Award February's Featured Character Is...

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IC News travels slowly in Mizahar. Fortunately there is a constant stream of news from around campfires, from caravan to caravan and from merchants to merchants. Within this forum lies the best of the best of this talk. Also, within this forum, OOC news from the staff and players can be found. This forum requires all posts to be 'approved' by a Founder before they are displayed. So if you post within, be patient. Your post did display - it simply will not show to everyone until approved as actual 'news'. Please keep all Introductions, Status Updates, and various other discussions in their appropriate forums and leave this area for game news!

February's Featured Character Is...

Postby Gossamer on February 1st, 2019, 11:14 pm



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 February 2019! Oresnya Cacao is one of our long time players, though a relatively new PC. She plays in Wind Reach under Solstice and is the very atypical outsider PC to that environment. So, please join us in welcoming her to the elite club of Featured Character! Her interview is below!

The Interview

1. Oresnya is one of those PCs who enjoys a race that is very rarely played in Mizahar. Why did you select the Sym and what drove you to pair one with Wind Reach?

Ever since I joined Miz, the attachment to family has always been the biggest driving factor for what all of my PCs do. It began with Solemn and his sister Hiberna, then Maro and his caretaker Autumn, Saul and Brat, and finally Ambrosia and her sisters. When I found myself ready to start a new story, that same drive was just pushing to be at the center of it.

And so I found the Symenestra, a beautiful race that lived life dictated by two things, blood and venom. Sure, there are a lot of unique things about the Symenestra that make them awesome (being able to scale smooth walls, night vision, super strong claws, and venomous fangs), but the familial connections of the Symenestra and their pride in their heritage and bloodlines are held sacred among the Symenestra of Kalinor. It is the central doctrine of their beliefs, their religion, and their culture. This made Oresnya the perfect fit for my story while providing a nice contrast to the old stories I’ve told. While family is still of utmost importance, it also provides an antagonistic role in this story. The Symenestra part of her family would dismiss Yora’s death as a necessary loss for the continuation of the family line, but Oresnya and her brother felt a deeper connection to Yora. As her sister, Oresnya didn’t want Yora’s story to end and be forgotten the way it would be in Kalinor. So Oresnya left in search of her sister’s birthplace, hoping she could Yora’s memory alive there.

Which brings us to Wind Reach. It was a deliberate choice due to the same underlying factor that led me to choose Symenestra as her race. Family. I chose Wind Reach, because the concept of family is, for the most part, nonexistent there. With its caste system, Wind Reach provides the perfect contrast to what Oresnya is used to. Surnames don’t exist there. Blood relations are meaningless.

I chose the two, race and city, to highlight the stark contrast between them. Oresnya already sticks out due to her race, but her ideals are just one more thing that will further alienate her from these people. I’m looking forward to seeing how both Oresnya and Wind Reach change due to their interaction.

2. Your Character Sheet holds a very tragic history, but one that is filled with joys. It’s a complex weaving of the realities of the life of a Sym with the unique courage of someone like Yora. Was there any real life inspiration for this? Was it cathartic in some way? It reads almost like you had incredible sadness inside of you that needed to get out. Will you talk about that?

Fortunately, no. I have lived a life free of hardships. I’m not saying I had life handed to me on a silver platter, but it definitely didn’t come on a paper plate either. Some might call it a blessed life; others, just good luck. Whatever it was my losses and struggles have been minimal. Sure, there have been the stressors that come with work and schooling but no life shattering loss or emotional struggle that had to be overcome.

Which begs the question as to where this sadness comes from, and I’ve got to honest. I really don’t know. But it’s been there underneath nearly all the writing I’ve done. Who knows? Maybe one day, I’ll find out the answer to that. Maybe the writing will reveal it. I dunno.

3. Your PC plays a role that is absolutely traditionally a woman’s role. She’s a weaver and something of a smidgen of a seamstress. You are male irl. And while I’ve seen many many males play females (my husband included) they usually take on warrior roles or traditional strong female roles that reflect a bit of their masculine origins. I see Oresnya’s femininity as absolutely a strong typical female with no hint her writer is male. Any woman would look up to her as an ideal woman. I was wondering how interesting it is for you to write from a female’s perspective and how has it perhaps affected your views of females in the real world and the struggles they might go through?

