The Cobalt City universe has a big cast of characters, any of whom can easily take center-stage in a story with little notice. Usually featured as team players, each has their own unique flavor, their own way of dealing with problems. And they each have certain quirks they bring to the table that allow me to tell a story with one character the way I never could with another.
Take for instance my recently published story “Old Roots from a Sinister Vine.” The purpose of this story was to showcase the neighborhood of Regency Heights, the enclave of old-money wealth in Cobalt City, located on a bluff overlooking the city from the south-east. I could have chosen Velvet to tell the story, as her secret identity is a bit of a socialite. Or I could have gone with an outsider like Gallows to tell the story. Even if I used the same crime, the same hook, neither hero would have given me the richness of opportunity presented by Doctor Shadow.
It isn’t just that I could justify putting the ancient sorcerer’s alter-ego in Regency Heights, but it makes perfect sense. It wasn’t even that the root crime is a ritual sacrifice, perfect story fodder for a magician dedicated to protecting the world from supernatural evils. The real hook came from his exceptionally long life. At over three-thousand years old, Doctor Shadow has a history that is rich for mining in ways no other character can provide. And the end result was not only our first lingering look at Regency Heights, it was also a fun chance to show how the longer you live, the more ghosts you have following after you.
Check out the story and see what I mean. It’s a free PDF download and a relatively quick read at the Timid Pirate website.
And welcome to the Year of the City!