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An OC's Journey - Discussing Our Errant Inspirations, Influence & Growth

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#1 Lord_Capulet


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Posted 21 March 2018 - 08:01 PM

Sometimes we base our characters off of others we've seen in a different form of media.  Other times our characters start as completely original, but begin to grow and develop in certain directions that match what we like, or how we, their writers, are growing.  Maverick-Werewolf has spoken in-depth about her beloved Wulfgard character, Kye - Prince of Pain, on her Patreon (which you should consider supporting, by the way), and I figured it would be fun to hear about the origins of YOUR favorite Errant characters.  Yes, that's right, you! With the face, and the Errant Original Character (OC)!


So please don't be shy, tell us below how your main or your favorites came to be!  Not their backstory, since that goes in Character Creation and Development, though if a favorite book, show, or movie influenced their backstory, that would be fun to hear, as well!  


Rules: All forum rules, especially on kid-friendly content, still apply.  Please confine this topic to OCs you've actually played in Errant, though characters you created for Errant but didn't get to play can still apply, if their stories are interesting enough.  Have fun!




I'll start us off with my beloved main, one of only two characters I ever created for Wulfgard RPs of any kind, and the only one I have successfully moved to the new Errant board. (Though that might change soon.  ;)  ) Marcus Capulet, Agent of the Imperial Inquisition!


I first created Marcus, oh, what was it, 5 years ago? Amarok had started a fun little RP set in Wulfgard with a deceptively simple premise: go out and slay a dragon.  Sounds easy enough, until you remember that just because it's been done before doesn't mean just anyone can do it. But I digress. I had only recently come back to SSLF after a long hiatus on my part, and the big move to a new server, so I was eager to spend some time writing for fun, as opposed to just writing for college.  


Errant and its ruleset were still only known to Wolfy at the time (as far as I know), so we were given a great deal of leeway on character creation and interaction.  Even dice rolls weren't implemented until later, when boss fights began to emerge. Anywho, I saw that one class Amarok had made available was for a Halberdier, a choice that had no other character had taken at the time.  Having always been fascinated by that weapon, I seized the opportunity and worked from there.


The Inquisition fascinated me greatly from the very first time I read about them, and I jumped at the chance to make a character who belonged to that faction.  However, I noticed that there were a few characters with magic in the party, and didn't want to cause outright panic in character interactions. Plus, why would an Inquisitor volunteer to fight a dragon alongside mages, I asked myself.  An active agent would consider it unlawful, not to mention a waste of time. An active agent.  Hmmm....


Then, it hit me.  Almost all of the human characters in the party were young, in the prime of life.  What if I played a character who was honorably retired from the Inquisition, and only got to keep one void iron weapon?  Someone too old to be chasing mages across the empire, but not nearly old enough to sit around waiting to die. Then I considered what Marcus would be doing in the village where the RP would start, and looked again at his chosen weapon.  Who normally carries halberds in film and such? Guards.  The path was clear.


Thus, Marcus became an honorable dischargee of the Inquisition, who wandered to this northern border-town devoid of purpose, until he settled on what he did best: protecting people.  When the introductory scene of the WG: Heroes RP devolved into a tavern brawl, my character made his debut not by joining in, but trying to break things up and restore order, as befitting a Sergeant of the Watch.  So began Marcus Capulet's reign as the awkward Dad of this merry band of misfits, constantly trying to clean up their messes, keep them on the straight and narrow, and above all, pass on what wisdom he had, so these kids would not repeat his mistakes.


Lord knows he had made more than his fair share.  I wrote some wavering, some doubt in the cause he once believed just, into Marcus' backstory, to explain why he retired slightly earlier than expected, not even staying with the Order in a teaching capacity.  At that time, Wolfy and Scorp's canon said that the Inquisition was falling out of grace with the Emperor, so that left plenty of room for mystery as to Marcus' doubts and reasons for leaving. However, I wavered back and forth on the scale of those doubts until I remembered a certain villain from the movie Serenity: The Operative.  Here was a masterfully crafted villain who believed he was upholding the law, that every life he took was a terrible necessity for the greater good of his nation, and even the human race as a whole.  He had no illusions that he, himself, was a monster, but believed that his actions would bring about a better world. So when a minor villain in the RP dismissed Marcus as a "washed-up Inquisitor," I thought to myself, "let's make Marcus a bit scarier."


