Not especially. She’s fairly agnostic, starting Knight Errant with no larger purpose or plan, and no real sense of faith in anything save her own choices and actions. She’s growing, however, and may give a longer look at the Chant and the Elven beliefs later in her life.
Post by nunziodefilippis on Apr 3, 2019 2:42:16 GMT
Sorry to use words that spark such frenzied speculation.
All I mean by it is this:
Vaea was created for the comics. I have not been told who is a companion and who is not, but they do not tell us what we can or can’t do with Vaea the way they would if she were currently planned as a companion, so my assumption is no. But I honestly don’t know if they’ve figured out all companions, so don’t read anything more into my words than that.
Since I don’t know that, I will write her as a comic protagonist, not a game companion.
BioWare will do with her what they will. I can’t say what this is or isn’t. If I gave any impression either way, I apologize.
Some elves have a certain nostalgia for Arlathan, while others don't really care.
Does Vaea have any sort of interest in these legends?
Vaea doesn't know enough about elven history, language or lore to feel a sense of loss. She mourns the opportunities and lives that her people could live today that they're denied, rather than any history they may have lost (which coincidentally would make her very immune to the appeal of Solas' plans - though her dislike of killing people would also make his plans very problematic).
Post by nunziodefilippis on Apr 1, 2019 6:34:09 GMT
With Vaea, we feel like we're building her connection and ties instead of exploring/revealing old ones.
Her backstory is local to Edgehall, though the conditions there are emblematic of the lives of alienage elves. So it has relevance to any elf who grew up like that, but is specific to her and that town and her uncle's Dalish clan, and that's about as far as her reach goes for the first 14 years of her life.
With her connection to Ser Aaron comes a connection to the throne of Ferelden (King Alistair in the main canon). And their travels together have taken them to many different nations, and brought her in contact with people and organizations of huge importance. We can pull from that backstory to, say, forge a connection with the Empress of Orlais, if need be.
But these comics are where we're weaving her into the society. She works (on the downlow) for the Inquisition now, and counts the Viscount of Kirkwall among her friends. She has struck up an acquaintance with the King of Starkhaven, who may be a little smitten with her. She just left Ventus in the company of a mage whose family is plugged into the Venatori, and her group (though not her, per se) ran into and worked briefly with a pair of Antivan Crows.
In many ways, we wanted to avoid giving her too much of a connection to the factions of this world at the start, because we wanted her to find her way through the world and learn about it through these stories. So while her travels with Ser Aaron in backstory can provide connections and ties as needed, we're more likely to forge new ones for her in these comics than pull old ones from backstory. We'll do more of that (backstory ties) for Ser Aaron, because he's been so many places and seen and done so much.
That's our thinking with her, anyway. She's not a game companion at this time, and we have no idea if she ever will be. She's the central character of these comics, though - the one pulling the various miniseries together. Her journeys are just getting started. so we're building her story instead of revealing it. If that makes sense.
Her uncle had the goat eyes too. It’s obvious what happened: many decades or perhaps centuries ago, one of Vaea’s ancestors trapped a demon in a goat and it cursed their children to have goat eyes. And that’s how we got Lord Woolsey.
One day I hope to write an entire Lord Woolsey meets Autumn the Mabari miniseries. I think you may have given me a big piece of the plot!
I happen to notice that Vaea, an elf in a world where being an elf has definitely mattered, is only helping other elves with her robin hooding.
and I see HER as specifically more racially motivated to help the poor elves as compared to Sera's sort-of robin hooding. I also see her hurting the very people who gave her "honest work" because they were more well off than her. I see her as possibly hurting Ser Aaron and by association, Fereldan, as she gleefully robs High Nobles like Empress Celene. And I find that selfish, regardless of her race. Because she could start a war or an upset that could lead to many people being injured and killed if she had been caught. But "the prize" the burning desire of hers to "win" against those with more (who are everyone, not just nobles, because she robbed a fruit stand merchant too) to make "them" pay-- because her alienage was cleansed with swords and fire... And all of the "them"s we see are human... leads me to my conclusion about her character.
