Don Quixote, riding a horse: LET'S FUCKING GOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
Sancho, without moving: Go where.
( ANNIE MURPHY + CIS FEMALE ) — Have you seen ELINA KAZAN? This THIRTY-FOUR year old is an ART CURATOR who resides in BROOKLYN. SHE has been living in NYC for FOUR MONTHS, and is known to be CREATIVE and CAREFREE, but can also be QUIXOTIC and DRAMATIC, if you cross them. People tend to associate them with HIGHLIGHTED PASSAGES IN A BOOK and PAINT-SPLATTERED CLOTHES | @codstarters
hiya! my name’s ella. i’m SO excited to be here and bring elina to this amazing roleplay. i can’t wait to interact with all of you! so please hmu if you’d like to plot!
. basic information
NAME: elina thisbe kazan
NICKNAME: el, ellie, lina
GENDER: cis female
PLACE OF BIRTH: victoria, british columbia, canada
HOMETOWN: birmingham, england
DATE OF BIRTH: april 26, 1986
SEXUAL ORIENTATION: bisexual
OCCUPATION: art curator at the moma
Not much is known about Elina's biological parents. Her story is no much different than those of many children in the foster system: parents who were too young to raise a kid. She was born in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Although she still retains her Canadian citizenship, she does not remember much of her birthplace.
She was six months old when she was adopted by the Kazans. Both of them had immigrated to Canada ten years earlier. Her father, Estevan Kazan was a Greek citizen who moved to Canada to work on his Master's degree and her mother, Katina Trusova moved from Russia seeking a better life. By the time she was adopted, her parents had been married for five years and after several failed attempts to conceive, they decided to adopt. She does speak Greek and Russian fluently.
The Kazans lived in Vancouver for three years before Estevan was offered a job in Birmingham. The whole family relocated to England and a year later her parents adopted a baby boy and two years later a baby girl completed the family.
A happy and reckless child, Elina gave her parents several headaches. She had enough energy to light a city and no matter the number of extracurricular activities her parents enrolled her in, she simply couldn't stay still. Regardless of her endless vitality, Elina often gave nothing but satisfactions to her parents. The kind and bubbly girl turned over the years in a clever, outgoing and creative woman.
Elina never really had a plan, most of the time she just went along with the flow. One day she wanted to be an Olympic athlete and the next day she wanted to be a doctor. Her life aspirations were ever-changing. However, the only constant in her life was her love and passion for art, any kind of art. A dreamer per nature, Elina found solace in paintings, songs, films and books. They allowed her to travel to a different world and in the tough moments, art has always been there for her.
Loyal to her capricious nature, Elina tied the knot when she was just 18 years old. Harry Vandenberg was not a random choice. In fact, aside from art, he'd been the other constant in her life. Best friends since she moved to England, Elina swears that she knew she was going to marry him even at the tender age of three. It took years to go from strangers to friends to boyfriend and girlfriend and finally to husband and wife.
Elina started university shortly after the wedding. She decided to take a double program and she graduated with a Bachelor in History of Art and Classics from Oxford. While her academic life kept her busy, she often felt alone. Being in the army, Harry was often away. At first, she didn't mind the loneliness, but soon it started to take a toll on their relationship.
Throughout most of her life, Elina aimed to have a marriage like the one her parents had. In her eyes, they were the perfect couple until she found out it all had been a lie. Her parents divorce came out of nowhere but soon enough her mother explained everything. Her father had been cheating on her for the past fifteen years. Elina's whole world crumbled down upon hearing that and just like that her trust in those close to her was gone.
No one could be trusted. That was all she had taken from her parents' divorce and unfortunately she brought it into her marriage. Elina started to question Harry's faithfulness. Nothing he did or say could change her mind that her husband was not cheating. Without evidence she continued to accuse him and despite his best efforts to prove his innocence, their marriage came to and end. All those false allegations became a reality. She had pushed him away and turned him into a cheater.
Her heartache was enhanced when she saw Harry's face all over the news after his relationship with the princess came out. When it came to settle the divorce, Elina decided she didn't want anything, she just signed it and moved to Italy where she lived until four months ago.
Six months ago, she was offered her dream job: museum curator at the MOMA. She hesitated to take it since she knew Harry lived there and the last thing she wanted was to make everyone think that she was moving there for him but in the end, she couldn't deter her own dreams because of him. So, she took the job and relocated to New York four months ago. She got a nice place in Brooklyn and she hopes that the city is big enough to avoid running into her ex-husband.
