It has been a while since I did any of my OCs solo as chibis like I usually do, so I thought it would be a good idea to slap some together of my FE3H OCs. I may end up doing timeskip versions of my three students, but we’ll see if I have the motivation for it.
Find the heart of snow white.
Nič več podobna dečku: Je to res hčerka Brada in Angeline ?!
14 – letna Shiloh Jolie Pitt, ki si je v okviru transformacije iz deklice v dečka nadela novo uradno ime – John, je v teh dneh presenetila s svojim videzom in spremenjenim, prav nič fantovskim, stilom oblačenja.
Foto: Profimedia – Velika sprememba Shiloh Jolie Pitt
Foto: Profimedia – Shiloh Jolie Pitt – 8. januarja 2021
Med izjemno redkim izhodom so Angelino, s hčerkama Zaharo in Shiloh ujeli…
The Jess Muse Gang: All knowing one another somehow
I love fanfic rec lists because it helps keep an author’s work
circulating, and for those of us who don’t have a lot of time to dig
deep into the tags, it’s helpful to have someone else point out stuff to
check out. So, although I don’t read a ton of fic myself, here are some
of the ones I’ve really enjoyed!
I tried to group them by the “central” character POV within each game but it’s not exact. There are recs for all 3 games here,
and do feel free to share any of your own recommendations!
In came the wind through the windows, great cold gusts that smelled of spring— burbling snowmelt streams and green growing places, meadows thick with strawberries and soft grass and wildflowers. It surged over the blue tiled walls, skimmed the ceiling where the hexes had been, and went whistling crisply out the door. Josephine’s skirts and Vivienne’s robes swirled along with it, and Kit’s hair and hair ribbons flew over his shoulder.
“Much better,” murmured Vivienne. She took a deep breath in through her nose and nodded to herself. “Yes, that will do.”
vivienne westwood stickers that came with my order
Wait, Vivienne, are you stuck in a mirror? Did a god do this to you? Don’t move, I’ll come find you!
Today’s prompt was Injustice! (Prompt list © @feastforthefallen )
They strike from afar. They always do.
Elgara cannot bear standing close to one of these hilltop constructs. Because she is always lured in, as if sucked into a dark, airless vortex, by the whispers that coil in ghostly streaks from the mounted skull.
She is always compelled to try and listen, to discern coherent words, individual voices… Perhaps the voice of the skull’s owner? A person, once: a person like her, with the sunburst mark on their forehead, with their emotions sealed away.
She always wonders if it all came rushing back to them, a torrent of confusion and heartbreak and anger, when the demon was forced into them, pushing down their throat, taking root in their lungs, kneading the tissue of their frenzied heart into bloody pulp. She always wonders if they felt anything - in addition to the screeching agony of their physical transformation - in those final moments before the Venatori struck them down.
And the more she wonders, the more her own emotions, unsealed, unhinged by the Mark, broil within her. As if she were grappling with a demon of her own.
She cannot bear it. She tried to, feeling that she was selfishly betraying her former brethren by avoiding their remains. But she cannot. So now, whenever they come across a hilltop skull, they strike at it from afar.
They travel extensively in search of the Oculara, along the roads and the thread-thin paths and the barely visible trails in the wilds - her and Vivienne. Sometimes, the Tevinter captive, Alexius, is there with them. He was supposed to dispatch the Hinterland branch of the Venatori on the hunt for the Tranquil, but, even when deeply ensnared by Corypheus, he always felt uneasy about this part of the Grand Scheme. So he tried to push the Tranquil out of Redcliffe, to get them to scatter across the land before it was too late - little short of screaming ‘Fly, you fools!’ at them. And the first thing that he shared with the Inquisition upon being conscripted was a key to the little hut in Redcliffe, packed to the roof with Tranquil skulls and Oculara bases, and with paperwork on obtaining more.
Whenever he joins the two women on their quest, Elgara can sense the guilt oozing off him like slurping black tar. She is not… unappreciative of it, really - she has always found Alexius rather sympathetic. But right here, right now, in these moments when she faces yet another Ocularum - from afar, always from afar! - she scarcely brings herself to care for what he is feeling. She is too consumed by anger and pain and the silent wail that rips through her chest. She thinks Alexius understands that… And she is not unappreciative of it either.
Regardless of who travels with her, they know what needs to be done. From afar.
