Jump to content

The Moon and the Muse (Critique Desired!)


Recommended Posts

Hello again, everyone ^^

After plenty of daydreams and a few hours of typing, I finally managed to put together the first draft of my character's profile and backstory! I'm really excited to share it (so much so that I'm still in the process of revising it, so please excuse the mistakes that are bound to show up D:) and get some feedback so that I can start finalizing some details. So please feel free to give me your honest opinion and any constructive comments you may have about what you do and don't like--I handle criticism very well :3


(Note: For your convenience, I summarized the "important" elements of the story by numbered points, so you can easily reference specific paragraphs if you need to.)


Anyway, moving on to the character himself, allow me to explain the central premise behind him.

Rather than go with the approach that gives the character some sort of pressing matter of importance that would frequently drive him to the spotlight, I started withe vision of one who would play more of the "supporting actor" role. To this end, I sought to ensure that he carried enough depth and personality to be likable, while making sure that he didn't have so much baggage that it weighed him down, so hopefully that sort of lean gets further emphasized by the details associated with his story and personality.


So without further delay, here's the big wall of text straight from my Word Pad document~




(( Note, I made a mistake. The official spelling is of his name is "M'kharis" ^^; ))


Basic Information

Name - M'kharis "Merkaris Dahlisar" Tia

Race/Clan - Miqo'te / Seeker of the Sun

Sex - Male

Class - Archer / Aspiring Bard

Namedate - 8th Sun of the 4th Astral Moon

Age - Twenty-Three

Hair - Medium Brown

Eyes - Bright Green

Height - 5'2"

Weight - 127 lbs.


(Will flesh out this section more later; still subject to change.)


The shoulder you can lean on; the bow you can count on; and the nose you can rely on.


* One defining quality of M'kharis's personality is the dual-upbringing he had between both "civilized" cultures and those of his tribe. Personally, he prefers the teachings of the latter, finding them to be more practical for the survival of the individual and the growth of the community--this leads him to making plenty of comparisons between the cultures. However, civilized culture genuinely intrigues him, and he always eager to learn new things about them. This being said, he's very open-minded and tolerant of opposing beliefs (both cultural and otherwise), so long as he is treated with the same respect.


* He is prone to eagerly enlist into the aid of others, so long as he agrees with both the means and the end that his allies are leading toward. His reasoning behind doing so is that he knows the pain of loss, and wishes to not see others suffer the same fate--lest they remind him of his own suffering and loneliness.

* M'kharis's greatest weapon is the power of motivation. He believes that the sharpest of swords, nor any number of arrows could have allowed him to move on through the five years after the calamity. As such, despite his past, he's usually found wearing at least some fashion of smile or pleasant glint in his eyes in an effort to hide away his inner pains. He sincerely wants to be a cheery person, even if this comes at the cost of lying to others as well as to himself.



* Hypersensitive Sense of Smell

Like all Miqo'te are wont to possess, M'kharis has a very keen sense of smell, and is able to detect specific scents over a longer distance than most individuals of other races. Just as a person may identify familiar sights with their eyes, a Miqo'te can identify familiar scents--even to the point of inducing deja vu through olfaction alone. This serves as a great boon to the cat-like race, especially in the case of hunting, as they are able to locate the proximity of other entities without necessarily relying on line-of-sight (however, it's important to note that M'kharis cannot pin-point the location or origin of a particular scent unless he is extremely close to it--say, less than five feet).

M'kharis, personally, has a  bit of an odd nose, however. His ability to smell is so keen that it often serves as more of a liability than a useful quality to have. Ambient smells can often "drown-out" the particular scent that he may be looking for at any given time, and obscene odors that would normally only be irritating to other individuals could be absolutely nauseating--if not crippling (Bad Breath, anyone?). Additionally, as both the senses of smell and taste are linked, M'kharis is a -very- picky eater and can find strong spices or after-tastes to be too overwhelming at times.

