I’ll be outlining a protagonist for the Travelers today – the audience viewpoint character, just as new to the world as any readers, used to explore the tumult of the multiverse and the rules that it runs on.
First, as noted before, the protagonist should be human, or at least close enough to human to be a suitable viewpoint character for the audience. While it’s certainly doable to have some other sapient entity as the central character, it probably isn’t something you want to do right away when you’re introducing a universe where the rules are pretty much all different.
That said, I have no intention of defaulting to the supposed baseline for writing; I’m not interested in perpetuating yet another straight while male protagonist who can be played by Johnny Depp, Matt Damon, or Chris Evans interchangeably. Instead, I’ll write a character who echoes my experiences – a queer character. In this case, they’ll be non-binary, using singular they as a pronoun and presenting as such.
Their home society will be rather more welcoming of non-binary identities than our own tends to be, because fiction gives us the chance to show a world we’d like to have, and I’d like a world where queer people are accepted without a fuss and without being expected to hide who they are. They need to be fairly quick on the uptake, given what they’ll be dropped into the midst of, but everything is going to be filtered through their mundane life, at least at first.
The other Travelers are going to seem like fae creatures to them, at first – able to come and go at will, able to break the rules of the world, and they’ll wonder if they’re a changeling, or a half-breed, or something similar until they learn that no, they’re perfectly human – just attuned. I think I’ll have them be attuned to Order – their attunement means they can swap out the the rules around them for other sets, rather than making literally anything possible. They’ll need to use their quick thinking to resolve some problems, since they need to figure out how to change the rules in order to do what they want – and some of their solutions will backfire and make things worse.
Their first interaction with the greater multiverse will be the opening point of their story; the moment when an entity like those described in the mythology of their culture shows up, causes some trouble, and tries to solve the problem of being seen by shoving them out of the world – unattuned creatures can’t survive in the spaces between the worlds, so it’s a surprise to both of them when the visitor arrives to return the corpse and finds itself being punched in the face.
Oh, yes. They’re not a passive character at all. They’re more than willing to punch people, break compacts, and disrupt things to get what they want – which is the safety of their world and everyone they know. If that means beating an eerie insectoid demigod into a pulp until it begs for mercy and swears allegiance to them, so be it.
Things that are important to them – the people they call their family (which will include some of their relatives, but not all, and will also include people they’ve chosen as family), the place they call home, and their world once they understand the stakes. Their world is going to be a fair bit lower than it should be, artificially aged by deposits of entropy by other Travelers – which is what the visitor was doing before they came on the scene; their biggest goal is going to be to get rid of the artificial aging, removing the entropy and dumping it elsewhere.
Their family will be threatened directly and indirectly; directly by the other Travelers who want to keep using the world as an entropic dumping ground, less directly by their sudden absences straining their relationships, and indirectly by the entropy of the world manifesting as it decays with unnatural speed unless they can start shoving it back out.
Their home will be directly threatened by the Travelers who become their personal foes – generally, if you can get rid of a frustrating Traveler’s home and homeworld, they stop bothering everyone else and eventually settle into the way of things. Travelers are just as much creatures of habit any other living being, after all, and none of the established ones are going to like how the protagonist is going to be disrupting things.
As for their world, well, it’s being bombed with entropy, presently faster than they can remove it. They’re going to need help to save it, and that’s going to mean getting allies, even if not friends. Since there’s no way to create a Traveler, as far as anyone know, that means they’re going to have to find like minds who can appreciate their world or just them and recruit those individuals.
I could get into the details of things like what they look like, but those aren’t the core of the character. This will do more than well enough, now.