I enjoy storytelling in video games, and I find people who don’t appreciate them or simply skip all cut scenes to be weird alien creatures who are possibly missing the point of video games.
I love the story and lore in some games so much, that sometimes what they give me isn’t enough: I need to fill in the blanks. The characters I created normally aren’t fleshed out enough within the story, and the in-game choices they make may not make too much sense, but in my head it does, and Character Creation is here to explain their back story, journey, and personalities. In it, I wanna talk about characters I have made in various games, and their lives that they lead from level 1 to level 100, and everywhere in between.
In the future, I’ll talk about various games including tabletop RPGs such as Dungeon’s & Dragons, Pathfinder, World of Darkness, and general forum based role plays I’ve been involved with. But today the focus is on Dragon’s Dogma, so beware of spoilers as I speak of my experience with Lynd my created Arisen and Veronica, his faithful Pawn, and their tragic end.
For a brief background to those unfamiliar with Dragon’s Dogma (hereby referred to DD from here on), DD is an open world RPG in which the player creates an avatar and picks a class. The classes are based on three archetypes Warrior, Rogue, and Wizard, and branch from there, becoming either more focused or hybrid classes. The player can easily switch classes, and can alter the appearance and class of their NPC servant called Pawns. The player can also summon two other pawns created by other players, but lack any customizing options. The narrative and cutscenes put a large focus on the main character who cannot talk and their pawn who can talk. So those who haven’t played the game, there will be spoilers in here, but for this first part only covers the first twenty minutes of the game after the initial prologue.
Lynd is a short, fair-skinned black-haired teenager born into a fishing village off the coast of Grandsys named Cassardis. His parents death at the hands of the swelling ocean prompted Lynd to not want life trapped with the water at his back, but the fact that no one would take in little Lynd led him to grow up realizing a couple of hard truths: there is no such thing as a selfless act, and that the only person you can trust is yourself. Feeling more at home running on the rooftops and napping in back alleys, Lynd longed to escape his little town and the gossip that seemed to follow him. If it wasn’t for the support of a few people, he would have taken his chances in the Gransys wilds years ago.
Quina is the closest thing Lynd can call a friend. Shortly after Lynd lost his parents, Quina was bullied by the older children for her gentle nature and her family’s strange idea of utilizing the healing faith. It was Lynd alone, the youngest of the children, who stood up for Quina and her mother, and even through the kids beat on him and he left back to his home broken and licking his wounds like a dog, Quina saw the good in him. Where Lynden grew up hating his place in the world and grew cynical, Quina grew up compassionate and kind, practicing the healing arts to help the little fishing village. She would act like an older sister to Lynd, furthering the healing arts to heal the bumps and scrapes Lynd would get being tumbling around Cassardis. No one else would give Lynd such affection, and thus the hormonal and confused Lynd found himself infatuated with Quina, but knowing she didn’t return the same feelings, he withdrew more from the world.
He wasn’t always alone though. Another in the village, who had abandoned the fishing way of life was a man who grew up alongside Lynd by the name of Valmiro. Valmiro was eccentric and the center of Cassardis gossip as well. Instead of the fishing way of life, Valmiro questioned the world and sought answers. Like Lynd, Valmiro felt isolated from other humans. He found his calling in nature, identifying plants and conducting research. Quina and Lynd would chat with Valmiro about his findings and research, and he was more than happy to talk their ears off deep into the night. Lynd, however, was jealous of Valmiro. Not only was he closer to Quina’s age, but he seemed to have found a purpose in his life, something Lynd did not.
