“Girls play games. We’re not a different species “
Shields Maidens – Where Deadly Dames do D and D. What is this magical world? Well, it’s Dungeons and Dragons – and it’s fantastic, even to the non-gamer. This week however, we feature the ultimate gamer: Avril Ilejay! The girl knows her kicks on a screen, on a board, and in real life.
Why did you start playing D and D? What do you like about playing?
I started playing DnD because I spend waaay too much time looking at screens. It’s nice to take a break and actually have an engaging social interaction. I’m also drawn to the world of DnD where almost anything is possible… if you can roll for it. 🙂
Tell us a little about Avril:
I’m a on-air promotions and digital marketing preditor (producer/editor). I love playing video games, karate, and alcoholic beverages. If I were to describe myself in three genres, i would be an excellent combination of a Brochick, gamer geek, and athlete.
Why did you choose to do Shield Maidens?
I’ve always wanted to try! I watched the Library kids in high school play and was interested to learn. But they gave me the whole speech of how its too much and that they can’t accept any new people to join. Which I completely understand now! So, when opportunity knocked on my door (Andrew), I was immediately stoked to finally play! 🙂
Tell us a little about Zephyr:
She’s an adopted, exiled monk. She is a bit of a complicated character to play. She’s a monk trying to adapt into the “real world” and often struggles with finding the balance between her monastic code and her own thoughts/wants.But she is calm, capable, and reliable to her team. She loves meditating, exercising, physical combat/challenges and wine.
How is Zephyr like you?
Zephyr has some elements of me; like her athletic natural, reliable, and overall team player. But I don’t nearly have as much internal struggles as she does. I guess if I were to pick an element of her that was the most similar, it would be her dedication to her martial arts training. Everyday without fail, always workings towards making herself a better player for her and her team. 🙂 In my case, for my dojo and I. 😀
Why did you create Zephyr the way you did?
In all honesty, as depressing as it sounds- Zephyr spawns from my road to recovery from a karate injury. When I met Emma (Nix) and Andrew (the DM), I was still in a leg brace. So, thinking about how we’ve become great friends, I thought it would be great to honor our friendship with creating a character from how I was when I first met them to a projection of myself with a successful recovery.
How I hurt myself? I pushed myself really hard while training for a karate seminar, regionals tournament, and a belt test. Then the week of all that happening, I decided to train more after class with my sensei and SNAP! I did a technique and fully tore my right knee’s ACL (The ligament in your knee that helps you stop).
Zephyr’s hardship with adapting to life outside of the monastery- is my struggle with recovering from an injury as an athlete. The pain, dedication, frustration, physical trust, and the overall fight to become the athlete that is better than the one you were before.
In a way, as Zephyr is continuing her journey. I’m still continuing mine. Guess we’re kind of questing together?
What can we take away from Shield Maidens?
It would be great if people would understand that girls like playing these games as much as guys. 😛 We’re not on screen to “show it off”, but we’re literally a group of gals that like playing DnD. It’s a simple concept, but a difficult for others to understand. 😛