Fizzle is probably the most popular character of Legends of Windemere. He isn’t a champion, but he might as well be in the eyes of some readers. It reached a point where I was getting requests for a Fizzle book. This is when I tried some ‘Fizzle only’ scenes and I realized that I couldn’t go for very long with him as the central character. As popular as he is, the little dragon worked best as a supporting mascot and occasional timely rescue delivery service. Now, who or what is Fizzle in more detail for those who haven’t read the series?
In the first book, Luke Callindor meets this small dragon (called a drite) with red dragonfly wings, a really long tail, hallucinogenic/sleeping gas breath, powerful magic, and the speech pattern of a small child. That last trait is because he learned trade-speak from a child, so this improved a bit over the course of the adventure. Fizzle is the guardian of Visindor Forest who decides to travel with his new friend because he wants to be of help. He has never left his home before, so he is very curious, especially when it comes to his favorite food. This would be apples and some comedy happens surrounding the fruit. He acted as a secondary caster and a stealth operative when he could. As cool as that sounds, his main role was to be used when I needed a non-champion agent to settle something. This is because he was the main Non-Player Character of the DM in the original game, so he was really stuck in that roll.
That isn’t to say Fizzle is hardly used in the series because I slipped him into scenes as much as I could. This became much more essential when I saw how popular he was. I couldn’t give him his own book, but I did rewrite all of the outlines from Volume 5-15 to have more Fizzle. In the game, he went into hibernation for what would be the 4th volume adventure, so I kept that to give myself time to rethink him. Drites sleep for several weeks to come back stronger and the heroes were heading back to Visindor Forest anyway. I had it that Fizzle was gifted with extra ‘strength’, which only appeared in two forms. One was more obvious than the other:
- Obvious one is that he had some resistance to Stephen Kernaghan’s magic. This wouldn’t last for the whole story, but it was enough to protect the champions when they were weaker. Fizzle also kind of gained this ‘stealth’ ability where the villains would ignore him and he’d get a sucker punch. Again, this would lose it’s usefulness once they realized that they had to pay attention to the little guy. Still, he’d get some good shots in at times and his magic certainly increased.
- The less obvious upgrade given to him by Gabriel the Destiny God is that he was able to continue along a fate path that he wasn’t meant to be on. Nearly everyone else who follows the champions meets bad luck because it isn’t their destiny to do more than support for a bit. Fizzle goes with them to the very end. He is able to be a strong factor in events instead of a spectator or innocent bystander. A few readers were calling him a secret champion, which isn’t too far off. (Though, another character might have a stronger claim to that title.)
Perhaps one of the best uses of Fizzle is that I used him to ask questions about the world I was building. I began this tactic with Luke Callindor, but it switched to Fizzle since he was out of his forest for the first time. Since I write in present tense, I can’t do flashbacks and info dumps of history are clunky. Having characters ask questions is one of the best ways to do it, so I used Fizzle for this when I really wanted to share something. That didn’t mean he understood either, but the information came about. I did try to do some social commentary when he ran into a homeless child in the sewers, but I don’t think that worked as well as I planned. It would make sense for a creature living in the wild to be confused about how the ‘civilized’ beings let a child suffer, especially when he’s seen beasts adopt abandoned children. Sadly, I really couldn’t get beyond a conversation between him and Luke Callindor about it because it didn’t fit the tone of the book. (I think I’ve gotten better at putting serious stuff into my books though.)
A side-note that isn’t much about his origins: I really wish I knew of a way to make Fizzle plushies. I’m sure those would sell or work great as swag. Haven’t had any luck finding a way to do it.