HMD

Oct. 16th, 2011 07:07 pm
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You know the drill.

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Player Information
Name: Enzel
Personal Journal: [livejournal.com profile] stormfallen
Contact Info: aim: Terra in Pyjamas
Other Characters: Xion, Claire, Gal

Character Information
Name: Raven
Source Canon: Tales of Vesperia
Age: 35
Role In Canon: Main party member, briefly a minor antagonist

Justification: As a character, Raven is someone whose masculine traits are often emphasized. He's a complicated man and a challenge on his own, but what interests me the most about playing him as a woman is the difference in the way society views men and women who are promiscuous. I'd like to try challenging that double standard with a character who projects an imagine of being comfortable with their sexuality despite not being conventionally attractive: a woman approaching middle age.

Despite the fact that the "promiscuous" image was something Raven actually grew out of when he became older and kept on merely as a facade, the idea is still there. There's also the fact that as a woman, Raven wouldn't be able to dress provocatively (at the risk of exposing her heart blastia) which breaks with the stereotypical image of what makes a woman attractive.


History: Wiki page

Her canon point will be just after the shrine of Baction, where she nearly dies saving everyone's lives by buying them time to escape.


Changes: While there are several things that would be different in the main storyline, the vast majority of differences would be found in Raven's childhood and young adulthood. As Damura Atomais, the daughter of a noble, she would have been groomed to marry for the benefit of her family, and her dalliances would be seen as even more of a scandal. Joining the ranks of the knights would have been an escape from being tied down by the confines of the life of a noble lady, an act of defiance rather than just a last resort by her parents to get her out of the way.

She would see Casey as an ideal, a strong female knight respected by her comrades, and strive even harder to earn her respect. Her feelings for the other woman, whether they were romantic or not as a man, wouldn't change.

While the world of Vesperia seems fairly progressive in terms of gender equality, female knights are still scarce, and it is mentioned in Casey's story that she has to try hard to be taken seriously as a woman who doesn't just sit back and heal. However, advancing in rank isn't impossible, as demonstrated by Flynn's subordinate, Sodia. It's just unusual.

As "Schwann", the fact that she is apparently a commoner (as was the story Alexei provided with the new identity) would most likely matter more to those who disapproved of her (such as Cumore), but they wouldn't be beneath taking shots at her gender or dignity, either. She would have to be accustomed to negative attention, especially from men, and be thick-skinned enough to deflect it, or at least ignore it. Since Raven originally is very good at hiding his true feelings, this is not hard to imagine.

To preserve the dynamics between her and the other main characters, the other party members as well as Flynn would all be the opposite gender in her world. Judith, as a man, would still be the object of most of her flirting, etc.


Personality: Raven is a woman made of up so many layers, it's possible even she can't separate the truth from lies anymore. After her death and revival, she was so adamant that her past self was dead that her superior had to impose a different persona upon her to adopt. Still, as much as she likes to think she can, she won't let go of her past so easily.

While her psyche is not actually split, it can seem like that at times because she is such a good actor. In reality, the personas of "Schwann" and "Raven" become blurred the more she learns to accept herself as a person with a right to exist aside from regrets and old loyalties. In that sense, her personality has an almost circular development, but instead of falling back it still advances.

To lay out the details: as Damura, a young noblewoman, she felt out of place in the upperclass society she was born into, and flirted and did all sorts of unladylike things like going out dressed as a commoner and drinking. In her early twenties and still unmarried, her family viewed her with scorn and embarrassment, and were most likely relieved when she escaped to join the Imperial Knights, no longer hanging around to sully her family's name. She was carefree, irresponsible, and lazy, seeing knighthood as an escape and not the real job it was--defending the people. However, meeting Casey changed all that. She began to realize that helping others wasn't done for glory or recognition, but simply to bring happiness to others. A selfish girl, she began to grow up a little and embrace that ideal, and with that finally acquired the sense of belonging she had been looking for all along.

However, all good things must come to an end, and with the Great War, so did Damura's life. After being brought back with an artificial heart and not wanting to live with the memory of Casey dying to protect her, she instead clung to the person Alexei created for her to be. Schwann Oltorain, a common-born knight. Noble, fearless, polite and composed, the ultimate ideal. But she couldn't throw away her past completely, no matter how much she insisted Damura was dead.

The irony was that Schwann was a cover for the opposite of everything she stood for--Alexei sent her to gather information, as a spy. So she created a second person, one that could blend in with the common people without attracting too much attention. "Raven" was Damura reborn: flirtatious, carefree, lazy and loud. A harmless fool, people would think. Or else they'd be too put off by her behavior to look for anything deeper--the perfect disguise.

The truth was, she was more at home as "Raven" than Schwann, but ultimately, deceit became as natural as breathing for her. The lies blurred together. By the time she joined Yuri and the others to keep tabs on the Empire's wayward heir, she was fully immersed in playing two parts off each other for the maximum benefit of her superiors, her own feelings aside. After all, what use does a dead woman have for feelings?

A lot, in fact. Raven is one big mess of feelings, though what they are isn't always evident. At her core, she's a caring person, one who will complain and be lazy about little things but act quickly to help others when push comes to shove. She hardly ever expresses what she's really feeling, preferring to diffuse serious situations with a tasteless joke rather than make people worry. She places very little value on her own life, despite being afraid to die a second time. The first was bad enough, after all.

She plays up her age, even though at 35 she can hardly be considered old. However, the aches and pains she complains about aren't all fake, most likely. She can't handle cold temperatures because of her heart, implying that her body heat is lower than a normal person's. (on the flipside, she is perfectly comfortable in scorching desert weather.) Verbally, she puts her foot in her mouth often, and it's difficult to tell if it's deliberate or not. Despite the "fool" being a cover, she's been doing it for so long she hardly thinks about it.

As for her flirtatious side, her attentions are mostly toward younger men. While it was probably genuine interest in her past, now those actions are entirely superficial. She has no interest in a relationship or even physical intimacy, as anything of that sort would reveal the blastia replacing her heart. Even if her feelings gained substance, she wouldn't act on them for the same reason. As a result, she overplays the "cougar" act to nearly atrocious levels, in a way that's designed to put people off rather than actually attract them to her. Sometimes this backfires, however.

In the end, while she tries to hold people at arm's length, she can't resist indefinitely. Her nature needs people, which is why she grows so attached to Yuri's group, why she attempts to sacrifice herself for them despite betraying them first.


Abilities: Raven is an expert at using a transform bow, a bow that can fold into a short blade for close combat. Despite her constant complaining, she's actually quick and agile, and a good shot. She also wields a knife in her off hand, and fights with double blades in close quarters. Being a knight for much of her life, she's also decent with a sword.

As for unnatural abilities, she uses a bodhi blastia embedded in the pommel of her knife. It allows her to cast several wind-elemental spells, as well as conjure arrows made of energy, negating any need to carry a quiver. She doesn't use the blastia replacing her heart in battle except under extreme circumstances, as it tires her quickly and shortens her life span even further.


Sample:

[the woman the mirror shows is a pitiful sight, disheveled, soaked and shivering. She looks thoroughly displeased, but when she spots the Vine she summons a weak grin.]

Well! That's it, no more adventurin' for old Raven. [she starts wringing out the wide sleeves of her jacket, her sun tanned face unusually pale.] That river had it out for me, I tell ya! I guess those beasts belong to Her Majesty, then? Awfully unhelpful unless someone's drowning.

[despite her bravado, she has to wrap her arms around herself in a physical effort to stop her teeth from chattering.]

I'll leave the exploring to all you spry young girls from now on, thanks. This old lady needs a warm fire and a warm drink.


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