To All The Players I've Loved Before

Originally posted Posted May 5, 2022. I am planning to add to this with other sections eventually, but putting the original posts down as a place-holder.

To All the Players I’ve Loved Before (yes I borrowed the title)

I was talking with Vomher and was reminded about this being not just the 5th year for SWL, but also the 10 year anniversary of The Secret World. It’s crazy to think I’ve been a part of this community and this experience for basically that long (started about a month after launch), but then I also vividly remember so many experiences I had in this game setting and in this community.

Some of this will probably be rehash, but it’s how I wrote it so I’m leaving it! When I first started playing, I had never played a MMO and I hadn’t played many games at all for the better part of a decade, especially PC games. It was a very new and confusing experience for me. I aggroed literally everything I passed. I just could not seem to manage to work my way around it, so I constantly had mobs chasing after me everywhere I ran ingame.

I first played with my husband, one of our friends, and one of his friends. They were all way better than me at basically every aspect of the game–except actually solving the puzzles. My friend and I did most of the legwork on that, and I loved the challenge.

I remember learning about screenshots and basically taking hundreds upon hundreds immediately. Whatever we were doing ingame, we’d have to pause for some silliness, commemorating each occasion with silly outfits and emotes. I would pose Medrina sitting on everything she could, or laying on people/things. I still have a shot somewhere of her sleeping on the girl at Red’s Bait & Tackle. It was silly, simple amusement.

When I finally branched into the roleplay scene, it was many months later around March of 2013 and everything felt big and overwhelming. I dipped my toe in on Rye, but then ultimately pushed Medrina into it, starting on the outskirts of one of Notes’ shows and slowly working through my nerves to get brave enough to really interact. That was the start of so many fun and cherished experiences.

I’m going to break this up into several posts over the next few days, depending on how long it gets. I actually started in a different direction than it’s going so I’m just letting the words come out as they do. <3


DJs & More

I know the DJs got a lot of flack for the shows at one point, for taking up valuable time/space with SO MANY SHOWS, etc. but really they were the lifeblood of the community for so many. The DJs’ shows were such a comfortable, easy way to interact, and I think they were (and continue to be, to some degree) a door for many people into the Secret World’s roleplay scene.

I KNOW I am going to miss some names in this, and I promise that doesn’t mean I didn’t like those DJs. I think it’s hard to randomly come up with a proper list on the fly so I’m going to do my best to touch on some of these and my apologies to anybody I had experiences with that I’m not thinking of at the moment!

As I mentioned, my first DJ show was Notes’ show by the bus down in Darkside. She was my absolute favorite DJ for her presence and her interaction with her crowd. Plus I loved 99% of what she played. Besides her, I quickly fell in love with “Queen Lilith’s” mansion parties, and would try to attend as many as I could. I remember going to so many other shows, from DJ Leoone and DJ Sir’s back to back Sunday EDM/dance shows, to Quantum’s shows, which is the first place I EVER heard the Fighting Trousers song, or anything else by Professor Elemental. I eventually found my way to some other shows, including Zenocide’s punk show at the fight club, or Ashval’s crazy-long shows. I have lost the names of some of these DJs but I had so many great early experiences just interacting and socializing and having fun at these ingame parties.

And I continued to be blessed with them as more DJs came around, awesome people like Lucid with her killer electronic and industrial sets out in Kingsmouth, Ashval’s IC alt Trevalin who became a huge crowd fave, Lia, Stevie/Nicksa, Daydreaming, my boy Reaper and his shenanigans… And of course DJ Chemic. His shows were small and he was part of a weird, lesser known station but the second I stumbled upon one of his shows I fell in love with so much of what he played–especially the chill sets. I would pop onto Alice so she and Chemic could wax philosophical every chance I got while the player and I talked music, roleplay, and more.

We were talking tonight (last night?) about the amount of music the DJs expose people to and I for sure learned about so many new artists from all these people. I still listen to and play so many of the artists and bands I heard during other DJs’ shows. Music really is a way to bond and come together. I miss not just the DJs and the music from the shows, but just the experiences that were had at them. Every single night was something new and unique, some random fun roleplay, an inside joke, a bit of silliness, a serious moment. There was always something happening and the experiences helped round out all the characters involved and create a story for so many people. There were even times we’d have random people show up and create entire mini plots in a night after arriving at a show. I remember Lilith doing several different plot-related show events, too.

I was lucky enough to come into the GSP family for a while. I was terrified to DJ at first, but Ashval and others (like Shiggy!) gave me a lot of encouragement. I remember Medrina’s very first DJ show had 66 people attend. That number is insane to me now, especially considering how much the overall community crowd has dwindled, but it was insane to me then to have that many people give me a chance. I remember how much fun the GSP dancers were, too, always adding some flair to the shows. I felt so much love and support from not just Gridstream, but the community at large, and continue to throughout my DJing experience (despite the really bad anxiety moments!), and I’m lucky for all the guidance I’ve had.

Life has had many ups and downs and I’ve had pauses in my DJing, and even an entire station switch. I always find myself wanting to come back to it, though, even when I think I’ll stop. I kind of took over the leadership for Happy Tentacle Radio with Chemic’s ebbs and flows, and have tried to keep things as “us” as possible, keeping with the unique, sometimes silly voice of the station. We’ve had some great DJs come and go from here, too, including Sayeh with her goth flair (and more!), Laila, Varic, Atavez with his blend of electronic music and hardcore beats, Grimstar bringing the sexy synthwave, all with their own unique sounds and styles. Stevie came to hang with us for a while, and brought along her awesome “robot DJ” dude for some fun shows. Even my husband briefly hopped into the proverbial DJ booth, bringing some much-needed rap & hip hop with “Da Bess DJ,” Gil. Special shoutout to Hikari who’s been there for so many HTR events taking the most amazing screenshots of all of it. Also to the Nine Swords people for bringing Drina on to DJ so many of their special events. We’ve done a lot of random attempts at skirting the norm with HTR, with our Halloween “Evil Tentacle Radio” shtick, to the Jules & Dray “Stick With Sticks” campaign. We even tried a talk show, with the help of Darius and Jules. I miss [REDACTED] all the time, and we only ever put out a handful of shows, but I remember the hilarity of them fondly!

The HTR family has grown and diminished over time, but I feel lucky to have so many memories from so many shows and so many people. And we are continuing to make new memories! Reaper and Aly both have their own fun style of shows that just work really well. And the players are amazing people, too, which obviously makes things even better. We have a lot of fun, and I’ve definitely found some important friends through all this. And there are still so many great DJs in this community, bringing fun to everybody’s lives. Thank you to all the QSR people, too–Malak, Suri, Lucid, and anybody helping behind the scenes–for keeping things going and enriching the RP experience. And thank you to everybody still supporting the shows, whether in person, or listening from afar, or just showing the DJs some love.

To all the DJs I’ve loved before, and the ones I only knew a little bit, and all the amazing people affiliated with these events we’ve all gotten to enjoy, thank you for the experiences you have helped bring to not just me, but to the entire community!


One of the most important things to me for my characters is their friendships. I feel like having those sorts of connections, and having a “best friend,” is a great way to ground and develop a character more completely. In the Secret World, I’ve been lucky enough to have found some awesome people along the way, though many are no longer with the community. This will probably be a messy list and it will likely end up missing SO MANY PEOPLE because I’m trying to recall stuff over 9 years. They’ve had MANY more friends than this. I’m mostly just focusing on their best friends. If I leave anybody off, I’m sorry! All of this is very rushed, off the top of my head writing with literally zero double checking or digging. Mostly I just want to show some love.

Alice - Everybody who knew Alice knew her “Best,” as they simply called each other, was a character named Dawn. Dawn was snarky and insightful, fun and playful, moody and intriguing, and I adored the player and our RP so much that we ended up with a lot of character overlap before they moved on from the setting. Dawn and Alice together were, in my opinion, a force to be reckoned with, and the sassiest pair of teens in the community. They spent many a day/night hanging out behind the Horned God having random conversations, or else they’d be getting high together wherever, chastising creeps every time they found them, or getting drunk and playing Two Truths and a Lie with their other friends up in the little hobo den in Darkside. They were ride or die, straight down to the time Alice slapped a prominent community character in the middle of an altercation, and Dawn hosed them down. They were brats in the best sense of the word, and never shied away from fun or drama. I had so many amazing hours of roleplay with the character, and I still miss the player all the time.

