30 Days of Character Development: Day 30— The Grand Finale

The Prompt: And finally: Write a letter to your character, from yourself.

Well met, Toriah.

To think that I created you out of reluctance, a throwaway alt that wouldn’t last after others got bored with their Horde characters.

Instead, you prevailed and fought hard to become someone whose story I wanted to craft. You’ve been on so many adventures, seen so many things—yet, amazingly, your core values seem to have remained intact. You’re much braver than I, willing to face down even your superiors to state what you believe to be right.

In all honesty, you live your life and I just record it all. You’re, quite literally, a hero in my books. Yes, you have killed, but only when you had to. You’ve saved so many lives beyond that, regardless of their race, species, affiliation, or level of sentience. What you’ve faced so far is just the beginning. There’s so much more in store— some of it positive, some negative, and some might even make you question your loyalty to those closest to you.

Every time something seems to break you down, you get reforged into something greater, better, stronger. I suppose that is the fate of an adventurer like you. You have your flaws, of course, but you don’t let that get in the way of your work. Yes, you are outspoken and smart-mouthed. You demand that someone prove themselves to you before you give them your respect, even if it gets you in trouble. Sometimes you don’t always think things through before you jump in. I’ve given you some good people to help keep you in line for those days when you aren’t quite perfect. None of us are, after all.

And, yes, you do get cocky. It’s understandable in someone who’s good at her job, but you should keep that scar from Karazhan in mind, in the very least. You always have something to learn and you are far from the best. Oh, and would it kill you to let a couple of the people in your life know just how much they mean to you?

Keep chasing that horizon. I know, one day, you may want to take a break from it all. Nothing permanent, of course, but just something that helps you regain your wits and senses until you’re ready to come back. Even the greatest weapons of war must be take time for maintenance before they are ready to fight again.

You tell me what the next chapter of your story is, Toriah, and I’ll write it.

Al’diel shalah.

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30 Days of Character Development: Day 29

The Prompt: How does your character smell? Do they wear perfume or cologne?

On a good day, Toriah smells clean. No sweat, dirt, mud, blood, goo, slime, or other unsavory stenches from various creatures. It’s usually one of those days when she has to look presentable and has to sit down with dignitaries or the sort.

On a very good day, Toriah might look like a battlefield vomited all over her but she manages to still smell somewhat clean. Call it practiced skill, the ability to regulate one’s body despite the environment. Besides, any good hunter knows that even the barest whiff of sweat can give you away. Letting your body run rampant and sweat buckets because of battle or nerves is messy and just plain irresponsible.

To that end, NO PERFUME. Some of her self-care products might come with certain scents due to the ingredients used to clean away dirt and such, but she doesn’t go out of her way to buy smelly water and douse herself in it. She has better things to spend her gold pieces upon. Also, let’s not forget those jerks at Crown Chemical Company. Every single Love is in the Air Festival, they try to pass their blight as “perfume.” It’s pure evil. It even smells like evil. No, Toriah knows better.

And, seriously… WHY ARE YOU SNIFFING TORIAH?!

… Creep.

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30 Days of Character Development: Day 28

The Prompt: If your character’s life was a genre, what would it be?

Action Adventure. Could it possibly be anything else?

Caught up in a world of war, one elf dares to stand up for what’s right. She is… THE BLOOD ELF.
>”I’m sorry, ‘Ambassador,’ but I don’t find your policies… sanguine.”

>“I’m no bleeding-heart activist, but even I know this is wrong.”
>”Watch it. You’re making me see… red.”

Oh, better yet…
All she wanted was a nice, successful career as a ranger in Quel’thalas. But when the drums of war call her to duty, she must respond. She is… Ranger Captain Toriah!
>
“I might ‘just’ be a ranger, but don’t expect me to… bow.”
> “
I’m not angry; just a little arch-ery.”

Okay, so I’m not very good with thinking of stereotypical “action movie” lines and taglines  on the spot for my character. But you get the idea. She’s an adventurer. Her life thrives on the constant stream of threats that beleaguer Azeroth and her people. Explosions, excitement, and danger practically follow her like a fan club.

That said, isn’t it a little strange to try and define your character’s life as a genre? Isn’t that limiting and, therefore, self-defeating of trying to create complex, well-rounded characters? Do we try and define, work, and re-work within the genre?

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30 Days of Character Development: Day 27

The Prompt: Pick two songs that describe your character at two different points of their life, and explain why you chose them.

You want me to pick music that goes along with my character’s life? As someone who has often paired up music with certain points of my personal life and the game… I THOUGHT YOU WOULD NEVER ASK. The real challenge is just choosing two. Well, here goes.

Current State of Affairs

If you’ve been following Toriah’s story on my blog (there’s only five chapters so far), the general gist is Tori’s really pissed Garrosh Hellscream off something fierce and she’s forced to “make amends” so that she doesn’t get axed in the most literal sense.

