The End of an Era
Tuesday night’s RP marks an end of many things. For some, it’s an end to an era. Two storyline arcs that have spanned over many months are either at their end, or at their home stretch, and several characters are now being put into retirement.
Ravine Mhenlo, my warlock that I’ve RPed with for the past three years and a half years, will be one of them.
When I started this character back in July of ’06, I never expected my warlock to become my full-time character. At the time, I was raiding five days a week on my undead mage on a PvP server through BWL. We were progressing at a quick pace, and there was a likely chance we could’ve seen AQ40 before The Burning Crusade hit. I was curious about the warlock class (since they were the ones that were always rolling me over in WSG and AB), and so I rolled one.
Sentinels had that brand new, fresh RP smell at the time. While server transfers existed, new servers had a six month immunity to it so everyone who rolled on it was a brand-new character. It was fertile grounds for an RP community to take root, and after trying to root myself on two servers that were already established, I thought third time was the charm.
I didn’t expect to play her a lot, but that ended up changing when my raiding guild imploded. With nowhere else to go, I retired my undead mage and started anew on Sentinels*.
It’s all very bittersweet when looking back on it all.
With Ravine being around for as long as she had, she’s had the opportunity to meet an… interesting cast of characters throughout her adventures in Azeroth and beyond. Many of them I no longer play with—either having moved on to a different character, or from the game altogether. Only a handful remained when this last story arc came to its completion.
When it came to the final conclusion, I kind of felt as though I needed to involve the characters that have played a role in my character’s life. But, many of them were gone by then. While I could’ve befriended new RPers, I also felt it wasn’t fair to them if I was going to retire my character after.
I would have much preferred to meet them with a fresh character, where the slate is clean and my character is free to do as they will. They wouldn’t need to worry about be careful around people, or having some kind of hindrance that would prevent interaction. Overall, it would be less baggage for me to worry about.
But, it’s not all bad. Even though many of the characters I’ve interacted with are no longer around, it doesn’t mean the memories they’ve made share that same fate.
Memories of interactions between characters…
(How Ravine and Rhonis often interacted come to mind; especially when their class-specific mounts—Tichar and Blake respectively—were thrown into the mix)
Or significant events…
(Ravine performing the Ritual of Doom. Rav and Sav’s wedding.)
Or through large story-arcs…
(Mardus/Neyv’s story-arc, which involved Antigone, another fellow warlock, and Ravine being forced to do the bidding of a necromancer in order to see the safe return of one of their close friends. The climax of that storyline is what I would consider a rare Crowning Moment of Awesome.)
They are reminders of why RP is wonderful. And why I continue to do it.
A New Foot Forward
There are some things you can never quit. For me, it’s drawing and writing. But behind the words and the pictures, there’s always a story. And though my warlock is going into retirement, that doesn’t mean I’ll be following—not yet.
I already have a few established characters that haven’t been getting enough spotlight time—Amara/Amare the sneak-thief rogue, is one of them. She’s been getting the short end of the stick from day one unfortunately, and is often played second fiddle compared to Ravine. However, she has been getting screen time with the Between Corruption and Control and A Dragon’s Heart story-arcs, and I have to admit I enjoyed playing the role she was given.
Amara made me realize that playing a character skirting between the grays and blacks is a lot of fun. Amara fits the glove of a traditional Chaotic Neutral character—she’ll work for whomever side so long as the price is right, or as long as she gets what she wants with this particular case. Having played the traditional good guy (or in Ravine’s case, non-traditional good warlock) for a long time, it was refreshing to play a character who was outright greedy and cared only about herself. It gives her a lot of room to grow as a character.
Another character that hasn’t been seeing enough login time is my Death Knight, Rhandra. She was created taking bits and pieces of an old RP that took place many years ago when she existed as a paladin (She would be the first and last time I ever made one. Leveling one in Vanilla was rough.) While I’ve changed much of her back-story and motivations, the character traits of being twisted, manipulative and being an overall malevolent character remain. She taught me that evil is fun—if you can pull it off right. She may yet see the light of day, but that’ll be when I feel as though I can finally do her villainy justice.
And oddly enough, there are two, new characters that I’ve been steadily working on as being possible new mains—on their respective servers. Both of them are deviating from the usual, as I’m actually going to give draenei RP a try! It wouldn’t be the first time I’ve tried, but I think I’m going to try and go beyond the bounds of Azure and Bloodmyst Isles this time.
One of them, who is currently on Sentinels, is a draenei warrior. Yep… another attempt at a warrior. What’s interesting about her was that she used to be a priest, and that change will be something I plan on incorporating into her backstory and personality as I begin to ask myself questions:
What caused that change in her?
How has it affected her outlook on life?
I’m actually very excited to see what sorts of directions I can take her in. I just need to get off of Bloodmyst first…
The other one is a priest! Who was actually created for OOC reasons—seeing bad priests time and time again as I leveled my mage made me rage, because I knew I could do better. However, I’ve since come around to thinking up a few basic ideas on her overall character.
Something I notice when I RP, is that I often tend to avoid creating a character who is actually competent in a fight. Part of it is that I never look at my characters as heroes or adventurers. For example, Ravine is heavy into research. So while she may have a keen understanding of how a summoning ritual works, or how spells draw out soul shard energy to empower them, it doesn’t mean that she has the battle experience to put that knowledge into practical use. Amara is in a similar vein as she does espionage work, but refuses to get her own hands bloody for any reason—thus her sword skills are pretty rusty. However, this draenei will be a battle-hardened veteran, and it’ll likely take a lot to squick her.
And so, while Ravine’s journey may have come to an end**, I’ve reached the cross-roads where any way I walk will be the start of a brand new adventure.
Am I excited? You better believe it.
*=She was retired, until I was at the urging of my best-friend-who-lives-on-the-red-team to transfer her over and play her to 70. Which I did. It remains to be seen if I actually decide to level her to 80.
**= At least for now. I’m just saying you never know when the next expansion rolls around. Especially if a friend is threatening that she’ll drag said character out of retirement.