Roleplay

Character Stories: Ráthnait

So I want to start doing some posts on the various characters I have scattered around on various servers, and their histories and personalities and so forth. Keep in mind that all of these stories are going to be somewhat fantastical and outlandish – I don’t see that as a bad thing in this case, because we’re playing the heroes of Azeroth, the ones who have a divine destiny, or are really that lucky/unlucky, or who’re just VERY GOOD at what they do. I’ve already done a brief rundown of this for my three “mains”, and I’ll probably do one of these for them as well, as I form their stories more clearly, but for now I’m going to start with my second-oldest character, my Blood Elf Death Knight (in before lol Belf DK), Ráthnait Ó Braonáin (formerly Ráthnait Summersong).

A bit of game-info first: Ráthnait (or just Nait, as I usually call her) started out on Steamwheedle Cartel as a Draenei named Loreana. I didn’t RP with her back then. However, I had a toon on The Scryers-US, a Belf Pally (who I no longer play) named Siân, who had stumbled across a couple fellow Belfs RPing in Thunder Bluff, and who was gleefully invited to join in when they noticed her RP flag – RP is not very common on Scryers Hordeside, at least outside of Silvermoon. Through this, she ended up being invited to join a guild (Werewolves of Lordaeron), and I highly enjoyed playing with the people there. Loreana had no guild and very few ties (as I’d had a brief falling out with the friend I’d rolled on that server to play with), so when I had a bit of money, I transferred her to Scryers and got a faction swap, and had her brought into Werewolves as an alt. And after I’d gotten her set up as a Blood Elf, her story kind of appeared mostly formed in my mind.

Nait started her adult life as a priestess, and a rather sweet and naive one at that. She had a lover, Allore, who was about as prickly and standoffish as Nait was friendly and kind. She wanted to be a healer, and for a long time, wouldn’t even LEARN the shadow spells that the higher-ranked priests tried to teach her, feeling that they went against what she was trying to accomplish. She was always the sort to go charging in immediately to help someone, without a thought or a moment to strategise, and more often than not she’d only make it out by the skin of her teeth. Eventually, of course, she realised that the shadow spells her teachers were trying to get her to learn were for her own protection, and the protection of those she wanted to save, but she never was very comfortable using them. Most of her time was spent travelling around Quel’Thalas, from the estates and towns, offering her services as a healer, confidant, and helper to those outside Silvermoon City. She spent the better part of half a century doing that, happily making friends and helping those in need.

When the Sunwell was destroyed, it was hard on her, as it was for everyone, but she managed to survive, and she moved on with the rest of her people, still staying in or near Quel’Thalas to help heal the land and those wounded by the Scourge still remaining.

And then the war on the Lich King began again, in earnest. Though they were both untested in real battle, both Nait and Allore both went to the front – Nait so she could be of use, and help save people, and Allore because someone had to look after “that idealistic little idiot”. They did well enough, surviving and helping others survive, until their medic camp was attacked by a massive wave of Scourge. Both women fought bravely, and strong, until Allore was caught from the side, her arm mangled and unable to draw her bow. She was moments away from death when Nait saw – and Nait being who she was, she couldn’t just watch her lover die. She threw herself between Allore and the Scourge who would have struck her down, managing to destroy it, but dying herself in the process. Allore managed to escape with the few who remained standing, but they had to leave their dead behind. By the time the camp was reclaimed, Nait’s body had disappeared.

Though Allore never knew, Nait’s frost-damaged but ultimately intact body was brought to Acherus, where she was raised as a Death Knight in the service of the Lich King. The tissue damage had all but erased the majority of her memories – she knew things about herself, in a distant and detatched sort of way, but the emotions, the people, the reality of her past was almost entirely lost, but for a few snatches of memory here and there. She did her job as she was told, emotionless and ruthless, until the Battle for Light’s Hope.

With freedom came what few memories she had, and emotions, but she buried all of them deep within her, keeping a cool, detached demeanour with everyone she met. She came into contact with a group of fighters calling themselves the Werewolves of Lordaeron, and for lack of anything else to do with herself, she joined their ranks, never making an effort to grow close to her comrades, simply existing, tolerating them, and being tolerated in return.

