THE OLD GUARD is an informal designation for Cutler’s oldest original characters. As a rule, it is not used in serious work.
This article may contain spoilers. Read at your own risk.
The designation usually refers to characters created between 1988 and 1994, these in particular:
Nara, as she is called, is the first character Cutler created. Originally sharing the name Ashleigh, she was, simply put, a “Mary-Sue” or author avatar. It wasn’t until 1994 that she got a name and developed a personality that still echoes Cutler’s.
This dragon owes his existence to The Land Before Time, as he was based upon its villain. He became a character more in line with the B.F.G. before he was a year old. The shift from dinosaur to dragon took much more time. He owes his name to Time Cat.
Also known as “the kindergartner's wolf”, Zephyr was originally known as Wolfy, then Wolfgang. He is younger than Gareth, as Cutler graduated kindergarten in the early 1990's. He is the third member of her go-to trio alongside Nara and Gareth.
Tristina Quincey Edit
It is perhaps wrong to list Tristina before Tristen, as that is the source of her name. Tristina was based on a bat Halloween decoration. She became a vampire bat shortly after, then a vampiress and finally a Bakeneko.
Created while Cutler was in kindergarten, Bumble was a friend of Nara and Tristina. He didn’t develop further originally, possibly because he and the bat were alike in many ways. Another reason could be Cutler’s fear of bees. He later returned, though his form had changed.
The only one to be called an imaginary friend when he was created, Rixie was a mesh of personality traits borrowed from too many places to list. In 1994 he got a name change like Nara and Zephyr, becoming Ricardo. He also changed from human to canine for his new role as Nara’s brother. But when Cutler finally reworked her stories, he was unnecessary. The names were given to a pair of werewolves in an attempt to make use of the character, but was tossed aside. Eventually, like Bumble... he returned in a new form... and as Bumble's son
Tristen is the first dog in Cutler’s life, her parents’ Doberman. His placement below his namesake is due to the line between cameo and character being rather blurred. Tristen featured in Cutler’s “stories” often, but cannot be considered a character in his own right until his death in November of 1992.
Cutler’s second cat, though first kitten, Sunny Cat was the best friend of Tristen in real life. And like him, it’s questionable if Sunny can be thought of as a character prior to his death. He died shortly after Tristen, his body found in the dog house.
A few characters were created closely in time with the above, but are not a part of the Old Guard either because they never developed past the imaginary friend stage or they have changed too much to be recognizable. Other while older than most, do not surpass the age of the oldest characters.
Jack, like Tristina, was originally a Halloween decoration. The black cat however owes much of his personality to books from 1992.
Another Halloween decoration, Sid got his name from Six-Dinner Sid. He and the rest of the Baluari are most likely a year or so older than their listed creation date, but its unconfirmed.
The real-life Sunny’s rival for the top spot, Nomad owes his half-Baluari status to Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, or at least that’s Cutler’s best guess. Born between 1992 and 1993, Nomad became Jack’s son in-universe to clear up the confusion caused by feline mating practices. Bluntly, Sunny sired Nomad’s sister and his nephew, and possibly Nomad himself.
Cutler’s one truly evil childhood creation, Lucifur comes from Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, he is a spirit wolf, and has changed little over the years.