Rye - Rye has really had two best friends in the course of playing her that I recall. One was a sweet young Templar who happened to be dating one of her cabal mates: dear, kind Tashi. Tashi was witchy and fun, curious and supportive. She was her confidante and the first non-Blue character Rye trusted. I think the bulk of their time was spent at the Crusades back then, chilling with the Host members and usually goofing off. Tashi definitely brought out Rye’s fun side. Then there was Alex, or Alexandra Rest, who quickly became a staple in Rye’s life. The pair were roommates and opposites in so many ways. Rye was a forensics agent working on secret world crimes and murders, and Alex was a trained assassin creating even more crimes to be solved. Rye was reserved and gave off an air of modesty, and Alex was a little on the kinkier side. They were both addicts, though, and often leaned on each other to get out of dark places. They were inseparable for quite a stretch, Alex was her go-to when her heart was broken. She was hard on the outside with a bite as bad as her bark, but she was loyal and kind to Rye. Along the way there was also the fascinating and stylish Rose, who bonded with Rye many times over shopping, and of course her wild child sister Claire, who became a trusted part of Rye’s inner circle. I also can’t talk shopping buddies without mentioning Rovena, who Rye absolutely adores and respects, and envies every look she comes up with.

Medrina - It’s harder to pin down just one or two close friends for Medrina, oddly enough. Medrina’s roommate and favorite person to get high with would be her first TSW BFF: Bastian, my longtime friend’s mage character. Early on, she became fast friends with the fun and fashionable Saki and was quickly invited into her circle. Sulwen played to her wild side and always made her feel like a part of things. Then there was Elania, who was wild and silly and also keen and intuitive. There was Andjela, who was one of Medrina’s most trusted Dragon associates and a dear friend with a unique perspective, then Salem, who reminded her of a different sort of life while also being a favorite goofball, and of course Aaron, who Medrina spent hours talking with and pouring pieces of her soul into. I also can’t forget Draysek, who was basically like a brother to Medrina, a silly, airheaded at times, hilarious brother. There was also Antu, who was chaos incarnate, and loved to torture Medrina while loving her fiercely. I have a list in my head of dozens of other mentions for Medrina, so please stab me if you feel forgotten as a bestie or close friend. I nearly forgot him but there was also everybody’s favorite time-traveler son of a serial killer/cannibal: Henry. He was a longtime trusted friend and companion for Medrina, even though his father was, for a stretch, absolutely her sworn enemy.

Sia - I had a lot of trouble establishing Sia as a character, and finding her “people.” I don’t know if her age deterred people or what it was about her, but nobody seemed to really want to give her a chance when she first came to be. Then there was a party, completely implied, and along came Cate Lin, the feisty tech girl from the Host, and soon the two were inseparable. Sia relied on her to help navigate her new normal, and helped Cate come out of her more reserved shell. The two flourished together. Then there was Marsyas, a crush turned BFF, who Sia often pestered about boy drama. They also got to bond over a really creepy ghost encounter in the middle of the woods. I also couldn’t possibly leave off Sia’s favorite redheaded Santa Claus, Hakon (and Floki!), who is and was a long-cherished, loved, and respected close friend to Sia, who always treated her as an equal and welcomed her warmly from the moment they interacted. Honorable mentions go to the ‘big brother’ sort of people in Sia’s life: Ianto, her most haunting friend before she befriended and fell for an actual ghost, Lucca, Eiric, even Gabe, though it was maybe not the role he intended, and Dray again! Because I loved the dude so much I forced as many of my characters on him as I could! Btw her REAL brother will be mentioned in another post, although Jo is definitely one of her best friends.

Benja’s longtime “best friend” in the Secret World is also his current partner, the adorbs lil deer known as Frankie. They spent years just being kind of brother/sister/buddies and relying on each other for stability in moments of craziness before finally giving in to those crushes after years of other stuff. Aside from Frankie, he’s never really had a “best friend” character that wasn’t his partner (future shout out to come!), but he did have buddies he hung out with, played pool with, drank with, so maybe they all count. A couple of times, they were my RP partners, too… haha. So thank you to Darius and Eiric for that , and also Dray & Terence. I don’t know if Jules and Benja would ever publicly consider each other friends, but I mean… their long-established twitter history is, at this point, the stuff of legend, so huge shout out to that amazing combo that I will never get tired of.

