Summer 521's Featured Character Is...

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Summer 521's Featured Character Is...

Postby Luminescence on June 1st, 2021, 6:59 pm



Hello Fellow Mizaharians!

Keeping with our tradition, the Founders Circle and Storytellers are proud to announce that the Featured Character of the Summer Season of 2021 is Caspian! Caspian has been a consistent presence on Miz for the past few years, and has woven some incredible stories during this time, spanning everywhere from Ravok to Sunberth to Zeltiva. So, please join us in welcoming him to the elite club of Featured Character! His interview is below!

The Interview

1. Caspian has a Vantha father, and grew up in Avanthal. What are his feelings on Morwen’s disappearance and the hunting of Vantha that has gone on over the last few years? Do you think that he would kill a Vantha, for the bounty or another reason, if given the opportunity?

In short: He isn’t angry that Morwen is gone. It’s not that he doesn’t see the ripple of consequences, but his reaction isn’t as strong as that of many other people in Mizahar. His perspective on this is quite similar to if this had been a regular person who had chosen to walk away from their present situation. He assumes she has her reasons; further, he assumes there must be, as with all people and things, more to the story than he will ever know. And being without a Gnosis, or a real relationship with any deity, it seems to him that the situation is completely above his head.

Despite his detachment from the Vantha – at 28, he’s now spent much more of his life away from Avanthal than in it – the hunting is absolutely something that horrifies him. He wonders often if his biological Vantha father is in fact dead for that reason. So I can safely say that no, he wouldn’t cash in on a bounty, no matter the amount.

2. Recently, Caspian moved from Ravok to Zeltiva (along with a few other PCs). How is he adjusting to life outside of Ravok? Does he miss Ravok? Including his backstory, he’s been to quite a few cities at this point, so I’m curious; what has his favourite city been to live in?

First couple seasons in Zeltiva were rough, and he regressed to some of the self-destructive behaviors that Taalviel had worked him out of. But he’s finally coming to terms with his new reality, which is considerably less shiny. Ravok was definitely his favorite, and he misses it terribly. Not that it was perfect, but it was his – a whole life he had built for himself, his first real act of volition after being kidnapped at 12.

3. I recall you mentioning in chat that Caspian has met Rhysol and ‘lowkey’ worships him. Can you elaborate on this? How does worshipping Rhysol affect how Caspian views other deities?

HAH. I can’t say, when I first started out, that I expected Caspian to feel an affinity for any one deity. But the more I worked through his backstory and wrote with other players on the site, the more it just seemed to take shape. I think, when you’ve been through violence and trauma, that turning to religion is a way one could try and make sense of what happened. And chaos, above all things, is something that has always afflicted his life. At 12, he was kidnapped simply because he was in the wrong place at the wrong time; then he was raised in Sunberth, and we can draw plenty of lines between chaos and falsehood and anarchy; he didn’t necessarily know much about Ravok when he went there, just that it wasn’t Sunberth, which was good enough. And out of all the places on the continent he could have run off to, he wound up in the one where he reunites with Shiress, who saved his life so many years before; then forces outside of his control flung him into Zeltiva, and again, out of anywhere he could have found himself, he ends up in the same place Rohka does. Who, to him, is someone very dear.

He was confused and angry, for a very long time, about everything he’s been through. And it seems that no matter where he goes or how hard he tries, something he doesn’t see coming upsets the balance and shunts him elsewhere. He sees the stochasticity running through the threads of the universe, and also how powerless he is against it. But lately, instead of trying to fight back, he’s starting to lean in. In a way, he’s beginning to accept chaos as just another element, a fact of life – like water and wind and rain. And chaos has proven, through Shiress and Rohka, that good things can also come.

Caspian otherwise doesn’t reflect much on other deities. He doesn’t think he’s special; he never has. Nor should he. So the comings and goings of Gods and Goddesses is something he considers remote from his own day-to-day life.

4. This is a question that gets asked a lot, but I’m going to ask anyways; Caspian is very close to several other PCs and has gone through quite a bit with them. What has your favourite interaction with another PC been so far?

That time Caspian met Rohka and her new tail and realized he might have a thing for erotic asphyxiation.

