Award March's Featured Character Is...

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March's Featured Character Is...

Postby Gossamer on March 1st, 2018, 5:14 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 March 2018 is Elias Caldera! This Ebonstryfe Apprentice is a lovely addition to Ravok and the dark side of the game. Elias has been around quite a while, lurking in the shadows but also being a prominent member of his city. Please join us in welcoming him to the elite club of Featured Contributor! His interview is below!

The Interview

1. What was the inspiration for Elias? I am always curious to know if people remember what exactly triggered them to decide to create a new PC. Do you remember? What were you doing when his inspiration hit?

Oh boy, trying to think back to the beginning has never failed in making me feel very old. In fact, every once in a while I’ll notice that little time stamp of when I joined sitting there under my avatar and think to myself “…wait, what?”

As for Elias’s origins though, that’s actually pretty simple. I wanted a change. I wanted to make a hero.

My favorite part of stories has always been the bad guys, and my past experiences with roleplaying centered almost entirely around a single, villainous character I had grown accustomed and attached to over the years and years that I wrote for him. When the site I belonged to crumbled and that story came to an abrupt close however, I decided that if I’m going back to writing and roleplaying, this time it would be as something completely different. Elias’s predecessor was a hulking, raging behemoth of a criminal, and I needed this new take on things to be as close to the opposite of that as I felt comfortable with. That meant young, spry and cunning, with perhaps with just a touch of magic in there to spice things up. Most importantly however, he needed to be ‘good.’

Believe it or, Elias was actually meant to become a knight of Syliras! You know, a gallant and fearless hero to slay the dragon and rescue the princess, though with a dark and troubled past that I could delve into just in case I ever felt the need for something familiar to keep me grounded. Ultimately though, I decided it would be better that Elias overcome said dark past first hand before making the faithful leap to the hero I envisioned, so I set my sights on Ravok with the intention of only staying there for a little while before setting off for Syliras to begin his valorous tale.

Things just… didn’t work out that way in the end… like at all.

2. Writing Dark has been a thing lately. I think everyone can agree that Elias tends to be a very dark character. Can you discuss your take on Elias and how you incorporate dark writing in your threads?

I’ve never really considered it before, truth be told, but I guess I just gravitate towards the more grim and gritty ways of storytelling. I suppose after writing the way I have for so long now, it’s fair to say I kinda enjoy it.

Which is truly unfortunate for my character, seeing as he’s almost certainly been the one to suffer the most because of that.

I see Elias as a man ruled by his regrets and molded by his mistakes. His history is a pointedly terrible one and as his tale developed naturally over time, it only grew more somber. I use the scars that cover most of his body as a means to represent that, as well as a means of reminding the character himself of what he’s lost. He’s a broken creature too afraid to bend his ways lest he snap again. He’s not going to get over it, and he’s not going to be ok. The fact of the matter is, he’s only going to get worse, and I want that to come through in my writing. Dark deeds, dark gods, and dark thoughts, they’ve all become things that define Elias despite original intentions, but instead of shying away from them, I’ve decided to embrace it.

I feel like I made the right choice.

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

I don’t know… what’s that feeling you get when playing an intense videogame and realize you’re on your last life against the final boss, or you’re squaring off against your friends in a match of pool to decide who has to pay the bar tab that night? If I could just narrow down the experience to what its like when I submit a post, then I’d say there’s a lot of anxiety and nervous sweating involved, followed by a great deal of fussy typing and smashing of the backspace key. Then, when the dust is settled and I’ve finally managed to hit the submit button, there’s a wave of “oh thank god” and a lot of “I did it!”

That feeling lasts for maybe a whole, glorious minute before its abruptly replaced with a “wait, what if I change this one thing here…” for next few hours or so.

I’m not sure why torture myself with roleplaying when I think about. I just know I love it too much to stop.

4. Ravok is a fascinating canvas to storytell within and around. Can you talk about what you like about your city setting and how you utilize it in your threads?

For me, there’s no place quite like Ravok in all of Miz, and I don’t think I’d trade it for anywhere else if given half the chance. It’s a paradise unlike any other, yet beneath the polish and prestige, something sinister lurks. After stumbling across its lore page, I found it just too perfect to pass up, and though I never intended to stay for long, I ended up falling head over heels for my dear city the minute Elias’s feet hit the docks.

I haven’t look back since.

Like I mentioned before though, I really enjoy playing the antagonist of any story, and what helped draw me to Ravok, what still holds me there to this day, is the fact that there’s no bigger baddy than the city of evil itself. It’s just this unbearably ominous presence ever looming over all of Mizahar, biding its time… waiting to strike.

I don’t know when, or how, or even why, I just know that when things pop off and the world begins to change, I want to be at the very heart of it with Elias. As far as I’m concerned, Ravok is that heart, and I’ll be glad to call it home for as long as I can.

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

I’ve always seen the role of the Storyteller as a daunting and paramount one that deserves a lot of praise from those of us that rely on them. In my opinion, ST’s working with their city’s residents, building a community and garnishing friendships within their domain plays a major role in both making the location inviting and personal, something which can be incredibly more important to a player who calls that city home than just the lore or the opportunities. I owe a lot to a mod called Nemesis for her help back in the day, and considering everything, I’ve been really lucky with all the Storytellers i've known, as they’ve all done wonders to help me find my way or guide me back on track when I started to stray. Prophet in particular deserves a resounding shout-out for not only his patience, but also the infectious zeal he shows day in and day out towards making Ravok even better than I thought possible.

6. 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 Elias?

Go big or go home. That’s how I do it.

For me and Elias, there’s no reason to step off the plate unless he’s pointing his bat at the bleachers and aiming to swing for further still. My plans for him are as a grand as they are unattainable half the time, but still, I’ll chip away at it post by post until I either I go mad in the effort, or the poor mod who has to deal with me does first.

