It’s all handshakes and free drinks when you arrive. Everyone is all, “what’s the news” and “tell us where you’ve been.” Everything is great. You’re a herald, a hero, a breath of fresh air. Then you screw the mayor’s daughter or beat the shit out of some oversized farmboy maybe take too much advantage and suddenly you’re the villain. See here. Let me tell you something that maybe seems like common sense, but apparently ain’t. The trick is to leave before you lose the crowd. That’s the real life of adventure, let me tell you!
Inspired by the first two books in the Witcher series, I’m imagining this as a collection of shorter pieces. How many, I’m not sure. Could be as few as four or as many as eight or ten. At one point I was thinking as many as 30, but that seemed to be both too many and stories that would be too short. So, how many? I’m still working that part out. I’m also still working on exactly how they will be intertwined. What I do know is that these stories will take place in the Five Towns setting that I showed you a few posts back and that they will center around a group of five characters. Each tale will tell one part of how these five people have come together, become a team, and the final tale will be one showcasing them doing what they do and being successful at it. Mostly what they do is get into and stir-up trouble.
The characters in question are going to be, and these are still just very rough outlines at this point:
Alarik Hearne – Magician, wander, scavenger, and cock-sure son-of-a-bitch. Alarik is a journeyman wizard; classically trained by the former Head Magus of the College of Astral and Ethereal Studies. Alerik is charming and charismatic to those who meet him in passing, a braggart and know-it-all to those who have spent any considerable time with him, and to those who consider him a friend, he is lacking in most of the admirable traits of the common man and a damn fine manipulator. But he is loyal to his friends, in an overly assumptive way and always ready to exploit a situation. Alarik has a romantic history with Juliet and a companionable friendship with Brael. He likes to think of himself as the leader of this scruffy band of scavengers, but in truth he is more the instigating force behind most of their adventures. It is his constant search for the spellbooks and lost libraries of the wizards of the previous age that pushes the group forward and drives most of their adventures.
Brael Kavan – Affable and polite. He is a bastion of common good sense, a positive soul, and a cold emotionless fighter. Starting life as a farmer who became caught up in the war, he quickly found the chaos of battle and conflict to be an environment in which he could thrive. Disillusioned by the rank and order of the empire’s military he became first a mercenary, then a pirate, brawler, a thief, and that path took him to scavenging. Being both tough and friendly, he caught the attention of Alarik, who was looking for just such a companion, and so formed the core of the band. Brael is a genuinely good person to be friends with. He is easy going and likeable. But there is a switch inside him, that he can throw in an instance, wherein he becomes an ice cold assassin and deadly opponent without mercy.
Channa Rosin – The accidental scavenger and a bad woman to boot. Never really sure what she wanted, always stumbling over society’s expectations of her, and pretty damn fed up with it all, that pretty well sums up the lovely and talented Crosstown Channa. While only 25, she’s been a wife, a mother, a tavern owner, a free trader, and a mercenary agent, none of which worked out quite the way she thought it should. Now she’s out to find herself a future and a fortune by slaying monsters, looting ruins, and fighting other peoples battles. She was the inspiration for Juliet and has been in on the plan since before there even was a plan. Channa is a friend of Juliets, but prior to joining the band had no connection to any of the others.
Glauston Mineola – Being a soldier is a stinky job, don’t matter if it’s at sea or on land. You get damn tired of the stink, but most men either don’t care or just get used to it. He didn’t get used to it and did care, enough to pack a bag and walk away. He doesn’t particularly like this job, but he’s had some success at it, and it’s far better than living in the woods and eating nothing but rabbit, squirrel, and venison. Which was what he and Brael had done for close to two years before they were separated by a clever sheriff and a dozen guardsmen. He’s happy to not be breaking legs and collecting coins, the smells are better, and things are never dull.
Juliet Blyth – The pretty girl who is burning with fury at a world that insists on keeping her silent and usurping her power. She is the heart and soul of revolution. Rage and anger and rebellion against a world seeking to destroy her thoughtlessly by smothering her flame. If she were noble, she would be a queen, sought after as the power behind the throne. But she is a poor girl from a broken world who has given up on the roles assigned to her. She has set out to define herself and control her own destiny. It is she who pushed Alarik towards the unexplored ruins, dragged him if truth be told. And was herself inspired by her friendship with Channa.