Eric Sturgg is one of Britania’s Templars or he is until a single fateful decision puts his life on a path of desperate uncertainty.
Trained since he was young to serve as one of the great City State’s indomitable Templars, Eric is a man adrift. His life is laid out clearly, cleanly, and properly before him. He has prestige. He has an adoring fiance’. He has the promise of a safe and secure future. These certainties are the promises that drive other men’s hearts; they are the certainties that give other men purpose in life. Yet even as Eric remains thankful for his many blessings, there is some hidden part of his heart that pulls at him in quiet moments and asks him if these things are truly what he wants of his own life.
When fate conspires to offer Eric another path with the arrival of a mysterious and dangerous opponent in the form of an Elf of Deep Shadow, Eric must decide if he is truly willing to risk everything in the hope of finding himself amid the darkness that has been creeping into his heart and mind.
Spoilers and discussion to follow:
In the overall story arc for the Legacy of Shadow series, Eric is one of the two principal heroes. Though there are many vivid and varies characters that come into and out of the story, at its heart the series revolves around Eric and Laylani.
The biggest challenge when creating this character was making him believable, creating a person who would have all the reason in the world to leap before he looked. Something about Eric’s choice to risk absolutely everything had to be rooted in clearly understandable, rational, and sympathetic reasoning. Too often for me I find characters and heroes take action that is either irresponsible or irrational. Eric’s choice to leave with Laylani is both irresponsible and irrational…in a cost/benefit way of thinking.
Put yourself in a situation where someone asks you to leave your job, give up all your worldly possessions, and follow them with the promise that you will find the answers in life that you so desperately crave. Your mind immediately rejects the notion because it reeks of scam. So it occured to me that when people make moves in life that are so big their future becomes unclear that these things are a matter of faith. Really it could be viewed as a crisis of faith. You have to see the person’s inner feelings, their understanding of self, and by extent the rational choice of throwing away all that they have and all that they are becomes finally clear.
Understanding these things allows you to see that the character’s true self-image is one of worthlessness and hopelessness. The promise of something…anything, especially the answer is finally worth throwing away all the supposed value their life has built up around them. Seeing Eric in the midst of the people and places who define him but also seeing how these things hold no value to him personally is what makes his choice to flee a rational one, so long as you can see things from his perspective.
Despite being in the role of the series’ primary hero, Eric will never truly take up that banner as a character. Eric may be put into the path of danger, he may confront beings and creatures that are beyond his capacity, he may fight to protect the innocent, however all of these things are done because they are necessary and right according to where life takes him. It is not because he has set out to do them. In regards to writing and developing this person, this character’s true heroic behavior is in fighting against the malaise and blindness to how we spend our time while living that ultimately makes him heroic.