Viconia de'Vir

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Viconia de'Vir is a character from the awesome Advanced Dungeons & Dragons computer game series of Baldur's Gate, which was one of the earliest productions of Bioware. She is sadly pretty much unknown to modern D&Ders, which is a shame, because she represents an awesome example of a PC-Friendly Drow who isn't the cliche "whiney, angsty, Rebellious Good Guy following in the mold of Drizzt do'Urden" like most are.

Viconia is a female Drow Cleric, and the last surviving scion of House de'Vir, from the dark elf city of Menzoberranzan in the Underdark of the Forgotten Realms. Ironically, if one compares the lore, this implies she is ultimately responsible for Drizzt surviving instead of being sacrificed for being his mom's third-born son; Drizzt only got to live because his eldest brother was assassinated (by their respective third brother) during House do'Urden's assault on House de'Vir for losing the favor of Lolth, something that was caused by Viconia herself. Rumors that a raven was watching the whole spectacle are ridiculuous, and unfounded.

See, Viconia was a fairly normal Drow female growing up, bar an uncharacteristic loyalty to and affection for her brother, Valas de'Vir. Indeed, she was a devoted worshipper of Lolth... too devoted. Essentially, she attributed her demonic patron with more dignity than she does, in fact, possess, and one day refused to sacrifice an elf baby to Lolth because she didn't see the point of it: this was no fearsome foe, no powerful enemy, what glory was this supposed to bring to her mighty mistress? For her foolish idealism, Viconia was punished, and Lolth demanded that Viconia be sacrificed for her sins.

However, Viconia's brother wouldn't hear of this, and he saved her life - for which Lolth turned him into a Drider. Still, he gave Viconia the chance to flee, and she took it, escaping to the surface and unwittingly leaving her family to die at the hands of House do'Urden. She fled to the surface, meets a fat caravan owner and learns surface customs and languages in exchange for...services. Just when she thought she could manipulate the fat fuck to her will... the merchant croaks due to humping the hottest piece of ass non-stop for months, and she has to run from the caravan guards and hide again.

Viconia's past after that is a mystery to us. All we know is that she abandoned the worship of Lolth and turned instead to worshiping Shar. Ironically, she made the same mistake of developing her faith/loyalty as a result of attributing noble qualities to a deity that doesn't really have them. Viconia basically worships Shar as a gentle protector who gives her succor from loss... but as anyone else knows, Shar's doctrine is basically "evil emo-psycho-bitch", with her basically mandating that her followers aren't allowed to be happy or hope for something better and they should destroy hope & joy in others as well.

Eventually, she crosses paths with the Bhaalspawn, the player character of Baldur's Gate. In the first game, she is being pursued by a random Flaming Fist mercenary, and will join the party only if you save her from him. Her stats make her one of the best clerics in the game, except her Strength and Constitution scores are abysmal and she has Magic Resistance 50%... which, since this game is running on the AD&D engine, means there's a 50-50 chance that healing spells and buffs won't work on her either. In the second game, she's got to be rescued again this time, from a bunch of Beshaba cultists who are about to publicly burn her at the stake for worshiping an evil goddess... Which is an interesting position to take when you consider that Beshaba herself is an evil-aligned Goddess of Bad Luck (though if fiction has taught us anything, it's that even Evil people have limitations). This time, she's lost her Magic Resistance and can become super-tanky by outfitting her with Crom Faeyr, a strength-boosting uber-warhammer.

As mentioned above, Viconia is an evil character, in that she's selfish, aggressive, sarcastic, ruthless and enjoys proving her strength. She's nice enough to the Bhaalspawn but conducts herself as a catty bitch to almost everyone else in your party, throwing unwarranted, pointlessly cruel barbs in every direction. But she's not stupid, and is in fact probably one of the sanest Evil characters in the entire gameline, seeing no reason to murder an innocent light elf slave after a bitchfit with a shota, or slaughter a random human village, sell the survivors into slavery, kill the rescuers and claim it was for honor and her good Goddess after having a lesbian orgy - but at the same time, there's little suggesting she would have any problem with those things happening within her sight. She also has a point when she points out that, given her people's reputation, a "do unto others before they do unto you" attitude is kind of sensible. Seriously, if you talk to her in the second game, she mentions trying to just settle down and manage a small homestead in one of the towns the Bhaalspawn saved in the first game. That ended when two of her neighbors found out what she was and reacted by tricking her into letting her guard down so they could beat her senseless with a surprise shovel to the head, implicitly rape her, and then bury her alive. She promptly regained consciousness, clawed her way out of her grave, and murdered them both in retaliation, along with their kin, before hitting the road again. Tough bitch is tough.

A little heartwarming detail is that, after sufficient love and care, she can turn to True Neutral, finally making peace with the world's flow. D'aww...

