'From the page to the game: 'How Richard Venables came to be.Edit
By CRSM (Retired) Scott McMillan: ACA, ASM, GC.
This book is dedicated to Lizzy aka Gibbsgirl11 for always being there for me!
This book is my first non-fiction work, though it does indeed focus on the creation and aspects of a fictional character called Richard Venables. In this book I will be giving insight into how Richard came to be, the different persona's he has had depending on the game, and of course his relationship with his creator, how Venables has affected my life in many ways and has been a major aspect of my video gaming and social media lifestyle. I hope that you get as much enjoyment out of this book as I had in writing it and I hope it will inspire others to do likewise with their characters stories.
It wouldn't be right to start this book with out giving some background into myself and how it came to be that I needed a character that I could identify as my own. It really started back in 2011 when my mother decided to go back to school and study to be a beautician, at this time I was doing online homeschool and was left to my own devices with free access to the Internet at home. And so much to my regret now, I started going on a game that a friend had recommended for me, that featured everything I loved, pirates, ships, and the EITC. It was called Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean Online and I was hooked, it became something of an internal struggle between my loyalty to my schooling, and my new found loyalty to the game, I'm afraid to say, that school lost and so POTCO became my new pastime when mum went to school, and so my first character Lawrence Goldsilver was born. I had some grand old adventures with Lawrence, sailing around and just doing whatever I liked really, often roleplaying that I was Hornblower or Nelson or even Aubrey at times and would sailing into SvS with my little Light Sloop and begin speed around the larger Unlimited players ships and and steal cheeky kills when they where down to minimum health, i admit i wasn't extremely popular with the rest of the French SvS's and eventually I meet this dude called Richard Sternsilver who told me about an RP guild which RP'd as the British Navy, and so I signed on as a dedicated young Lieutenant Commander, but it was then that something happened, I forgot my account password, and Lawrence was lost.
It was in November of 2011, that I quite by accident ran into the POTCO players wiki and started my account there as Lieutenant Commander Theodore Groves, and so my birth into Roleplaying on POTCO really began, I made a new character called Jack Harkness which of course all the Whovians out there will know was the charming American ace from the future from Doctor Who.
But Jack was also the first character to have Unlimited access and i enjoyed playing with him thoroughly though I often caused a bit of trouble with the other RP guys who didn't approve of plagiarism. And so I needed an all new character that would be completely my own, this was how Richard Venables came to be born.
Birth and Creation of Venables
I have to thank Bernard Cornwall (the brilliant author of the Sharpe Series ) for the inspiration for Richard, it was during early 2012, when I bought one of Sharpe's early adventures called Sharpe's Fortress and I discovered the young Ensign of the 74th Highland Regiment, Roderick Venables. As soon as I first discovered Ensign Venables he became my favourite character in the series. But it didn't dawn on me till later that here was a minor character I could pluck from the pages and edit into my own creation and so Venables was born, but his first name became something of a quandary as I wasn't certain what would make an appropriate first name, I went through all the names I could think of, Alexander, David, Horatio, Arthur, Johnathan, even Lawrence again, and I will admit that Venables very nearly became Francis Venables, until a close friend by the name of Jeremiah suggested the name Richard, and so it was that Richard Venables was born, and became my RP name till POTCO ended in 2013. But Richard still had a long way to go, at first he was to be an English nobleman, but then I decided to honour my Scottish Heritage and make him into a Scottish Landowners son, and so the Earl of Edrington came about, though I admit I pinched the title from Horatio Hornblower's friend Major Edrington.
Richard soon became a handsome, daring, young Scottish soldier of the Black Watch, but I often was racked with indecision and Venables changed faces regularly so that he became something of a Time Lord! I changed him multiple times from David Tennant from Casanova, to Major Edrington from Hornblower: The Frogs and the Lobsters, to General William Dodd, the renegade from Sharpe's Challenge! But then I was offered a rather high up position in RP, and I knew he needed to be older so I turned to Assassins Creed III and literally ripped John Pitcairn out of the game, stuck Richard's names on him, and changed his date of birth to 15th of August, 1689 and so Richard went from being a young man, to a more wise, older man. And so that is how Richard came to be the older Lieutenant General that he was till POTCO's end in 2013.
