This article is the second in a series introducing the characters in my forthcoming novel, Tomorrow’s Shepherd, Book 2 of The Verdant Revival trilogy. The main characters from the first book, Yesterday’s Demons, are back, but we also meet some new faces. One of those is the book’s primary villain, Lady Verde.
The Verdant Revival takes place on planet Verde, and Lady Verde is the spirit of the planet, much like Mother Nature here on Earth. And she’s not the villain of Tomorrow’s Shepherd because I’m some kind of planet-hating, non-recycling ne’er-do-well. Not at all. I’ve written previously (see here and here) about the JRPG tropes I love, but this is a case where I thought it would be fun to subvert a trope.
What if, instead of being a benevolent mother, the spirit of the planet was vengeful? What if she was sick of her soil being filled with our garbage? What if she was tired of our pollutants filling her skies? And what if she had the power to do something about it?
Though she’s the spirit of the planet, Lady Verde can form a body for herself out of anything natural: soil, water, or air. She possesses complete control of the weather. Plants can rapidly grow or instantly die at her command.
Thus, Fritz Reinhardt and his friends are faced with quite the challenge when Lady Verde demands an end to their technological restoration. She was relieved when all of Verde’s technology was lost in the Blackout two hundred years earlier, and she isn’t happy to see its return. She knows first-hand the environmental damage that will come with it.
A while back, I sneakily mentioned that Tomorrow’s Shepherd‘s villains were mentioned by name in Yesterday’s Demons. That includes Lady Verde!
“Our father is a farmer,” she said, “and while his son couldn’t be dragged outside, he had to pick me up and carry me inside against my will every night. He taught me everything he knew about hunting, horse riding, and farming, which means I know a lot about the weather. How to tell when it’s going to rain, or freeze, that sort of thing. Lady Verde is what proves the conventional wisdom about Terrascorcha wrong.”
When they weren’t battling the monsters, they were battling the heat. Lady Verde was harsh in early June. Siv estimated the daytime high temperatures to be in the low nineties.
There’s another one in Chapter 22, but no more sneaky Easter Eggs. You’ll meet Lady Verde proper in Tomorrow’s Shepherd.
“You call it the Blackout. I call it the day my oppressors died. Forgive me if that sounds overly dramatic, but I don’t want to be set on fire again. I don’t want my forests eliminated. I don’t want verloid gas pumped into my skies.”
“I will not remain the silent observer I have been for centuries. I will make sure the people understand this from my perspective. I’ll see to it they’re fully informed about all chipware is capable of, including the destruction it has wrought. I’ll educate the very people you claim to want to help. And trust me: my knowledge of this issue comes from personal memory, and it goes back far longer than yours.”
“Yes, [the first Mantissa] rendered the Steelterrors inoperable and interred them deep in the ground. But I am the ground. And I know where the bodies are buried.”
Read about other characters new in Tomorrow’s Shepherd: