[Story/Screenshots] Character of the Week – Raleth Surana

[[ This is the Raleth that exists in the Dragon Age games. He is my canon Warden, an elf Mage. I lost a lot of my old screenshots when my old hard drive failed, but here’s one I snagged from another post! ]]

The new kid certainly didn’t look like a mage. He was impossibly thin and pointy, his eyes sunken and dark, dirt smudged on his face and shirt. Nevertheless, Raleth sat across from him at the table with his food tray.

“What do you want?” the kid snarled, but Raleth could see the tracks that tears had left in the dirt on his cheeks.

“I just thought you might want a friend,” shrugged Raleth. “It’s kind of weird at first, but I can show you around. My name’s Raleth.”

The kid’s dark eyes narrowed. “Why?”

“Just–” Raleth paused. “I know what it’s like. Feeling different from everyone. Being scared.”

He wiped his nose on his sleeve roughly. “I’m not scared. And what do you know? You look like you’re some noble’s pet.”

Raleth glanced down at his apprentice robes, the same ones that every student wore, that the new kid would receive probably right after the meal. “They give these to us,” he explained.

“Oh,” said the boy, lowering his gaze. “I’m sorry. I’m Farrin.”

Raleth didn’t blame him for his mistrust, it was bred into you in the alienage. Farrin was old enough to have seen what life is like, and to be suspicious of strangers — even elven strangers. He himself had been much younger when he’d been taken, and hadn’t yet seen the things Farrin had — or his mother. She’d cried when they came to take him, but they were tears of joy. “You’re going to have a good life now, Raleth,” she’d told him. “You’ll have food and a warm bed and never go hungry.” He’d been a little afraid to leave her behind, but how could he possibly disappoint her? He’d tried sending letters to tell her how he was doing, but his mother couldn’t read and he’d never received a reply. But she hadn’t been wrong — the Circle was safe, and he was well cared for. A cage it might be, but at least it was a pleasant one.

“Have you been here a long time?” Farrin asked, after he’d wolfed down his tray of food. He was eyeing Raleth’s roll, so he gave it to him.

“I was seven or so, I think. So yes.”

Farrin blinked. “That young?”

Raleth nodded. “It’s rare for someone to be brought so old, actually. Usually they’ve gone on the run already.”

Farrin frowned and tore the roll apart, chewing one half of it. “Maybe I should have.”

“No — you don’t want that. It’s safe here. The instructors will show you how to do everything properly and safely. And it’s kind of nice having others to talk to. I kind of felt like — I don’t know,” Raleth sighed. “An animal on display.”

“How do you stand all the humans, though?” Farrin’s dark eyes darted toward the other table, where several of them sat together.

“It’s not a big deal here,” Raleth said. “I mean, not really. Not like it is out there. As long as you can keep up with classes, they don’t really care if you’re an elf.”

Farrin watched them doubtfully. “Really?”

“Really. And,” Raleth added. “Some of them aren’t that bad.”

“Don’t you ever miss it though?” Farrin asked.

“The alienage?”

Farrin scowled and shook his head. “The rest of the world.”

How could he miss something he had never known? But yes, it was true that he sat near the windows in the library sometimes, looking out over the lake and imagining what lay beyond. He’d seen paintings in books of faraway lands and exotic animals and fancy costumes, but that’s all they were to him — just fantasy. They were forbidden to leave, trapped here within the Tower unless the Chantry decreed otherwise, so there was no point in fighting it. Raleth had been at the Circle long enough to see what happened to those who tried.

“Maybe a little. But I think it’s worth it to learn to be a mage, don’t you?”

Farrin didn’t have an answer to that.

Advertisements

[Story/Screenshot] Character of the Week – Tathariel Evershade

[[ Tathariel was born on January 30, 2006. She was my very first WoW character, though she was initially a Tauren and became Ornasse’s daughter when she was race-changed. This is actually a “fake” Tathariel, one on another server, as the account with her has been unsubscribed for 18 months. So it’s weird to be looking at what’s probably the end of my WoW journey soon when writing about her.

