It’s time to talk about Aristide! Important: character profile posts do contain spoilers! If you haven’t read King’s Captive or King’s Shadow, I suggest you wait to read all Gate of Myth and Power character profiles until you finish!
Aristide is Noctus’ only companion who is not named in homage to a Greek myth, which I chose to do because Aristide is such a strong, specific character there’s no one who could hold a candle to him.
Aristide’s background of vampire thief—and the only non-shadow supernatural to successfully infiltrate the Mors—testifies just how strong he is. Additionally, the fact that he got smacked by an elven curse and is still alive and kicking? Yeah, he’s got power by the boatloads.
Even with all his power, I wanted to show how the loss of his eyesight did alter the way he interacts with the world. Aristide needs to find ramps rather than stairs, and his tussle with the velvet rope and metal pole dividers in the Curia Cloisters are true to life. (Dividers that don’t go all the way to the ground are a problem for seeing eye dogs, since dogs don’t comprehend/understand what they mean/stand for.)
I did a lot of research while trying to figure out to how accurately represent Aristide’s life—or at least how to represent it as accurately as possible for a vampire living in the magic capital of the Mid West. My best resource was actually youtube, thanks to the diligence of youtubers like: Lucy Edwards, Molly Burke, and Blind Surfer Pete Gustin.
Lucy and Molly had great information for how they process the world differently, but Pete Gustin was extra helpful when it came to estimating just how far I could take Aristide’s battle prowess given that he enjoys surfing, skateboarding, and target shooting despite being blind.
I also have to give a special thanks to, Leilanor from our community discord server. Leilanor proofread Aristide’s scenes to make sure I hadn’t written any boo-boos in regards to his vision. (In example, originally I had Aristide rolling a walking stick ended with a ball back and forth in front of himself when he walked as it’s what I’d seen Lucy Edwards and Molly Burke model in their youtube videos. Leilanor suggested that Aristide–with his vampire hearing that he already used for other tasks in the books–would be more likely to tap his cane to listen to the differences of his surroundings instead of using the ball method that relied more on feeling.) Thanks again, Leilanor. I really appreciated all of your advice and wisdom!
Back to Aristide, in addition to his battle prowess, Aristide is the voice of reason among Noctus’ companions. Ker is always game for anything, and Charon is too fond of Noctus to interject reality in situations that won’t harm Noctus, so it’s up to Aristide to keep everyone in line.
It’s Aristide who, in King’s Captive, constantly reminds Noctus that Ama is a cat, and that he needs to respect her boundaries. He’s also the only one who snarks at some of Noctus’ more questionable decisions—like carrying a cat into the Curia Cloisters during an attempted break in.
He may come off as wry/jaded, but the reality is Aristide’s sarcasm always has a point of wisdom in it…he’s just used to his good points being ignored so he’s become snarky about it.
As seen with his rescue of Ker after her Pack died, Aristide is fiercely protective of his friends. While he’s the first to accept Chloe after it’s revealed that she’s a shadow, it’s not because he doesn’t care. Rather, it’s because he cares so much, he knows what Ama meant to Noctus, and in putting together what Chloe has done—run away from the house to save others when the tracker was after her—he knows that she’s still safe for Noctus.
And that’s more about Aristide! Was there anything that surprised you about him? Do you have favorite podcasts you like to listen to as well?