Arudak Done Differently

I’ve written before about how my original plans for The Legacy of Dominic Deegan changed after the effects of the pandemic, but there were some other original plans that didn’t go the way I thought they would, namely my return to working on solo comics the way I used to.

One of the things I used to do all the time during the Oracle for Hire years was put friends’ characters into the comic as a way to say “hello” to them! I was usually pulling from tabletop roleplaying games and not friends’ original prose, but I usually asked permission before I did so. Jayden, Milov, Siegfried, and Thuen Gor were all versions of several friends’ TTRPG characters! So when I returned to this comic I had the idea to do so again. The character I sought to introduce was one that never actually appeared. Kazya.

The story of Arudak and Kazya was played out years ago with a friend of mine, over several months on World of Warcraft. It was one of those roleplaying scenarios where both people involved were creatively clicking, the storyline was cooking, and every dramatic decision led to better developments. There was romance, heartbreak, action, and a lot of drama. I knew I had something here, and after getting permission from my friend I made plans to tell a version of this story in my world (and with my orcs). But it never really worked out.

With the other characters who were introduced into the Oracle for Hire years, I was in regular contact with the friends who inspired me. I could see their real-time reactions to what I was doing with my versions of their characters, and that not only helped me write them but it brought us closer! In this case, it didn’t really work out because my friend and I simply drifted apart. There wasn’t a falling-out or anything malicious. Our lives simply began to drift in different directions, until our correspondence became less and less frequent, and finally all but vanished. The idea of Kazya had already been introduced into The Legacy, and while I could have gone forward with bringing my version of her into the comic, it just didn’t feel the same.

I learned that my old method of saying “hello” to my friends wasn’t going to work like it used to.

I’m still happy with the arc of Arudak’s character, though. I was originally going to reunite them and deal with the fallout of that, but having Arudak move forward was the better choice. His time in The Legacy became more about how he changed thanks to Snout, and the change in how I wrote him felt more appropriate along those lines.