Thursday, March 20, 2014

Kirtan "Muffin" Osbaston

Fair warning: we're getting into my OCs here. You might want to just back away slowly and go read someone else's blog for a while. Maybe George R. R. Martin's Not a Blog, in case you're into Game of Thrones and New York football teams (although that's probably not a big deal right now, since football season is over).

If you really want to hear about my OC, though, read on.

Kirtan Osbaston was conceived as a D&D character for my friend Aaron's first campaign, Valendia. He was actually my second character in that campaign, the first being a poorly developed half-orc cleric whose name is lost to time.

At his heart, Kirtan was conceived to break stereotypes: while many fantasy characters tend, Kirtan had a happy, loving family back home. True to the idea of calling the class "rogue" instead of "thief," Kirtan was more of a spy or scout than a burglar.

According to his backstory, Kirtan is the son of an old soldier and a shopkeeper, and he was expected to enlist when he came of age. He joined the army as expected, but he refused to be broken down and rebuilt into an obedient soldier as is custom. He wasn't skilled enough of a swordsman to earn a pass, and his authority problems prevented him from becoming a leader in his own right. Instead, he was simply shifted from troop to troop, picking up the nickname "Muffin" early on.

Finally, he got placed in a scouting squad and found a superior he respected. He served with them for years, learning wilderness survival, how to infiltrate enemy territory, guerrilla tactics, and, perhaps most importantly, teamwork and social skills. Though he learned to be self-sufficient, Kirtan thrived in a group.

When the party from Valendia found him, Kirtan had been out of the army for some time. He had a pet dog named Gently, and they took care of each other. The garb, preference for bows, and his "animal companion" gave people the impression he was a Ranger, though his use of wands and scrolls hinted at some Sorcerer or Wizard training. Regardless, nothing much about Kirtan suggested he was a Rogue which, really, is as it should be.

I have been using Kirtan and Gently in video games ever since. I would go so far as to say that Kirtan is the closest character to myself, but I'm not sure that's true. Kirtan is a loner, kind of a jerk to most adults, but oddly kind to children. I think that, after playing him for so long, I started taking on many of his traits, probably because I enjoyed being him so much. Though I was never quite able to take on his affinity for dogs.

He is my default name for Link in Zelda games and, really, any game in which the hero is male and gets to be named.

Likewise, my pets are always named Gently. I don't have any plans to get a real pet any time soon, but in the meantime I've named my Roomba Gently.

The name "Kirtan" is taken from a short-lived villain in a few Star Wars Expanded Universe novels, Kirtan Loor. He and Kirtan share no other traits, I just liked the name.

"Osbaston" was, I believe, the first case in what became a trend of pulling last names from The Meaning of Liff, a book of definitions for words that don't exist but should. Osbaston is defined as "A point made for the seventh time to someone who insists they know exactly what you mean but clearly hasn't got the faintest idea."

The nickname "Muffin" was simply something I thought was funny at the time.

"Gently" is the last name of the detective Dirk Gently, the main character of a couple of mystery novels by Douglas Adams.

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