Death is harder on those who are left behind     – Robert La Fosse, Nothing to Hide

My changeling character is a lively, enthusiastic, bubbly, life and soul of the party kind of girl. There’s an innocence and sweetness about her which never fails to bring a smile to other people, and at the national a couple of weekend ago, I got complimented about the way that I roleplayed her, and had people telling me how much they enjoyed it.

We had our local game yesterday though, and for once I didn’t get to play her as I usually do. Not even as the slightly confused person she can sometimes be, or slightly sad when she learns an unpleasant truth. No, yesterday we learnt that my character’s husband, and another prominent member of the summer court, were dead. They died taking down a True Fae, killing him so that our freehold and Suffolk’s could live in peace and the war could end.

So as soon as the one member of the summer court who was well enough to turn up to the gathering delivered the news, my character immediately shuts down, picks up for a frantic half hour of, “No he can’t be dead, he can’t be.” Sees his grave, and then immediately goes into a fugue state where nothing really gets through to her.

(I’ll make it extra clear at this point that this is all in character in the game that we play, and no actually people have been hurt, just their character and some imaginary NPCs)

P8096886And you know what? It was so hard to play her as a depressed person. And it was completely out of the blue (well, not completely, out of character I knew that they had gone to fight him, but not that they had died doing it), so I just had to make it up as I go along and it was actually one of the hardest thing that I have ever had to roleplay, just sitting there and staring into space and not reacting to anything. I did decide to wander off, back to his grave about halfway through the game, hoping other characters would chase me. They did in the end, but not immediately like I thought they would, as they kind of went “We’ll just give her some space.”.

It’s great, because my character has been after her independence for ages now, trying to prove that she can make her own decisions, and she can be a grown up and look after herself, but then this happens, and she basically shuts down so that she CAN’T look after herself, but people are still trying to let her, not realising that all the will and effort has gone out of her because she still doesn’t believe that he’s really really dead.

And after the game ended, I started crying, because playing a grief stricken person is hard, and all the emotion I had just welled up in me and I started sobbing whilst still going around and hugging people and it was just so emotional the whole game, and I don’t think I’m over it this morning.

I love story telling, whether it’s in a novel, or in a role playing game, but that doesn’t mean that it is always easy! The one thing it is though? It is always rewarding. And the grief is hardly going to be contained in this one game. To a future filled with more drama and roleplay!

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