My attempt to have my fellow players recognize a pseudonym I'd just made up didn't go particularly well, but that was the birth of Marcus' past, dark persona, The Penitent Headsman.  The Operative's opening scene, where he reassures and even tries to comfort a man he is executing, sent chills down my spine. I wanted that balance of cold efficiency and fervent belief for Marcus, except he would have not have it ripped away in an instant, but eroded over years of service, until a non-specific time came where he had to choose between what was demanded by Imperial law, and what he knew to be right.  




That theme would be repeated later, when Heroes transitioned into a new chapter, Legends.  Our party grew exponentially, especially with the option for players to add more of their own characters.  That was where I brought in Kate Meliora, Marcus' sadistic but endearing former partner, whose story I am still in the process of writing.  She was a reminder of what Marcus used to be, and what he almost turned into from there; but Marcus had made his choice and (mostly) come to terms with it.  Still, with all these hidden monsters and younger, stronger adventurers around him, Marcus sometimes felt overshadowed, knowing that he was long past his prime.  After watching the angst and regret in the War Doctor, after his own fateful decisions in the Dr. Who 50th anniversary, I quickly latched onto John Hurt's portrayal of man with the weight of countless innocent lives and his own mistakes on his shoulders, turning him old before his time.  Upon seeing the consequences of what he did "in the name of peace and sanity," but also those who would take up the torch after he was gone, this battered war hero mused, "great men are forged in fire. It is the privilege of lesser men to light the flame."


Marcus' practical, working-man perspective often clashed with his privilege of education and love for learning.  The former, as well as early versions of what imagined he looked like, were inspired by Davos Seaworth, from Game of Thrones.  The man started from humble birth, found himself amongst nobility and heroes, and was both a pragmatic with a shady past, and a doting father figure whenever he got the chance.  While he lacked Marcus' literacy and passion for law enforcement, he was still determined to do the best he could with the opportunities given him, as well as atone for past sins; both qualities that Marcus would respect deeply.




Finally, the move to Errant as a new RP, then eventually the dedicated board with zones that we know and love today, offered me even more opportunities to grow Marcus as a character by bringing him back to that crossroads in his life.  No longer a young man, but still offended if you call him old, a doughty Inquisitor still driven in his career and with doubt only just starting to gnaw at his mind. It was around this time when my sister introduced me to the Myers-Briggs Personality Test, and I had a rationalized system to understand not only how I and other people saw the world, but how to quantify (approximately, at least) what people tend to want in life and why they make their decisions.  It was then that I settled on the ISTJ personality for Marcus, meaning he is an introvert but not obnoxiously so, focused on rules, justice, and order, as all things should be. I decided that, to him, magic was a danger to both its users and its victims, a power that could tempt one into the abusing it, as the mage-emperor had; or simply lash out like wildfire, killing all in its path.  He had seen both in his younger years, and joined the Inquisition to fight for the preservation of his nation and people, to protect the innocent from "The Condition" as an existential threat. A worthy goal, but perhaps too easily unfocused, or even misdirected.


Deep down, in Marcus’ core, I wanted to craft something more than just a cool, sometimes edgy self-insert.  As I refined his concept and motivations, I realized that I wanted to write a character who embodies a balance between pragmatic duty and meritocratic idealism.  A man who was raised in a rising middle class, of two different races, who had both horror and greatness thrust upon him well before he thought he was ready. Someone striving to both better himself and atone for his own sins, all while keeping a stiff upper lip or reverting into father-figure mode.  He keeps the law, and even clings to it for stability and order while fearing the consequences of breaking it...though not always rightfully so. In short, a well-intentioned but stubbornly conservative man with the weight of the world on his shoulders, who mistakenly thinks that everything, even salvation, must be earned.  A soldier, proud to serve, who wants to do right but struggles with hating those who do wrong. A hero that readers like you could both admire...and pity.


WELP, that turned out a lot longer than I anticipated.  My apologies if you find all that intimidating! When I focus almost solely on one character for RPing, I intend to do just that: focus.  I didn't even get into more recent developments I decided on as Errant grew and got updated, though I might do that later. (Like when Chuck Bartowski's lovably neurotic personality wormed his way into Marcus' interactions with women and things he feared, not always for the better, lol)  Anywho, I hope you enjoyed my little tour through memory lane, and I hope it's inspired you to look deeply at your own characters, to see how they've grown and perhaps how they could grow even further.


