Forging a character: Archmage Ereanel

In the second episode of this series, I’m revealing the process of creating one of the main characters of my to-be fantasy story: Archmage Ereanel Owlbeak, the best friend of Kraasian Darkwood – the warrior I introduced in the first episode.

Name origin

The road to his name was a long one. While the title of Archmage was his from the beginning, until the fourth draft, he existed under a nickname ‘Archmage Arcanus’.

Eventually, his first name came from music: from the nordic gothic metal band Sirenia and their song ‘Earendel’. I just played with it a bit. His second name was a random idea for a backstory – an ancestor with, well, affected visage.

First version – a lone wizard

Ereanel first appeared – under the mentioned nickname – when I was writing the demo. Kraasian’s (at that point still unnamed) son needed a hand with a problem of magical nature and thus I came up with the idea of a skilled mage within the Order of Eternal Defenders. The idea of Ereanel being a good friend of Kraasian came shortly after – and remained since.

Developing backstory

There was a minimum of backstory to Ereanel for a long time, apart from the mentioned friendship between him and Kraasian. That changed when the first’s book first draft reached a moment in chapter 35 or so. The situation was similar: Darkwood Jr. needing his help. Seeing a chance for showing more personality of both, this scene brought in the first mention of Ralisha, Ereanel’s wife. Eventually, this helped me to develop him a bit more – the curious genius researching any idea he came across. At the end of the first book, he eventually shows some regret about how much he prioritized the pursuit of wisdom at the cost of his personal life – despite being a century older than Kraasian, he’s still without a child.

Personality and skills

As hinted above, Ereanel was always supposed to be a wizard of unrivaled understanding and mastery over magic. He’s the only mage able to create and use spells combining several elements. Despite that, he still has his limits. When it comes to his curiosity, it can be contagious – he’ll gladly share what he knows with those he believes will use that knowledge for a good cause. For that reason, he’s more than willing to help Kraasian’s son and the three younger magi that became his students and eventually friends.

While his skills are what makes the biggest impact on the story, there will be several moments where Ereanel shows much of his personality. For now, I can say there will be a moment where he has a talk with Darkwood Jr. about risk and reward – there’s no one who knows the dangers of curiosity more than Ereanel.

Appearance

While I considered going with the “wise, gray, bearded wizard with a pointy hat” stereotype in the very early days, I eventually went the opposite way. In most aspects, Ereanel is the most average person you could meet, until you look into his eyes. Affected by his unrivaled mastery of magic, their natural color is long gone in favor of something between a purple and magenta color.


Ereanel first appears along with Kraasian in the prologue of book one, which you can preview here as of the current draft. If you’re interested a bit more about Ereanel’s backstory, you can have a look at his profile page.

I’m working on the next teasers. Three more characters have this type of post in the works which I presume might be released in 3-week intervals. I am also choosing a part of the story I’d show as the second sample. Along with it, I’ll probably share the name of Kraasian’s son – that might be during the next week.  Until then, I am – as always – open to comments or questions related to the post.

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