Path of the Traitors: An Upcoming Adventure for Redemption

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Time to start looking at the next Legends of Windemere entry, which will bring us one step closer to December’s finale.  It will be an epic journey through harsh lands where the heroes will fight to redeem themselves for past sins.  Wait . . . That’s kind of odd to do right before the final battle with Baron Kernaghan.  I mean, the champions have messed up a few times, but rarely to the point where they have to seek redemption.  Maybe a lot of apologizing or a long talk to hash things out.  So, what exactly is going to happen in volume 14?

Well, the champions are only in Chapter 1, which is something I’ll talk about more on Wednesday’s post.  This is the story of those who sided with the enemy, but are on the hunt for a clean slate.  I won’t mention most of the crew here since it’s fun to figure it out or wait for me to slip up in September by posting about it.  Then again, people would know who’s involved if they read Ritual of the Lost Lamb.  Still, I’m only going to mention the main ‘hero’ here.  Not even sure I should put that into quotes since Queen Trinity has been a hero to her own people.  Another post for another time when I delve more into her history and actions.

Anyway, the key point of Path of the Traitors is when characters who were evil or at least on the side of evil for one reason or another try to atone.  Queen Trinity has done a lot of bad and a lot of good throughout the series, but this is her chance to take a big step into being a real hero.  Same goes for a few of her companions, each one with their own reason for going through with this adventure.  The major plot deals with these former villains seeking a collection of ancient crests that a recently discovered part of the prophecy says are needed for the champions to win.  Trinity and her team now hold the lives of their old enemies in their hands.  Fail or walk away and the champions will probably perish against the Baron.  Succeed and they officially make a move against their former master.  You would think it’d be easy, but old habits can die hard and redemption isn’t easy to achieve.

One of the biggest reasons redemption is hard is because you need other characters to make it an option.  If Trinity goes off and risks her life to save the day then she should technically be thanked as a hero.  Yet, it could also be that the champions and others don’t give her credit for any of her actions.  They could remain cautious and hateful, which can push her back to the side of evil.  I think redemption arcs are very common, but this one aspect isn’t always touched on.  Most times, the former villains are forgiven without a second thought.  At least with Trinity, she has done a few noble things in the champions’ favor, but the rest of the world doesn’t trust her kind.  Still, the main reason she is on this quest is because the door was opened for redemption.  Specifically by Nyx and Timoran in Tribe of the Snow Tiger.  Light has been shown at the end of the tunnel for Trinity and now it’s up to her to claim it.  Personally, this is how I think more redemption arcs should typically go because many former villains won’t want to get involved unless they can see forgiveness in their future.

Honestly, the redemption story arc always seems to be one of the simplest ones to write because it’s straightforward.  A character did something wrong either during a series or before the book.  Now, they want to make up for what they did and either repair their reputation or sense of morality.  Not sure if that’s the current word.  Basically, they no longer want to be seen as or feel like a villain.  A chance is either created, handed to them, or the make themselves.  Finally, they either succeed or fail at redemption.  There’s rarely an in-between because you either atoned for your sins or still wear them and have to try again.  Unfortunately, the ease and ancient appeal of this storyline makes it a tough one to sell because everyone has seen it before.  Yet, it’s a part of life that can’t be ignored simply for the sake of originality.  People screw up and have to find a way to make amends.  It could be a verbal apology, an edible arrangement, or going to the ends of the Earth to prove you’re sorry, but most people have had to seek even the mildest form of redemption during their lifetime.  We probably don’t realize this because we tend to associate big mistakes to the word instead of something like stepping on the back of someone’s heel by accident.

So, what does everyone think about redemption storylines?  What about how redemption pertains to real life?  Does everyone deserve a second chance as long as they genuinely desire redemption?

 

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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23 Responses to Path of the Traitors: An Upcoming Adventure for Redemption

  1. L. Marie says:

    Great post. And Queen Trinity is the perfect character for this. You’ve shown her loyalty to her people, which shows there is some good in her and will make her quest believable. I love a redemption arc, which is why I totally love Prince Zuko’s part of Avatar. I’m working on the arc of a character now who is on a quest for redemption.

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  2. I believe people deserve a second chance, for the most part. I don’t believe in third chances though.

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  3. Olivia Stocum says:

    Absolutely. I love redemption stories, makes me believe there’s hope for me too!

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  4. I typically dislike redemption stories, only because like to mention, the villain turned hero is forgiven without question. I hate when one chapter the villain is trying to destroy a city and the next suddenly strives to save it, even giving his life for the chance of redemption.
    It sounds like you’re doing it the right way, where redemption isn’t guaranteed right away.

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    • The character is also one of the secondary villains too. This is a tough one to do with the truly evil villains, but setting up a good side from the beginning makes it easier. Trinity has also been working towards this shift for a most of the series too. So, it isn’t much of a surprise that she’s trying to improve.

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      • I’ve noticed that Trinity has done some good things even in the first few books I’ve read. She always seemed like she didn’t want to be evil.

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      • I think the beginning of Tri-Rune revealed part of that. Everything she does is to protect her people, so she’s evil out of survival. A character like that has some odd loyalties too. It’s really to the chaos elves more than the Baron, which opens the door for a potential change.

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      • Right, it was the beginning of the fourth book (sorry I can never remember the order that the titles go in) that showed her working the fields beside her people, it was then that I really started to see that she wasn’t totally evil.

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      • Yeah. That was a last minute addition to show why she wasn’t in action. The sharing punishment idea came about from there too. Have to admit that it got really tough keeping her with the villains after that.

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  5. Lots of villains in different story settings might have a moment of truth and realize they’ve been living a life of evil. When they decide they don’t want to go on like this, many of them say “I’m out” and walk away. They say “I’m not that person any more” but take no steps beyond avoiding everything from their old life.

    What makes it redemption is when they don’t just shun the past but confront and accept it. Those stories can be rewarding, but you have to really plumb the depths of what they did and not just be immediately forgiving.

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    • I hope I hit that, but Trinity is an odd case here. She’s been showing signs of compassion and turning for awhile. It’s also that she knows she was doing evil because it was the only way to protect her people. So, I’m factoring in how outsiders will react to the revelation that the chaos elves are victims as well due to their enslavement. It’s really a tough one to pull off here, especially since people aren’t nearly as forgiving as they should be.

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  6. I love your approach. It seems much more complex (and realistic) than most that deal with redemption as a straightforward issue.

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