Award August's Featured Character Is...

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August's Featured Character Is...

Postby Gossamer on August 2nd, 2017, 4:10 am



Hello Fellow Mizaharians!

Keeping with our tradition, the Founders Circle and Regional Storytellers are proud to announce that the Featured Character of the Month of August 2017 is Orin Fenix! Orin is one of those pcs that are not fighters, mages, or general all around badasses. What is he? He's a damn good chef. That's right. He makes friends cooking... and write about cooking... and dreams about cooking. We think he probably smells good too if we can ever get these monitors to become scratch and sniff. Orin is also known for his moral support of the players both in chat and in game being helpful and happy to introduce people to the ideas and concepts of Mizahar when they come to join us from all over the net. Please join us in welcoming him to the elite club of Featured Contributor! His very long winded interview is below!

The Interview

1. What was your inspiration for Orin? I'm always curious to know if people remember what exactly they were doing when they decided to create a new PC. Do you? What were you doing when his inspiration hit?

I actually do recall pretty much exactly where I got the idea for Orin. I was staying at home, taking some time off from school, and my family was getting on my case to find some way to spend my time more productively. Of course, I don’t think what they meant was spending more time on the computer writing but it’s where I ended up! Anyway, they were nagging me and telling me I needed to learn how to take care of myself and become a real adult. They were especially adamant that I learn how to cook and I was sort of fed up with them. I remembered around that time that I used to do a bit of roleplaying, nothing major and only for a short time, but I had really enjoyed it. And, as I’ll mention later, I’m a huge science fiction and fantasy nerd. So I started looking for a fantasy site with a strong community and a unique backstory.

And lo and behold, there was Mizahar. At the same time I was looking, I was formulating my ideas for a character. I had decided that I wanted to start off with a sort of everyman character, someone who wasn’t special in any way, because I loved the idea of someone completely ordinary finding a way to survive and maybe even thrive in a world full of magic and monsters. I wanted him to come into his own and prove that people from perfectly ordinary and humble beginnings could rise to greatness, the sort of classic heroes journey. He had to be a cook, of course, in a short of weird response to my family. In hindsight, my early characterization was too overly simplistic, and I do regret not taking full opportunity of some of the amazing elements that have been created here, but I like to think that Orin has matured a lot since then. I definitely still find it a challenge and a thrill to just get him through a day, especially when it seems every other person he meets is exceptional, in some way, shape, or form.

2. Describe what you get out of roleplaying? Be specific? What does it give you back or do for you?

I used to not only be an avid reader, mostly of science fiction and fantasy, but also I did quite a bit with music and the arts. I still do, to some extent, and I’ve recently gotten back into the habit of trying to read for pleasure regularly (school sort of put a damper on my free time for that) but I never really did all that much writing before Mizahar. Mizahar has become my main creative outlet and I have to say that I can’t begin to thank you all enough for that. I find that if I’m not doing something creative, I get really depressed, as the act of creating art and stories is pretty central to who I am. I feel revitalized and excited every time I see a reply, and I wake up with my mind buzzing with a new thread idea. I also think that roleplaying gives me a supportive community to fall back on when I might be stressed or upset with the real world. I love that I can escape into another world whenever I need to.

3. What has been one of your favorite threads to date? Why was it your favorite? This could be something you wrote or something someone else wrote. Just tell us about it.

You are cruel to make me choose just one! I am not going to talk about one of my own, because I’ve written too many and I already know all about them. Besides, this whole interview is about me and I think it’s only fair I talk about others for a bit. I’m also going to go a bit rogue here, and talk about two threads because I couldn’t decide! First I'm going to tell you about a wonderful thread that just wrapped up in Alvadas! It’s called All The World’s a Stage, and it tells the story of a group of Alvads trying to find the famous theater troop The Inverted. I love everyone’s baffled reactions to the antics of the city and each other, and it feels sort of like a love letter to Alvadas, a city that has always fascinated me and that I’m sad that Orin has never gotten the opportunity to visit. I think that Chameleon and all the other writers have done an excellent job of taking a plotline that seemed deceptively simple and bringing it to life in a fresh and enjoyable way. You all should definitely take a look! The other thread I think everyone should look at isn’t finished yet but it's going to be thirlling no matter how it ends. It’s called redemption road and it takes place in Riverfall. For those of you who don’t know them, Caelum and Aoren have had a pretty epic and rocky romance, and so this reunion of theirs is emotionally charged. I’ve been following it avidly to see where the two of them wind up. Both these threads are wonderful examples of the sort of amazing stories it’s possible to tell here, so keep up the good work!

