The Featured Character of The Month: Abashai!

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The Featured Character of The Month: Abashai!

Postby Cayenne on April 1st, 2010, 3:08 am


Hello Fellow Mizaharians!

Keeping with our new tradition, the Founders Circle is proud to announce that the Featured Character of the Month for the month of April 2010 is Abashai!

Abashai has sat down for a ten question interview below, and I hope you all enjoy it. Please join us in a round of congratulations and feel free to post your own questions for Abashai here!

The Interview

Cayenne: How did you get into roleplaying? How long have you been at it?

Abashai: Are you sure you want to hear this? I've been around a long time. My background is in old school tabletop RPGs, not writing-based. A half dozen people laying around the living room with two cases of pop and six bags of chips, a pile of dice, poorly painted pewter miniatures, a fistful of stubby pencils and a pad of graph paper, playing into the wee hours of the morning. That's how we used to roll...ah, those were the days. It was when MTV still played music videos...and VJ Martha Quinn stole my heart.

I first played D&D when I was a freshman in high school, it had only been out a few years. From that point on I fell in love with fantasy/SciFi RPGs and spent about 13 years playing heavily. I've played a myriad of tabletop games, most of which have vanished into history. After I started a family, I stopped playing almost completely for about 10 years.

A few years ago I found a Star Wars Play by Email RPG online, it was a writing RPG. I played for few months before I became too busy. That is where I first had done any kind of creative writing, but the format severely limited PC interactions, so it was like writing my own story more than RPing. After that I just kept my eyes open for something that seemed to click with me...last August I found Mizahar.

Cayenne: What do you find the biggest challenge is playing a game like Mizahar?

Abashai: Wrapping your head around Mizahar is probably the first challenge for any player. It is so full of original stuff. Once I did that and started to play, the challenge was creative writing in reaction to another PC, which was really new to me. I really had no idea how to go about it, but my first thread was with Jen, a great player and, frankly, she made this style of RPG irresistible. I was hooked.

Now that I have an established character, the challenge is leading my PC to grow and develop, to keep him from getting stale. It's also challenging to stay original as you play with more and more players. Heck, it's a challenge just to keep track of all the new players!

Cayenne: What made you pick a Benshira? Is there any one factor about the race that jumped out at you when you were considering what to play? If so, what was it?

Abashai: Mizahar has a great selection of races. I really had my heart set on a centaur-like race. But the Benshira actually cinched it for me and got me to jump into Mizahar. I felt an affinity for their attitude, faith and their god, Yahal. It just seemed like I knew them. Kind of a safe bet in a new gaming environment. It made it easier for me to start a character that I felt grounded in. So far from Eyktol, Abashai has strayed a bit I think from traditional Benshira, but I hope he never loses that race's foundation.

Cayenne: Since you are one of Mizahar's original players - the first generation, if you will - what stands out about how Mizahar has grown and changed in the time since you started playing and the way the game is presently? Do you like this direction and are there changes you'd like to see?

Abashai: When I started, it was a cozy group of people who knew each other and had embarked on this awesome enterprise together. I was blessed to be welcomed in by then almost from the beginning. I have never been on a site like this before, so I was taken back by how it kind of exploded with people. I am a bit of an introvert so, to be honest, I wasn't sure I wanted to share the world I found or my Miza friends! Well, with some loving coaxing from my buddies here, I began to reach out and embrace the great diversity that was joining the game. I love the different kind of people we have here, and the variety of stories and writing styles they bring to the game. It is also a great that the game has rules that are upheld (yes, I am a rule nazi). It keeps the flavor and intent of Mizahar intact as the game grows so quickly.

The wiki is growing at at steady pace, every new entry an exciting addition to Mizahar canon. To be honest, I have a lot of respect and concern for our founders and storytellers. They work so hard to keep growing the site while the population grows. I would like to see more dedicated players pitch in to help do write ups for skills and other wiki (myself included).

Cayenne: Some people are really cautious about IC relationships. How do you feel about them, and how do you go about them? Do you just let them happen as you go, or was there preplanning involved?