* Bag of Marbles

If there's one thing that could be considered a hobby for M'kharis, it's the collection of small, glass marbles. To date, he's already amassed a small pouch of about 50 assorted marbles of all different colors and designs, and there's some that he's owned for so long that he can identify them by scent alone. He absolutely adores these toys and can be entertained for some time simply by having the opportunity to roll some around in his palm--it would also be fair to suggest that the reward of some particularly shiny or brightly-colored marbles could  be used as a bargaining chip against him. Of all of his marbles, M'kharis is most fond of one specific one: a bright pink, translucent marble that's slightly bigger than the others. He is very protective of his collection--especially his favorite of the lot--and it would be tantamount to a crime for anyone to take them away. Thankfully, as difficult as it may be to believe sometimes, M'kharis has yet to lose his marbles...

(As to why these marbles are so important to him, it is associated with a portion of his past in a sentimental sense. Because it's more of a small, personal side-story, this will be elaborated on in the future/during the RP itself.)


* Considers himself "unfit."

To put it bluntly, M'kharis adheres to this cultural status of Tia during his days among the tribe, and as such, considers himself to be inferior as far as "rights to mate" are concerned. While normally such thinking would surely lead to a lot of negative self-image in any other mind, M'kharis uses the knowledge of his limits and flaws to his advantage, allowing him to quickly gauge the difficulty for him to perform a certain task (such as jumping across a wide gap, for example) and feed his sense of determination into a more practical decision. Rather than think "I can, because I'll give 110%," he is more akin to "I can't. But if I use this and do that, I will be able to."



* Mild Astraphobia (Fear of thunder and lightning)

The fall of Dalamud and the effects that it brought within its wake has, understandably so, left M'kharis with some post-traumatic stress issues that he struggles to cover up. While he is not exactly "fearful" of inclement weather, he becomes very wary and stressed under the presence of thunderstorms; frequent, bright flashes or streaks of light; or loud, booming sounds. Needless to say, storms often sour his mood and ruin his motivation, pushing him into nigh-inconsolable introspection until after the skies clear up.

Story Outline

1.) M'kharis was born into a relatively small Seeker of the Sun Tribe that was only about three Nunhs large. Though the history of their tribe is quite young, they are a very close-knit group to the point of considering all of their clan to be family. They are governed by a "Circle" of elders that are elected base on their merits and leadership skills. Challenges to the title of Nunh can only be made after a male has gained the Circle's approval (to limit the amount of violence associated with them and keep the community whole), and while the terms of the duel--whether it is a fight or a contest--are left up to the competitors to decide, the popular vote and opinion among the tribe's females usually decide the victor if one is not made clear. Always, however, are these contests associated with the physical qualities and, in general, one's ability to serve as a fitting father to the tribe (as a case to note, the competitors are encouraged to perform in the nude so that any apparent "weaknesses" cannot be hidden).


2.) The tribe made a habit of staying rather nomadic, following along with their game and resources from region to region. However, this is not to say that sometimes they didn't stay in one place for an extended period of time. These instances were especially the case when they were able to interact with other "civilized" settlements, offering up trade, barter, and services in exchange for goods, supplies, livestock, and superior tools/weapons.


3.) M'kharis's mother is something of a PR-agent for the tribe, responsible for setting up trade-agreements with the local authorities of the settlements that the tribe temporarily settles next to. As her son was around the age of ten by the time they happened to set up near a fishing village, she brought him along during her venture to the town. M'kharis had been begging and pleading to be allowed to go with her to see what the other civilizations were like for at least a year by this point, so she was finally made willing to bring him along.


4.) After ensuring that they had a go-ahead from the authorities, the mother and son eventually met up with a Hyuran man named Damien Rikes--a wealthy and very amiable merchant who ran the sea-routes with his own vessel. Seeing how both parties would have been able to profit from the exchange (the tribe gets the supplies they need and he gets a some energetic labor and a stock of exotic, hand-made Miqo'te craft), he eagerly accepted M'analra's offer.


5.) It just so happened that Damien's latest adventure in his merchanting profession turned out to be a bit more of a risk than he originally anticipated. Though it wasn't quite enough to put him out of business, he suffered a heavy loss in the markets, being left with a surplus of perishable goods and a loss of laborers. So fortunate was the appearance of both M'analra and her tribe in this time that Damien considered it a blessing from the Twelve themselves, and reacted accordingly. Not too long after their initial meeting had the merchant and the Miqo'te mother become steadfast friends; both in the business of trade and personally. As it turns out for M'kharis, this was a great opportunity.