Of course, Toriah being Toriah means she isn’t about to comply lightly. As we saw in Chapter 5, she’s willing to bend the rules as far as she can to get under Garrosh’s skin without sending him over the edge. It’s a dangerous dance she’s performing, with every potential misstep a chance for the warchief to rid himself of this upstart elf. Unlike Garrosh, however, Toriah is a seasoned and blooded veteran of many wars. He can lay claim to his father’s legacy as a warrior all he likes, but Toriah’s prowess is proven many times over to the Horde and her people.

Adventurer, Raider, Ranger.

Toriah has molded herself into an instrument of war since her adolescence when she began training with the Farstriders. She was there when Arthas invaded Quel’thalas and destroyed the Sunwell. And she was there to restore the Sunwell and bring low the Lich King himself years later. She helped the dragon aspects take down Deathwing and save Azeroth from destruction.

While she’s had some close calls, Toriah knows she can never rest until evil is finally purged from Azeroth. She doesn’t care much for the rivalries invented between the Horde and Alliance; the elf knows all too well that evil can reside in the heart of any mortal or immortal, regardless of race. There’s always another cause, another mission, another reason to don her armor and raise the banners. Her family and friends know this, too, though that doesn’t keep them from missing her or worrying after her well-being.

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30 Days of Character Development: Day 26

The Prompt: Second day of favorites! Favorite comfort food, favorite vice, favorite outfit, favorite hot drink, favorite time of year, and favorite holiday.

Comfort food: Oh geez, where to start? Toriah loves food. As such, she’s become fast friends with the Pandaren over a mutual love of food. Right now, the thing she loves most is a good, hot bowl of noodle soup with some roast meat in it. Oh, and some fresh veggies, of course, to make sure it’s nice and balanced. Quickly blanched to make sure they’re just cooked, but don’t lose any of their crunch or flavor. Mmmmmm… -tummy rumbles-

Vice: Unlike many of her blood elf brethren, she doesn’t indulge in the lifestyle you see around Silvermoon City— the smoking bowls, the lounges, siphoning magic energy from other sources. She does have hobbies, though, like spending time researching in a library or sketching out things she sees on her adventures. Oh, and helping Farmer Yoon with the farm by Halfhill. Really wouldn’t call those vices. Who has time for vices when you’re always busy adventuring?

Outfit: Her hunting mail and leathers, of course. No, get your mind out of the gutter! It’s the combination of comfort and utility, you see. Never mind, there’s no salvaging this. Take it for what it is and let’s move on.

Favorite hot drink: Honeymint tea. It’s even delicious cold!

Favorite time of year: Autumn. Beautiful changing colors, cooler weather, excuses for making stews and bowls of hot noodle soups, apple cider, tea, baking… Yeah, definitely autumn. Oh, and a good excuse to hunt and stock up on essentials.

Favorite holiday: Toriah loves Winter Veil. It’s difficult not to, despite the folks at Smokeywoods Pastures trying to hawk their wares and totally capitalizing on the whole thing. The spirit of the occasion is just magical and it makes her feel like a kid again. One Winter Veil, she baked batches of holiday cookies and sent them to all of her guildmates. In her mind, that was the best one yet.

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30 Days of Character Development: Day 25

The Prompt: Describe your character’s hands. Are they small, long, calloused, smooth, stubby?

Toriah’s hands are actually a bit larger than one might expect from an elf lady. Her palms are big and squarish; her fingers are adequate— neither particularly long nor stubby. There’s a smoothed over bump along the side of her middle finger where she’s used to resting arrows as she nocks and draws them on her bow. A similar bump is on her right ring finger where her pen usually rests if she gets a chance to write. Her bow hand has a ridge of hardened, worn-over callouses along where her fingers meet the palm. Another callous sits right at the ridge of her thumb’s first knuckle, a bit beneath the tip, where it always rubs up against the bowstring; similar ones are on her first and middle finger tips for the same reason.

Hers are not the long, elegant hands of artists. They were meant to do hard work and, in Toriah’s case, wield weapons of war. They’re blunt, built for strength and rigor; the finesse and dexterity of fine archery came from many years of practice, training, and meditation. She’ll only let her nails grow a short length before cutting them back down. Nails are only a nuisance to her. The closest she gets to pampering her hands is making sure they aren’t dirty, bleeding, or chapped— the bare minimum to keep them working.

The lines that crisscross her palms are many. Her mother, whose palms only contain the usual lines, once told her that having so many lines meant she had a very active imagination. It certainly explains her mastery of creative traps and combat ruses.

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30 Days of Character Development: Day 24

The Prompt: What might your character’s ideal romantic partner be?

The stage is set with a set of three chairs on one side, and a single chair on the opposite. Numerous pink and red heart shapes are tacked up as decorations.

A kitschy game show tune plays.

Continue reading

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