1. TJByrum
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    TJByrum New Member

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    Character Becomes the Enemy?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by TJByrum, Sep 1, 2014.

    Toric lives in a small village in the realm of Asgeir. Asgeir is ruled by many different Earls, all of whom answer to the High King, although the territory in Asgeir is more or less composed of city-states.

    Toric and his brother, Valius, are part of the Valgard clan, known for being extremely capable warriors throughout history. Both are expected to become Keepers of the North, an elite force of rangers dedicated to the protection of Asgeir, and their rivals consist of the many untamed tribes that reside in the Icelands just north of Asgeir. The Icelandic tribes raid parts of Asgeir every winter when the lakes freeze over (during the Spring, Summer, and Fall this area is extremely dangerous and nigh-impassible). It is long believed that these Icelandic tribes are united by Ixxor, also known as the Icelord in various myths. Toric instead marries and has a daughter, while Valius would later rise to become the Warden of the North (the leader of the Keepers).

    Okay, so one day one of the Earls becomes radical after he feels 'betrayed' by the High King and the King's Council, and it would appear as if his armies have been bolstered by mercenaries from the Icelands. Toric's village is attacked, and while the warriors manage to fend them off many of the children are abducted... including Toric's daughter. Toric and others pursue the attackers, but end up getting ambushed. Toric, due to his warriors gift, manages to survive and is rescued by the Red Lady, a mysterious prophetess. He begins to see visions and has nightmares of both his daughter and of the mysterious entity known as Sidonis.

    The Red Lady 'recruits' Toric into Sidonis' fold (a shaia, like the Icelord). Toric's daughter is being held by the Wraithlord, brother and rival of Sidonis. The only way to defeat the Wraithlord is to free Sidonis. So Toric joins up with his brother, Valius, to assault Crystal Spire up in the Icelands, slay the Icelord, and retrieve Icebreaker and Darksoul (personal shaian weapons of the Icelord and Sidonis, respectively).

    Toric flees with Icebreaker, heading to Under Deep to free the banished Darklord (Sidonis). Valius is forced to pursue his brother with Darksoul. In Under Deep, Sidonis is freed but 'mounts' and possesses the body of Valius, who just so happens to be wielding Darksoul. Almost at full power, Sidonis and Toric head out to find and defeat the Wraithlord.

    The Wraithlord is defeated by the duo, and Toric's daughter is retrieved, although she has been corrupted; the Wraithlord needed her soul/blood/spirit for something (the same elements that give Valius and Toric and all the Valgards their special skills.

    So now the Darklord is about to begin HIS reign, and his first conquest will be Asgeir. He spares Toric and his daughter, who both head eastward, to Elaria - home of the Elves. The rest of the story is not fully developed, but it involves Toric not only HEALING his daughter, but uniting the other mortal races together to combat the growing threat of the Darklord.

    So the idea is that the Earl allied himself with the Wraithlord, and he has done some pretty terrible things. Now Toric is allying himself with the Darklord, and the choices he makes is no better than the Earl. So in a way, Toric kind of becomes the very thing he is fighting against.

    What do you think of all this?
     
  2. PensiveQuill
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    PensiveQuill Contributing Member

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    This concept is not a bad idea, but the individual expression of it will be critical as to how well it goes down. The preceeding paragraphs seemed very convuluted and difficult to follow, but I've read complex lots before and who knows you might be able to pull it off.
     
  3. TJByrum
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    TJByrum New Member

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    It's always under construction.

    Now I'm starting to want a story where Toric is on a quest but in order to complete said quest he must kidnap a little girl who eventually begins to suffer from Stockholm syndrome.

    But I gotta figure out
    1. What Toric's mission is
    2. Why he needs the little girl, and
    3. How can I tie it in with other stuff.

    I kind of want to do the opposite now. Whereas Toric was once good and turns bad, I want him to be selfish and an a-hole and then spending time with his captive turns him into a somewhat 'good' man. On the other hand, the naive, young, innocent girl begins to turn into a cold, intelligent, sort-of-psychotic girl. Over the course of the story you see a sort of father-daughter relationship building up.

    One scene is in my head now: the brother of the girl, a knight, finds the duo and a fight ensues. It ends with the girl being able to save her brother or save Toric... and she kills her brother in favor of Toric.

    I can see these images in my head, but they're loose and its hard to piece them together, but it's coming along. Just going to be hard to convey it in writing.
     
  4. EllBeEss
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    EllBeEss Contributing Member

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    It's your story, you need to write it and brainstorm it yourself.

    Have you actually written any of this? If not I would personally start actually writing and see where the characters take me.
     
  5. elynne
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    elynne Active Member

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    I'd personally love to read about a "hero" who starts making bad decisions for noble reasons--and then has to double-down on those bad decisions to survive/prosper. however, the Several Ultimate Big Bads thing seems kind of unnecessarily convoluted. could there be just one Big Bad, but he's got some crafty minions who have set things up to make it look like the Big Bad is on both sides? the story seems rather Tolkien Epic, which is fine if that's what you're after, but there's an awful lot of it in the High Fantasy market and it'll take some work to make your story stand out above the horde.
     
  6. TheApprentice
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    TheApprentice Contributing Member

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    You could simply have the Darklord be brainwashing Torric telepathically. While he is leading his armies to take down the dark lord, he gets brainwashed, and Darklord can brainwash others through Torric. Kind of like Mass Effect.