4. Whats with all the food decorated posts? Do you feel it is your job to make the entire site hungry or are you utilizing these images for a future master plan of opening a Mizahar Food Court to feed hungry players and PCs?

Curses! Foiled again. My evil plan is ruined. I was going to slip drugs into the water supply and everything.

Kidding (or am I?)! In all seriousness, I am not solely responsible for your hunger pangs. It started because I am truly incompetent when it comes to both coding and aesthetics. I have only made one of the box codes I used, and it was quite an eyesore. I apologize for any graders or thread partners who had to deal with it. I think one of those poor graders took pity on me, or maybe just wanted to spare his or her eyes, and decided to do the whole site a favor and give me something streamlined. After that, every post template, whether it was for grading or OOC posts, has been a gift from the wonderful artists we have here! So, no, there’s no conspiracy, just general kindness towards an arts novice. Blame the artists, not me.

5. What do you think makes Mizahar's community strong? What’s important to you to help unite and bring players closer?

Something that I’ve been thinking about a lot recently is how so many people here are storytellers first and foremost. It’s part of what has kept me coming back for more. While we might all have different skill levels and styles when it comes to writing, what brings us all together is our love of seeing a plot come to fruition. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve seen someone take an unexpected response from their partner and turn it into an excellent tale. I also think that other people aren’t just committed to their own characters, they’re committed to making the world of Mizahar as a whole more fully realized. Beyond that, we like to have fun here. At least, I certainly try to enjoy what I write. I think that it’s important to realize that while we might be writing incredibly dramatic scenes, in the grand scheme of it all, these characters are just that, characters, and the writer behind them is the person making it happen. I think most people here recognize that. So I think that commitment to telling the best stories we can, and remembering that what happens in plots is something we can use to further our personal goals for our characters is something that really brings us all together.

6. We see you use your scrapbook. Do you find them valuable, annoying or somewhere in between? Do you read other people's scraps and enjoy them? Do you prefer game based scrapping, real life situational things, or stuff like favorite music being posted?

Honestly, I think it’s a bit easier to say what I don’t think scrapbooks should be used for. I actually really enjoy scrapbooks. I do think they’re more important for OOC and real life related matters, which is mostly what I use mine for. Mizahar already has an overabundance of places for character related updates. It’s totally valid to use scrapbooks for that as well, although I think it might be better to use the character journals or plotnotes, which are criminally underused, including by myself, for that. I do think it’s useful to have a place where we can get to know the writer behind the character a little bit better, because it helps me gain a deeper understanding of how I might better serve that person in our threads and what sorts of topics they might enjoy or dislike writing about. I’d say that of OOC updates, random musings about the world, thoughts about characters, and pretty much everything in between are all great to post in a scrapbook. I check them out because I like the writer and want to know more about them.

One thing I would never recommend posting in a scrapbook is a negative observation or complaint about someone else or something else you’ve seen on the site. I think a lot of people see it as a way of bringing attention to an issue, but if you don’t frame it in a positive light (I know of some individuals who have done this very well, creating guides of sorts for common problems) it’s just going to make drama. And the only drama I think this site needs is the one between characters. Even if you think it’s going to stay anonymous, chances are we know exactly whom you’re talking about. Just PM the person in private to talk over whatever is going on.

7. Tell us a bit about your process for inventing or driving plotline for your PC. Do you let city events help your planning along or do you have a whole different agenda for Orin?

I ask a lot of questions. Usually the first one I ask is how can I make Orin suffer the most in this situation? That sounds like a joke, but it’s not. I’ve found that there are only really two things that can drive a plot, and that’s conflict and character development. I get so bored if I’m reading about a character that overcomes everything too easily and has no flaws. I think it’s partially why I write Orin as socially awkward, or at least make him think he is, because it gives me a way to generate an obstacle for him in threads where otherwise it’d be too flat. Usually the suffering question is most useful to me when I’m planning short term or one-off threads. For longer plotlines, I ask myself what is going to give Orin the most opportunity to grow in the future and also what direction do I want to take him in? Those two usually can give me a pretty solid framework for the kinds of seasonal and even yearlong plots that will keep me going.

