One of the characters I play in Age of Conan is named Ruyaan. She’s a practical-looking Conquerer with “sleepless” eyes and hair pulled back by four braids and I’ll be damned if I can remember what race.

To be honest, I tried to make her look as much like me as possible. If found that if I have empathy, if I make a connection with the character, if we have things in common, I’m more apt to enjoy my time with them.

If, say, I made a male assassin it would be fun to see the animations until about level three then my complete lack of connection or empathy would sever my ties with poor “Stealthalotlol.”

Because I’m getting to know her and inspired by the stories on the RP forum I’ve begun to write a story about her and her life– what brought her to where she is. I don’t consciously think about this while playing but it gives her a depth (on paper, at least) and a motivation.

The outline (incomplete, but you get the idea) is so:

* Present scene: Ruyaan is wounded, on the ground, in Connarch Valley, sword through her belly, numb arms, weak and dying;

* Looking up at the sky, muttering, “Please,” thinking she’s going to meet Mitra;

* Scene: under the water, muffled voices, distorted images, drawing her out, flash of light, then blackness;

* Cut to: her father looking for her, finding her playing, she smells and loves perfume, says she wants to be a queen, chided by boys who want to be soldiers, father finds her, she’s not too happy to see him;

* Scene: he’s talking naughty to her and fondling her (she’s 6);

* Mother walks in, outraged;

* Confrontation: father gives mother a black eye;

* Mother sends Ruyaan on a boat to her brother;

* We learn that the father beats the mother to the point she can’t speak any more;

* Mother dies a few months after of starvation;

* Her uncle cuts her hair top make her look more boyish and puts her in local military school– doesn’t want another mouth to feed;

* Cut to: wakes up (recovering), find a handsome man who identifieds himself as Jored, she throws herself at him, basically;

* Cut back to: after years of school, one of her classmates, Jored, wrestles with her, discovers she’s a girl;

* He’s stronger and pins her down, wants to kiss, but she bites his lip;

* He stays away from her but does nice things for her;

* She falls in love with him and soon it’s unnoticeable how she looks at him and he looks back;

* They do not yet make any physical connection or meet in person;

* Semya– believing Jored likes men– attempts to seduce Jored, is rejected, and tells of the goings-on between Jored and Ruyaan to the headmaster;

* Headmaster confronts Ruyaan, discovers her secret, brutally abuses her, ties her up and leaves her;

* Jored discovers her, cleans her up, and with his help she runs away;

You can read the progress of the story on my main site.