Elina worships her freedom. She loves travel, adventure, meeting new people, and she longs to experience all of life. If she hates something in life that is routine. She doesn't want to lead a humdrum life and she is often doing a bunch of things as she is not tied down to one task. Her upbeat personality helps her to make friends easily and she often attracts people from all walks of life. She has a way with words and an uncanny ability to motivate others, she also loves to make people laugh and tends to be very sarcastic almost cynical. Honesty and loyalty are sacred to her and that can make her feel wary. She doesn't trust easily and chooses very careful who to trust. Elina is also an idealistic and a daydreamer. She is always in her own little world and she tends to get distracted easily.
. potential connections
siblings: she has two siblings, a brother (30) and a sister (28). they are also adopted (so the fc could be anyone). i imagine they have a good relationship, although maybe she could have had a fallout with one of them because they decided to take their father’s side in the divorce.
close friends: could be friends she made in england, italy or here in new york. she has plenty friends but this group is special because she trusts them which is a hard thing for her to do.
partner in crime: so elina is very spontaneous, they kind of person who rarely says no to adventure. unfortunately, not many people are like that but this person is just like her and they always say yes to all her plans.
art lovers: they run into each other at art galleries, exhibitions, open mics, museums, screenings, concerts, anything that involves art. so obviously they have the same interests, so they are each other art buddy.
university classmates/friends: she attended oxford for four years, then the royal academy of art and right now she’s doing a master’s at nyu.
before sunset plot: okay so she traveled a lot after her divorce, so i’d love a plot like the one in the movie, ya know, they met on a train and talked for hours, they walked around the cities and talked some more. there was a connection but then their ways had to be split.
unlikely friends: despite their differences they are friends. elina is very outgoing, reckless and impulsive while your character is the opposite of that.
fwb: since her divorce, elina hasn’t been in a serious relationship, however, this is the closest she has to one. they just fall in tune with the other. it’s easy, no strings attached. (m/f)
ex-flings: she probably has hooked up with a few people, it’s casual. (m/f)
tinder date: yeah she fell into the online dating world and let’s say it did NOT go well. it was akward but in a fun way. everything that could have gone wrong went wrong. it’s a fond memory but obviously there wasn’t a second date.
neighbours: people who live either in brooklyn or in her apartment complex.
OOOF ! okay, that’s all i have for now. i didn’t proofread this so excuse the lazy english but it’s 3 am here so my brain is dead. anyway, enough rambling. i’d loooove to plot with y’all so please like this or come and hit me up with plots. tumblr messages or discord, i’m game for anything!!! :D
Let’s talk about Treks baby
The One Where Riker Stars In The Grey.
When Riker is reassigned to go over a terraforming colony bedeviled by pesky, genetically engineered wolves, a new first officer is assigned to the Enterprise. And he’s kwazy.
The irritatingly named Quintin Stone is sort of the Nick Locarno to Peter David’s later Mackenzie Calhoun. Brooding rogue, troubled past, gets the job done, you know how it goes. It’s a pretty unabashed power fantasy/Mary Sue in New Frontier, but there the whole thing is so over the top and tongue in cheek that you really can’t take it too seriously. Quintin, on the other hand, is more played for drama--for most of the story, there’s a question as to whether he’s outright homicidally insane. Luckily, Troi is on top of things, checking on his mental well-being and also kinda being his love interest, like a literal version of this gif.
Spoiler alert: It turns out he’s deeply traumatized by a not wholly believable incident in his past*, so good on ya for catching that one, Troi.
Looking back on it, this book would almost seem to count as a deconstruction of the ‘broody antihero’ trope, showing that the character type just doesn’t work in TNG. He infuriates most of the cast and doesn’t get the girl, while those who are taken in by him are presented as saps (yup, Wesley).
Speaking of New Frontier, with the self-aware jokeyness and tongue-in-cheek acknowledgment of Trek’s campier elements, would it be fair to say PAD was ahead of the curve in predicting the modern incarnation of Trek? Its take on Star Trek would definitely fit in with the Kelvinverse movies and especially with The Orville, which is pretty much the people’s choice for Trek these days.
*Okay, I get the interpretation of the Prime Directive as not interfering or revealing yourself to alien cultures until they develop warp drive, at which point they’re going to figure out you’re there anyway. And if you can stop an asteroid from wiping them out without them knowing about it, fine. Cool. I get that. But I don’t get Star Trek stories where the PD means you can’t interfere with the Romulans’ development, even though they’re showing up on your doorstep every other week and shooting at you. It’s like saying if Hitler 2.0 showed up in Germany and started amassing power, the US shouldn’t try to discourage that shit or, I guess, engage in any diplomacy whatsoever. It’s mindbogglingly isolationist. And isn’t it arguable that part of a culture’s natural development is interacting with other cultures? Like the back and forth between America and Japan driving forward the medium of animation?