I have no plans to buy the expansion at this time, I won’t say never because they could always add something that I can’t resist. But slightly-recolored existing race skins just aren’t enough to convince me to buy a third expansion in a row that I don’t like. They are doubling down on things I actively dislike — forced faction conflict, artifact grind, mythic+, and I just really dislike the way the lore and game in general are going. Some of my formerly favorite classes are awful to me now, and they have no plans to reverse the class changes made in Legion. I had planned to just run old raids — but then they squished stats so they’re much more difficult now. I’m not sure how much longer I can justify paying every month just to RP. It’s not really about the money, it’s about paying for a game I don’t enjoy anymore. It also stinks that I’ll be stuck in Legion for the foreseeable future, the expansion that killed my love for the game. I do love my characters though, and writing about them, so I don’t know. ]]

tathariel

Tathariel shivered as she stepped through the deathgate, she could feel the clammy grasp of the air there, even through the portal. A damp and unpleasant smell hung in the air, and dozens of bright blue eyes turned to regard her curiously. She’d been to Acherus once before, but it had been a long time ago. It didn’t seem any less unsettling now, and she was thankful that Jaellynn had worn his armor after all. At first she’d argued against it, worried that the sin’dorei rangers would be afraid of him, or worse, attack him. He ushered her to the balcony, where several of those strange skeletal gryphons waited with empty eyes.

She’d imagined the forests to be bright and colorful, ablaze with red and gold — and they were, until they flew further south, over the black scar that marred the earth. There all the life and color seemed to drain from the land, a dreary grey expanse that stretched as far as Tathariel could see. How could anyone live here? She shivered, holding onto the leather saddle more tightly. Orledin had told Jaellynn where to find the rangers, along the main road to the south. She saw other estates lying below, most of them in disrepair, as hopeless as the forest around them. But a few appeared to have been rebuilt, and some even had people living in them. Tathariel saw what had to be the school, a sprawling old building surrounded by smaller outbuildings, all beneath a shimmering dome. Orledin had said that a kaldorei lived there, but Tathariel couldn’t imagine how she could tolerate the gloom.

The bone gryphon landed with a clatter of bones and shook itself as they dismounted. Jaellynn approached the building first, his hand on his runeblade. He paused in front of an undead that seemed to have been forgotten out here, dressed in dirty and torn clothing. Though he tried to speak with him, the undead made no reply. Perhaps he didn’t speak common, though as a former human he ought to understand it. Orledin, who had emerged from the building by then, explained that the undead wouldn’t be saying much of anything. Tathariel felt anxious about going inside — the entire trip here, Jaellynn kept reminding her that it could be a trap. And she’d left Relanos with their neighbor on the chance that it was. The possibility seemed remote, but it was still there. Orledin told her to wait outside near the practice targets, and he’d send Leinath out. They were made of leather and stuffed with hay, lined up so the rangers could improve their aim. She’d never been a sentinel, but surely they had something similar.

He was short, as all sin’dorei were, his long reddish hair tied back. And he seemed frightened, as if he might startle and bolt at any moment. He wasn’t armed, at least that she could see. Jaellynn lurked nearby, just in case.

“Hello,” Tathariel said, doing her best not to seem scary. “I’m Tathariel, I think Orledin mentioned me?”

Leinath nodded silently. He was watching Jaellynn.

“That’s Jaellynn, he’s a death knight.” She figured that was probably obvious, considering his appearance.

“And you two are–?”

Tathariel nodded. She told him about how they’d met and how she’d been his friend at first, but then she realized it was something more than that. She told him about Relanos and how they’d chosen him from the orphanage. Leinath asked a few questions, but not many. It seemed he was still trying to take everything in.

“Can I write to you if I think of anything else?” he asked.

“Yes, of course. And we’ll be at the ball too — if it’s allowed.”

Leinath smiled, just a little. It was a nice smile, she could see why Orledin was trying so hard to win him over. “That’s not up to me, unfortunately. But there’s another kaldorei there. And a draenei.”

Tathariel nodded, she remembered that Orledin had mentioned that. She still needed to write a letter to the kaldorei teacher, just to calm her own fears. But if the rangers were safe, no doubt the mages were as well. “I’ll see you then,” she said.

[OOC/Screenshots] The Walking Dead: A New Frontier

wd_Growup

Javier explains puberty to Clementine.

I was able to finish this today, and a lot of my thoughts are spoilery, so I’ll put them behind a cut.

I had a lot of issues with the controls, as I mentioned in my other post — the WASD keys do not work as arrows in this one. But once I figured that out, I was ready with my fingers near the arrow keys. Also, I managed to solve my floating mouse issue by lowering the graphics, which is why my screenshots look so terrible, haha. But hey, on the plus side, lower graphics does make it look more like a comic book!

