Campaign: River the Heir of Stormguard

Character: River, Heir of Stormguard
Game: Fall of Magic
Episodes: 1
Theme Song: Eivør - Í Tokuni
Keywords: Indomitable, commanding, straightforward

A friend and I decided to play two player Fall of Magic and amped the metal aspect of it to eleven. I made a character type I hadn't played yet in Fall of Magic, which was the warrior, the straight forward sword-bearing fighter who sought to follow and not lead, and yet was a leader of her people.

So I made River, a storm of a woman who had fled her own country because she did not want to usurp her mother even though her mother had gone quite mad, and only women can rule in Stormguard. So River abandoned her twin brother to mind their mother and went on a quest instead to help the Magus go to Umbra.

Her purpose feels unfulfilled. She's avoiding the noose of royalty and would rather journey and see the world than take on the mantle of Queen. In FoM, you're discovering the character as you go. I had no idea what River would be like when I started. All I knew was that she was heir, because both kingdoms, Stormguard and Ravenhall, honour queens. I knew she was distant and didn't question things too much. As long as she wasn't home she was happy.

Of course traveling with the Magus means a lot of self examination, and as we've been moving through the hills and through Barelytown, it's become abundantly clear that while she dislikes her people and her origins, River still feels some strong connection to her homeland. She views much of the land as timid and afraid to face death head on. I had no intention of playing someone who was a valkyrie, and I don't see River as that type.

I do see her though, as a woman afraid of who she is and what she's capable of. She feels that she is still untested, even though she is a legendary hero for the battle of Swinehill. She is a warrior. She can lead her own blade. She can't imagine leading people. I think it's a common trope to watch men struggle to become leaders, but we rarely see that struggle in women, because too often just suck it up and do it.

We're currently in Stormguard, where River is being faced with the choice of dethroning her mother and becoming the new queen, but thus abandoning her quest to help the Magus get to Umbra. And while she juggles all of this in her head, this choice to become who she is supposed to be, she finds herself being quietly drawn to someone her people look down upon. One of the foxes of Mistwood, or, petty thieves of Mistwood, continues to be a steady thorn in River's side, but River constantly protects Caspian despite the agitation the thief brings.

Going forward, I want to show more of the struggle of responsibility and the truth that dethroning her mother may mean killing her mother. Something has happened to the Stormqueen to make the woman go insane. Is part of the women of Stormguard? Was it by accident? It's created a fear of being like her mother in River, and so instead of embracing her role, she will continue to buck it. There's a darkness in her that I'm looking forward to explore as they journey forward and what it will mean to see her in power, or stripped of it, depending on how things happen at Stormguard.

Either way, I know she will not abandon the Magus. She knows he'll need her strength, as it has been foreseen. And she would never abandon a quest.


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