The Priestess and the Colosi: Aspirations

One of the interesting things with characterization and character interaction is that characters can sometimes surprise you. Small, subtle hints can find ground and grow into expansive, enduring features, and elements you once thought unimportant might prove themselves ultimately central. It can be an amazing journey sometimes because if you let a character just go and allow them to live.. they will occasionally go places you never expected. ‘ol Nhani Moonfall has proven quite adept at going to such places every so often.. I’ve yet to decide whether she does it to spite me.

What started as an in-joke with the nubs during raids about ‘ol Moonfall having a thing for Draenei men grew into a few random renders of her and one of the taller NPC ones I could find, which in turn grew into more random renders and implied flirting and.. by now has turned into an implied romance that’s been going on for over a year. Something that – unless Blizzard decides another fate for him – is likely to continue well into Cataclysm.

It’s gotten me thinking, just where am I taking it, where do I see it going, how far can I keep it going without it becoming unmanageable. And seeing how it’s inevitable that the secret, as such, will be out eventually.. just how do I sell the idea of figurehead Night elven priestess Nhani Moonfall being in a romance with a Draenei NPC?

So far, it’s developed fine on its own, in the form it currently holds – there’s been a few suggestions that Nhani has a Draenei friend that she met at the Argent Tournament that she occasionally spends some time with, with a limited few people having picked up the implication that there’s a romance involved. She’s never once mentioned his name, but has let slip that he may be a Shaman and that he may have been a Paladin prior to that. I’ve been content to keep it to hushed, implied suggestions and leave the actual interaction and development for random renders and how Nhani develops with it.

It’s taken a few interesting twists lately, though, with Lady Prynkesse of the Ravenholdt Rogues – a close friend of Nhanis’ – having remarked at just how smitten Nhani struck her as – a rather unusual state for Nhani to be in – and being rather encouraging that Nhani should just forget appearances and the whole figurehead role in this case and just run with it and kindly ask anyone who takes issue with her seeing a Draenei to bugger right off. Add to that an offer that Nhani could always bring him by the Ravenholdt mansion if the two of them ever have the time and wish for privacy and, well.. suddenly, it’s starting to seem like a more and more attractive idea of finding some way of occasionally having him around – to let people close to Nhani see them talk and interact, to go the logical next step.

There is, obviously, problems with this.

  1. He is an NPC.
  2. However minor and unused, I would either have to retcon another identity unto him, or effectively possess an NPC, imbue an identity, a history and a personality to him and hope that Blizzard won’t end up taking him in a direction that will utterly break my own continuity. He’s off enough to the side that I doubt people would really notice much – especially not on a realm where there are several recognized player-run groups and guilds acting in stead of all manner of in-world groups and factions – but it’s still the sort of ground one has to tread carefully, and with respect.

  3. Someone would need to characterize him.
  4. Obviously, I can’t be logged in twice with the same account, so either I’d have to kidnap one of my fellow nubs for the task, or would have to get an additional account for this purpose. There’s significant downsides with both approaches, and while I’ve seen one of my fellow nubs make an awesome duo with herself through means of multiboxing, I’m not sure if I could manage the same split attention – in the least not with reaction time suffering.

It’s an interesting conondrum, since as a narrator I’m compelled to work with and expand the ongoing story I have, especially one that is – at its heart – very personal. On the other hand, it’s a narrative that exists beyond just the character herself and that needs as much interaction as it needs narration to grow in full. There are several options available to me that I could take, either to just continue as is, or try to extend and expand upon it; no matter which choices I end up picking there’s both advantages and disadvantages.

I’m still deciding, really – trying to figure how I might best approach it and where the various options might land me. I think it’d remain a rather private matter for Nhani no matter which path I end up picking, so it’s more about weighing the pros and cons of letting people close to her see the interaction she implies, rather than just hearing her talk about it.