More seriously, though – over the past few seasons, Caspian and Shiress haven’t been on the best of terms. He’s basically been the cross-faded ghoul in the attic. After a very harrowing experience, Shiress asks Caspian to swear he’ll look after her son Ian, if anything ever happens to her. He promises, and he means it, and he finds it wasn’t hard for him to do. At the end of the day, the two of them have been through too much to quit each other, and that moment was a necessary reminder. After so much tension, it felt like the right way to burst.

5. Does Caspian have any large, long-term goals now that he’s left Ravok? If yes, what are they? If not, what does he have planned in the short-term?

Hmm. One of my favorite parts about him is he has a hard time seeing past the here and now. But he does plan on going back to Sunberth either this Winter or the following Spring – he just hasn’t admitted as much out loud yet. Going back to Avanthal to find his biological father is also on the table, but having spent so many years away and grown into such a different person, he isn’t exactly sure what that would accomplish.

As for the short-term, he’s very suspicious of the excessively handsome handyman Nolen, who Shiress keeps letting into the house. He’s dead set on finding out exactly what Nolen’s after, and he doesn’t have any real evidence yet, but he has a feeling it isn’t anything good. And now that Rohka’s back in his life, he’d like to continue seeing her, and find out if she feels the same way he does.

6. Caspian has a difficult relationship with his half-sister, Taalviel; the two struggle to get along and have what seems like a very love-hate relationship. You make frequent use of Taalviel as an NPC, so I’m curious as to what inspired you to make Taalviel an NPC in the first place and what specifically you feel she adds to Caspian’s story and character?

When I first started I was actually going to write as Taalviel, and make Caspian the NPC. The dynamic would have been the same, but in the end I decided Caspian, being the social one, had a lot more potential for antics and screwing around. Taalviel isn’t necessarily Caspian’s conscience, more like his wake-up call. She reenters his life in my first thread on Miz – The Comedown – having left Sunberth to join him in Ravok, after four years apart. When she finds him, it’s after a very long night of partying, his primary pastime, and the wealthy people he had been dating had quite literally kicked him to the curb. She’s there to get him back onto his feet, and find a way to be self-reliant. And though they bicker, he’s come to acknowledge that the moment she came back into his life, things only got better.

She’s also the last real link he has to the mother they shared. And for someone who’s been flung around the map as much as he has – no matter how much he might be leaning, lately, into chaos – it’s an important anchor to have.

7. Caspian works as a PI, and a lot of his skills are very stealth-based; while spy-like characters aren’t entirely uncommon, I feel like most people tend to lean more towards combat skills. What inspired you to lean so heavily into stealth and other related skills for Caspian?

I never wanted Caspian to be very impressive. At least, not to start. He’s flimsy and not built for manual labor; what he can do (what anyone can do, really) is sit and skulk around. And this is a personal shortcoming, but I find combat tough to write. I just don’t find it the most compelling topic, and not something I feel very interested in living through vicariously. But! Things can change. And I do want to challenge myself down the line.

8. You’ve been around on Miz for a few years now, and you’re probably one of the more consistent posters that I’ve seen. And while alts can be extremely tempting for many people, as far as I’m aware you either don’t have any alt PCs or at least don’t focus on them the way you focus on Caspian. What about Miz has kept you around so consistently, and what about Caspian has kept you focused on him as a character?

Nope, no alts! The thing that attracted me to Miz in the first place is also what’s kept me coming back. The world and the lore are just so incredibly detailed and diverse. I’ve been a part of one RP site or another since middle school, written a small mountain of fanfiction (that will never again see the light of day), and Miz as a writing outlet is head and shoulders above all of them. It would and has been easy to fall into the tradition of rogue/knight/mage. I tend to gravitate to some kind of rogue but this time around I wanted something new. Someone who, yes, could stab someone, but also be lazy and brittle and decorative at the same time. To put it bluntly, the world of Miz has allowed for that, and I couldn’t picture Caspian anywhere else. I love that I don’t have to be a swashbuckler or shove him through some kind of hero’s journey just to be a part of it.

