Award Spring's Featured Character Is...

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Spring's Featured Character Is...

Postby Gossamer on March 2nd, 2020, 11:24 pm


Hello Fellow Mizaharians!

Keeping with our tradition, the Founders Circle and Storytellers are proud to announce that the Featured Character of the Spring Season of 2020 is Wa'Djinnabi! Djinn has been around Mizahar for many years, both in the capacity of a series of PCs and as a Storyteller. He knows the site inside and out and has a pension for doing things outside the box. If you haven't read his writings, please don't hesitate to dive into some of his threads. They are a joy to read. So, please join us in welcoming him to the elite club of Featured Character! His interview is below!

The Interview

1. Recently we’ve been trying to feature some of the ‘off the beaten track’ PCS. Playing an Eypharian comes with a whole new set of challenges. Not only is the race physically different with their multiple arms, but they have access to ‘ancient’ wisdom’ that other races don’t understand (ie.. genetics). What did you find difficult or easy about creating Djinn and how are those things working out in thread?

Working with an Eypharian character certainly has a logistic problem. All those limbs mean that you have a large variety of ways you can describe any actions with your arms. Weaving those into your narrative can be a challenge when you often just want to say that your character is just doing fairly normal interactions. But at the same time it allows the writer to really get creative with some of the most mundane things. For instance, say the character is put into a defensive posture. This allows you to have him cross his arms over his chest, put his hands on his hips and be ready to pull daggers from his belt all at the same time. It is with the physical attributes that I’ve had the most success with in thread, and it is really fun to get obnoxious with all the limbs he can use. The cultural things on the other hand, while not difficult, I’ve not yet had as much success integrating into his story and threads. But I am hoping to move beyond very broad strokes and into the more interesting nuances that being an Eypharian bring.

2. Bala is truly one of the unsung Goddesses in the game. What made you decide to bring roleplay involving this Goddess into your character’s history and day to day life? Is Djinn really religious or does he just worship out of habit?

Bala is such an intriguing Goddess. She strikes me as a particularly pragmatic and altruistic goddess which I think is something that Wa’Djinnabi needs on a core level. She is a figure that can give to him without the same sort of strings that he is used to and in turn he can give to others through his mark with her. She is the goddess of the bountiful harvest (and autumn) and there is something in there that resonates with Djinn. As for how it works out in practice, I haven’t really fleshed out exactly how Djinn feels about her in thread. At the time of this writing he has used her mark maybe once? Thus its my goal to involve the Bala more into Djinn’s life, mostly by simply learning about her. But once he learns about her, I intend on having Djinn being a devout follower of her teachings.

3. Djinn is a unique mixture of arrogant and sweet. He can be a gentleman in one instant and turn into an absolute elitist pig in the next. How do you find a balance between these two dichotomies?

I will admit that it's not easy, I personally do not like arrogance in myself and in others. However, arrogance isn’t exactly hard to portray, but it can’t go so far that he becomes this paper thin cut-out. But coming from the other end if I make him too easy going and friendly he loses out on some of the interesting characterization that I am going for. So I try to do two things with him, I try to funnel the arrogance factor into an outwardly facing confidence (Confidence being a hair’s breadth away from arrogance) and I also try to portray his more undesirable traits as unconscious and biased. The best example would be giving an unintentionally backhanded compliment from an earnest and honest place. He still ends up coming off as a jerk, even if his motivations are in the right place. Using those unconscious biases, I’ve had a lot of fun with the idea of him being a sympathetic racist. He still thinks he is better than others, but it isn’t really the other’s fault for being not as good as him so why should he hold the innate shortcomings of others against them?

4. What are the main influences in Djinn’s life to date? I know he’s been a character that you are just starting to explore. But when you think of him, what persons or places molded him? And why did his wanderlust sweep him away from those situations?