But he also regularly featured in my POTCO based novels including The Lost Chapters: A Venables & Luther Adventure, which was based in South America mostly and Eye of the Lion: A Venables & Luther Adventure, which really went away from the Caribbean into Africa and really ended the V&L series and set me on to write Blood on the Bayou: A POTCO novel which came back to the Caribbean and featured Richard as well as all the other major roleplayers of POTCO, but was never released to public audiences.
Adaption into other games part one: The Elder Scrolls IV & V
Richard soon became my pride and joy and soon spread into other areas of my gaming life, it was in mid 2013 when I bought the Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion and started Richards new journey as an Imperial warrior. In my imagination he became the young, reckless son of an Imperial Legion Officer and his Wood Elf wife and so Richards became an extremely fair and slim character, but a fierce warrior none the less, fighting as a Blade in the Oblivion Crisis and eventually becoming Sheogorath, the Daedric Prince of Madness. But during these major events he became something of a sellsword and adventurer, as well as Guild Master of the Fighters Guild, a Knight of multiple counties, and a assassin for the Dark Brotherhood. He became my new favourite character and soon his personality became different to POTCO Richard, He was a much wiser, nobler, and younger Richard, and he was also much more cautious and honourable then Richard was in POTCO.
It was when the Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim came out though that Richard really changed into a new personality, I had really wanted to make my main character in Skyrim different to my Oblivion character so I went into thinking mode and tried to think of a new name for Richard, and so I turned to Imperial lore to help me, and it was then I noticed that all the Imperial names where based off Latin and so Ricardo Venables came into existence, as a tall, somewhat reckless young Imperial which I turned into a descendant of Richard Venables from Oblivion.
Ricardo soon turned into a pet project of mine and soon became the young Imperial who had sold the family home in Anvil, and traveled with the Khajitt caravans to Skyrim, where he was captured and nearly executed by the very people he would come to serve. The Imperial Legion.
But Ricardo didn't just fight for the Empire in the civil war, he became a Thane in all nine Holds of Skyrim and a rather wealthy figure owning property all over Skyrim, as well as being the legendary Dragonborn, the Nords of Skyrim so revere in their ancient stories.
Ricardo really became my favourite version of Venables, and I still regularly play Skyrim because of him.
Ricardo also featured in two Elder Scrolls based novels, The Elder Scrolls: Desert Fox which told the tale of an older Ricardo traveling to Hammerfell and finding various adventures. And The Elder Scrolls: Return to Anvil which set Antonio Venables, the son of an elderly Ricardo, back in Cyrodill trying to buy back the old Venables home, Benirus Manor in Anvil, and his struggle through the murky underworld of Cyrodill to buy his fathers old home back. Neither of these books where ever finished and remained unpublished. Though I plan to release them one day on the Gamers United Wiki for appraisal and depending on the feedback I may finish them.
Adaption into other games part two: Warhammer 40,000
Early in 2012 I started playing the renowned table top sci-fi strategy game Warhammer 40,000 which was set in the middle of the fortieth millennium and featured many different factions, i chose the human faction known as, the Imperial Guard, and so I started building an army which where called the Death Korps of Krieg, and started naming my figures, but one of my favourite characters was the Death Korps Commissar, a rather sinister figure who wore like most Krieg soldiers a gasmask and of course the typical Commissars sinister, dark uniform. And so this commissar who was my favourite miniature in my army, and he was named Ricard Vendables which seemed a rather clever name due to the way, the humans of the fortieth millennium couldn't remember how names where pronounced and names like Christopher became Christophus etc.
He is still by far my favourite miniature, and he has also featured in a novel that I am writing, which is called The Space Pirates of Arcadia which I am going to release to the public audience soon.
How Richard Affects me.
Richard Venables is a really special character to me and is to me like a real person, who only I know about! this due to the fact Richard Venables is a unique character of my own and really gives me an identity in gaming, writing, and even school essays! On Xbox Live for awhile I was known as Lord Venables VI, but ended up changing that so that my local friends could find me! I also through grade 9 and 10 made countless references to him in English essays, as well as even an IT project, in year 9.
But Richard and I have a very special bond, that only a writer and his creation can have, over the past three years I have made countless references to him in video games such as Fable II & Fable III as well as references in Lego Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures and Lego Pirates of the Caribbean: The Video Game.
