An unfinished Conan skectch by
the late John Buscema. Very much
how I imagine Gorus looking.
So, with progress being steadily made on the Gorus story/novella, I thought I might start generating some buzz, just in case it gets accepted (since, even if it doesn’t I will shop it around to other publishers, or possibly self-publish it). To that end, let me share some history of the character himself. Hopefully without any spoilers.
The germ of the idea for Gorus came from my desire to have my own ‘Conan.’ I wanted a character who fit the physical mold of a hulking warrior with steely thews, pantherish grace, and primal ferocity. The thing was, I didn’t want to be too cliché about it, and make him just another barbarian descending on an unsuspecting civilization. Thanks to the ‘Clonans’ of the 70’s (Kyrik, Thongor, etc.), we have enough of those.
Thus, Gorus is city-bred and civilized. But in order to justify his physical prowess, which, much like his predecessors, towers him above the norm, I had to come up with some logical reason for him to be so. Without giving away too much, I can say that his ancestry isn’t entirely human. In fact, it’s not even entirely of the material plane.
The interesting thing is, once I had that decided, it opened up doors to many different plot points, and supporting characters. It also gave the story possibilities some fresh takes. Even though he could easily fit into one of Conan’s ‘fortune-seeker’ adventures, he can also fit into some truly supernatural adventures where the lines between good and evil, from his perspective, are blurred.
Physically he is inspired by Conan, but also with some elements of Elric. Basically, imagine if Elric had Conan’s build. Gorus is often referred to as Gorus the Gray, because his skin is a pale gray in color, and his hair is a dull white. He is usually mistaken for an albino, and most people who see him, though a bit taken aback at first, just assume that’s what he is and move on. But, his eyes are a brilliant turquoise, rather than an albino’s pink or pale blue.
At the beginning of the story Gorus is unaware of his heritage, and does not fully understand why he looks different, or why he has physical traits that are not normal. However, he has grown to embrace them, and knows how to use them to his advantage. The net result of all of this is that I have what I think is a pretty unique character, but also one that fits the mold of my favorite fantasy heroes.