The last to show Lynd any semblance of care was the village chief Adaro, a buff old man weathered by a lifetime at sea. Adaro was close to Lynd’s parents prior to being the chief, and when they died and the beloved Adaro took over, he made sure to try to raise Lynd as his own. It’s a shame that Lynd rejected him and chose to seclude himself. But despite that, Adaro tolerates Lynd’s seemingly lazy ways, because Adaro sees the potential in Lynd. Back when Cassardis was independent and didn’t accept the protection of Gran Soren, the nexus of Grandsys and wealthiest city, Adaro lead a militia that would take on threats in the village. Lynd, eager to prove himself, volunteered. It was shortly after joining that Lynd received a deep wound on his face via an arrow, nearly blinding him. Since that time, Chief Adaro dissolved the militia and accepted protection from Gran Soren. This wasn’t a popular move, but Adaro cared more about Lynd than his pride.
Life went on as usual, for the sleepy village, and Lynd lived an apathetic existence, eager to go on an adventure. Then, as if the Gods themselves answered Lynd’s whims, an ominous wind blew through Cassardis which made the whole village fall silent. There was prior talk from the Gran Soren guardsmen that the Dragon, a symbol of chaotic and absolute destruction, would return to the lands, and that fear was felt throughout. Their fears came to reality quickly.
“IT’S-IT’S THE DRAGON!” One of the men cried as confusion and panic began to rise. Most of the men, including young Lynd, ran to the shoreline to see if it was true. And true it was, as the clouds were parted by the speed and might of the incarnate of death itself, descended on the village. With a mighty swing of its tail, the dragon knocked a sea structure into deadly crumbs, which pierced the village and homes. Another swing, and the pier that the village relied on was gone, and its splinters harrowing with deadly force into the beach line. Retreating, Lynd went to protect Quina by the city gate. What he found was that the Gran Soren guardsmen, sworn to protect the land, had abandoned the village, leaving only a sword as a crude reminder. It was the smart thing to do, after all. Lynd knew the village was only but so important, and to face the dragon was suicide. No single mortal could hope to fact the dragon and live… but… Looking at the sword, with the screams of men and women around him who he swore he didn’t care for , something stirred in him. Without any rhyme or reason, he picked up the sword and dashed back towards the shore.
As if to swat a fly, the crimson dragon brushed Lynd aside with enough force to send the small teenager tumbling down the fire warmed sand. But something was amiss to the dragon. Looking to its hand, it saw that the boy actually managed to barely pierce his hide. It, of course, did not hurt, and as it turned its massive hand the blade clumsily fell out his palm. When the other villagers rightfully fled, one single boy chose to take up arms against the creature. Something stirred in the dragon as well, and its cold clouded eyes flared with bright crimson life. He had found someone brave and foolish, and therefore, worthy.
Meanwhile, Lynd laid on his back, helpless. He was sure the dragon had broken a couple of ribs, and the force of stabbing into it’s hand and then tumbling in the sand had broken his arm and leg. He was powerless, and gripped the sand tightly as the dragon spoke to him in his ancient tongue. Unable to breathe, Lynd knew he was going to die. For no one faces the dragon and lives. He was foolish to try to save the damned village in the first place. These people had turned on him when he needed them, and now he was going to die here, alone. The dragon raised a finger longer than Lynd himself, and dipped it slowly into Lynd’s flesh with a sickening crunch. It’s razor claw plucked out his heart, and Lynd watched as the dragon swallowed it, all the while seemingly conversing with him in a language he had no way of understand.
Lynd reached for his heart. This dragon had no right to take what wasn’t his. He leaned forward, every muscle screamed in defiance, every broken bone protesting with excruciating agony.
“Give… it… back!” Lynd said with the last fleeting breath he could muster in his lungs before the blood in his throat made him silently choke. The world began to fade… First the colors, then the light. The last vision Lynd would have been the dragon turning his head and leaving. Then there was nothing but darkness. What Lynd was unaware of was that his blood, which was mixing with the wet sand, was slowly receding back into his chest.
“HELP ME! HE’S STILL ALIVE!” came a voice that pierced the darkness. Slowly, he opened his bright blue eyes to meet Quina’s, but chest was still in agony, and the pain made him fall back into the sweet darkness.
Despite what Lynd thought, his tale had only just begun.