Having survived The Depths' opening gambits, Nuada and Nimue find themselves faced with either the daunting task of continuing to explore it or turning around, escaping and possibly putting together another band of adventurers for a return visit. I know which path I would have chosen. What about you? Keep in mind that they don’t know what will happen if they decide to flee. Will The Depths let them escape from its dark embrace?
In the last segment, I introduced two new characters to the story, Nimue and John BigBoote (sorry, I just couldn’t resist). Ever since I read my first story that involved her, Nimue’s place in Arthurian literature has really interested me. In some ways, her treatment seems to embody some of the worst fears/envy of men as well as, all too often, bits of the misogyny that can be found in some of this lore. After all, she is often portrayed as a much younger, attractive woman who uses her beauty to seduce one of the most powerful men in the world. Having accomplished that, she then steals his power and leaves him trapped in a tree/stone/cave. Not a particularly noble outcome for Merlin that, at the same time, also reduces Nimue to a sexual stereotype.
While that kind of betrayal does happen in the real world (whether it is on a sexual or non-sexual level), I want our Nimue to stand on her own as a strong female character who refuses to use her physical looks to her advantage. Like all our other female protagonists so far, this is not someone to be trifled with, even given her relatively young age. While I will certainly introduce some “bad girls” to go along with some “bad guys” over the next few years, Nimue is not among them.
John BigBoote also embodies some of the best traits of both the classical dwarves and our Dvergr. His love for battle, alcohol and general joie de vivre is to be expected, but his special abilities are very much Camelot Unchained. When John sacrifices himself to save Nimue and Nuada, he defies the stereotype of the greedy dwarf, and instead jumps straight at the shape-shifting elemental, fully aware of what the outcome will be.
While one could argue that since these characters are effectively immortal in Camelot Unchained, his sacrifice is meaningless, don’t forget that the lack of aging doesn’t mean you cannot truly die. Remember the immortal words of Miracle Max in The Princess Bride that “It just so happens that your friend here is only MOSTLY dead. There's a big difference between mostly dead and all dead. Mostly dead is slightly alive. With all dead, well, with all dead there's usually only one thing you can do… Go through his clothes and look for loose change.”
John’s sacrifice is, as it appears to be, a truly noble one since almost nobody, especially not John, knows what lies within The Depths. Remember that little saying I wrote about The Depths during the Kickstarter, “Here, every true son & daughter perishes.” It was meant to serve as both a tease (H E T S D P = DEPTHS) and as a warning for adventurers within the literary world of Camelot Unchained.
Today’s episode reveals even more about The Depths than before, including information about our magic system, the mysterious “merchant” and a lot of other small details about Camelot Unchained. If Part II was G-rated, this one kicks it up a notch or two. Because there is so much going on, I’ll refrain from saying anything else other than... enjoy!