This project began several years ago, as the bio section of a character development sheet for a Live Action Role Play game adapted from the Masquerade. The game as designed featured mainly vampires of various character-defining clans, but other supernaturals crept in, the longer we played.
The first thing I had to do, once I decided HERETICS could be a publishable story, was to remove it from the Masquerade system, to find other words, other concepts from those in the game. Some I only had to modify somewhat as even the orginators of those game systems had been inspired by earlier sources like Bram Stoker’s DRACULA, and could hardly claim ownership over them. Other basic notions had to be abandoned and re-created with my own original model. All this applied to the character Columbina, the first voice of the tale.
The second voice, Turlough, came out of brainstorming with someone who was, at the time, a friend and collaborator. It included elements from my own explorations of Celtic lores and traditions, particularly of the Celtic Church before it was overwhelmed by the Roman Catholic Church. The more this character developed, the more I had to research those traditions, and also the geography of far-western Ireland. That was how I discovered The Burren which became a significant setting for Turlough’s pilgrimage.
I’ll have more to say about settings later, and also about the various and very likely unexpected supernaturals who were drawn into HERETICS. Yes, it starts with vampires, but this is not a story about vampires, it is about the power of humanity in the face of inhuman powers and forces.