So this one is a bit of a hard question because much of his history hasn’t been fleshed out yet. I have a vague outline in mind that involves Djinn’s relationship with his family, mainly his father and his brother, and his master who was a benshira alchemist that his father apprenticed him out to. For the most part we can say that none of those three people were nice people, with his sister being Djinn’s only real friend and confidant. Who naturally he lost the support of when she went to go be an acolyte of Syna. The climax to the arc that I want to explore would end with Djinn deciding he had enough of his family, his master and Ahnatep in its entirety and catching a ride with the Svefra and going anywhere away from his home city. It would be on this trip that he would discover his love of growing things so he can pay his way through his wanderings and eventually be marked by bala.

5. For all his lofty opinions, Djinn is also a person that likes to get his hands dirty and grow things. Did this come from you as a player? It’s an unusual choice, but something that is distinct from his personality. What made you walk this path?

I think this is more of a wish fulfillment on my part haha. I strive to be as hard of a worker as I portray Djinn. Being a soft city boy, I don’t think I could put in the work that he has. As for in character motivations I sort of came to the conclusion logically, Djinn is not some merchant prince, he is a man with few possessions wandering the world. No matter how proud he might be, he is going to need to be pragmatic to survive and there is always a need for strong backs in a world that itself is just trying to survive. He might have been averse to hard work towards the beginning of his journey, but by the point that he enters play he is already past that character defining journey. Which, naturally i would love to go back in via flashbacks and flesh that out. I think it is kind of an interesting juxtaposition towards his proud nature and really provides a framework to show just what sort of person when he is no better than the common laborer.

6. Magic magic magic! What are the best and worst parts of Mizahar’s magic system in your opinion? What is its main draw for those that like to play mages?

There are many things about Mizahar that attracted me to writing here, but Mizahar’s magic system has a special place in my mind. It has a lot of interesting concepts that I simply haven’t found anywhere else. Is there anywhere else you can find a form of alchemy that replicates a high energy particle accelerator? Even the more “traditional” magical concepts like throwing a fireball has a wonderful flavor to it that makes it so much more distinct. But magic is not safe. People who play mages have to understand that they are putting their characters in physical, mental and spiritual risk that can and often will be enforced by storytellers. And that is a draw in itself. After all, a good story is made via conflict and magic provides its own built in conflict along with the tools to do some very wonderous things. This is one of the great things about fantasy versus, say science fiction. I would say that the worst thing about magic is perhaps some of the ambiguity. A good portion of the magic is open to interpretation, and that is certainly a point in its favor. This allows for some fierce debates on how magic works which is both a postive and negative.However, my particular personality type dislikes the ambiguity, but that is just me haha.

7. NPCs factor heavily into your threads. Please talk a bit about why you like NPCs so much and how you tend to use them to further advance your stories?

There are a few reasons why I tend to use NPCs so much in my threads and stories. The first part is both pragmatic and selfish. NPCs are these static story objects that are not reliant on things like post order or require regular postings. They are always available and will never suddenly retire. And as selfish as it is, there is value in that. Unfortunately that means you have to do most of the work to make them work haha. But they are also an indirect form of collaboration as well. Most of these NPCs are made by others, especially city NPCs which are made by storytellers. By getting to play with them you are allowed to characterize them, and most of these sorts of NPCs are intentionally under characterized. So not only do you get to flesh out your character (which by the way can be useful when you are still finding your PC’s voice), you also get to help flesh out the NPCs that you are utilizing.

8. You have been on Mizahar for a long time and made lasting friendships. Will you talk about its appeal to you and what you get out of writing for Mizahar rather than say writing for yourself?

Often times when I write for myself I enjoy the process but often do not pursue storylines to their completion. With limited time and many distractions, it’s easy to get one’s motivation pulled in many different directions. When it comes to Mizahar, and to an extension all collaborative roleplaying, we approach writing from a different mind set. We set out to write character first with others of like minded people from many different backgrounds. We can use this time and experience in practicing writing should we ever want to write for ourselves. Mizahar has built in deadlines with the season changes that keep many of us on track and provides a platform to involve ourselves in the community. And to put it bluntly, the obligation one willingly puts themselves into to make replies and collaborate is helpful to keep that motivation to keep writing. I love the fact that Mizahar has a built in support network for writers that can provide feedback and . It is also an excellent place to create within a limited space. Sometimes building up plots from nothing is an arduous process. Many of us feel that way when staring at a blank word, that blinking bar mocking us for our lack of knowledge of where to start. Sometimes it’s better to limit oneself to a setting or a single character that can only do limited things due to skill level, knowledge and resources. It is in these limited spaces that we find a fertile bed for growing unique and creative stories.

