[Githyanki Therapy] The One (Character) That Got Away

After my last post I am due for some Githyanki Therapy, a practice I am borrowing from my friend Judd Karlman.

Judd has been playing a game of Burning Wheel (which I’ve been wanting to play for a long time) set in the Forgotten Realms (which I love) and not an update of his goes by without me wishing we had Star Trek transporters, so I could go play with him in New York and then come back home to Miami. Judd asked me on G+ if we were to play a BW game in the Realms, where and what I would like to play. My reply to him took me a bit by surprise and it leads me to my therapy post.

Hal Whitewyrm is the character that got away, the one character I really wanted to play and never got the chance to.

Hal Whitewyrm is a half-elf bard living in Highmoon[ref]Yes, this is where my online nickname comes from.[/ref], in Deepingdale, in the area known as the Dalelands. He has somewhere in his heritage a trace of weredragon[ref]In the D&D 3e edition of the campaign setting, they were renamed Song Dragons.[/ref] blood which gives him orange eyes. He’s a joyful fellow who honestly loves adventuring.

Hal is the character I created back in the early 90s, when I first started to get into AD&D in high school. He’s the character I would constantly recreate during class, the one I would write short stories about, the one who was my avatar in the world of high adventure that are the Realms. He was a shallow character concept[ref]He was originally called Daniel Stephaln Whitewyrm–yeah, talk about transposition–which then changed to Daniel Whitewyrm, and eventually to Hal Whitewyrm.[/ref] with cool orange eyes and a weredragon girlfriend who existed mostly in my 5-subject spiral notebook in story after story. And I loved it.

I just never got to play Hal. My D&D group played Basic D&D/Rules Cyclopedia and we had a fairly regular schedule, so, little time to try out new ideas. Then we played less and less, then I moved, etc. Aside from the fact that I used the name as an email address for some time, I have not gone back to this character in over a decade. Which is why I surprised myself when I answered Judd’s question about what character I would play in a Burning Wheel Realms game as follows:

* I’d play the character I’ve carried with me for years, Hal Whitewyrm, a half-elven bard with weredragon blood in his ancestry (weredragons are a race of female-only shapeshifting wyrms from the Moonshaes – see the thread there?). He’s the guy I wrote stories about in my teens yet never got to play. Hal is all about the romantic journey (as in literary genre, not mass market Harlequin titles), facing adventure in a large world, ideally of the legendary danger kind, with fast friends at his side, a love life to look forward to, and death around him to put it all in perspective. Think Aragorn’s journey, but with a bard who also deals with issues of identity.”

Wow, I’d never really put those ideas into words before but yeah, that’s what Hal is all about for me: exploring the high fantasy romantic character arc; less about killing monsters and taking their stuff, more about zero-to-hero who saves the princess and loses friends along the way.

So, what about you? Which is your character that got away? The one you always wanted to play but didn’t? And what’s their story like?


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