Saturday, April 06, 2013

Let's talk Etzal'el!

That's Etzal'el in the back
One of my favorite new characters from Failstate: Legendswas Etzal'el. I had been looking forward to introducing him after dropping his name a few times in Failstate. It was a lot of fun including this character in a book finally. And I say "finally" because Etzal'el has been rattling around in the back of my head for a long time now.  As in, at least since about 2004.

And the reason? An old MMORPG called City of Heroes.

Back in 2004, Cryptic Studios released a game that allowed its players to create superheroes and then go into a massive city to fight crime. There were all sorts of different powers a person could have and myriad villains to defeat. It was a lot of fun.

I made at least half a dozen different heroes during the months that I played. A few were jokes (a gigantic purple man with a Vikings helmet called the Purple People Eater), one was intended for role playing (a hero called Tolkien who was based on a group of villains called the Trollkin), but three of them kind of stuck with me. First was a red-headed superhero girl named Jensina, who used fire attacks. Then there was Evangel (I think), a blond-haired bruiser who wore a white shirt with a bright red cross on it.

But my favorite of the bunch was Etzal'el, a creepy man who dressed in a black suit, wide-brimmed hat, and had glowing red eyes. He was a controller, designed to deal with large crowds of bad-guys. He wasn't the best in a straight up fight. Instead, he fought by creating illusions in people's minds. And he could also control the weather.

Yeah, don't ask.

So where did the name come from?  Well, when I was creating the character, I needed a name. I couldn't think of one, so I pulled out my copy of Character Naming Sourcebook and flipped to the Hebrew section.One name stood out: Betzalel, which means "In God's shadow." Well, I know enough Hebrew to know that the letter B in that name means "in." So I dropped it to make the character's name to roughly mean "God's shadow." I liked it.

Eventually, Etz became my primary character. I don't remember how far I managed to level him to, but I do remember earning him a cape at one point.

This past week, I went looking for my screenshots of Etz and the gang. Sadly, they've disappeared.

But here's the interesting thing. While I don't have the pics anymore, I remembered something about Etz, Evangel, and Jensina. Even though it wasn't necessary, I came up with a backstory for those three. Etz and Evangel were brothers. And they were both in love with Jensina.

Wait. A superhero with seemingly weak mental powers, his superstrong brother, who are both in love with the same girl? Where have I heard that before?

I guess maybe Failstate's been with me for a while too.

Don't forget to sign up for the Legends giveaway on Goodreads!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Failstate by John W. Otte


by John W. Otte

Giveaway ends April 10, 2013.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Etzal'el was so cool! I really enjoyed getting to see him in Legends. Oddly enough, given the other characters' reactions to him, I liked him from the start!