But I think her relationship with Ser Aaron, her growth, has maybe lead to her letting go some of that "them" hatred. And her skills are being focused on better tasks through manipulations of the inquisition and Ser Aaron's belief in her that she can be a bigger better person.
I think I missed some of this way back when it was posted because it got rerouted into a discussion of the rules of the forum. But I do want to speak to it now, if that isn't too much of reviving a dead thread.
Vaea absolutely began her "heroics" helping only elves. It's a response to her backstory. But the Inquisition doesn't focus on one race over another, and working to help them is building off what she was already developing by traveling with Ser Aaron, which is broadening her sense of heroism.
Her arc is not complete yet, but that's her trajectory.
We never thought of her as "selfish" per se. But it was a shortcoming on her part. In Knight Errant, my one regret about our writing is that we didn't do enough to set up why she says "after this job we go our separate ways." That was a response to seeing how her thefts had caused problems for Ser Aaron. Even if she thought him an arrogant drunk, deep down she knew he was a good man. And once it became clear that he knew, it meant she'd be asking him to compromise his morality or even lie (or assault people like Granger) to cover for her. And she realized that she wasn't comfortable with that.
Then when he was willing to take the punishment for her crimes, it all fell into place for her in terms of how inadvertently selfish her actions had been.
So what you were picking up on was designed as a flaw in the character that she grows out of. Not sure we anticipated it being seen as making her unlikeable, per se. Just in need of growth, if that distinction makes sense.
Incidentally, may I ask if Florian and Francesca’s father is alive? Your comments suggest so, but it occurs to me that maybe he died in the invasion.
Francesca's father's fate will be explored if and when we get a chance to write her again. He was away from the city during the events of Deception. So, he likely was not there when the Qunari invaded.
One of the things I found odd about the continued importance of the Venatori as bad guys after DAI was that I thought their whole reason for existing was Corypheus, the Elder One. They were his organisation and he was their leader. They were essentially supporting a living god who would restore Tevinter to supremacy. So when that god is proven both fallible and killable, it does rather destroy your reason for existing.
Now I can see surviving members of the organisation reforming under a different name, still having the goal of restoring Tevinter to glory, but to my mind the name Venatori is now associated with failure and why would anyone want to buy into that?
As I said, I'm not sure what Bioware's plans are for the Venatori. But Christina and I write them as if they're semi-defunct. They know each other and are avoiding persecution. That's why Florian is frustrated with Francesca - she was trying to find allies, when he and their father are trying to lie low.
Various families within the Venatori may still have plans, and they may use the old network to make things happen. But we're not writing them as if they are still active players as an organization. More like they were conspirators in a conspiracy that failed and they still look out for one another, but they're not really trying to get the old band back together.
Again, that's our take, and we write it so it can work either way in case Bioware has other plans. They sign off on everything we write, so thus far it's worked.
Post by nunziodefilippis on Jan 3, 2019 23:52:08 GMT
I certainly can't speak to Bioware's future plans for the Venatori. But to me, they're pretty evil, and it'd be hard to redeem the name into something better. Not saying Calpernia's evil - she's that perfect Dragon Age shade of grey. But the Venatori? I think of them as pretty bad.
Interesting that Francesca wasn’t originally going to join the group. I’m glad that she did. While I like Calix and Olivia, I found her being the character introduced in Deception that I was most interested in seeing more of.
Sometimes when we write, we discover things that surprise us. Francesca was built to be a complication - the crimes of Calix and Olivia catching up with them at exactly the wrong time (the break-in). As we wrote her, we realized we wanted to do more with her, so we restructured the final issue to change her role and have her leave with the team.
There was something intriguing about someone desperate to prove her worth to her family, unaware that her family is made up of the bad guys. Sort of a less noxious Draco Malfoy, I guess.
Sean Teale was who we suggested as a model for Calix, so I hear his voice when we write Calix' lines, even though Calix is a bit goofier than Marcos in the Gifted.
nunziodefilippis Is that what the artist went with in the final version? So Calix is not meant to be South Asian? Or non-white at all?