From afar, one mage strikes, with a firebolt or a hissing, spitting whip of lightning. This makes the base crumble along the middle, split by the charred zigzag of a crack. Before it topples completely, bringing the skull down with it, one of the other mages casts forth a translucent green loop of telekinetic energy. A tug at that loop, and the skull whizzes closer, travelling through the air across all this distance until it eventually winds up in the caster’s grasp.
Sometimes, if the terrain is too tricky and the spell is hard to calculate, the other mage - never Elgara, for she fears the whispers - Fade steps instead, vanishing in silvery blue smoke and then reappearing near the Ocularum, only to melt into smoke again and bring the skull to Elgara.
Once the skull is off its base, and the whispers fall silent, Elgara and her companions examine the skull. The teeth specifically. There are many stories to be told by teeth. Perhaps the Tranquil, when alive, had a tooth chipped off or removed. Perhaps records of that - which have to have existed, as southern Circles were very… particular about the comings and goings of their inmates, mages or otherwise - survived the ravage of war and demons. And if so, perhaps it is possible to match the skull to a name. A personal history. A human or elven being.
Sometimes, upon Alexius’ request, Dorian also attempts to use necromancy to reconstruct the features of the dead Tranquil: a three-dimensional image, woven out of countless fine glowing purple threads, and overlaying the barren bones. A nose over the sunken slits of the skull’s nostrils; a pair of eyes looking out of the dark sockets; strands of hair trailing along the polished white cranial dome.
If this ghostly likeness is recognized by anyone from among the rebel mages, or a merchant or refugee taking shelter in Skyhold - maybe a noble, even, for Tranquil rune crafters have always been in demand at various courts - that is also a success.
That means that Elgara knows whom to bury. Whose name to ask Skyhold’s stone masons to carve into the gravestone over their ash. Whose family to write to, if any survives. Whose soul to light a candle for, kneeling at Andraste’s feet in the slanting red and green rays passing through stained glass. And also, plant a tree sapling for, if they were an elf.
She cannot find a name, a family, a personal prayer for every skull. Not yet. But she keeps trying. She keeps honouring their memory - precisely as she would do for any of her Inquisition’s fallen soldiers.
After all… The sun brand is only skin deep. You cannot even tell the difference between a Tranquil and a person yet in touch with the Fade, an apostate and a Templar, a magister and a slave, if all you are holding in your hands is a skull.
A rough draft of Harper (Alias: Vivienne)s backstory.
It’s that time of the year again!
Wait was it you the whole time?
Thank you? For saying hi?
I told that person to just come talk to us if that’s ok? Well I told them to just come fight us but I think we’ll be ok. If that’s ok? Sorry I thought it was you!
Thank you for saying hi! <3
So, if you’ve wondered where I popped off to the past two months or so, I’m going to give you an answer - I finally bought Dragon Age Inquisition (legit on my gaming wishlist since its 2014 release) and I’ve been obsessed with it ever since.
The main draw to this game however, isn’t so much the gameplay (if you want a game that feels similar but has better gameplay - Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is what you’d want instead), but the storytelling and particularly the character development are top notch. All nine companions are fascinating and fleshed out in such a realistic manner I’m still gasping in awe on my fifth playthrough.
Thus, a post on it is in order. It’s a bit different from my usual content, but don’t let that discourage you - clearing my head from Dragon Age will allow me to let Eurovision back in and continue my unfinished 2020 ranking.
In this post, I will be analyzing one of DAI’s most interesting characters - none other than Madame de Fer herself, Vivienne.
Now, I’m under the impression that this is a rather unpopular opinion but I absolutely love Vivienne. And no, I won’t apologize for it. As a Templar-thumping elitist with a icy, sardonic demeanor the sheer ‘Idea Of A Vivienne’ is meant to make your head spin. Dragon Age has always been a franchise in which mages are a socially surpressed group and to be confronted with a socially confident enchantress who likes Templars and seemingly supports the social shunning out of her own ambition is the walking embodiment of flippancy.
and yet, I feel a lot of sympathy for Vivienne.
Yes, she’s a bitch. She knows she’s one and she’s a-ok with it. I won’t argue with that. Sadly, the “Vivienne is a bitch” rhetoric also drastically sells her short. Vivienne is highly complex and her real personality is as tragic as it is twisted.
