For the rest of the year, I’m going to be revisiting characters from Legends of Windemere to help newcomers know more about that series. The first book is free, so feel free to give it a shot. Of course, I had to start these posts off with the first champion that the audience meets. That would be Luke Callindor, a forest tracker who has set out to prove he deserves his famous surname.
Many people think Legends of Windemere is about Luke Callindor since he is the first to appear. The truth is that this is ensemble series, so each of the 6 champions is equally important. While we spend more time with Luke, he cannot carry the story alone. A reader might connect with him in a way that overshadows the others, but I aim for that to be more because of his personality and actions. He is a risk-taking, immature warrior that leaps before he looks, but instills courage in his allies. When it comes to his personal life, he is rather dim-witted and screws up a lot. This opens the door for a lot of growth as he faces one challenge after another.
One of the hardest things with Luke Callindor is that growth. Emotionally, I needed him to mature, but not to the point where he was restrained in combat. He had to remain a wildcard that kept everyone on their toes even if he was smarter about it. I couldn’t make him too powerful because of his fighting style. Making him super strong was silly since he depended on speed, reflexes, and being unpredictable. I couldn’t make him too fast either, so I actually gave him a strange variety of abilities. They didn’t always have combat applications such as his ability to understand any language after listening to it for a few seconds. Having swords given to him as a coming of age present, I couldn’t upgrade his gear either. This meant that Luke had to evolve through skill and experience, which was a painful process. He took a lot of beatings and fell more times than the other champions who beat him in power levels. Yet, he surpasses all of them in one category.
Each champion is associated by a ‘virtue’ of mankind, which gives them power and allows them to enhance that virtue in others. These are called cores in the books. For Luke Callindor, he is fueled by courage. As long as he is brave, he can continue going and he can get those around him to feel like they can overcome any obstacle. This was different in the Dungeons & Dragons game where I played him for about 1.5 years. That was elemental and he was air, so going with virtues was more difficult. I had to make sure he stuck to that one or analyze what I did before to come up with something believable. Luke was probably the easiest one to do since he was closest to my heart. It helped that every fight scene, I’d reach his part of the action and he would be doing some death-defying stunt. Everyone else had sensible tactics while Luke would leap into the crowd, spin with his sabers, bounce off enemies’ heads, trip people in the crowd, and eventually do something crazy. Needless to say, he pushed my action writing abilities to new heights . . . A few times it was literal.
You might have noticed that I call him a ‘Battered Hero’. That’s because I pummel Luke Callindor a lot. In his first adventure, he is repeatedly knocked out, injured, and has to be saved more often than he comes to the rescue. Throughout the series, I did many horrible things to him. It’s another reason why I like going with the ensemble idea. Some characters have stories that are positive while others are destroyed along the way. Luke Callindor is definitely a tragic tale if you read it entirely. I know many didn’t like his ending, but I think it really came full circle if you remember his initial dream. He wants to be a legend and that’s what happened.
As you can see, I’m going to be a little vague because I would like people to read the series or give it a chance. Feel free to ask questions below and hope everyone enjoys looking back at my first series.