Isaiah ibn Hazr

Started by Don Nadie, July 29, 2022, 09:22:56 AM

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Don Nadie

Isaiah ibn Hazr



Isaiah began with a base idea: exploring the Lawful Good alignment, which I think is too often portrayed through variants of “righteous asshole”. He’d be someone good to others but terrible to himself, trying to live up to unattainable standards.



Because I got inspired for his background by strict religious communities, and because I do not play heterosexual PCs (regardless of whether ever becomes relevant or not), shame and repression emerged as good themes. Early on, I decided to make him manipulative and evasive… Because, while fitting very much (shame and repression have a lot to do with hiding stuff, both from others and from oneself), it was also a great contrast with what is usually expected of Lawful Good alignment. Also, it was a fun challenge to manipulate for good causes and without lying (which was against his Lawfulness).



Through play, he developed his own, strict code, and followed it to the letter (I think more than one PC must have heard him babbling about kindness, the “three mercies”, his feeling that all non-evil religions must be protected, and the brokenness of the world), even while respecting and/or trying to change the laws of the peerage.  Biggest regret: adding the "no relic must left behind" to said code.  So. Much. Weight... All for the roleplay I guess.

To top it all up, his way of speaking, polite, distant and measured, would hide someone extremely EXTRA with his emotions, and who really wore his heart on his sleeve.  He would struggle to accept himself, and to embrace his feelings, eventually succeeding.


Iakovos, reading Isaiah for filth XD

All in all, I think it worked, as far as making a PC with a distinct personality and voice goes.



It is difficult to summarize so many months of playing, truth be told. A lot of his first adventures can be found in A Ledger of Shames (and should anyone want to read it in another format, feel free to contact me on discord for a pdf version). My original agenda (to explore how a person emerged from represesion and self-hatred through the love of others) was certainly fulfilled by the end of the Ledger. But even after that Isaiah did, basically, a lot of stuff.



He joined the Guild of Metalworkers. He managed to reject Adrian’s endless proposals of retainership. He began ringrunning on the side, and ended up one of the most veteran ringrunners out there. He fell in love after no small amount of trouble. He made friends. He had a lot of deep, lovely, dramatic and/or all of the above conversations. He got a bit over his own issues (and got new ones!). He had a hand in a million pies, some of them surprising, always trying to do what seemed less harmful (and not always succeeding). He set up a cleric-and-relic smuggling operation. He aided the dwarves. He fought the mongrels. He helped bring an end to the curse of the Sunpurse line. He had a plan to kill the Patriarch (though Oliver got ahead lol). He did his best to stop fights, make alliances and move things towards peacefulness and cooperation. He saved quite a few lives through bribery, persuasion or just being there with his unreasonable amounts of ash and hoard of potions, which he would distrbute as needed. He gave a shit-ton to charities. He crossed the Smoulderpeaks… TWICE!! For LOVE!! (Why yes, I’m corny!) Heck, he was even REDACTED!



One of the rules I had with him was that he was very focused on keeping people alive and minimizing violence. This got him into a lot of trouble, quite often. Seeing a melee break out after a duel, (and admittedly, unaware that people were set to FD directly), he jumped in, to keep someone alive and hopefully make the Recondites run away. A spell was cast, a save failed (by 2! Should’ve worn saves equipment!), a pack taken (he was certainly a pinata), and a long funeral held.

While he might not have slayed any ancient dragon (in fact, he slayed very little), I think Isaiah was possibly the most complete character I have ever roleplayed. I put a lot of creativity into him, as evidenced by the 25k words of the Ledger alone. Heck, I even wrote and held a huge number of notes (many of which I wish I had screenshotted before his untimely death) for flavor.



Evidently, I am both sad and surprised to see Isaiah go. The death feels, considering the end I was working towards and all I was preparing and saving supplies for, both sad and narratively dissatisfying. 

That’s, I think, one of the things of EFU: you can end up, easily, crushed as a secondary character in the story of someone else. The threat is what gives the server such a heart-wrecking flavor: I don’t think I’ve cried as much in any other server, nor been so stressed, or so satisfied when surviving difficult odds.

It is also the main reason why I feel like it might be best to take a bit of a break.



