"Good, Kata. I'll need you to help me with a few things." She told the others, "Get some rest. We'll all need our strength when we get home."

Her staff dispersed quietly, and Mehfawni reached back and held Khyff's hand while she talked softly to Kata in her breathy native language.

What am I going to do now? Images rose in Khyff's mind. Senth swathed in bandages, lying in the hospital. NarrAy trapped in a glass cage. Both depending on him for their freedom. For their lives. And all he could do was stand here and hold Mehfawni's hand while the hope he had for saving them made arrangements to leave.

"Senth Antonello."

Khyff's attention riveted to Mehfawni's words. "What?"

She looked up at him. "You're such a male, Khyffy. Here I am making arrangements for your brother and his fiancée, and you're not even paying attention."

"Arrangements? What kind of arrangements?"

"You didn't hear a word I said, did you?"

"Well, you were speaking Felis, so I couldn't understand you."

"Oh." She touched her chin. "That was rude of me. I'm sorry."

"Don't apologize. You're upset. It's natural. What arrangements?"

"I can't leave you, Khyffy. I want you to come home with me."

His stomach went all hollow and his head light. His chest ached. He couldn't catch his breath, couldn't speak.

Felidae? Kin. Enemies. And...Mehfawni. He breathed. "I... Mehfawni, my brother... I--"

"Khyff, I know you can't leave when you're worried about your family. I couldn't do that either. So Kata's going to make sure my diplomatic immunity is extended to Senth and his fiancée. NarrAy's a Better, isn't she?"

"Yes, but--"

"Then your brother is addicted to her. He'll need her pheromones if he's going to heal properly. We need to get her out of prison so they can be together."

"Mehfawni, I don't understand." His heart pounded so hard, he was afraid he wouldn't hear her answer. Is this what hope feels like? Is there some way to keep Sen and NarrAy safe and escape the Conqueror's choke hold?

Mehfawni gave him a look that said he should try to pay attention, and then she grasped his hands. "I read their story in the news, remember? It wasn't fair of the police to imprison her for defending her mate. At the time, I thought there wasn't anything I could do, but now that I know it's your brother, I can do something. If you come home with me as part of my entourage, you'll have diplomatic immunity, which extends to your family as well, if I wish it." She squeezed his hands. "And I do wish it."

Not if Mehfawni found out what he'd been sent to do to her, she wouldn't.

Khyff floundered, awash in a sea of emotion. His hope dashed on the rocky shore of reality, but he drew her hand to his mouth and kissed it. Maybe, if he could buy some time, he could think of a permanent solution.

Check the links below to find more authors in this blog hop.

Antonello Brothers Series

Each book in this series is standalone and each has a happy ending. No cliffhangers.
When read together, the stories reveal a detailed tapestry of events woven by immortal characters in the background.

You'll find these characters mentioned in many books in my story universe.
Download a printable book list and check them off as you read.


JOIN US FOR BOOKHOOKS
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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