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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30 Days of Character Development: Day 23

The Prompt: Is your character superstitious?

Toriah lives and fights in a world that has magic running through its veins. Ghosts exist. There are demons, then there are demonic creatures that are actually aliens from another world in the universe who were corrupted. Voodoo and loa are real, and so is the Light. And the Earth Mother and the spirits of our ancestors, too.

Throughout her travels in Azeroth and Outland, she’s collected all sorts of artifacts— a dreamcatcher given to her by the tauren hunters who showed her their ways; a dormant hex stick from the Darkspears; a string of meditation beads and an ornate shard of a keg from one of her favorite pandaren hosts.

When there’s so much that bends the imagination, and you witness it every single day, who’s to say what is superstitious?

Does Toriah clean her quarters before the new year? Yes, if she’s around. She hasn’t really noticed if her luck’s changed for better or worse in correspondence, though. Sure, she has her rituals before battle, but that’s for her own benefit— it’s a matter of knowing her gear is ready, the bow is properly strung and calibrated, her potions and elixirs handy.

Superstitious? No, she’s seen too much to call anything mere superstition.

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30 Days of Character Development: Day 22

The Prompt: If your character could time travel, where would they go?

The question should read, “If your character needs to time travel, where do they go?”

Unfortunately, in the world of Warcraft, the Doctor and his TARDIS don’t exist. Or, at least, it hasn’t shown up while Toriah’s around. Besides, they would just outadventure each other. So, when the elf needs to go back in time to set things right, where does she go?

Toriah’s a regular at the Caverns of Time and, nowadays, the Timeless Isle. The Bronzes know her well and, dare I say, even like her— if dragons could be said to like mortals in any capacity, that is. They certainly appreciate all the hard work she put in for helping them contain the Infinite threat.

We already discussed time travel in another post. If we’re just talking about traveling back in time to just visit and see the sights, well… I suppose she’d love to see Azeroth as it was originally with only one continent. Now that place has some serious exploring in store.

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30 Days of Character Development: Day 21

The Prompt: What would your character’s CUTIE MARK be?

Research (i.e. good, knowledgeable folks on Twitter) has revealed this “cutie mark” to mean the symbol that is branded tattooed stamped featured on the, um, rump of a character from the popular cartoon My Little Pony. So, in case you wonder, that’s what it is, and that’s the foundation for today’s shenanigans.

Toriah slowed her horse to a light canter as she approached the Farstrider Retreat on the outskirts of Silvermoon City. She whistled for Orion who was hunting in the nearby woods, and dismounted. Patting the sleek, elegant steed on his neck as she passed, the elf walked into the building with curiosity and a little bit of caution.

Halduron’s letter had been brief and, oddly, devoid of much detail: Come home at once. Urgent matter needs our attention. Can’t do this without you here.

Continue reading

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30 Days of Character Development: Day 20

The Prompt: Does your character have any irrational fears?

Fears? Toriah is a Ranger Captain of the Farstriders! She is an adventurer beyond that! She has faced down dragons, the Scourge, mutant trolls, ogres, abominations, and anything in between! She’s traveled from one edge of the world to another and beyond!


What a completely preposterous question.

Of course she does. Toriah is utterly terrified of spiders. She believes in two methods when it comes to dealing with spiders:
1) Run in the opposite direction
2) Employ direct, excessive violence

One can hardly blame the elf when the spiders of Azeroth (and, as she found to her dismay, in Outland, too) are three times bigger than your mount. Some of them are even bigger than houses. Most, if not all, of them are venomous.

Yes, spiders are terrifying.

She’d love to tell you some stories involving her run-ins with spiders but she seems to have conveniently forgotten all of them. You are also forbidden from asking Halduron Brightwing about those stories, as well. Under penalty of death. Or, so I’m told.

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30 Days of Character Development: Day 19

The Prompt: What’s your character’s preferred means of travel?

Toriah actually has a soft spot for the regal, beautiful equines that humans have conditioned for riding. She personally cannot stand having to ride a hawkstrider, even though the animals are also elegant and gorgeous. Hawkstriders, however, feel far too delicate. Being mounted up means Toriah’s traveling a long distance and, therefore, needs a hardy, sturdy creature to rely upon.

If she really had a choice, though, Toriah will never forget the exhilaration and freedom of flying on the back of a netherdrake while in Outland and would definitely prefer traveling by drake. The onyx netherdrake she befriended— and would later become her personal mount that brought low the orcs of Shadowmoon Valley— followed her back to Azeroth. He rather enjoys the wide, clear skies and new… um… cuisine choices in the abundant wildlife. Due to logistical issues, however, it’s not often that Tori gets to fly with her drake.

For starters, most folks aren’t used to seeing dragons flying about, let alone a netherdrake. It’d start a panic in a heartbeat.

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