Abashai: Like I said, I had no experience with this type of RGP, let alone IC relationships, I didn't even knew what that meant, so I didn't even consider them. When Nya Winters and Abashai started to thread together, I had no plans for a relationship. That was girl stuff. Little did I know. I was totally sucked in by the dynamics between the characters. Everything that happened between those two PCs was purely driven by my gut reaction to Nya's character. It made the game exciting, a real rush at times, because I didn't know what the heck I was doing, or what Nya was going to do. But Nya Winters is an awesome character, and the PCs just seemed to click. I never had a plan past the next post...still don't. We just seem to follow each others lead. So here they are... married! Never saw that one coming until I was in the moment and it flew out of my fingers onto the screen.

Now, I will say that while I love Nya's character, I know that Nya's player, Jen, is not Nya Winters. I see Jen as a friend, and she me. We both have great spouses and marriages and are mature enough to write for our characters without OCC entanglement. So it has been an awesome experience. I can see, though, how an IC relationship carried OOC may get complicated.

So my take on IC relationships are, if you want to plan it, fine. But the thrill of the game is to let it just happen. Whether a bondmate or a romance or just a traveling companion, let the characters get a feel for each other in play before forcing them together.

Cayenne: You've had a lot of firsts on Mizahar - first really active (and lasting!) Benshira, first Yahal Gnosis bearer, first to have a Kelvic bondmate, first marriage. Is there any other firsts you'd like to accomplish? How does being first at a lot of things feel? Are you conscious of how you RP when you tackle a new challenge that really has no roleplay precedent?

Abashai: Really, I had no intention of being the first of anything! I have to admit, when you put it that way, I am a bit proud of those firsts, even if I didn't know they were at the time. Its is probably easier to be first too. No precedent for comparison. I think the mods may have allowed me a bit of room too, to do those things. For instance, I may have taken a bit of liberty in describing Abashai's reaction to the initiation of Res by Nya during their Reimancy training thread, the first res initiation between Kelvic bondmates (another first!... OK, its a stretch)!

Sadly, the truth is I am not conscious of how I do a lot of things when I roleplay, I just do them. Please make sure someone tells me if I "first" anything else!

Cayenne: You use a really unique weapon in Mizahar - the khopesh. What made you pick it? What can you tell us about it, and how do you RP using it? Did you have to do research on the weapon, or do you have RL experience with it? You've also started stockpiling other weapons - do you plan on learning other weaponry skills as well?

Abashai: Everyone wants their character to be unique. I wanted to choose subtle ways. One was the khopesh. I am a fan of ancient history, warfare and pointy things made to kill the bad guys. That's how I know about the old khopesh. Now its your turn. Quick history lesson (no charge). The khopesh is not a true sword, actually evolving from sickle-like axes, and was used in the ancient middle east, like really BC stuff. Egyptians knew of them, Caananites, and the Assyrians had something similar but more elegant (Trivia: Abashai's avatar, Ardeth Bay from "the Mummy", carries a sappara, an Assyrian version of the khopesh) I wasn't thinking it until I saw Gillar had put it in the price list. I was so excited and I thought it appropriate for a denizen of Eyktol.

Yeah, Abashai has been hording weapons. I can't at home, so I am living vicariously through him. I am planning some stunning self-modded threads to learn to use them. My RPG characters have always seemed to collect weapons. At heart I am a bloody fighting machine I guess! But I want to keep working on the khopesh, I would like to have the highest weapon skill of a PC in all of Mizahar.

Cayenne: It seems as if a lot of people both IC and OOC in Mizahar fufill roles. What sort of OOC role, if any, do you see yourself fulfilling? And what, if anything, do you get out of providing an OOC role?

Abashai: First I have to say, and will, that OOC may have been the most unexpected aspect of Mizahar. I never expected the real human dynamic that comes alive in chat. I had no idea I would become so attached to people I will probably never meet. Like I said, I am not a naturally outgoing guy, and I still shy away when the chat room gets full. But some of you have managed to draw me in and let me be myself, and I am thankful. I have some very different kinds of friendships in Mizahar, and I am grateful for everyone of them.

As far as fulfilling a role, well, I'm not sure. I'm sure I have roles, as most of us do. Sometimes I feel like a friend, sometimes a dad, sometimes a brother and sometimes a danged fool who needs to shut his yammering skull cave. Others are usually better at seeing the real roles we play than we can ourselves. I thank those who have come to me to share what they see as my contributions.

