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The Gods treat us, the Humans, as little more than pests. They slay us, toy with us, without remorse.
|This article contains spoilers.|
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The "mastermind" and central figure behind Chapter 4. William Shakespeare, also known as the Tragic Bard, was a great historical artist and a prophet that wrote many plays including Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, and The Story of Golvan. He also staged events that would lead to The Merchant of Venice and Macbeth.
As revealed in Generation 15, through Shakespeare's Journal, Shakespeare was on a voyage to the unknown during the year 1585 where his ship was under siege by rough weather, and was then mysteriously transported to Erinn's Soul Stream, starting his "lost years". After Shakespeare fights off several spiritual creatures and faints from exhaustion, Morrighan's voice called Shakespeare's race Milletian before he finds himself tended to a woman named Bella.
Three years since he had arrived in Erinn, Shakespeare lives his life in Avon with Bella, now his lover, while perfecting Enthralling Performance taught to him by her. Suddenly, the duo were attacked by Fomors, where Shakespeare failed to defend his lover and was killed in the aftermath. However, instead of typically dying, Shakespeare found himself back in the Soul Stream in a much younger body.
Three months later, Shakespeare, now well armed, returned to the same spot where he and Bella was attacked. While searching for his lover, Cichol guards an unconscious Bella, while intrigued with Shakespeare's prophetic abilities and that he came from another world. He then states how foolish it is for Shakespeare to have developed feelings for Bella and warns him to leave Erinn or he will die, and then summons Fomors to attack. After disposing of Cichol's minions, the god tries to attack but is intercepted by Morrighan who tries to seal him in Avon, prompting Cichol to redirect his attack. Shakespeare pushes Morrighan, stopping her from harming Bella; Cichol uses this opportunity to depart while taking Bella with him, but before he disappears he warns Shakespeare to run far away. Morrighan then states that Shakespeare will soon rule over Avon before taking him with her.
Ever since then, Shakespeare has been on the search for Bella while fighting against the Fomors and assisting the Partholons and Tuatha de Danann as well as foreseeing future events such as the arrival of a specific Milletian. However, during Shakespeare's time in the Second Battle of Mag Tuireadh, Cichol, after his Black Warriors kill Shakespeare's squad, notes how Shakespeare grew stronger and the speed of his growth is astounding, but still views him as weak. Shakespeare demands Bella, but Cichol ignores this and continues warning him that he is simply Morrighan's puppet, bound by her false promises, and is ultimately fighting for nothing. "Remember this... The future that's been promised to you is a lie, my dear uninvited guest." is Cichol's final warning before vanishing.
Eventually, Shakespeare realized the truth in Cichol's words and tried to find a way to escape Morrighan's evil clutches.
As revealed in Generation 13, Shakespeare once served as Avon's gifted seer. One day, he foresaw a plague the Gods planned to give to Avon to eradicate the Partholon race, but none of the residents believed him and this resulted the God's angering. When Avon was struck with the plague, the citizens pleaded to Shakespeare to cure them, who used a magic flute to lure the rats that carried the plague into a river where they ended up drowning. However, despite this noble deed, rumors of Shakespeare bringing the plague came forth and threw stones at him. In revenge, Shakespeare lured all the children of Avon to someplace else, intending to save them from another epidemic and start the Tuatha de Danann, angering the Gods a thousand times more. While saving the children, he used the flute to also lift up their spirits and, after finding a place for them to live, Shakespeare vowed to never play the flute again and gave it to a Siren. This noble deed would later be praised by all bards in the present day, according to Nele.
After all the citizens of Avon died out, the Gods moved Avon to another dimension and condemned Shakespeare to be sealed in Avon forever. While imprisoned, Shakespeare took his time changing the area, creating Paper Sheep and Paper Butterfly as well has dividing the area into both light and darkness. He also spent his time writing plays, such as Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, and The Story of Golvan, as he wanted plays full of life. However, according to Marlowe, the Gods tried to erase any trace of his works by dumping them in Avon's rivers and later forced it into a well, but some of Shakespeare's work, such as Golvan and Aisling, eventually came to life and emerged from the well.
Shakespeare later plotted a way to escape Morrighan's and her Guardians of Avon's grasp. He tried to find a new body to hide in, using his magical work to aid him in this goal.
As the Milletian tries to finish Hamlet in request of Marlowe, the Milletian encounters Shakespeare in Hamlet Act 1 Scene 5. The Milletian is hostile, but Shakespeare beckons them to listen. He apologizes for his unexpected appearance (as it was not scripted in the play) and explains he was chased on the way to the dock, which was the only way to meet them. He also claims that the monsters that have been appearing in the play were not of Avon and were sent by an unknown entity to eliminate Shakespeare and his works. The Milletian seems doubtful to his words, but Shakespeare tries to prove himself by giving them an Ancient Avon Artifact which is to be delivered to Duncan in Tir Chonaill. Before they part, he tells the Milletian that Duncan can easily be trusted and promises that that they will meet again.
Later, the Milletian meets Shakespeare in Hamlet Act 2 Scene 2 and he explains that the monsters in the world of Hamlet are not supposed to exist, and the Grim Reaper, who had just appeared, is the jailer of Avon and a loyal servant to the Gods tasked with capturing Shakespeare. However, the Grim Reaper proves too powerful for either of them, and Shakespeare teleports both of them out of harm's way.