Now, before I go, my many thanks to a million excellent players who have provided a million excellent experiences. (And please forgive me if you’re not mentioned. The list is already long as is, and I feel like I could probably extend it for quite a while still...)
-Numerous iterations of SN (But very specially Sorcha. We’ll always have the deep rings…)
-Diverse iterations of RwG (thanks for all the letters. The chat with Isaiah’s homunculus is probably in my top 10 of emotional moments, and I hate that my connection destroyed all record of it)
-Oliver (best frenemy one could have, so much “I bet this time I can change him!”)
-The various incarnations of Runic (I am still not over how much effort we put on Marcella’s suicide bombing, for it to never pan out…)
-So many Karpie PCs (each a goof that ends up breaking your heart)
-Elie and Danny (it was such a pleasure to show you the server and initiate you into ringrunning. I think my best experience in the rings is, without doubt, when we did Guild expeditions)
-Bristol (wish Isaiah had managed to earn forgiveness, but I’ll forever be destroyed by your diary entries. And poems. Such great work!)
-Mebril (so much conspiring, so much being sad, tired and/or hopeful. A nice sneaky friend to have)
-Rin (best changeling friend, and one of the people Isaiah had most in common. I wish our schedules had worked together more often)
-Adrian (it was always a joy to mess around in the Vale and find reasons to NOT join the House)
-Diethard and Lalena (wish we had had more time together, but I’m glad for all we managed to share)
-Daphne (wish we had chatted more religion: you made the faith of the Triune really deep and interesting, and I don’t think you get enough credit for that)
-Liv (the friendship was great, the breaking up, even better)
-Wyn (such sweet talks… And such an understated, excellent portrayal of a person)
-My various ringrunner groups (both where Isaiah ran and where he was a guest star), from the Companions to the Misers: we got far! If only Isaiah hadn’t felt so attached to the people he left behind. In the end, all those who told him to never return, to let go, were right…
-Houses Greywood, “Not Sunpurse” and Blackhearth in general… What great hopes Isaiah put in each, at different times…
-The villains Isaiah worked against, but specially Rhowan, who was really cool for Lawful Good on Lawful Good rivalry.
-Bearic, who, despite not being in my timezone, has been always extremely helpful.
-And of course, Caleb! I loved all the personal developments, loved the silliness and adventuring, loved the emotions! Not that I need a lot of encouragement to remain open to roleplaying big feelings on my PCs, but Caleb+Isa only makes me double down on the conviction that romances can be another flavor to make a great story.

Don Nadie

#1
To conclude: screenshots. Brace yourselves for a lotta emotes of crying and being sad, alongside tenderness and feelings. I may have teared up re-reading some of them.

[hide=Velstra Funtimes]
(Isaiah, thwarting Adrian's recruitment efforts XD)





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[hide=Teatimes]
(Lotta feelings! So much time spent roleplaying arround having tea!)










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[hide=A Guild became more than a building]
(Thanks to everyone! Things might have gotten constantly too messy to get the Manse repaired, but we really made a lot of use of it!)










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[hide=What to believe]
(So many interesting chats about faith and religion, these being just samples. Thanks to all the players involved, who added their own thing! I always love reading about the faith systems people make up!)








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[hide=Sorcha]
(So, so much time we spent together. I loved it. And I spent so long sending Whispers for Sorcha, in the hopes she'd hear...)









[/hide]

[hide=Fighting the Mongrels]
(As ever, Isaiah tried to negociate with some mongrels, eventually having to give up. Particular thanks to WriterX, who was the 1st PC I've FDed ever, we made an interesting and emotional death, and I hope it was a good ending for your PC. Same for Marcella!)












[/hide]


Don Nadie

[hide=Ringrunning]
(Truly, one of the most interesting and unique aspects of the server. With what I've seen, I really wish I had gotten to the King as I planned... And cannot recommend it enough! Also, thanks to the creativity to the Barons of the Grey Keep. You did a great work)







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[hide=The Sunpurse Conspiracy]
(A really cool plot. I do wish I had gotten to represent Sunpurse in the Council! XD)





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[hide=Miscellaneous dramatic moments]


(Liv, and all her drama)



(The Blackhearth wedding, and all its adjacent drama XD)








[/hide]

[hide=An assortment of whacky]
(While Isaiah was a very serious PC, I always loved roleplaying his most ridiculous aspects, including his vanity, his LOVE for the tackiest romance novels and his extreme flustering)







[/hide]

Thanks to anyone who has read through this (excessively long) obituary (and sorry it is three posts. Blame the forums). Extra thanks to anyone who enjoyed a Ledger of Shames. Do let me know your favorite shame, because it’s always a pleasure. (Mine is the 18th, which I’m 100% self-plagiarizing for the next short story or novel I write lol).