The main character of ANF is Javier, and the story focuses on him and his family. The story is much more about the struggles within it than it is about the external threat of the zombies. While I don’t think this is inherently a bad idea — it would be too repetitive if all the games had similar stories — I’m not sure it makes for as good of a game. I never felt that pressing sense of danger and hopelessness that I did in the other two. I started the last part of Season One with so much dread — I never felt anything close to that here.

I also really had difficulty caring about two of the main characters. While I had some investment in Javier, all I really cared about seeing was Clementine and whether she’d accomplish her goal.

Spoilery stuff after the cut:

Read more of this post

[OOC/Screenshots] Winter Steam Sale

Since I had a little money in my PayPal account, I got two games I’ve been wanting for a while during the Winter Steam Sale.

One was Dream Daddy, the Dad Dating Simulator. I’d heard quite a lot about this one so I was excited to play it, even though I haven’t played any other dating games before. The art is wonderful, the writing is funny, and the characters are surprisingly deep and emotional — I just expected some cute, fluffy stuff but I was pleasantly surprised. I also really like that all of the characters have more to them than first appears — I like being rewarded for getting to know characters in a game, it’s one reason I love DA:O  so much more than the other two. You can’t judge people based on first impressions! I’ve finished all of the dad dates but it’s still fun to replay.

I even got Mr. Hare hooked on it — he got his own copy!

damien

Damien, one of my two favorite Dream Dads.

 

The other game I got was The Walking Dead: A New Frontier. This is basically Season 3 of the game, though it can also be played as a stand-alone. I wanted to import my Season 2 save, which unfortunately didn’t record the ending I wanted so I had to fully replay it. I don’t mind really, it was good to get a refresher of the story. It also took me like twenty minutes to import my file which was kind of a pain, like shouldn’t the game be able to do this on its own? I dunno.

I have only finished one episode so far, so I can’t form a full opinion yet. My only real complaint is that the controls are super wonky, I think because it’s also meant for consoles. There are “arrow dodge” events where you need to dodge left/right/up/down quickly — I mean within a second or so. In the other two games, your regular movement keys (WASD) works for this. In this one, it doesn’t. So it took me several puzzling deaths to figure out that I actually have to use the arrow keys instead, which are way far away from my WASD and the QE, which are used for other “quicktime events” often. Also, the cursor is really weird and floaty and I haven’t figured out how to fix that, it makes it difficult to select stuff quickly.

The characters feel a little too glossy and finished compared to the other two seasons, in my opinion. It’s kind of moving away from the comic book feel which made it so unique in the first place. And you play as Javier, a new character, who is okay and all, but I really don’t have any emotional connection to him or any of his family. I’m here to see Clementine, y’all.

And she’s way more jaded and bitter than she was when I last saw her. I’m guessing we’ll find out why, though I did get one flashback scene so far.

walkindead3

Hopefully I can finish up in the next couple of days!

[Screenshots] LOTRO Yule Festival

It’s the time of year when all my games are doing holiday events! I logged in to check LotRO, and the Yule Festival has started. This year’s mount is a beautiful elk! Naturally, I have to get it for all of my characters. (I usually get everyone the Yule mount anyway, but I was extra motivated to get an elk.)

ScreenShot00015

[Screenshots] SWTOR – Zamarra + Zenith

Since I had her name saved on my other server, I’ve been leveling my copycat Zamarra. I was most interested in playing her because I wanted to see all the scenes with Zenith again, her unrequited crush for the last 6 years. Originally, I think he had been intended as a romance, because I actually read guides about how to romance him, and some of his lines hint at it. But sadly, it’s not in the live game, so Zamarra will just have to go on pining, I guess. But aren’t they perfect for each other, come on?

[Screenshots] SWTOR – Traitor Among the Chiss

The new patch is a story patch (yay!) though it’s mostly a flashpoint. Which is okay, it’s a very long one so I’m not sure I’ll want to do it tons of times though. For the initial run, I had to use the story companion too, who is far weaker at healing and damage than my reliable Cat Husband. I didn’t die (to bosses, anyway) though so it was all right. I really like that they add decorations as drops from the bosses and as rewards for quests. Like most people in general chat, I wish we’d get a stronghold on this planet, it’s gorgeous! I felt kind of sad killing all the Chiss as I generally like them, but I liked to pretend they were all people saying the Agent story is good 😉

Not too many screenshots, but they’re behind a cut for spoilers, and Theron’s terrible hair. Honey, why.

Read more of this post