First things first, I'm writing a fantasy epic about a war between a mechanized empire and a nation of pagan tribes adept in magic with a subplot about an ancient queen seeking vengeance against the world's god for killing her race.
My story focuses on four sections of my protagonist Thuun's life (if you really want you can skip this bit) :
I. Thuun and his mother, members of a tribe who lived on the territory the mechanized empire now controls. They are attempting to escape their genocide of demigods and tribes by retreating to the Tribal lands to the north, but Thuun is captured and his mother executed. He is then sent to an interment camp with other captured mages and their kin. After a year or two, he escapes with the help of other mages, but he is the sole survivor after the dust settles.
II. Thuun journeys through the wilds for a few months before joining the Tribal Confederacy's military force. This section covers his training and his research of his tribal lineage.
III. Thuun's military campaigns and eventual desertion of the military for having contrasting perspectives on progress and goals.
IV. Thuun, now a wandering mercenary, fights to the ends he believes necessary to end the war. He is an enemy of both nations. However, he is called upon by his old military kin and he offers his allyship in order to finally put an end to the war by uniting broken alliances so long as he is pardoned for his previous crimes against the confederacy. In the end, he is the true hero of the war, but his name will never make it into any records, and he is forgotten by all but the kin of those he befriended.
Thuun's ultimate drive is his desire for vengeance and reparations for what the empire did to him and his kin. As a youth prior to the war he is timid but curious, and always trying to understand the world around him. However, when he fails to come to understandings, he has a tendency to anger and violence that becomes worse as he grows older. Despite his emotional nature, he is adept at making allies with those around him, and will do anything to protect those he cares about.
Thuun has trouble following orders that can harm innocents, and this is ultimately what makes him abandon the military. His punishment and torture of POWs and other villainy also left a bad taste in the mouths of his superiors, as they could see that he takes pleasure in hurting people he disagrees with, as well as the fact that he harmed unpleasant nobles of the Tribal Confederacy. Killing his squad's leader for ordering the burning of an innocent village, and breaking the hands of a runic tattooist, didn't help either.
As he gets older, however, he begins to learn that violence begets violence, though at this point it is something he is to addicted to. He begins to struggle to control his addictions as he continues to pursue vengeance from a more tactical angle. He wants to adopt the mindset that people can change if they truly desire it deep within themselves. As a mercenary, he only accepts work for virtuous people, unless he can still achieve his goals without unnecessarily harming anyone. He may kill and protect for money, but he maintains a code. When he is recruited by former allies in the Tribal Confederacy, he makes it very clear that he follows his own ideals, not theirs. They share an end, but not the means. Once the war is finally at an end, he continues to work as a mercenary, cleaning up the remnants of the Empire and pockets of resistance until he finally combats the puppetmaster of it all, and ultimately fails. The land plunges into darkness, and he disappears, or so it is said.
Ultimately I'm just worried about him seeming like a character that you see in every other story, or being cookie cutter or too tropey. I want him to be dark, but not at the expense of being a dumb Mary Sue. I have no intention of him being all capable or all powerful, though he will ultimately be a powerful caster that rivals many masters, but this is due to a hereditary disease that affects the way he channels mana.