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How Alive Are We II: Romance, Emotion and Sex, When You Don’t Have a Metabolism

Revisited this topic this morning on Twitter, when I opined that, due to having been raised by Arthas to consume the living I probably don’t have the finer emotions or even the capability for sensation.

This was due to having seen the ComplexActions strip today involving a spacegoat girl getting tonsil-checked by the frog princess and thinking “You know, I’ve done that quest…repeatedly”.

I apologize for the following – if I’d been thinking and not working I’d have transcribed the whole conversation(s) into the blog – but it’s been long enough that what I wrote is out. Then again, this isn”t about what I think. At the time, my theory was that the personality was restored, but without a metabolism any emotional response, not to mention physical sensation, would be dulled or completely missing. Suffice it to say that Twitteroth did not agree:

First, @jayesh responded with

Lesbian necro… your toon is an undead belf swinger. Hmm…

@joubiku chimed in:

I’d imagine it’s possible. There is an alliance dk npc that has emotional connection to family (Thassarian).

However, his desire for revenge against Arthas and rejection by “polite society” create complications/barriers to reintegration.

Redwood at @redwoodr, one of my #SL friends, helped with :

I think it depends on what kind of undead nature you see them as having – are they more like zombies, or vampires?

Also, romantic relationships don’t depend on physical nature. As long as they have intelligence and emotions, romance is possible.

One of my favorite fanfic authors has a nice original story about a relationship between a woman and a ghost.

Now as far as sex goes, do pain-type spells work on them (assuming WoW has them)? If so, then they can probably feel pleasure also.

I’d say so, especially if they have the same effect on living characters…

You have a point about emotions in RL. OTOH, fantasy tends to tie emotions to the soul rather than the body.

What little I can see on the web about DK lore indicates that free-willed DKs are not emotionless.

The incomparable @Arrens, one of the RP experts I follow, had this to say:

Yes they can. I’ve seen RP’d to brilliant effect.

As would most sane people. But no, there’s no rule that says “YOU MUST RP X-CLASS THIS WAY!” Buck the trend & do what feels right.

None aside from those limited to race. And even those can be stretched, so long as the RP’s consistent.

@psynister added:

I don’t see why they wouldn’t. Romance is mostly mental, and you have a brain. And your…organs, don’t fall off when you’re undead.

I think you can still make it work.

@greyseer, one of the lore experts I follow, raised some interesting points:

It’s not necessarily purely biological in this world. The extended nature that magic allows means even non-biological entities (c)

…a range of emotion. Elementals, for example, have no hardline “biology” to speak of. But they still feel.

This means that as long as there’s precedent for something (caring DKs), then it’s possible.

As soon as you were killed, you ceased to be biological and became more “magical” That body? Doesn’t HAVE to be yours. (c)

This is proven by Gorefiend. Also by the Corrupted Ashbringer, too. Spirits in vessels. Nothing more.

While I’m intrigued by the “not necessarily your body” line, that way lies Mary Sue. I’m trying to explore what it’s like to be a baseline, starting-area-cinematic, fell-to-buy-the-world-another-dawn DK. No alien entities animating fallen heroes. Though, as greyseer pointed out, there is precedent.

So, given the input above, I have a new theory. When Arthas raised us, he *wanted* rage and hate, so the reanimation process fakes us a metabolism from what’s there. This is why burned-to-a-crisp guy in Death’s Rise isn’t screaming incoherently in anguish, constantly. Arthas used his will to suppress the emotions he didn’t want, subsuming them into rage and hatred of the living.

As we break free, the ability to experience other emotions and feel something besides all-consuming bloodlust returns to us. Some of us return quickly, and some more slowly.

So, am I still the pitiless monstrosity emotionlessly toying with you to observe your responses, am I struggling to wall away bloodlust while trying to reintegrate into living society, or do I pretend to be worse than I am in order to protect you?

What do you think? Say you’re a death knight, aching emptiness in your belly from your missing organs, coming to terms with your death and unholy resurrection and you find yourself kissing a grateful human woman – what do you do?

Note I’m not discussing preference yet. Gotta save something for part III.

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4 Responses

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  1. Nashiira says

    I’m bummed I missed the conversation when you had this conversation! I’d love to continue further later when you/I have the time.

  2. MoodylonerDK says

    I’d like to get your input on it. Just trying to imagine what it would be like – to have to try to address relationships and intimacy after this unholy reanimation, by the Lich King. One more thing he owes me for, and I look forward to collecting.

  3. Glynnda says

    If you’re wanting to play the nympho, you could posit it as an extension of the hunger for life. “Arthas left an aching emptiness inside me, wanting to be filled.”, looking down at her slender, graceful fingers…

    OK, I’m embarassed that I typed that.

  4. MoodylonerDK says

    No, trying *not* to play the nympho, as that’s what the stereotype Blood Elf DK does.

    But being completely indifferent isn’t working either.

    And I can’t get on you for typing that, not after I started the damn article.

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