Well, damn. That sets a strong precedent for the rest of my writing with Oresnya. Thanks for the compliment though. I’ll do my best not to disappoint.

I’ve always tried to do my best to understand everyone’s point of view, and so I do find it interesting to place myself in the mindset of people who are not like me and yet have little pieces of my personality and spirit embedded in them and their creation. That being said, I don’t think my writing has necessarily influenced my view on women. It’s more that my view on women has influenced me to, hopefully, write them realistically.

I think that view point, that women are powerful, is absolutely a product of my upbringing. That is something that I have to attribute to my family and to good fortune. I grew up in an area where the predominating religious persuasion pushes women into a baby-making, caretaking role. I have to admit, there are times when my own religion does no better.

But I was lucky or blessed that I wasn’t born into that. The women in my family are strong and fierce. They are independent and willing to work for what they want out of life. My mom and dad both worked for the government. Mom actually held more degrees than Dad did and made a better hourly wage. Growing up, I was taught that women were equals to men, because that is the truth. And the truth, I was taught, was of utmost importance.

And it wasn’t just Mom. The influence of strong women continued throughout my life. My aunt is a doctor. My brother’s wife is a whip smart actuary who makes it known that she is not reliant on men for what she does. And then I came to vet school. Put yourself in a classroom eighty percent full of women pursuing a doctorate degree, and you’ll quickly find out how strong and independent women can be.

Yes, I’ve been blessed with that perspective, and I hope that my writing can better help me understand the struggles that women do go through. Though I know they are equals, I’m not so naïve to think they are always treated as such. Maybe with that understanding, I can make at least some small difference in my little sphere of influence.

4. What is Wind Reach’s appeal for Oresnya? Why a Symenestra there? I know your pc’s brother’s history and Yora’s influence was heavy on your PC in that matter, but ultimately that entire beautiful backstory came from you. How did you come up with that situation? What was the inspiration?

I think there is no appeal for Oresnya in Wind Reach. That’s exactly what drew me to push her into that position. It is everything she is not used to, but I think even that has some small amount of driving force for her. Having been raised with such a high respect for family, Oresnya aims to build relationships while in Wind Reach until she has essentially created a family of her own there. This might get her into trouble. It might annoy people, but she’s still going to try.

5. What is Oresnya’s biggest dream? What would she do if the sky was the limit and she could make anything in her life different than what it is now?

It’s difficult to say, not having known her that long, but I think once she has set Yora’s memory in stone in Wind Reach, her dream is to return to the ocean. Even there, she had family in the crew of the ship she sailed on, and a family she chose will have a greater draw to her than one she was born into.

That being said, I don’t think Oresnya would be that small-minded if she had limitless power. She is still driven by family, and I imagine if it was in her power to do so, she’d bring Yora back to life. Who doesn’t want that kind of absolute power? (As a friend of mine says, necromancers are just really late healers).

But in a more realistic setting, I can see her pursuing the cure for the Symenestra’s venom, though that has essentially been stated to be an impossibility.

6. I love asking about character interactions. Do you have a favorite character interaction to date? It doesn’t have to be with this PC, but I’d like to know the context and why it became a favorite.

Due to my admittedly very slow posting speed, I have had very few in depth interactions with other PCs. I’m looking forward to my continued interactions with Lani and Red but haven’t had enough time to really get to know them. The most posting I’ve done with other PCs has been with Ambrosia. I found that the more I allowed things to just happen in threads rather than trying to predetermine outcomes the more fun I had and the more our interactions really developed the connections between us. Everybody on this site is fun and super talented, so it’s difficult to pick a single one. I’ll go ahead and toot my dead person horn though this time around and say the threads I’ve shared with Jomi and Madeira are always fun. The two of them are fantastic writers, and I feel that the interactions with them only further helped me develop my character. If you’re ever in their city and are looking for some good, old-fashioned, almost-get-yourself-dead fun, I recommend hitting them up for a thread.

7. Everyone is always curious about what other people’s favorite things to write about are. Can you elaborate on some of your favorite writing scenes? What really floats your literary boat?

I would be lying if I said I didn’t like a good action scene. I’m one of those people who can be perfectly entertained by garbage movie with zero storyline as long as it has a hefty dose of martial arts, explosions, or chases.