Cayenne: In an ideal RP world, if you could take Abashai anywhere, and do anything with him, what would that be?

Abashai: Wow...that's a toughie. This is going to sound really lame. But, like I said, there is a plain old tabletop RPer inside of me. I would love to see an armor-encased Abashai wielding his massive weapons astride a giant spiky-armored Kelvic forest cat as they plunge headlong into a horde of baddies in a deadly flurry of steel and claw and fang. Like a great champion or something. My tastes are simple. Yes, I read a lot of Conan books as a teen.

Cayenne: Abashai seems like the type of character that surprises his player a lot in the things he says and does. Because he has the feel of a real person to him - with all the strengths and weaknesses of a real person - how would you go about helping others breath the same sort of life into their characters as your own seems to have? Do you have any advice for new players in this regards - especially those that are just planning their PCs or those that are still searching for their PC's voice?

Abashai: I am not terribly creative, when I made Abashai, I stuck with what I knew. Abashai is so real to me because he has a lot of me in him. I, as most of us, have some guilty shame in the past. Abashai is a man of faith, as I like to believe I am. He can be playful, but has his limits. Its a balance of strengths and weaknesses and desires that all of us have. I could never do that with a table top RPG. I can't tell you exactly how Abashai is really going to react in a situation, just as I can't always predict how I will.

My biggest fear is that Abashai will become a Mary Sue, no problems, no darkness, no weakness. A character that is a perfect killing machine with all the cool lines and immune to everything, or one that is constantly a shower of sunshine no matter what and makes things all better may fulfill our fantasy, but they run their course quick, and eventually make for poor reading, and to me, boring gaming. And to be honest, I enjoy the relationship part of playing Abashai as much as I like hacking up the bad guys.

So there.

Cayenne: Thanks for a great interview and for sharing your thoughts with the community!
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Re: The Featured Character of The Month: Abashai!

Postby Alistair deGrey on April 1st, 2010, 3:26 am

Greetings Mike!

That was fantastic, bombastic, scholastic no lie. You completely deserve what you got Abashai!

Good job :D

Best Regards,
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Re: The Featured Character of The Month: Abashai!

Postby Aneira Haimati on April 1st, 2010, 3:30 am

Congratulations and well-deserved, Abashai!

I have admired your writing from the start. And, know what's funny? Abashai was the first character I noticed and read when I stumbled upon Miz (I was, actually, first going to create a Benshira).

It was fun to see inside your brain with the makings of Abashai. Great interview. I especially liked the tidbits about the khopesh. I didn't know anything about any of that, but it's unique.
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Re: The Featured Character of The Month: Abashai!

Postby Pua on April 1st, 2010, 3:32 am

Grats Mike, you deserve it
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Re: The Featured Character of The Month: Abashai!

Postby Nel Sayo on April 1st, 2010, 4:26 am

Congrats, Mike!

...introverted? Puhlease. ;)
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Re: The Featured Character of The Month: Abashai!

Postby Hadrian on April 1st, 2010, 4:31 am

...introverted? Puhlease.

I know, right?

Congratulations, Mike! And thanks for being so welcoming to us new kids on the block. (We're hangin' tough, though.)

And just so you know... Hadrian can magecraft the crap out of those weapons of Abasahi's...! Just sayin'.
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Re: The Featured Character of The Month: Abashai!

Postby Kamalia Timandre on April 1st, 2010, 6:19 am

Congratulations, Mike! You deserve to be the featured character of the month! *hugs* And I really liked Abashai from the start, and you are able to portray the Benshira well!

Samantha <3
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Re: The Featured Character of The Month: Abashai!

Postby Jaeden Kincade on April 1st, 2010, 6:54 am

Congrats Mike.

The player of Abashai is every bit as cool as the character himself, and both are fully deserving of this award.

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Re: The Featured Character of The Month: Abashai!

Postby Reihn on April 1st, 2010, 8:08 am

Very cool!

I like that you admit that stuff about D&D.

I wouldn't doubt we've all done similar things until early morning (heck, why not till noon of the following day?).

*thumbs up*
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Re: The Featured Character of The Month: Abashai!

Postby Marishka Timandre on April 1st, 2010, 9:41 am

Congratulations Abashai. A very well-deserved award.

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