The Armory of Ichabod Brooks

Armory at Prague Castle

In The Life & Times of Ichabod Brooks, you get both a hint and a look at the armory he has at home.  This is found in his basement and readers will get a brief introduction in one story when he wanders down there.  All you really find out is that there’s a spot for dirty equipment and a vat designed to purify anything that was used to kill demons or other dark creatures.  Since I’m not introducing his wife and son yet, I can’t have him be at home very often.  This is where the hints come in and I realize now that this might be a little confusing because it’s subtle.

At least it appears to be subtle.  You see, Ichabod has different equipment in every adventure.  His longbows don’t always have the same enchantments and there are times when they’re normal, but his quiver has magic arrows.  Various rings, armors, bags, and articles of clothing have appeared.  Each one has its own set of tricks.  This variety is why Ichabod has a reputation for always being prepared.  Although, he’s also smart enough to think outside the box and use a magic item in a unique way.  So, it isn’t always that he’s prepared, but he’s cunning.

So, the first question might be: Why didn’t I give him one set of gear and keep it for every story?  Quite simply, I found the idea boring.  With 11 stories in one book, him having the same tricks would get stale.  It also weakens the idea that he prepares and thinks about every adventure before stepping in.  Ichabod wouldn’t take a job that involves fire creatures if his only weapon is a fireball bow.  So, it’s a situation that he would avoid at all costs.  Yes, he could stumble into the problem, but I can only do that specific headache once.  Otherwise, people will just be waiting for the inevitable fire-immune creatures to show up.  By having him set out with different gear every time, it strengthens the character’s foresight and brings an element of surprise since you don’t know what he’s capable of this time.

Second question: Why does he have so much gear?  Because he’s needed each one at some point in his long career.  Remember that Ichabod isn’t a starting adventurer and has been in the game for at least 25 years.  His wife is some kind of adventurer too, so she adds to the armory.  They buy each other artifacts for birthdays, anniversaries, and because all the time too.  Not to mention claiming stuff during an adventurer and being paid in enchanted gear.  Everything else was bought because Ichabod or his wife found themselves either in or heading into a situation that they weren’t prepared for.  After surviving, they want to make sure that the mistake won’t happen again.

The armory helps to show a lot about the Brooks’ mentality.  To some, they might come off as hoarders since they have so much.  Yes, there are odd artifacts that have very limited uses like the treat bag in Ichabod Brooks & the Orphan’s Shadow.  So, some of these items might even stem from home life too.  This does show a dependency on magic as well, which is important for the world-building.  Many fantasy worlds limit the magic and artifacts that you see.  Windemere is filled with magic, so it’s much more common than a reader might realize.  By having this armory, it shows that artifacts can be gathered in Ichabod’s world in a similar fashion to how we collect tools and guns.  Does he come off a little paranoid?  Maybe to some, but check out how many different hammers and screwdrivers you or your ‘Fix-It Friends’ have.  Pretty much the same thing here.

About Charles Yallowitz

Charles E. Yallowitz was born, raised, and educated in New York. Then he spent a few years in Florida, realized his fear of alligators, and moved back to the Empire State. When he isn't working hard on his epic fantasy stories, Charles can be found cooking or going on whatever adventure his son has planned for the day. 'Legends of Windemere' is his first series, but it certainly won't be his last.
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28 Responses to The Armory of Ichabod Brooks

  1. I’ve always had a special affection for men in armor. …..sigh. 🙂

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  2. Cool post. Shares a little behind the scenes without giving anything away. Well done.

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  3. When reading the stories I never had a thought about how much gear is enough. I thought Ichabod had exactly the right amount. Must be the creative genius behind the character.

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  4. L. Marie says:

    All of this makes sense. This is why Ichabod is such a fun character. He’s so capable. 😀

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  5. I think it’s important for a hero to have plenty of weapons, artifacts, magical gizmos and what nots. Having an armory is a lot better than either having him over loaded or carrying a magic bag that can hold everything.

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    • I will admit that I enjoy the bags of holding. In a world of high magic, I can see that kind of thing being a common adventuring tool. I mean, who wouldn’t want the ability to carry everything they own on their hip. No more baggage fees!

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      • In games I like the magical bag, but I’m not sure how it would work in a story, if it has too much in it, it might take too long to find what you need.
        Plus are they fire proof? I’d hate to see an adventurer lose everything to a blast of fire from a dragon.

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      • I’ve found it comes in handy for later adventures. People don’t seem to react, but I had it that Nyx used one of the gaps between books to create one for each friend. You find what you want because there’s a psychic element to the magic. It’s very slight, but it basically brings what is wanted to the wearer’s hand. The only trick is knowing what’s in there in the first place.

        In Windemere, most are fireproof, but there are limits. It really depends on the power of the enchantment. Also, I’m realizing that the only fire-breathing dragon species is good-natured. That and I think you have more to worry about than your bag of holding if a dragon is spitting flames at you. Just imagining a Paladin going, “I may be burning to death, but at least my spare underwear is safe! Anybody pack some aloe vera?”

        The biggest threat to these things is actually tearing. Ritual of the Lost Lamb touches on this at one point. With a tear, the artifact can explode immediately or do it as soon as you try to use it. If it’s the latter then you’ve lost all your stuff and are basically walking with a bomb strapped to your hip.

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      • Great points, I never thought about one of those magical bags bursting open… you could use that to your advantage if you were held up, those crooks wouldn’t be laughing long… even less if it exploded and covered them with sticky taffy!

        It sounds like you have the magic well designed, with limits and everything, plus a good system for finding what you need.
        I’ve got to find the time to catch up with your books, I have the second Windmere book bundle, just no time to read it.

        With the luck the paladin had in your first book with the zombies, it was probably his flame proof underwear in his magical bag.

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      • I always thought that was a DnD rule. The bag breaks and everyone nearby dies in a dimensional explosion. Not sure I would use it against thieves since then you lose all your belongings.

        The bags started simply as something to explain the characters having enough clothes without fighting with backpacks on. The things grew from there like the Feast Rings. A lot of magical stuff in Windemere grew out of social necessities like traveling, storage, food, and housing. Weaponry is actually less profitable than people realize. You see them more because the stories follow action adventures.

        I really am cruel to paladins. Still not sure when I’ll write one that isn’t a holy prick.

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  6. I was just watching this video of a modern day soldier wearing full battle gear, a fireman in full gear, and a knight in full metal plate armor running an obstacle course. The knight was surprisingly agile and came in second. You can watch the whole thing on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pAzI1UvlQqw

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