6.) With trust cemented between the two, and the fact that the young boy's sense of insistent curiosity never waned, M'kharis was allowed to spend extended periods of time visiting Damien on his own. The two of them quickly developed something akin to an Uncle-and-nephew relationship, and while both served as windows into each other's worlds and cultures (The tribal Miqo'te versus the "Civilized" Hyur), it's fair to say that the child received a much broader education between the two.


7.) During this time, Damien considered M'kharis to be his apprentice, and tried to teach him the basic nuances of how to turn a profit. However, it was obvious that the little Miqo'te was much more interested in how Hyuran food tasted, how such large boats were able to float, and why people dressed so funny, instead. So, it was apparent to Damien that he'd have to start from the beginning, and speak more of the world outside the tribe, itself, before something so intricate as business. Still, the apprenticeship was still official as far as documentation was concerned--but admittedly, the merchant had difficulty pronouncing and spelling M'kharis's name the way the Miqo'te did. So, instead, Damien always wrote his name down on ledgers and documents the way he, himself, pronounced it--and eventually convinced the boy to do the same, for the sake of other non-Miqo'te. Then, as he misunderstood the Miqo'te's naming conventions at the time, he used M'analra's surname for M'kharis, as well. Thus, outside of his tribe, he became known as "Merkaris Dahlisar." Later on, as M'kharis learned more and matured, he understood that this name was much easier for non-Miqo'te to understand and allowed him to stand out a bit more in "civilized" settings, so he came to fully adopt it.


8.) For the eight years that followed, M'kharis spent his time living amongst two different cultures; he was a tail in two cities, if you will. For all the life having been lived within the tribe, he was so curious about the "outside world." And yet, now the more he learned what the rest of the world was like, he became more and more curious about his own tribe. Thus, this cycle of going between both Damien and his own family continued, expanding his knowledge of both as he was raised between the two cultures. As the tribe taught him about community and duty, the merchant spoke of etiquette and obligation. When the Miqo'te taught how to gather and provide, Damien showed M'kharis how raw materials were synthesized into goods and distributed. The wilds taught him how to hunt game with both the spear and the bow, and the roguish man instructed him on how to protect himself with them. Both worlds both contrasted and complimented his education in this way, and while M'kharis wasn't much of a scholar or "book-smart," he was especially clever and crafty, which allowed him to learn practical skills very quickly.


9.) Upon coming of age, M'kharis filled out to be a smaller than average in terms of height, but rather lithe and limber individual. His feet were as quick as his thoughts, and his energy as boundless as his imagination. This being said, it was still very unlikely that he'd be able to make a run for one of the tribe's Nunh, given that his strength and fortitude were two qualities that he lacked in comparison to those who held such a title--it would take several years of dedicated training just for him to match their abilities in a single field, such as hunting. But such a competition was far from what M'kharis considered his priorities. The time he would have to spend training would have been much happier spent learning more about world. In fact, Damien was considering bringing along his curious apprentice on his next voyage so that he could do just that.


10.) However, the world itself had a different plan. When M'kharis turned 18, the conflict with the Garleans was coming to a head. Knowledge of the politics behind the war and the formation of the Three Great Companies were beyond the young Miqo'te's knowledge, but Damien was sure to keep no secrets about the severity of the situation to him. As it turned out, the Maelstrom was requesting--if not outright demanding--that all large, seaworthy vessels in the vicinity be released into their custody in exchange for a recompense. Now, Damien wasn't a soldier by any means, but if anyone was going to be at the helm of his ship, it was going to be him. It took a bit of convincing with the Maelstrom officers to agree to such a counter-demand, but given that Eorzea needed every able-body and brave-soul it could find at the time, they were hard-pressed to say no, especially given the merchant's skill and expertise. Rike's philosophy was that hard work, preservation, cleverness, and a bit of luck could lead any man or woman to greatness in their desired profession. He felt as though he had more than earned his riches and his position in life--and if the Garleans aimed to take that all away, he was willing to do what he could to protect the progress that both he, and Eorzea as a whole, had accomplished. Unfortunately, this meant "the voyage would have to be delayed 'til a happier time." The sudden parting ached M'kharis's heart; no one had ever seen him as gloomy as he was in the weeks that passed after Damien's decision to go fight in the war.


