Shady characters

Character study - Credo
DAJB at 2:36AM, March 29, 2008
posts: 1,462
joined: 2-23-2007


It's not hard to guess where this name came from, is it?! “Credo” comes from the Latin word for “I believe” (as in the modern word “creed” ). His real name is John Creade which - as I'm sure you can guess - is derived quite simply from the source word!


As his name suggests, Credo's particular brand of villainy has a religious slant to it. This presented me with a problem. The obvious way of presenting a religious/mystical character would be to dress him in robes. However, this would have made him very similar in appearance to the Shaman and others of his order. The tux and bow-tie were Harsho's suggestion and I loved them immediately. For me, they hinted at the early TV evangelists and offered a completely different take on the manipulation of religious beliefs.

Role within the story

Just as each of the good guys in Shades represents one or more of the traits I like about the British national character, so each of the bad guys represents either the opposite of one of those traits or a trait I don't particularly admire. In Credo's case, he represents the type of extremist whose focus is so narrow and his belief in his cause so absolute, that it ignores good old British common sense.

Although the UK has its share of bigots (of all persuasions!), generally speaking one of its better characteristics is the tolerance it shows towards the beliefs of others - an attitude of “live and let live”. Credo's cause, therefore, has its origins in religious intolerance. His belief that his cause justifies his readiness both to condemn those who do not share his views and to manipulate those who do, has echoes in many belief systems.

The most obvious current examples of this would be the Islamic extremists who argue that Muslims will be rewarded for taking the lives of themselves and others. Having grown up in the 1970s, however, I also had the I.R.A. very much in mind when I designed Credo. That evil men like Adams and McGuinness could be party to the atrocities they were and still claim they were committed in the interests of a nominally Catholic community beggars belief.

Don't believe the hype!

Unlike the Shaman, for example, Credo is not able to access the spirit world. Due to an accident many years before, however, he is infused with its power (see Chapter 14) and he is able to channel that power through his body into a powerful blast. The more that power is “fed” by those who believe in him, the stronger he becomes.

Credo has a small number of followers who are easily beguiled by the superficial attractions of his cause, his so-called “True Believers”. To bolster his power, he is constantly striving to swell the numbers of those who believe in him, using any form of mind control techniques available. After many years of study, he is especially knowledgeable about and skilled in the use of chemicals and potions which might weaken resistance to his influence.
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:23AM

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