Honus—ideal warrior and troubled man

In many ways, Honus is the result of my experiences in the army. The military is the only profession in which I’ve ever worked where honor was a guiding principle. I believe that fighting men and women embrace idealism because it helps them endure the horrors they are often called upon to face.

Exacerbating that horror is the fact that war’s violence frequently fails to accomplish its goal. One war often leads to another in a cycle of violence. Moreover, the suffering warfare brings usually motivates both sides to fight on. Hatred is far easier to ignite than quell. Both history and the headlines offer ample proof of that.

These reflections led to the creation of Honus. I wanted him to be an admirable man. As a warrior, he’s a paragon. Honus is motivated by the purest principles, and all his actions are intended to honor the Goddesses of Compassion. Honus is selfless in his devotion to her. His martial prowess is extraordinary, as is his self-discipline, outward confidence, and humility.

Nevertheless, Honus is only human, and his life of endless combat is taking a heavy toll upon him. The scars that cover his body are insignificant compared to his psychic wounds. These days, we would say that he’s suffering from Post Traumatic Stress.

Many of the sergeants and officers I knew were heavy drinkers. It’s a way of dealing with stress. Honus seldom drinks; he trances instead. The skill allows him to visit the Dark Path—the realm of the dead—where he can relive the memories of the deceased. Although he seeks the happy ones, he must relive whatever memory he encounters. By the trilogy’s beginning, his trancing threatens to become an addiction. Honus, who has saved many, is in need of saving.