P.S.  Oh, you want to know why I picked the name “Capulet”?  I played that head of house during my homeschool high school group’s rendition of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, hammed it up, and enjoyed myself a bit too much.  The surname started ending up in my usernames on various game hosts and websites, including this forum, and I still like using it. Flows off the tongue in a more Italian fashion, and sounds better than the French-esque “Montague,” in my opinion.  I know, not as glamorous an explanation, but if you got this far, your eyes probably need a break, anyway.




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#2 Sephsekla


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Posted 22 March 2018 - 02:09 PM

This is a brilliant idea, and it's awesome to see how much thought you've put in.

Like everything in life, I tend to create a lot of characters; The creation is far more exciting for me than actually playing them.

The main characters I've played in Errant proper have been Garandros and Elnira, who I consciously made very different in character and tone.

Garandros is inspired by a number of different characters and concepts. He first appeared as a minifig in a competition, so I wanted above all to create someone visually interesting. The tattered, world weary archetype is always a good way to do that. I was also very much inspired by Logan, and Wolfy's awesome story Hunted.

Elnira was envisioned as a complete opposite. She's inspired partly by a good friend of mine (who uses the word squee in sentences), but also as my idea of how a non-violent but fiercely intelligent person might fit into Wulfgard.
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#3 Lord_Capulet


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Posted 23 March 2018 - 06:38 AM

Thank you so much!  It was the first time I'd condensed those five or so years of writing into a single project (if you can call three whole pages "condensed," LOL), but it brings me joy to see that it's appreciated.  Thank you for participating, as well!


I'd only stuck with a few characters because I know how treacherous my schedule can get, and didn't want to leave multiple campaigns hanging if I was doing something.  But I agree, creating new characters can be a great experience, sometimes more fun than playing them.  The thrill of creating something new, deciding what you want to do with this character, it's a rare joy.



Ah, so you started with how the character looks for Garandros.  That's awesome!  Using a minifig is definitely a bonus on this forum, and Hunted gave me plenty of chills and...emotions...cough, spoilers, overall, excellent choices for inspiration!  I still haven't seen Logan, probably should soon.


Elnira sounds cute, and I'm intrigued by the idea of a smart pacifist in the harsh, often violent world of Wulfgard.  I take it she's mostly comfortable in civilized areas, or did you apply her intelligence to survival in the wilderness?




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#4 Sephsekla


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Posted 23 March 2018 - 11:04 AM

I take it she's mostly comfortable in civilized areas, or did you apply her intelligence to survival in the wilderness?

Oh she's definitely more at home with a hot drink in a library. I was very intrigued as to how someone with no combat knowledge whatsoever would fare.

And yes, she is adorable.

When I have time I'll post about my Rusty Axe NPCs (although I'm hoping to run a campaign centred on them at some point, so I'll redact a few things.
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#5 Dalton Westmoore

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Posted 23 March 2018 - 07:20 PM

This is an awesome idea Cappy! It'll give us something to do while Wolfy plans out the next Errant campaign.


Anyways, I'm going to divide this up into two different posts: One for characters that I have the most information for, and one for one-off characters, rejected concepts, characters from unfinished campaigns, and characters I've haven't played with yet.


Let's start off with my first two Errant Characters:


Oten Fellhammer and Avarice:




Oten's backstory is pretty simple. Back in 2014 (at least), after my first of many attempts to create a successful SSLF RP, I decided to throw together a character so I could join in on Errant. This was back when Errant was still part of the original RP board, and we were in the middle of discovering that Tom Drake was a Werewolf. Since Dwarves are clearly the best fantasy race, I decided to go with him, and created a basic tragic backstory for him (which, if you are curious, was that his home was destroyed and his family was killed by Orcs), and made his occupation be a guard for a Dwarven Caravan. His name is one of the randomly chosen names for the Demolitionist from Terraria, and the color scheme for his armor was based off of my Dwarven Soldiers, which I believe is based off Hobbit concept art. Because of his past, he was an atheist and a cynic, so that right there meant that he was basically screwed from the start. 


Then, I proceeded to jump straight into Errant, before Wolfy told me that I had to wait until I got introduced.


