Ishowed up at ucsc in 1984 ("ooo, old guy"), and began with porthos. i wasn't up on dumas lore, and the chivlaric twist shortly became rather hackneyed and dull to me, so i changed it - first to zen, during that short phase, and then to etrigan when i hit my wannabe-gother-than-thou phase (no pancake makeup & such, mine was all 'tude).

etrigan is a DC comics character who started out the typical insipid way, but had a great story done by matt wagner in the late 80s. he's supposed to be the child of another demon belial, lord of lies, and some mortal witch, as well as half-brother of merlin. merlin bound him to a mortal agent, jason blood, to theoretically keep the demon from being as much of a problem.

the two could communicate - after a fashion. all the time spent sharing space with a demon was unpleasant, and there was a bit i really liked from the story (paraphrased):

"as time has passed, i've tried to make a peace with the demon, to strike a bargain. as time went on, we'd become a little more like each other. and, as time went on, i did become more like the demon - whereas etrigan become more like, well, etrigan. i suppose that is to be expected when dealing with a demon."

like i said, wannabe-gother-than-thou...

'etrigan' fit in 7 characters too, which was a issue at the time. the account survived from it's creation in early 1987 or so until i came back to finish up my degree by 1996.

it hung on a few years longer, but then finally bit the dust around 1998 or so (i forget precisely when). i still use it for forum, although my email nowadays is usually either 'joed@' for work, or 'joe@' for not. etrigan, porthos, and other accounts i've had all point to me on, my permanent and final home.

a perhaps amusing addendum: some forums i've begun to frequent recently, which have so much of the 'smell' of old ucscb i sometimes give a start, i've adopted the handle 'etrigone' (etrigan was taken by some nameless person, and i've never actually seen the ownwer use it). this is a mixing of the obvious, plus the name of the character 'mr. gone' from the comic series "the maxx". yes, he's another angsty semi-evil type. i suppose the penchant for melodrama hasn't completely burned itself out yet.