11.) That year, the seventh Umbral Era began. For a long time, the red moon of Dalamud had stirred unrest among the local Miqo'te. While M'kharis's tribe was not lacking in able-bodies, effective hunters, and talented healers, the elder consensus was to withdraw from the regions nearby High-Value Targets that the Garleans would likely attack due to the tribe's small size. This is to say, even if most of their population could have served as capable soldiers in their own right, they would have been forced to use guerilla tactics to make up for their numbers--something that would have been rendered ineffective on the open battlefields. Additionally, sending away all of their hunters would leave the tribe defenseless, should they encounter rogue patrols of Garleans or monsters. So, they focused their efforts on self-preservation. The Miqo'te were quick to pack up their belongings and portable shelters to leave.


12.) For M'kharis, this was a period of his life that still continues to haunt his every waking nightmare--a dark fact that he continuously struggled to hide under a smiling visage. A week of constant storms swirled around the angry moon, flaring with blinding bolts of lightning and deafening thunder. But between each roar of the sky... was a message. It seemed to call down from the ruptured heavens with a cryptic song, carried on the lips of a voice as hauntingly beautiful as it was terrifying. Anxiety coursed through the poor Miqo'te, and only continued to build when it appeared that no one else could hear the voice--most, including M'kharis himself eventually, attributed it simply hearing things stirred up from the storm in the distance. But as much as he tried to convince himself that it was all in his mind, the song never stopped, and neither did his thoughts about it. Over the course of the week, hearing the voice repeat again and again... it was so unnerving, that since that day, he could never forget the lyrics. He could only hope that the storms would pass away soon, and that he and his tribe could get far, far away from Dalamud.


13.) But they left a day too late. No one save the Twelve could have even hoped to be prepared for the revival of Bahamut and the carnage that it drew forth in its angry wake. Meteors crashed all around, turning the once-lush landscape into a cauldron of hellfire. Chaos and confusion ran rampant, and even the tight-knit community of the Miqo'te tribe was strained and torn asunder as to what to do or which direction to run. Needless to say, the explicit details of this event are hazy and difficult to describe--all M'kharis can remember clearly is being separated from the group just before a massive, fiery, bolt of magic crashed an unfathomably close distance away. The young Miqo'te caught the brunt of the shockwave and debris, knocking him unconscious. It was only then, that the voice finally stopped... for a time.


14.) When M'kharis awoke, he found himself in a large hospital encampment, apparently rescued by a search-and-rescue team dispatched as damage control following the cataclysm. For the time that he stayed there to recover from his injuries, he insistently asked everyone he could about the fate of his tribe and Damien... but received only inconclusive answers. More over, he began experiencing random black-outs that fed into odd dreams about other people he hardly knew; mostly depictions of survivors fleeing from Bahamut's flames and later being carried or hauled back to camp. These experiences were attributed to the head-trauma he received from the blast that knocked him unconscious, and after a while, they faded away. Left with nothing but his clothes, a bow, and some rations handed out by the field medics, M'kharis left in search of his friends and family.


15.) For the months that followed, the lonely Miqo'te scoured the land in search of the life that had been taken away from him. But as it turned up, every lead he found lead to a dead-end and was often much more trouble than it was worth. Desperation has a way of making a person persistent, however, and so this woeful process continued to repeat itself, never to any avail. Where M'kharis failed to achieve his goal, however, he made up with personal progress along the way. As his meals frequently relied on what he could hunt or scavenge from the environment, his skills with the bow sharpened themselves over time, as did his knowledge of geography and the many creatures that roamed throughout the land. His wishes to see the world were finally revealed right before his very eyes, but now for a much different reason--there were always very practical explanations as to where he went and when, all in the futile search for his tribe or someone who might have known what became of Damien. Whether he realized it or not, M'kharis had grown much stronger through this experience, tempering both his body and mind.