    If you haven't played it, basically there are these machines called "Reapers" who can indoctrinate people slowly to their side. And the indoctrinated can then also act as sleeper cells on the Reaper's behalf and indoctrinate more people, until eventually, there is no resistance against the Reapers when they come to wipe out all life.
     
  7. Arbalest
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    Arbalest Member

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    I agree with PensiveQuill: the description of the plot is rather difficult to follow. This could be a problem when developing the proper short story/novel. It's your story, but as a simple advice I suggest you to cut the number of the supernatural creatures/entities...it's a common fantasy trope having an evil, supernatural being threatening the world that is going to be defeated by mortal agents of another supernatural being (good or evil) after all.

    Elynne's idea about a hero doing bad things for the right reason could be a good starting point: why having brainwashing and possessions (tools that deresponsabilize the charachters since they're no more in control of their actions) when you can describe the hero(es) having a terrible insight? An example:

    * the icelandic tribes fight and raid Asegir because the Icelord is a moustache-twirling evil entity and like murder, slavery and rape. But also because it imprisoned Sidonis, wich is a very, very, VERY dangerous entity...and it can be keep in a sort of drunken stupor only with the costant sacrifice of souls. So the icelandic tribes sacrifice elders, ills and criminals. But...
    * ...when Winter Solstice arrives the power of Sidonis becomes stronger and stronger: the icelandic tribes, following the orders of the Icelord, strike south and raid Asegir looking for capitves and slaves to bolster the number of sacrifices. But...
    * ...there's also the Wraithlord, an ambitious chieftain of one of the oldest icelandic tribes who is really sure he can topple the Icelord and do better than it. So he kidnaps the daughter of the most important man of the strongest clan of Asegir, and conveniently place some clues that points to the Icelord. And now...
    * ...the two protagonists are in a quest to destroy the Icelord, unknowingly working for the Wraithlord. But hey...
    * ...enters Sidonis who maybe is in a deep sluber, but it still have followers. The Red Lady convince the two that both the Icelord and the Wraithlord are enemies of Asegir. The two heroes are now unknowingly working for an even bigger bad. They fight the Icelord and kill it, they track down the Wraithlord and kill him. But now...
    *...now they understand that Sidonis isn't a bening entity and it's something that shouldn't be allowed to roam free in the world. Toric is in full denial: they are good people. They couldn't have helped such an abominable creature. He and his daughter flee east. Valius, instead, understand the stakes. And so...
    *...so Valius unites the tribes of Iceland as the new Icelord and start raiding his former kingdom, just better and in a more organized way. He also start looking at east, where the Elves dwell: not only because Sidonis was almost free from his prison and needs more and more souls to remain bounded. But also because Toric is spreading word in the Elven kingdoms of the God trapped in the ice wastes of the north, the God that helped him in the quest to find his daughter...and he's trying to rally them against the icelandic tribes.
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2014
  8. CastleEra
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    CastleEra Member

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    Evil is in the eye of the beholder. One man is a rebel warrior fighting for freedom, or a terrorist depending on who you ask. History dictates the roles of men, and people who we are now taught were tyrants and evil men may have been on the side of good along. While a character fighting to change something and then mirroring the very thing he fought is an interesting commentary, it's usually done in a way that still validates the heroes choices. Him doing it is okay because he needs to, and even though he is kinda becoming what he fought against he has good reasons for it.

    Writers will rarely actually villianize their heroes, but will instead show how the dark road the hero has gone down is actually a road that will lead to better things. Thus his change into the enemy is worthless, for he comes out the hero all the same. If you try to paint him as a hero doing bad things for good reasons and justify his reasons for the readers, then we as readers have no real hook to bite onto that will make us believe that he has actually turned from his intentions.

    If you make your hero a true villain, one who still has reasons for what he does but forsakes any hope in redemption for what his actions will wrought; then I think you have a more interesting premise. To watch this character stop rationalizing his actions and finding excuses for the pain he brings and just accept that they need to be done as he grows colder would be interesting. Even if he won the day, would his friends, family, and loved ones every look him in the eye again? His fall into a cold heart would be interesting, I think.
     
  9. TJByrum
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    TJByrum New Member

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    I don't like the idea of brainwashing; to me, that just makes it seem like the character was not really that character the whole time. I want the character to make decisions based on his OWN opinion. Sure, Sidonis may 'suggest' an action, but Toric is the one who decides whether or not he wants to do it.

    Alright, there's this guy; guy abducts child. Why? That's my situation at the moment. I have the lore/setting set up so that's no problem.

    How about: so there's this evil villain, the Big Bad, who was banished thousands of years ago beneath Under Deep. Toric, the Hero, is on some sort of quest. He's desperate, broken, determined, and willing to do absolutely anything to complete this quest, so he makes a deal with the Big Bad, effectively 'selling his soul'. Part of working with this Big Bad requires him to abduct the child, who begins to suffer from Stockholm Syndrome (captive who wants to stay with the captor, for whatever reason), as well as free the Big Bad. All the while Toric is basically selling the world out to the Big Bad, doing a lot of bad things to satisfy him, etc... but Toric's also trying to set events into motion that MAY save the world after he has doomed it.

    Let me sit on this for a little while.

    PS: Thanks for replying guys!
    PSS: I'm going more on the route of Sword-and-Sorcery now; it does not have as much fantasy in it as Tolkien.
     

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