Celtic mythology offers an abundance of incredible characters and their lores. It’s true that quite a lot of Celtic stories have been lost, but from what we’ve gathered, and from what we know today, most of their stories revolved around the complexity of characters in those stories. This blog post will give you a bit of insight into our process of character selection for Children of Lir.
When most people think of Celtic characters, they usually think about Leprechauns and fairies. Those characters have outlived the stories they were featured in, and they’ve become a part of popular culture. Sadly, quite a lot of other, equally epic characters have been forgotten. As the years passed, and the legends slowly faded, we’ve lost quite a lot of amazing heroes, creatures, gods, and other characters from those stories. However, there are still lots and lots of stories that still exist, and we’ve used those stories to try and bring back to life some of the Celtic characters and creatures we thought deserve their few minutes in the spotlight. So, let’s take a look at some of the roles in our version of Children of Lir.
A hero’s journey is probably the one thing that almost every ancient myth or legend have in common. Following a hero through obstacles, challenges, ups, and downs helps us identify with that hero. It helps us learn and it helps us filter our emotions. That’s why we really wanted to make our heroes stand out. We focused a lot on Celtic legends about the small man, and we’ve created our heroes with different backstories and different lores.
Ernine - We imagined Children of Lir as a party-based RPG, which means that players will always have a choice of multiple characters, however, in this story we’re trying to tell, Ernine, the Huntress is one of the leading roles.
Ernine is an old Gaelic name and it stands for iron, or strong as iron. She was a humble huntress, a lively child, growing up with her big brother. She became one of the best huntresses in the country, but she was always rebellious, and she had a strong sense of justice. One day she has witnessed a gruesome crime, and she took a nobleman’s life. She escaped with the help of her brother, and they kept living in exile until the King called for heroes to defend the country.
Ernine is great with the hunting knife, but her real specialty is a longbow. She also has the power to summon animals and their spirits to help her out. Firm but fair, smart, and yet witty, Ernine is a beautiful hero from the people, and our players will get to define her story
Breasal - Known as Ernine’s big brother, Breasal is a large man, with significant strength. The name Breasal is an old Gaelic name meaning brave or strong in conflict. He is one of the main characters our players get to use throughout the gameplay.
Breasal grew up taking care of his little sister, but due to his size and strength, he was sent to King’s army at a very young age. This made him disciplined, strong, and very dangerous. Once Ernine had to run and hide, she found him and asked him for help. He immediately left the army, working as a hired sword from time to time. As soon as the King called for help, he joined his sister and decided to make a change.
Although he’s big and strong, Breasal has a heart of gold. He isn’t the brightest of the bunch, but he’s eternally loyal, and he can be quite funny too. Our players will get to use him and laugh with him throughout their journey.
Sláine - Some of the most iconic Celtic characters were druids, mages, and healers. They had a very special place in these legends, and those characters have a very special place in our game as well.
Sláine is an old Gaelic name which was derived from an old Celtic deity. It means health, or to heal. Sláine joins our heroes after a while, and she is one of the most important characters, as she is a healer. She comes from a long line of powerful healers, but at one point, she was captured and held captive.
Sláine father was killed by a nobleman and she was forced to heal him and his family while being held captive. She managed to escape, but she fell into a trap, and the dark creatures took her. She was kept in a cage until Ernine and Breasal saved her.
Every story needs its antagonists, and every time you go on a hero’s journey, you have to face the opponents that have other plans. For our enemies, opponents, antagonists, and boss fights, we did quite a lot of research on Irish history and Celtic mythology. We really wanted our characters to stand out, but we also wanted our opponents to be memorable. Here are just some of the opponents which players will get to encounter in Children of Lir
Goblin - One of the most popular creatures in Celtic mythology is definitely a goblin. Small in size, usually depicted as a green creature with very large nose and ears, goblins show up in different ways throughout Celtic legends.
Varying from merciless thieves and killers, and all the way to the smart keepers of various treasures, goblins had a very special place in Celtic myths, and we wanted to do them justice by implementing them into our story as well.
Even though goblins haven’t been seen for years in Emerald Island, the rise of the dark magic lured them out. Now they only serve their masters, spreading fear and pain all over. Even though they are small, goblins can really do some damage, so our heroes have to stay on their toes.
Sluagh - While researching Celtic mythology, we came across some less known creatures and characters. Even though almost every mythology in the world has its own version of ghosts, we really loved the way Celtic mythology defined their ghosts, known as Sluaghs.
In most of the stories we’ve gone through, Sluagh is a ghost that indicates something bad is going to happen. They are usually used as a bad omen or a sign that something isn’t right. There are stories that describe the other side of Sluaghs, as they help certain people in their quests, but we decided to go with a little bit of a darker approach.
Summoned from the dead by dark masters, these ancient warriors have only one goal in mind - following the direct orders of their masters. They have no emotions, and they feel no pain. Partially resistant to all types of attacks, while at the same time being quite strong and wielding dark magic, Sluaghs are worthy adversaries which should be taken seriously.
Exploring ancient myths and legends is a fun activity, but when you get the opportunity to use it for your own creative purposes, those same myths and legends start looking totally different. What we’re trying to achieve is to create a world that resonates with Celtic legends, myths, and references, while the story drives our players ahead. These are just some of the characters our players will meet in this world of ours. We really hope you like the direction we’ve chosen to follow, and if you have any feedback, please contact us via social media. We would like to ask you what is your favorite character from the Celtic mythology? Would you like to see it in the game? Would that character be a hero or an opponent?
Children of Lir is a turn-based RPG based on ancient Irish and Celtic legends. Our story is placed in medieval Ireland where the darkness has taken hold of the country. Monsters, dark creatures, and foul men took over the land, fear is growing and it seems there is no hope for once beautiful Emerald Island.
Since the death of King Lir centuries ago, things were only becoming worse, but now it seems the human race is at its last stand. The King of Emerald Island called all brave men, women and children to stand together and fight against the magic that devours the land, and this is where our story begins.
Become a medieval hero, gather your allies and form a party to defend your home. Get immersed in the ancient magic and a hero’s journey from despair to salvation. Use your skills to defeat all of the enemies and help our heroes bring joy back to the Emerald Island. Follow the story, make choices and the hope might still return to our lands. Help our heroes save their world, you’re their only hope!
Children of Lir is developed for PC, and will be available on Mobile as well. It’s a single player turn and story based role-playing adventure where the main focus is on the story and players’ choices. Game art style is quite unique and original, as well as the sound design. The game aims to awake specific emotions at specific game points through the clever use of story, sound, and art elements.
Movement and battle mechanics are very intuitive and easy to master. The story of the game will be balanced in such a way so that every player can get immersed as soon as they start their adventure. The game should have around 10 to 12 hours of gameplay, filled with exciting encounters, battles, and unexpected story twists.
For this year, Mad Head’s team really worked hard, and with the help of SGA (Serbian Games Association), they’ve managed to get some of the most important companies in the gaming industry as partners, lecturers, and judges in this year’s Indie Prize competition.
As we’ve dug deeper, we realized there are some misconceptions that have no root in logic. We will be trying to break down those misconceptions and show you the real face of Celtic culture.
We’ve shared a lot about our game through our social media, as well as through our Kickstarter campaign, but we think that the time has come for us to show what we’ve done so far. Probably the best opportunity to do this is through gaming events.