17
Jan
11

The Priestess and the Colosi: Cataclysm

This is one post I’ve been meaning to do for some time, but just haven’t gotten around to, which means that the things I’ve wanted to mention in it have sort of been growing as things have been happening. After all, one of the key aspects of events is their tendency towards causing change – people grow with experience, and events tend to be something you experience as well as participate in. This does not necessarily mean either the event or the change has to be good or interesting, but it tends toward it all the same.

And Cataclysm and its setup were quite a major event.

With the Alliance side of the pre-Cataclysm events largely being relegated to Stormwind and Ironforge, I ended up making the decision to keep old priestess Nhani Moonfall around Stormwind for the occasion. I had an excuse for it – High Priestess Tyrande Whisperwind (along with the other Alliance faction leaders) all gathered up in Stormwind to discuss events, so it felt like it made sense that Tyrande might ask Nhani to come with her for the journey – part because of Nhani’s past experience with unraveling cult-related mysteries, part because of how a certain council basically asked Tyrande to send Nhani back when the Stormwind harbor was under attack by the scourge. It kept Nhani also able to interact further with the Silver Hand guild, so it felt like the best way of experiencing the events first hand.

Of course, with much of the stirring troubles being about the elements, it also felt like it gave me a convenient excuse why I might have the big guy about. Having friends with alts in the Silver Hand, it felt like a good way to continue my gradual easing into the idea of playing a double act around people while still having some degree of a safety net and people to ask how I was doing.

It started rather low key; with Nhani being generally recognized, the Draenei occasionally walking in step with her tended to avoid too much notice; and with him still being an active follower of the Light – in spite of being a shaman – I had an excuse why he’d swing by the Cathedral, and why Nhani might come there looking for him. Almost no one associated him any with the NPC either, which I’m quite glad for – it gave him all the more space to grow on his own, rather than being stuck with what his roots were.

It.. didn’t exactly stay all that low key, all things considered.

What happened was.. that with all Nhani’s interaction with the Silver Hand and the gradual ramping up of troubles and danger, certain people amongst the Silver Hand started to take notice that Priestess Moonfall had a tendency to bring a shaman with her, which gave them a convenient potential source of information and insight regarding what was happening. Over time, it grew to a point where when they were as likely to want to speak to Colosos as they were Nhani, which really helped me get a feel for him as his own person, rather than just as an extension of Nhani’s own narrative. The thing that really caught me off guard, though, was when they asked the big guy to essentially hold a lecture on the nature of Elementals and how one should combat them. Now, I’ve spoken to crowds quite a few times as Nhani, and have proven fairly adept at adapting Night elven cosmology to go with all kinds of questions or ceremonial contexts, but with the big guy and the Elements.. I was rather unnerved about the prospect. It went rather well, however, and as far as I know it was well recieved – I heard some of their members shout instructions relating to things he had told them all the way through the actual invasion. It also presented the Silver Hand with an interesting opportunity – not only to speak with a shaman, but one that in spite of that still was of the same faith as them. He did end up getting a few questions as to how they should regard elementals simply in relation to the Three Virtues of the Holy Light.. which were really interesting – but also quite difficult – to answer.

As a result of all of that however, he really grew into his own as a character and I’ve become much more comfortable with acting him. I hadn’t expected to have him appear much until after Cataclysm had happened, so this was definitely an early start.

Then of course came the invasion itself, and I found I generally had to leave him behind at the Cathedral for the simple reason that my secondary PC’s reaction to everything happening all at once was to go down to about 1-2 frames per second, making it nigh impossible to do just about anything. Still, even then it felt proper simply to have him around at times, especially since Nhani herself didn’t exactly remain static either throughout it all.

