Truth is a Variable State

Truth is a Variable State

I enjoy taking the time to introduce my worlds and characters here. It inevitably reminds me of characters I haven’t been paying enough attention to. So I’m pleased to mention one of my most amusing and entertaining characters; Silkfoot. It may seem like he often slips through the cracks, but it’s more that he likes to show up at unexpected times in unexpected ways. (Welcome to the mind of a writer!)

(Isn’t he cute?)

Of all my characters, Silkfoot is probably the hardest to define. While he’s reasonably well-developed, he defies logic by remaining consistently nebulous. He fits into pretty much any genre or time period, either as a pirate or a thief, and has manifested both light-hearted and darker personalities depending on the circumstances. In essence, he’s a big bundle of contradictions. But while many aspects of his character change at the drop of a hat, his trickster nature usually remains at his core.

Silkfoot originated from a now abandoned writing forum I used to run which centered around various mythologies. The basic idea was that all the old gods had actually been real, but abandoned the Earth for various reasons. One by one, they all settled on another planet with greater magical potential where they tried to attract more followers than every other god. The setting’s basic premise was that all mythologies existed simultaneously and all of them were real. Silkfoot was born from Celtic mythology and it still holds some sway over his magical adventures.

I originally conceived of Silkfoot as a cultist devoted to the Celtic sea god Manannán mac Lir. But he instantly decided he was a pirate and has been playing by his own rules ever since. Silkfoot is a complex character; usually his actions have multiple levels of meaning and usually they all build toward one grand purpose (which he sometimes doesn’t bother to share with me ahead of time). While he sometimes steals for power and glory, he usually steals just because he can. The more complex the heist, the better. Silkfoot considers locked doors a challenge. Aside from personal interest, Silkfoot will usually steal an object because it will help him gain access to a more interesting, more powerful or more secret object (which will usually lead in turn to something even more interesting, powerful or secret).

While Silkfoot has a playful personalty and a great sense of humor, he is relentlessly driven to achieve whatever goal he has currently set himself. His dark side rears its ugly head when he is willing to manipulate others to get something he wants; whether it be information or action. (You might recall Silkfoot holding onto someone’s personal treasure because he wanted to use it for blackmail.) Silkfoot will not usually present himself as innocent of crimes – he knows his reputation and he isn’t ashamed of it – but he will most often maintain his sense of humor even in the darkest moments, making it difficult to determine what he really thinks about a given situation.

My writing partner has often described Silkfoot as ‘like the wind’ and it’s a pretty apt description. Silkfoot doesn’t like to stay in one place for long. He’s always looking for some new thrill, experience, or object to steal. Silkfoot changes his face as often as he changes his goals; wearing masks to suit every occasion. He enjoys the challenge of remaking himself to fit whatever role he needs to play. When I say that most aspects of his character are always in flux, I mean this in the most literal way. For awhile I though Silkfoot was transgender, but now I’m fairly certain he’s gender-fluid (he started life as Marei Mantracker).

Since Silkfoot enjoys being a mystery, he keeps almost everyone at arm’s length. The stories he tells about himself are either lies or grand exaggerations; he likes adding to his own personal mythology. For that reason, his true past is shrouded in mystery. Either his parents didn’t want him, or he decided he didn’t want his parents at a very young age. He grew up in the streets, which is where he learned the arts of pickpocketing and sleight of hand. Silkfoot always had ambitions, however, and pilfering food from the local market was not his long-term goal. His first grand heist was to steal his now infamous ship, the Twin-Moons. In my modern-fantasy setting, the Twin Moons is a revolutionary ship built for both ocean and air travel (it looks like an old-style sailing ship with sails and rigging, but possesses a magical engine that allows it to fly like the airships of that world).

Silkfoot has shown me only small glimpses of his story so far. He does play a major role one of my modern-fantasy setting stories, but I’m still uncertain if his main personal story takes place there. I do know it has something to do with trying to bamboozle a goddess out of secrets, so that should be great fun to write!

Silkfoot’s stories so far:
A Dream Changes Everything
Committing a Crime
He Knows the Right People
A Year in Review
An Overheard Remark
Eight Time Lucky; A Tale of Diligence
Stop Leaving Bodies in the Kitchen
First Snowfall of the Year
The Ultimate Key; A Tale of Greed

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