CHARACTER SPOTLIGHTS

Our focus this month is on character spotlights! Please enjoy the many facets of creativity the featured characters below offer.

Featured Characters: Sobrik Kabr Ven'bral Burka'da, Neluth 'Sparrow' Valerius, Krustov, Sidra Madara, and Mathies James Rhogan

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Character name: Sobrik Kabr Ven'bral Burka'da

Forum Rp, SWTOR, Referenced in SWG(emu)

Length of time played: 7+yrs

What inspired you to create Sobrik?

Typically Mandalorians are portrayed as Bounty Hunters and Mercenaries for hire, as the most well known mandalorian is Boba Fett, who was just that. Though not many realize that Mandalorians come from a vast culture and this certain profession is just the highlight on a very historical impact and influence they’ve had and continue to have on the galaxy. Coruscant, whats always determined to be the capital of the galaxy in fact was the home world of the Mandalorian culture birthed by the Taung species. What inspired me to create Sobrik was the idea of “What if the Mandalorians actually wanted to take over the galaxy?” Sobrik comes from just that. I wanted a character that was a devoted Mandalorian, with the mind of an Imperial politician. Ambitious, Deceptive, and determined.

What do you like and dislike about Sobrik?

I like that Sobrik has many layers, and that all can be adapted for a specific situation and atmosphere without breaking character. I also enjoy the community’s reactions and responses toward his presence in general. Sobrik has a good sturdy network with several other characters, some in high places. However he is by no means a “good person”. The IC responses let me know that I am doing my character justice in making him unlikable; though he is known and sometimes feared. He even has a standing reputation for not taking his helmet off.

What I dislike about Sobrik is remaining the villain ironically. To Rp him correctly I occasionally have to break hearts, an examples of this being when he was involved with certain noble houses and married into the leadership only to drain resources and eventually betray his “lover” to serve his own ends. As you can imagine this sort of activity does not win your character any metals IC.

This was the song used during the final event Sobrik was in.

What do you think makes Sobrik unique?

Besides the previously stated, his Clan and my friends and community made him unique. With the style I took in his development, his environment is what gave him life, personality, and power as a character. I’d like to think I gave that back rping him, though it meant so much to me that instead of writing a complicated bio and planting a tree in an Rp community that I instead was successfully able to plant a seed and allow that community to water and prune it. If roleplaying is an acting equivalent, then a strong community is the director.

What was your favorite part about roleplaying Sobrik?

My favorite part of roleplaying this character was roleplaying nearly his entire life story. When I created him he was a concept without a background. I eventually decided, if I want his personality and motives to be correct and true, why not “raise” the character? Here I am now, years later with a character I roleplayed from his teen years, to dying in his forties. I decided to kill him off not because I was leaving the game, but because I was so satisfied with his progression and development both as a character and as a plot device that for that plot to continue he had to cease that development in order to push that storyline even further. After such a length of roleplaying him, killing him off so suddenly was not expected, and just the kind of drama and emotional distress I needed to advance the story. I ended up doing an “Alternate Ending” to show my community what would have happened if all had gone according to plan and he continued to exist as a character.

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Character name: Neluth 'Sparrow' Valerius

Elder Scrolls Online

Length of time played: 2 yrs

"A commission I had done a long while ago by the lovely katmartinart! I highly recommend her as an artist, she was so attentive to me when we discussed my request, and I truly feel she managed to capture Neluth's half-blooded appearance.

What inspired you to create Neluth?

I’m always attracted to the story of the Average Joe rather than the hero amidst the overarching story of a setting, but also Neluth happens to be an amalgamation of a few different Elder Scrolls themes I enjoy. Dunmer and Imperial lore had always been my focus of interest, so I went ahead and made her a half-blooded, Cyrodiilic-born elf, exploring that conflict of culture and identity. Then, I gave her humble origins, having grown up as a child-pickpocket, and in the Waterfront District slums of the Imperial City.

I wanted to roleplay this character that had really been a bottom of society sort, who’s life may not have amounted to much at all if this war hadn’t gone and uprooted her. Illustrate the adaptability and strength of everyday people thrust into circumstances beyond their control. To really measure the development that can come from that.

What do you like and dislike about Neluth?