In Fable II, I named my second born child, (who was a boy just so you know!) Richard Venables, and so in Fable III, the main character became in my eyes at least, Richard! but to further enhance the Venablism, I named three weapons after him, a sword, Venables Bite, a pistol, Venables Fury, and a musket, Venables Daughter!
In many of the Lego games, I created various custom characters that where called variations of Venables, in honour of the original Venables, one in Lego Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures was a German colonel, armed with a bazooka! whilst in Lego Lord of the Rings: The Video Game, I created a noble Gondorian warrior called Ricardo! (He was armed with Anduril in case you where wondering!) So you see, Richard has really stemmed through into many different video games, that really have no right to feature him, but because of this writers obsession with his creation, he has stomped his way in anyway!
But Richard hasn't just affected my video gaming life, in fact, he was a bit of a negative affect on part of my life for a while! On many occasions when I'd been in doubt over something, I would think, “What would Richard do?” and though this helped me through some tough situations, I will admit, that eventually I very nearly stopped being Scott and became Richard, which was a very distressing time for both me and my extremely patient mum! But it all worked out in the end, and I came back to ground level and very much put aside thinking about Richard as anything more then a fictional character.
Harry Potter controversy of Richard Venables
I regret that unfortunately Richard cause a fair bit of controversy, when me and some friends stuck Richard Venables into the Harry Potter universe and he became, the Grandfather of Harry and his Fan Fiction sister Raven Potter, this caused a great deal of controversy and no small amount of offense to some Harry Potter fans who took up arms to banish, what they called a heresy to Potter lore, but after a long debate, and proving that Richard was in fact the father of Lilian, who was Harry's mother, and that Raven was in fact the secret sister of Harry (they where separated at birth) The fans calmed down and even started to enjoy the Harry Potter fiction, including Harry Potter and the Doctor of Time, Harry Potter and the Warden of Azkaban, and Harry Potter meets Doctor Who: Worlds in Time. which you can read at our website (Harry Potter Pirates of the Caribbean Wiki).
Nicknames for Venables
Richard has received quite a few different nicknames on top of his different persona's names and so I have derived to make a list in this chapter of the nicknames and well as how it came to be.
Venny: Venny became Richards as well as my own nickname to the girl to whom this book is dedicated, my dear friend and Role Play cousin Lizzy also known as Gibbsgirl11, She first called me this back in 2012 in the POTCO Players Wiki and called me that ever since, it is one of my favourite nicknames, simply cause it has a fond memory with it.
Vending Machine: Now this nickname used to bug me no end, but after a while I got over it and laughed when ever someone called me Vending Machine, I believe if I recalled correctly that it was Parax who first called me Vending Machine and it kind of caught on ever since.
The Half Elf: This nickname came about because of Richard in Oblivion where in my roleplay, he was indeed a half elf Imperial, and so my friend Jeremiah used to refer to him as “The Half Elf” and so it was that to this day when ever I play the Elder Scrolls He refers to my characters as The Half Elves.
The Other Enemy: Commissar Vendables is often referred to by this name, by my friends at the local Warhammer club due to the fact he has executed more of his own men, then actual enemies!
So I have given you a glimpse at some of the nicknames which have spawned from Richard Venables, and explanations as to why, some of them a good, happy memories, others are a bit embarrassing, but are part of what makes Richard, Richard!
The Last Word
So my dear readers you have been given an insight into how Venables came to be, how he has been portrayed in various games, how he has affected me virtually and physically and I hope you really get an understanding of what this book is truly about, that although it is indeed great fun to create a character and name him and have him as your own, be very sure, that the character doesn't consume you, for you are already far more unique then any fictional character like Richard, you are special!
In this last section I'd also like to thank a few people and give credit to a few people where its due, To Lizzy I'd like to thank for always being there for me and listening to my problems, she has my undying gratitude for this, and will always remain one of my closest friends. I'd like to thank Boogie Mango and William Seasteel for their friendship and for taking part in many of Richards Adventures. I'd like to thank all the other guys from POTCO and of course the Gamers United Wiki for their friendship and fellowship. and above all I'd like to apologize to my dear mother for the stress I caused her through 2011 when I skipped school to play POTCO.
You guys have all made it possible for Richard to live on as long as he has and though the original Richards story has come to an end, I know that his memory will live on in other characters based off him and that one day Richard Venables will be a well known name like Sharpe or Hornblower. But until that day comes... Richard will keep on marching!
Creator of Richard Venables.