Saturday, April 5, 2014

Guest Post: Putting My Characters into Other Stories by Elizabeth Corrigan

In my seven years of tabletop gaming, I have played a couple of characters that will always be special to me. Similarly, my Forsaken Warrior from World of Warcraft, Katryona, holds a place in my heart and I've reused her name and even her personality in a D&D campaign. I think it's easy to fall in love with a character and want to see them pop up in other worlds. I'm excited today to be hosting Elizabeth Corrigan on the blog tour for Raising Chaos, book two of the Earthbound Angels series..

Check out the description, then click through for Elizabeth's post!

Raising Chaos

The daily life of a chaos demon is delightfully sinful—overindulging in Sri Lankan delicacies, trespassing on private beaches in Hawaii, and getting soused at the best angel bar on the planet. But when Bedlam learns that the archdemon Azrael has escaped from the Abyss in order to wreak vengeance against the person who sent her there—Bedlam’s best friend, Khet—he can’t sit idly by.

Only one relic possesses the power to kill Khet, who suffers immortality at Lucifer’s request: the mythical Spear of Destiny, which pierced Christ’s side at His crucifixion. Neither angel nor demon has seen the Spear in two thousand years, but Azrael claims to know its location. Bedlam has no choice but to interpret woefully outdated clues and race her to its ancient resting place.

His quest is made nearly impossible by the interference of a persnickety archivist, Keziel—his angelic ex—and a dedicated cult intent on keeping the Spear out of the wrong hands. But to Bedlam, “wrong” is just an arbitrary word, and there’s no way he’s letting Khet die without a fight.

I played my first RPG in college, and I remember being somewhat overwhelmed by the prospect. I mean,
my sister loved playing tabletop games, but I didn’t know any of the rules or what to do. But I felt comfortable in at least one domain—coming up with a character. I had the plot in my head for an epic fantasy about a plucky heroine type named Trevar, and I thought it would be fun to try to portray her in alternate situations.

Since then I’ve played lots of tabletop and computer RPGs, and each time I do, I base my character on one from my books (including the books that only exist in my head). I’ve come to really enjoy trying to determine my characters’ traits into systems that ask me to enumerate their strength, dexterity, and intelligence, and I get excited about the idea of playing them in my Pathfinder games.

I recently started playing Siren, the angel of truth, as an aasimar inquisitor, and I got to pick out the spells that best suited her cantankerous nature—like one that let her suppress any ill effect, and one that will save an innocent victim from possession but do damage in the process. I’m working on creating one for Carrie, the main character of Oracle of Philadelphia. She had to be an oracle, of course, and time oracles can become immortal, like her. I also decided to make her a changeling child of a hag to display her cursed nature. I’m dying to make a tiefling bard out of my chaos demon Bedlam, mostly so I can play a character who doesn’t care about checking the door for traps or sneaking around to see if someone is on the other side. And that’s just the start. I have two pages of numbers to determine! I mean, we all know Bedlam’s charisma is maxxed out and that he has a negative wisdom modifier, but what is his CMD?

I play my characters in video games too, mostly Dragon Age and Neverwinter Nights 2. I like to pair up unlikely characters in the Sims, to get a chance to see them in a non-fantasy world. (For some reason I like to start with a young married couple and then have them have tons of babies. I’m not really clear on why this is, since this is not at all the pattern I follow in my own life.) I even get to format the pictures to look like my characters, which gives me a better idea of what they look like, since without aids I am not very visual.
How I portray my characters in game changes how I portray them in my writing. I gave one character blue hair because my World of Warcraft toon with her name had blue hair. I decided to play another character in my work in progress as a paladin, and that’s really helped shape her behavior in the book. I actually ended up basing the three schools of magic in that story on the alignments lawful, neutral, and chaotic. I get a little excited, creating a new character, knowing that whatever happens to them in my gaming story will impact how my characters behave in my book as well!
Like all true gamer-authors, I do spend time contemplating the alignment of my characters, so here is a list for you of some prominent character alignments and relevant quotes from my Earthbound Angels series!
Lawful Good: Gabriel – “All I wanted—all I ever wanted—was to spread the joy of the news of God’s love to all of creation.”
Neutral Good: Siren – “I would have defied my Maker if such a rebellion were the only way to stop a human sacrifice, but I would spend the whole insurrection wishing I had decided to stay home in bed.”
Chaotic Good: Carrie – “I wasn’t some angel, to put a centuries’ old promise ahead of doing what was right.”
Lawful Neutral: Michael – “Angels don’t change, and we certainly don’t question God.”
True Neutral: Keziel – “She had a choir of angels at her command, and all she had them do was shove flowers in people’s faces.”
Chaotic Neutral: Bedlam – “The forces of chaos were named after me.”
Lawful Evil: Lucifer – “What am I to do with you? You defy me over and over. You try to claim a soul you know belongs to me. You escape my punishment and still go after what is mine. Fortunately, you have also uncovered a way for me to deal with this problem.”
Neutral Evil: Azrael – “I’ve been seeking out real power for years, and now that I finally have it? Well, it’s only a question of what I do first.”
Chaotic Evil: Lilith – “You are like I am, bound to the will of the Devil through no fault of your own.”

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