One Shot: Silya Tanzin

Artwork by Michael Komarck
Character: Silya Tanzin
Game: Before the Storm, part of the Seven Wonders anthology
Episodes played as: 1
Theme song: none
Key Words: Practical, Focused, Determined

The Champion of Iriya, niece of the previous champion, powerful political figure, mother of three (almost four) children, general of an army, and bonded partner to the heroic prince, Silya Tanzin was a hero. She valued identity, who someone was rather than who others thought they were based on birth or title. At her core, she knew exactly who she was and her purpose in the falling kingdom, and very few things could waiver that confidence.

On Sunday, we played a game of Before the Storm. It's a game about an adventuring party sitting down to dinner, their last dinner, before a great war the next day when only one side will walk away. You use playing cards to determine features. I chose The Champion of Iriya, a leader of armies, passion in politics, and a value of identity. Another player and I also established that we were married, and our marriage had been what dissolved our adventuring party, because we settled down. It was established we had three children, and that we were expecting another, thus my character was pregnant. But only she knew about the pregnancy.

Throughout play, it was discovered that Silya was fairly unforgiving and willing to do whatever it took to keep the kingdom safe. She was raised and given the title of Champion from her aunt before her, and told by a young age that the oncoming battle would be her last. Knowing she was going to die, she didn't want to be the one to wield the sword that would destroy the Stormsworn (the enemy) because she knew she would fall.

With games like Before the Storm and Fall of Magic, I find the game fairly depends upon a very loose, soft way of making characters. There are core things you know, but everything else is up for grabs by other players and leading questions. Sometimes this robs some agency, and sometimes it leads to great ideas. With Silya, I tried to go in with just a few goals for the character once we had generated some vague details. I knew I wanted her relationship with her partner to be strong but not unchangeable, and her determination and skill to be more of her focus than the oncoming doom.

Overall I enjoyed playing Silya. I veer towards characters with sad stories. I tried to make her story one of a hero without tragedy. She was a good soldier, born into privilege, with the skill and knowledge to make herself formidable on the battlefield. There was definitely a fierce understanding and love of her partner, especially since they married when he was still just a farm boy who had proven himself. But her love of him did not interfere with her duty to her people or to the kingdom. She reminded me of a less hot headed Cassandra from Dragon Age, or even Aveline, but Aveline was softer.

Challenge: Play someone who isn't sad or wounded, play someone who doesn't feel the need to help others more than the need to be dutiful, play someone who has poor emotional skills but good political skills.

Successes: Not sad! Very dutiful!

Fails: Was not overly politically compelling. Gotta try that again.


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