I love Neluth for her curiosity and inquisitive nature. She’s never afraid to ask the blunt questions, the ones that seem to catch those around her off-guard. She wants to know about everything, even if asking sometimes gets her in trouble. In addition, she is a genuinely caring individual, despite being quick to become defensive.

What I dislike? God, she’s whiny. Honestly, she’s got the emotional maturity of a teenager at times, and it really shows when she disagrees with somebody. In a way I like it because its hilarious to play out her interactions, but the kid makes life harder for herself sometimes.

What is your favorite part about roleplaying this character?

The responses she gets from others. Its so interesting to observe the various ways other characters interact with her. She’s a handful of trouble, and sometimes while she has good intentions, she can really get up to some bullshit. Yet somehow, people really seem to empathize with her. There are certainly times where she’s stolen from somebody, and they’ve sort of brushed it off and been sweet as pie to her anyways. I like to look at why, I guess.

What do you think is unique about Neluth?

I’m not sure what I think is unique about her. She’s a series of contrasts, perhaps. The clash of the two cultures of men and mer that interplay so heavily in her life, or being the bravest little coward. A thief with virtue. None of those are really unique, but I feel like she manages to stand out a little bit in her own way.

If anyone ever wants to cross paths with Neluth, these days she's most often found loitering around Suran or Gnisis, on Vvardenfell!

What have been your best and worst experiences with Neluth?

So much goodness. I never would have played Neluth this long if it weren’t for the people I’ve met along the way. Roleplaying with Max and the others in the Cyrodiilic refugee themed guild, Reman’s Torch, has been such a rewarding experience. Through this collaborative story, Neluth has gotten to experience so much development, and without all of them and their characters, she never would have grown into the happy, well-rounded individual she is after the tragedies she experienced during the Alliance War.

Each and every single one of them have made their impat on Neluth and I. She isn’t only a creation of my own, but a collaboration based on their influences over the past two years. Not to mention, I’ve made some of the greatest friends as this story has played out. I am immensely grateful to all of them.

As for the bad things? I don’t really focus on them as bad OOCly anymore. Everything that happens to Neluth through RP is potential for growth and development. Things that impact her life for better or for worse. Even the most unpleasant experiences have shaped who she is and her interactions with others. I am grateful for these experiences challenging me as a writer and as a person.

Please describe a defining moment in the rp history of this character.

I feel like there are -so- many that I could list. I’ll list one from her earliest RP history, and another from more recent.

I think first and foremost, the first week I roleplayed her with Reman’s Torch. She’d been locked up with this Nord convict after getting busted with a satchel full of skooma, and going through the waves of withdrawals that followed. It really changed the course of her story, taking her from skooma addict to refugee scout over the course of a couple months.

In contrast, more recently, the birth of her son Julan. I never thought Neluth would grow to a point where she could start a family, but here she is. Engaged to her best friend, exploring this alien new place (for her) of Vvardenfell. Amidst all that, the pair are grappling with the struggles of new parenthood. Her son’s birth is a pivotal moment, where she finally steps away from the remaining vestiges of her old life, and steps into something entirely new and crafted by her. For once, she is the ‘writer’ of her own story, and that must feel pretty fulfilling.

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Character name: Krustov

SWTOR

Length of time played: 6 yrs

What inspired you to make Krustov?

When I made him, I was like 14. So really the inspiration were your typical young teenager ideas: anime characters, cool powers, and based on other video game ideas. Really, a boiling pot of cringe. But as I shaped him up over the years, and learned from my mistakes (him being my first ever Sith character), I decided to roll with the ‘Vengeful Father’ archetype. The fun thing is, I had help in creating his first family, back when he was more of a ‘Light-Sided’ Sith. Y’know, the types who don’t choke people out for the sake of edge. But through some surprising turn of events in the form of RP, he lost his first wife through a rival, his son to the war, and eventually his daughter to the Dread War.

Through these three events, Krustov went from a sappy, light hearted, and caring fella (three aspects not typically found in Dark Lords of the Sith) to a hardcore xenophobic, hate-filled, and bitter one (three aspects one typically finds in Sith). From there, he started to raise a powerbase of Imperial Patriots, and Sith unified by the idea of ending the Republic for either vengeance, order, or simple malice.

In the end, I guess you can say his big inspirations come from the idea of: Villains trying to do good, but ultimately doing a lot of bad.

