Forging a character: General Vigellus

I am back with another blog post about the development of a character. This time, I’ll cover one with probably the most-developed backstory: General Vigellus Ironhand.

Name origin

The first name is one of the simplest I’ve made, coming from the word ‘vigilant’. His second name was chosen during the drafting of the second book when I wanted something that’d hint his origins as the son of a blacksmith.

First appearance

Vigellus first appeared when I was writing the expanded demo (originally intended to be a single chapter, grew into 8 of which the General appeared in the second one). The base of his backstory was made at that point: a friend of Tyr’eshal’s missing father who became a trusted friend and sometimes even a mentor.

This was, for a long time, all the background I had about him. The idea of Vigellus being a blacksmith’s son dates to those days but it took much longer to be actually used.

Expanding backstory

It took a lot of time for me to return to this character and work on his role in the past. For someone who became a General, there had to be a path leading to the peak – and it was not a direct one.

I can’t say precisely when I started having the ideas that would eventually forge most of Vigellus’ backstory. What I know is that they came organically and started coming together easily. The most important part – the reasons that strengthened his connection to Kraasian Darkwood and explained his rivalry with Marshall Jaimos – is something I can date easily. I made that backstory up 18.9.2017 during a gloomy, rainy hike to a peak on the border of Poland, Slovakia, and Ukraine.

The day much of Vigellus’ backstory was made

Ideas from that rainy day eventually made its way into the reworked prologue of book one that gives some hints of those events – and which you can have a look at here.

After that, I created some more bits and pieces that tied him more and more to the growing backstory of other characters. The last piece I am toying with for the third book makes some loose ties even to the Redshard nobility.

That’s all I’ll share this time. Feel free to leave a comment. See you next time!

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