Primordial Evil

I beat Sans, so the Undertale posts are soon to come. First though, let’s talk about the Primordial Evil.

As I’ve said repeatedly, villains are people too. But primordial evil is not a person. And sometimes you’d like to write a person who is actually an embodiment of primordial evil. Maybe they’re an evil god. Maybe they’re not a person; primordial evil just took on a humanoid form because human shaped things are easier for other human shaped things (us) to work with. So. Now what?

Primordial evil is that classic sort of evil, and as long as you can keep separate this thing that is the essence of evil, that is all things bad and nothing good, that cannot understand love or friendship, and any person who holds a modicum or more of this evil within them, you should be okay. At that point, it’s just determining how much of a real person is in there and how much of it is just plain evil. The further you go from actual person, the less relateable your character will be, keep that in mind.

And what is primordial evil, anyway? Aside from, y’know, evil. What motivates it? Just…being evil? Why? I mean, evil isn’t a motivation. Let me start with my own view of primordial evil on a religious note, since Satan is a pretty good common primordial evil figure.

The specific reason for why Lucifer fell – my sect’s version tends to be a biiit different from other sects – isn’t so important as the fact that in the end, it meant Satan didn’t get to have a body, he’s stuck as a spirit forever and ever, while the rest of us spirit peeps get badace flesh bodies and it’s awesome. When speaking about Satan’s motivations, it usually revolves around pride and envy. “Misery loves company.” “He’s just jealous of your body and is trying to get you to misuse it.” “He wants power over you.” Y’know, that sort of thing. (Idk if that’s super different in other religions, so just understand this is where I’m coming from.)

But in the end, all of those motivations really are just…pride and envy. Maybe he can’t understand love (maybe he can, my understanding is that he is, after all, a person) but either way it’s not something he can really enjoy. He can’t marry, procreate, have a family, or any other “ultimate good” we can. And since he can’t and presumably would like to, the next best thing is to just…destroy it for everyone else.

That’s what you get when you combine pride and envy. I want that. I can’t have it. So no one will.

And that’s my understanding of all primordial evil. It doesn’t matter if there’s any Biblical fall story attached. It could have just been an ancient entity that was released or whatever. But primordial evil that wants to destroy all that’s good? If it has any mind at all, if it isn’t destroying good/existence just because, like a force of nature, like how rain falls and wind blows, that’s in its nature…if it has any mind at all, I sincerely believe its motive will always be envy. That motive may be buried incredibly deeply. Incredibly deeply. Might be buried under layers of the sheer joy of destroying the object of envy, of denial, of blind hatred. But I believe it’s there.

And now that I’ve said it, it’s entirely possible that you will nod and say that makes sense, or that you will instantly want to prove me wrong and make a primordial evil with a different internal motive. That’s cool, I’m glad I can inspire you. I know some of my coolest ideas were born of defiance. But. The primordial entities I’ve seen that have worked best for me are the satanic kind, just trying to destroy existence because existence is a sore reminder to it of all the things it doesn’t, wont’, can’t ever have. Trying to prove that deep down, all humans are just like it, evil, pft. That’s merely trying to insist that friendship and love and the things it can’t have aren’t even real, and that’s why it doesn’t have them. Denial. Envy. Pride.

Anyway always take care when you’re working with primordial evil since it can easily be a pretty boring enemy with no complexity, and never, ever confuse a person with primordial evil, even if your character is pure evil; a person will have nuances primordial evil doesn’t.

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About Rii the Wordsmith

An aspiring author, artist, avid consumer of storytelling medium, gamer, psychologist (insomuch as one with her bachelor's is a psychologist), wife, mother, DM, Christian, a friend to many, and, most importantly, an evil overlord.
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