The One Where Picard Nearly Bangs Guinan’s Sister
This one has a bit of nontroversy attached to it, because it came out while Star Trek was still kind of hashing out the Borg, so there’s a disclaimer at the beginning basically going
The gist of it is that Borg aren’t supposed to have gender (a bunch of people with blue hair just had their ears perk up, didn’t they?), but PAD here has a drone that gets detached from the Collective and is a girl. It seems pretty self-evident to me--Picard gets assimilated, they get him back, he’s still a dude, so why wouldn’t it work that way with a chick? But this is back when assimilation wasn’t the Borg’s m.o. the way it would later become. They assimilate a Ferengi in this book (yup) and it’s kind of a big deal. Oh, and as you might’ve guessed, Girl Borg bears a few similarities to Seven of Nine, who would show up later in the franchise, although PAD’s take on it is more “we rescued a girl from a serial killer’s basement after ten years and she’s totally catatonic,” less “what is this human emotion you call ‘kissing’?”
Good thing we have Deanna Troi, a counselor, to ease Girl Borg through the healing process. Oh, wait, she basically takes one look at GB and goes
Thanks for the help, Troi. I guess this subplot is supposed to prove that it’s pointless to try to save any assimilated person other than Picard, because mentally they’re already dead, so might as well just have a bunch of fun guiltlessly blowing them away
(And that goes for you too, audience.) But still, bit of a downer. At least Spock would’ve tried a mind-meld.
There’s also this chick Delcara, who in a pretty XXtra Flamin' Hot narrative choice is like Picard’s soulmate and he’s sort of in love with her slash obsessed with her after having a psychic vision of her in Starfleet Academy and y’know? TNG might’ve opened the door to this by having Crusher bang a ghost, but we should close that door. We should close it right now.
(By the way, in case you’re wondering if this Guinan’s sister business means Picard is down with the swirl, it turns out she’s Guinan’s adopted sister, so is it just me or is that weirdly ambiguous? She’s a beautiful black woman and Picard wants to do her. You can come out and say it, book. No one minds.)
Anyway, Delcara is piloting one of dem planet-killers from back in TOS--in hindsight, it’s weird that the Abrams movies never did anything with the one big Death Star-y thing that actually is canon to TOS, isn’t it? They gave Khan and Nero ridiculously super-sized ships, but the one kaiju that’s actually in continuity, nothing--on a vendetta against the Borg, who basically killed her family twice over. Man, if only there were some kind of psychologist on board the Enterprise to help her through that trauma.
I sense she feels great bitterness, Captain.
Yeah, why does she get a seat next to the Captain again? Let Worf have that seat. How is it fair that he has to stand around all day, he actually does stuff!
Anyhoo, as you might’ve guessed from the opening set on a holographic rendition of Don Quixote, with a Data Discussion(tm) of quixotic endeavors... and the fact that Delcara intends to totally wipe out the Borg, gosh, I wonder if she’ll succeed--this one’s something of a downer. It does give the promised Planet Killer on Borg Cube action for those fanboys who’ve wondered who would win in a wrassling match, and Picard learns a valuable lesson about not pursuing suicidal vendettas against the Borg, which he definitely takes to heart...
(Wow, he did that one-handed? What kind of gains does Sir Patrick have?)
But still... bit depressing.
The One Where Bones Becomes A Space Pirate
Another giant novel, I’m surprised this one never got raided for parts in any adaptation. Even on the page, it’s pretty breathtakingly cinematic, and yet, the only part of it that’s really been used is, if you squint, Bob Burnham in Discovery being a disgraced Starfleeter.
The premise is that, some months ago, the TOS Enterprise crew was involved in a breaking of the Prime Directive that resulted in the destruction of a world and the ‘Enterprise 5′ of bridge officers blamed for the tragedy being shunned and hated wherever they go (ah, that utopian Star Trek future, predicting an entire population that’s politically engaged).
