Your hero has left the familiar behind. Everything that was normal and well-known to him (or her) is far away, and he finds himself in a strange place. Perhaps he needs to find a specific location or obtain an object or talk to a person.

You know what's coming next. Your hero needs help in finding, obtaining, or talking. Enter the Native Guide. The Native Guide is the character that knows the land better than anyone else, that specializes in finding items, or that can interpret for the characters that don't speak the local language. Characters like Hoggle from Labyrinth or the Guosim (Guerrilla Union of Shrews in Mossflower) from Redwall are excellent examples of Native Guide characters.

As a general rule, the Native Guide isn't a part of the central protagonist group. In rare instances, like with the Lone Ranger and Tonto, the Native Guide is a secondary character to the hero. In larger groups, like if you have a Five-Man Band (more on that another time) the Native Guide is likely to be either a temporary addition to the group or a support character for the main cast, useful only in specific situations.

It's pretty common for the Native Guide to get no real development as a character past "belongs to this people group and speaks with a funny accent." There's a lot of potential in a character like this, and I look forward to seeing what you lot do with this role.

Where's my high fantasy novel about the elven guide that leads tourists through his home forest for money? :)

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©2018 by Eleanor Taylor.

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