Writer, Storyteller, Blogger

The Legates

The Legates: Heroes or Villains

If you haven’t read, the background for the Fortinbras Files, you can do that here.

Once I’d figured out the basic world of “The Fortinbras Files,” I realized everything looked bleak and hopeless. This wasn’t a world I found attractive nor did I wanted to spend months or years writing about a hopeless society.

As I was consider how I could insert some hope into this world, I read an article about secret societies and conspiracy theories. What if there was a group, a society, with secret plans to one day restore civilization? I tinkered around with several ideas, trying to figure out who would or could create that kind of society. I kept hitting dead ends.

The Problem

A group who could stand up to bullies and thugs would also have to be violent enough to take over from the bullies and thugs. This was circular because that would mean more violence and more people fighting to control the population.

I did consider a Buddhist-like group, but that had a lot of big holes too. Plus, I didn’t want one philosophy to dominate the group. I wanted a variety of ideas and philosophies, a group that was inclusive and open to compromise and working together.

I also thought about a military group, but the problems there were obvious.

Then the idea of a group of people banning together came to mind, and the Legates were born.


In “The Fortinbras Files,” Legates are made up of military experts, Jesuit priests, and scholars, working together to eventually rebuild society. They formed a society to train children to become military experts and killers, but this group would be extremely well educated and curate books, art, music, philosophy, history, and artifacts from the past.

In other words, they could fight as well as preserved all knowledge for when people were ready to become civilized again. They would have a code of honor and a commitment to nurture civil law and order. The idea would be to prevent past atrocities and mistake from happening again.

Legates give up their past life and become the keepers of knowledge. I started thinking of them as academic killers who worked for the good of humankind. My background is in academia, so I find the idea both ridiculous and intriguing. When it’s clear that students will finish their Legate training, they give up their name and choose a new name, symbolizing their transition and dedication to their new life.

Fortinbras chose his name from Shakespeare’s play Hamlet. In the play, most of Fortinbras’ actions are reported and take place off stage. He sets out for Denmark to avenge his father’s death. In the play, he arrives at the end to find everyone dead. He takes the crown without killing anyone. Denmark rotted from within, destroying itself.

Archangel’s name is obvious. Micheal was the leader of God’s army. Archangel might imagine himself as a Micheal.

Corday co-opted her name from Charlotte Corday a spy and assassin during the French Revolution. Charlotte Corday worked to stop the Reign of Terror. She was sentenced to die on the guillotine.

I took “The Legates” name from Roman Legatus. The Legatus came from the ruling class and were both soldiers and statesmen.

Find out more:

The Fortinbras Files

The Population and Technology