What do you like and dislike about Krustov?

I thoroughly enjoy playing as ol’ Krustov, but the main drawback to him that irks me is his earlier day self, back when I played him as a kid who still had a lot to learn, and being in an RP community like SWTOR. The past is often going to just latch on and stay on no matter what you do, but I still give it my best shot at giving an authentic Sith who isn’t just always brooding, skulking about, shopping at Space Hot-Topic, or cutting limbs to every Apprentice they get.

Art by Bryaal

The song above represents Krustov's past.

The song above represents Krustov's present.

"This is one of the best videos I can think of that matches Krustov's mood, thoughts, and views."

What is your favorite part about roleplaying Krustov?

The enigmatic aspects. Most people come to meet Krustov and find that he is a ‘snake’, or so I’ve been told. He’ll sink venom into your character in one of two ways: The first being through his mere words, causing your character to think outside the traditional box of most Sith, causing one to have a lapse in judgement, question loyalties, and how mortal they truly are; the second being through his cursed blade, that which very few get to walk away from.

What makes Krustov unique?

Really, it’s kinda hard to say he’s unique, especially out of all the characters swimming around in the game and (broken) lore of Star Wars. But if I had to narrow it down, everything he has, at one point or another, was earned through Role-Play. Which in a lot of aspects, (specifically for those who’ve played DnD) can lead to one’s character becoming a bit ‘O.P’. But as it stands, he’s really only been close to death two times, but nobody has really ever -finished- the job. I’m kinda hoping the War Event series I’m in the midst of building for the Ebon-Hawk community of SW:TOR changes that. But I’ll take what I can get.

Please describe a defining moment in the rp history of Krustov.

The reveal of his true power and forces in one of the War Campaigns a guild I was a part of performed on the planet of Arkania in which he led the full bulk of his powerbase to the system and was basically the Davey Jones and the Flying Dutchman of the Battle. After that day his character became feared, hated, but respected by all within the guilds that were a part of the event.

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Character name: Sidra Madara

Black Desert Online

Created: October 2015

I The Woman

By Sandra Cisneros

I
am she
of your stories
the notorious
one
leg wrapped
around the door
bare heart
sticking
like a burr
the fault
the back street
the weakness
that's me

I'm
the Thursday
night
the poor
excuse
I am she
I'm dark
in the veins
I'm
intoxicant
I'm hip
and good skin
brass
and sharp tooth
hard lip pushed
against
the air
I'm lightbeam
no stopping me

I am
your temporary
thing
your own
mad
dancing
I am
a live
wildness
left
behind
one earring
in the car
a fingerprint
on skin
the black smoke
in your
clothes
and in
your
mouth

What inspired you to create Sidra?

I was intrigued by the concept of a character that can’t be easily defined, and I was inspired by characters like Scarlett O’Hara, Hekat from the Godspeaker Trilogy, and others like them (Emma Frost, Anna Karenina) . Women who are not seen as good girls. They are seen to be motivated by ambition or greed or avarice, but underneath that are highly nuanced layers like fear, grief, self-loathing, and a sense of survival. They are sometimes truly abhorrent: capricious and cruel. But then they also have moments of great heroism or empathy — times when they show loyalty, selflessness, and personal growth. I really love that, and I wanted to capture that nuance and that enigma in Sidra. Something like a byronic heroine, I guess!

What do you like and dislike about Sidra?

Looking objectively at Sidra, what I don’t like about her is how tunnel-visioned and self-destructive she is. She has built a merchant empire, is held in great esteem by others, but she is willing to throw everything away in a heartbeat to fulfill her agenda. She will never allow herself to be happy or be safe. She is a huge self-saboteur.

But what I love about her is her weakness and rage. And I love that she also has strength and compassion, but is just so sure that she is a dark and ruined thing that she attributes these positive aspects to her being manipulative. I love her desire for connection, but her inability to hold on to it.

I love that she is human? And that she allows me to explore what humanity means, and what it means to be good or evil, or what it means to be weak or strong.

What is your favorite part about roleplaying Sidra?

SIDRA HAS HER HANDS IN SO MANY THINGS. She is the guild mistress of a merchant’s guild, and many believe it begins and ends there. But she is a social chameleon and I really enjoy having the ability, through Sidra, to connect and play intrigue with so many other talented writers and their characters.

