Monday, April 4, 2011

Caitlin's Backstory

Since people seemed to enjoy Juliet’s backstory and From Their Eyes was popular enough to make it a full-time series, I figure I’d indulge those curious about Caitlin and her backstory. Admittedly her story is a lot less whimsical than Juliet’s which is a big reason why I have no real qualms about spoiling it—it’s really not something will come up naturally in the story, and even if it did we wouldn’t be able to see it from the perspectives that matter, so instead I’ll share it with everybody. Hopefully you guys dig it. Without further adieu, let’s get into Caitlin’s backstory.

Caitlin Cormac was only a child when her parents left the Glitterhold Forest in their attempt to find a new way of life. With very little to their name they made the long arduous journey overseas, but due to dire circumstances regarding funds they were not able to procure a direct route to Wyrmwick and instead had to settle for reaching the continent and walking from there. Though perilous, Caitlin’s parents felt it was in their daughter’s best interest to be able to grow up in a society where her future wasn’t dictated to her by the whims of one man, however such an exodus came with risks—not only were Caitlin and her parents declared as heretics for abandoning the forest, but the road to Wyrmwick was rife with danger not suitable for a child and two adults who were far from proficient with a weapon.

It seemed as if fortune would shine upon the couple though as they found themselves only a few miles outside of Wyrmwick and had yet to encounter a single problem. However the elves let their guards down, and were completely unaware of the predators following them. Stalking the family was a trio of beasts with mangled teeth, knotted muscles of flesh, and crocked claws leaking lethal venom. Just as the Cormac family thought they were safe the beasts attacked, and in mere moments the situation became chaos. Caitlin’s father, moderately sized for an elf, was the first target, and before anyone could recognize the dangers at hand he had been stricken several times. With his brief knowledge of medicine, Caitlin’s father recognized the venom he was now infected with was very deadly, and without much time to grieve he accepted that his fate was already decided. In the brief moments he had left he wanted to ensure his family escaped, and he desperately tried to hold off the beasts while ordering his wife to escape. Though it pained her to do so, she knew her husband’s conviction wasn’t worth questioning and she began to flee with Caitlin. Unfortunately one of the fiends managed to strike Caitlin’s mother in the back as she ran, but due to the final efforts from her father, the beast was held back for the mere moments necessary for Caitlin and her mother to escape, and for the beasts to decide to finish off the meal they already had.

A mile outside of Wyrmwick, Councilman Alpert stared down at a grave. His wife, Moyria was six months pregnant with their child when she was stricken with an illness. Even for a man with as much money and power as he, curing her was just impossible, and all too suddenly he lost the family he never had. It had become habit for the Councilman to wonder out to the cemetery and stare at his wife’s grave for hours, and people were starting to question the sanity of the recently widowed husband. But fate has a strange way of working as Alpert heard the strained breathing of a woman staggering towards him with a child tucked tightly in her arms.

Alpert stared at the woman who seemed to be stuck in a horrible fever. Thick beads of sweat pouring down her face already tinted a faint red. Her eyes seemed barely focused, and she was muttering something in elven—a lullaby. The image was an all too painful reminder of his own wife’s final moments, and quickly the councilman wrapped his jacket around the mother and tried to diagnose her problems based off his own limited knowledge of medicine. His efforts were in vain though, and Caitlin’s mother died less than an hour outside of Wyrmwick. Now an orphan, Caitlin was all alone in the world, and Alpert knew it. He couldn’t stand witnessing someone else endure the tragedy of living alone, and thus he employed the young Caitlin to be his servant so that she would have a home to stay in and a life inside of Wyrmwick.

However the relationship between Alpert and Caitlin extended far beyond a simple handmaiden. As she aged Alpert would employee elves to help teach her the ways of her people. She was taught the ways of the hunter, the ranger, and the scout. Due to her near constant supervision by either Alpert or one of her trainers, she adapted quickly to the ways of combat, and at the age of fifteen she was hired on as the official bodyguard of Councilman Alpert. She always knew she owed her life to him, and never questioned any task he asked of her. To her, Alpert was an amazing mentor—far more magnificent than any she deserved. To Alpert, Caitlin was the child he lost years ago, and the chance to live a life with a real family.

On her twentieth birthday Alpert pooled together a large amount of resources to have Caitlin built a custom rapier forged by true elven blacksmiths in the style of her people. This sword, called Corellon’s Thorn, holds very significant meaning to Caitlin. Not only is a treasured gift from the man she respects more than anyone else, but it was custom built for her, and the names of her parents are carved into the inside of the hilt.

Caitlin would do anything for Alpert which is why she never questioned him when he asked her to lend her skill to the resistance armies battling the demon horde. Though it pained him to send Caitlin, Alpert knew that the city of Wyrmwick needed her strength more than he did. Without hesitation she left her home behind to find what remained of the resistance army, and bring the threat of the Demon Baron to an end.

So yep, that’s Caitlin’s backstory. Less thematic than Juliet’s, but I still like the emotion. If you guys enjoyed reading this, I encourage you to check back in the next few days as I’m going to detail my process for creating Caitlin from start until finish. Hope you guys enjoyed.

Until next time, Namaste!


  1. Wow, Chris! Just.. Wow..

    The backstory of Caitlin was really, really emotional. And it just hit me like a stampede. It's well-built, and it seems like you've put a lot of thought into the emotional aspects of it.

    But then again... It's quite JRPG'ish, and I love it.

  2. I have to agree with Yawret above. This story is actually really awesome. It's pretty simple, yes, but the emotion was great and everything works for me.

    I can really get behind Caitlin as a character. Plus, from the art I've seen of her, she's quite the looker and looks like a cool hero too. Overall, I'm loving the Wyrmwick campaign and all the characters, and look forward to it every week.

  3. Nice back story, you're real good at this.

  4. I definitely enjoyed your character. You might be the resident jokester in Wyrmwick but it's pretty clear you care about the characters you create.

    Wyrmwick's been a great little excursion for the gang; I always look forward to them. :)

  5. Aw, that's actually really sweet. C:

    Not gonna lie, I've got a little bit of a girl-crush on Caitlin. She's quickly becoming one of my favorites of the Wyrmwick characters.

  6. Well I’ll be honest I enjoyed Juliet’s backstory better; this was more emotionally moving compared to hers which works in my opinion. I also like the idea of the three beasts, an aspect obviously taken from Dante’s Divine Comedy. And you have obviously drawn the inspiration for Councilman Alpert from Virgil the poet that guided Dante through Hell. Alpert guided Caitlin to her life as a skilled scout. Oh and Caitlin’s mother must represent Beatrice who tried to give Dante a second chance at life. I would have liked it if you had revealed how Alpert revealed to Caitlin the true fate of her parents and if it impacted their relationship any. I was also interested in how Alpert didn’t make Caitlin his adopted daughter instead of his ward which I thought was a good idea and made the character more believable. I also wanted to ask if you would look at someone else’s character backstory and give your professional criticism? All in all, awesome and I can't wait for whatever you do next.

  7. The only question I would like to ask is about getting the sword on your 20th birthday...would that be in elven years or equivalent to human years, since being 20 in elven years would be about the same as being like 2 in human years.

  8. Actually no, 20 in elven years is the same as 20 in human years. Elves aren't waddling around retarded until they're 100 years old, they're just not considered adults in their own culture until then because elves younger than 100 tend to be brash and hot-headed, and prone to taking risks and making bad mistakes. It's worth noting that all of these are traits that Caitlin has exhibited, so props to rolloT on that, even if it wasn't intentional.