There isn’t going to be a RPG Misadventures post today, as I’ve pretty well run out of ones that come directly to mind. Oh, there’re individual incidents that were hilariously bad, but I was trying to focus on when there were a series of unfortunate decisions for my prior posts. Instead, with Halls of Power coming out on Friday, I thought I’d go over my favorite characters from the trilogy, and why they’re my favorites.
Lily – First and foremost of my favorite characters is Lily. In a setting where gods walk the world, powerful warriors and magi abound, Lily is the one character without ambition and who wants nothing more than to live a simple life. She’s quiet, sincere, and (in my opinion) adorable. I love her attitude, and she has evolved in spite of herself over the course of the novels. We’ve not seen the last of her, for she’s in Halls of Power, and I have at least one short story in mind for her, though it may be some time in coming.
Desa – I’m not sure why I love super-competent bodyguards/assistants for major characters, but Desa is one, though she’s imperfect in her own ways, as evidenced in Ancient Ruins. I think that for me it’s the loyalty these characters portray, and in part what it says about the person they serve, which brings us to Phynis herself.
Phynis – It should be little wonder that Phynis is on this list. A princess who is in desperate straits, to the point that many people should break, yet with the courage to get back up and keep trying, I love that she’s willing to put in the effort needed. She follows her heart, tries her best, and tries to do what she can to help those around her. Perhaps I’m an idealist at heart.
Wenris – I really, really shouldn’t like Wenris as much as I do, and I can’t say much about her without spoiling sections of Halls of Power, but I do like her. She’s complex in her own way, and anyone who takes what she shows at face value is liable to be burned.
The Jewels – These seven are… under-utilized in the stories in many ways, and that frustrates me. The problem with the Ancient Dreams trilogy as a whole is that there are so many stories that I could’ve made the books 10 times as long (if I had the patience to write it out) and not detailed everything I wanted to show the readers. The converse problem is that the story would then take forever, and I don’t want that either. Each of the Jewels has their own unique outlook on how things progressed, and how the trilogy unfolded… and in the end their stories ended up on the sideline, much like my original plans for the Academy and dungeon as a whole.
Deities & Demon Lords – I can’t say anything about these characters, not really. They are too deeply embedded into the story of Halls of Power. What I can say is that how Tyria ended up developing surprised even me. I had to revise the outline of the book based on how her personality developed.
Sistina – Where would this list be without Sistina? I have a hard time explaining why I like Sistina so much. Sistina is a pile of confused tropes molded into a single whole, a character who has evolved and changed throughout the series, and yet who has been the bedrock of the trilogy as well. She’s amoral but loyal, kind to friends yet ruthless to enemies, brilliant and yet naive. Part of this is due to her previous lives, and yet… it’s what makes Sistina who she is. When I created her I gave her hard limits, because otherwise she’d be able to solve every problem too easily, for in many ways she is a minor goddess inside her dungeon. Some people think she’s too powerful, but in my mind she isn’t. Sistina prepares, she plans, and she does everything she can to protect those she loves. Even then, though, she has her limits.
You’ll see them in Halls of Power. I hope you enjoy it.