The one truth that she knew about herself, though she had no one she trusted enough to tell, was that she had been different before she died. She’d been open, and she’d been cared about, and she’d loved. She’d loved deeply and earnestly. Her one vivid memory was of a nameless woman staring up at the stars and the shifting colours of the night sky in the North, smiling, and of her own love for her threatening to overwhelm her at that moment. The woman, of course, was Allore, though Nait could not remember her name or anything else about her.

Not long after she joined the ranks of the ‘Wolves, Nait ran into a young Blood Knight named Winter and his little sister, a hunter named Summer. Something about the two of them sparked more emotion in her than she’d truly felt since her death, and there was a familiarity about them that she couldn’t quite place. She assumed that she’d probably met them as children when she was younger (and alive), but whatever the reason, she felt a deep connection to them and took it upon herself to look after them, since their parents were none too pleased with the course either of them had chosen for their lives. She spent most of her leave time with Winter, as Summer loved to be off in the deserts of Kalimdor (and very hard to find), and she found herself reluctantly spending holidays and special occasions with them, when she wasn’t at the front in Northrend, and giving them gifts that she thought they might enjoy.

When she heard that Winter had gone to Northrend before his training was complete, she thought him an idiot, but she also thought that the officers and leaders of the various fronts would probably realise his unpreparedness and keep him from the fighting, or send him back all together. It wasn’t until Summer wrote her, panicked, saying that Winter hadn’t written her in weeks, and hadn’t responded to any of her letters, that Nait broke away from the fighting to search for him.

She found him as a Death Knight, commanding a small contingent of Scourge in Dragonblight. She had no desire to kill him, and thought that perhaps she could do for him what Darion Mograine and Tirion Fordring had done for her. She wrote to Summer that she had learned of Winter’s death (which was true enough), but said nothing of his new “life” – if she was unable to free him, she’d have to kill him, which would break Summer’s heart even further. She took him to a secluded (and abandoned) Vrykul village in the Howling Fjord and fought a battle of wills for many weeks until he finally broke free of the Lich King’s control. She told him he was free to go where he would, and that Summer knew nothing other than his death, and that it was up to him to tell her. She returned to Acherus with him, and the two of them stayed in the Ebon Blade sanctuary for a couple of weeks, Winter adapting and coming to terms with things, and Nait… Well, she found herself being more honest with him, telling him of her doubts and fears and memories, hoping that the knowledge would help or comfort him somehow.

And then she left, going back to the front while Winter went searching for Summer in Kalimdor, to tell her that he still lived.

Nait is an extremely fun and extremely DIFFICULT character to play. I think part of the reason she’s so hard is because I want to be open about her emotions, to describe what’s going on in her head like you can in a story or a novel, or prose RP. The problem is that with WoW RP, it’s very much just “what you see”, and what you see with her is generally a calm and closed-off façade. Even when she’s startled into showing emotions, they’re very subdued by normal standards, because she just keeps everything so buried, so closed off from the world, as if she’s afraid to let anything show. She is, in a way, I think, though I’ve never been able to put my finger on the actual WHY. Still, she’s easily my most complex character in the game (followed very closely by Summer and her special morality), and I’m quite fond of her story.

Also, I love her name. Rathnait is an Irish name meaning “Little Graceful One”. Summersong (from before her death) is obvious, and after becoming a Death Knight she adopted the surname Ó Braonáin, also Irish, meaning “descendant of Braonán” – Braonán meaning “sorrow”. So “descendant of sorrow”, in a way. I have this habit of giving my Blood Elves Irish and Welsh names, for some reason – I tend to stick to certain cultures for naming conventions for the races, when I’m not making stuff up ’cause it sounds pretty (Like Kassina, or Taishi (my Troll mage, who you’ll meet soon, I’m sure)). And for some reason, BElves get the Welsh and Celtic cultures. (Tauren, for those interested, get Native American (for obvious reasons) or sometimes Indian (possibly since they revere cows as holy). Dwarves are Nordic. Draenei are Russian. Humans are wtfever. XD)

Anyway, that is Ráthnait. I haven’t played her in far too long, having been giving so much attention to Ais and her server-buddies, but I really should start levelling her again, and playing her. I miss her.

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