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[personal profile] morgannalefey
I play on this mud that is roleplay intensive, and where death is permanent. My husband wrote a really great review and explanation for why Harshlands is such a fantastic place to roleplay, no point in my trying to recreate that here. But do go read it, it's very well thought out.

My character has had a difficult life (well who would want to play someone who was a serf, planted crops, didn't do anything, then died of old age? ok, maybe me now...).

She was raised in a farm village, daughter of a Yeoman who stepped out on his wife, but still got her with eight children (two of whom died as infants). Aelwyd was third of six surviving children, and the sister to two fantastically beautiful females, so always was referred to as the "plain one". She's not really ugly, and maybe a bit more than just plain, but she always thought of herself that way.

Early on she fell in love (or so she thought, she knows better now) with a glutton who had a miser for a father and was using her to get more/better food than he could get at home. Maybe he thought he loved her, too. She married at age sixteen, and as soon as the food portion of her dowry was exhausted and she was stuck trying to develop new and creative ways for serving turnips, he became like is father and beat her regularly. He was also fairly lustful, and would take her pretty much wherever he felt like, without any regard for what she might be doing at the time.

She didn't really have anywhere to go, and the people in her village were no help at all. So she just resolved to escape as soon as the opportunity presented itself. But the first order of business was not to have any children. Fortunately in Harn (where Harshlands is set) they have contraceptive teas. So she managed to avoid getting pregnant for the two years they were married. Her mother in law always claimed she was cursed, since she never got pregnant, despite her son planting his seeds regularly...

When Aelwyd was eighteen, her husband died from eating too much mutton stew that had just turned. The rest of the family got ill, but he died because he ate so much. She was free of him, and had discovered her father in law's secret hoard of coins some time ago. She helped herself to what she thought fair wages for the two years she'd slaved on his farm, and ran to the nearest big city that was far enough away to keep anyone from coming after her.

When she got there, she got a job right away as a cook and eventually became an apprentice innkeeper. She was pretty ripe for the picking and "fell in love" with someone unsuitable for her, because he was *so* different and offered such a different life. He ran off across the sea for two years and she spent about a year and a half feeling pretty numb when she found out he wasn't really who she thought he was at all.

She finally opened up again, and fell, again, for the wrong man. This time a monk who had sworn a vow of chastity, and who, if had been released from his vow, would still be married. Though he loved her back, they could never marry or raise a family, so they decided she needed to marry a good man, and he'd help her find one.

Edamar had been engaged to her first, and closest, friend when she got to Tashal. She'd always felt a soft spot for him. Her friend died to some wolves and Edamar had grieved a great deal for her. They'd been very much in love. In time, however, it started to fade, and Aelwyd's quiet devotion crept into his heart. Eventually, he came to realize he loved her, and sought her love.

Aelwyd had never thought of Edamar in that light, but in him she saw the solution to some of her problems. She made up her mind to love him, rather more than actually loving him at first. Eventually she settled into the new relationship glow, and it felt better than her other relationships, so she decided she was doing the right thing and that deep love would grow. She never told Edamar this, but she didn't love him as much as he loved her. She was certain she would, in time, love him more than he loved her.

She hadn't stopped loving the monk, either, and was working her way through dealing with the fact that it was possible to actually love two men.

Then tragedy struck. Edamar, either fleeing from wolves, or intent on avenging the death of his family before he married Aelwyd, got killed by gargun (orcs).

The reasons for this are pretty simple, the player of Edamar's wife didn't want him to marry anyone in game (do NOT get me started on what I think about THAT), and he hadn't checked with her on that point before he'd gotten involved with Aelwyd. Given the circumstances, we decided Edamar's death would be best all around in the long run, and create some powerful dramatic scenes to play out. This happened last night...

What I hadn't counted on was how I, the player, would feel.

I've been playing muds for over ten years now, but never a mud where death was permanent. I woke up this morning and thought, "Edamar is dead". I actually cried in the shower a little bit when I remembered the pitcher of milk that Edamar had bought for Aelwyd one morning after she'd fallen asleep on the couch in his house and he'd watched over her all night. There are dozens of examples of memories Aelwyd built with Edamar in the short time they courted that bring tears to my eyes to think about now.

If I'd been watching this in a movie, I'd have been crying as well. It was very moving, very dramatic, and I guess I'm going to need to work through the grief as much as Aelwyd will have to. Fortunately I have a loving husband who also plays, and who also was crying at the temple where Edamar's body was laid out. So at least he won't think I'm insane.

I'll post the log of Aelwyd saying goodbye to Edamar next.


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April 2010

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