Random Render: Dichotomy of Areen

This more than any other is likely the one Random render that needs its context elaborated on, especially since like most characters in Beyond the Tree, Areen Lightspark was based on a pre-existing character. And while I have an occasional tendency to go off on length about the situation of Nhani Moonfall and try to ensure that people know she and Hani Foonmall are not only separate but also very different characters.. I haven’t really spoken much about the in-game Areen Fuzzybang.

Areen is technically an old character; that doesn’t mean I’ve played her that much; she’s been very off and on, and I’ve misplaced the earlier character concepts I had for her since long. The important incarnation of her is the one pre-Wrath, where I was rather stuck as Blizzard were going to break roguetanking (for obvious reasons) and I wanted to play a tank, but wasn’t too sure of the warrior class at the time. I was pretty set on wanting to play a Death Knight at the time, but I couldn’t see Nhani Moonfall taking that route. End result being that I dug Areen up from somewhere, invented a new concept for her and had her run around as a Gnome Warrior awaiting a time to reroll her into a Death Knight. That’s essentially the reason why any of my old gnomish death knight renders look like Areen.

Of course, like characters have a tendency to, Areen Fuzzybang took an unexpected twist during a conversation with paladin Avari Lucien – Areen had been trying to understand the idea of the Holy Light and similars, thinking of it as a form of clean power source, and in one discussion that idea just entirely collapsed and she instead went on to try to follow the whole philosophy. As a result, the Death Knight reroll was pushed aside as she’d suddenly found a better path; unfortunately, that left her as a warrior, which part ended up contributing to the fact that I ended up playing most of Wrath up until recently as Nhani Moonfall in priest class form.

I still missed Areen to a point and wanted to do something with her, however, and a friend of mine adviced me to put her into the comic, and thus Areen Lightspark, gnomish paladin of the Holy Light was born.

I actually did pick up in-game warrior Areen Fuzzybang a time later for a short while, and ended up enjoying the class to the point where Nhani Moonfall now use that character, once more leaving Areen in limbo. I’ve been wanting to bring her back for some time, and I’ve spent some time considering whether I should turn my inevitable gnomish priestess come Cataclysm into Areen or the other character concept I had.

Once more, however, a friend ended up providing the solution by suggesting that I try a Death Knight due to the mechanics; I’ve tried a death knight before and it didn’t really work – they were fun to play, but the concept I had wasn’t, so it didn’t work. Ultimately.. since I’ve been wanting to bring Areen back in some form but wasn’t sure what exactly.. I ended up combining the two, and Areen Fuzzybang ended up as the Death Knight I had intended so much earlier.

I actually find it a rather interesting sort of alternate perspective because with this.. the difference between Areen Fuzzybang and Areen Lightspark is now on par with – if not greater than – that between Nhani Moonfall and Hani Foonmall, while at the same time still having rather similar pasts. It’s like an alternate reality version, and I actually found that somewhat interesting to play around with.

Thus this image, after much ado. Essentially, Fuzzybang on left, Lightspark on right – the contrast is.. significant.

(Click for Large)

19 Responses to “Random Render: Dichotomy of Areen”

  1. 1 Ilyara
    May 31, 2010 at 14:53

    I love this image, it’s heartbreaking: Areen fuzzybang looks so sad and alone :<

    • 2 Luklan
      May 31, 2010 at 17:33

      …Honestly, I just want to hug them both.

      Is that wrong of me?

      • May 31, 2010 at 21:12

        Not really, they’re adorable ^^
        To be fair you can see this as a what if.

        What if Lightspark became corrupted when she tried to find a cleaner powersource and thus became a death knight?

        • 4 Nhani
          June 1, 2010 at 07:49

          One of the things that intrigue me about Areen actually is that both aspects are effectively avid practitioners of the Holy Light – even the “fallen” one; though Fuzzybang has no real hope of ever wielding it herself anymore, she’ll still readily express her faith in the three virtues – Tenacity in particular.

          In fact, I’ve generally come to think it that that idea – that while you can’t change the world in one day, you can make it better if you just keep trying and don’t give up – is effectively the thing that kept her going rather than her simply falling to madness and despair.

          It was one of the things that I found really interesting about the concept of her being a death knight to begin with – that in spite of everything, she actually knows the Holy Light a fair bit better than the average paladin you’ll run across in Stormwind.

  2. 5 Gordrake Thunderhoof
    June 1, 2010 at 08:55

    I actually remember running across an Areen the other week. I remember thinking “WTF?” as it ran past me in Stormwind back and, not a moment later, I get whispered about her. I knew then… Nhani. Sigh of relief passing, I began wondering then as to what happened here.

    WTB RP with Areen now…I think it would be an interesting meeting between Areen and Enyon.

    • 6 Gordrake Thunderhoof
      June 2, 2010 at 01:18

      It should be an even more interesting meeting now. OOCly I was quoted a line by Ailuro from Castlevania, talking about how it doesn’t matter if you have powers of good or evil, it’s the way they are used that decides their purpose. Wasn’t anything like that, but something to that effect. In the RP I had then with another Gnome DK, Shimizu, and Manthis Lightfire, he actually realised that very thing – that it’s not the power used that’s unholy, evil, good or sacred, but the manner of it’s use. Enyon even went on to explain how the gnome summoned ghouls to aid in putting the fire out and how he appreciated that more than abhored it.