Now, with the command crew scattered, everyone’s trying to get back to the planet where it all happened to find out what tf went down for reals. In a bit of a stretch, this is really hard for them--no one seems to be able to call in a favor or hire Han Solo to take them there or anything, which I suppose is in keeping with Star Trek 3′s similar situation six years prior. They don’t have to go so far as to steal a Constitution-class this time. I suppose it’s fitting for the wild and woolly TOS era. In TNG time, they’d probably be able to dial a Space Uber. (As it turns out, it seems like if they’d just coordinated their plans, they all could’ve hitched a ride with Spock, but then there’d be no book, much less a Giant Book.)
Anyway, Kirk’s been court-martialed and is working as an asteroid miner, Chekov and Sulu fall in with Orion pirates, Spock is challenging the whole thing in court, and Uhura’s in jail........oh. It’s like that, huh, Starfleet?
Like I said, most of the plot involves the crew going off on all their separate adventures, eventually getting the band back together and figuring out what went down. Apparently, the book was criticized for its nonlinear structure, but I think it worked out really well. Starting months after the incident, with everyone disgraced, gets you pumped to find out what happened. Then when they flashback to the shit going down, there’s a great sense of foreboding because you know something is going to happen, just not what exactly.
If I can make a criticism, it’s that after some great build-up, the ending seems a bit anticlimactic. The nature of the threat requires some unbelievable Hollywood Evolution to buy (nothing new for Star Trek, admittedly, and this is a crew that’s fresh off meeting Apollo and Abraham Lincoln) and while it is fitting that they’re able to resolve the situation without blowing up anything or punching anyone (Star Trek loves to talk the talk about how anti-military it is, then end their movie with some Klingons getting blasted), it still seems a little... dry. You’re not going to have Kirk hang off of anything, story? Not even a little? Okay. I still had fun.
And you’ll note that once again, Deanna Troi was of no help whatsoever. Geez, woman, you’re oh for three here!
Game of Thrones Series Review
You likely still remember HBO’s prestige show Boardwalk Empire. You shouldn’t. It was terrible. I watched every single episode of that show...learning the characters’ arcs and the world they lived in, both fictional and real...for no apparent reason other than it being on.
It made me mad that I was so loyal to such a thoroughly mediocre show. The show’s quality did not deserve that type of dedication, and yet I was still there because of course I was. But Boardwalk Empire was still consistent. They gave you the same hour and six minutes of boredom interspersed with two minutes of action each week...just enough dangling to get you to come back next week. There was no hiding the fact that the show was a morass of who-gives-a-shit, once Michael Pitt’s character was killed in season 2*.
*I’m spoiling this because I actively do not want you to watch this show
But at least it was consistent.
GOT SPOILERS AFTER JUMP
I loved the first three or four seasons of GOT. The political intrigue and churning maelstrom of charismatic characters vying for power was brilliant, even if the moral explorations were pretty hamfistedly executed.
At some point, things got stupid and I’m not sure where. My first hint something was amiss was when young Dany survived a pyre...”great, so this is where it’s going*.” Dragon and magic nonsense aside, the writing and story was still good enough to carry interest in the show through such awful, AWFUL storylines as the whole Bran, Ramsay, Arya and Sam plots.
*I forgot about the white walkers in the first episode...whatever
Last season was fun, because it was a mad dash and all, but I couldn’t help but look back on the first three seasons and think about how much of a departure the show had made. That season was like making Michael Bay the director for Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.
Not having the books’ steady hand combined with the fact these things are goddamned expensive to make obviously had something to do with the warp-speed plot stuff, and while I understand that aspect, it’s also what bummed me out.
But last night’s episode was too much. This season has been rough, with even the most charitably inclined excuse obvious flaws due to enjoyment and nostalgia for the fictional universe. It’s been clumsy...obvious gestures of fan service executed clunkily and couched within an episode that features a literal holocaust taking up 1/3 of the action.
And all of the shit up to that point was just jerking around fans like the writers didn’t give a fuck. The undead are too powerful...yet they’re beaten by a “trap” that had a eunuch defending a cripple before a child stabs him with a tiny knife. But now they’re depleted! The Golden Company! Oh shit!
That threat built up over the first half of the season as the ultimate trump card in Cersei’s deck was wiped out...literally...in 15 seconds. That whole “shit, Cersei’s loaded�� was knocked down without even lifting their gloves. That’s not nothing...that’s dick storytelling. That’s telling your child you’re going to Disneyworld, and then ripping the plane tickets up in front of them before lighting the cat and dog on fire.
I stuck around with Boardwalk Empire because at least the storytellers were trying to tell a story...it’s just that Buscemi can’t carry a giant show and Michael Pitt’s diva-ness painted them into a corner where they couldn’t find a way to make the story matter again. But at least they had great set design, great acting, a fantastic soundtrack and an attention to detail the GOT universe abandoned likely around Stannis Baratheon’s death.