Most of the early character development was really restricted to the big guy – with him having far more recent memories of world-breaking disasters, Nhani ended up being the one least outwardly concerned of the two; especially seeing how if not for the whole world cracking at the seams around her, Nhani’s actually in a pretty good place in her life. What happened though was that Nhani and the big guy were talking with a friend of Nhanis’, and I ended up having to swap character on my main system, so Nhani had to excuse herself with the reasoning that she needed some time to think recent events over. The conversation itself continued for awhile further, and spontaneously without me really having planned it.. as it drew to a close, Colosos ended up asking how common it was for Nhani to wander off and trying to basically carry everything on her own shoulders, and got the answer back that she has a pretty solid track record of trying to do just that. It’s what she’s like. So, as it played out, he decided he’d go find her – he wasn’t sure if he’d be able to help, but he figured that in the least she shouldn’t have to be alone with it.

And that really felt like a defining moment for the two of them.

Once the invasion was over with, they both said their farewells to the Silver Hand and returned to Kalimdor to look to the situation of their own peoples, though they’ve essentially been independently traveling since the actual expansion arrived, looking to their separate duties to their respective calling. The interesting thing is that since Cataclysm happened about the same time as when I wasn’t sure whether or not I’d actually have an internet connection that permitted me to have two computers online at once, I wasn’t sure whether I’d be able to have both of them online at once for some time either. It’s since been amended to a point where I can, but for that time I felt like I really wanted some way for them to be together symbolically even if I might not be able to actually show it for a few months, and ended up adding a small thing to Nhani’s description.. and ultimately to one of her mannerisms.

Short version: he gave her a ring, she put it in her ear.

It’s funny how things have catapulted forward – Nhani’s been pretty clear there’s not necessarily any direct promise or ceremony attached (part because it’s pretty up in air wether Night elves actually do that, part because Nhani isn’t really the sort to), though there’s certainly been a fair amount of people she knows that have been trying to gently nudge her into going that far with it – for the moment it’s really just there as his promise to her that she isn’t alone and doesn’t have to carry everything herself. It’s funny to see the reactions to it, especially how some people seem quite insistant they should take it even further, and it’s been fun to see the comments about the earring since.. it’s normally rather out of place. Of course, in official art there are many Night elven women who wear all kinds of adornments and jewelry, but Nhani’s never really been the sort to – she has the necklace with a crescent moon, the headdress she’s taken to wearing and now the earring.. and that’s that. It even more stands out because of Nhani’s tendency to trace her fingers along her right ear when she’s being contemplative, which now means she’ll usually hit the earring and have an “Wait, what’s.. oh, right.” moment as she remembers its presence.

Admittedly.. when I started the experiment of having him around as an actual character.. or even more when I first started amusing myself with the implication of their relationship.. I never would’ve expected where it’s all gone to. Clearly it must all be on to something, though, because people see it – even though I’ll often keep them speaking on friendly terms rather than have them cuddling in a corner, people pick up on that they’re together. Some times it can also be oddly fun to just have them talk between eachother – I had one night about a week ago I spent something like an hour and a half just having them walk around Stormwind talking back and forth.. and having fun doing it. It was rather odd to take a step back afterward and think “wait.. I just spent how long having a dialogue with myself?”, but it was fun so long as I had an idea what to have them talk about.

So I’m quite interested in seeing where it all heads from here on out, especially with interactions with more people Nhani knows. The response has been nearly unanimously positive, both in and out of character, and it’s been an interesting experiment to indulge in.

So where are they now? Well, with my not really sleeping properly the last few weeks, I’ve not really taken that much time with them, or really with World of Warcraft to begin with (and often hiding on an alt when I have). That said, they’re technically both doing a whole lot of traveling as the world keeps them busy, most often meeting up in Stormwind – part because it’s the standing hub of travel, part because as someone once suggested to me.. they’re not quite as likely to be recognized there, and the humans are less likely to have issues with Nhani’s choice in companionship. As for where it’ll all end, well.. I guess I’ll find out.

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6 Responses to “The Priestess and the Colosi: Cataclysm”


  1. 1 Cobs
    January 17, 2011 at 17:22

    I miss seeing the two of them in the Cathedral, side by side, and having to tolerate my paladin’s grunts and remarks.

    Sincerely glad to see how he’s developed, too.