Last, but not least: Alana! Alana came onto the scene early in 2020, right before the world shut down, and initially I wasn’t sure if she’d stay. But it was fun to RP the pandemic and the secret world through her eyes. She bonded pretty quickly with a hazy wizard named Nikhil, though, and then the jumpy, witchy, tender Kailech. Through them she made other connections, too, and was fortunate to quickly establish a circle of friends, though many are gone now. An obviously one-sided crush turned into one of her closest friendships, and even though I am the flakiest person to do a scene with, I am so grateful for the bond Alana and Theo have. I love their conversations and their encouragement of each other.

To all the best friends my characters have loved before, and the amazing players behind them, thank you for letting my babies be a part of your stories!

Addendum: Naturally I forgot Craft Ramsay for Alice, who was basically a friend and confidante, and also her team leader for a decent amount of time. He’s someone she could trust and rely on for everything, from hospitality to humor. Much love!

And Runi! HOW could I leave Runi off Rye’s list? This character and Rye became fast friends and shared pretty much their souls with each other through many, many deep conversations and special times. I forever cherish their friendship and that roleplay. <3


12 months later!

The Loves & Lovers…

This one has been a long time coming. It’s gonna be a weird one for me because I have played in this community for SO long, and have so many alts, and such a strong desire to engage with many people… So the list is long, haha. Which maybe looks sketch… And I am probably not going to mention every random person that my characters had a moment with. Just the special ones–and hopefully I don’t forget anybody and break some hearts! I can say, though… There’s a lot of overlap because I become obsessed with players and their amazing characters at times (hopefully not in a creepy way!). Hindsight: This post switches tenses. I’m sorry. I did not correct it. :wink: Also it’s gonna be long, guys… really long. I also realize I did this post differently than the friend post. It’s a lot more detailed and showcasing more, but it’s what came out as I started writing, so here we are!

Alice was lucky enough to have some amazing characters in her life overall, but also had two very important loves mixed in there. There are others, but these two held my heart the most, if I’m being honest. The first would be Dan, who was her polar opposite in nearly every way. He was reserved and quiet, thoughtful and rational. He spent a lot of his time avoiding the crowd and observing, which immediately attracted social butterfly Alice. They had a unique and beautiful relationship with lots of weird ups and downs, and maybe more volatility than two young characters normally would (including the time she was trapped in the body of a porcelain doll). Alice grew a lot with Dan, and maybe learned that sometimes it’s OK to be a little less whimsical, should the moment call for it. He grounded her at a time when she needed a bit of grounding, and I think they balanced each other well in their time together.

Alice’s other important love is a strange and unique man simply named Eleven. Back when Jules-player ran a bunch of amazing (and exhausting for him!) community plots, Alice was assisting in the case in one, and happened to cross paths with Eleven, who saw everything as charred shades of orange and wore 3-D glasses to feel more comfortable, whose body literally gave off heat strong enough to cause the fires he saw. It started in an asylum, and then went on to sprinkle cakes and weird Beltane celebrations, and continued with a beautiful love story and unique, fun, silly journey. Where Dan grounded Alice, Eleven embraced and brought out that wild and whimsical side of her. He reminded her it was perfectly fine to be strange and weird. Though I really don’t play Alice anymore, her story with Eleven continues somewhere in the world, with them navigating whatever comes their way with their fresh and sometimes crazy perspectives. Their romance also led to one of my amazing friendships in this community, and even more roleplay because I definitely latch onto players I enjoy… :wink:

Which leads to… Rye and Miles. Rye crossed paths with Miles (also played by Eleven’s player) MANY times, sometimes favorably, sometimes not. Miles reminded me a lot of a character from Rye’s written past, and his cool, calm, methodical way of existence just sort of balanced some of Rye’s more emotional, careless, chaotic energy. Theirs has always been a messy, sometimes broken attachment, but Miles always feels like Rye’s endgame somehow, like some sort of beacon in the night. There’s an acceptance there of whoever she is, and whatever she’s gotten into, that always feels like home for Rye, despite the sometimes toxic circumstances around them. Eleven and Miles are night and day characters, but that’s because the player is so damn talented and creative! :smiley: I’ve enjoyed every scene we’ve ever written together–even the heartbreaking ones! And he’s been an important and wonderful friend since we first started playing together so long ago.

