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Inspirational Reads

Meet the Characters: Red Paul

February 18, 2008

I'm trying a little something different here. We'll see how it goes. I've been a little sports blog heavy lately (but it is the season that I revel in most: college basketball), so this is an attempt--albeit sad--to get back to my roots. Er, something like that.

I'm going to write tonight a little bit about a character I developed a while ago for a story. He, in fact, is one of my favorite creations, but he has to be used in a different story because he just doesn't fit into either of the worlds I've created, whether it's in The Boar War or The Hundred Kings Saga. For a while, I'm going to write a little bit about a few of my characters, mostly for the sheer delight of writing. I'm a graphophile like that.

So, tonight, I'm going to write about Captain Paul Redpoll, more commonly known simply as Red Paul.

Red Paul is a pirate without a ship. He had, at one point, been a captain of some renown, but one day his crew mutinied and cast him adrift in the sea. The reason for the mutiny was unclear, but most rumors revolve around Red Paul being notoriously cheap and not paying his crew members what they were worth after a tour on the seas. Once his crew had cast him into the briny deep with nothing but a spare plank to float upon, the crew turned the ship over to piracy and have since been part of the pirate scourge that commands the southern oceans.

Red Paul was eventually picked up by another merchant vessel and worked on the ship as repayment for his rescue. However, when the ship return to port, he was turned out. Red Paul never left the port, being too proud to work on another ship that he wouldn't captain and too unwilling to leave the life of the sea to turn inland and search for work. Instead, he works odd jobs around the docks, helping to load and unload merchant vessels, telling himself and anyone else who listens that he's saving the money to purchase a new ship and crew so that he can hunt down his old ship and kill the pirates that run her through the waters. Unfortunately, after a long day's work, Red Paul wastes his money in the local taverns and brothels. He's particularly fond of a certain whore named Drea, and she, in her own way, loves him.

Red Paul is a hulking man, with a broad, barrel chest and arms that would better suited on a blacksmith. When he was captaining a ship, his voice boomed like thunder or the sound of wind filling the sails, and his swordsmanship was nearly unmatched by any other man on the open sea or in many of the ports along the southern and eastern parts of the world. The only man who had bested him in a duel was a man named Nicklos Thrush, normally known as "Nik Thrush", who had been his first mate before the mutiny.

Time away from the open sea has diminished his voice and his sword skills, though the drink and the smoke of the taverns are probably more to blame for his downfall rather than not being able to stride upon the pitching decks of his ship. His chest and shoulders are still broad, but his walk is slightly stooped as he has spent more time crouched upon a barstools than walking tall and proud. Also, the color has begun to drain from his great, red beard, which, along with his skills with a sword, helped give him the moniker of "Red" Paul. The name is as much a play on his last name as it is a pronouncement of his deadly ability with a blade or his physical attributes.

So, there you have it. Red Paul fits into a story that I'm currently trying to develop. Yeah, yeah, I know. Publish the others first. Yes. I'll probably focus on more...time appropriate characters in the future.