*playing a new campaign with entry level characters*
NPC: “oh you’re just a woman, you can’t be a warrior”
Cleric (the player is the warrior players datemate): can I roll a feminism check to see how hard I can deck this guy?
DM; I mean you could just use your action to–
Cleric: 18. I punch him and his head falls off.
Something I like about the Souls series is the recurring characters or character archetypes and how each game handles each one differently. Solaire/Lucatiel/Anri, Lautrec/Creighton/Leonhard, Siegmeyer/Siegward, Patches/Pate, etc. But my favorite is also the simplest, and one of the first characters most players meet in each game.
In Demon’s Souls, this character debuts as the Crestfallen Warrior. Like the player character, the unnamed warrior had died and was brought to the Nexus as a spirit. He resents your host, the Monumental, for bringing him there, and offers basic guidance and background on characters and quests early in the game. The warrior is growing increasingly cynical and depressed as you speak with him, and when you give him news that his wife and daughter have been killed, he falls into despair, stops talking, and eventually fades away into nothingness.
This character archetype next appears in Dark Souls as the still-unnamed Crestfallen Knight. The knight, who like you is undead but has long since given up trying to fight his curse, informs you of what to do to progress in the early game and offers his opinions on other characters who have gathered in Firelink Shrine. As you bring more NPCs to Firelink, the knight starts to think the place is crowded and grows angrier at his own unsatisfactory situation. Finally he leaves, and when next you see him, in New Londo, the knight has given into his curse and become a ravening Hollow whom you are forced to kill.
In Dark Souls II, he becomes Crestfallen Saulden. Saulden tells you about Majula, the ramshackle community in which you find yourself, and points you toward the major bosses, but like past incarnations, he is sullen and is giving into despair. However, as new NPCs begin to populate Majula, Saulden starts to appreciate their company. In the end, he’s still depressed, but your actions inspire him to go on living. He is the only version of this character to survive.
Finally he becomes Hawkwood the Deserter in Dark Souls III. No longer crestfallen but still just as acrid, Hawkwood is a deserter from Farron’s Undead Legion who has taken up residence in this game’s Firelink Shrine. As before he drops hints about upcoming bosses and snarks about fellow Firelink Residents, but now he has an actual questline you can follow. A worshiper of dragons, Hawkwood requires your help on his pilgrimage to Archdragon Peak. Afterwards, he leaves a message for you to meet him in the Legion’s former base of operations. There, Hawkwood duels you for a dragon relic, and dies fighting for a cause he believes in.
What I love about this character(s) is how each game incrementally advances their development. He first gives into despair and fades into nothingness in Demon’s Souls, then loses his mind but retains his body in Dark Souls, finds a reason to live in Dark Souls II, and finally finds direction in life and dies with his mind intact in Dark Souls III. It’s a story of hope and redemption, and although it’s spread across four games and told through a background character, it’s one of the more uplifting stories in the whole Souls series.
I just wrapped up another delightful Twitch stream with some of you fine human beings- the result is that Ballaw De Quincewold- Head Hare of the Rambling Rosehip Players from Martin the Warrior is here to put on a show those rotten corsairs won’t forget in a hurry!
I love Redwall and specifically Martin so much- it’s been a blast bringing some of my favorite childhood characters to life. They’ve been living in my head for decades ^_^ I’m really excited about how this came out- hope you enjoy it, and come tune in to future streams over at: http://www.twitch.tv/nicholaskole/
I finally figured out why Hirst killed off Athelstan: He counted as a female character.
He can’t think of something to do with a female character unless she’s either a) existing in a typical female position: wife, mother, etc. or b) exists primarily in the typically-male arenas of war and politics. He keeps Lagertha around because she’s a major political player and warrior. He kept Aslaug and Judith around because they’re mothers to important male characters. Everyone else? Once their purpose in pushing forward some dude’s storyline has been fulfilled, they get offed. See: Kwenthrith. She played a part in a political storyline, but once that was over–once Mercia had been captured–there was no reason to keep her alive.
The exact same thing happened to Athelstan. Once it became clear to Hirst that he couldn’t fully transition the character into a warrior or political player, he couldn’t think of anything more to do with him, so he fridged him to further Ragnar’s story–just like women get fridged all the time. This explains why everything else surrounding Athelstan plays like a typical woman character: men fighting over her, having a taming influence on a beast, etc.
I don’t think he did this deliberately. I think he just couldn’t figure out what to do with a male character who didn’t fit into any usual role, and being unable to think in anything but gender binaries, he subconsciously went with the typical female framework instead. That that resulted in telling one of the all-time great m/m love stories I think was an accident (the success of which, IMHO, should largely be credited to Travis and George–and Linus–instead of Hirst.)