A Scholar’s Advice for the Antihero

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Advice to the Anti-Hero

Logo by Bill Austin

You’ve decided to be a hero! Either that or prophecy has pushed you into the role—either way, you are now setting out on the path of difficult decisions, hardship, and service to a goal greater than yourself. And this is all very well, but you are, at heart, a practical person who isn’t going to spare your enemies just because they’ve turned their backs to you, and you’re sure not going into this without the promise of some reward at the end. Congratulations! You’re an antihero! The role has its perks, but there are a few things you should consider before you set out.

1) Find someone pure of heart to travel with you. If this person ever starts to walk out on you (really walk out, not just yell a little), rethink your plans: You’re in danger of tipping over into outright villainy. Give in on the little things every now and again as well. People who are pure of heart are hard to find, and you want yours in good shape.

2) Do not fall in love with this person or let him or her fall in love with you. Your enemies will know, and they will take advantage of this fact. You already know you’re a hard-bitten, driven, cynical individual. You don’t need someone to die to confirm that fact.

3) If love happens anyway, make sure to drive that person away in such a fashion that they and everyone else will think you truly don’t care. This is the one time where doing something outright evil counts as good (You’re saving the Pure of Heart, so your motives are right), so take the opportunity to indulge in a little villainy.

4) Keep a memento of the person. When you’re in doubt, you can pull it out and hear exactly what he or she would say if present. This saves having to find another traveling companion, and the memento will not need feeding or a share of the treasure.

5) By all means, stab your enemies in the back. They’re evil people and will come after you again if they get the chance. You’re not really supposed to kill them if they surrender, though. That’s part of the whole “hero” thing.

6) Dress comfortably. Antiheroes can look a little shabby if they want, so you’re spared having to keep everything pristine.

7) Knowing it’s a trap does not keep you from getting caught in it. Think twice before heading in anyway. You’re an antihero, not an idiot.

8) You owe it to yourself to shoot first.

8) You’ll never really be happy as a farmer. Don’t try. The peaceful agricultural life will bore you so much you’ll be grateful when the marauding enemy destroys the community you have settled in.

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