16.) Five years after he originally left the medical encampment, M'kharis found himself resting in a busy little tavern. Currently without a Gil to his name, he couldn't even treat himself to a meal after his long journey, so he didn't plan on staying longer than was necessary to rest his weary legs--this decision soon changed, however. To his small fortune, it appeared that there was to be live entertainment that night, and so he decided to stay a while longer to watch. Though there were a few classic acts such as pair of lanky elezen knife-jugglers and a lalafellin comedian, it was the finale that served as a turning point in the Miqo'te's quest. A young woman who addressed herself as a bard took the stage, armed with a harp. Even without any other performers alongside her, the music she played lulled the entire tavern into blissful awe... all, save for M'kharis.

"To all of my children, in whom life flows abundant~"

In the back of the room, the lone Miqo'te broke out into a cold sweat as he listened to her song--the very same that he heard coming from the sky. This couldn't have been a coincidence, he decided. She must have heard it too! He planned on politely questioning her backstage after her performance, but before he could have even sat through half of the song, M'kharis wound up blacking-out at his table.


17.) Amidst a drowning periphery of crystals and shadows, M'kharis saw the faces of his missing friends and family, following their respective points of view during the day that marked the current era. Each vision was only like the fragment of a memory, fading in from a backdrop of flames before fading away. All the while, the mysterious disembodied voice spoke to him once more, speaking only small, cryptic phrases. It was as though some sort of conclusion was trying to reach out and speak to him--like the puzzle itself was trying to place the missing pieces in his hand. In fact, it was this very realization that startled the Miqo'te awake, once again laying in a foreign bed; the innkeeper and his wife had saw fit to let him rest in a vacant room after he proved to be out-cold. Unfortunately, though he had scrambled out of the sheets and downstairs as quickly as he legs could take him, it was already noon of the next day--and the bard had long-since left.


18.) Finally, M'kharis had found himself a resolve: that the song he heard from the sky was not just a figment of his mine, but a means by which he could sow back the life he so-sorely missed; and to harness that means, he first needed to understand the song. It was that very afternoon that he finally found direction--he aspired to learn the ways of prose and the meanings secreted between words. He wanted to become a Bard.


19.) But to take upon such a profession, he would first need the Gil and equipment to get started. M'kharis wasted not a moment longer requesting if he could be allowed to work at the tavern, but seeing the spark of inspiration in his bright, green eyes, the innkeepers instead turned him towards the Adventurer's Guild in the nearby city-state of Gridania.


20.) After he placed himself down onto the seat of the cart leading him towards his destination, M'kharis smiled for what seemed like the first time in years. Finally, he was sure that he had found a means by which he could be reunited with his family and friends. Though he knew not what the future had in store for him--what challenges it would bring, who he would meet, or where he would go--for that whole ride aboard the chocobo-drawn carriage, he couldn't help but continue wearing his smile.


(Phew! All done!

Obviously, there are many "slack" places in this plot line that can be filled in with small, side-stories. I'll likely come up with a few and make up others as I go. If you have any suggestions as to what you'd like to see or elaborated upon, feel free to let me know!


Also, thank you -very much- for reading. I really appreciate it! <3)



Link to comment

I thought it was very good...

... despite my disappointment that you won't be on my server :(

Very well thought out and logical. Other than a few typos (which you admitted would be there in this rough draft), great job :)


I know, I know D:

I wasn't aware that Balmung and Gilgamesh were going to be the "unofficial" RP servers when I picked Leviathan during the beta (doing so because it was my server on FFXI). As much as I'd enjoy a switch, I'm reluctant to abandon the awesome people I met on Levi, especially after we all made a big deal about find each other again when Phase 4 starts.


If I'm able to get a server-transfer though, I should be able to transfer my 1.0 character over to Balmung. But even then, I'm not sure how active I would be on that character. So... we'll see ;x


Agreed! This is a really nicely done character concept. I'm no lore expert by any means so you may want to get one of them to skim it to verify but just from a character building perspective I'd say it's well done. :)


I'm certainly hoping that one comes around ^^;

I was really reluctant to specifically mention where some places in the story were located out of fear of stepping on the lore's toes a bit--though I suppose leaving them vague allows for some flexibility once the character gets thrown into the chaotic mesh of other roleplayers. I tried my best to keep up with the lore and do some research where necessary, but it'd be reassuring to have someone double-check that for me, especially considering that Dalamud and the Echo played a pivotal role in M'kharis's plot.


