Ecdysis of a Sylvari

As you may know I’m playing with the idea of changing the way my Mesmer Nieninque looks. I used to love pure white characters, trying my best to design at least one toon this way in any game I play. I feel like this is changing, it’s something that was part of my past self – but I’m older and a little wiser now and I greatly appreciate diversity in general. So it’s no surprise to me that I want to get rid of the old habit of making so many characters look the same.

This is not the only reason though. All of a sudden something about her just looked off to me. Maybe it’s because her personality takes more and more shape in my head, so my original design may not suit her that well anymore. She’s too tall, generally not as delicate as I’d like her to be. Like a fragile little… Banshee? Something along these lines. Finding affordable weapon designs that don’t look utterly stupid on her bright and shiny body is another thing that drives me a little crazy right now.

Her current appearance.
Her current appearance.

The idea is that Nieninque, a child of the Dream with a rather unstable personality, feels empty on the inside. She’s seeking to fill that void but doesn’t really understand what is missing. She doesn’t know what exactly she is looking for and the uncertainty weakens her by the day. Her black, almost hollow looking eyes are symbolic for the emptiness and hunger within her.

She attracts the attention of the Nightmare Court, luring her into following them; they promise her to give her life a purpose, to soothe her pain. They can easily break her will, transforming her into one of their own – and this is what I now want to show with her new looks.

nini edit 1
Dark Imp mode activated! (This is a test toon I created; I didn’t buy the Total Makeover Kit yet.)
She kinda looks like a Drow. I like Drows.
She kinda looks like a Drow. I like Drows.

I chose various hues of purple, black and blue with small amounts of white as a reminder of her past (well, she is still called Snowdrop after all, see below). These colours would be incorporated in the armour and weapon skins too of course.

nini edit 3
The armor is no problem, I have those pieces already… but the weapons? /whimper

My only real problem with this (other than the fact that I feel bad about wanting to change her) is that it’s kind of a stretch to say she experienced a physical transformation after joining the Nightmare Court, speaking from an RP perspective. As far as I know no such thing has canonically happened before, so I have to come up with a better explanation. Something like this:

After she recovered from her miserable state – fueled by her newly gained confidence and purpose in life – she decided that her body should reflect the change of her mind. She replaced her old armour and weapons and covered her skin in dark pollen and lichen so it would conceal her pure white body from head to toe. The only spots she couldn’t alter were the leaves on her head, which would immediately shed everything she wanted to cover them with… and her dark, hollow eyes of course.

That sounds a little half-baked, doesn’t it? Perhaps I should consult some veteran roleplayers.

At any rate, I could undo the changes if I wanted to, right? So no harm done. I already bought her a Name Change Contract for RP reasons. When I created her I named her Ayy Amersu, which is the name of my SWTOR merc. I thought it was a good idea to make myself recognizable through this, but I was oh so wrong. My little roleplayer heart cried and I came to the conclusion that I will never be happy with characters that I just ‘copy/pasted’ from another game. They have to be unique, period. (This also lets me question my decision to resurrect Ethuiliel in ESO.)

That’s why I came up with Nieninque, the Quenya word for snowdrop. Ninque (quen. pale, white) was an option too, but I felt like the more complex name suits her better. Turns out this was a good decision, because after the transformation it wouldn’t have made much sense anymore. It’s also different from my other Sylvaris’ names, which are all Gaelic, because Nini herself is…well, a misfit as I explained above. She’s my little twisted salad.


Published by

sally e. goldfinch

Level 24 biologist. Has a weakness for non-humans, beer and voices lower than a 100 Hertz.

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