Umbrose: The “Not-so” Evil Demons

When I first came up with the concept for Lilith’s Fall, it was nothing like it eventually turned out to be. The initial idea was to take a creature considered absolutely evil and show a different side to him. I cycled through a host of monsters (and have written manuscripts with monsters as heroes that will probably never be published). Finally, I arrived at the most obvious answer. What could be more unequivocally evil than a demon?

Hero Demon 1 crop
This amazing art by Mike Alvear depicts Prince Balfor, the ruler of the umbrose.

The best part about using a demon was that I could challenge another paradigm. I wanted to make the “good” creature become the “bad” guy. Like the “evil” that turns out to be good, the “good” that turns out to be evil has always intrigued me. (When that “good” has a valid reason for becoming “evil,” I’m even more intrigued, but that’s a whole ‘nother story… literally.) Obviously my hero needed an antagonist, and what would be a more natural antagonist to a demonic-looking creature than an angelic-looking creature.

And so, the umbrose and the adurians were born. Once I decided on angels and demons, the world-building fell into place on its own. The umbrose species borrows somewhat from bats and other cave-dwelling creatures, although much of their culture comes from my own imagination of how they might have evolved and adapted to their situation. The adurians on the other hand… well, I’m going to keep that a secret for a while. 😉

Of course, the umbrose are not really demons, and the adurians are not really angels, and that (in itself) is kind of the point. Neither side is wholly good or wholly evil. They are deeply flawed beings, just like humans, capable of making choices and exercising free will. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be nearly as interesting.

I have many ideas for different stories involving the adurians and the umbrose, and the umbrose will not always be the heroes in those stories. I love writing these stories. I hope you love reading them. Do you like to see this type of paradigm-shift, when good becomes evil and evil becomes good? Do you sometimes watch monster movies and try to figure out what motivates the evil creature? Do you think that maybe it’s not so evil after all and perhaps it’s just misunderstood? Feel free to let me know what you think in the comments below.

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