At least they were still trying.
What can we say about GOT’s episode last night? Outside of the Jaime/Tyrion scene, there wasn’t any good acting. There was oodles upon oodles of 2004 CGI, here in 2019. And we have the same problem of who to root for...the chick toasting civilians? The “true king” who can’t keep his dudes from slaughtering a surrendering army? Did the Mankind vs. Kane Hell in a Cell match have any point whatsoever? Why hadn’t anyone seen True Lies and saved the viewers a bunch of scenes of people getting roasted alive?
Wouldn’t going True Lies have saved tens of thousands of innocent lives right off the bat? Yes. Yes it would have. But, again, this is hamfisted Weiss and Benioff world where someone goes from disgruntled half-queen to holocaust in zero seconds flat. Sure, there’s some precedent for mental illness in that family line (at least from what I’ve been told), but...c’mon, sow a few more seeds of discord please, storytellers.
The holocaust provided no extra plot advancement that simply burning the Red Keep would have*.
*also it didn’t make sense there weren’t a few of those crossbows on the big castle, but 4/10 would not bang, and all...
After every episode, I’ve been salty. The worst was the fight they’d been building up to for 8 seasons...that they chose to film in the dark. And it’s not Boardwalk Empire salty, it’s “you have every resource at your disposal, and creative carte blanche, and THIS is the best you can come up with?”
As if there was any more obviousness to the fact that, without GRRM, the guys running this show are on a Michael Bay-level when it comes to plot development and continuity. Without him leading the way...and I haven’t read any of the books, and realize there’s a bunch of shit that can be slung his way too, so this isn’t an excuse...the show devolved into silliness. Spectacle. There’s none of the nuance and Machiavellianism that made this show legitimately great...it’s literally a fucking Michael Bay movie now...only with worse camera work and CGI.
Last night’s episode was the breaking point. A holocaust, a stupid WWE revenge match, pointless death after pointless death, an emotionally defeated Tyrion, a figuratively-neutered king not being able to control his literally-neutered troops, and a storytelling version of the horror movie girl running up stairs to escape her killer. But the worst part was the character they built up for 7 seasons as an agent of good, spent a few minutes here and there with some existential struggle...and then full holocaust. That turn deserved more scenery and the show would’ve been better off for it.
Think about it...there are only two outcomes now. Either there’s a coup that manages to kill the dragon that just laid waste to the biggest city in this universe, via something likely unexplained yet...or the coup gets toasty by that same dragon. What else could there possibly be?*
*I forgot about Jon being able to ride dragons h/t herd
With Boardwalk Empire I kept going because I was on some quixotic quest to see if there actually was a point. There wasn’t. But I already know that going into the end of GOT so...what’s the point in continuing to watch? Sad.
Dragon Age Questions
I was tagged by @curiousartemis. Gonna throw this under a cut because I don’t know when to shut up (and there are a lot of questions in fairness).
01) favorite game of the series?
Probably Origins, although I will freely admit that may be partly nostalgia goggles talking. Also, the ending can die in a fire.
02) how did you discover Dragon Age?
I don’t actually remember. Probably my husband told me about it? I’d already played a bunch of Bioware games by then (Baldur’s Gate 2, Neverwinter Nights, Jade Empire) and played a lot of that kind of single-player RPG genre back then so I was part of the target audience I imagine, despite not being a fan of ‘gritty’ stuff generally or A Song of Ice and Fire in particular (which I had not heard of at that point.)
03) how many times you’ve played the games?
Origins twice (well, 1.9 times...I got to Landsmeet the second time with my Brosca and then threw my hands up in hopelessness because I don’t know what my second Warden would do...or to some extent I do but I don’t like it.) DA2 and Inquisition I’ve only played once. I started up what I thought was an intriguingly handsome elf mage in Inquisition to romance Dorian and when he got out of the character creator he looked like JD from Scrubs and I kind of lost my momentum at that point.
04) favorite race to play as?
Oddly, human. I gravitate towards elves, half-elves, or elf-adjacent races in a lot of games so I made my first Warden a Cousland to break the pattern (and ended up glad I did.) I do also like the dwarves a lot though.
05) favorite class?
Dagger rogue. Stabby stabby.
06) do you play through the games differently or do you make the same decisions each time.
