Writing is a strange thing. Especially when you try to explain stuff that happens. I've had Alec in one form or another since 1992. In 1994 the Age of Apocalypse
came out. A lot of the heroes had these nifty tattoos on their faces. I was all NEAT I want!
So, Alec got one.
At that point in time, in Alec's infancy, he was still a reality hopping author avatar for my poorly written fan fiction which is collected in notebooks and shall never ever see the light of day until after I'm dead, and I didn't need any other reason for having that tattoo except that he was in the AoA and that's what all the cool kids had.
Time passes and I add a nifty sword because swords are cool. I give the sword a dragon etched in gold on it, because that too is cool.
Then I started to write out canon. This came around the time when I realized I wanted to get published but also realized that you can't get published using other people's works as the background for where your character is hanging out. (DARN IT ALL!) Alec was still with the Tattoo and the Sword, but I came upon the problem of well that's a pretty darn obvious tattoo and no one else has one, how did he get it? Also, that's a nifty magical sword (because they're always magical) and how does that fit into the world?
After several trials and errors and more trials and errors in about 2001 I decided that he got the sword from the fey (cause the Gargoyle fey were awesome and not at all pansy like) and that it was a lineage item. So, he must have gotten it from the previous user. The short story I wrote to show him getting the sword (which later became the basis for Call of the Champion
, and that scene not even managing to get into the book) involved three trials and meeting a woman, Marlina. She was an old blind woman who has been waiting for a thousand years for someone to claim the sword so she could die. She gives him the tattoo using magic paint and the sword. I was Huzzah! I have an answer to the question! And I went merrily on my way.
However, I now had two Champions of the Fey: Marlina and Alec. But Marlina was dead so I didn't have to worry about it. I write out Love Lust and the Apocalypse
have Alec as the Fey Champion, which was a known entity in that time period and they were surprised that Alec was that Champion. Lah, lah, lah.
Then I decided that I'm going to expand the short story that I wrote into a full novel to explain how Alec became the Champion. It would give his back story and would be all sorts exciting. So! I typed merrily along and realized that the Fey, being the devious creatures that they were, wouldn't put all their eggs in one basket. Or in one Champion. Besides, there were five kinds of wizards, so why not five kinds of champions?
Suddenly my list of Champions blossomed from two Marlina and Alec, to six! Marlina, Alec, Darian (water), Hellena (earth), Zela (fire) and Brenith (air). That was fine. I continued typing along.
Now comes this year. I'm working along on the third novel (Into the Rifts
) and I thought to myself, well what happened to the other Champions in Alec's time? The element wizard champion is Alec, the water wizard champion is currently non-existent because the lance is stuck on another world, but that leaves three others. And so now I have Elana (fire), Tera-Lyn (air) and Oliven (earth) who've shown up.
All of these characters have shown up because I decided I needed to explain my OOOH SHINY moment. It's made my world a lot richer - I suppose - and complicated, because now Alec has to deal with these three new people as well as learning the responsibilities of being a Champion. PLUS traditionally he is the leader as the sword bearer, but is the youngest of the group and not even an adult yet and Eliana has taken over as leader. She's bossy like that. Also, it's turning out to be the driving plot line in two of the four novels I've planned using Alec. It may just end up being the driving plot line in all four now.
I don't think anyone would realize that the whole concept of the Champions would have come from the Oooh SHINY! Moment in my reading of the Age of the Apocalypse comic books. I've fully taken the idea of the tattoo and made it my own, leaving no connections between the two beyond in my own head. Instead, I've ended up with (as of now) eight new characters and an important plot line.