For those who are not aware, my first character in Gothic Earth is retiring. I believe that Scott is going to keep him around to use for his own undoubtedly nefarious purposes, but essentially, I am done with him. There were many reasons behind it, but there was just a single overriding reason above all others: I found myself unwilling to continue with him. I have listed to Scott (and a little bit to the res of the group) a few of the ancilliary reasons for his exit, and I assure you all that all reasons I gave were absolutely true. They just weren't the whole reason, and even this now isn't the whole story, to be honest (and I have indicated that to Scott). There are other reasons, more personal, that I haven't talked about, and I'm not starting now!

Anyhow, that's that. I do apologize (and I have) to Scott for having my character leave. I do have another character coming in (Gao!), but still it made things difficult for Scott, who kind of has to change things a bit. And, what I think is worst of all, I kind of put it on Scott, too. After saying that I really didn't want to play Celio, I said that I would though, if he wanted me to. I think, deep down, I knew he'd never make me play a character I wasn't comfortable with any longer, and I should never have done that. It was really a dick move on my part, and I am sorry now.

Anyhow, I thought, since Celio is on his way out, I'd throw out here some of the little quirks that he had, or weird things that went into his creation, and similar stuff like that. It will be a pretty boring read, mostly, to be honest, but I want to do it anyways.

And, obviously, Scott, when you use Celio for your own purposes, you are not beholden to anything I would have done, oir to made him be the way I had him. He is yours as soon as he makes his in-game exit.

It starts with a name. Celio means "Heavenly" and Parisi, in one interpretation I found, indicates a connection to Paris, the Trojan, not the City. I thought it was appropriate for a stunningly beautiful violinist! :) He was from Italy, because, darn it, that's where all the good musicians seemed to be from around that period! I think Europe was just one big musician factory!

He was from Caligari, in Sardinia, which is part of modern-day Italy. His father died in a battle to, essentially, get "Italy" united and get foreigners out. Truthfully, Italy never did get the Pope out, but I think things are much better now than they were back then. Honestly, I at first wondered if I would have problems with the catholic contingent in the party, but I decided not to push the issue. I really wanted to avoid conflicting too greatly with the party, especially as I feel like I am jumping into an established group. I didn't want to hop in and mess up the dynamics, you know? Maybe I should have. Who knows?

Scott, never let me know either way on the truth of the next part, ok? When I created this character, I was listening to the Chess soundtrack (great musical, absolutely my favorite, and I wish I would have had a chance to see it performed back in the day!). That's why Celio's birth date was 1866 (the year (debated) that Wilhelm Steinitz became what is now considered the first chess grandmaster) and the year he decided to go to America was 1894 (the year that Emmanuel Lasker became the second chess Grandmaster). And sure enough, we end up playing chess with the bad guys in this episode! Did Scott plan that on purpose? I would love to think he did, and I tip my hat to his catching the most subtle of all hints if he did!! I only wish my chess playing ability was anywhere close to my knowledge of the history of chess!

The other thing was his womanizing! I intended that Celio's womanizing was almost entirely made up by the women. I wanted him to have this horrible horrible reputation (based on the history I gave, which I assumed the other players would read), but that it would all be false. Part of the Simply Irrestible flaw he had. The trouble was that I kind of got myself into a corner in the game. After the Baltimore chapter, Celio was a little bit wrecked emotionally. He really really felt bad about his part in the destruction of Madeline Usher (which is why he was so so unwilling to let go of the picture, and also the biggest reason that he jumped into the pool of blood to try to save Katerina (which would have evened the balance for him in his mind), even though he could not swim). This is also part of why he didn't have any kind of "relations" with the nurse at La Lumiere's safe house..he was too emotional still. Then, in Philadelphia, he tried to use Samantha (the waitress) to try to find a way to get into the Hellfire Club, things got way out of Celio's control. He was told by the boss that he better do a good job, because Samantha's job was on the line (it was strongly hinted, if not said directly, as I recall, but I might have misinterpreted what Scott was saying), and then Samantha, as part of her flirtations, after Celio said he owed her, said that she could think of a way he could start that repayment. Celio (as I was playing him) was backed into a corner right there. He was still emotionally raw from Madeline, he felt tremendous pressure not to get Samantha fired (he does have a thing about women, you might recall), and Samantha upped the ante by essentially hinting to Celio that he owed her. I don't think Celio could have possibly not have had something happen (which, although Scott kind of glossed over it, certainly did). This changed the character for me (another part of my decision to leave him behind, honestly, but a very minor one at best), because he had gone from being the maligned rake with the clear conscience, to the dirty womanizer who fooled around with a waitress in the back of a restaurant. That's how I felt at least. Although the change made me uncomfortable (and although I have a feeling Scott would say that this is even more of a reason to continue playing him, because of this great character building opportunity, and a great change in his thought process, and so on), I do congratulate Scott on being such a great storyteller that he got me to that point in the game, whether it was intentional or not. Kudos! :)

Oh, and I never read Katerina's background before I wrote my own, and I'm not sure if she read mine before she wrote hers, but I think it's great that we both had a Father Moretti in our pasts!!! I wonder if we actually had a person in common in our character's pasts! I meant to ask Melissa about that, but I don't think my e-mails get to her. My e-mail is weird that way sometimes... If she did put that person in there purposely, I'm sorry it never came up in game. That would have been funky cool!! :)

Anyhow, it will be Gao from here out, I suppose. Anyone has any particular questions/comments/concerns, let me know, and I will address them. Except for questions that I already said above I wouldn't answer.

Song of the day: "Eyes of a Stranger" - Queensryche. I have Operation:Mindcrime in my car, and this is, depending on the day, my favorite Queensryche song. (This is one of those bands where different songs resonate with different emotions, so depending on my mindset, my favorite song of theirs changes). This is a great one. I never did get to see Mindcrime live, but I know that recordings exist, so I conceivably could at some point, and I hope I do! Plus, this is what I was listening to when I did a lot of the work on Gao, so look for connections if you dare.

And then I raise my head and stare
into the eyes of a stranger
I've always known that the mirror never lies
people always turn away
from the eyes of stranger
afraid to know what lies behind the stare


Three Replies to 16-IX-2009 or Behind The Scenes (GE)

Aaron Shurtleff | September 16, 2009
And I'm not fielding questions about Gao. I'm playing a lot of the history close to the vest, as they say, so I won't give anything away yet. A flunkie and a servant, though!

Also, Scott has hinted that he hopes to make a section of the Gothic Earth section for character notes like this as we go along. So, when that happens, things like this will be there. Unless that section is for players only, then I'll put notes here too..unless I sense that no one cares...

Aaron Shurtleff | September 17, 2009
Did I write Caligari?? What the heck is that? It's Cagliari, Sardinia, Italy. I am sorry... :P

Scott Hardie | December 10, 2009
Everything that I want to say boils down to: I'm glad that you're enjoying so many aspects of the game. The more that one puts into this kind of game, the more that one gets out of it, and you have put a lot into two characters now. I try to send the characters on different emotional journeys, and I'm glad to see that it was working with Celio, even though I was just getting started with him. Most of the plans that I had for Celio will get used with someone else eventually, so no worries there. I didn't like to see him go, but Gao is an excellent replacement. You are doing an outstanding job of playing this game. :-)


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