Sean Teale is of Venezuelan and Spanish descent (with some Welsh thrown in as well), so he's definitely not white. The artist's final version of Calix is his own creation, but I see traces of Sean Teale's features in there, so I think our suggestion influenced the design, but isn't at the heart of it.
I’m curious what voices Christina and Nunzio have in mind for Ser Aaron and the various characters in Deception now.
Ser Aaron's prototype in our gaming campaign was much younger and visualized as Nathan Fillion. So now, I picture Fillion doing a British accent and sounding a bit older and worn for wear. But Christina hears the voice of Colm Wilkinson (the original Valjean from the musical version of Les Miserables), and that works very well for me too.
Olivia's voice is Diane Lane, as she was our inspiration for her.
Sean Teale was who we suggested as a model for Calix, so I hear his voice when we write Calix' lines, even though Calix is a bit goofier than Marcos in the Gifted.
Francesca we don't have a specific voice actor in mind for. Anyone want to suggest any options?
The question in the other thread was asked because players/readers are suspecting that Calix is a human "Zevran". A promiscuous bisexual and to add to the repeat, a promiscuous bisexual with a preference for women especially. Hanako had originally held him up as the first Promiscuous STRAIGHT person, as he's only obviously chasing skirts in the comic. But there is apparently a single panel of dialogue with a random guard-- "what a night!" -- that implies* that Calix maybe boffed the guard.
*only if you're looking for it I guess, I don't even remember this panel and very much felt like Calix was just a young horny teenager type that would bang any girl if he had the chance after his restricted life of slavery. I don't even think he's promiscuous.
Wasn't looking for it as much as it being a standard way to subtly reveal homosexual inclinations in literally all media ever by offhandedly including it in one scene (or in this case one panel).
I suppose it takes someone who has been exposed to it enough, as I picked it up right away, especially with that cheeky grin that Calix had in the very same panel.
But I'm not hinging on it. It could very well been an "act" (they are rogues after all). So yea... another Zevran.
When we wrote that panel, our thought was that the night in question was about hooking the guard up with fun - buying him drinks/getting him drunk, and maybe even getting him laid. But not being the one to have sex with the guard.
Now, since we didn't specify, I suppose we could revisit it one say and say it meant something else. But that's our current thinking. Sorry for the unintended implication of bisexuality.
nunziodefilippis It came up in another conversation elsewhere in the thread, but I was wondering if you could please tell us what sexual orientations you and Christina had in mind for Calix and Francesca when writing them? I know you said Ser Aaron was straight and Vaea so far isn’t sexually attracted to anything, so hopefully you could clarify the two new members to this party.
In our mind, Calix is straight. He has no idea how to form a healthy relationship, but is relatively convinced it's women he's into. Clearly, he sees no difference between hitting on a human female and an elven one, and I suspect that would extend to Qunari and Dwarven females as well (though right now, he'd probably not be all that interested in a Qunari).
Francesca? Not sure yet. When we first plotted the miniseries, we didn't plan for Francesca to join the group, so we hadn't mapped her out as much. She has a type, as her brother suggests Calix fits that type - so she's attracted to men. Not sure if she's bisexual. She might be, but I'd need to discuss with Christina.
It's not so much the drinking as what him quitting drinking represents. At the end of Knight Errant they make a pact with each other to help each other out since as the writers said they need each other, and part of that was Aaron quits drinking. Aaron is a man who always keeps his word and never wants to let people down, but then the only time he breaks his word is with Vaea which even becomes worse when he says things like "Maybe you're not inspiration enough". To someone who saw AAron as inspiration and changed her life because of it and him only breaking the promise he made with her, it felt like a betrayal.
Deaths to people I met an hour ago are pretty meaningless to me.
Well, a couple of things in response to that.
The first is that hopefully, you've spent more than an hour. Comics certainly can be "binge-read" by downloading all issues once a mini is complete, or reading a collected version. But as an art form, they were designed to come out in regular installments, and the time between issues is part of how we process them.
Three issues of a miniseries should mean you spent two months with the story and the characters.
There may be writers who "write for the trade" and write a comic assuming it'll be read all at once. Christina and I have never done that.
Still, we know that many people read that way, and our writing needs to work for everyone, so the larger point stands: you say you can't invest in a character enough in an hour to make that character's death meaningful. That brings me to my second point.
