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.