Keepers

Sunday was an exciting day for me, since it marked completion of the first draft of Born of the Moon–the sequel to my first novel, Death of the Sun. It’s sort of funny, since Death of the Sun’s first draft was also completed on a Sunday. I don’t recall what day of the week I completed my two fantasy novels, but since they’re floating in limbo until I either have success with querying or decide to give them another overhaul, Born of the Moon has had my full focus for the past two and a half months.

When working through the first draft, there was originally another character: Thaddeus. But he wasn’t introduced until late in the story, and as I worked through writing the book, I eventually decided to go a different direction with the last few chapters, rendering his role useless. With that in mind, I cut him from the book completely.

Sometimes removing characters makes me sad because just like the characters that make the final cut, these are fictional people who have grown with the story and grown on me, as well. Sometimes, like with Thaddeus, they’re still present in the story in my head, just not in the final product. And sometimes, like with Thaddeus, I like the character well enough to consider putting them in future works.

Alas, for Thaddeus, it probably isn’t meant to be. I don’t intend for there to be another book that takes place after Born of the Moon (but there probably will be one set before Death of the Sun) so he doesn’t get that kind of option. Instead, we’ll talk about him here–particularly, talk about his job.

Thaddeus is a Keeper. A vampire who turned in the early 1800s, and the only vampire the others have ever encountered who is physically old. His job is vital and, while distinguished, it’s not a profession pursued by many of the undead. The name “Keeper” is a simplification of their many jobs, but mostly refers to the organization’s fondness for paperwork and bookkeeping.

Being a vampire comes with its own set of hurdles, you see. Things we take for granted as being part of the everyday–credit cards, driver’s licenses, leases or purchasing property–are suddenly made difficult by living forever. This is one area where Keepers come in. From managing money to organizing relocation, they exist for the sole purpose of making vampire lives (or unlives, I guess you could say) easier.

Keepers are not bound by the rules of the various clans, but as they are expected to remain a fully neutral party, they are forbidden from mingling with vampires outside their organization. The largest reason for this is that they are also responsible for minding the best interests of vampires as a whole, which sometimes leads to the most weighty part of their duties: extermination.

From time to time, you might encounter a vampire hunter who takes their work too seriously. As Keepers are the only vampires allowed to kill humans for reasons other than feeding, they are the ones expected to deal with threats such as these. Conversely, in the event a vampire takes to their new undead life with too much vigor, Keepers are allowed to slay their own kind–as long as it serves the purpose of preserving secrecy or sheltering a clan from further harm.  Although there are frequent feuds between various clans, no clans allow vampires to kill or feed off one another, meaning Keepers are the sole defenders of order among their own kind.

Although their services are considered necessary by the other undead, Keepers do not work for free. Monetary compensation is both accepted and encouraged, but Keepers are also well known for using a barter method, trading favors for favors, which often helps them complete their work somewhere farther down the road.

For now, this is it. Just another idea that didn’t make the final cut. But it was there for a while, and who knows–Born of the Moon won’t be getting a sequel, but with ideas like this floating in the tank, I suppose there’s always room for a spinoff.

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