04 September 2014 @ 10:42 am
RP musings (wip)  
I'm going to ramble here about my characters, and in particular, which of the major arcana represents them the best. In case it wasn't obvious, I am endlessly fascinated with tarot: the history, the culture, the meanings and mythologies. And, of course, I love slapping Persona-shaped labels on things, so here we are.


Equius Zahhak the Yellowblood, when I played him in Animus and We the Lost, was very comfortably Strength. I figured this out early in when I began making CR with the Yu Narukami there, but their CR was too limited for any Social Link CR to develop. Instead, I looked mostly on him as a person and what Strength is. Obviously, there is a joke to be made here about Equius' canon self, who is obsessed with being STRONG, physically. Take a look at the image there; you see a lady affectionately petting a ferocious lion. The lion is commonly interpreted as base instinct, lust, and overpowering brute force. That was canon Equius' situation, and he had to go from the lion to the maiden -- but he never did that.

Yelloweq, however, is a different story. Both Equii were in a reversal situation, but while canon Equius' "Reversal" was Lust, Yelloweq's was very simply 'reversed Strength'. I think that the tarot webmaster Thirteen puts it better than I can: Obviously, if we just go "opposite" on this card then we have cowardice, fear, timidity. A complete lack of backbone. The querent has been or is likely to back down from challenges. They're weak-willed when it comes to controlling their own impulses or changing their life. They're far too passive and scared. Equius was reverse Strength gone to extremes in the ferocious society of Alternia -- he aimed to be the perfect lowblood, which basically amounted to trying to snuff his personality out of existence. He had difficulty feeling anger at all, and in fact only had seriously negative CR with one character in the entirety of his Animus/WtL run. He defaulted to submission practically all the time, and even with people lower than him on the spectrum he was laughably bad at asserting dominance.

The ideal point of Strength is to become both the lion and the maiden: one who does not suppress their baser instincts, but owns them, and controls them with calculated doses of reality. Essentially, Strength is a card about working together; once lion and maiden combine their brains and brawn, nothing can take them down. Yelloweq will never be perfect, I think, but he is worlds better than what he used to be. He understands how to let his anger out without going ballistic (for the most part). He is capable of making his own decisions and feeling okay with them. He understands that he's just a nice, considerate, and highly paranoid person by nature, and knows how to work with that to become a better person.

His character arc is done. But I'm happy for him.


And now, we move on to the characters who are not done with their arcs. This section will probably be shorter, because I picked both of them up fairly recently.

My defrosting ice queen, Elsa, is Chariot. The easiest way to describe Chariot is "victory"; you passed the test, slayed the monster, and now you ride off triumphant into the sunset. But to be honest, the concept of victory is nowhere as important as how one gets there; the charioteer did not just coast into his position of victory, after all. Chariot's lesson is that despite life being full of contradictions, one can essentially become the conductor and weave the parts together in a beautiful tapestry -- and the way to do this is to pick a goal, get control of the situation, and don't stop until you reach victory.

The thing that sets Elsa apart from the other two is that she is a main character of her canon; she's already done some of the legwork herself due to in-canon development. Elsa's life was always a flurry of conflicted feelings, and she never learned how to control the contradiction between duty and desire, logic and emotion, happiness and sadness. When she fled Arendelle for the castle, it was an attempt to follow the Chariot's path, but an ill-advised one. She panicked and fled, the exact opposite of the courage that Chariot encourages. Victory cannot be achieved without armor -- or, in Elsa's case, mental fortitude. Throughout the film, she began to develop slightly more faith and courage in herself; she has come to Institute in order to pursue her long-ignored dreams. With enough pluck, she'll be able to go very far.

In Institute, her goal in life is to experience almost twenty years' worth of living, the time which she spent locked up. She is also a strong supporter of human-mutant solidarity. There is, as always, the danger of Elsa taking her newfound passion too far -- a burst of emotion like the one that spurred her to run away in the first place.


My first instinct with Henry was to give him Moon, because how could I not? Creativity -- check. Magic -- check. Darkness -- check. Dreams and intuition -- check. Madness -- check. And yet, the more I read about it, the more I decided that no. That wasn't the lesson he needed to learn. Henry has long since come to terms with the Moon, operating under its influence since he was very young. He's learned the good and the bad, and now it's time to change classes. Henry's Arcana now is... wait for it... Temperance! Thus far we've been talking about two separate things (lion and maiden, feeling and logic) working in tandem. Henry does not need that, nor does he want it; having to control two things at once seems like too much complex, boring work. Instead, he's inclined to look towards Temperance: not abstinence, but moderation. Not cooperation, but synthesis.

Temperance's ruling sign is Sagittarius (which also happens to be mine). By nature, Sagittarians are go-getters -- optimistic, free-spirited, but still wanting to learn and try everything. This ties in very nicely to Temperance. The angel pours two liquids into a cauldron, mixing a potion. They know exactly how much Red and Blue is needed to make this work. In the Crowley deck (known for having weird but insightful interpretations of certain cards), it's called Alchemy: the use of scientific means and a whole lot of optimism to create dreams or miracles. And yes, the optimism is important; you really have to be an optimist to think that lead can become gold, or that a stone can be created which promises life eternal. Henry's already got this down, since he is an 'alchemist' himself and a naturally sunny person. But that's only half the battle.

Henry, as a person, is the unlikely combination of puppy-like innocence and gruesome bloodlust. However, we know from canon that he can technically function this way; he can make friends, meet an SO, and lead a generally okay life. However, if you look at his mannerisms and actions, it's obvious that there is no blending involved. He will be acting cheerful one second, and steer way into disturbing territory in the next. When one draws Temperance, it implies that they are trying to reconcile two opposites and have the sinking feeling that they may have to give up one to get the other; the card serves as a reminder that it is not true. Synthesizing a potion is much easier than uncovering an identity, but since he already has experience with the one, it might not be too difficult for him to achieve the other.