Monday, August 23, 2010

Lost "Legends": Part 2

Well, that only took a month, right? I guess I'm not too good at this whole 'blogging' thing. Anyway, before moving on to other things, I figured I would finish what I started and talk about the other Mouse Guard story concept that I put together as a possibility for our Legends of the Guard contribution.

As I mentioned in my earlier posts, the very first Mouse Guard story I'd conceived was actually meant to be a comedy. The general thinking being that if the main characters of the canon series represent the best the Mouse Guard has to offer, then what is the opposite side of that spectrum? The end result involved two mice, named Eskel and Conrad (not the same one from the canon series and who would later be renamed to Osric). These two characters were meant to be the absolute worst Guards in the history of the institution. Not because they were malicious, but because they were clumsy and not wholly bright. Osric was meant to be the one who liked to pretend he was smarter than he actually was, and Eskel was the one who acted entirely on impulse except, unlike Saxon in the canon series, doesn't have the skills necessary to back up his wild tendencies and would get into trouble more often than not.

Already I'd run into a problem - the characters, their personalities, their predicament - it would all require way too much backstory. The idea was for these characters to be introduced, then put them in a situation where they could save the day. That was well outside the bounds of a 10 page story, unfortunately, and I had to shelve the idea early on. A few concepts worked their way into "Potential", however.

First of all, Osric and Eskel eventually became the characters in "Potential". I liked the names (Osric being a popular name for ancient Anglo-Saxon kings, and Eskel being of Old Norse origin) and eventually they morphed into the characters seen in the current story. The backstories and personalities all changed as well, but Eskel's weapon of choice did not - in the original concept, Eskel's saving grace would be his vast knowledge of plant and herb mixtures that allowed him to attract and repel a wide variety of nasty beasties throughout the Mouse Territories. In "Potential", Eskel has managed to get his hands on some kind of bear-attractant. In my next post (and last post about Legends of the Guard writing) I'll write a bit about "Potential", explaining a bit about the backstory that isn't mentioned in the actual narrative found in "Legends of the Guard".

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