@Luz_MelianThank you!! And yeah, don't let the haters fool you, people use the same line against every canon couple in any work of fiction ever and it’s almost never true and definitely never relevant. Here I am about to write a novel on the subject for the 983rd time even though you already know and didn’t ask for this, but hey, what did you expect? Rhen and Dameon had probably the most development out of any of the game couples. The usual “but all their interactions were optional!" line 1. just isn't true, and 2. literally every possible romantic interaction for any other two characters in the series is optional. In AP Devin can romance Talia OR Alicia, or neither, and what ship "makes sense" or not depends 100% on player choices and headcanons. Av2 is the same, if you don't choose to go through the extra dialogue and buy a kitten or whatever then no romances make sense, not even Iya and Ean. Same with av3, and av4. I mean, for real, the only thing Dameon doesn't have that other shipped characters in the games sometimes do is money thrown at him and called “attraction points,” and a lot of dialogue during sidequests. Which yeah, I definitely agree with you that it could be sweet if Rhen bought him flowers or something, and of course I'd love if Dameon had more dialogue because I love Dameon, but that kind of stuff just isn’t needed or even really pertinent to developing a relationship, and I kinda appreciate that there’s nothing that could be interpreted as monetary coercion between them (or love potion. May I just say, phew), and that Dameon doesn't feel the need to posture and throw around his opinions and ideas when they aren't relevant or necessary. (And I greatly appreciate that Amanda didn’t make him that kind of character because-- icky.)
What I'm saying is, every relationship in Aveyond is developed in optional interactions, and most of them depend on the player deciding to go through those interactions and pick their own preferred love interest, and the character goes along with whatever the player says. But Rhen and Dameon? They fall in love in-game regardless of player choices. They make the choice themselves. Rhen's first words to Dameon are basically a pick up line! (A subtler version of "come here often?" and, come to think of it, "have we met before?"). (Also when Talia introduces them and we learn she's basically spent her time talking Rhen up to Dameon and probably secretly shipping them for who knows how long? So good.) Then Dameon actually getting permission to join the party, and just the sheer level of respect and consideration! And this is just the bare basics of their first meeting, I could go on forever. They have plenty of interactions, many optional, yes, but they all further develop both the characters and the plot (to the point that neither the plot nor the character arcs make sense without their little conversations) and, more importantly, demonstrate respect and genuine compassion and kindness between them. Also. I’ve ranted before about how Dameon loves Rhen in literally every single possible ending but I haven’t had the opportunity before to point out that Rhen loves him in every version too. The line you were talking about -- “can you not come with me?” -- comes before she makes any kind of choice. She wants him to go with her wherever she goes. That’s like. Pretty explicitly love. Some people use that as the definition of love. And when she makes a choice that doesn’t lead to him being with her, it’s never once presented as a lack of love but a lack of confidence. When he explicitly asks if she loves him, she never denies it. Instead she says, in essence, that she’s afraid and unsure. Those endings don’t talk about her being happy, but being glad to be left alone by the world-- which is a tragedy when you think about the Rhen we get to know through the quest, the Rhen who loves people and loves being able to help and be involved, being reduced to that-- ouch.
The queen ending, on the other hand? Yeah, she’s nervous at first, because duh, she thinks she’s going to have to go across the ocean by herself, probably never see the person she wants to be with again, and marry a stranger so she can rule a country she hasn’t lived in since she was a baby (or perhaps a toddler but that’s another conversation). But then she expresses her desire for Dameon to come with her (yet again), and the Oracle makes it happen, and she gets so excited, and we get another one of my favorite lines, Dameon asking, “Are you ready to meet your destiny?” and Rhen, immediately, with her hesitation now completely vanquished, “With you? Yes!” Asdlgkjal. Just. So good. She gets to be with the person she’s been repeatedly choosing for the whole game-- another thing I’ve ranted about a lot, though I’m not sure I’ve posted that here, I’ll have to check. And then she chooses him again, in probably the most adorable unplanned proposal ever, and proceeds to be excited and precious for the rest of the game and lives peacefully and happily, not hiding from the world but continuing to influence and shape it and helping people and being the bright powerful independent leader she’s always been and always loved being-- it’s just so good, people be missing out big time and I feel sorry for them.
As for lard… yeah, I have entire essays on exactly how much nonsense that is, if you ever want something to yell in agreement at just let me know, I can send links XD
NOW, as this spaz is concluded, back to art, because I am, as always, way, way behind.
First, something I made on a plane because what else was I going to do, talk to the person next to me? Nopity no, bro.
Second, a mock title screen for Aveyond 1 because I really, really love that game
Third, a Hi'beru drawing I made for an art trade:
And last here's some armor and robe practice featuring my faves: