|WoW backstories, Part 3: Sagittula
||[Jun. 29th, 2012|07:43 pm]
|||||Carmen- Lana Del Rey||]|
"The Lady is my compass."
Sagittula was the first of my characters to start out with a backstory, although it’s morphed quite a bit since I came up with it, especially after reading Arthas: Rise of the Lich King. She’s a Forsaken warrior who was a paladin in life, probably from Lordaeron or Kul Tiras. She was fairly young, courageous and devoted to the Light, but she hadn’t quite grown out of a tendency towards recklessness and arrogance. So when the Silver Hand set out to fight the invading Scourge, she didn’t really believe that they were going to die. (“We’re the chosen of the Light. How could we lose?”)
Spoiler warning: she was wrong. And she had plenty of time to realize it- she fell to a slow gut wound, under a blazing hot sun. By the end, she was hallucinating badly and already a little bit cracked. Being raised from the dead ten years later didn’t help. She discovered that she was cut off from the Light; calling on it had become almost instinct to her, but now it refused to answer. She had to relearn how to fight without its aid and guidance, in a body that hardly felt like her own anymore. Being refused by the Light that she had dedicated her life to very nearly broke her mind entirely.
She survived by unconsciously rebuilding herself around a different core, channeling her religious devotion into loyalty to Sylvanas. Currently, she believes that Sylvanas is the mortal (or at least physical- “mortal-ish”?) embodiment of some outside force; that she received a vision of Sylvanas in the afterlife telling her that she had not yet fulfilled her purpose in the mortal world; and that therefore, at least until she finds that purpose, she belongs to Sylvanas body and soul. I’m not entirely sure what that force is, mostly because Sagittula isn’t either, but nothing is going to convince her it’s not true- if Sylvanas herself were to catch wind of it and deny being anything but Forsaken, Sagittula wouldn’t contradict her, but she’d go on believing that Sylvanas-the-mortal is only one aspect of Whatever-the-entire-entity, and is just not consciously aware of the rest of her self.
ACTUAL SPOILER WARNING FOR HILLISBRAD FOOTHILLS
At first, Sagittula tended to follow all orders without question, letting her fanatical devotion to Sylvanas spill over into absolute loyalty to anyone in the Forsaken chain of command. And this is where I’m going to jump out of the in-universe narration, because I think the quest chain about the fungus farm was really brilliantly done. I’d just read some blogs arguing over whether or not the Forsaken are evil. (Or I may have read them just afterward, I don't remember at this point. Either way, I have a personal distaste for fantasy races being labeled Always Chaotic Evil, I think it’s lazy.) And of course my introduction to WoW was through my girlfriend, who's a huge Sylvanas fan. So I was going “well, duh, the difference between the Forsaken and the Scourge is free will, how is that not obvious”. And then I ran into the quest where you have to free some humans from spider webbing- in order to capture them and deliver them to the mushroom farm. I did it, (mostly because it was the only quest in my log at the time), but it honestly disturbed me. I kept thinking, “The Forsaken keep slaves? Have I been wrong this whole time?” But then at the end of that chain, you find Master Apothecary Lydon locked up, and you realize that no, this isn’t The Forsaken, this isn’t policy, this is one particular Forsaken who’s gone off the deep end and is about to get murdered for it. And I really liked the way that questline was apparently designed to manipulate the player as well as the character, rather than the times NPCs are like “Heh heh, I’m so obviously a necromancer, thank you for your gullibility, I mean, help.” So I figured Sagittula ought to have an emotional journey there, too, although rather than “if I abandon this quest what am I going to do next” she stuck with it because “The Lady is in charge of everything, there must be a master plan I’m too close to the ground to see”. Then at the end, she realized that (with the exception of Sylvanas, of course) just because someone is in a position of authority doesn’t make them right, and you need to check orders against your own conscience before carrying them out. Then, because FEELINGS, she killed a bunch of gnolls, sat down in a field and got blazing drunk. (And by that I mean “slightly tipsy” in game terms, because I was only carrying one alcoholic beverage at the time.) She hasn’t yet accepted that Sylvanas herself could be fallible, but if she has to she could work that into her belief system.
END ACTUAL SPOILERS FOR HILLISBRAD FOOTHILLS
Sagittula acts mostly normal, aside from way-too-intense stares when the subject of the Lady comes up, and she’ll talk anyone’s ear off if they seem interested in her beliefs. She’s got an assortment of facial piercings that she’s acquired since death, I haven’t decided how. (At least, they looked like piercings on the character generation screen. It’s possible that they’re actually rot spots.) Her name is Latin for “little arrow”: she took it shortly after rebirth, as a sign that she was rededicating herself to Sylvanas. (It’s an out-of-game reference to the “arrows in my quiver” theme from Edge of Night, but it works just fine in-game as well, especially since “Latin” apparently exists on Azeroth due to Translation Convention.) Her original name was Augustine Harrowbrook, Augustine as a shameless out-of-character reference to her eventual “conversion” and Harrowbrook for no particular reason other than it sounded pretty but slightly ominous and wasn’t already someone’s name in lore.
She was the first character I figured out how to use professions with- I went with skinning and leatherworking, and then discovered that there was no reason for her to wear the armor she made, so I didn’t level leatherworking very far. In life, she was bi-trending-toward-boys but somewhat married to the job; in death, that’s also gotten sort of sublimated in her feelings about Sylvanas. Her theme song is Augustine, by Vienna Teng.