I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started playing out the second installment of Seryth’s story. I only knew vaguely that Ezran would be on his trail, while Seryth himself hadn’t died in the final conflict with the spirit of the Nathsyssn.
So what was it that Seryth got up to next, before this inevitable meeting with Ezran? The Nathsyssn had been removed from him, and so he would start to revert back into a truer version of himself than we had seen anywhere before. Who was that self, though? This is what the Shaping of Seryth was to be about.
I know his real self, of course, as the character’s creator, though I regret now that he started showing signs of it as early as Chapter 6. Given the magnitude of the wrongs Seryth has committed, and the length of time the Nathsyssn has been in his head manipulating him, realistically Seryth would have had many years of rethinking his past actions ahead of him, if he ever got to that point of honest self-reflection. He still has a wide selfish streak, after all.
Of course, in Shaping he was given a big push by Eli, as his journey towards discovering himself is manifested quite literally in his stunted soul and that of the whelpling’s. However, I feel like the whelpling, once meant as a metaphor for Seryth’s personal growth as well as his conflicted relationship with his foster father and the Nathsyssn, never quite fulfilled the role I had planned for it. It comes off feeling like Eli used him for her own devious experiments with black dragons, but then she flitted off again before that was ever really given air time, and Seryth never really developed into a relationship with the whelpling beyond worrying about it off and on.
A second issue is the meandering nature of this story. Of course, Seryth’s Story meandered quite a bit too before it found its feet, but there was more conflict and interaction with other characters throughout it. In Shaping, Malfas serves as a useful sounding board for Seryth, but otherwise most of his dialogue is internal. This is where a Living Story Roleplay is perhaps not the proper context to develop a story like this, and Seryth should follow a more thought-intensive conversation or diary-like narrative, similar to the movie “My Dinner with Andre”.
For these problems, as well as the growing Ezran arc about to collide with his, I am putting Seryth on hold, or on “Intermission”. This seems like the appropriate place to do it, as he hunts down more anima for himself in Maldraxxus. I will next be turning back to Ezran and the Search for Seryth, as I prepare for these characters to meet…