      But yeah…trip to memory lane over, I’m actually going to find some sleep now while there’s downtime. *cough*

      • 7 Nhani
        June 2, 2010 at 09:01

        Areen does wander around Stormwind from time to time, so she shouldn’t be that hard to come across really. Having a reason to approach her on the other hand might be slightly more so as she does try to remain fairly inconspicuous.

  3. 8 Mouse
    June 1, 2010 at 09:34

    Oh Nahni, part of me feels a little sad at this latest turn of events. However, the larger part of me really, really wants to see what happens if we put Theodosia (with her mental theories on the Science! of the Light and resurrection) and Death Knight Areen in a room together and lock the door.

    I’m also going to second Ilyara’s comment. Maybe I’m a little too invested in the welfare of Earthen Ring’s Gnomes but there is something heartbreaking about the render.

    • 9 Nhani
      June 1, 2010 at 10:10

      To be honest, I actually came to feel a little that as a paladin, Areen Fuzzybang ended up seeming a little redundant; she was quite good at explaining the ideas, philosophies and virtues (being former academic and lecturer and all), but she never really got much further than a warrior with faith. Contrasted by Noriam’s gnomish paladin who even reached direct recognition recently, I believe?

      And with Nhani taking over the racechanged character that used to be Areen Fuzzybang.. I’ve been wanting to have Areen back in some form – especially for Operation:Gnomeregan, but I didn’t need a second warrior, and gnomish priestesses (which I’m still intent on getting one of) won’t be available until much later.

      Like this, not only will she get to be there (and make good on what she told Noriam) to administer few legions of Troggs the beating of their lives, but it also seems like she gets her own niche in the ongoing quest of sorts to bring the Holy Light to the gnomes; where the few priests and paladins might help in showing its brightness.. Areen is more of a standing symbol of its resilience, seeing how in spite of everything she still stubbornly holds to it.

  4. 10 saila aka wester
    June 2, 2010 at 12:02

    Nhani have you done something to the hair it look less like an tube and more like hair.
    am talking about the Fuzzybang ones. I Don´t know why but it dose look more real.
    oh yee love the goggles see yourself for yourself http://i412.photobucket.com/albums/pp209/Lore_wester/Avatars/Pilot_air_Cartoonizer_3.jpg

    • 11 Nhani
      June 3, 2010 at 08:17

      Nothing directly obvious; she uses the same “Soaked” (I think?) hairstyle she uses in-game, except that there’s a meshsmooth modifier applied and I added a slight morph to avoid it clipping too harshly with the goggles.

  5. June 2, 2010 at 15:36

    Have to admit, caught me off-guard a tad when I first saw deadie-Areen in-game; amplified now that the aforementioned render is somewhat grim; definately in agreement with ‘heartbreaking’.

    On the other hand I’m glad that Areen’s back in play; I do recall Nori making sure she’d turn up for Operation: Gnomeregan, albeit I doubt he’d expected said assistance in this format. Nor little Riana, for that matter. On that note, may it be said, I’m glad you let me pinch that surname for her! Hope I’ve done it proud (Officially a knight in the Silver Hand, now). Will be curious to see how any interactions on my part change toward miss Fuzzybang; but that’s something to find out.

    Back on topic, like; I think we’ve talked about the contrasts between comic and in-game Areen a fair bit, although I don’t think there were quite as many as there are now, hrm?

    • 13 Gordrake Thunderhoof
      June 3, 2010 at 01:18

      Oooh, so you’re Riana Lightspark? *waves* Tiamos/Enyon here. Hope I didn’t annoy you too much…and you lost that bet, by the way.

      I need to get to work more on Mallria…my little Sharpgadget has a long way to go before she can lend her full support to the operation. That and I need to build her up RP-wise…though in my favour, she’s excelling in Engineering – she’s advancing faster in that than she can level!

      • June 3, 2010 at 11:42

        Riana was quite sourly tired yesterday, fairly easy to annoy her in that state.

        I don’t often hear of people levelling -engineering- of all things faster than they can keep up, strange little thing!

        All in all – more gnomes! Mooooore gnooooomes!

        • 15 Gordrake Thunderhoof
          June 4, 2010 at 11:42

          I know, it’s weird how it’s worked for Mallria – it’s like she REALLY got back into it after her stint of uncertainty about it. I actually hit 165 Engineering before hitting level 20. In contrast, Enyon’s Blacksmithing 192, Mining 243…level 63. *cough* Yeah…I iz been lazeh nao.

  6. 16 Nirene Feathersong
    June 6, 2010 at 01:20

    Speaking of which, I’ve been quite fond of making my second character on ER. I’m not too sure what it should be, though. At first, I had thoughts that I would create a night elf priestess, but it would be a bother creating a background story which would part from that of Nhani Moonfall, and the thing that I already have a night elf character made me scrap that idea. Instead, I’ve thought a draenei priestess should suffice. Then again, I might aim for something different as Cataclysm hits, like a druid. Might have to think about it for awhile…

  7. June 8, 2010 at 23:36

    There are times where I wish I could play WoW with you guys across the pond. I’d move my Gnome DK and Warrior in a heartbeat. 🙂

  8. June 11, 2010 at 15:22

    Oh wow, I’m so impressed by those renders, it really makes the characters feel so much more full of emotion.

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