A rough edged man with a decent heart
Just who is this new cigar smoking, adrenaline enraged, swordsman we know as Fist La’brau?
In the past fifteen years I fiddled with a few ideas for novels set in the realm of Siernod with different protagonists. None of those novels were published but a certain fellow was developed in my mind meant to be a supporting character in those novels. That man was a fiery maned southerner quick to jump into a fight but nothing more than a supporting archtype. You could think of him in our world as a combination of a clannish Scottish Highlander and a bold natured Irishman combined with the attitude of a 19th century cowboy. However, he never landed a role in any early manuscripts I created.
In 2011, I was getting the desire to write once again but got the idea to focus on shorter works I could easily self publish in ebook format that would contrast to the mega-tomes we are seeing churned out these days. I missed the old pulp styled stories of the past and longed for a return to what I consider a better age of fantasy. I felt the time was right as we were entering a new segment of the digital age, where e-readers and tablets were bursting onto the scene, where my efforts could be tested in the short story and perhaps novella market.
My next task was to come up with a character that could carry the weight in brief bursts and I declined offers from my previous leading characters. I needed a man that was brash, cocky, and fearless but at the same time not overly boisterous. Then I suddenly realized that character already existed.
So, I had my venue and I had my man–just who was he? In an unfinished work I had recently been working on, Fist was arrested for crimes he did not commit in his own island kingdom of The Daggens while serving as a volunteer in the war against Rolmarr and their Scarlet Knights. He was being taken to the kingdom’s capital for trial and execution when his caravan was attacked by Scarlet Knights but somehow they left him alive but still imprisoned in a locked cart.
That is when a strange Tagabarrian looking man came upon the scene and freed him. This man had no memory and his identity was a mystery but together they became the greatest warriors in the realm in their stand against the forces of Shadow when darkness flooded the world. The nameless hero became known as the Vanguard, the destined champion and savior of the realm while Fist was the common man’s hero.
After Shadow was driven away, Fist was anxious to escape the crowds of admirers and the calling of kings seeking to employ his sword. There was no better place for a man such as Fist to go to than dusty Thuron, the remote desert city ruled by a group of ore merchants known as the Silver Princes.
Lost in the gloomy mines and smoke ridden taverns of the Redlands, Fist found commonality at last. Few bards in search of mighty lore dared brave the hard life of nearly lawless Thuron and Fist enjoyed the company of other fellows seeking to lose themselves.
Then I needed a story. I had remembered playing some role playing games with friends back in the 80’s and one game that stood out was a scenario where we were given a box to deliver having unknown contents, and that always intrigued me for to this day I don’t know what was in that box.
So, couple a mysterious delivery with my realm with a world’s rim and I had a story. The story was not your typical hero plot because it had to do more with events that happened to Fist rather than how he defeated some opposing force. It was more of a mystery and adventure than a heroic tale. Thus I wrote my second story, The Anvil of Discord, a story that I feel better introduced Fist to my readers (but not necessarily a better story). I made it volume 1 and The World’s Rim volume 2 in the series.
So we see a ferocious brawler and swordsman very rough on the exterior but not without the heart of a true human. He cares somewhat about the world around him though he tries to steer clear of its often weary path.
The rest is history that you have come to know in the adventures and tales since written about the always beleaguered character, the greatest swordsman in the realm, Fist La’brau.
– by J.Wade Harrell,