As for the second part of the question – I think Caspian has been one long project, like someone I’m still getting to know. I had to figure some things out about him to start, for the sake of the CS. At the time I was sifting through all the lore, which was a bit overwhelming, and still trying to figure out if a character like him could truly find a place here for the long haul. But even after the backstory and my first few threads got hammered out, there was still so much to learn about him. And there continues to be. In general, when I write, I want my characters to feel like real people. And people have multitudes.

9. Ravok, being Rhysol’s city, is one that often consists of chaos and general unpleasantness. What would you say is the most difficult or most unpleasant thing that Caspian experienced while in Ravok? Did it affect him much, and if so, in what ways?

Caspian hates slavery. And in Ravok, to him, it upheld the entire state and institution. His mother was a Kelvic and a slave, and by the end of his time in Ravok, it became a difficult thing to coexist with. At the beginning, though, he was preoccupied with trying to reinvent himself, and the fact that he had finally escaped Sunberth at all, so he was able to turn the other cheek. It was emotional stagnation and developmental limbo – until Taalviel came along, and he realized that with her not being human, she was always at risk. She was the catalyst for him thinking more critically about his environment, and pulling back the veil.

10. If you could have Caspian do any one thing, whether it be acquiring a certain position, learning a difficult skill, or maybe even meeting a deity...what would it be? Do you think that Caspian, as a character, would agree with what you want?

I’d like to get him to learn some sleight of hand. I mean, he already dresses like a magician on the Vegas Strip. Or a showgirl, depending on who you ask. Given what a peacock he is, I think he’d be amenable to it.

11. This is your soapbox question! You can talk about whatever you like here, so go wild; what do you want to say, whether it be about Caspian or something else related to Miz?

I’m an oversharer and also shamelessly saccharine. So here we go.

I joined Miz at a very difficult time in my life. I still remember where I was, lying in my apartment after a long and unpleasant night, blearily signing up on the site and joining the Discord. I was good at my job, but it was crushing me; I was in a terrible relationship that I didn’t know how to leave; I had a lot of problems with my health; I knew, as I always have, that I wanted to be a writer, and I was sort of working on this sci-fi thing that meant a lot to me but none of it was going well. It wasn’t rock bottom, really, but to set the scene, I was quite physically on the floor. You have to be your own Taalviel, I think, when things go that way. I knew that several somethings had to change; I knew that I had always loved writing and reading and it was my catharsis but I had done essentially none of that, and for a long time.

The other problems I had at the time seemed insurmountable. But writing – I could do that, bit by bit.

My life looks a lot different now, and I’m so much happier. So thank you, Miz, and everyone here, for letting me have the space to be Caspian. I am incredibly lucky to be part of a community of writers who are both good at what they do and care. The past year got a bit scary at times – all my family and closest friends are on the other side of the country, I lost a couple relatives, and I spent most of the pandemic alone. But being able to come back to Miz every morning – it was exactly what I needed.

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Summer 521's Featured Character Is...

Postby Milo Murrell on June 2nd, 2021, 8:36 pm

Having had the fortune of writing with you, even if it's only one and as of yet unfinished thread, I can attest that you're a very gifted writer and a joy to interact with. You know the present tense threw me off at first but it's really grown on me since and I've been thinking about trying it myself some point. There is a lot of richness in the way you write Caspian (I learned a few new words already) and the mental imagery you manage to conjure is very vivid. I should note that I'm not a visual person, I think more in words and sounds than in images, so when someone's writing can create an image in my head, it's a big deal to me.

This interview made me keen to learn more about Caspian's history. I have a hunch he might find some common ground with a certain someone, but that's something that's best left to be explored in-character. Anyway, congratulations on the award! One thing that stood out to me in the interview was your deliberate choice to make someone who isn't very combat focused and instead has the vibe of an ordinary person caught in extraordinary situations. It definitely aids in the believability of Caspian who, at least on my experience pops off the page with his mannerisms, witty dialogue and keen-eyed observations.

Here's to many more Caspian threads!
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Summer 521's Featured Character Is...

Postby Tazrae on June 3rd, 2021, 2:50 am

I am glad you are one of the denizens of Mizahar. You bring a lot to the table and offer up a darn good story time after time. Thank you for all you write here.
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