Viconia is one of the three romance options for male human/half-elf PCs in the second game, and is pretty much the mold-maker for Bioware's "dark, seductive, nasty-yet-redeemable jerk with a heart of gold" love interest (other examples include Dragon Age's Morrigan and Mass Effect's Jack). She wants a strong, aggressive, confident and assertive sort of mate, but she's also what a weeaboo would call a "tsundere"; love is an alien emotion to her, so the closer you get, the more frightened she gets, starting to actively push you away, only to finally give in and come happily running back if you refuse to give up on her. Her fandom raged when it turned out that her post-romance epilogue led to her assassination by an agent of Lolth after having a son with the Bhaalspawn - otherwise she got to go adventuring with Drizzt and become accepted as another "redeemed Drow".

To explain exactly why this was received so poorly, beyond the obvious grimderp overload of the idea, there's also the fact it makes very little fucking sense. By the end of Throne of Bhaal, Viconia is not only a 20th-plus level Cleric (and whilst CoDzilla was a 3e thing, they weren't slouches in 2e, either!), but also married to another 20th-plus level character, and on relatively good terms with a band of equally strong adventuring buddies, and decked out with all the protective gear gathered from a lucrative career of looting her way up and down the Sword Coast. The idea that a miserable drow assassin would get near her, or that they wouldn't be able to cure the poison, is patently ridiculous. Even if you accept that bullshit nonsense about it being uber-venom from Lolth's own fangs that the Ascension version of the epilogue has, the idea that a pissed off Bhaalspawn armed with a) enough magic resistance and weapons that would make Tempus go "Hold up, this shit is insane" and b) companions that murdered gods and godlings as well as half of the fucking Realms, wouldn't gather his buddies and go spelunking into the Demonweb Pits and wreck shit until he could take Viconia's soul back to the Material Plane is absurd beyond reason, and definitely a dick move to depress players through forced helplessness.

Fuck, that would be the perfect excuse for the Bhaalspawn, especially a neutral or evil one, to go kick down the heavenly gates, take back his dad's essence, and then go after Lolth herself, god against god, in one epic tier roaring rampage of revenge and claim her as a concubine. Or better yet, render the bitch a totally wrecked pile of spider legs, and maybe even absorb her portfolio.

Ironically, despite this derision, the only mod to have any kind of better alternative ending for her is in the Edwin Romance Mod, which includes it as a separate installable file. Which, guess what? Literally consists of "Viconia and Charname thwart Lolth's assassination attempts after their wedding, then head to the Underdark, find a portal to Lolth's home in the Abyss, and kick the shit out of her until she's too afraid to come after them again, then head back to the Prime and live happily ever after with their kids."

Full text for the lazy:

"After the events that transpired at the Throne of Bhaal, <CHARNAME> and Viconia traveled together for some time, adventuring. Glory and triumph followed them wherever they went, for through their previous journeys they had truly become a formidable pair. But more important to <CHARNAME> than any gold or glory, more important than anything on the face of Toril, was the love he shared with his dark lady. He had given up godhood to remain at her side, and it was a decision he would never have cause to regret. Through pain and suffering, darkness and despair, she had emerged into the light of day, and now their journey together was truly beginning. Viconia might still refer to her soulmate as a 'lowly male' on occasion, but these days she spoke mostly in jest, unless <CHARNAME> had committed some truly serious offence. And though her temper was as unpredictable as ever, this added all the more spice to their relationship, the reconciliations bringing them all the closer together. So close did the two lovers grow, that they eventually decided to declare their love publicly in marriage. Many of Faerun's most powerful entities attended the ceremony, all of them careful to do or say nothing that might upset the bride. In truth, Viconia had never looked more radiant, serene or in control. Yet as the vows were spoken the observant guest might have been able to spot a single tear in the corner of her eye, bearing mute testimony to the depth of her feeling at this joyous occasion. Only the brave or the suicidal would ever have dared point that out to the bride however, for fear of a Storm of Vengeance mysteriously materializing inside their underpants. The one thing that might have darkened the happy couple's days was the vengeance of Lolth. The Spider Queen, still sought Viconia's life, and once several assassination attempts had been made and failed, the two legendary adventurers had had enough. In an epic quest through the Underdark and the Planes, they challenged the might of the evil goddess. Neither of them would ever disclose the exact nature of their victory to any but their closest friends and family, but it is known for certain that they were never again troubled by the denizens of the Underdark, nor by the goddess herself. Planar sources even whisper that the Spider Goddess was extremely upset by the whole affair, even downright sulky, and that she was heard muttering about it was unfair for other deities to aid one of her former followers against her. The cosmic boils on her immortal face still haven't faded entirely. Viconia's legendary temper became even stormier during the course of her pregnancy with her and <CHARNAME>'s first child. The Child of Bhaal soon found himself running errands all over Faerun in order to fetch fresh strawberries, beholder puree, or Rashemani Black Pepper. But he thought it worth all the aggravation when he finally got to witness the miracle that was the birth of their first child, a daughter who would in time grow as powerful as her parents, and create a wondrous destiny all her own. But that, as they say, is a different story."

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