So let’s start with what we are shown on the surface. Vivienne is a high-ranking courtier from an empire notable for its deadly, acid-laced political game. She seemingly joins the Inquisition for personal gain, to acrue reputation and power, and eventually be elected Divine (= female pope) at the end of the game. She presents herself as a despicable blend of Real Housewife, Disney Villain, and Tory Politician, all rolled into one ball of sickening, unctuous smarm. Worse, the Inquisitor has no way to rebuke Vivienne’s absurd policies and ideas. You can’t argue with her, convince her to listen to your differing viewpoints or even kick her out the Inquisition. She has a way with words where she can twist arguments around in such a fashion that she lands on top and makes the other person look like the irrational party.
“Thus speaks the Inquisitor who has made so many mature and level-headed choices so far. Such as releasion malcontents upon the population without safeguards to protect them should they turn into abominations. Very wise. I rearranged some furniture. Lives aren’t thrown into jeopardy by my actions. Perhaps a little perspective is needed.”
She’s Cersei Lannister on creatine, Dolores Umbridge on motherfucking roids. If you look at merely the surface, then yes, Vivienne looks like the worst person ever created. I love a good anti-villainess however, and she’s definitely one.
Yet, she never actually does anything ‘evil’? Yes, she is ‘a tyrant’ as a Divine, but 1) the person saying this is Cassandra, whose dislike for mage freedom is only matched by her dislike of being sidelined 2) Divine Vivienne isn’t bad to mages either? (hold that thought, I’ll get to it). She never actually sabotages the Inquisition, no matter how low her approval with the Inquisitor gets. She never attempts to stop them, no matter how annoyed she is. She’s one of the most brutally honest companions in the cast, in fact. (It always surprises me people call her a ‘hypocrite’ - you keep using that word and it doesn’t mean what you think it means.) The ‘worst’ display of character is when she attempts to break up Sera and the Inquisitor and even then - are we going to pretend Sera isn’t a toxic, controlling girlfriend with a huge chip on her shoulder? I love Sera, but come on.
Vivienne is a character where the storytelling rule of Show, Don’t Tell is of vital importance. The Orlesian empire is an empire built around posturing and reputation. Nobody really shows their true motivations or character, and instead builds a public façade. It’s like how the Hanar (the Jellyfish people) in Mass Effect have a Public name they use in day-to-day life, and a Personal Name for their loved-ones and inner circle. Vivienne’s ‘Public Visage’ is that of Madame de Fer - this is the Vivienne who openly relishes in power, publicly humiliates grasping anklebiters with passive-aggressive retorts, the woman who is feared and loathed by all of Orlais, and this is the Face you see for most of the game.
The real beauty of Vivienne’s character and the reason why I love her as much as I do (which is to say - a LOT) are the few moments when - what’s the phrase DigitalSpy love so much - Her Mask Slips, and you get a glimpse of the real woman underneath the hennin.
“There is nothing here now” fuck I *almost* cried at Vivienne, get out of my head BioWare, this is WRONG – people who delude themselves this is an irredeemable character.
Understanding Vivienne requires recognizing that the mask and the real woman aren’t the same person. I think her relationship with Dorian is the prime example of this. I love the Vivienne/Dorian banter train, obviously - an unstoppable force of sass colliding with an unmovable wall of smarm is nothing short of a spectacle. However, there’s more to it than their highly entertaining snipes. As the incredibly gifted son of a magister, Dorian represents everything Vivienne should despise, and should be a natural enemy to her. And yet, she doesn’t and he isn’t.. Their gilded japes at each other are nothing more than verbal sparring, not dissimilar to how Krem and Iron Bull call each other names when they beat each other with sticks. In what I think is one of the most brilliantly written interactions between characters in DAI, I present Vivienne’s reaction when the Inquisitor enters a romance with Dorian:
Vivienne: I received a letter the other day, Dorian.
Dorian: Truly? It’s nice to know you have friends. 🙄
Vivienne: It was from an acquaintance in Tevinter expressing his shock at the disturbing rumors about your… relationship with the Inquisitor.
Dorian: Rumors you were only too happy to verify, I assume. 🙃
Vivienne: I informed him the only disturbing thing in evidence was his penmanship. 🙂
Dorian: …Oh. Thank you. 😳
Vivienne: I am not so quick to judge, darling. See that you give me no reason to feel otherwise.