And that’s that. It was fun (even when it was sad) while it lasted.



SN

Oh dear...

The avalanche of emotions reading through the  obit is real.

10/10, Nadie.

You have outdone yourself, a legendary character.

We'll always have the deep rings ;)

Lalena Steele

What to say about Isaiah? He was a good merchant, a generous soul, a mentor, but most importantly a friend. I cant remember when Lalena met Isaiah, he was juat alway there in the background until one day he was in the foreground.  City feels a bit smaller without Isaiah.

-UnholyWon-

I always enjoyed interacting with Isaiah with Luna. While they were rival merchants, Luna never felt that Isaiah treaded or stole business from her. Truth be told, Luna was always envious of adventuring merchants, especially Isaiah.
Discord - Howlando: UnholyWon, an Elder Thing that has crawled from the depths of Chapter 1, many a nature-pc and adventurer played in the past... a rare sighting IG in recent chapters, but perhaps less rare than we realize. Beware his professional insight into the minds of the mentally disturbed.

Gordan

Raise a toast for the good merchant

merrychase

#7
The scope and depth of this character was truly singular. Thanks for showing us how good it can get. Masterfully done.







And Rin's letters hidden away in the lusty romance novel is a detail that makes me laugh.

Runic

Don, I honestly thought Isaiah would just be around forever. He was so iconic, such a wonderful character to interact with.

Just gotta say though, very disappointed that our entire 'buying BDSM gear for Adrian' conversation isn't in here.

An ally to Fran, whom he collected relics for. An ally to Marcella, whom he gave peaceful rest. An ally to Aveline, whom trusted him wholeheartedly.

He was the best of us, and knew how to lift us in our darkest moments. I shall keep feeding the orphans for him, as long as I live.

Ramc

Isaiah was an incredibly well done PC and one of the best friends you could hope to have. The slow and organic way Mebril and Isaiah's friendship grew- from something vaguely manipulative on both their sides to something blisteringly sincere- was something else. There's really too much to get into, and the Bristol-Mebril-Isaiah dynamic (especially the Bristol-Isaiah one) is something I am going to miss. House Blackhearth existing at all as it does is probably due in part to Isaiah's helping our assorted bootstrapping. I have too many screenshots to know where I'd begin so I'd probably have to circle back to it.

One of the best PCs I've seen.

SergeantWombat

Quote from: Ramc on July 30, 2022, 12:33:37 AM
Isaiah was an incredibly well done PC and one of the best friends you could hope to have. The slow and organic way Mebril and Isaiah's friendship grew- from something vaguely manipulative on both their sides to something blisteringly sincere- was something else. There's really too much to get into, and the Bristol-Mebril-Isaiah dynamic (especially the Bristol-Isaiah one) is something I am going to miss. House Blackhearth existing at all as it does is probably due in part to Isaiah's helping our assorted bootstrapping. I have too many screenshots to know where I'd begin so I'd probably have to circle back to it.

One of the best PCs I've seen.

Couldn't have said it better myself. Thank you, especially, for inspiring me to write with your character, and for all of the complexity Isaiah created an opportunity for.



[hide=One for the Road]
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One crushed it.

Warsor

So much joy was derived from interacting with your character. Walykos gave trials of the 9 faced die to those who sought a grey keep key and I'm so glad you saved that scene as it was one of my finest trials(they were all actually really good) that pierced straight to the heart of a character and others deserved to see that conflicted and yet beautiful side of their character.

Bravo sir. You have created a story that I will remember forever.

Juglar

I guess I've been putting off posting in here.

I don't know why, I certainly know what I feel about Isaiah and the moments I spent with him on several PCs. From Heartfelt with Wesley to comedic with Papa Cesar. I don't know what to say here, really. There's praise to be shared, of course. There's still a bit of sorrow since the world feels emptier without him, of course.
Most importantly I think obits are a great way to express that what you did in game, rippled in real life. I am sad that Isaiah is gone. Not Wes, not any other PC of mine. Me, I'm sad.

What time it took for you to build him up, to explore those relationships, it was time well spent. I was moved by your portrayal of him.

I will always remember Isaiah.

Thank you.

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The Old Hack

Isaiah was amazing and I loved interacting with him. Imogen in particular respected and admired him even as she feared his principles would one day lead him to his end. Such a kind and gentle man, and the world is less for his lack. Thank you for sharing him :)