That being said, action’s definitely not my favorite thing to write. I like taking the simple day to day tasks, the seemingly mundane interactions, and showing that there’s more importance to them than we generally give them credit for. Sometimes, a good social thread holds more intrigue and excitement than an action thread does. Hopefully, I can portray those threads that way. If not, I’ll probably be boring a lot of you witless for a while.

8. Even though Oresnya’s a relatively new PC, you’ve been on Miz for quite a while. I was curious how you originally discovered Mizahar and what keeps bringing you back?

I’d honestly never heard of roleplaying in this fashion before, forum roleplaying. My only exposure to roleplay was RPGs in the electronic gaming world, and even the ones I played were not multiplayer. Writing has been a passion of mine since about the sixth grade, so I was actively pursuing that in veterinary school. Everyone in my class knew I was working on writing things. And so, second year of vet school, I caught one of my best buddies getting distracted by some internet site during class. I asked her about it, and she introduced me to the concept of forum roleplaying. I was fascinated by the idea and immediately began to delve into the lore of the site. One read was all it took, and I was infatuated by a land locked in snow. The first read of Avanthal, Kelvics, and Vantha was all it took.

It’s still that initial story I began then that is my favorite, but I’ve found the longer I stay, the more enamored I become with bits of the lore I was certain I’d never write about. I used to think ghosts were the worst race and that I’d never want to write one. Now, becoming a ghost is my ultimate goal, how I intend to “win Mizahar.”

9. Your PC struggles with being an outsider in Wind Reach. She has lots of issues associated with that including the struggle for appropriate food and being able to blend in with her skin-tone and nails. How do you include these issues in your threads and are they factors that become a big part of her life? Talk about this if you will.

Unless someone is Inarta, they enter Wind Reach as an outsider, regardless of how normal they may seem anywhere else. I think that is the beauty of a place like Wind Reach. That being said, Oresnya sticks out more than most. Showing how badly she sticks out is something I aim to keep as a prominent part of my time in Wind Reach. Oresnya is proud of where she came from and who she is, and it’s not something she intends to hide. Which will only make things more difficult for her.

Everything is different for the Symenestra. They can’t eat food unless it’s been predigested. Childbirth is risky for most. It’s pretty much 100% fatal for the Symenestra. They are a fragile race, and as such, survival dictates that they must keep their distance. But in order to find surrogates to continue their lines, they must get close to gain trust. There is a lot about the Symenestra themselves that is in contrast with other parts of them, which makes them fun to write.

10. If you could change one thing about Mizahar, what would it be? This can be an addition, a subtraction, or even a system revision.

I have to admit, I’m still infatuated with Mizahar, and I’m not sure when, or if, that infatuation is ever going to wear off. I suppose the big thing I’d like to see is the lore fleshed out, such as empty gnosises (gnoses? What’s the plural?) finally becoming realized, but I realize that takes a lot of work on the part of the Founders. I’ll patiently wait to see which new bit pops up next.

As much as I like to think I’m a brilliant person chock-full of good ideas, I admit that most, if not all, of them have no place in Mizahar. Why take a good thing and make it worse? I’ll keep my ridiculousness to myself.

11. Here’s your soap box 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!

Man. A soap box.

I suppose I just want to encourage everyone to keep writing. If you think you’re a slow poster, I’m sure I’ve got you beat, and even if not, most people are understanding if you give them a heads up prior to starting to thread with them. If you’re intimidated by someone else’s writing, continue to be. It might mean they’re better than you. And do you know what that means? Writing with them can only make you better. So put on your adult grown-up pants and join in the fun.

One of the worst things that can happen to this world is an untold story.

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February's Featured Character Is...

Postby Neologism on February 1st, 2019, 11:21 pm

Congrats Ambro! Well deserved, it's always fun to hear about your character and your views. :)
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February's Featured Character Is...

Postby Solstice on February 1st, 2019, 11:25 pm

~ Congratulations ~ It's been a delight to have you in Wind Reach. I was so thrilled when you started putting together your character. You're an awesome writer and the feature is well deserved!
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February's Featured Character Is...

Postby Madeira Dusk on February 2nd, 2019, 12:09 am

Woah. I never knew you were all three of my three favourite characters. XD

Congratulations! I can't wait to see more from Oresnya. <3
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February's Featured Character Is...

Postby Haneht on February 2nd, 2019, 4:00 pm

Congratulations! This was such a fun interview to read :D
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