The Danava Races of The Trailokya Trilogy
The danava are the antithesis of duta. In every story, the heroes must have something of which they come up against. Whether this villain is a person or thing or whatnot, that’s where differences in genre often happen. The Trailokya Trilogy is an epic dark fantasy, so the forces that the heroes of the books come up against are monsters and quests. To keep the tradition fresh, I made those monsters much more than familiar figures from cultural lore. I encourage all readers to delve deeper than the surface on my writing. There you’ll find a rich treasure, layers of meaning and interesting points to theorize upon. After all, I studied writing for that purpose.
In the first several pages of the inaugural book, the reader is introduced to how this universe was created and the upheaval it underwent to develop into the story in which they advance. Based on creation myths already in existence, the reader should see something familiar. At the same time, they will encounter differences that make it all worthwhile, such as the tapestry woven from the multitude of beliefs, creating a very real feeling world unlike anything in existence yet.
If you’ve been following the blog, and the Friday series that discusses these books, then you probably have learned that much of what I wrote came from years of dreams and nightmares. The darkness in the dreams should seep through every page, along with the tasty surrealism for which dreams are known. Although I have seen the strange and stunning corners that were created inside my mind, the characters are also drawn from universal types to maintain understanding. This is how communication is successful, and writing is all about communicating. That’s what I mean by refreshing the familiar.
The darkest figures in the books could easily be the humans, or even another soul race bent on the destruction of humanity. Most stories written take a homo-sapiens-centric attitude, as they are human made art. It makes sense and will be more easily communicated. Yet, we are sliding toward a time where animal sentience is becoming increasingly accepted and alien contact is a matter of time (yes, scientists do believe that there is life on other planets). So, this redefines our roles in the universe. We’re no longer the center. Thus, to extend empathy beyond our species, it’s important to write stories that of which we can relate to these other figures through.
Trailokya seeks to examine the lives of other populations. Certainly they are seemingly human in form, but their desires and needs aren’t exactly the same as those humans experience. The questioning of every aspect of life is not the strife of duta. They are far more certain and clear headed, logical. Their ability to see forward, not just in hindsight, is a critical aspect of their nature. They are in the know, and therefore do not have the same struggle. From duta arose the danava. This ancillary group branched from the parent in a great conflict, and were condemned to a dark home world, never to return home again. Their drives are their focus on returning, exacting revenge and regaining what they believe was denied or stolen from them.
In human mythology, this rift is dubbed the Conflict of Hosts. It is the story that describes angels falling from heaven and becoming demons. If you read the Judaic texts, you’ll learn that demons already existed at this time as well. They were not quite as severe, but still troublesome. This makes sense when you think of things in terms of resonance, as per the Hindu or Buddhist traditions. All beings came into existence at virtually the same time, yet they did not resonate the same. Their differences determined on what levels, or planes, they existed. Sometimes, you’ll even see this hinted at in modern horror with some evil more ancient than any darkness brought up. It is unlikely the fallen destroyed the ancient demons, but rather made use of them. With their resonance so low, they were likely controllable by those new arrivals. Pets? Something like that.
Danava hierarchy is constructed similarly to duta legion hierarchy. This is because those who fell relied on order to protect themselves from being destroyed in the aftermath. Legion hierarchy provided that order, as the soldiers rose to the top. If you flip to the back of the book you’ll see something like this:
- Prince — rulers of Jahannam who were once Seraphim. The reigning princes are Lucifer, Asmodeus, Amon, Belphegor, Azazel, Belial, Astaroth, Beelzebub, Samael, Gediel, Mammon, Azrael, Leviathan, and Kharon.
- Duke — Former Cherubim cast into Jahannam.
- Count — Former Thrones cast into Jahannam.
- Earl — Former Powers cast into Jahannam.
- Baron — Former Virtues cast into Jahannam.
- Lord — Former Dominions cast into Jahannam.
- Knight — Former Principalities cast into Jahannam.
- Chief — Former Svargaduta or duta cast into Jahannam.
- Soldier — Danava younglings
- Marditavya — Wayward souls, hell-masses
As you can see, the danava rank themselves by race according to a feudalistic stratification model. It echoes the legion ranks, as the duta rank corresponds to their evolutionary levels in almost all cases. Because souls hold positions in the legions, there are exceptions.
Danava, unlike demons, have a more precarious existence. They are sympathetic, believe it or not. The reason for their fall is that they questioned the whole hierarchy and their lack of having a choice. Therefore, they took actions that defied the order of Zion. The counsel and the king saw this as an abominable devolvement. Their atman altered, burning up as its resonance rapidly altered and thus their projected forms were mangled in its confusion. It is a tragedy of the highest order. This doesn’t mean anyone should go out and make buddies with danava. Their bitterness at being outcast and injured, being denied what they wanted, makes them dangerous. They blame souls for the fissure. It’s understandable why they are so frustrated, but not truly a reason to defend them. They did, after all, choose to be defiant and commit horrible crimes in the name of bastardized autonomy.
Yes, the baron Morgentus came from my dreams and he was every ounce a nightmare in every one that I saw him (off and on from girlhood forward). He did eventually become weak, as things changed in my favor. Perhaps, in the end, they are just metaphors for the darkness within that harbors all the little monsters we can be out of ignorance. The embodiment of narcissism in the extreme. As Jung called it, the shadow aspect. “In Jungian psychology, the shadow or “shadow aspect” may refer to (1) an unconscious aspect of the personality which the conscious ego does not identify in itself. Because one tends to reject or remain ignorant of the least desirable aspects of one’s personality, the shadow is largely negative, or (2) the entirety of the unconscious, i.e., everything of which a person is not fully conscious. There are, however, positive aspects which may also remain hidden in one’s shadow (especially in people with low self-esteem).Contrary to a Freudian definition of shadow, therefore, the Jungian shadow can include everything outside the light of consciousness, and may be positive or negative. “Everyone carries a shadow,” Jung wrote, “and the less it is embodied in the individual’s conscious life, the blacker and denser it is.”It may be (in part) one’s link to more primitive animal instincts,which are superseded during early childhood by the conscious mind.” (Read the rest of the wiki summary here).
Thus, it makes sense that danava are additionally referred to as shadowalkers and shadowborn.
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Originally published at authorkwilliams.com on August 26, 2016.