9. You’ve played a lot of parts on Mizahar through the years. You’ve been a storyteller and a player for various pcs. Can you talk a bit about some of your favorite Mizahar moments and what made them special?

As a storyteller my favorite part was introducing new players to this handcrafted world we’ve come to love and enjoy. It was so excellent to see some of our newest players start from humble beginnings and help them grow into competent vetern players. I don’t really have a specific moment for this feeling but it’s something that helped make volunteering special and rewarding for me. As for my experiences as a player, there are a few events that were intensely personal and gratifying. For instance, my previous character, Xira, had a wonderful moment being initiated and then learning about the magical skill Reimancy. For those of you unaware, the magic is incredibly intimate and often creates a very strong bond with the person that does the initiating. It was the mingling of two souls and it became a wonderful point of development between the two characters. It was a blast to write and was one of the highpoints of my time writing for Xira. These intensely emotional moments are something I hope to experience with my current character Wa’Djinnabi.

10. This isn’t your first time out of the gate for this site. Each time, your characters have been vastly different and your approaches unique. What do you want to get out of your experience this time? What do you want to see happen to your PC over time or immediately? What are you afraid will happen to him? Are there any story arcs you’d like to share?

Speaking of Xira, he was certainly a different take on what Wa’Djinnabi is supposed to be. And really my thought process was that, if I wanted to write someone like Xira, I could just… write for Xira. No, I wanted to do something a bit different and play some roles that were more challenging than before. I will likely end up doing some similar things, like perhaps getting Djinn initiated into Reimancy, but my goal is to explore new territory and do things that I would never do in person. I do have some goals for Djinn that I would like to see, like growing a garden and breeding magical plants but I would love to work on his past and see the effects it has on his future. I would love to seed some plots like reintroducing figures from his past and see the sort of problems they would cause and how that would change Djinn’s character and mindset. As for fears? Most of the fears I have for Djinn are more about me than anything that could happen to him. I fear that he will languish and won’t progress his plotlines. Even the worst things that can happen to a person would only progress his character. Death? He could become a ghost seeking revenge. Overgiving or maiming? A tortured existence is entertaining to read and write. I just hope that anything that does happen is impactful and meaningful. My current arcs that I am working on largely involve breeding plants to work towards making magical plant breeds, mostly because I think it would be a cool thing to do. As for character development arcs, I intend on reintroducing Djinn’s father in the Outpost. Maybe reopen some old wounds, get into fights and generally have a blast writing.

11. This is your Soap Box! What would you like to say to the game as a whole? Tell us! This is your time.

Hello! This was a bit of a surprise on my part and very flattering. I don’t really have much to say so I’ll plug our guild: Come join us in the Sylir Wildreness and help us build up a guild based in magic. We have a lot of real cool plans for the Meraki and we would love for you all to join or interact with us. You can find us past the hook of the coast and if you reach Sunberth you’ve gone too far. See the sights, learn some ancient magic, contort your souls in strange ways, all could be yours by visiting us at the Empyreal Demense!

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Spring's Featured Character Is...

Postby Ennisa on March 3rd, 2020, 12:46 am

Hey, congrats Djinn! Well deserved. :)
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Spring's Featured Character Is...

Postby Mayhem on March 3rd, 2020, 11:23 pm

Congrats Djinn!
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Spring's Featured Character Is...

Postby Resolve on March 4th, 2020, 3:44 am

Congrats! That was a lovely interview, and I'm really excited to watch Djinn's relationship with his father play out. It could go so many different ways, it'll be a thrill to read. Well deserved!
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