Award Summer's Featured Character For 2019 Is...

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Summer's Featured Character For 2019 Is...

Postby Shiress on June 3rd, 2019, 1:17 pm

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Hello Fellow Mizaharians!


Keeping with our tradition, the Founders Circle and Regional Storytellers are proud to announce that the Featured Character of the Summer season of 2019 is Kelski! Kelski is one of our founder's PC and a favorite to read and follow. She is currently pulling up stakes and heading out of her home in Sunberth for a new life in Zeltiva. So, please join us in welcoming her to the elite club of Featured Character! Her interview is below!



The Interview


[b]1. Kelvics are one of the more popular Miz races, and for good reason; having the ability to choose an animal form lends a very unique twist to a character. What drew you to choosing a bird of prey?

Many people don’t know I have a BS in Wildlife Biology and worked as a biologist for a number of years in the pacific northwest. When you graduate from the University of Montana – or at least in those days – you had to do a research project. My research project was on the feeding impact of birds of prey (raptors) on human activity.

Basically, my question was whether presence or absence of raptors in the environment improved or caused situations in crop producing fields that were beneficial or detrimental to farmers. I studied raptor behavior over the course of a year, narrowing in on locations that did not have actively feeding raptors and locations that did. And I was able to measure the impact of raptors feeding on the mice/mole/vole populations of crop fields.

You can measure this impact numerous ways. Rodents make trails in crops or even tall grass that can be measured. They look like mice super highways if you get down to their level and look for them. So I spent a lot of time on my hands and knees measuring the density of these pathways in crops. Then I spent a lot of time stalking tall trees on the edges of fields and things like lightpoles looking for hawk, owl, and eagle pellets. When they eat rodents, they barf up big hair balls full of bones called pellets that are the things they can’t digest. So I can tell what they are feeding on (and what ate them) by tearing apart the pellets.

Long story short I spent a lot of time thinking like a raptor, searching out places they fed and rested, and looking at their impact on the land. It turns out raptor feeding activity seriously HELPS crops grow and that can be measured by diligent people that are interested and have enough time to do so.

Playing Kelski reminds me of that time in my life where I was on my own in the wilds of Montana with just a bunch of waterproof notebooks, pencils, and brain power.



2. You've mentioned that you're moving Kelski to Zeltiva; what are her IC reasons for making such a move? Do you see her being able to settle there long-term?

Kelski has had a lot of bad experiences in Sunberth. She feels the city is like this huge decaying corpse in the sun, rotting from the inside out. To her the people in the city remind her of bugs occupying the dead corpse, slowly eating away at it. She’s tired of death, hate, and the constant power struggles. She fell in love there, was rejected, and frankly feels like a lot of people just use folks and throw them away when they are no longer necessary. She won her freedom and wants to take it to the next level by moving somewhere else at the advice of her djedfather. She wants to go somewhere that will be a fresh start. Kelski dreams she can go walk through a market without coming out the other side covered with blood and more death on her hands. If you don’t kill people in Sunberth, you get killed. She hopes Zeltiva has a lot more promise. If it doesn’t turn out that way, I suspect she’ll set off into the wilds and live feral for a time. She really needs something more… something else in her life that right now she’s not getting.



3. Kelski has collected quite a following in Sunberth with the Gem crew! This has allowed her to develop a lot of in-depth relationships with other characters. What would you say has been one of your favorite interactions that have played out with her and another character?

It would be beyond horrible to single out one person. Each person has something to offer others in that group and fills a gap that is really missing. One person can’t be the end all and be all of the story. A good story is like an Architectrix. It needs cornerstones, a foundation, a roof, windows, a warm hearth, some great bathtubs, and a balcony to enjoy the sea from. Each member of the circle of friends there fills that sort of roll. And hopefully Kelski fills that sort of role for them.

I do like the interactions with the NPCs though too. I think as tools, NPCs in the game are really underutilized and overlooked. Kelski is probably closest to Ebon in the circle, a Night Lion Kelvic whom is a young healer. He sees things differently than she does and honestly doesn’t have a predatory bone in his body though he wears a night lion shape. He is like a brother to her. Gilthas is her magical mentor and djedfather. And she has a mouse niece named Ember who is wise beyond her years for all that she will probably be around for a few more seasons only in terms of her lifespan.

4. Kelski has accumulated her fair share of gnosis marks, including two from Akajia. How does she feel about this as a character? Do you have any plans to further any of these marks?

I think most of Kelski’s marks have come from the D.A.T.S. program which I wish more people would take advantage of. I have a few more she’s eligible for now because through the process of just writing and threading, you gain so much XP that you can’t help but Master out in some circumstances. But in regards to IC, Kelski is deeply religious. She’s absolutely faithful to Akajia and she’s just as much a seeker of knowledge and secrets as I feel the Goddess is. I think that’s what makes her a good follower.

She’s also intrigued by Xhyvas. I think if I get some moderation in the future, I’d love to grow that relationship as well. Akajia is an easy goddess to interact with without moderation just because of her shadows and unique language. You can interact as a PC freely with the shadows without a moderator so you can always have one come with a message or a task without involving rping a God… which of course we can’t as mere mortal PCs.

Kelski is also eligible for a Nysel mark now and I think I will definitely devote a thread to that in this coming season. It will help her tremendously in her search for answers about certain things in her life and to uncover some of the mysteries of her family. Walking Chavi’s is one of my favorite things to do in thread to learn answers to events that happened in the past. It’s also a really good way to learn people’s secrets… especially if they have dark pasts.


5. Balancing the animal and human side of a Kelvic can be difficult for a lot of people, especially since they aren't quite one or the other. You seem to manage this balance very well to create an overall Kelvic character, rather than one who is half animal and half human; are there any specific tricks you use to accomplish this? Did you have difficulty finding this balance the first time you played a Kelvic?

My first Kelvic was a cat. So, since I’m well on my way to being a crazy cat lady aided by my husbands insistence that we adopt anything and everything in need… that was easy. Cats are just furry people. They have attitudes and fully display their likes and dislikes openly.

I suspect raptors are the same way except they have traits that humans might not understand. They are creatures of habit. I try to utilize this in Kelski because she flies a patrol over Sunberth daily and doesn’t feel the day has started until she sees what is going on in the city. She is not as remorseful as a human would be for killing something. If something is threatening, she automatically wants to fight and kill. That was a trait that came out early. I think the incident with MeriAnn dragging her into the ring at Tall Johnneys and telling her that she would never stop blaming her for the problems in MeriAnn’s life… really lead to that.

She’s not squeamish. But she also values her eyesight above anything else so its almost symbolic when she kills someone that she eats their eyes. I find this gross, but the character finds it really core deep satisfying. I honestly don’t know how to answer this question. My character takes on a life of her own. She’s a kelvic. They aren’t human and they aren’t raptor. It’s something shes totally cool with. I feel like I had nothing to do with it. Half the time I don’t know how shes going to respond to something until that something happens.

Plus, inherently, Kelski doesn’t like or trust humans. They haven’t really given her any reason to with the exception of one Drykas. So, she doesn’t think of herself as human, even if she looks human. And lets face it, the true form of Kelski’s human shape doesn’t really look all that human. The rest of have probably been as shitty as possible doing all kinds of things to her not limited to slavery and brutality, but also in their general attitudes of being better than any other races. She just has no trust of them. Vasin might be making headways into her trust circle, but that’s because they’ve fought together and explored together. He has the same urges to ask questions about where something leads or why something is that she has... and that I think generates the core of their friendship.

6. Kelski has been through a lot in Sunberth. She's suffered through slavery and more, and done some less than savory things herself to survive. What would you say is the worst thing Kelski has done? Does she regret it?

Being a Kelvic has certain privileges that humans might not enjoy. One of those things is not having to regret murder. This is a good thing because Kelski has killed a lot of people, PCs included. Its not something to be proud of, but in an atmosphere like Sunberth… you simply grow immune to violence. You don’t see it as anything but a tool. And it gets so easy after a while because you know if you don’t kill, you will be killed.

