Fade was chosen as a name for my elven bowmaiden character, because I wanted a short memorable word that embodied elusive precision with a bow. Alone, she would be a hunter, long ranged kills, that would come out of no-where and be unseen. I latched onto the idea that her ability in a forest to meld into the background and stalk from the tree canopy. I searched long and hard for a word that would symbolise this blending in to her natural environment. She fades into the forest. And there we had it. Her first name. Fade.
With her surname, I wanted to celebrate the bow. But I wanted to incorporate some sort of darkness into her personality, she was to hunt by the light of the moon. Dare I say it, to flit between the shadows of the Twilight. Again, the imagery of the crescent moon, lent itself very well to the arched bow. Thus Fade Moonbow was born.
In Fade’s very first outing as a roleplaying character, on a Neverwinter Nights Persistent Server (ShadowRealm), she was cruelly affected by a bug in the game, that had her head disappear! This torment so young in her development was crafted into a backstory of some sort, and became her right of passage amongst the community on the server. Here are the snippets of story I poorly penned all those years ago.
Fade was a most beautiful elven girl, her natural visage typified the elven race, everyone would comment on it, everyone from dwarf to Orc could appreciate it. She was blessed, some would say. As she grew and nurtured a desire to protect the good from the terrors of these uncertain times.
She took up the bow, and she indulged her passion for the living breathing arched wood that could seal the darkness in light. Dark things shuffled in the twilight, they colluded and plotted against her. One particular nightwitch begrudged the perfection in Fade’s face. This hag managed to take possession of a lock of Fade hair, from the claws of an aspiring demonic werewolf, some epidermal skin attached to the hair, gave the dreary sorcerer enough source biological material to concoct a curse to bring Fade’s enlightenment to an end.
It was during an evening celebration of elvensong, when Fade danced amongst the most handsome of elven men, that the hag laid down her shrouded curse. As soon as the curse had taken hold, Fade’s head disappeared from view. Her beauty vanished. As the startled onlookers stumbled to a halt, Fade was a headless body prancing carelessly among them. Some let out yelps of fear, some shouted curses of their own, a bedevilment lay before us. Fade stopped and stared at the moonlit reflection in the elven fountain of life. Her heart dipped into the water and floated away. She threw a woolen cape over her head and fled to her house, to collect all she could carry, her bow taking pride of place as her crutch to carry her burden away from these beautiful people. Since then, she has been reviled as a creature of evil, even though her true nature is one of pure good.
She stumbled into ShadowRealm, and was befriended by a Sister of the Light, a young cleric girl, who went by the name of Sister Ann Bright. Her purity lifted Fade from the darkness of headless monstrosity, and she was brought before the divine misttress Sweetblade. Since her bow was still sturdy, Sweetblade conjured an archers helm, for Fade to wear to cover the shame of the curse. Fade’s tears now drip silently behind a metallic prison, but her search to retrieve her identity and blessed beauty will never end.
(I installed the CEP head pack into my overide directory, then created Fade on the ShadowRealms Sweetblade server, no one can see my head – although I could. So I ditched the head pack files from the overide directory and now I can’t see my head. I’m guessing I’ve created a character with a non standard head and now its not being displayed – is there a way to somehow alter the head of an existing character? If not, I’m guessing Fade’s roleplay will have to be the explanation for her apparent deformity – which might not be a bad thing.)
Really enjoyed playing on the SR Sweetblade server BTW. keep up the good work, everyone.
As the character was being moulded through adversity, I began to enjoy writing about her, and so penned another ode detailing her “cure”.
A mighty conjurer telepathically connected with Fade’s Elven senses on a higher plane of existence. The mystic promised a cure for her curse, but only after a physical and spiritual purging, could this remedy be applied. With some in trepidation, Fade agreed to be metaphysically transported to the conjurer’s shelter. The thought of being able to breath fresh forest air without the metallic twang from behind the helmet was enough to make her almost giddy. She slipped into the ethereal atmosphere for little beyond a second and appeared before the mighty conjurer with a jolt of her soul that shook her nerves for one moment. She clasped her bow tighter as if only it could protect her now. The conjurer was soft spoken and looked remarkably younger than she’d first expected.
The purge must begin before we can lift the curse. Quickly she shed all her equipment, removing the helmet to reveal the grotesque sight of her almost decapitated naked body. She trembled as deposited her bow, her only source of comfort through the years before. Her last vestige of self. The kind conjurer waved a little, with slight of hand, and Fade dropped to the floor asleep. She dreamt of nothing, in fact the purge itself seemed to be one big black hole with no escape. Emptiness. No sooner had she forgotten who she was, lost in some macabre wilderness, then she was wide awake again. Fully clothed in rough leather, it took her a moment to readjust. She could not remember her name. Who was she?
Another slight of hand from the conjurer and she was climbing steps, re-learning everything she had once known, her archery skills tingled in her fingertips, she smelt the sweet smell of the yew and fresh sap covering of her bow, she could pinch the fibres from her bowstring and remember how to nock arrows in rapid succession. She was overcome with empathy for the animals of the world, she longed to call her forest mate Bara the Brown Bear, she longed to comfort him with her song again. As incredibly dizzying as it was, it was also reassuring that she could feel the seasons mature within her, climbing her body like rampant ivy, as the conjurer dropped his hand to his sides, the process was done. Fade had become whole again. She clutched her face, picked up a potion bottle and peered within the reflection. Her beautiful face was there again, shining back at her, almost luminescent. she could see her nose if she crossed her eyes. She danced. The conjurer chuckled.
It was to tears of joy that she said her farewell to the conjurer, reseating her arrows, and adjusting her armour, she was ready again to face the world, with all its dangers, but this time she could hold her head up high, this time she could smile at those she loved and grimace at those she loathed, and her enemies filled with darkness and hate would see the elven piousness on her face as she filled them with arrows of justice.
The conjurer, his name was Kai, and she vowed to name her firstborn after him, in memory of his deeds that day.
The actual bug in the game content triggered in me a desire to pursue the development of these character in and out of roleplaying games. I started to enjoy the descriptive and explorative writing. Massaging my imagination, and giving life to heroic characters of my choosing. It wasn’t long before I was off in other games, bringing Fade along with me. Over the years she has evolved, but there is a core of her personality that stays with me. The dark huntress. The bowmaiden. Wielding a moon shaped bow.