Thursday, February 12, 2009

My Romances - Part 4

My Computer Game Romances, Part 4: The Paladin and the Hagspawn
Neverwinter Nights 2: Original Campa
ign and Mask of the Betrayer
Casavir and Gannayev


I met Casavir battling orcs near Old Owl Well, and he agreed to join my party in the service of Neverwinter. I must admit that I did not take much notice of him at first, and most of the time I left him behind at the Sunken Flagon. As with all the members of my party, of course, I was interested in his story and made friendly conversation with him. But
I was a warlock, and he was a stuffy, boring paladin. I would never have expected there to be anything between us, and though he may have been dropping hints all along, I didn't pick any of them up.

Count on a succubus to play matchmaker. I happened to take Casavir along with me to Ammon Jerro's haven, where the imprisoned succubus Blooden spilled the beans as she taunted Casavir about his feelings for me. I was embarrassed, though not nearly as embarrassed as Casavir. But we had worse things to worry about in that lair, so we moved on. It was only after this encounter with the succubus that I started to realize that I had feelings for Casavir as well. On the calm night before the undead forces of the King of Shadows crashed upon Crossroad Keep, we laid in each other's arms, knowing that with the upcoming battle, it might be our only chance to be together. After defending the keep, we took the fight straight to the lair of the King of Shadows in the Mere of Dead Men. We succeeded in defeating him, but with his death the sanctum collapsed. I blacked out, and when I awoke, I was in Rasheman, thousands of miles from the Sword Coast and my friends, whose fates I had no way of knowing.

In this foreign land, I found I was plagued by a mysterious and terrible curse, and an army of spirits was out to kill me. The Rashemi witches left me to find companions on my own who were willing to face the spirits and my curse, and recommended that I look in the prisons for men desperate enough to help me. And that is where I met Gannayev, Gann-of-Dreams. Where most hagspawn are brutish and ugly, he was beautiful, with a smooth voice speaking honeyed words to melt even the coldest of hearts--and he knew it, too. His mischievous charm was a dangerous mix with his innate ability to touch people's dreams, and he had been jailed for what I understand was essentially preying upon farmers' daughters in their dreams.

During our quest to put an end to my curse, Gann faced the mother who had cast him out on his own as an infant, and she turned out to be the hag but not the monster he had always thought. This relieved him of his jaded outlook on life, softening his heart to realize that he had fallen for me. Meanwhile, I found one of my old companions from Neverwinter who delivered some tragic news: while some of my companions had escaped after our battle with the King of Shadows', Casavir had fallen, crushed as he held up a collapsing passageway so others could get to safety.

Gann admitted his feelings for me before our attack on the City of Judgment, but my heart was still profoundly wounded by the loss of Casavir. I could not return his love. He took this surprisingly well. Once the Betrayer's Curse was ended, we continued to travel together, eventually making our way back to the Sword Coast.

I thought Casavir was really quite a boring character. His history included some sort of secret that prompted him to leave his position as a knight of Neverwinter, but he never gave a satisfactory explanation of this and so mostly didn't make sense to me (I think a proper explanation was among the deleted content of the game). Anyway, I had no idea he was a romance character until that conversation with the succubus at the very end of Act II, which was pretty funny. I was totally weirded out by it at first (the noble paladin wants me? ew), but by the time the romance actually got started, I was willing to go with it.

Gann, in comparison, was attractive from the start, with his pretty face and witty words. Of course, this was tempered by the fact that he was pretty vain and a bit of a pervert, messing around in the dreams of women. But the events of the story changed him significantly, and by the end of the game, I was definitely crushing on him. And I do mean I; though I thought Gann was far more attractive than poor Casavir, because I had invested my character into that Casavir romance, I couldn't see her going for Gann so quickly after learning of the paladin's death (apparent death... there may be more in Storm of Zehir, which I haven't played). Here's where the role-playing comes into the role-playing game, showing that, just as in other media, one can differentiate oneself from one's character in a computer game romance.

Still, I should recognize that this is the only game I have played that allows the player character to have consecutive romances. And while I implied yesterday that Carth is the only romantic interest I've encountered that the player character doesn't sleep with over the course of the game, I believe that even if I had gone through with the Gann romance, there would have been no sex until after the end of the game (Gann and the PC apparently get married in the end story). Also, for those keeping score, I should note that Casavir was the first computer game character that I successfully romanced on my first try. I'm not totally hopeless in the (computer) game of love!

In my next post, find out whom I chose to romance in Mass Effect.

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