Monday, November 28, 2011

Regarding Rheugan, part 2

There are several things I have to keep in mind when I'm RPing Rheugan, whether in-game or in my writing:

1: Rheugan is not a "happy" character. Not saying that he's always mad or gloomy- he does have his bright spots- but they are few and far between (though fortunately less so now than before). He's had a lot of horrible things happen to him in a very short amount of time, and they have left their marks in him. Not physically, perhaps, but they are there all the same.

2: It took me a long, long time to figure out why I had so much trouble writing anything that involved Rheugan. He simply has his own ideas about what he wants known about him, and if I try to do something he doesn't agree with, he just shuts me out. It made me amazingly frustrated with him, but now that I'm figuring him out better, I'm learning to just go with it.

3: Rheugan may have very little in the way of possessions right now, but he is still a noble. He can be snooty sometimes ("poncy" is how we usually describe it XD), and he can be a bit touchy about his honor. He still has his pride, no matter that it's been beaten and dragged around some. All in all, it still sometimes surprises me how different he is from me, which doesn't tend to happen much with my characters.

4: He really, truly, honestly wants to be useful. One of his biggest depression-causes before he went to Northrend was how useless he felt. Combine that with his pride, and how could he not feel miserable? There were a couple times when he offered his help with something and was turned down (Fells' trip to Gilneas comes to mind), and he reacted pretty badly to it. I can understand that there was simply no way for him to fit into the plotline, but with Rheugan, I have to go with how he feels about things, and it was pretty rough at times.

* * * * *

So if I was having all this trouble with Rheugan, how did I end up doing his Northrend story?

I did it for one reason, really. Rheugan was getting to the point where he wasn't really much fun to play. I needed to find some way to fix him, before he became well and truly "broken". So, I gave him what he wanted: my full, undivided attention, where I would only write what he wanted me to write. It was his chance to tell his story the way he wanted. And it worked, though I couldn't tell you how many times I had to rewrite parts of it before he was happy enough to let me hit the "post" button. There are parts of it that I wound up editing out at the last second, like that mysterious bit in Dalaran that got mentioned in the last chapter, but never got explained. I'm still hoping that Rheugan will let me finish that chapter, and it'll get posted as an aside if he does. But, it will have to be his decision whether it gets finished or not.

I have never had a character that insisted on having so much control. It's almost humorous.

The Northrend story wasn't just about him learning to get along with his cat. It was also about him learning to deal with his life as it stands now. And I think it worked out well.

* * * * *

One of the best decisions I think I ever made about Rheugan was a spur-of-the-moment one: introducing him to Shaurria. It was all Pitch's idea- and he gladly takes credit- but it turned into a life-saver.

I don't write much about their interactions, and I don't plan to in the future either. Their relationship is hard for me to describe. They are definitely not romantic, for several reasons. Shaurria is a little over 100, which I believe puts her in her mid-teens, comparatively, so she's simply too young yet for a relationship like that. Rheugan is too damaged; if he ever does find someone, it will likely be another worgen, since otherwise he'd be terrified of passing on the curse, and it will likely be full of complications. Someday he might reach a more normal point, but until then he doesn't need the added stress of a romantic relationship.

If I had to define it, I would say Rheugan and Shaurria are the siblings that neither of them had before. Their friendship is almost like a twin bond. I like to think that it's what has helped Rheugan hold on to his sanity at times.

They hit it off from their first meeting. Rheugan was expecting Shaurria to be like the other people he'd met; either pryingly curious about what the curse was like, or else afraid of him and trying to hide it. Instead, she simply accepted him in her Shaur-like way; Pitch liked him and said he was nice, so of course that's what he was. For her part, Shaurria somehow sensed how broken Rheugan was at that point, and her first reaction was to try and heal his pain. In this, she's very much like her adopted father.

They relate to each other very well. Both are orphans, both had been through a very rough part of their lives. Shaurria had dealt with her pain and was well past it, while Rheugan was still in the midst of his. Shaur was, perhaps not so surprisingly, the best medicine he could have gotten.

She's helped him in other ways too. She introduced him to Arvoss, who saw a bit of himself in the worgen, so now he has another friend and a place he can call home. The cat will never hurt her, since she's no threat to it, so she is "safe", which is to Rheugan perhaps the most important part.

* * * * *

So now, what am I left with? Rheugan is no longer broken, thank goodness, and his moods are much better. His cat, which turned into a character all on its own, is no longer fighting him, and he is more at peace with who and what he is. I don't know how long this will last- I'm hoping it's permanent, but I've learned to take nothing for granted with Rheugan- but for right now, he is a much better character to play, and to RP with. I think I can count this as a success.

And that is my worgen in a nutshell. A little rough around the edges still, but not a bad guy to be around. And maybe someday, his cat will start to like being petted. I can always hope, right?

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