Every substantial relationship Rye has had in this iteration of her has started somewhat work-related, and she’s actually only ever dated other Illuminati. I think in part it’s because she’s so attached to the job (or so brainwashed by the higher ups), but also so guarded that it seemed unwise to risk attachment outside of Team Blue. So all her major relationships have been with other Illuminati, usually whom she worked with first–though not always. – An important mention here is Emmett, who was a subordinate, and a ‘problem employee,’ at that. I like to think there were outside hands at work in bringing them together, that maybe some higher up was hoping good-girl fall-in-line Rye would influence bad-boy Emmett to be a better soldier, and play better for Team Blue. Every moment with them, no matter what was happening, was always somehow attached to a debate or philosophical query. They argued amazingly well together, and challenged each other at every opportunity. There was always passion in everything they experienced together, romantic or otherwise, whether making out or making bets about baseball. <3 They were always fun to write, and Emmett’s player is incredibly clever, and an awesome person to BS with too! :wink:

Before Emmett there was Eiric, also Team Blue, also a ‘work thing’ first–It was Rye’s MO, after all. Rye and Eiric were amazing and also terrible for each other, enabling each other’s worst habits, while also genuinely wanting to take care of each other and do right by each other–and failing miserably some of the time. Eiric and Rye met during both of their lows with addiction and substance abuse, and that played prominently in early parts of their relationship. Eiric wanted to be the carefree guy, but also had a lot of past trauma and stress that came out in emotional, volatile ways. Their fights were explosive and their make-ups were tender. In the end, I think Rye did the final heart-breaking there. I should mention here I already knew Eiric’s player from another as-yet mentioned character, and he’s one of the coolest, most fun humans I know. He’s hilarious and creative and was always so fun to do anything with, whether it was gaming and BSing on voice, or writing these sweet and sometimes tragic scenes together. <3 I will always have a soft spot for their late night street veggie dogs & deep conversations ingame in New York. We made the most of that limited RP space (that STILL needs a nightclub).

And then there was Salem, the smart-mouthed, fast-talking bartender at the Crusades, and sometimes Illuminati grunt. Salem’s player is another ridiculously fun, amazing writer and I had a lot of time writing with him as Alice’s “Best,” Dawn. So naturally I was curious about the alt, because it’s me and I obsess over my RP friends’ creativity! :smiley: Anyway, Rye met Salem while she was dating another Illuminati and one of their earliest interactions was Salem convincing her, the boyfriend, and a couple of their friends and colleagues to try some of the hottest pepper juice in the world. Chaos ensued, and fun RP times were had. Whoever says ‘bar RP’ sucks just is not a creative writer as far as I’m concerned. Anyway, from there led to frequent hangouts at the Crusades, silly conversations, and just the start of a chill friendship. Eventually it blossomed into more, and Salem also came to work for the team! –That’s also a trend that should be noted. Rye ended up frequently being involved in recruiting said dudes into The Host if they weren’t in it already–for better or worse. :wink: I think Salem and Rye’s worlds and worldviews were ultimately too different, and she was a little too dark of a character for someone as sweet and optimistic as Salem, but he forever has a place in her heart.

I should make a sidenote about the boyfriend mentioned: His name was Will, and the player is a super creative and cool writer who I was always a little too intimidated to really feel ‘on par with,’ if that makes sense. Their brief relationship and Rye’s heartbreak from it came at a time when I was not super confident as a writer, so there might have been some missed opportunity there. Rye and Will continued to poke in and out of each other’s lives, and despite the brevity of their initial relationship, he stayed one of the few trusted people in her life.

There are definitely others in Rye’s story, including a handsome but spoiled merman, a brokenhearted gentle soul consumed by a need to avenge a loved one (Carlos), and maybe a couple others, but I’m not mentioning everybody. Just some of the most iconic for me. One thing I should mention with Rye is she keeps ‘trinkets’ that were a part of those stories. She has a tiger’s eye heart-shaped stone Salem gave her, a seashell from Aramis (the merman), a ring from Carlos, a pair of high heels she will never wear, and other little mementos and special bits from these stories.

I should pick someone with way less partners to focus on next… someone like… Alana! She’s actually only had one romantic partner, despite a few crushes with misplaced feelings early on. She and Johannes–yep, Sia’s twiiiiiin–started talking more and goofing off and just had such natural chemistry that they made it more in the most… innocent and fun way possible, really. I think 99% of their relationship has been offscreened, though, with his player and I occasionally coming together to start and fail a scene together over and over again. Johannes’ player is another really fun person who’s easy to write with, and I feel lucky we’ve had these cool character connections. I also adore the character Jo. He’s precious!