Oten started off in Illikon, as he was investigating a lead that someone or something was stealing from the caravan that he was guarding (Fun Fact: Morgan and Auburn from Krraeginn: Age of Shadows first appeared in this). Eventually, after a lot of NPC mind control on my part, he met up with the group and then chased Drake around Illikon around for a while. The next day, after we found human Drake, Oten proceeded to do the only thing I really remember him for:


Tell Drake to stop complaining about being a Werewolf and be more interested in the non-canon way that demon summoning works. 


Drake responded calmly by somehow grabbing Oten by his short beard, and shaking him and calling him a stunted hobgoblin. I think this is probably one of my favorite Errant Memories, but it really ticked me off back them. It angered me so much that Drake broke Rule #1 of Dwarf Beards (Don't touch), that I thought about having Oten beat the crap out of Drake, say a one liner about not touching Dwarf Beards, and then leave. But then I got so apathetic about him that I wrote a scene where he leaves, and then gets killed, but later revised it so that he would just leave, and then get kidnapped.


And this is where Avarice comes in.




See, Wolfy never specified what exactly was stealing from the Dwarven Caravan, but since I was new to the Wulfgard Universe by this point, I decided to go with a Demon-kin of Greed and his group of misfit bandits that were stealing from the Dwarves. The concept of Avarice came from one of my favorite characters from Fullmetal Alchemist (aka an Anime Gateway Drug), Greed. The original concept for Avarice was that he was an artificial Demon created by Cultists who placed a soulstone with a soul of a demon inside him or something like that. After Wolfy told me that there was no way that this was going to work, I changed him into a half-demon, combining designs for Kye, Greed, and some originally to create the Demon-kin that we all know and love nobody remembers. His new backstory was that he was raised by an abusive pig-farmer, and was chased out of his village by superstitious peasants and found sanctuary in a monastery. The monks would teach him about combat and give him his armor, and eventually the monastery would be destroyed by Hidden Cultists lead by the pig-farmer and his demon mother. After getting revenge and killing them all, he would go on to lead a group of bandits inspired by the followers of the gentle giant from Prince Valiant:




The more notable members of the band included Gorlock (an blind Orc magic-user of some sort with third eye gem that he uses to see), Kyran the stunted Hobgoblin (inspired by Drake's insult, and, yes, I know that's not what Hobgoblins look like in Wulfgard), mute twins Gaspar and Jaxtan (who could regenerate wounds due to Hidden experiments), Clyton (an Inquisitor who left the Inquisition under mysterious circumstances), Barton the Mercenary (his name being a reference to Hawkeye), Fenris Ulf (name stolen from the British version of Maugrimm) and Balam (a kind-hearted Minotaur who was exiled from his warlike clan).


Oten would be pressed into joining their group (consisting of Avarice, Gorlock, the Twins, Kyran and Clyton), and then they would all leave Illikon, encountering the main group of Players along the way. After a needless battle resulting in a bunch of them getting injured and Burg's demon-kin character getting captured after setting a village on fire, Avarice's group would make camp on the side of the road leading to Stonebrige. There, they would meet a pack of Vargs, who, through a combination of Avarice's poor diplomacy and Wolfy wanting to get rid of player-created NPCs, killed all of them except for Avarice and Oten. The two were able to escape death as Avarice flew Oten away to join up with the Dwarf caravan. What happened to them? Who knows, as they vanished from Errant entirely.


Though I kind of despise these characters because of all the cringey things they did while I was still in the infancy of being a member of SSLF, they also have a special place in my heart because they were the first characters I created for Errant. I've tried to bring both characters back, once in a failed mini-campaign that would have taken place after the Abandoned Mansion quest, and again in Avarice's uncompleted backstory (though I have found a short version that I apparently wrote). I've also wanted to resurrect the dead members of Avarice's mercenary band as well, mostly because nobody except me remembers them. I've also wanted to at least recreate Oten and Avarice in the latest version of Errant, but I never got around to retrieving their old character sheets from the RP board before it was deleted, so the chances of them reappearing again are small.


Who knows? Maybe they will all appear in a future Errant campaign of some sort. 


Agethar Twin-Axe:




The main inspiration for Agethar came from Harry-Monster's Venator character, Hadrian Holt.


