A Tale of Two Rangers

I kept promising myself that I’d take a look at two characters from two different games who shared some similarities.  Specifically, Coreth Landwalker from SWG, and the Old Ranger from CoH/V.  (I really should start just calling it CoH, since the folks at Paragon Studios have basically subsumed CoV into CoH, and the Going Rogue expansion will probably blur that line even more, but I’m a creature of habit)When I created the Old Ranger on the Virtue server, I was very conscious of the fact that if I were to write any fiction about him, I’d have to be careful to distinguish him very much from the other ranger character I’d written about:  Coreth.  Fortunately, since CoH was very much in a version of the “present day”, I had an easy out.  The Old Ranger, as a result, started not as a wilderness survivalist like Coreth was, but as a United States Army Ranger.  That immediately gave the character a more military bent than Coreth had ever had, and that would color almost everything about the character.

Another difference was in the general theme of the character.  Coreth, if he had a theme, was a combination of the inevitability of change, and self-determinism vs. predestination.  The Old Ranger would have different themes:  the power of choice, and taking back control of an out-of-control life.  I was able to establish both of those themes in his origin story, and have touched on either or both in succeeding ones.

In terms of personality, while both characters did tend to the serious, the Old Ranger would display more of a sense of humor about his situation at times-a healthy sense of “What the hell have I gotten myself into this time”.  I made him a person with normal sensibilities put into world where super powers were common, and where a trained soldier with the right equipment and attitude could stand up to the most dangerous of villains-and triumph.

The shining similarity between the characters is as simple as it is profound:  they are both heroes.  Coreth, in spite of a shaky start, was very much into doing the right thing.  While he tended to make his own way, he operated on a small scale and evolved into a fellow who could drop a starship down on a Dark-Sider’s temple.  The Old Ranger similarly believed in service to the right cause-the mere fact he was enlisted in the military showed a dedication to a cause greater than himself.

Why does this all come to mind now?  Well, last autumn, I had brought the Old Ranger’s story to an end-or at least, a hiatus, while I worked on the stories for other characters in the CoH setting.  In the interim, I’ve written stories on a Kheldian Warshade with an occult investigator’s attitude, on an avatar of a mythic spirit rediscovering his own feeling of heroism, and on a cop who fell into possessing an alien weapon of great power.  But the wheel is turning again, and it won’t be long until I continue the Old Ranger’s story once again.

And Coreth Landwalker?  Well, it’s been a long time now since we parted ways, but he still pops in my mind once in a while to see how I’m doing, and assures me that he’s quite happy with his “happily ever after”, and requests that I NOT write a new story where he ends up on Coruscant after the Vong conquered it.  I can’t say I blame him.

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