1. Stormsong07

    Stormsong07 Contributor Contributor

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    Why would a character abandon his family?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Stormsong07, Feb 24, 2017.

    OK. Brainstorming here. Could use some input.
    Working on the backstory of my MC's dad. Fantasy novel set in a medieval style world.
    Meet Edrick. He's a miller by trade. But he has a secret- he was born a noble.
    Soooo....why would our young Edrick, at about age 15-18 or so, leave his noble roots and disassociate himself from the family name? (He keeps his ring with the family crest, though, bc deep down he hopes one day his daughter can reunite with her extended family.)

    Some ideas I have so far:
    -Family did something bad he didn't want to be associated with. (Treason? Murder? Hmmm)
    -Arranged marriage he ran from
    -Edrick did something bad and his family kicked him out
    -Edrick got in trouble with the wrong people and ran away to keep his family safe


    What other possibilities can you think of?
     
  2. Builderbot2000

    Builderbot2000 New Member

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    -He was a bastard in the literal sense.

    -His family lost in a political struggle and he himself is one of the few survivors of that conflict.

    -His family is hunting him down.

    -It was all an illusion and he isn't actually noble-born.
     
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  3. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor

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    I wouldn't put this as "abandon his family"--that, to me, means a father abandoning children that he is responsible for. This is a runaway. People run away all the time.

    One category that you've left out is the possibility that his family was toxic or abusive. I realize that those terms sound modern, but I'm sure that toxic/abusive families have always existed.

    Another category could be profession--maybe staying home meant that he would be required to be a solder, while he wanted to be something else.

    Or safety--soldiers die.
     
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  4. Dnaiel

    Dnaiel Senior Member

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    I can see a lot of opportunities for you to play with on this one. You could go so far as it being a reason for preventing a war.
    It could also be a simple matter. A longing to see the world through the eyes of common folk, then ending up unable to return for some reason. Maybe then that would cause the war or something similar.
     
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  5. Infel

    Infel Contributor Contributor

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    He's actually a philosopher's stone disguised as a man, and his other half, who is evil, is plotting to take over the world. So he has to run away for the next 20 years, abandoning his two sons, and strategically place alchemical seals around the globe so that when his counterpart's plan to activate a country-wide transmutation circle comes to fruition, the seals he placed will counteract the spell, and his evil counterpart will be foiled.

    That plot might have been done somewhere before, though.
     
  6. Builderbot2000

    Builderbot2000 New Member

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  7. Garnovski

    Garnovski New Member

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    Personally, I'd like the idea of Edrick falling in love with the miller's daughter, having a falling out with his sire on the theme of "What the hell are you thinking you're a Garnov and Garnovs don't run off with miller's daughters so get that thought out of your head right now or so help me". Then, provided that said miller's daughter his still is wife, he'd have every reason to stay away from his family while hoping for a get together in the future. He could, for instance, wait until his father passed to save the humiliation of coming back and then reintroduce himself to his younger brother, who is now Head of the House.
     
  8. LostThePlot

    LostThePlot Naysmith Contributor

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    Remember, in a medieval-esque world a 15 year old is a man. In fact, a 12 year old boy is a man and is expected to perform the duties of men, including pursuing violent criminals and providing for the family. His family might be opposed to him leaving to seek his fortune or whatever, but if he wants to then the rest of the world won't see a big deal with that. Also, unless he's a first born son then being born noble isn't going to do a whole lot for him. If he's a second (or younger) son then while he comes from a noble family he'll likely never inherit a title or land himself. The fate of such sons was generally to go out into the world and seek their own fortunes because no other fortune was forthcoming. Often that meant as a soldier which offered the potential for a minor noble to gain prestige and wealth, and more importantly, land and titles of their own. Even just becoming a vassal count is a step up; land and money and a castle; literally earning his own keep. Alternatively they might become priests or merchants but they'd have to earn their living somewhere.

    So if him leaving isn't a specific plot point then you don't need to make a big deal of it. It can just be something normal. He could be following a girl, seeking adventure with the army (and yes, boys that young followed armies even if they generally didn't fight) or just being a rebellious teenager who doesn't much like the idea of his family deciding everything in his life forever and ever. Or he could just have been literally 'lost' and capitalized on that; travelling somewhere, getting separated and having to fend for himself then finding he quite likes being his own man and not coming back.

    Personally, I like the idea that he's a younger son who met our heros mother, fell in love and ran off with her. It sets him up as a good father, which is nice, and makes his secret more of a past life, rather than a dark secret. His family might be unhappy about him running off with a peasant but in the end it's not something so vast that when he (or his son) returns to the family they'd just spurn them. They might not shower him in money either but at least it makes for a more cordial relationship. Our hero sets off to discover his family, not to seek wealth or inheritance specifically which makes him look more heroic, and the family would be likely to actually let him into whatever squabbles they are into now instead of him just foisting himself into it off his own back.
     
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  9. Shadowfax

    Shadowfax Contributor Contributor

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  10. NiallRoach

    NiallRoach Contributor Contributor

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    Nobles died quite rarely in battle. Not only did they have the best armour money could buy, worth around a house for a single suit, they were also much more valuable as prisoners to be ransomed after the fact.
     
  11. JE Loddon

    JE Loddon Active Member

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    He was framed for murder, so had to flee?
     

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