    • 2 Nhani
      January 18, 2011 at 13:25

      They actually do show up on occasion; less recently because I’ve been a tad under the water, and more wandering around Stormwind (either talking or in silence) than stopping inside the Cathedral, but yeah.

  2. 3 Xel
    January 17, 2011 at 17:30

    That was a beautiful update, Nhani; it’s always interesting to see how things are progressing for your characters in the actual game. I am also, of course, extremely jealous of the rp that occurs on your server; it sounds like a lot of fun, so long as you know where to look for it.

    Nhani’s ring adds to her a feminine elegance that might otherwise be lost on a woman warrior. I think it’s a very nice touch, especially that she forgets about it but finds herself occasionally reminded of its presence. I always wondered why Night Elves don’t receive the option for piercings (our facial markings could easily be implemented into each individual facial choice), even though the blood elves and humans get this option. As you said, lots of official artwork (including the box art of The Frozen Throne expansion of WCIII) shows night elves sporting an assortment of piercings.

    I just had a thought of how nice it would be if the devs would implement skins to physically show your equipped rings, trinkets and necklace. That’d be a nice touch, and certainly would be loved by the rp community in particular. Unlikely to happen thanks to 1) Blizzard’s not likely to care over such a small detail, especially with their hands already full balancing the newly-launched expansion content, and 2) WoW really doesn’t seem to encourage the rp scene.

    • 4 Nhani
      January 18, 2011 at 10:24

      The whole forgetting about the ring and then realizing it’s there when her hand touches it was actually something a friend of mine suggested based on her own experiences in first wearing a ring (though on a finger in her case); I really liked the idea of it since this whole idea of promises and permanency is actually rather new to her. She’s had relationships before, but none ever really reached that level of seriousness or potential longevity; part because she didn’t let them.

      She’s treading new ground for her, and she’s actually rather conflicted about some of it at times.

      As for rings – that’s not possible to do in texture at the moment; I mean sure, in theory it is, but the way the models and texture maps are currently done, there is no way to do that with a reasonable enough consistency and quality to be worth considering. Simply, World of Warcraft doesn’t have enough emphasis on the visual quality of hands for it to be possible – they’d have to pretty much completely overhaul the models to make it work.

      Amulets and trinkets.. well. It might be a fun idea (Oblivion did something like this) but I think it might be better without – my inventory space suffers enough without having to remove rings, amulets and trinkets for RP gear; I don’t even want to think what it’d do to my inventory space if I had to remove those too!

      • 5 Xel
        January 21, 2011 at 07:25

        Speaking of Oblivion (wild tangent to take on the subject, I know), but a little bird told me another Elder Scrolls game is in the works currently. Here’s hoping there’s still a community there to make it everything that Oblivion was, and maybe more. That and Mass Effect III has me all ready to ditch the internet games and prepare for a long solstice from the rest of the world.

        Anyways, yes, Blizzard’s WoW hands are hideous. Rings and trinkets wouldn’t do much to alleviate this horror without, as you said, a complete revamp. Was just a thought.

  3. 6 Tailed
    January 20, 2011 at 18:19

    Always interesting to hear what kind of things happen on RP realms. Sure, my main char is on a RPPvP realm where PvP and PvE seems to be preferred (Ravenholdt EU), but I’ve taken a few chances and rolled an alt or two on an RP realm (Earthen Ring EU). And what happens in the late nights in Stormwind, some odd, some interesting things. Makes me want to give RP a try, then again, thinking up a character comes to me pretty easy, what to do with them, whole differant matter.

    Speaking of which, I do like what you’ve been doing with Nhani and with the matching big guy, and especially the whole time you take for reasoning things you do and of course the effort in character development.

    Personally I’ve been too semi-skittish to jump in and /w people who look like RPers in a key event to ask them the who/what/where. And generally preferring not to stand out I’ve had my Worgen mostly stand by the sidelines watching with semi interest and drop a few comments whenever the mood strikes me or when I’ve been bothered. It feel kinda meh when all you can do is watch. So I was wondering if you have any suggestions or tips to give to a semi-interested RP beginner?


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