It’s also good to know what your character wants and doesn’t want, as well as what they like and don’t like to do. Having those fleshed out, even in bare strokes, means that whatever situation they might end up in you’ll generally know how they’ll react. That is incredibly useful for the next major way I come up with ideas, which is going extensively through the lore, the cities’ location and NPC lists, and the city character registries. I’m a bit obsessed with it, actually. Mizahar already has so many wonderful locations and characters that are often ignored. If I’m ever feeling stuck on ideas I go to the codex or the location list, find a place that Orin hasn’t been before, and ask myself what would compel him to end up there. Beyond that, if I want two characters to meet and I can’t think of a way, I’ll go to the city location list and read through it until I decide on a place they’d both reasonably be expected to end up at and enjoy. I’ve found that by doing that I explore more of the city I’m in and make plots I have done variations on feel fresh and new. Also, I encourage you all to go through the character registries in your cities, because often reading about other peoples’ plots will spark your own creative juices.

8. If Orin could have a one of a kind unique adventure anywhere in Mizahar where would it be and what kind of thread would we ultimately be reading?

Again, you’re making me choose! There’s so much I want to see the poor little unsuspecting chef doing. Actually, something that we joked about in chat, but then I started to think about more seriously, was having Orin somehow come into contact with Architectrix. I think he’d be thrilled at the opportunity to nurture yet one more kind of being in the world, even if a building can’t exactly be fed in the way we might think. I do believe that Orin responds really well to individuals who’ve experienced trauma. Therefore, I could imagine Orin somehow coming into contact with an Architectrix building that was young, afraid, and abandoned by its mage, and then him spending a long time coaxing it to let him in, reassuring it that he won’t leave, getting it to trust him, and eventually bonding with it, both of them alleviating each others’ loneliness because Orin wouldn’t feel the same stress he might around a person. It would be fitting that his attempt to bring beings together extended to buildings. Then, once he’d gained its trust, he could develop it into a safe haven for other broken individuals, alive and dead. Especially because Orin likes to help people heal their souls in his own rather unique and offbeat way I can see that plot as a really cool progression for him. Also can you imagine what feats of cooking he could do with a kitchen that he could communicate with?

9. A lot of people have roleplaying experience before arriving at Mizahar. Can you tell us about any previous roleplaying sites or experience you've had vs. how Mizahar has been for you?

I don’t really remember my previous roleplaying experience, although its something I have always been interested in. I never did tabletop, and while I know I did forum RP at some point, it was only for a few months at a time and I could never really get too committed to it because the worlds or sites didn’t excite me enough. Other sites also didn’t have the enthusiastic writers that Mizahar did. I personally consider my experience both acting and directing in theater to have given me more of my storytelling chops than roleplaying ever did, until Mizahar. Mizahar is definitely a step up from every other site I’ve even been on, that’s for sure. I have grown so much as a writer because the people here are constantly challenging me to go a little bit further in my plots and my language. I can’t say that about anywhere else.

10. What are Orin's greatest hopes and fears? I suspect I'm more asking about his merits and flaws here as well. Can you talk about both?

This list could go on forever and since this is already an incredibly long interview I’ll try to keep this brief. Let’s start with hopes and merits. I think one of Orin’s greatest abilities and something I’d like to see more of in myself is his capacity for optimism and his ability to cling to hope. There’s a reason he worships Priskil as fervently as he does. Despite all the crap I’ve put him through he never gives up in believing that tomorrow will be a little better than today. In terms of the future, he’s hoping to one day open a restaurant, a place where he can bring people together and maybe start a family and a little community of his own. I like his ambition and drive on that front. He’s a fiercely loyal person, a protector of those he thinks can’t protect themselves, and a good friend to the select few he lets in to see the real him. He also is kind and patient under most circumstances, unless you keep messing up in his kitchen or try to hurt someone under his care.

