Character Profile 2 : Gorgon Pri
First Appearance : TECH 9
Developing an antagonist can take on many forms, from the external to the internal, be it literal or even figurative. An antagonist often simply exists to give the main character something to overcome. Unfortunately for the titular protagonist in Tales of Reign, there are no shortages of enemies or struggles to contend with. Today we dive into the looming force behind the Orbital Guard and try as we might to avoid spoilers for the novels, there will be. You've been forewarned! Enter-ahem-read at your own risk. Son of Vadim, lord of bioroid use and champion of sudden mood swings, enter the Pri!
"Looks like the OG has a new plaything." Gorgon Pri TOR Chapter 8 Gilded Cage
Pri was developed in the earliest stages of Tales of Reign, back when the story was to be a graphic novel, TECH 9. In those days, I was a teenager and had spent the better part of my free time gaming and reading comics after work, school and Tae Kwon Do. Comics in the latter 1990s were all muscle and suffering which lent to my ideal mindset for a ‘bad guy’ as dwarfing his nemesis and carrying a cartoonish rage for that person like it was something born into them. Skip forward two decades and I couldn’t shake the desire to make the story real and complete, adding a great deal of maturity and Gorgon Pri needed an upgrade if he was to ever exist in the new era. Though he still required the larger than life presence to accompany any development I would impress on him-for reasons!
Pri of the comics, loomed in the background, hurled people around and indulged genetically designer steroids to bulk up. He didn’t read apparently. He didn’t have any sort of reason to exist. Pri just looked cool and knocked things about when he wasn’t ordering soldiers to melt dissidents with pulse canons mounted on their arms. These things covered their entire hands and far up the arm of the Orbital Guard wearing, I had imagined it drew on some power in the suit or from the soldier to fire. As you can see, this was a comicbook cliché used in many comics of the time. My final project for studio art was no exception to this unspoken rule of cool.
Reign had undertaken such a philosophical transformation, his antagonist had to reflect the nature of his strife and become a barrier to overcome. In that first draft of Tales of Reign, the story nearly removed Pri. I struggled with a reason for him to be given time to develop as anything more than a phantom but someone representing the vile natures of xenophobia and would become a reason the Sol system needed a significant change in authority needed personification. As his creator, I needed to feel Gorgon Pri’s reasoning, his aches and his motivations. This doesn’t agree with my nature as Pri has some very problematic views on a great many things.
Throughout the novel, Reign has many things that can be considered antagonistic elements resisting his literary destiny. There is the fact he is the only one of his kind for one, he is an alien to any culture that could or would accept him. That is where I believed the life in Pri’s veins flowed from; fear personifies most of Pri’s ruminations behind veiled strength. He’s vulnerable to so many things that his six-foot five-inch stature shook in the shadows of them. I built an entire organization around such thought to support his actions, the Orbital Guard. Pri’s motivations are very shallow until we see his personal story, told after the conclusion of the first novel.
Gorgon’s Song reveals three chapters of his development and reasoning. Pri was born into hardship and his physical size made him a resource to bargain with as his father Vadim exploited it to support them as they were miners and industrial workers. Pri suffered a budding mental instability inherited from his mother who had abandoned them in his youth. The Pri’s were from a portion of Russia that remained in a constant state of shifting ownership. As men without a country they eventually end up in space to mine Mars. Mars marks the beginning of Pri’s spiral into a violent and hardened hypocrite. Enough happens for him to justify his stances in his mind but nothing redeems those misgivings.
When Reign and Pri eventually collide, theirs is a battle of principles reduced to what Isaac Asimov so adequately put, “Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.”