“I’ll always love you too.” … “I’ll always be the one to make you happy. Nothing will ever come between that.”
– VesperExcerpt taken from M. Wednesday’s unnamed WIP “Moon Reign – Book 2” chapter 8
Steadfast isn’t a word we normally use or hear too often. The synonyms, however – adamant, dedicated, tenacious – those might ring a more common bell. They also describe a character in Moon Reign that might be unintentionally neglected to the sidelines.
Vesper – the Princess’ pet dragon, or more entitled throughout Moon Reign’s sequel as The Queen’s White Diamond. Adopted as a hatchling, Vesper’s life was established in a royal household. A reader might grasp onto the fact that Vesper has become more of a Princess than Nessa herself. Diamond collars, scheduled baths, free reign of the castle grounds – It’s safe to say Vesper is spoiled and there are times that it shows. Her tongue can be harsh, sarcastic, spunky. She has no problem speaking her mind, and it can come across that she’s incapable of being soft. Vesper’s façade is thick. But, her love for Nessa proves that she’s not all ice and steel.
Her mother, Faxnyss, as blue and calm as the sea. Her father, Kallisto, as silver and strong as a glacier. Provided for in Hamond’s dragon stables, Vesper’s parents had the privilege of being a part of her life, and their attributes were engrained. Vesper is a balanced mix of both. She can be calm enough to think through the toughest situations, and she is strong enough to stand up for what is right and wrong.
Her relationship with Nessa turned from loyal house-pet to something short of a loving sibling. The bickering and teasing and the keeping of secrets – Sisters that weren’t sisters, sisters that are on complete ends of the spectrum but yet the love between is solid. With Soren and Drystan as a constant in Vesper’s life, the same sibling affection crowned them with brotherly love. With this, came protection. Her protective side begins to show as early as Drystan’s leave for a unicorn’s star magic, reminding him – in her straightforward unemotional way – that she expects him to come home. Alive.
But in his absence and her brother having been rehomed to Aledonia, as her home life is drastically changed with the sudden tricks of Moon Reign’s antagonist, Vesper’s protection levels rise to a ferocity that she’s never handled before. That loving, possessive protection of a snobby house pet façade is quickly shed for a fortified, strong suit of armor, dedicated to shield Nessa’s life. Danger is in the castle and Vesper is not going to allow her family to get hurt.
Now, without tapping into Unidon’s role too fast, his antagonistic charm clashes with Vesper immediately. Cordiality is a no.Trust, an even bigger no.From the moment she sees this stranger with Nessa, those protective vibes are ruffled enough to show her fangs. This is where her steadfastness comes into play, as Nessa’s decisions regarding Unidon’s extortions fail to keep the castle safe. Vesper was not going to stand powerless in this situation.
As much as she loves her, as much as Vesper would give her life for Nessa, she was adamant in standing up for what was right – even if that meant standing alone.
But that doesn’t mean she wasn’t scared doing it.
She threw her arms around Vesper’s neck, voice scratched with tears. “I’m so sorry, Vesper. But he has to come home.”
Hesitation thawed, and a muzzle ran down her back. “I’m scared.”
Nessa winced at her confession. Vesper. Scared. That wasn’t something her dragon was capable of feeling. “I am too,” she pressed into her scales.
“I love you.”
“I love you more.”“Moon Reign – A Fallen Star” chapter 27
Doing what is right isn’t always easy. To hold your integrity and be grounded in your word takes courage. And when you’re steadfast with your integrity, guilt shouldn’t plague you because you’re doing the right thing. At the end of the day, you’ve done the right thing. Wrong is wrong, even if everyone is doing it and right is right, even if no one’s doing it.
That is steadfastness.
The basic definition of this is the capacity to hold out or bear up in the face of difficulty. It’s the idea of being firm, standing tall, and being unwavering. The trials we face, the situations we’re strung out dealing with, they all are rewarded in the end. And maybe at first it doesn’t feel that way. Maybe we can’tback a loved one’s decisions, no matter how much we love them, because it’s wrong. Maybe down the trialing road, we lost friends, we lost trust, we gained enemies. The reward comes in the fact that standing up for right matured and strengthened us. The reward is that we walked away faultless.
Vesper isn’t perfect. She may or may not walk away faultless in the situation that befalls the castle; I’ll leave that up for the reader to find out. But I think a reader will be able to see a change in Vesper from the beginning of A Fallen Star to the middle of the sequel where I am now. Her trialed road may gain her some enemies… It might break all the trust she’s ever known.
The lesson learned through Vesper: Stand up for right and wrong, and do not cower in your fortification in doing so. Believe that what you are doing is right with a steadfast heart, because in the end you know you’ve done what’s right.
Lyrical inspiration I used for Vesper in Book 2https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2cBzMSPYKas