Differently, to an extent (with the caveat that I haven’t replayed them much). For example I deliberately chose Bhelen over Harrowmont with my Brosca because it was the opposite of my choice with Cousland and because it fit quite well with her background, given the bit with her sister. She is generally more pragmatic and less idealistic than my Cousland so adheres less to the absolute straight and narrow paragon mould. That said, like Arty I don’t enjoy playing evil so I don’t imagine I’d ever defile the Urn and kill Leliana, or things like that.
07) go-to adventuring group?
DAO: Alistair, Wynne, Shale (I did use Leliana sometimes but she had a tendency to ignore the bow I wanted her to use and go into melee instead. Also I love Shale.)
DA2: Aveline <3, Varric, Fenris/Bethany/Anders depending on if I needed healing and who was going to go bananas about my decisions. -_-
DA:I: Cassandra, Varric, Dorian
08) which of your characters did you put the most thought into?
Uh...probably my Inquisitor Iris Trevelyan I guess, since I wrote that whole long cheesy fic about her? I did feel like the origin stories in Origins helped me build a good sense of who and what I wanted my Wardens to be though, so I have put a lot of thought into Laurel Cousland as well.
09) favorite romance?
Have enjoyed them all, but Alistair. *gross crying forever*
10) have you read any of the comics/books?
11) if you read them, which was your favorite book?
12) favorite DLCs?
Awakenings and Jaws of Hakkon, because Storvacker <3 <3 <3. I still need to finish Descent and Trespasser. Oh oh, and Shale ofc!
13) things that annoy you?
THE ORIGINS ENDING IS BULLHONKY, DON’T EVEN GET ME STARTED
The reused maps with random block-offs in DA2. The fact you can’t investigate Leandra’s murder or get anyone else to help.
The meddling with PCs in later installments where you can’t control any of it (eg ‘the Warden leaves all their friends/family to go on some cockamamie quest to cure the Calling’, or ‘Hawke turns up at Skyhold without their friends/family and possibly dies’).
The Arishok ‘fight’ (aka pillar-kiting forever).
The way every Inquisitor looks when the Fade mark first activates. (And the lighting/textures in the character creator generally).
14) Orlais or Ferelden?
I mean...Ferelden I guess, because the Warden and Hawke are both Fereldan, and Orlais is portrayed as kinda...catty/snooty/rife with social inequality? Also I’ve been living in Britain for 18 years and that rubs off on you after awhile. (And yet I was a French major, once upon a time.)
15) Templars or Mages?
I’ve always sided with the mages as far as I can recall because the Templars as an organisation and usually as individuals have been pretty horrible. They abuse their own people with lyrium and are pretty prepared to leave them to rot (hi Samson), and waaaay too many of them are deliberately abusive to mages. I get why magic can pose a serious danger to mages and muggles alike but the Circles are an abusive system that had their day. I vote we try something like the Avvar do.
16) if you have multiple characters, are they in different/parallel universes or in the same one?
Weirdly I was just thinking about this last night. Initially I thought they were all in the same universe for the most part, barring my Brosca (unless they’re somehow both wardens), but now I’m not so sure. It may work out better to separate them.
17) what did you name your pets? (mabari, summoned animals, mounts, etc)
My warden’s doggo is called Howl and Hawke’s is called Biscuit. I headcanon that after DA2 they hang out together (and possibly even have puppies). I don’t think I named any of the mounts, that I can remember, although I ought to have since Trevelyan was (in my story) the animal-loving daughter of a horse breeder.
18) have you installed any mods?
I don’t think I have? I did eventually install one or two to Origins for tweaks, like being able to change or reset the companions’ traits (since Brosca wanted to group with Zevran more and by the time you get him he’s made terrible life choices as far as traits go.) I might have used a couple ‘here’s some extra civilian clothes’ mods too, I can’t remember now.
19) did your Warden want to become a Grey Warden?
Generally yes. Cousland was a warrior at heart and held great respect, even reverence, for the Wardens, and definitely couldn’t imagine just ending up as someone’s wife and a lady of the manor somewhere. The actual circumstances of her recruitment were nothing like she would have pictured and she was just too much in shock and grief at that point to really challenge it.
Brosca on the other hand would never really have considered it, or even thought about it, but was more than happy to take it as a way out of Dust Town (or worse) and the dead end she was facing in Orzammar.
I played through all the Origins and the only one who absolutely rejected the idea was Tabris (although Mahariel wasn’t overly keen either.)
20) Hawke’s personality?
Blue. Kinda wish I’d gone more purple as that seems to be the favorite.
21) did you make matching armor for your companions in Inquisition?
22) if your character(s) could go back in time to change one thing, what would they change?