Probably a good time to talk about his sister Sia. I think one of the briefest, but most impactful relationships Sia had was with a character named Tommy, played by a player I always respected and was maybe a little intimidated by. Anxiety is a bitch. Their chemistry was strong and they had amazing conversations, and I think one actual date that involved riding the NYC subway and playing Subway Bingo together. She was too young and too sweet/innocent for him and the IC reality of that was a slap in the face for the character, but in a very real way. It made her better understand what set her apart from so many other characters within “the secret world.” At the time, it caused a lot of inner strife for the character, but in time she learned to appreciate what her own unique experiences and perspective brought to the table, in work, relationships, and basically all aspects of her life.

A series of other choices and people led Sia through a couple relationships and had her working with Aaron, who teetered on disdain and pity in early dealings with Sia. Eventually, though, their shared work experiences, bonding over music, and a weird night of arm wrestling led to a more comfortable friendship, which blossomed into more one fateful night at a karaoke event at the Crusades. Sia helped Aaron relax a little, and she brought out a fun, playful side to him that many people didn’t get to see (maybe Drina… :wink: ). Aaron’s player is a phenomenal writer and every scene we did with them was layered with unique details and fun tidbits. When he decided his time in the community was coming to an end, I was definitely sad. It’s never easy when a roleplay partner’s time or life or interests change, because not only do you miss the character, but you miss the person behind it and the cool experience they bring to the table. I think for a stretch I implied the two were still together before letting things go. I don’t think we ever roleplayed a proper “breakup” for the two of them. Life just got in the way. In the Secret World especially, that’s definitely a valid reason to end a relationship. Their lives are extremely messy.

I didn’t expect for Sia to have any other relationships at this point, or really much of a story. The community had started to dwindle and I wasn’t actively writing much on her. And then along came… a ghost! Yep. An actual “ghost.” Mostly. Anybody who knows Sia knows she has some very unique powers that go beyond normal medium stuff, so it made sense that when a ghost started tweeting to the community, she’d make fast friends–especially if that ghost is played by a player I already adore and love talking with, writing with, etc. Ezra’s played by the same person who plays Runi, Gabe, and Dan ( <3 who I have yet to talk about), and others. And we’ve gotten to write so many amazing stories and scenes together on so many characters. But Sia’s and Ezra’s story is its own blend of weird and unique, with Ezra often in the form of an ethereal being. She brought him on a few private cases involving hauntings before they fully bonded over their own outcast statuses, and love of snark. Their relationship is a mix of quirkiness and serious moments. It’s a weird and fun bond, and Sia’s brother making fun of her for it only adds to it!

I think I’m down to just my two Dragon characters, but since this has gotten SO LONG I might post this on its own… Don’t worry! I won’t forget Benja and Drina! :smiley:


OK I’m pretty sure this is going to be longer than the last post.

(Insert Final Countdown reference)

And now to talk about my Dragon babies… For some reason, they’re more of a challenge to write about.

Benja might be Twitter’s favorite weirdo / punching bag some days, but behind his goofy public persona is a thoughtful, sometimes intense, passionate character who’s always wanted ‘more’ when it comes to relationships. In his past, he was a bit more of the casual hookup type, but really he’s all about the deep connections. He’s only had two real loves in the Secret World in all his time in the community, though he’s had a couple other love interests–including a scrappy Irish woman, and a dryad-type being, who he unfortunately could never make feel important enough in his life (sidenote: she ditched him for one of Johannes’ alts. ;D Can’t say I blame her!). That’s been an issue for Benja in other relationships too. The character is written in such a way that he’s somewhat closed off, so even though he shares as much as he can of himself, sometimes that isn’t enough.

Benja and Sayeh were definitely a bit of an odd pairing to anybody who witnessed them. Benja’s always been the ‘class clown’ type in public, quick to make a joke or to turn himself into the butt of the joke. And Sayeh was more reserved, more ethereal, more graceful, more subdued. Sure, she was friendly and social, but she shined one on one, sitting somewhere quiet, having a deep or playful conversation. A lot of the community saw Sayeh as larger than life, as this unattainable gothic goddess, and I think it left many scratching their heads as to how Benja, the town idiot, ended up with her. And really it was because they connected so easily, talked so freely, and just had genuine fun together. Their relationship had a lot of ups and down, a lot of passion and intensity, but throughout that was sprinkled a lightness, and easiness that took the pressure off sometimes. He brought out her silly side, but also did his best to step up and protect her or play it cool when she needed it. I always felt like they were doomed from the start, like Sayeh needed someone who could more freely give himself to her. And unfortunately Benja always holds a bit back. They had a couple starts and stops, and eventually parted ways, mostly amicably. I like to think they were both better for their time together. And Sayeh’s player is still one of the most amazing people I have had the pleasure of writing with or doing scenes with. She’s insanely creative and intuitive, and I will forever cherish the friendship we forged while playing these two together.

