Posted by: Jess Riley | September 1, 2008

Theme Week Romance: The Undead Part Two

I’m sure you all remember my post earlier this week about The Undead, and their ability to feel love and get into romantic plots.

Now, despite my post being essentially about why I feel this is difficult to do properly, our administrator has asked me to write up to three romance plots for the Forsaken. I can only assume this is my punishment for suggesting this week’s theme.

So, for your consideration, here are two plot ideas for roleplaying romance in the Forsaken, based on the points I made in my previous post.

1. Hey, you look familiar!

So, your Forsaken has just arisen from the grave, as it were, and his mind is a hotbed of psychological trauma – memories of his wife, his young daughter, his old friends and family in life are intermingled with the memories of their dead bodies, of his own death, of the death of others at his hands. He’s reflecting on all this, when he sees someone approaching. Her skin is off-colour and rotting away at the joints, her hair is matted and something has started growing in it. And yet for all that, something about her manner, her facial structure, her voice… reminds him awfully of his wife that died in his arms.

Of course, it’s not the same woman at all – she doesn’t have the faintest idea who he is, she shares completely different memories, of a different time and a different place – but he’s lost so much and he wants his wife to live on in this new woman. He calls her by the wrong name sometimes and refuses to let her out of his sight if he can possibly avoid it – after all, this is his dear, lost Wendy! Er, Tricia. Yes, her name’s Tricia, isn’t it? Sorry about that.

It’s entirely probable he doesn’t do any more with her than share memories and stick by her side at all times, violently if necessary. The important thing isn’t their physical relationship, but the love that they share and the fact that Wen – Tricia is his again.

(To say the least, this isn’t a healthy relationship. He’s firmly stuck in the Denial stage of the grief process, and shows no sign of coming out onto the other side, and probably with a side of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Some might say that calling this ‘romance’ is pushing the term a little far, but if you protest this, I refer all complaints to Blogatelle.)

2. The way we were…

Perhaps it’s happened after a whole lot of searching, maybe they rose at the same time – but either way, somehow your Forsaken has been reunited with their spouse, who also happens to be Forsaken. It may be unlikely, but it’s happened, somehow!

Maybe, their relationship before death was wonderfully romantic. They looked out for one another, bought each other little gifts, and left notes for each other to show how much in love they were. They stayed up all night, just to watch the sunrise together.

Maybe their relationship wasn’t all that, but being reunited when they both thought it was hopeless made them vow that they’d start doing all these wonderful things for one another.

There’s just one hitch to this great plan. They’re just not really feeling it anymore. They’re thinking love and romance – there’s little notes left all over the place to remind people of their love, he gives her so many bouquets of flowers you’re wondering where she possibly keeps them all, and both their bank vaults are filled to the brim with little gifts ‘just to show I was thinking of you’. They’re really good at thinking romance.

They’re just not in love anymore.

It’s not because they’ve found other people – they’ve just completely lost the ability to really love one another. To some extent, all these little gifts, these notes, these flowers… they’re over-compensating for the feelings that have been sapped by death.

(This plot can be taken in two main ways: either they’ll eventually admit that the love is gone, through no fault of their own (and either amicably break apart, or remain ‘friends’, insofar as they can), or they’ll live in denial for years, trying desperately to hang on to something that just isn’t there anymore. This can be either sweet, in its own way, or desperately heartbreaking, depending on how it’s played out.)

 

Originally, I was going to include a third point, which was the ‘psychologically healthy’ option – but really, I think that’s rare, non-specific and boring. Any race can have ‘psychologically healthy’ love, so I thought I’d stick with my take on Forsaken-specific options for this post.

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