Abiel is something of a rogue element in Master of the House. Originally he was part of the primary cast of characters but the difficulty in maintaining a group dynamic of that size was not lost on me. He also became difficult to define or fit in to the story as I began to plot the book out. His character took on the need for almost an entire re-write. From his origin as a demented agitator to his finalize role as a slightly off-balance but truly brilliant side character, Abiel became the kind of support character that moves a plot forward easily.
Two key concepts define Abiel. The first is his self-imposed religious fanaticism. Abiel knows of the old ways and probably knows more than a little about The Church’s teachings in New Raj. He has a particular way of looking at things that has created in his mind a set of reformed policies and teachings that drive him. Were he not exceedingly skilled as a chemist, he may have been a preacher or other religious figure.
The second important aspect of Abiel as a character is what I just previously mentioned, his immense skills with chemical concoctions. Though not explicitly stated, it’s safe to assume that Abiel hales from Lux. He very likely lived there during the years when Turnbill visited the Society of Engineers as he has some knowledge of Turnbill’s time in that city developing the drug known as Rush.
Abiel is an agitator, that much stayed true to his initial concept. His first two encounters with Julian, Face, Katrina, and Hawthorne put them in precarious circumstances both times. The group may have turned on him had it not been for Tin’s testimony that Abiel had nothing to do with the apparent trap Abiel led them into. These things would interweave Abiel into the lives of Julian’s gang until Katrina takes advantage of his religious beliefs and drafts him into her personal service.
Abiel is almost a victim of his own success while at the same time ends up being one of those people who digs his own grave. I could see writing more about him as a character should he end up developing his own following.