People might think the worst thing Kelski did was murdering MeriAnn in thread, but honestly there was an OOC factor to that which drove the ultimate result. If you ever read the thread, you will see that it was so random… a stranger out of the blue picks a Kelvic watching fights with her caretaker to fight with and blame all her problems on. Then she drags her into a cage match and puts a PC that was completely outgunned in the path of a PC that was slowly and carefully training up in combat. Kelski was a slave at that time. She had no choice in being in that cage fight. It was a case of stupid being stupid. But the problem was… again… Kelski is Kelvic. She doesn’t have the human hang-ups of conscious that a normal human being would have. Stupid dies in the wild. Stupid dies in the city. Its logical to a Kelvic. So, I didn’t pull punches for an OOC reason. It would have been ridiculously out of character for my Sea Eagle.

For me, the worst thing I had to write was Kelski’s rape. That was a really hard situation and it was built up over literally season after season of interacting with a super nasty NPC that utilized her for testing his drugs on and luring his victims into a false sense of security by having her accompany him. She’d been taking abuse from him for seasons before it all cumulated in her rape and her murder of him. But that also brought one of Kelski’s favorite people into her life… her magical sentient statue named Little Rhaus. So that kinda makes up for the horror of that time because she got a best friend out of it. And yes, I’m aware that calling a little magical sentient statue a best friend is kinda pathetic, but Little Rhaus is special.

7. Despite magic being taboo in Sunberth, Kelski has managed to pick up and become fairly competent at several magical disciplines. What would you say draws her to learning magic? What does she particularly enjoy about it, and does she have any fears or concerns about it? (This is a bit broad considering how different the disciplines can be, so feel free to be specific about a type of magic!)

I’ve spoken of this before. Kelski has a drive to know the unknown. This is one of the reasons she’s such a good Nightstalker. Magic is an unknown… all of it. And I think her genetics has a factor to it as well because she comes from a long line of mages even though she really doesn’t understand that ic yet. It is something that sings in her blood and demands to be let out. She got a small taste and that was all she needed to want more. Gilthas was a big help in inducting her into Reimancy. And I think like all young creatures, the forbidden tastes sweeter than the sanctioned in that manner. I also think seeing the nobility of her Akalak Morphing inspiration Aer’wyn also affected her as well. If she hadn’t met Aer’wyn she wouldn’t have understood Morphing or how wonderful it is. I blame her Architectrix obsession with quest rewards and writing an insane amount of words in one weekend. I wanted her family to be a magical legacy one, so that contest and that book fell nicely into an unplanned bonus and gave her what Kelski considers is her daughter… The Midnight Gem.

8. Kelski has recently discovered her family! Such a discovery must be bittersweet given her history of being given away by her birth family. How is she dealing with this news? Is she more excited or hesitant, or perhaps something else entirely?

Kelski actually doesn’t believe it yet. It hasn’t sunk in. She’s been so busy crafting her own family, that she isn’t going to know what to do with the K'etir family and their legacy when she meets them. They live outside Zeltiva in the wildlands so that’s always a roleplay option for Kelski if she wants to skip town and live wild. She can bank her coin and go home. The only thing is she isn’t sure who lives there, what they are like, and what ‘home’ really is.

9. I have to ask...Kelski seems to have a weird fascination with eyeballs, or at least, she enjoys them very much as a snack. Why eyeballs? Was it just something that you came up with on the fly that stuck around? Or is there some sort of deeper, symbolic meaning there?

I should have pre-read these questions because I already answered that in another question. Kelski values her sight above almost anything. I rp one of her main Kelvic gifts as vision. Eagles see incredibly well, and because its her most valuable asset when she wants to hurt someone or really hates them… she eats their eyes. She figures its taking something absolutely important and precious away from them.

One of her highlights of the time in Sunberth was growing a third eye and that allowing her to free Gilthas from his Semele curse. That’s probably one of my favorite situational threads ever that really crafted Kelski into what shes become. And none of that was planned… it was all a contest random roll. Thanks Gillar!

10. I've asked a lot about Kelski specifically, so let me take this question to ask a little bit more about you. What drives you as a writer? What do you get out of it that has kept you going so consistently for so many years? Do you have something you particularly love (or loathe) writing about?

I don’t consider myself a writer. Funny huh? I’m an artist. I think writing is just another artistic expression. I don’t even particularly consider myself any sort of storyteller. But I love roleplay and honestly when I settled down from being a biologist which involved a lot of travel, I really desperately needed something to do with my time other than watching TV.

And sometimes, though I’m an avid reader, I just don’t get what I want to get out of a book.