Cousland would try to save her family, at least some of them, no question. Hawke...probably similar - Leandra at least, she’d hunt down that serial killer as soon as she set foot in Kirkwall. Trevelyan would be tempted to skip out of Conclave and avoid being the Inquisitor at all, honestly, although I’m not sure she’d ever go through with it. Brosca wouldn’t really have time for that kind of ‘what if’ scenario, I think; what is, is, and you work with that.
23) do you have any headcanons about your character(s) that go against canon?
Hahahaha yes. Strap in, kids.
Cousland exists in a weird existential limbo because according to how I played her she would not have done the Dark Ritual and would have taken Alistair along to tank the Archdemon and then he would have sacrificed himself and NO, STOP IT, ARE YOU KIDDING ME, NO, and then she becomes this cold, more ruthless leader who styles herself as Queen Bitch of Ferelden (because ‘dog lords’, and her heart is frozen now). But I hate that, so then I think, she leaves Alistair behind because she suspects he might make a grand gesture, and then she dies, and then NO, STOP IT, ARE YOU KIDDING ME, that precious, suffering child who was genuinely good and pure and kind and tried her damnedest to make the world a better place deserves so much better than that, and I cried for like a month. So, now we’re back to the Dark Ritual, and NO, STOP IT, ETC. but...yeah.
Given that Oghren becomes a Warden in Awakenings I often come back to the idea that he gets conscripted (or is so drunk he volunteers) before Denerim and then he has to do the Dark Ritual with Morrigan. Someone does, anyway. Conscript a whole bunch of people, it’s the end of the world, someone else can do it who isn’t fussed.
The whole Dark Ritual is aaargfhlaaargh (technical term) and it feels a million times worse for the choice to not be ‘do something sketchy or die’ but ‘make someone else do something sketchy or die’. I hate it a lot. And maybe it’s not even that sketchy (Cousland was Andrastean but not super-devout, and the Old Gods and elven magic are still such unknowns at this point) but it’s utterly against all of Alistair’s principles so (insert sound of me throwing a bunch of tables all over the place).
ANYWAY, regardless of how Schrodinger’s Warden Cousland and Alistair both survive, she does not make Alistair king on assurances she’ll be there to support him and then immediately piss off to parts unknown on a Quixotic quest, for Andraste’s sake.(!!!) (She stays and helps him like she said she would!! Otherwise they’d have just stayed Wardens! Honestly! But that would have led to another Horrible Decision so let’s not get into it!) Cousland and Alistair can’t and don’t have kids, but Fergus remarries and has some kids, and one of his kids (Bryce) marries a daughter of Delilah Howe and they take the throne after Alistair and Laurel, because what is line of succession, and anyway they’re my characters and I Do What I Want, try and stop me, copper.
Hawke warns Leandra about a friggin’ serial killer loose in town who preys on women like her, idk. Hawke does not ditch Fenris and little Lina to help the Inquisition - or rather, Fenris does not say ‘oh sure hon, go alone to some random dangerous place, I’ll just chill here for you.’ Hawke and Fenris (and maybe even Aveline and Donnic) take up Alistair’s offer and leave the festering hellmouth known as Kirkwall to help rebuild Lothering and hopefully get some bloody peace and quiet.
The Inquisitor either never goes to meet with the Qunari or, you know, walks the 20 feet over to the Chargers to not be put in that ridiculous Hobson’s choice.
And Cassandra ended up Divine in my game and I don’t hate that, but I would have preferred Leliana be Divine (she was un-hardened) because a) yay, peace and love and b) I low-key ship Cass and Varric so then she can do her ‘rebuild the Seekers into a non-evil, non-garbage force for good’ thing and still canoodle the dwarf on the side.
24) are any of your character(s) based on someone?
Not really? To some degree I suppose they’re all very, very idealised versions of me (Cousland more so than the others) but I’m in no way an action hero so, yeah.
25) who did you leave in the Fade?
Stroud. Thank any and all gods I had imported the save with Alistair as king. If I had to choose between him and Hawke I’d have thrown my computer out the window.
26) favorite mount?
I didn’t tend to use them much, because I’d stop for quests or to pick up yet another bit of elfroot or whatever. The only zone I used them more was Hissing Wastes since there were so many long empty distances in it, and in my mind Trevelyan was still trying to come to terms with what happened in the Fade at that time, and was dealing with her trauma by withdrawing from her friends a little bit. Pretty sure I generally just used the first horse you get from Dennet as it was a bay and I like the coloring (although the nuggalopes were kind of hilarious.)
