This week it was time to shine some light on one of Chaldea’s brighter personalities: A former courtesan and spy with the purest heart of gold. When you consider Mata Hari’s backstory, it really is rather heartbreaking. Her mother died when she was young, her father was morally and financially bankrupt. Her husband was a mess, her children had tragic fates. Even her lover in WWI was shot down and lost his eyesight, which led her down the path of espionage when she wished to see him. I didn’t list everything in the fragment though.
With all that in mind, I wanted to make something upbeat for her, but I also needed to explore different facets of her personality since she doesn’t get a lot of screen time in game. I made her faithfulness and optimism apparent in the kitchen. She’s shown to be openly playful and flirty at the bar, yet also a touch heartbroken and yearning. At the beach she’s doing nothing but having fun, and against a rowdy servant she pushes past her comfort to help protect her beloved home. With all this, I hope I painted a fairly strong picture of the assassin who longed for a picturesque romance.
Mata Hari’s history was indeed tragic, but also rather sexual considering her profession. It would be a crime not to explore a facet of that within her work. What better way than be teaching the overly promiscuous Medb how to strip dance? As strange and seemingly unfaithful as that would be to the Celtic Queen, one must keep in mind: She’s been able to seduce people just by her looks. She didn’t have to do anything extra and always went right for intercourse. It actually does make sense she’s unaware of modern strip teases and its art.
There’s been a lack of conflict, so I thought to reintroduce it with a new servant; One of three to arrive this entry, even if two are unnamed. Mephistopheles was going to be my biggest challenge to date, but he did make his way here. Unfortunately, his character is… abysmally one sided since he embodies a trope. That said, I do intend to work his character into something remotely interesting and respectable while keeping him within his bounds. Otherwise, his appearance here helps show just what Chaldea thinks of him.
But this wasn’t his entry, but Mata Hari’s. I fiddled with the idea of granting her just a piece of what she wanted at the end, but I thought it was best to leave it all open and ambiguous… for now. I left enough possibly conflicting hints and clues to get the fuel going, but I also managed to keep a generally happy tone for most of the fragment.
There was initially a scene involving the children too, but I scrapped it. The children have a lot of screen time, and Sanson’s fragment showed how loving she was to them anyway.
Next week: It’s one thing to summon a servant and another to summon a goddess. To summon goddess who fits in easily with their wild and wacky Chaldea is no small feat, but on the last summon day before the conservation break, the masters managed to do just that… and she was the second time it happened this week.
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