Now for my favorite part, his fears and flaws! Orin is terrified of becoming like his father, a cruel and lonely man. He’s afraid that if he ever gives up on hope he’ll turn into a monster. Part of that stems from his incredibly low self-esteem; it would never occur to him that people would actually like him just the way he is, so he’s constantly putting on some sort of mask to get people to like him. Orin doesn’t think he’s capable of making anything of himself or his life and he’s clearly convinced himself that he’s destined to fade into obscurity. In addition, he’s socially awkward, or at least he thinks he is and doesn’t think anyone could love him. He’s truly awful at flirting and relationships because of that belief. Beyond all that, he can get a bit too single-minded when it comes to work, and he often neglects other aspects of his life as a result. Also, Orin can get a bit self-righteous and thinks that he always has the moral high ground in most situations where people disagree with him. I think that’s a fairly comprehensive list for you all, especially because I could go on and on here.

11. This last one is your soapbox. Here is the wondrous blank spot to write whatever you wish, have at it! Anything else on your mind? It’s a perfect time to come clean.

I’d like to thank the Academy, and my wonderful family, and all the STs and thread partners and graders who have made this possible – *music starts playing* Right. You all have better things to do than listen to me prattle on. I know they say that brevity is the soul of wit (I should warn you that quite a few Shakespeare references are incoming) but I have one more thought to leave you all with. If you’ll indulge me and lend me your ears I’d like to share this important lesson that I’ve learned, which is that nothing can come of nothing. I’ll explain what I mean by that. One of the biggest problems I had starting out, and one of the skills I’m proudest to have developed as a roleplayer, is that you have to give in order to get. In other words, neither a borrower nor a lender be. I always try to give my partners ample opportunities to react to what Orin is doing. Of course I do a lot of his internal monologue, but I also try to talk a lot and do a lot of actions in all my threads, because otherwise it makes it harder for the other person to work with a thread. You should always be asking yourself ‘How is what I’m having my PC do right now advancing the plot?’ If the answer to that is ‘nothing’, I think you’re doing it wrong. Some of my least favorite threads have been the ones where my partner would do one action, and then spend the rest of the time writing how his character thought or felt, or worse, they would simply react to everything I did, forcing me to carry the whole story. If I wanted to do that, I’d write a solo. It makes it so much harder on me when you don’t give me anything to work with and I imagine it’s the same for others. It’s just something to keep in mind. Thanks everyone for taking the time to read to the bottom of this very long interview; I bear a charmed life here indeed because on Mizahar we are such stuff as dreams are made on. If all this time you were thinking this is all Greek to me, I wouldn’t blame you and I’m sorry. And now, for a true classic: “Give me your hands, if we be friends, and Orin will restore amends.”
"We are here so the stories get told. Don't give up ride out be bold.
Build the fire bright and strong. Speak your truth and sing your song.

You are here so the stories get told. Goddess bless your weary soul.
Raise your voice to call the cry. Storytellers never die."

-Rootless, S.J. Tucker

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August's Featured Character Is...

Postby Caelum on August 2nd, 2017, 11:27 pm

Excellent choice in character, y'all. And congrats, Orin! I enjoyed your interview. Thanks for the shout out, too. ;)
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August's Featured Character Is...

Postby Ball on August 3rd, 2017, 12:07 am

hii cook love it
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Graders Please Note :
As Ball is getting closer and closer to maxing out Pyken as a skill, I would like to request that in places where Ball is not doing enough to constitute Pyken XP if Pyken technique lores could be issued instead.

Examples of proper XP level for Pyken would be: Ball developing or refining his technique by adding new thing against an actual moving target, not a dummy.

The use of basic skills alone are not enough to accomplish XP at Ball's current level of Pyken.

Thank you.

I will be handling all Ball related posts on Mondays @ 1800 my time *
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August's Featured Character Is...

Postby Madeira Craven on August 3rd, 2017, 12:30 am

Well deserved! Congrats Orin.
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August's Featured Character Is...

Postby Aladari Coolwater on August 3rd, 2017, 9:13 pm

Grats Orin! A wonderful interview as well.

Glad someone else noticed how beautiful of a character Orin is. I've been thinking it to myself for awhile. :D
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August's Featured Character Is...

Postby Salara Kel'Halavath on August 3rd, 2017, 10:03 pm

Way to go, Orin! Even though you make my tummy growl every time I read your posts.... ; D
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August's Featured Character Is...

Postby Aoren on August 3rd, 2017, 10:32 pm

Woohoo! Congratulations and thank you for the praise! That's very kind of you.
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August's Featured Character Is...

Postby Kamilla on August 4th, 2017, 3:44 am

Congratulations Orin! Well deserved too.
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Postby Yisanareysin on August 5th, 2017, 6:59 am

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