Saturday, October 31, 2009

Nicholas Nightflame

Yes, I play It’s a wonderfully frustrating (“die already!”) and very addictive game. It started innocently enough: the kids wanted to play and I told them I had to check it out first. Many months later we now have a subscription and my character is on level 27.

A while ago I notice the name “Nicholas Nightflame” on a list of ten best minigame players. I have no idea who Nicholas Nightflame is or if he’s played by an adult or a child. I haven’t actually met Nicholas in the game and I’m certainly not looking for him, but his name sparked my curiosity.

Naturally, Nick now has a “story,” because that is what happens when a name catches my attention. It’s really more of a character sheet and has nothing to do with Wizard101, just something my overactive imagination came up with. My Nicholas Nightflame lives in a fantasy land far, far away. He’s not a first or second son, which means he’s not an heir to his family’s wealth and lands. He’s not tasked with finding a wife, having offspring and keeping holdings in the family. Without those responsibilities, he was free to study music as a child. He has a lovely voice and is somewhat of a piano prodigy. But life can’t be that easy, of course, (not when I make it up) and there’s a war going on. Hordes of demons and hell creatures are bend on taking over the world. All that stands between them and the innocent people of the lands are gifted mages.

Mages are like warrior monks. Think Knights Templar. They’re conscripted for life and take certain vows. They are assigned to certain geographic regions and live like nomads, traveling to wherever they’re needed, never in one place for very long, always looking for demons to fight and destroy. They start training in their teens, learning how to cast spells, shields, wards and charms. Each mage belongs to one of four elemental schools: fire, air, earth or water.

Nick is a fire mage. Fire is the most aggressive of the schools. The vast majority of their spells are offensive, as in destructive, and action oriented. This is, of course, the source of great conflict for Nick who likes to think of himself as more in touch with his intuitive and spiritual side. He would have been happy studying music for the rest of his life, instead, it turns out he’s a born demon killer and quite good at it.

Mages (and their female counterparts) are not allowed relationships with the opposite sex. The authorities fear they might create offspring that could inherit lands or wealth away from their families or their schools (incidentally the reason for the Catholic Church to institute celibacy way back when). Same-sex relationships and pair bonding aren’t exactly encouraged, but the school authorities know that interpersonal relationships and connections are good for morale and the fighting spirit.

Nick’s “nemesis” is a man named Lake. He’s an opportunistic mercenary who doesn’t give a hoot about Nick’s vow of obedience or his “celibacy.” In fact, Lake’s determined to take Nick off the straight and narrow. Lake isn’t a mage, but he has latent water talents, which, in his eyes, makes him the perfect partner/complement for Nick.

Nick hates the fact that Lake (think privateer) who lives on a ship owns a piano that he cannot play. Lake’s one and only reason to own such an expensive instrument is to lure Nick back into his presence. Scoundrel!

There you have it. Nicholas Nightflame. Inspired by