Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Ice Cream Assassin

I'm rather fond of most of the names I come up with for characters in RPG's and online personas.  I guess that's the nature of the game (pun) when creating a persona or even a fancy pronoun for yourself.  I am aware many of them are kind of lame without a rigorous backstory to beef them up.

My first nickname was Torsion, a simple and elegant word that I frankly picked because it sounded cool and I was about 15.  This was back in the days of, or before, 14.4k BBSs, and I picked it as my codename in The Third Courier.  Since the game was a SPY game and had a Wicked Cool Codewheel, how could I not pick a cool sounding codename?  It grew into my 'nick' in IRC and around the old ISP I worked at as a student. In those days one felt the need to rationalize your nickname and I evolved this charming backstory.

Def'n: the twisting of a body by two equal and opposite forces (torques).

In my teenage angst I took this to be a literal definition of the human soul and it's struggle to survive between the forces of good and evil.  Sounds snazzy huh?  The problem was this second possible defintion.

Def'n: the spermatic cord that provides the blood supply to a testicle is twisted

And believe it or not I was running into an alarming number of folks that had this predicament or knew of it.  This didn't totally dissuade me until years later and in the interim of Quake 1, Threewave CTF, TF, Quake 2, and on into Univeristy I continued to be Torsion or occasionally TorsionMaster to add some "Umph".

At University I went by all manner of names, whatever took my fancy in the hot game of the day Counter-Strike Beta X.  By 2002 I was ready to move on to a new persona and while reading the borrowed books for the Wheel of Time series I came across a passage refering to a group of folks as oathbreakers.  Shortly thereafter I saw the movie Ronin and my concept of Oathbreaker was born.

In my mind Oathbreaker was a man who had borken an oath to his lord and rebelled over a matter of deep honor and thus become a kind of ronin.  As a badge of his betrayal and his greater moral directives he self-titles himself Oathbreaker, embodening both shame and pride.

Nice eh?  Except for one, everyone called me Oath for short (sort of ironic no?) and the name was taken a surprising number of times!  Regardless, I ran with that tag in Counterstrike and beyond and occasionally still do to this day.  I had a subservient persona Commandant which served me well in all the WW2 games of the last few years.

Then came World of Warcraft.  Oh man, now I needed a half-dozen names.  Here is the short list:

Shamroth - My Paladin and first character, created on Beta WoW as a dwarf and reborn as a human (to be near my GF's human) after launch.  Name came out of thin air, turns out it is really some peoples name.
Unius - My Night Elf Druid. Name again came out of a combo of syllable sounds in my head, turns out there is a band named Unius.
Kleehv - My Dwarf Warrior, obvious play on Cleave
Sprox - My Gnome Mage
Veox - My Gnome Warlock - Twink but also Sprox's evil brother/twin.
Rethguals/Stabbajabba - Night Elf Warrior(Slaughter backward)/Gnome Rogue - Twinks
Undershot/Overshot - Dwarf Hunter killed to make a Dranei Hunter.

But as much as I loved these characters, they have little backstory.  This is a result of them existing solely for WoW and my letting WoW contribute their own backstories through the contexts of the quest lines I pursued.  That's not entirely true, I've always had a feeling of who they were but nothing concrete  Now I've started to use these names everywhere else and I feel the need again.  I've used them largely because while Oathbreaker is often taken, Kleehv never is.  Kleehv is now my XBOX360 Gamertag.

Then comes along DDO and now Shamroth the Oathbreaker is a slighlty different Human Paladin, and Kleehv Stoneshorn is a slightly different Dwarf Fighter, and Unius Brushwalker is an Elf Ranger, and they are joined by Conora Sunborne the Human Favoured Soul.  Now I want a backstory to keep their feeling intact.

And so I have the hairbrained scheme to write that backstory for each, within a neutral world of my own creation, and make a real story out of it.  I took a crack at the opening the other day, introducing a young Shamroth and his first experience with the Goddess Averil and a tragic event that proves to shape his life.

We'll see how that goes.

As for me, I'm still Oathbreaker, or Kleehv, or Shamroth, and I'm seriously considering changing them all to TheIceCreamAssassin.  Why?  That one needs no backstory, it's simply who I am.

1 comment:

  1. You certainly have given these screen names more thought then anyone I've ever met. Interesting... I understood about 70% of what you were talking about there, so not terrible I suppose...