Character Talk: Adisa
He destroyed nature. He broke the world. Running from a curse, he is doomed to die for love.
From the time Jasper made himself known in the pages of Never To Live, I knew his was a story that had to be told. Why was he so protective of Seylah? If he was worried for her safety, why was he constantly vanishing and leaving her open to danger? If he was a nature spirit, why was he so different from the others?
As Never To Live drew to a close, a fragment of his past was told. Jasper was not a nature spirit. He was, or had been, a dwarf. His born name was Adisa. He had been the first izdihar.
The role of the izdihar is explained in To Ashes We Run. Here is a little excerpt from the beginning of the novel:
An izdihar is a strange existence—of the spirits, but not a spirit. To understand their purpose you must begin by understanding the original izdihar. Their role was once ‘keeper’, and not ‘atonement’. But that was before the world was broken by the first.
—Taken from “Of Izdihars and Witches”
By Tsubaki, Lion of the Yaeron
When Jasper was known as Adisa he was not the protective guide we know him as from Never To Live. Even as the world’s memory faded, tales of the demon-dwarf Adisa remained.
When Adisa is introduced in To Ashes We Run you very quickly discover two things about him. He is selfish. He wants to see his goal come to pass, and he doesn’t care how the process of reaching it will negatively affect those around him. And he cares deeply for only one person—sister of the izdihar, mother of the spirits: Baephon.
We know we should hate Adisa. He’s uncaring and cruel. He betrays those who rely on him without a thought. But we want to like him. We see an aching within him that he doesn’t see in himself. No matter the turns he takes and the decisions he makes, we hold out hope that he will change and find new purpose.
But Adisa is the demon-dwarf. He can’t comprehend the meaning of compassion, mercy, or love. They have become so foreign to him that when he sees them active in another’s life he can only think of them as an aggravation, an annoyance. He doesn’t want to change. He wants to be left alone.
Although Adisa has given up on everything in life, he hasn’t given up on living. His stubborn resolve not to die no matter what comes against him, and despite his unshakable doom, betrays a hope that he refuses to acknowledge or show. And this is why I love writing Adisa.
*I had a hard time finding a picture that looked similar to Adisa. This photo is much closer to how he appears as “Jasper” in Never To Live than he does as Adisa in To Ashes We Run.