Ok stop talking now Bear. Anyone who got all the way to the end of this, have a virtual cookie.
Tagging anyone and everyone, go nuts.
What’s going on? Why did you tag me? Why did you message me?
You have been tagged in a post by “Art-Defense”, or you got a message from us. Who are these people? What’s going on? Why are they contacting you?
Lately we have been reaching out to artists and even entire fandoms that we have never had contact with before. This has led to some long explanations via private message. In this post, we will attempt to answer some of the common questions about The Art-Defense Project.
1. Why did you tag me/Why am I getting this message?
When we find FanArt that we believe may have been used without the artist’s consent or in a way they did not approve of, we contact the artist. If we feel fairly confident that there is a problem, we do what we call an “Incident Report”. You can look at a few of those by following https://art-defense.tumblr.com/tagged/Incident . Please note: we are not asking people to reblog these in most cases. They exist to notify the artists, who are tagged within.
If we are dealing with a small or potentially sensitive Incident (or anything explicitly adult), or if we just don’t know for sure what’s going on, we handle it privately, by message here or on some other site. If you got a message asking if you gave permission for a channel or account to use your work, that’s part of what we call “Verification”: we contact a sampling of the artists to get a sense of whether or not that channel gets permission to use artists’ work. Then we look at the responses we get and decide whether to Close the Incident or post an Incident Report.
2. Can you report a channel or account for me?
We cannot. Only the artist or their authorized legal representative (think “agent” or “attorney”) can file a DMCA claim. Too, we just don’t have the resources to handle all that ourselves.
We notify the artists of where we found their artwork, if there are ads or other forms of monetization involved, and so forth. That’s what we do.
After that, it is up to the artists how to respond. Some choose to ignore it. Some ask politely for it to be removed. Some move directly to a DMCA notice. Legally and morally, that choice is theirs and theirs alone.
Caveat: we will report a channel that is doing certain other things. Threats of harm to themselves or others. Harm to minors, including (and we have seen several cases of this) attaching Explicit artwork to Voiceovers done by underage voice actors. Things like this, we will report when we find them. Copyright matters, however, we cannot report except to the artists.
3. I am going to report this person! Then I am going to tell everyone else I know to report it, too! That’ll teach them!
Please do not do that. That is not only not a good idea, it can turn around and bite you, rather badly.
An artist can make a DMCA complaint over use of their work. That is their legal right.
When you encourage a hundred other people to file the same complaint, we believe the legal term is “harassment, and incitement to harassment.” It doesn’t get the offending video or post taken down any faster, and it does make it harder for everyone involved—including us. It’s a violation of the law, it’s usually a violation of a site’s Terms of Service, and it never, ever ends well.
Keep it simple, and keep it civil.
4. I have a legal question.
Please consult an attorney. We are not lawyers, we do not give legal advice. This also applies to those who try to convince us that they can reuse other people’s fan-art because of the copyright issues surrounding fan-art: don’t talk to us, talk to a lawyer.
5. I would rather you did not contact me.
We always respect the wishes of the artists. A very few permit anyone to use their work, credited or not. Some are ok with use so long as they get credit, or so long as there is no monetization, or both. A few, sadly, have been so beaten down by the problems of art-theft that they have stopped making fan-art, left the fandom, and don’t want to be bothered. (Situations like that are why we started this whole thing: we don’t want to see any more like that.)
Whatever your reason, please let us know your wishes, and we will note them in our “Do-Not-Tag” list in our system. We do not share that list with anyone outside our group of volunteers, ever. We have had YouTube channels try to bully us into handing it over, and they can just forget it: not ever happening.
6. Who is part of the Art-Defense Project?
It all started on July 19, 2017 when a grumpy old fan—the oldest active fan of Miraculous Ladybug on Tumblr, so far as he knows—got tired of seeing people he considered part of his community driven away by reposters and art thieves. He was soon joined by a small community of volunteers: teenagers, college students, work-from-home parents, artists and those who just love the art. The other volunteers come and go, but that grumpy old fan is still tilting at windmills.
7. You do realize you will never win this fight, right?
When someone joins the Art-Defense Project, we tell them: we will never win. We are tilting at windmills, a modern day bunch of Don Quixotes. The problem is too big, the rules too lax, the people responsible too persistent.
We are not here to win. We are here to lose gloriously. To show the artists that somebody cares. The windmills are going to win, of course: there are more and bigger windmills than there are of us!
But we will shake their foundations until we can charge no more.