The titular Warlord of the Forgotten Age is none other than Baron Arthuru Kernaghan who hasn’t made too many appearances on this blog. Not as many as you would think in the series too. Being sealed and trapped, he can’t get involved in the action unless there’s a special situation. The Baron appears in prologues to show how he’s responding to previous actions and pushing some influence on what is about to happen. He can appear through communications with his agents or a scene might show what he is doing during the adventure. The truth is that he’s had to be a powerful, menacing villain who doesn’t get into the action until the final battle. Needles to say, it wasn’t easy putting him together and I am happy that people have acknowledged his presence.
The origins of the Baron is rather slim since he never made an appearance in the D&D game that Legends of Windemere is based on. We heard of him and ran into his son, Stephen Kernaghan, as well as the Lich. Yet, the Baron was a mystery because he was locked away. Don’t even think we uncovered the reason why, which meant I was working with a clean slate. He didn’t even have the same name. Originally, he was Baron Loquacious VonGalderon, but that didn’t work well when I was testing it with beta readers long ago. That and the first name means ‘talkative’, which didn’t fit him. He was also a vampire, which had been overdone by the time I got to him. The other problem was that I didn’t want him to designate how I would do vampires since I was considering moving the Dawn Fangs into Windemere.
So, I had to build the Baron up to make him menacing while absent. He had to compete with the Lich, Trinity, Stephen, and other villains who were all a motley crew of evil. He needed to be at the top, which wasn’t easy. I played around with his name first and then decided he would have magic, swordfighting, and immortality. Why would he have that last one? Because he was a mortal warlord who rose to become the God of Destiny, but was swiftly overthrown by Gabriel. He still had the power to rival a god and now was protected by the Law of Influence, so they sealed him in Vir’s Castle, which is found in the Chaos Void. Out of pettiness, Gabriel even erased the Baron from history and mortal memory, so his existence has been festering in the subconscious of nearly every living creature. A reason for this is because he committed some of the most evil acts in Windemere history when he was a warlord. The only way to eliminate him entirely is to use mortal agents who will adventure to develop enough powers to have a chance at winning, which is where the champions come in.
That’s the overall origin of the Baron that I developed as I was nearing the introduction of his legend in Allure of the Gypsies. As the series progressed, I designed more and more of him. One of the biggest pieces for the Baron’s origin was the fact that Dariana was his daughter. At first, I was going to have it that he had his way with Zaria when he was a god, but then I had Stephen being the monstrous rapist that got what he deserved in the end. The Baron was coming out more rational than his son, which meant it didn’t make any sense that it would have happened that way. His relationship with Zaria evolved to a new wrinkle in his legend. This is a slight spoiler, so I’ll put a break:
Back when Zaria and Arthuru were mortals, they were friends who went on a quest to save the gods. During this adventure, they fell in love and married right before she became the Goddess of Purity. Arthuru didn’t get the offer to ascend and then she made the Law of Influence to protect the gods. This meant that gods and goddesses could not interfere with mortals outside of visions, bestowing powers to holy followers, and Gabriel forging destinies. The punishment was sealing for whatever was deemed the proper amount of time. This meant Zaria and Arthuru couldn’t be together, so he grew bitter and angry about the law. He wanted it gone, but she couldn’t do it. The result was him becoming a terrifying warlord who was gathering power to attack the gods and become one of them by force. Doing that meant he could destroy the law, but Zaria stopped him by promising to be with him instead. Arthuru nearly gave up on his evil intentions until Gabriel arrived to overthrow him and the whole thing fell apart. His rage has grown even more and Zaria hates him for what he has become, which makes their interactions rather awkward.
I’m looking forward to finally having the Baron flex his muscles and magic. He’s been pulling strings for so long that he really deserves to get in on the action. Catch that in Warlord of the Forgotten Age.