I know a lot of people enjoy flying by the seat of their pants when they write here. You know, just letting the words take them where they will, and part of me envies that. I, unfortunately, always have to have a goal in mind, whether it’s for the thread, the season, or my character’s entire life. Without my eyes focused on the destination, I can’t be sure the journey is worth it. Sometimes that kind of approach works, and it’s nice. Other times… not so much.

That said, in between conquering the world and attaining godhood, I give myself prompts and ideas for little short, contained story lines. These days they usually revolve around Elias attaining power or fame by some nefarious means or another, but I find they help steer my narrative while I dream about an overarching plotline that will one day connect them all.

7. If Elias 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?

Without a doubt it would be an epic and awesome tale of slinging spells and swinging swords. I can never get enough of action and adventure, but maybe one day I’ll get a chance to satisfy my cravings in the form of a grand and glorious war, or perhaps some dire delve into the depths of a dark and dangerous dungeon in desperate search for a distinctive doodad!

Sorry, I’ve got this thing for alliteration... Its real weird.

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

Like the character himself, things have changed drastically over time, motivations included. As he is now, I feel that Elias’s greatest fear would be obscurity and failure. He doesn’t want to be forgotten, and I don’t think he could deal with defeat in any sense of the word. That stems from his aspirations I guess. Elias is the kind of guy will either attain, or he’ll die exhausted in the effort. That relentless drive is his merit, twisted and self-serving as it is.

More than anything he wants to achieve a sense of self-worth, of accomplishment that will justify all the nightmares he’s gone through in the past, and all the ones he knows he’ll have to struggle through in the future.

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’ve got one word for you;


And shame…

That’s two words, I guess -I’ve got two words for you.

Listen, the year was 2000 and something and I had just discovered anime. I was looking around for games online to satisfy this weird, new Japanese itch I’d caught and happened to stumble across a site that had just the crappy entertainment I was looking for. I noticed however, in a separate and secluded corner of the site, there was a place that catered to something called ‘written roleplaying.’ I had never roleplayed anything in my life before, let alone written for fun, so why I decided to knuckle down and create a character is still beyond me. I did though, and for a long, long time, I was a ninja fighting other ninjas, and having crazy ninja fun. Believe it.

Aside from Mizahar, which I found once that old site fell apart and I was forced to go looking for something new, I don’t have any experience elsewhere. Like here on Miz, I had just the one character as well who I spent all my time on. Things were a lot different there than they are here though, as you can probably imagine, and it took me a while to fully wrap my head around the changes I’d need to undergo if I had any hope of fitting in.

It’s been like 5 years now, but I think I’m getting the hang of it.

10. A big part of your PC is his Magic and his role in the Ebonstryfe. Can you talk about how your interaction with both magic and the Ebonstryfe has influenced you? Why did you select this group to drive your roleplay?

I knew I wanted to play a mage as soon as I laid eyes on all the sweet magics I could use. I don’t know if you know this, but you guys have pretty much everything here, from manipulating minds to manipulating the elements! A sword is a nice and all, but there’s something particularly satisfying about throwing a fireball at someone that’s hard to emulate.

As for the Ebonstryfe, well it was inevitable really. I knew I wanted a fighting character since day one and there was no getting around joining the military after that. Truth be told, it was all I’d known and all I’d cared to know. That said, playing a holy warrior felt like a new and refreshing challenge. The aspect of religion in Ravok -in Mizahar in general- holds powerful sway, so combining faith with steel for the first time seemed a fun prospect.

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.

What to say…

I suppose I start with thank you. This has been pretty humbling all in all, and it wasn’t something I ever expected. When I first joined and started writing on Miz, I tried to keep myself secluded and focused on solo threads for some reason, like I was trying to hide, if that makes any kind of sense? I wish I had known then what I know now though, that there are so many amazing people here, so many talented writers and creators that honestly leave me speechless at times with their skill and compassion. It was intimidating at first, to try and throw my lot in with strangers who were clearly so much better than I was, but with time I got over it, and thanks to those people, I became a better writer, and Elias Caldera became the character that he is now.

I feel like for the sake of making it seem like all this rambling was worth suffering through, I better end it with some grand and inspiring message. So, for anyone who did make it this far, then I say to you, both new and old players alike, be bold, be brave, and go find those people who will help you become better, because they're out there, just waiting for you to make the first move. All you needs a story, and the courage to say "hi."

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March's Featured Character Is...

Postby Prophet on March 1st, 2018, 2:35 pm

Your flattery is appreciated but it doesn't mean I'm not going to try and kill you later... >.>
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March's Featured Character Is...

Postby Rook on March 1st, 2018, 3:42 pm

Congratulations Elias! I haven't been here long but your posts are some of my favorites to read. This is well deserved.
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March's Featured Character Is...

Postby Shiress on March 1st, 2018, 4:02 pm

Congrats, Elias! Very well deserved!!
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March's Featured Character Is...

Postby Meriann on March 1st, 2018, 4:07 pm

I don't know your character well, but your interview was brilliant. I liked your alliteration, and I'll be sure to keep an eye out for your writing. Congratulations on your feature!
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March's Featured Character Is...

Postby Luminescence on March 1st, 2018, 4:16 pm

Congrats, Elias! I must admit I haven't read much of your stuff, but Elias seems like a super interesting PC; I really like that you kind of just went with the flow despite your original intentions for him.

I'll definitely be creeping some of your threads in the future. :P

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March's Featured Character Is...

Postby Chameleon on March 2nd, 2018, 7:38 pm

Yes Elias! You had to be featured one time or another - and here you are! I'm not surprised at all, clearly - I love reading your threads (and whenever I get a chance to write with you, too!)
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