As I’ve been reworking and rewriting the Black Mask & Pale Rider series, I came to realize that each of the four characters has an archetype. I also came up with a story to sandwich in between two of the existing pieces which brings out a fifth elf into the mix. At that point, I had to define and be clear about their actions and motivations. Based on their professions (or classes) and based on their own view of the world.
Here are the five archetypes.
Shani Wennemein – The Shadow Walker
The shadow walker is one who can disappear at will. Hiding in plain sight is one of their greatest defenses. Shani learned this as she wished to take up the protector position of her mother’s people, the Mohawk elves. Shadow walkers are also adept at picking locks, finding and disabling traps, back stabbing, dodging incoming attacks, and daring feats of acrobatics, using the shadows to their advantage. Even in the light of day, there is a shadow. Shani even has the ability to take someone with her, in a defensive measure to protect the individual. Shadow Walkers prefer light weapons, short bows, daggers, short swords, and small axes (and in Shani’s case, pistols).
Pania Alow – The Herald
Heralds are the story tellers. They introduce figures of importance in royal courts, regale listeners of the history of such figures and can even perform magical enchantments. That’s more for the showmanship of a Herald. Heralds are also skilled sword fighters, choosing a lighter weapon like a foil, rapier, or cutlass. Their magic is not limited to mere enchantments, as each becomes attuned to a different magical discipline. In Pania’s case, the evocation of destructive fire, able to cast fireballs, use flaming fists, fire sword, flame kissed sword, and fire whips. Their abilities are rather deceptive, for as the story teller, they appear very charming and playful. But behind all of that is a destructive force that can be used to protect allies, and destroy enemies.
Wren Wennemein – The Consoler
The Consoler is a storied profession that has a great number of well known figures. The most recent is Wren. Guardians against evil, they protect the innocent either directly with their weapon, or with their healing magic. Trained equally as healers and warriors, the Consoler specializes their focus to strike out at the undead. To ensure that a recent death does not rise up to walk the earth, Consolers will lead in the burial rituals and comfort the families. They will write these down and take the transcripts deep into the desert of Semerkhet where they are placed in the Abbasid Library (named for her sister on Earth). Consolers can call upon a wide range of spells to fight against the undead and against evil. For Wren, she has mastered the Sword of Light; a powerful enchantment that causes her blade to glow like the sun, blinding her enemies; Ethereal Shield, which is used to protect those who cannot fight against the coming tide; Divine Breath of Fire, a spell granted to each Consoler by the gods themselves, as the Consoler can unleash a fiery breath, vanquishing evil in their path; and Divine Right, for Wren is used when she plunges her longsword into the ground, a cascade of brilliant light will explode from her being which will eat away and destroy the weakest of undead.
Abisayo Temililou – The Paladin
Each culture has their holy warriors, and the Yoruba elves are no different. Paladins are often charged to create their own weapons, making certain that the weapon they chose fits to their form. As the weapon is crafted, the paladin will recite a poem from memory in a way to imbue their own spirit within the blade. That way, should the weapon be used in an immoral manner, the paladin will feel the pain equally when used against any target. Paladins may have differences in spells, all of which are divine based on their own religion and culture. But many are similar, and many have the same abilities as Consolers (though, not as powerful). One standard holds true with all Paladins; defend first, never attack. To draw your weapon in anger, is to anger the gods themselves and do dishonour to yourself.
Helena of Mystos – The Beserker Soldier
Beserker Soldiers are only found in the city state of Mystos, in an island chain between two of the elven world’s eastern continents. Mystos was a sister to the city states of Athens, Troy, Sparta, Rome and others through the height of the Roman Empire. For Helena, she became a Beserker Soldier while in the ranks of the army that defends the city state. Lead by the General Queen, Trianna N’Tir, this army is entirely made up of women. They are the Furies, and any who would dare to invade their territory would not live long, even if they retreated in fear. Beserker Soldiers are part of the front line columns of the Furies, backed by skilled archers, and can often run as fast as mounted cavalry. They are experts in strategy, and they crave battle. But they do not use their rage without tempering it with wisdom. Each Beserker seems to have a switch, where they increase their speed, strength and stamina. This only lasts for fifteen minutes, but any who get in their way dies quickly and painfully. In order to not kill their allies, they are given sight which allows them to identify friend from foe. This has the unfortunate effect of making their eyes glow red. When their rage ends, they are often left in a weakened state, but many do continue to fight.
Those are the five archetype classes of the Black Mask & Pale Rider series (it’ll be interesting to weave them into a wild west story). Later, I’ll post the motivations of each of the five main characters (there’s five now, thanks to Helena).