7 Responses to “The Priestess and the Colosi: Aspirations”

  1. 1 Village Guy
    August 23, 2010 at 21:22

    Well… I’ll be damned, first time I heard of a romance involving both a player and an NPC, I can see how that is kinda awkward, with those weird silent pauses in conversations when Nhani isn’t speaking 😛

  2. August 23, 2010 at 21:38

    Well obviously i’m sure someone would gladly take over the role of Nhani’s BF, espically if one is well versed in Draenei culture and knows how to mingle it a bit with Night elven lore.

    Personally I just think to keep him as a background character, like people talk about him, but he doesn’t really appear on-screen. That’s how i deal with NPC’s anyway.
    But TBH i’m kinda surprised your willing to stick up for this relationship, i sort of assumed you would let this one slip, but then again i never really rp’d with you haha.

    • 3 Nhani
      August 23, 2010 at 22:21

      It didn’t start serious, really – it was a fun, silly thing at first, and I didn’t expect anything of it since growth comes out of interaction and.. NPCs are somewhat limited in that. The thing is though.. ‘ol Moonfall has friends, and they would hear about this friend of hers that she was making excuses to be able to swing by, and suddenly the whole thing developed – not between them, but out of her talking about it.

      In a way, it’s largely been a second hand narrative – it’s all told by her relaying her own experiences, and through that it becomes a larger part of her present. It’s actually rather funny in retrospect – I never expected, nor intended, it to be a big thing. Through other characters reacting though, it’s taken off on its own from a minor implied subplot to a major character arc.

      I’m not entirely sure how that happened, yet, but it leaves me in a rather odd situation – it’s too big a part of her now to simply axe it, so I’m caught having to figure out how to best make something manageable out of it.

  3. 4 Arafor
    August 24, 2010 at 19:41

    Well, with him being tied down with his duties there isn’t much need for him to hog the screen time. (plausible excuse)

    Also, Moonfall is actually rather shy when it comes to matters of the heart, while she might not seem like it. (another plausible excuse)

    If you really needed to have him come visit your friends or whatever you wouldn’t need him to play often. It would be more then enough if he’s seen half an hour each week, or even less. Thus, having someone roleplay him shouldn’t be much of a problem.

  4. 5 Moltrazahn
    August 24, 2010 at 22:58

    You could allways start with givin’ him a name. Then make the charecter.. once you get your mind set on such, deciding if this is ever to be played by anyone, is the next step. But if you never -make- him yourself, i dont think youd really feel right about another just doing it, and playing with you. At least from what your saying, there is more to our dear dreamboat then just an idea, an npc. And if you ever would want him to participate more into Nhani’s rp, i think it would be necessary to firstly accept/create his exsistance within the physical gameworld. Your only then problem is finding one who can play it, without it being you… which would mean being willing to let go of control over something you created, and trust that into the hands of someone else’s mind.

    Tough call… 🙂

  5. 6 Luklan
    August 25, 2010 at 15:49

    I would definitely suggest getting someone who can dedicate the time and effort (And who you trust and get along with very well) into rolling up Nhani’s paramour, and who manages to meet any criterea you might set. It’d definitely stop Blizzard from getting their mitts on him and destroying him on you (And frankly, there’s enough drama out there, I think Nhani deserves some constant bright spark :p).

    As Moltrazahn says above though, you’d have to be willing to let someone else take over your own creation, while somehow keeping them in-line as someone Nhani would be interested in. It’s really difficult (I’ve been on the ‘Playing-Someone-Else’s-Creation’ end), but once you get used to the whole thing, it’s some of the best RP I’ve had.

    …Pity none of it ever happened on WoW.

  6. 7 Thunderbraid_AD
    August 28, 2010 at 12:26

    I generally just go with the same sort of thing (Background character) for Thunderbraid’s family, especially his wife, the idea that she is a libarian mixes in with that. She wouldn’t normally be seen elsewhere. She’s talked about, but will never make an appearance.

    His daughter and brother, though. I have had plans to throw them up as character to play alternately and show that the Thunderbraids have as varied personalities as the next family. 😛

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