Also, thank you both for checking things out for me. I appreciate it ^^

Link to comment

Hey, Swift, don't know if it was a typo or not, but your nameday doesn't exist. ;P

Here's how the Eorzean months(moons) work, which is a little backwards from how eras are.


1 - First Astral Moon - Halone (January)

2 - First Umbral Moon - Menphina (February)

3 - Second Astral Moon - Thaliak (March)

4 - Second Umbral Moon - Nymeia (April)

5 - Third Astral Moon - Llymlaen (May)

6 - Third Umbral Moon - Oschon (June)

7 - Fourth Astral Moon - Byregot (July)

8 - Fourth Umbral Moon - Rhalgr (August)

9 - Fifth Astral Moon - Azeyma (September)

10 - Fifth Umbral Moon - Nald'Thal (October)

11 - Sixth Astral Moon - Nophica (November)

12 - Sixth Umbral Moon - Althyk (December)


Don't confuse the order of months with the order of Eras. Months follow Astral Umbral Astral Umbral. Eras follow Umbral Astral Umbral Astral.

Link to comment

Hey, Swift, don't know if it was a typo or not, but your nameday doesn't exist. ;P

Here's how the Eorzean months(moons) work, which is a little backwards from how eras are.


1 - First Astral Moon - Halone (January)

2 - First Umbral Moon - Menphina (February)

3 - Second Astral Moon - Thaliak (March)

4 - Second Umbral Moon - Nymeia (April)

5 - Third Astral Moon - Llymlaen (May)

6 - Third Umbral Moon - Oschon (June)

7 - Fourth Astral Moon - Byregot (July)

8 - Fourth Umbral Moon - Rhalgr (August)

9 - Fifth Astral Moon - Azeyma (September)

10 - Fifth Umbral Moon - Nald'Thal (October)

11 - Sixth Astral Moon - Nophica (November)

12 - Sixth Umbral Moon - Althyk (December)


Don't confuse the order of months with the order of Eras. Months follow Astral Umbral Astral Umbral. Eras follow Umbral Astral Umbral Astral.


Blah! I can't believe I did that, lol.

Without having access to the character creator/character information on the Lodestone, I actually took the time out to start counting on my fingers back to which moon July was in. After all that work to remember it was the fourth astral moon, I still wrote it down as the seventh by accident (since July is the 7th month and all).


Thank you for pointing it out! -Goes to fix-

Link to comment

I have a really hard time remembering off the top of my head too, which is why I use this link:




Except there's no way Hydaelyn is rotating at a speed such that 1 year is only 18 days. That's insane.


Lol in game it's not. But that's the conversion from in-game time to real life time. If every minute in Eorzea goes by every 2 1/2 seconds in real life, an entire year in Hydaelyn happens in 18 days our time. If we take OOC into this, IC time goes very much like in the real world. 60 seconds equal a minute. 60 minutes equal a bell. 24 bells equal a sun.


But then we must remember that while actual time passes in game, the actual time frame remains the same in game. Like in Sunday Comics, the characters don't ever grow up. Time doesn't ever really go on in game cuz then our characters would age over 20 years every 1 year we played the game. Too many events to implement every 18 days lol.

Link to comment

If every minute in Eorzea goes by every 2 1/2 seconds in real life, an entire year in Hydaelyn happens in 18 days our time.


Yea, I really would like to see Squee slow down the day/night cycle in-game a tad. It's frustrating roleplaying a scene at night and watching the sky cycle through dawn, mid-day, dusk, night, dawn again, over and over and over.. D:

Link to comment

Well they used to have Daytime and Nighttime only NMs. Which may hold true to some FATEs in ARR. So you kinda don't want to be sitting around for 2+ hours just for it to become nighttime either.

Link to comment

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in

Sign In Now
  • Create New...