Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Inspiration: Arindel

A young paladin with a mysterious origin, Arindel is every inch the archetypical knight in shining armor.  But her road from inspiration to the warrior painted in pen and ink was a long one.


Arindel is the sort of character that happens when you have lots of character ideas but no games to play in... or time, for that matter. She started as an idea I got paging through Dungeons and Dragons supplement Exalted Deeds, and her very first moments in print were on a Pathfinder character sheet.

But finding a regular game is difficult for a busy adult, and so she (initially a he) languished at the back of my mind frustrated and needing her time to shine.  At last, out of pure exasperation, I took matters into my own hands and began to write a story for her and Brandr (who came to life much the same way).  Suddenly she, she became a young woman, fresh out of the cathedral, and while her skill at arms was beyond  dispute, she had little experience with ambushers and bandits.  Her <redacted> heritage gave her an otherworldly appearance, but she made it clear (first to me, then for readers) she had no interest in any sort of relationship hijinks, a statement at least a few of my fans have realized is her self-describing as asexual.  Her mighty sword, Winter's Daughter, appeared at the same time, and inch by inch, line of dialogue by line of dialogue, she took shape.

More inspiration came from the world around me.  I wanted her to look as fiercely strong as Brooke Ence, as inspiring as Wonder Woman; I wanted her as earnest in her desire to help as Thor, but with every ounce of the self-possession shown by Peggy Carter.

I also drew inspiration for her in the heroines of my youth: Eowyn, from the Lord of the Rings, as well as Robin McKinley's Aerin and Harimad, from The Hero and the Crown and The Blue Sword, respectively.

Wyrd of the Wolfkin was initially meant to be  her story, but Brandr took it over and made it all about him.

Here in Knight of Grey, I think, is her chance to start telling her story, letting it spread its wings and soar.

I hope you like it.

For bonus points and funsies, the true first-print version of Arindel, faded a bit with time.

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