Over the course of In The Cards, Troy discovers that he has a magical ability, himself: psychometry, the power to see the history of an object through touch. These visions are not voluntary at first, and he must learn to control them in order to make them work for, not against him. When we see him next in Adjustments, he'll be making some more progress toward that goal as he settles into his role as an Informer for the Organization.
But how did Troy come to be? Like a handful of characters, I owe his existence to a friend. When I was first drafting From the Desk of Buster Heywood, I was part of a club of tabletop and board game enthusiasts. Some friends in this club encouraged me to use Aviario as the setting for a game, and I decided the best course of action was to have them create ordinary town residents and give them small supernatural mysteries to solve. Over the course of a year or so, an assorted bunch of characters explored everything from strange phenomena at a town-wide yard sale to clues hidden in a corn maze. Most of these players came and went simply out of curiosity, but a handful created characters who maintained a presence throughout the run of the game. Troy was one such character, and his player built a wonderful history in to explain his role in the town, along with some fantastic character flaws that gave me a lot of room to play with as a storyteller. When the club began to fade due to members moving away or having other committments, I asked Troy's player if he would allow me to write him into one of the books, and he heartily agreed.
The trait Troy became most famous for in the game sessions is one which I absolutely needed to carry over into the books: he loves running the sirens on his cruiser in short bursts whenever he can get an opportunity ... like a trucker who will pull on the air horn when encouraged by children in passing cars. (This may be the reason why his partner, Sam, insists on driving most of the time.) I can't share all of Troy's history with you here: that's something he'll share with Buster when they meet in Adjustments. But I can tell you that over the course of writing him, he's grown a lot. He's an Eagle Scout, a trait I gave to him as an homage to his creator, and calls his cruiser "Felicia" as a reference to another game from the same club. He's genuinely sympathetic toward everyone in his jurisdiction, and tries to see situations from both sides while still upholding the letter of the law. His rural upbringing serves him well in Aviario, where he has quickly learned that everyone knows everyone ... and he cherishes those connections, proud to humbly uphold them and keep his community safe. As his creator said to me recently:
He was literally supposed to be (a) white-bread American cop who had NO idea about magic or the supernatural. ... if Troy ended up in a fantasy setting, he'd be the paladin poster boy. I couldn't help myself. He's so clean he squeaks!
Until next time,