I don't think that's true. If it were, you'd never have cared about the death of anyone who didn't make it through most of the movie they were in.
Ben Kenobi in Star Wars: A New Hope? Only in the movie for about an hour.
Captain Dallas in Alien? About an hour.
Mufasa in Lion King? About 30 minutes.
The wife in Up? About 3 minutes.
Each of these deaths (and many more) impacted the audience despite the audience having spent about an hour, and often a lot less, with them.
I get wanting a deep dive in your stories, and favoring novels. I totally do. But I don't think you should dismiss the power of a death that comes a bit faster, in a form that doesn't allow that deep of a dive.
Those deaths impacted people. The death in our book didn't impact you. I think the blame there needs to fall not on the format, but on our writing. It didn't work for you, and I'm sorry for that. I just don't want you giving up on a medium (comics) and a format (short miniseries) that holds a lot of potential great stories because this one didn't impact as much as you'd have liked.
It was an artists' choice. However, I'm not opposed to the idea that he had a little of the Red Lyrium's influence still affecting him (not Bartrand level, but still). Something to think about, I suppose...
On Calix: Yep, he's an idiot. And yep, this is his origin story. We wrote this as his story hidden as his mentor's story (which is why we opened Issue 1 with a flash forward to her final moments, and why after Issue 1, Olivia's voiceover style captions drop out). Olivia's death will change him going forward.
On Gaius (the fake Magister Qintara): He has been reporting to Fen'Harel. But that doesn't mean he's ever met him, nor that Solas has the slightest idea of how Gaius or other of his agents refer to him. Just as Vaea works for the Inquisition but has never met the Inquisitor, Gaius was recruited by an agent who was themselves likely recruited by an agent. He was a slave his whole life, and while he is thrilled to be working for an ancient god reawakened, he doesn't have training in exactly what that entails - he's just been giving information to his fellow agents. I can say with absolute certainty... Fen'Harel would not even have approved of the trading of the weapon for information. But Gaius' mandate was information, so when the weapon was in his hands, he saw it as just another tool to get that information.
As to the weapon... you'll have to wait and see what it is. But we've been setting this particular MacGuffin in motion since the first issue of Knight Errant.
Lastly, Slim... Ser Aaron is not a noble. He's landless and doesn't even have a coat of arms or crest that'd be recognizable. The pendant Olivia stole from Ser Aaron has an image of a Mabari on it. In Ferelden, that's hardly a unique symbol. So what Slim bought was a pendant given by the King to someone, with no real indication which of dozens of minor nobles it could have been. So he bought it. But only afterwards did he realize that Alistair had given a pendant like that to Ser Aaron, and that Olivia had been seen with Ser Aaron.
And stealing from a landless Knight who stands up for the common people at every turn goes against everything Slim Couldry stands for.
And yeah, Olivia knew he'd eventually realize this, so she chose to steal from Couldry instead of Aaron.
I'm curious about the design choice for Vaea's eyes. It is a minor change for the elves' anatomy, but a surprising one regardless.
And what about Uncle Coran's vallaslin? Is that a new design? It reminds me of Tamlen's, but it's slightly different.
Vaea's eyes were an artist's choice. I don't believe they represent a shift in how elven anatomy works. So far as I know, anyway.
As for Coran's vallaslin, I think they are meant to be in the same pattern as Tamlen. However, I admit that Christina and I were focused on him not having them in his first scene and having gained them by his second, so we didn't specify the pattern for the artist and in retrospect I wish I had. There's another character that we've been talking about (for something I cannot discuss) whose vallaslin we got very specific about, because every detail matters in such a lore-driven world.
Post by nunziodefilippis on Nov 30, 2018 20:39:39 GMT
In regards to Vaea's speaking voice, the ideal voice actor (in my mind) is Freema Agyeman. She is who we sent as a reference photo during the character design stage. And while the design doesn't really look like her, and I quite like how she does look, in my head I still hear Freema's voice (as I heard during her time in Doctor Who, since I know she's sounded different in other shows) whenever we're writing Vaea's dialogue.