Returning To Hyboria

Moustaches are back in fashion.

Moustaches are back in fashion. In fact, they never left.

Even though I had to download another 600MB patch, I finally got to play Age of Conan last night and it was quite exciting to get back into it. I didn’t actually manage to accomplish much because I spent over two hours trying to decide on what race to play, what name to use, and constantly creating and re-creating my character until I was happy with his appearance (I wish MMOs would give you a little trial area to try your character out before confirming them). Eventually I decided upon a Khitan Dark Templar called Hongjun on the RPG PvP EU server Aquilonia. As it’s a roleplaying server, I also created a backstory for him:

Hongjun was born 51 years ago in his beloved land of Khitan, answering the call of his Emperor and enlisting as a loyal solider at the age of 14, travelling across Hyboria and fighting the campaigns of his country wherever needed. Eventually Hongjun grew weary of this constant warfare and, after nearly a decade and a half of active combat, he returned to his home city, the capital Paikang, to serve as a simple palace guard. It was there that Hongjun met and fell in love with the beautiful Min-Je, who soon became his wife and gave birth to their one and only child, their son Hongloon.

Life was quiet and peaceful for Hongjun and he spent his spare time with his family, teaching and training Hongloon in the art of combat, strategy and Khitan tradition. It was the proudest day of Hongjun’s life when his son decided to follow in his father’s footsteps and serve his country as a solider.

Two years ago tragedy struck when Hongloon was killed in skirmish with some Aquilonian soldiers near the borders of Khitai. The soldiers had been sent by King Conan as an envoy to the Khitan Emperor and the conflict was the result of heated tempers and mere misunderstanding and never should have happened. Hearing the news of his son’s death, Hongjun fell into a deep depression and vowed to find a way resurrect his boy.

Over the next 24 months, Hongjun gave up his position as a palace guard, renounced his allegiance to the deity Yogah and slowly embraced the dark arts of Sets, covering his body with religious tattoos and learning the hidden secrets of death and the afterlife. Min-Je begged Hongun to give us his quest of resurrection but he would hear none of it and relentlessly pursued his new goal.

Eventually Hongjun grew to master the dark arts and concocted a ritual to free his son of the grasp of death and bring him back to life. The key to the ritual was the balance of life and that the god Set would demand a sacrifice in exchange for the resurrection of Hongloon. Knowing this, Hongjun lured a servant girl to his humble home on the outskirts of Paikang, drugged her, and began the ceremony.

Unexpectedly, Min-Je returned home as the ritual was taking place and stumbled upon her husband plunging a dagger into the chest of the unconscious servant girl, interrupting the powerful yet fragile dark magic in the process. High on Black Lotus and mad with the power of Set, Hongjun flew into a fit of rage and attacked his wife, killing her in the process. The ceremony had been botched; Set had taken both of the women’s lives, giving nothing back in return.

After realising what had happened, Hongjun’s grief turned to hatred, hatred for King Conan the man who he blamed for initiating this tragic series of events. It was Conan’s fault Hongloon and Min-je had been killed and Hongjun swore to take his vengeance upon the Aquilonian King. Sharpening his blade and dusting off his armour, Hongjun left Khitai as a dark warrior, his heart filled with revenge.

Feel free to look me up on Aquilonia if you fancy joining my quest for retribution, think you can stop me or even want to try turning me towards the light again.


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  1. Great story! Sure he’s evil and everything, but wow you gotta feel bad for the guy.

    Good work on the character creation too, I too wish MMOs would let you play around before confirming appearance. My own Khitan character looks a bit odd at certain angles during cut scenes, and I wish I’d had the chance to make those minor changes.

    • Gordon says:

      Yeah, AoC is especially bad at making your character look different in the character selection process than they end up in game. I think it’s got a lot to do with the lighting. I went through about 4 or 5 iterations of my guy until I was eventually happy with his look. I tell ya, that intro with Kalanthes gets boring very quickly :)

  2. As a side note since you brought up the try it before you commit to it thing with new characters, I’ve felt for a long time that MMOs don’t start characters off heroic enough. I’m sick of the weak characters we are always forced to start with. I would much prefer to start with a heroic character that is bad ass out of the starting gates. Then it can be about customization and less about advancement to distinguish the player down the line.

    • Gordon says:

      It’s quite odd isn’t it… I’m actually trying to think of a MMO that does start you “being powerful” and the only one I think of is some of the interludes in Aion. I guess it’s part of the whole RPG genre as the developers want you to start of as a weak nobody and slowly gaining power as you play the game (thus creating an extra incentive to keep playing).

  3. [...] If you don’t believe us, you can go read Jef Reahard over at Massively, Gordon over at We Fly Spitfires , Brian over at Blue Kae  and listen to Brent and Darren talk about it in the return of the Virgin [...]

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