Up to this point, I had only seen Venators with ranger-esque equipment and weapons, so seeing one so different was interesting. So, logically, I took the next step and came up with the idea for a Venator who dual weilded axes and was a berserker. After some obvious changes, the addition of his dog Maugrimm (who was originally supposed to be an Irish Wolfhound, but was changed to a Bloodhound because Wolfy said they were cuter because they were floppy), and the prototype Agethar was created. I eventually changed his name from Brufarn to Agethar (a name from some Greek Play that I Norse-ised) and the goof we all know and love was born! Brufarn eventually became an Undead Skeleton Chieftain in my Terraria comic, and Agethar's older brother, who almost appeared in Damnatio Memoriae, but was dropped in favor of Evan Ebonstone.


Agethar would go on to debut in the Abandoned Mansion quest, and go on to star in several other successful Errant campaigns. I would play him in campaigns where he would usually get angry and snap at people but then apologize for it, but drop him in favor of other characters in important, character building/world building campaigns like Chasing Shadows and Damnatio Memoriae. I'm glad that this character trait is gone for now, in favor of him desperately looking for love but never finding it. I kind of like his tragic romance with Burg's Hill-Dwarf Venator Krilda, with him eternally searching for a love interest who's return will never happen due to Burg's lack of interest in playing her. But Agethar that was so desperate for love that me and Burgs talked about him falling in love with his giant character from the failed Jagged Edge free-roam campaign. I also kind of like the unseen conflict between him and Percula. Maybe he'll finally find love, but I doubt that it will be any time soon.


Malvolio Borgia:


I can honestly say that the character who has gone through the most changes is Malvolio.


Malvolio's first name is taken from my favorite Shakespeare play, Twelfth Night, while his last name is taken from the apparently infamous Borgia family, who I only know for appearing the Assassin's Creed games (which I have not played). He was originally created as a somewhat insane Templar who wanted revenge on Avarice for disfiguring his face.


He also rode around on a Black Pegasus.


Obviously, this had to be changed, because, as Wolfy told me, that he was starting to resemble a Dark Lord instead of a Templar.


So the only version of this character exists in this short story explaining some of his hatred for Avaraice, as well as the aforementioned failed campaign that Avarice and Oten were supposed to return in. In the campaign, his lust for revenge would eventually lead to him cursing Astra and becoming a Dark Templar, which Wolfy said exist but have never appeared since. Eventually, I forgot that this character even existed. That is, until Damnatio Memoriae came along.


For this, I overhauled almost everything about Malvolio, changing him from a Templar obsessed about killing the Demon-kin who disfigured him, to a Templar obsessed about killing the Demon that disfigured him.


Like I said, almost everything.


I honestly like this version of him more than the callous, evil version of him that I originally came up with. Malvolio is now a more complicated character, trying to balance his duty to the Templar order with getting revenge on the Demon that disfigured him and killed his beloved. The thing I like most about him is the platonic relationships he has with Female Player Characters: like the grizzled A-hole/young girl thing he had with Burg's Templar Scribe Character from Damnatio Memoriae, and with Allya from Delving too Deep. I guess you can say he represents the creative evolution that I've undergone while on here.


Charon Velos (aka The Weeping Mage):




Here's the short version: The Weeping Mage is the Lucifer of my Errant Characters. You can skip the rest of this now.


For the rest of you, here's the long version:


The idea for the Weeping Mage didn't really even start with the Weeping Mage, it started with characters who were origionally supposed to be his bodyguards, the Fallen Inquisitors:






As you can see, all of them are blatantly inspired by the pre-LotR Nazgul, and all of their names are taken from Evil Knights from Arthurian Lore (except for Dolorus, who is just named after the Dolorus Stroke). They were supposed to be the evil spirits of dead Inquisitors who would serve as his bodyguards/minions. They were featured predominately in two short stories that I never ended up writing: one where they kill the Werewolf from Hunted, and one where the Weeping Mage resurrects the fallen members of Avarice's group. Eventually, the idea for them was dropped, since there was no canon way to implement them into Errant.


The Weeping Mage, on the other hand, would get a tragic backstory where he is tricked into making a pact with a Demon of Sorrow, and then go on to debut in the Arrowfall Campaign. I really loved playing him in this, and it was the first time I played the one character that everyone has at least one of: the normally evil character who is now good because he is a Protagonist. Everbody who plays Errant has at least one or two by now, so I though it would be fun to play one of these types of characters.


