Elsa

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Submitted NPC.png This article covers a submitted NPC.

Submitted non-player characters have been fleshed out in detail and are ready for review by the other developers. Once they have been reviewed and agreed upon, they become accepted NPCs.


Contents

Elsa (Submitted NPC/Party Member)

“They told me, yes, your baby’s a prince. Going to save the world some day, going to unite all the people. He’ll cast out the cold, the snow will fall back, he’ll know what to do. He won’t falter. Don’t let them snatch him from you. Keep Baby safe, no matter what you do.” Elsa

Location

In an abandoned building, far to the north, you stumble upon a savage-looking man struggling with a screaming woman. She’s crying out that he’s trying to hurt her baby – and in her arms, she cradles something swathed in blankets. The player can creep away, unseen, or intervene. If they save Elsa, they can choose to take her along with them.

Character

(Before you stands a pale, raggedly-dressed woman. She carries a shotgun on her back, and in her arms, in a loose sling, hangs a cracked, broken plastic doll. Her sad, wide eyes constantly drift down to it, and she strokes it, like a mother caring for her child - the most important thing to her in the entire world.)

Elsa will not tell you how far north she's walked in search of the "airfields", where, she claims, a zeppelin "like out of the old films" is waiting to take her and 'Baby' far south, to safety and the "old meeting of nations." But any fool can see that the old, broken plastic doll she carries around with the utmost care is no real child.

Elsa's only concern is for her Baby. She goes hungry so that she can press scraps of food into its ever-open mouth. She removes her own precious items of clothing to swaddle it in warmth, and she whispers to it that it will be a great hero; that it will turn back the cold. Sometimes, in passing, a name will seem to slip out - Joel - suggesting that, perhaps, she lost her own child some years ago in the wilds, and never recovered her sanity since. She can even speak of 'the hospital' where it all went wrong. Her in-depth knowledge of medicine, delivered quite rationally and sanely, implies that she was once a doctor.

Aims

A genuinely tragic, heartbreaking character. One whose delusions keep her alive - belief that her doll is a real child gives her purpose, and holds back her loneliness. She finds purpose in being a mother - in safeguarding the 'future'. There is no easy answer to her problem, no switch to flip back on - it would kill her to admit that her Baby is not real. Essentially, we want all the players who thought Minsc with Boo was hilarious in BG to collapse in on themselves in little sobbing heaps.

Furthermore, Elsa's idea of 'Baby', as, essentially, the PC character of most RPGs - saving the world, uniting the nations, defeating the great evil - can be explored to great effect.

The trick will be to make her moving rather than irritating (frustrating at times, perhaps, but in an engaging way); she cannot be a one-note 'mad' character. Baby is, indeed, her one purpose, but she can also talk apparently rationally and calmly about medicine, classic cinema...essentially, she's an innocent. A genuinely good character who shields herself from the horrors all around her by giving herself something to care for.

Associated Quests

At any time, the player may try and talk Elsa out of it or even, horribly, snatch Baby from her and shatter it on the ground (the consequences of this will be devastating). The player can also take her to a mental hospital and check her in there (but she will, the player may learn later, escape into the snow in nothing but a bathrobe, still searching for her 'airfields', never to be seen again). The player may take her to an airfield and convince a couple of locals to 'act out' a scene in which, as envoys from another land, they take Baby to safety. She will be happy at first, and seem a little saner - though she will occasionally show melancholy and reminicise about Baby. (And, the player may later learn, the locals simply threw Baby away into the trash). If the player pushes Elsa too hard in trying to 'break her out' of her madness, she will seem to regain her sanity...and then, the next time the player speaks to her, she'll have reverted back to her old delusions.

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