While Kira Grasdon might have gone through a transformation like the hated guy above, I found that others had to change. To connect this story to Legends of Windemere, I needed to have a few cameos. Nothing too big considering the story line, but enough that people who read the originals will get a kick out of them. In this post, I’m only going to mention one person who turns up because it isn’t a spoiler for the original series.
This was one of the hardest parts of Quest of the Broken-Hearted because I needed to age the characters 2 years. Not so much physically, but their stations in life and personalities have changed. Remember that they survived the Baron and that goes for champions and supporting cast. Many have physical and emotional scars, which haven’t all healed. These characters turn up with a new look on life, especially since they aren’t adventuring any more. Those days are behind them and enough time has passed for them to settle into a new routine. Unfortunately, not all of the changes are for the better because this is still rather close to the final battle.
Now, I’m going to point out one reason why there was something to work off of here. I put a final section on Warlord of the Forgotten Age, which has the survivors returning to Gaia 8 years later. This helped me realize a place further down the timeline that they were going to end up, but I couldn’t have them all there yet. So, their appearances here are almost like a transition stage. The trauma caused by the Baron has faded, but it’s still there along with the stress of adapating to their new lives. This is another reason why Kira had her falling out with so many. It’s clear that they are moving on while she is screaming for them to focus on the ghosts of the past. One could say it’s opposing ways to handle grief, which is another aspect I had to consider for the cameos.
Now, the character I will mention turning up is Kellia Solomon. Not a big spoiler since she wasn’t involved in the final battle at all. Her father has passed and she is the new Duchess of Serab. Physically, she is more refined instead of her more tomboyish beginnings. She is the one who stumbles into Kira and tells her about Lacarsis, but I had to retain some distance to make it clear that they aren’t close any more. This was probably the easiest change to make since it felt minor. Kellia is concerned about an old friend, which shows more maturity and responsibility. That was the gist of her big appearance aside from being a plot tool. I think the ease of this one is what threw me off when I got to the more complicated ones.
Thankfully, the headache was limited since no champion would ever be found within Lacarsis. That was the big benefit to the story, but it also meant I couldn’t have any build up to the cameos. Established characters had to step right into the scene and reveal what they’ve become by simply acting that way. For one in particular, it was incredibly shocking because you can tell that they’ve been having trouble over the last two years. Probably just as much as Kira if not more. I tried to soften this up when I was doing my edits, but I’m not sure how successful I was. I get the feeling that it’s because my mind was still working off the older version. 2 year jump isn’t much, but future jumps will be far enough that I can see the survivors being more settled. I have a few real world years before I have to tackle that again since it’s not until I do Darwin Slepsnor’s series that any of them reappear. Small favors, I guess.
So, what do you think about bringing back characters as older and different? Do you know of any tricks to make it easier?