Friday, May 28, 2010

Meet the Family

I think I've mentioned before that, while I'm on a roleplaying server, I'm not really into WoW for the RP opportunities. It's a fun game, and I enjoy immersing myself in the lore and exploration, but I really didn't choose a RP server because I wanted to pretend I was Arthas' long lost love or something like that. In fact, my thought process went something like the following:

"Ok, I'm pretty sure I want a PvE realm... I mean, if I want to experience never-ending, humiliating death, I'll play some Team Fortress. Hmm. RP or non-RP? What's the difference? Ah... people who are willing to put a modicum of effort into choosing a name, essentially. At least if I go RP, I'll be more likely be dealing with real gaming geeks, instead of a bunch of Donnys playing Xusuck." (Yes, those are all links to Twenty Sided. It was Shamus Young's reviews that enticed me into giving WoW a try. I'm sure that my wife would love to... thank him... for that.)

Even though I'm not really in WoW for the RP, I can't help but come up with stories for my characters in the game. Call it part of my tabletop gaming background, but I just need to have some idea of where these random collections of stats came from, and where they're headed. I've had some random thoughts about each one of my characters, here and there - what motivates them, what gives them pause, what their goals are and such.

So today, you're getting a RP-ish fluff piece: my characters, and the tidbits that make them characters in my mind, instead of just virtual mannequins used to display teh fat lootz.

C'mon in and meet the Laen family...

Laenson (Dwarf Warrior) is the youngest son of Mama and Papa Laen. He started off life as a brawler, and even as a little tyke, was fond of a fight - any kind of fight. He once argued with his own reflection in a mirror for 15 minutes before challenging himself to a duel. So it was inevitable that he would choose the way of the warrior, which brought tears to his parent's eyes, and sighs of relief from the general population of Ironforge when he finally left home.

After a bit of training, though, something... happened. Flush from killing wolves, troggs, yeti, and other menaces to the Dwarven way of life, he found himself needing some new gear. He popped off to visit a merchant, and a mere 12 hours later, had managed to reduce the poor vendor to a tear-soaked wreck who could only rock back and forth mumbling, "He wanted me to cut that last copper piece in half, in HALF..."

Laenson had found his calling. Buying and selling? It was just as much fun as hitting things over the head with a good solid mace. Even better, in fact - since you generally didn't have to worry about things like, you know, bleeding and dying and all that other annoying stuff that just got in the way of whatever the next argument was. To the consternation of the Dwarven nation, he returned to Ironforge to set up an import/export business, where he continues to this day.

Laenshield (Dwarf Priest) is the older brother. Where Laenson will fight, argue, or disagree with anyone at the drop of a hat, Laenshield has a much easier-going persona. "Live and let live," he would say. "Unless y're undead. Or a demon. Or a murloc. Or someone who owes me a pint. Come ta think of it, most of the world is made up of smarmy blighters who'd just as soon kill ya as look at ya. Let's get out there and bust a few kneecaps before they know what hit 'em!"

So, while Laenshield - in keeping with his name - tries to be a protector and defender of his people and their allies, he has a somewhat... proactive view of what "defense" means. His desire to be a protector led him into the service of the Light as a priest, but it is this "do unto others a'fore they do unto you" attitude that has drawn him into, as his Papa would say, "th' grand glory o' the heroin' business." That has led him all the way to Northrend, where his calling is jumping in and lending a hand wherever it may be needed (but especially in the Oculus, where he particularly enjoys helping out).

Aeven (Dwarf Paladin) you've already met. The middle child of the family, she blends the personalities of her two brothers, combining Laenson's belligerent nature with Laenshield's protective persona. The end result is an obstinate, willful, argumentative little lady who's as tough as nails, devoted to the Light, and willing to do whatever it takes to defend all of Azeroth against whatever threat may raise it's ugly head.

She's currently working her way towards Northrend, having sworn a vow to do so using only the most common gear available. This is the result of a long and protracted argument with Laenson, who wanted to give her a "going off ta be a pally" present, at a "quite reasonable discount, even - after all, yer family, lass!" After her little brother was unwilling to give her an additional 5 silver off "on account o' I'll rip yer arm off an' beat ya with it if ya don't, and don' think I won't, ya little con artist!", Aeven was quite upset. It was at this point that she swore she would trust only in the Light as her protection, eschewing all except the most common items, until such time as she had shown her worthiness by reaching the limit of her abilities.

Well, that's a bit romanticized. What she really said was "GAH! Forget it, then! I'm not needin' any of your stuff, or anything special anyways! I'll trust in th' Light, boyo, and spit in tha eye of whoever says otherwise - just you watch me!"

Aetherna (Human Mage) is the older sister of Aeristal. The two of them were taken in by Mama and Papa Laen years ago, after they visited with the Laen family during Orphan's Week. Mama Laen couldn't bear the thought of these two fine children being sent back to the orphanage. Discussing it with Papa, they decided that even if they were Human, they could open their hearth and home to the wee little ones. So Aetherna and Aeristal became de facto members of the Laen family.

As a result of her adventures with Papa Laen during their Orphan's Week shenanigans, Aetherna has become an experience hound. If there's a random hole in the ground somewhere with deadly critters at the bottom, she's been there, is there - or will be there as soon as she finds out about it. If there's something to be done, something to accomplish, something to achieve, whatever it might be - she's there. She's walked, ridden, flown, and in some cases crawled over, under, and through all of Azeroth.

Oh, and she's a mage, too. Arcane, because fire and frost are for sissy-boy mages who can't handle real power. She's kind, and sweet, and helpful, and she'll rip your head off from 30 yards away by warping the very laws of nature if you tick her off. She's a Laen, after all.

Aeristal (Human Death Knight) is Aetherna's younger brother. In a particularly strange twist of fate, he never wanted to be a fighter. When his brothers and sisters were arguing, brawling, and generally having a grand old time, Aeristal would wander around and talk to the Gnomes in Ironforge. He had a rather interesting lichen collection as a child, and when he grew to adulthood, joined the Explorer's League as a research herbalist and field alchemist.

His ability and insights resulted in an invitation to join one of the first Explorer's League teams sent to catalogue the flora and fauna of Northrend. Arriving on that cold shore, his team disembarked... and that first step, as they say, was a doozy. They were swarmed by scourge, wiped out to a man, and the next thing you know, scrawny little Aeristal was raised as a big, brawny Death Knight.

He doesn't talk much about that time, and tends to keep to himself - while his brothers and sister sisters return home to visit often, he has chosen to reside in the broken city of Shattrath (at least for the time being). He may be a death-dealing juggernaut on the outside, he's still the same Aeristal on the inside: more concerned with his plants and potions than anything else. Though when he picks a flower these days, he's likely to regard it seriously, and then solemnly pronounce "And now, you will serve me even in death." Then he giggles. Yeah, Death Knight humor is weird.

He's quick to point out that he's not living in the past, though. Nor is he hiding from his family. He just needs time to adjust to his new... life. If nothing else, he's found that being a death-dealing juggernaut makes the process of collecting interesting botanical samples a whole lot simpler.



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