I hate wanna-be bandit queens.
Johara Amal cornerstone character developed after years of consideration and work. It was Johara that influenced the creation of many future characters that became central to the Oak Cross metaverse. In many ways Johara was just part of a long line of tragic characters created from my mind. In other cases she was the culmination of any attempts at creating a type of female character that really had been troubling me for sometime. Johara was suppose to be an abused individual who through her own strength and empowerment succeeded above the trope she was once fixed in. She began as a thief girl with a haughty edge and ended up the street queen of a family of entertainers.
A Rough History
Johara was born to a prostitute by the name of Sana Amal who came from a long line of Orrian individuals who passed as Elonian (this is set in the Guild Wars universe). This mean that Johara’s racial identity was often denied and her ethnic identity often faced erasure because of the social troubles facing her mother’s family. Johara’s father was a rich noble of some standing in the capital city far away in Destiny’s Reach. He would eventually save the young after many years after she was orphaned following her mother’s untimely demise (Johara thinks her father playd a part). As a bastard she was disallowed any true inheritance of her father’s family and eventually became a sort of operator for him. Her father would use her to accomplish goals, spy on rivals, and even to gain favors.
To raise your own daughter as a courtesan is pretty dark and Firouz (Johara’s father) was a plainly awful person. After a time Johara was indoctrinated into a large secret society known as the Ashenfold Cartel.
A Long Drawn Out Story
Johara was one of my more favorite characters to play. She was complex and had a varied life that drew those in around her. Throughout the years in Ashenfold she rose from an obscure member to reveal herself as a form member of the secret police and would face a life of harsh reality. Johara was an openly bisexual woman who challenged notions of slavery heavy in the Cartel and eventually won her family’s control via executing her own father. Part of her story was in general two key romances that drew her to who she would become.
Earlier in her design she was crafted to feel like a chameleon, wearing a mask to suit whatever she was doing at a given time. Over time the anger she held onto towards her father boiled over two serious charged relationships which soon both fell apart. Eventually her story came to an end though as her personality overwhelmed me. I took time off in that period of roleplay to then retool the character, and make her less tumultuous. What resulted was a natural progression of who she was.
In the end Johara disappeared when I left Guild Wars 2. She went away to deal more fully with the demons that plagued her for years.
Influencing other Characters
Johara has effectively become the cornerstone character for when I created tragic individuals. I look back to my experiences in shaping and molding her story to learn from it. There are multiple problems that occurred when I was working on characters with similar backgrounds of abuse and mental manipulation. It has expanded my understanding of disabilities, and of the complexes that result from problems. Johara was a sassy young woman, and her intricate emotions often made her one of my favorite characters to play.