Early in Benja’s time in the Secret World community, Benja had a bit of a flirtationship with a cute girl-next-door type brunette named Frankie. They shared silly exchanges on twitter, and even hung out a couple times–with friends–in Ealdwic. Benja finally mustered up the courage to ask her on a proper date and took her roller skating, keeping everything chill and proper. That was their only date for the time, although it did spawn her forever nickname with him: Bambi. Benja and Frankie didn’t end up dating at that point, and both went on other paths, but they did become something else. They became best friends, confidantes. Frankie was almost like Benja’s ‘little sister,’ for a stretch, and it seemed like they were going to be one of those missed opportunity situations, though they both adored each other as friends for many years. Finally, though, things fell into place and Benja once again asked her out, this time on Valentine’s Day, and initially just as friends. This time, the timing was right and the spark was there, and things fell into place. Frankie has always felt like Benja’s perfect match, and I’m happy they were able to finally make it work. I love and adore this player and her endless creativity, as well as her ability to write such unique, interesting characters. She has a worse case of alt-itis than I do, and without even knowing she was playing half the characters she did, I was constantly drawn to them for their cool stories.

I don’t even know where to begin with Drina. Her earliest “relationship” in the Secret World was a flop that left her feeling a little stung. And then she met a loud-mouthed, fiery-tempered Irishman in the Horned God. Rob (also Eiric’s player!) was Medrina’s first love in the community–to the point they were even engaged at one point. He was playful and fun, supportive and silly. He embraced her crazy, and the two had so much fun together. They also went through many ups and downs together, happiness and heartbreak, and ultimately it was Medrina who broke away, part because of character things, part because we just weren’t always able to keep their momentum going with schedules and things. As mentioned already, I forever adore Rob’s player and have tried to drag him into so much of my roleplay even after because he’s amazing!

I will admit timeline for me gets iffy with Medrina’s relationships, but I think Dante came next. This relationship wasn’t as long-lived or as impactful, but I wanted to mention it because it was a fun little chapter of her life. Dante was something of a technomancer, which Drina and I found fascinating, and the two bonded over music, making each other mixtape after mixtape during their time together. He also gifted her a vintage walkman to listen to said mixtapes–one which features in a piece of art I had commissioned. I still have the links to the Youtube playlists his player and I made for said mixtapes, and even poke back into them here and there because the song choices were amazing! Their parting was weird, and the player and I frequently didn’t see eye to eye, but their relationship was fun to write.

There are others I am intentionally omitting because after eleven years in a roleplay community, not every experience will end positively, but they definitely still shaped the character in some way.

And then came Alex. Alex wasn’t supposed to be anything for Medrina. He was a friend of a friend, one she initially found a little too uptight and stoic for her tastes, so she kind of forced him to loosen up and be a bit more playful. She’s just got that steamroller personality when she needs to. Early on, they were sort of confidantes to each other, sharing bits of themselves. Alex’s heart was broken over a missing love, and Medrina was there to remind him that she might not be gone forever, and he shouldn’t give up hope. And she had no interest at that point in pursuing Alex, having other drama involving other men around this same time. But the characters just kept clicking, and I think his player and I really enjoyed writing them together. Their first “not a date” date was to go watch Guardians of the Galaxy, and it was such a fun scene to write. Eventually they were a thing, and his love of all things 80s sort of strengthened that bond. They frequently talked movies and music, and Alex had dozens of songs become “his” songs for Medrina, forever cementing them even now, literally 9 years later. They built a life together. They built a home together. They were engaged. They wrote each other love notes and put them in a seashell they’d found on a trip to the beach one time. He got a tattoo in tribute to her. They were pretty adorable. Alex felt like her endgame at the time, and they had a lot of big conversations and shared secrets. We kept writing together, silly little scenes and also Dragon stuff, since his character was very active.