Of course, I screwed this up in Chasing Shadows:




I was really excited for the chance to play the Weeping Mage again, especially since by the end of Arrowfall he had joined the mysterious Umbra Coven, and now I would have the chance to play as a spy while the other character were trying to take him down. 


Unfortunately, this would lead to his death because of two things:


1: My own incompetence. The Weeping Mage went from blending in perfectly, to sticking out like a sore thumb, to being captured, to eventually being killed. Most of this was due to him making decisions that I now know were stupid, like telling Marcus to not collect the magic book, or taunting Beileag with silver, or using magic in a figure, or threatening that idiot Priest NPCs with trapping his soul in a soulstone. I really wanted to have this big moment, where he's shown as the traitor and everyone is surprised, but I never conveyed this to Wolfy. So I basically ended up revealing his plan instead, and then got him killed for my troubles.


2: Wolfy forgetting about Enemies NPCs during Charon's attempted escape. I'm not joking, this is my least favorite Errant Memory. I am literally getting angry just remembering this. Just pay attention to my and Wolfy's scenes about Charon starting here if you want to see what I'm talking about. So, as the Weeping Mage and that idiot Priest are being carted off to Karak du Ville, members of the Umbra Coven try to free both of them. During the fight, Wofly's NPCs encircle us to prevent us from escaping, but the Weeping Mage makes a gap by pulling down one of them that the Cultists can use to rescue them.


But they do nothing.








I assume that Wolfy was busy doing stuff with the more impressive of the two fights going on (i.e. the Players fighting a Demon), because the Cultists just stand there like a bunch of idiots and stare as the Weeping Mage gets killed. I was so ticked off by this, that I started a flame war with Wolfy in multiple PMs before eventually apologizing. I know that Charon's death is my fault due to bad decisions, but I refuse to believe that I'm the only one at fault because of this. I kind of want to bring him back, but then I remember this and decide that it's probably a good thing that he's dead.


Well, I'm going to try to wrap this up quick, because I can guarantee you that this will probably get hidden and get a warning point because of this.


Huo Shiye:




Huo is the result of three different ideas:


1: Toph, arguably the most bad@$$ character from Avatar the Last Airbender (a cartoon that you really should have watched by now)

2: Thoros of Myr. No, not this one, this one.

3: Play as a magic-user who doesn't go out the same way as the Weeping Mage.


Since he survived his debut campaign, Delving too Deep, I'd say Mission Accomplished. I also believe that this is the first time in Errant history that a magic-user has actually made it through an Errant campaign without his secret being discovered (although he did give some pretty obvious clues, so this might not be true). I think my favorite thing about this character is his ability to see by looking into the spirit world (i.e. he can see people by looking at their souls). I'd love to play him again, maybe in one where he can showcase his magic without being captured by the Inquisition.


Stay tuned for Part 2, which will take much longer to write. I think I've been here for at least 3 hours straight writing just this... 





Edited by Dalton Westmoore, 26 March 2018 - 06:38 AM.

#6 Sephsekla


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Posted 30 March 2018 - 04:56 AM

Well, here comes round 2 for anyone interested.

I've got a couple more characters about, but they've barely done anything yet. So I thought I'd talk about my NPCs from the Rusty Axe: Agnar, Dargnin and Yel.

I'm a big fan of stories that look at heroes after the tale is over, in their twilight years. These three have a story or two to tell, that I may get round to some day.

To create Agnar I started with the imaginatively named Skyrim character of mine, Lord Sephsekla. A warrior, bard and mage. Something of a renaissance man in a tough world.

What would someone like that look like well past his prime? Would the inevitable tragedies of life break a former hero, or would he find peace in the simple life?

My main inspirations were again, Logan, also Kvothe from the Kingkiller Chronicles. There's a tiny bit of the juxtaposition of Brando and Deniro in The Godfather Part II in there somrwhere.

Dargnin followed pretty simply. A dwarven companion, quarreling but loyal, would choose to stay with his friend, even as thr years were much kinder to him.

Yel... Is still at the beginning of any story she may have.
Nothing is true. Everything is permitted.
Except cancelling Firefly. Because that's just not cool.

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