We’re pairing 8-bit music thematically, rather than based entirely on series. You can find this track and more Tater-Tot Tunes on YouTube! Stop by and jam to some great tunes.
Normal Happenings is proud to present The Characters That Define Us, a year long collaboration of 52+ incredible bloggers!
After he broke the internet (causing the delay), we’re finally ready to introduce one of the most fascinating bloggers around. It’s Alex from McWritestuff, and we were so thankful to have him contribute to this collab. We’d be surprised if you haven’t seen him around the internet, but in case you haven’t you should absolutely be following his blog (and his Twitter, where you will find out the mystery of Alex’s full name.)
Alex, thank you for making us laugh while simultaneously triggering an existential crisis. Begin!
Greetings, weary traveller. Come, sit down by the fire of a burning corpse and let me tell you the tale of a man with a heart of stone. Damn right, I’m talking about Olgierd von Everec from the Witcher 3 expansion “Hearts of Stone” (see the connection? It’s not very obvious, but if you can spot it, good on you). While I will be spoiling the character’s secrets, I won’t disclose important details of the main storyline, so that anyone who hasn’t picked up the Witcher 3 and its marvellous expansions yet can enjoy the game. Maybe you’ll be thinking of me when you meet Olgierd. Just…don’t make it weird.
I must admit, I didn’t like Olgierd on our first encounter. Not only did he come across as a ruffian trying to pass for a noble, he also had a terrible haircut. But the more I thought about that asshat, the more I realized we had quite a lot in common. No, not because he has an endearing character trait revealed later in the game. I literally mean we’re both asshats. Immortal asshats, that is.
Pictured here, in a seated ass-hattery position.
Olgierd and I lived very similar lives. He grew up in a wealthy family and was about to marry a lovely woman named Iris. But when his family lost their fortune, Iris’ dad was having none of that and promised her hand (and presumably the rest of her body) to a foreign prince instead. Olgierd, like any calm spirited madman, cursed the prince who abruptly transformed into a toad, which surprisingly eliminated the prince as competition and allowed Olgierd to marry Iris after all. Classic meet-cute.
I can’t say the exact same family drama happened to me, however I did end up marrying a woman who wasn’t a fan of amphibious creatures. I know, that similarity spooked me too, but don’t worry, the comparison doesn’t end here. We’re just getting started. You’ll get to know both me and the leader of “The Wild Ones” (not to be confused with “The Wild Hunt”) on a much deeper level.
You see, Olgierd’s whole “being broke” situation still didn’t sit well with Iris’ parents and he had to find another way to make sure his lovely wife got all the wealth an already rich white lady deserved. He ended up meeting Gaunter O’Dimm, a mysterious man who grants wishes and sells mirrors on etsy. We don’t need to delve into the intricacies of the contract between these two chums; just know that Olgierd basically wished for his family fortune to be restored and to “live like there was no tomorrow”. O’Dimm granted those wishes without any caveat attached to them whatsoever.
Yeah, no, in order to seal the deal Olgierd had to sacrifice his brother’s life (which I’d be cool with, too. Not the biggest fan of my dipshit brother). Also his immortality came with a price as well. He described it as “wonderful at the start” because you “feel no fear, no angst”. But soon his heart would turn to stone and there was “no concern, no care for anyone, not even those [I] loved. And gradually [I] lost them…”. Did that put you off from choosing an immortal life? Cause I’d still be down. In fact, I already am.
I don’t remember meeting Gaunter O’Dimm at the crossroads, so I’m not sure how I turned immortal. Maybe I was born with it, maybe my parents struck a deal with O’Dimm, or maybe it was Maybelline. Regardless, I survived some pretty critical stuff back in the olden days when people had to go outside to entertain themselves. The most notable was when I was three wee little years old. I insisted on riding my tricycle on a walk with my parents that day. When we reached a wooden bridge over a creek one of the wheels got stuck and I fell off. Luckily, I didn’t land in the water and drowned; instead my head cracked on a giant boulder. That boulder should have killed me when it had the chance, but it only left me with one of two scars on the back of my head. Without getting into all the other times I miraculously survived, I think it’s safe to assume that much like Olgierd von Everec, I too am immortal (can’t prove I’m mortal if I haven’t died yet, right?). Similarly, I could relate to Olgierd’s lack of “feeling” since my own heart has turned to stone long ago, so much so that I get caught off guard when I notice human emotions in other beings. You guys are weird with that stuff.
But there’s another important similarity between Olgierd and I besides our failed marriages due to lack of emotional commitment.
(Although, at least my ex-wife is still alive and not a wraith in a parallel universe. Checkmate.)
That other symbol of our samesies is “demonic powers”. Olgierd studied the art of Goetia, a type of dark magic. That by itself is not too impressive in the world of the Witcher, but Olgierd made it a point to not only summon demons, he also made these demons his bitches. How much badassery do you have to consume before you can call upon two demonic beings with incredible powers and force them to take the form of a dog and a cat to keep your emotionally distant wife company?
That’s like putting an ugly Christmas sweater on an angry, agnostic lion. Olgierd also summoned a demon known as “The Caretaker”. Fighting this faceless horror in the game is really tough, and while part of the creature’s purpose was to protect the estate, you can sense Olgierd put that thing in its place, cause it’s not known as “The Guard”, or “The Protector”. Von Everec has a goddamn supernatural janitor. If you don’t think that’s epic, next time you’re out at the club, try hiring one of the bouncers as your gardener and let me know how that went.
Now you might be wondering how Olgierd’s dark magic compares to my experience. I’d argue that my ex-girlfriends are enough proof of my ability to summon demons, but I guess that wouldn’t be a satisfying answer. Unlike von Everec, I call upon the evil spirits from within me instead, torturing all and everyone around me. It is one single powerful demon called “Schadenfreude”. This is an evil being that takes joy in the pain of others, and I in turn enjoy its company.
In short, Olgierd von Everec is an immortal egomaniac void of emotions, which is why he clicked with me. It was like high-fiving a mirror and therefore I can’t think of a better character that defines me. Is he the villain of the story or a tragic anti-hero? Well, maybe just like The Caretaker, Olgierd is nothing more than the janitor of our own hearts. Our hearts of stone.
Yeah, didn’t think that would fly with you guys, either. Anyway, the biggest difference between Olgierd and I is that he seems to not enjoy his never-ending life. Whereas I could go for another round of eternity, on the rocks, please. But who knows, maybe one day I’ll find immortality bland and boring as well and try to reverse it to live a normal life. What do you think, Olgierd?
Ah, thanks, buddy.
Adventure Map! *FINISHING UP!*