Hello, this is my first thread on this forum. I am in the midst of putting together research to begin writing a fantasy novel, and am having problems creating my main character. Because I am still in the planning period, I have yet to give names to my characters. So please bear with me. The main character of my story is a young man in his 20s who travels across the world in search of "truth" regarding the history and culture of a race of dark elves long viewed upon by the humans as being the descendants of that world's devil. The words that sum up my main character is, "knowledge is power". While he is able to hold his own in hand-to-hand combat, my main character's specialty lies in his ability to deduce the actions and behaviors of individuals based on his observations and analysis of their history. As such, when in battle, my main character will often defeat his opponents by exposing them of their weaknesses. However unlike some heroes of the fantasy genre such as Lord of the Ring's Aragon or the Corean Chronicle's Allucius, my main character is a man who adheres to using weapons that can mortally harm his opponents. He is a man who believes that death is neither a means of attaining peace nor a way of bringing about resolution to conflict; he will only kill when he has no other options left. In the meantime, the main character fights using a style of martial arts when confronting opponents in combat. Weapon of choice depends on the character's surroundings: A pair of iron tonfas for close quarters combat. A 6-foot staff in more open spaced areas. However, the problem that I now face is figuring out if my main character's fighting style would be considered credible in the type of world he lives in. As he travels across the land, my main character will come across opponents of different sizes, shapes, and fighting styles. If his opponent were to fight him wearing a heavy set of armor and a large sheild, how would it be possible for him to win and still make sense? On top of that, some of the things that my character will come across may not even be of men; he may come across a creature whose skin is so dense that not even the sword of the world's largest Orc could cut open (I'm not planning on using Orcs in my story. That was just an example). Finally, there's the issue with having martial arts in my story's setting. My fantasy world is more based on Medieval Europe and the Industrial Revolution than on anything Eastern (although I may hint at Japanese folklore when introducing certain creatures in the future). If the guy walks into a bar, and wipes the floor with a couple of thugs using something seen in a Bruce Lee movie, wouldn't that seem just a little inconsistent? I am at my wits end trying to come up with a solution. I don't want to make my character into a sword wielder because there have already been so many of those kinds of heroes in fantasy (I don't want to make a clone of Eragon). However, I am starting to wonder if maybe carrying a sword is the only way of surviving in the type of world he lives in.