What makes Sidra unique?

Because what motivates her is so hidden, and because of her methods of survival, Sidra is content to allow others to define her. She allows people to believe what they want and somewhat caters to that, and me, the player, really adores this. I love watching to see how other characters and the people playing them perceive her. And those perceptions run such a wide gamut. She has lovers, friends, rivals, and enemies — all of whom hold a certain picture of her that is completely different from person to person. And she will not really disavow someone’s notions about her. It’s better, in her opinion, to be underestimated, and to remain as something that others can’t pin down.

What have been your best and worst experiences roleplaying sidra?

I’ve had so many great experiences! I get really excited when Sidra meets other characters who can work on her level, and see past her curtain, if only a glimpse. I’ve never been part of a roleplaying community that has so many mature and accomplished writers who work in the intrigue and nuance niches. So every time I get to do some roleplay where Sidra and another character are testing, baiting, and gauging each other — IT’S THE BEST.

What can sometimes be challenging, however, is how much of the character is so rarely (or sometimes never!!) expressed. She has a lot of secrets that might never come to the light of day, which is kind of a bummer for me, the writer.

Please describe a defining moment in the rp history of Sidra.

EXCERPT FROM ROLEPLAY:

She savored that swallow, and she seemed to feed herself on the green of his eyes. Where her fingertips had been stroking his spine, they now moved to press against the bump of his adam’s apple — just lightly. Enough to affect his voice, should he speak. Enough for him to feel, if he breathed. Her other hand didn’t break out of his grasp. Instead she flexed it, the pulse of her wrist rising up to his touch.

“Share?” she asked. The inflection rose so carefully at the end of that inquiry. “I have suffered for this power — hoarded it and shivered alone in the darkest places you can imagine. What I’ve gathered I’ll not share with anyone.”

But even saying so, there was a colder kiss against the small of his back, and that thin, sickening lurch in his peripheries. The floor grew darker, as if the light was dimming. Natural, almost, as if the sun was simply setting.

“I will share my secrets,” she whispered to him. “I will share my bed. I will share my heart, the useless thing it is... but I’ll never share my power.”

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Character name: Mathies James Rhogan

Ultima Online, World of Warcraft, Star Wars the Knights of the Old Republic, Rift, Archeage, Black Desert Online

Length of time played: In total with all the games combined about almost 18 years

What inspired you to create Mathies?

Mathies is not new; He is a tradition of characters. On every MMORPG I’ve played, there has all ways been a Mathies. He is simply a continuation of characters past. However. I will say that my inspirations for this character have always come from the Anglo-saxon Arthurian legends about King Arthur, the Knights of Camelot, and Queen Guinevere. Specifically, the main source of inspiration is drawn from Sir Lancelot, the tragic hero who in the end dies. Though that is not to say Mathies is a tragic hero, atleast not yet. Rather, he shares the values of the Arthurian Knights of the Round table.

What is your favorite part about roleplaying Mathies?

Unlike a ton of my other characters, Mathies feels the most realistic, in the sense that he isn’t a “knight in shining armor” and/or a real villain such as Darth Vader from Star Wars. Mathies is very much in the grey area, which allows for my Rp to feel more natural from the decisions he makes as a character. He is just a man, tending to his needs in a medieval styled fantasy setting.

What makes Mathies unique?

Why, nothing. The uniqueness about this character is that he is very plain and doesn’t really center himself along the path of good or evil, but stays neutral throughout most of his roleplay and the story arcs he is involved in. However if you really want to know, I’d say find out for yourself and come up with your own reason as to why he is unique.

What have been your best and worst rp experiences?

I’ll wrap it all into one neat little package. Mathies, a few months back, was staring down a council of high ranking officials in which their organizations and houses were and are involved in this coalition we’ve created on Black Desert to stimulate roleplay. During the proceedings my character and his ambitions were called into question by the council, and during that meeting, that awful period, he not only had to answer questions, but convince them of his right. OOCly, my heart was racing as I had let my quality slip due to having gotten off work almost thirty minutes previous. It was the worst because I could hardly keep up with the typing, but it was also the best because it allowed me to start working on furthering my characters story. Mark, that this is also one of the main defining moments for the character.

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