Saturday, November 26, 2011

Regarding Rheugan, part 1

(Disclaimer: If you haven't noticed by now, I tend to talk about my characters like they are real, living people. If you're not a roleplayer, this will probably strike you as odd. Bear with me.)

I have a confession to make. I haven't been fair to Rheugan.

This will probably take a while to explain. I started planning for Rheugan the moment I found out worgen were becoming playable, and they could be druids. I reserved his name, decided what color he'd be, and thought up a little bit of a story to introduce him. And... that was it. I didn't expect him to be that important of a character to me, he was simply an excuse to play and RP a worgen, and all his RP was supposed to involve Pitch. Really, I just wanted him to add a little more depth to Pitch's story. He wasn't supposed to be a "real" character.

Then this happened. Hooooooboy, did it happen. And it took everything I had "planned" for Rheugan, turned it upside down, and kicked it out the window.

Remember this post I did? If not, go ahead and read it. I'll wait.

After that post, I kept finding myself beating my head against the wall that Rheugan had become. Why was he acting this way? What was his problem? For that matter, what was my problem?

The problem, I finally figured out, was that Rheugan was a far more complicated character than I had given him credit for. And, well, he was getting angry with me... for not giving him that credit. And how could I blame him?

I think that was when I started thinking long and hard about Rheugan. I brought him to RP night every time I could manage it. And bit by bit, I finally started to see some of what was going on inside my little worgen's head.

So now, you get something that I never thought I'd be able to write: Rheugan's backstory. It's... a bit abbreviated and I still wouldn't consider it to be set in stone, but at least I got it down, right?

* * * * *

Rheugan's story actually begins with his I-don't-really-know-how-many-greats-grandfather, a prosperous sheepfarmer living in Tempest Reach. The Reach is also where a lot of the wealthy had their estates, and this elder Jameston decided he'd like his family to live on one of those estates someday. He was the first in the family to start working on climbing the Gilnean social ladder. When he grew too old, he passed the reins to his son, who took up right where the old man left off. In just a few generations, they'd gone from farmers to businessmen, hiring workers to run the now-much-larger farm, then sending the wool to their own workshops and warehouses, to be turned into trade goods. By the time Rheugan's father came along, they were living in a very nice house among the elite in Gilneas City, and just before Rheugan was born, his father was granted a title and status as minor nobility.

Rheugan grew up learning how to run the family business from his father, and was always impressed with the idea of taking it even further. He and his family were nobles, yes, but they got there through hard work, and Rheugan wasn't allowed to forget that, either. He knew his place and what was expected of him, and that was exactly how he wanted it.

Then the worgen attacked. Rheugan's father went to join the fight, leaving Rheugan in charge as his heir. He was killed early in the fighting, leaving Rheugan as the lord of the house... that is, until Rheugan decided to take his place against the worgen. That is where the intro questing starts. Rheugan went through most of it in-character, so it is part of his background. When he was sent to free Crowley from the prison and the worgen attacked them on the roof, that was when he was bitten.

Now, Rheugan didn't know what would happen when he was bitten. As the fighting progressed, however, at some point he guessed what was going on. So when Crowley wanted volunteers to stay behind while the rest of Gilneas evacuated, Rheu was one of those that stepped forward, knowing full well that he would probably die.

Fast forward a bit. Rheugan obviously wasn't killed, but he did turn full worgen and found a place in a fairly large pack. This pack had an aggressive leader, and their hunting trips caused quite a bit of terror in the Blackwold where they lived. Then they were tracked down, and the entire pack was killed or captured. Rheugan was among the latter.

Back in Duskhaven with Krennan Aranas' potion working on him, Rheugan finally stopped being a savage monster and started on his path back to humanity. One of the first things he heard was that if he ever showed signs of being irredeemable, he would be destroyed. The next thing he learned was that his mother was killed in the evacuation, and Rheugan was now the only living member of his family. Since no one had known where he was or even if he was still alive, after Gilneas was reclaimed from the worgen, his family's business, home, and wealth- everything material they had owned- had been taken by the Crown and given out to others. So now Rheugan was an orphan with nothing left to his name but a now-useless title.

That was enough to send him into a pretty fair depression. It only got worse as time went on, and he still heard the warnings of what would happen if he ever went wild. Rheugan grew withdrawn and fearful, avoiding contact with the non-cursed humans as much as possible. Things went on like that until the Forsaken attacked.

The battle with the Forsaken gave Rheugan something to focus on besides his own misery. He fought willingly and well, but still remained fearful of giving his worgen side too much freedom. His story pretty much follows the questlines up until he meets the Night elf and goes through his ritual at Tal'doren. Once the rituals were over, the Night elven druids offered to teach him, and any others that wanted, the druidic shape-shifting.

Enter the cat.

Rheugan was feeling pretty good by now. They seemed to be beating the Forsaken back, he had control now over his worgen side, and with the night elves' teaching, he'd become an even better fighter. He was so used to the wolf by this point that when he started feeling "nudges" from his cat, he simply ignored it or pushed it away. That was his mistake.

Rheugan's cat didn't like being ignored. It grew angry and frustrated with him, but Rheugan remained clueless. He gave no outward sign of being in trouble, and he didn't know enough about druidism to think there was anything wrong, so no one thought to help him. The battle finally ended with Prince Liam being killed, then the Forsaken pushing the Gilneans out of their home. With no other options, Rheugan went to Teldrassil with the rest of his people.

Once there, Rheugan slipped back into his old depression. He still had no home or finances, so he found himself entirely dependent on the charity of others- another blow to his pride and self-esteem. One day, he slipped out to find a quiet place in Darnassus away from everyone else. He found a spot, but one of the Night elves' saber cats found him and, seeing a stranger loose in its home, it challenged him. Rheugan tried to ignore it but his cat, fed up with everything it had been through in the past weeks, finally took complete control of him and attacked the saber. It killed the cat and mauled a Sentinel when she tried to break up the fight. Rheugan was deemed too dangerous to remain free, so he was shut in a room at the inn, where he waited for what he thought would be his execution. And that is how Pitch found him, when they first met.

* * * * *

And with that, I think I will need to pause this here, since I'm kinda feeling the effects of going to bed at 3am last night. Now you know the basics of how Rheugan got to be where he was, and I will finish up the rest of this (yes, there's more... a lot more!) hopefully tomorrow. So til next time, Happy Hunting!

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