This time for me was a weird life time. I was dealing with my own emotional issues and I think ultimately those ended up destroying this seemingly perfect coupling. I was definitely a lot more insecure back then, as a writer and friend. And that OOC tension hurt them. I regretted it a lot, although I am absolutely grateful for what it’s allowed in Drina’s life since. There has been so much amazing writing that came after that I can’t fully regret it. It’s definitely the relationship that shaped her the most going forward, though. I wrote a pretty intense breakup story around this, with the player’s OK. We ended up patching up our differences as players, though the characters did not reconnect. I was lucky enough to participate in a really cool Dragon plot he had going at the time, though, at least for awhile! The player was incredibly creative, and an amazing, insightful writer. He also had awesome music taste! :grinning:

After Alex, Drina was FOR SURE done dating. She was hurt and more guarded and had a healthy fortress of walls around her. I think I felt a little more guarded, too. And then there was Aaron. And while they never officially dated, he deserves honorable mention here. Aaron started showing up to Medrina’s DJ shows and did his best to stay inconspicuous and way in the back. And Medrina was having none of that! She zeroed in on him and once again steamrolled with her sometimes-too-big personality. They hung out after her shows. He was easy to talk with, to tease with. He made her feel a little more normal after everything she’d been through. There was a closeness there that absolutely could have blossomed into more… had it not been for one obnoxious pain-in-the-ass character she also knew…

Darius Cayne. Darius and Medrina crossed paths a long time before, and she ended up blocking him on twitter and temporarily writing him out of her existence. Somehow, they ended up in sort of tertiary circles to each other, and she was forced to engage with him again. Initially it was caustic and sarcastic, but over time those conversations became more playful, more friendly. Medrina was still licking her wounds from everything going on. And Darius offered to get high with her and play therapist. “What’s the motive?” became the go-to question for why she wanted to hang out with him. Early on they’d smoke pot and hang out on a random branch in Agartha and just vibe, and he’d let her ramble about whatever was on her mind, whatever she was feeling or stressed about. His snarky, sarcastic, playful attitude always drew her closer, and eventually those therapy sessions led to more. Medrina tamed the ‘■■■■■■■’ side of Darius and he calmed the anxious side of her. He’d been a much more hedonistic, self-centered character, and she encouraged him and got him to help her actually try to make the world a better place sometimes, bringing him along on rescue missions, showing him places where his skills could be used to help others. They had a lot of fun, special experiences together. He even came on to do a talk show with her and Jules for Happy Tentacle Radio a few times. They had a code set of emojis they used with each other on twitter to imply how sappy the other was being or made them feel. We wrote so many fun little stories with them. The player and I got along really well and had a lot of fun just goofing off together when we weren’t writing. For a stretch he was one of my best online friends. We still poke each other here and there to check in. Eventually, as the community dwindled, he was feeling done, and I was content to let him just be her NPC partner, as I didn’t think I’d keep playing much longer then anyway. We ended up having them get married (in Vegas, with a Prince impersonator as their witness). And then I kept playing, and DJing, and just enjoying the game and the community. After awhile, it felt weird to keep using another person’s creation as a NPC, so we talked again and decided life just kind of got in the way for them and things fizzled. It’s worth noting, Medrina shared her BIGGEST SECRET with almost all of the above partners, but only Darius ever used that information to have the forethought to gift her a giant platter of raw exotic meat. :wink: And that was that for Medrina’s love interests and dating life…

Except it wasn’t! It was supposed to be, but then some time later, this naive doe-eyed farmboy started hanging out with her more, and as much as Medrina initially didn’t want to give anything a chance, somehow Dan won her over. And per usual, they started out as friends first, hanging out after shows or at other people’s events, joking around on twitter, being silly. And Drina was smitten. She denied it, of course, and even when a relationship started to blossom they both did their best (worst) to play it cool and pretend nothing was going on, citing their recent socializing as being part of a ‘book club,’ which was of course led to some hilarious innuendo-laden conversations around said book club. Dan and Drina have been together awhile now, though Medrina has still stayed somewhat guarded. I have a feeling one of these days she’ll share her secrets with him, though, and him with her. Dan’s player and I have had a lot of RP over time, and some ‘missed opportunity’ or sort of ‘just didn’t work out’ scenarios, and his characters have been so important in my characters’ lives. I’m definitely glad I bit the bullet on this one and decided to give things a shot, because it’s been a fun ride! <3