Madame de Fer can never be seen directly expressing approval to a relationship between the Herald of Andraste and an ‘Evil’ Tevinter ’Magister’. By this subtle, subtle conversation, Vivienne indirectly tells Dorian that she considers him a good match for the Inquisitor and approves of the romance. It’s one of those reasons why I could never truly dislike Vivienne - between the layers of elegant poison lies a somewhat decent woman who never loses sight of the bigger picture. Not a good person maybe, but not one without some redeeming qualities.
The crux of Vivienne’s personality is that she, like all DAI companions, is a social outcast. She’s a mage in a fantasy setting where mages are psionically linked to demons, and grew up in a country where the majority religion has openly advocated the shunning and leashing of mages (’Magic exists to serve man’ - the Chantry is so, so vile in this game.). Vivienne’s “gift” was discovered so early in her life that she can barely remember her parents. Vivienne grew up in a squalid boarding school, learning from a young age that she’s dangerous and her talents need to be tamed and curbed. She is also terrified of demons, as her banters with Cole point out:
Cole: You’re afraid. You don’t have to be.
Vivienne: My dear Inquisitor, please restrain your pet demon. I do not want it addressing me.
Inquisitor: He’s not doing any harm, Vivienne.
Vivienne: It’s a demon, darling. All it can do is harm.
Cole: Everything bright, roar of anger as the demon rears. No, I will not fall. No one will control me ever again.
Cole: Flash of white as the world comes back. Shaking, hollow, Harrowed, but smiling at templars to show them I’m me.
Cole: I am not like that. I can protect you. If Templars come for you, I will kill them.
Vivienne: Delightful. 😑
Vivienne’s Harrowing is implied to have been such a traumatizing event to her that she’s developed a pavlovian fear of demons ever since. (Hence her hostility towards Cole.). Vivienne is fully aware of the inherent dangers of magic, and projects this onto all other mages.
Besides, given how Dragon Age has a history with mages doing all sorts of fucked up shit, ranging from blood magic, murder, demonic possession and actual terrorism (yes, *ElthinaBITCH* had it coming, but let’s not pretend like Anders/Justice was anything other than a terrorist), Vivienne’s policies of controlled monitoring and vigilance are actually significantly more sensible than the options of ‘unconditionally freeing every mage all over Thedas’ and ‘reverting back to the status quo before the rebellion’. They’re flawed policies, obviously. When Vivienne says “mages” she pictures faceless silhouettes foremost and not herself. Regardless, unlike Cassandra and Leliana, Vivienne is aware of the fear others harbour for her kind, and how hard it is to overcome such perceptions.
Additionally, Vivienne’s a foreigner. She is an ethnic Rivaini, a culture associated with smugglers and pirates (Isabela from DAO and DA2 is half-Rivaini). This adds an additional social stigma, again pointed out by Cole:
Cole: Stepping into the parlor, hem of my gown snagged, no, adjust before I go in, must look perfect.
Vivienne: My dear, your pet is speaking again. Do silence it.
Cole: Voices inside. Marquis Alphonse.
Cole: “I do hope Duke Bastien puts out the lights before he touches her. But then, she must disappear in the dark.”
Cole: Gown tight between my fingers, cold all over. Unacceptable. Wheels turn, strings pull.
Cole: He hurt you. You left a letter, let out a lie so he would do something foolish against the Inquisition. A trap.
Vivienne: Inquisitor, as your demon lacks manners, perhaps you could get Solas to train it.
This is the only palpable example of the casual racism Vivienne has to endure on a daily basis - Marquis Alphonse is a stupid, bigoted pillowhead who sucks at The Game, but remember - Vivienne only kills him if the Inquisitor decides to be a butthurt thug. She is aware that for every Alphonse, there are dozens of greasy sycophants who think exactly like he does, and will keep it under wraps just to remain in her good graces.
Finally, there’s the social position Vivienne manufactured for herself, which is the weak point towards her character imo. Remember, this woman is a commoner by birth. She doesn’t even have a surname. Through apparently sheer dumb luck (or satanic intervention) she basically fell into the position of Personal Mage to the Duke of Ghislain. Regardless, ‘Personal mages’ were the rage in Orlesian nobility, and the prestigious families owned by them like one may own a pet or personal property. By somehow becoming Bastien de Ghislain’s mistress and using his influence, “Madame de Fer” liberated herself from all the social stigmata which should have pinned her down into a lowly courtier rank and turned the largely ceremonial office of “Court Enchanter” into a position of respect and power. This is huge move towards mage emancipation by the way, in a society where, again, Mages are feared and shunned and are constantly bullied, emasculated and taught to hate their talents. Vivienne is a shining example of what mages can become at the height of their power. Power she has, mind you, never actually abused before her Divine election. Vivienne’s actions will forever be under scrutiny not because of who she is, but because of what she is. The Grand Game can spit her out at any moment, which will likely result in her death.
