Went digging around in some old files and turned up a few logs of my MUD days–the sort of things that are of no possible interest to anyone else on earth, but which take you back.
Man, I miss that character. I’ve had a few that I really loved–Mouse the samurai comes in a close second–but Sev was in a class by herself.
Generally, of course, one is never as cool as one thinks one is, but in this case–yeah, she was a good character. She was a thief, and a fairly high level one by the end, but early on in her career, her dear friend/worst enemy, a paladin, got into an argument with her about who could or could not do the other one’s job for five minutes.
She stomped off, got plate mail, and squired herself off to the most surly, bitter, we-put-the-Lawful-in-Lawful-Good paladin around (a lovely man, and still one of my all-time favorite RPers.) He agreed to take her on because, as she explained, there were a lot of things she wouldn’t do for money, and a lot of things she wouldn’t do for love, but there was no damn thing at all she wouldn’t do for spite. This appealed to him, and to his credit, he did a damn fine job. “Squire! Polish my armor!” “Squire! Shouldn’t you be standing a vigil somewhere?”
After awhile, with the usual turn-over in games, there eventually came a point where a lot of people didn’t know she wasn’t really a paladin–the mechanics supported it, if you were careful and avoided, oh, backstabbing people in public–and of course, when you have a large and active Thieves’ Guild (as we did) they get very very mistrustful of people showing up to meetings clanking. So she was an intensely neurotic, paranoid, bitter, egotistical and hysterically funny character living on this horrible tightrope between being a thief and being a knight. (And the GMs, to their credit, pulled out all the stops–she was actually formally knighted, and that was an inquisition that had me genuinely sweaty palmed during. Nothin’ like a circle of knights grilling you and a circle of thieves lurking behind them, and both of them damn well better like your answers or nobody’s walking out alive…)
Granted all the tension inherent in such a character, the GMs were always pulling her into things–the fact that I was always willing to try to talk my way out of situations helped a bit, and the fact that I wouldn’t complain about anything they did probably helped a lot more. Trauma? I don’t get trauma! You wanna throw Sev in a medival torture chamber and start pulling teeth? Go for it! You want Sev to be held up by the throat while she is informed that she either plugs the leaks in her organization or the gutters run with blood? Knock yourself out! You want to destroy her reputation, put it about that she’s a hired killer, and turn most of the population against her? Sev could and did flinch and snarl and wiggle and grovel and bluff her way through it in fine style.
I miss the character because she was so damn fun to be. She forced me to get very, very clever, because she was so constantly in over her head. “You can’t negotiate from a position of total weakness,” someone told her once. “I have to,” she replied, “it’s the only one I’ve got!”
I miss that.
I think I thought of her today because the voice in Myra’s head in the story chunk below sounds a lot like the way Sev would sound in my head. Totally different histories, but the same kinda voice. And that’s nice, because it’s one I really loved.
Alternately, I would totally kill for a good RP group these days…*sigh*