The Pacific Northwest, where I live, has a LOT of rain. And when I say a lot, the joke around here is that it rains 360 days a year. So, when its too muddy to go ride or the garden is overgrown or covered over with snow, its amazing to sit down and write.

I get a lot out of writing. Like everyone else, its an escapism. It lets me be someone else for a time. It allows me to experience a sort of life through someone else’s eyes. I hate it that the PCs take their own directions though because I am a control freak and it always unnerves me to design a pc one way and have them act a completely different way.

I think I enjoy solos more than group threads these days unless the partners stick around or post avidly. I simply have a huge flaw that if I have to wait a few weeks for a response I lose interest. And even if a writer is somewhat new at writing and has issues, I still often crush on them if they respond immediately. Sad huh? It’s the response time not the quality for me?

Situations like that can get me in trouble. When I’m collaboratively writing, I crave interaction. And it hurts deeply when someone responds elsewhere, or announces they are doing a fun irl activity over and over, but ignores thread replies or posts elsewhere before me or skips me etc. So anymore I’m just sort of the solo queen. I jokingly tell my husband as a writer I trust fellow writers about as much as Kelski trusts humans. And that has led me to recently feeling its okay to let things sit. I feel bad about that and have the guilt my PC doesn’t have. Its something Im going to try to work on when I’m not buried literally in irl work.

11. Here’s your soapbox question! Is there anything you want to talk about in regards to your character and or the game itself? You have an audience so feel free to jump on the soapbox and talk a bit about anything you want!

I’m in the unique position that I normally have an audience if I post in my scrap or make an announcement somewhere. However, I think I’ll just keep the message here short. If you commit to something or initiate something, follow through with it. There’s nothing more destructive to a relationship – be it a friendship, a writing partnership, or even a work situation – than you not living up to your word. Giving people on here get screwed by the takers of the world. Don’t be a taker. Give as much as someone is giving to you and you can’t help but succeed. If you make everything about you all the time, be it in your threads or your actions, then everyone will eventually turn away and you will find yourself unwelcome. Make things about everyone else every time you can. If we build a collective community of givers, it propagates itself and the site grows and gets better. Don’t tear people down. Don’t shatter them in a literary sense. I had it happen to me last year. I won’t ever forget it. And I won’t be quick to trust again. If you commit to something in thread, follow through. Don’t vanish, fade away, or skip out saying you’ll be back. If you hop on the train, stay for the whole ride until the entire story has played out and the rails run out or circle back on themselves. Please.

Moonlight drowns out all but the brightest stars

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Shiress
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Summer's Featured Character For 2019 Is...

Postby Solstice on June 3rd, 2019, 6:04 pm


~Congrats~

I'm so happy to see you featured, even if you had to be bullied into it. I really enjoyed reading your responses, and Kelski is still one of my favorite PCs to read. Keep being awesome! Your writing is a real inspiration.
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Summer's Featured Character For 2019 Is...

Postby Sophia Sunshore on June 3rd, 2019, 8:21 pm

Congratulations! Such a well deserved feature.
Over the last month or so, I've really started to read Kelski's threads thoroughly. I love how much depth she has as a character, and it's really inspired me to try and delve more into how my own pc's think and feel.
I cannot wait to see how Kelski gets on in Zeltiva - I'm excited to see what's in store for her :D
Just getting back into RP after almost 10 years - please be patient with me!
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Summer's Featured Character For 2019 Is...

Postby Luminescence on June 4th, 2019, 12:25 am

Congrats, Kelski! This is very well-deserved, and I'm glad you agreed to it. Kels is such a fun character to follow and I loved learning a bit more about her. I'm looking forward to seeing what she gets up to in Zeltiva. :D
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Summer's Featured Character For 2019 Is...

Postby Kamilla on June 4th, 2019, 2:37 am

Congratulations! I thoroughly enjoyed that interview and learned quite a bit about both you and your PC. Also Kelsk’s eye eating thing. Euw! I can hear like scrunchy sounds everywhere now. Well deserved and I look forward to seeing what the future holds for our famous raptor.
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Summer's Featured Character For 2019 Is...

Postby Finn Reefdiver on June 16th, 2019, 5:58 am

Well deserved award and congratulations Kelski! She is such a well developed character and always an interesting thread.
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