Inquisitor: “You seem to be enjoying yourself, Vivienne?”
Vivienne: “It’s The Game, darling. If I didn’t enjoy it, I’d be dead by now.”
Whether Vivienne was using Bastien for her own gain or whether she truly loved him isn’t a case of or/or. It’s a case of and/and. The perception that she was using Bastien makes Vivienne more fearsome and improves her position in the Grand Game, but deep down, I have no doubts truly loved him. Remember, Vivienne’s position at the Orlesian court was secure. She had nothing to gain by saving Bastien’s life, but she attempted to anyway. That Bastien’s sister is a High Cleric doesn’t matter - Vivienne can be elected Divine regardless of her personal quest’s resolution. She loved him, period.
No, I don’t think Vivienne is a good person. She treats those she deems beneath her poorly, like Sera, Solas, Cole and Blackwall (characters I like less than Vivienne), which I think is the #1 indicator for a Bad Personality. But I don’t think she qualifies as ‘Evil’ either and I refuse to dismiss the beautiful layering of her character. I genuinely believe Vivienne joined the Inquisition not just for her personal gain, but also out of idealism, similar to Dorian (again, Cole is 100% correct in pointing out the similarities between Dorian’s and Vivienne’s motivations for joining, as discomforting it is to her).
In her mind, Vivienne sees herself as the only person who can emancipate the mages without bloodshed - her personal accomplishments at the Orlesian court speak for themselves. Vivienne isn’t opposed to mage freedom - she worries for the consequences of radical change, as she believes Orlesian society unprepared for the consequences. Hence why she’s perfectly fine with a Divine Cassandra. Hence why her fellow mages immediately elect her Grand Enchanter of the new Circle.
Hence why Vivienne is so terrified by the Inquisitor’s actions if her disapproval gets too low. The Inquisitor has the power to completely destroy everything she has built and fought for during her lifetime. Remember: Vivienne’s biggest fear is irrelevance - there’s no greater irrelevance than having your life achievements reverse-engineered by the accidental stumbling of some upstart nobody. This is the real reason why she joins, risks her life and gets her hands dirty - the only person whose competence Vivienne trusts, is Vivienne’s own.
Even as Divine Victoria, I’d say she’s not bad, at all actually. Vivienne has the trappings of an an Enlightened Despot, maintaining full control, while simultaneously granting mages more responsibility and freedom, slowly laying the foundations to make mages more accepted and less persecuted in southern Thedas. Given that Ferelden is a feudal fiefdom and Orlais is an absolute monarchy, this is a fucking improvement are you kidding me. (Wait did he just imply Vivienne is secretly the best Divine - hmm, probably not because Cass/Leliana have better epilogues - but realistically speaking, yes, Viv should be the best Divine and it’s bullshit that the story disagrees.)
Underneath the countless layers of smarm, frost and seeming callousness, lies a fiercely intelligent and brave woman, whose ideals have been twisted into perversion by the cruel, ungrateful world around her. Envy her for her ability to control her destiny, but know that envy is what it is.
The flaw in Vivienne’s character isn’t so much the ‘tyranny’ or the ‘bitchiness’ or the ‘smarm’. Her flaw is her false belief that she is what the mages need the most. Her belief that her competence gives her the prerogative to serve the unwashed mage masses… by ruling over them. For all intents and purposes, Vivienne is an Orlesian Magister and this will forever be the brilliant tragedy of her character. She was created by a corrupt institution that should, by all accounts fear and loathe her but instead embraced her. It’s that delirious irony that makes Vivienne de Fer one of the best fictional characters in RPG history.
the next post will be Eurovision-related. :-)
Confession: Vivienne isn’t romanceable because her ultimate goal is to be the Divine and she must be celibate. However, she absolutely has a thing for a sensible Inquisitor. Especially if she is a lady warrior. Her little flirts toward Cassandra are a way of letting it be known that she often pleasures herself to the idea of being carried to bed by a lady sword wielder and doing things with her that would make the Maker blush.