The Milletian meets Shakespeare once again in Hamlet Act 5 Scene 1. Shakespeare advises the Milletian to not follow Morrighan's path to the light, but rather, focus on both light and darkness as they are meant to coexist, but ultimately the choice is theirs alone. Later, Marlowe warns the Milletian that Gods fear that the script of Hamlet will bring back the power to Shakespeare and that the Grim Reaper will not forgive anyone that helps him.
Shakespeare appears once more in Hamlet Act 5 Scene 2. However, as soon as Shakespeare appears, Morrighan shows up with the Grim Reaper. Morrighan condemns the play's success, but must be returned to ashes. Shakespeare then pleads the Milletian to protect the script of Hamlet while the Reaper takes him away.
After the credits role, Shakespeare says that Grim Reaper was the one of four Guardians of Avon, leaving only three left. He thanks the Milletian for doing their part as the story of Hamlet could not have been made without them, and allows them to keep the First Folio.
Lanier mentions that Shakespeare had another incomplete work-of-art: Romeo and Juliet.
The play-writer is seen again in Romeo and Juliet Act 4 Scene 2 where he is being chased by Bran. The Milletian then attempts to stall the second Guardian of Avon, but is defeated. Bran considers the Milletian "weak" and does not bother to finish them off, and leaves to continue its search for Shakespeare.
Shakespeare appears in the finale, Romeo and Juliet Act 5 Scene 2, commenting the tragedy of Romeo and Juliet's death. Bran soon shows up, and Shakespeare, still not caring for his life, gives the Milletian the completed Romeo and Juliet Script for protection and leaves.
After the credits role, Shakespeare mentions that the destruction of Bran snuffs the second light of Avon, leaving only two left. Again, he thanks the Milletian for their part in the story of Romeo and Juliet and allows them to keep the Second Folio.
Shakespeare appears in The First and the Last as Golvan is being pulled back into his own story, informing Golvan that he must meet his fate. Aisling appears via her Paper Crane and begs Shakespeare to spare her fiance, but the playwright responds that their "love for each other may never be.'"Suddenly, the stage begins to fall apart. Shakespeare urges the Milletian to rush to him, but instead chooses to assist Golvan, which makes the situation "terribly complicated." The two disappear, leaving Aisling and Shakespeare behind. It is never revealed what had happened to Shakespeare prior to the event.
Life is an uncertain voyage.
—Shakespeare, The First Milletian
Cowards die many times before their deaths,
The valiant never taste of death but once.
—Shakespeare, Shakespeare, Revived
The course of true love never did run smooth.
—Shakespeare, Avon Will Be Sealed
There's no art to find the mind's construction in the face.
—Shakespeare, Shakespeare of Mag Tuireadh
According to Marlowe, Shakespeare occasionally appears in Avon, near the Globe Theatre, with a grim, dark expression. Shakespeare then mysteriously vanishes, constantly littering the pages from his Journal, revealing the majority of his past. Marlowe and the Milletian try to decode the content within the pages.
Shakespeare foresaw that Shylock was too merciful to kill Antonio and made contract with him: if Shylock were to take Antonio's heart, Shakespeare would write Jessica and Leah, Shylock's daughter and wife, back to life. However, he had failed to do so, as Shakespeare predicted. Shylock begs Shakespeare, who offers him an alternative that he did not recommend. With nothing else to lose, Shylock agrees to be sent into the Story of Golvan where his family lies, and the playwright transfers his soul into the Story. He then attempts to be reborn into Shylock's body as a method of deceiving Morrighan.
Unfortunately, the Goddess suddenly appears with the Grim Reaper and Bran and successfully captures Shakespeare, shocked by her appearance as he did not foresee it. As Shakespeare disappears, he drops his Journal and warns them that the future ahead must not occur and that they must change it, also telling them to "wait for Bella." Inside the Journal's final context, it says "The Gods treat us, the humans, as little more than pests. They slay us, toy with us, without remorse." and reveals a scenario of the Soul Stream a few years in the future after it was sealed, hosting many deceased bodies of Milletians with Shakespeare's aide agonizing over them. It is concluded with Bella stabbing the Milletian, with Morrighan declaring the extinction of the Milletian race.
After Shakespeare was captured and locked in Rath Royal Castle, Bella appeared to him and told him to kill Morrighan. He fulfilled the task, however he instead he killed King Ethur Mac Cuill the Second, the current ruler of the Aliech Kingdom. While trying to escape, Bella apologizes to him where he Lugh ambushes and stabs Shakespeare from behind, "killing" him and allowing Lugh to take over the Aliech Kingdom.
Upon returning to the Soul Stream, Nao greets Shakespeare with an apology. Morrighan suddenly appears before the confused and cornered Shakespeare, planning to reseal him in Avon. However, Cichol intervenes and whisks Shakespeare away to the Crossroad, an area far from Morrighan's grasp. He reveals that he took Bella to protect her from Morrighan, and also explains that Milletians are a cancer to Tir Na Nog and the Soul Stream was the lead of its destruction; Morrighan believed that she could use Milletians to save Tir Na Nog, but when that failed, she plotted to seal off the Soul Stream and destroy the Milletians. He unravels more of Bella: she is the Emissary of Destruction, a rival to the Brionac, with the ability to corrupt and control the minds of others, a power which Morrighan wants to possess; Cichol only tried to safeguard Bella. An example of her ability was how she manipulated Lugh into believing she was his now deceased daughter Triona. Cichol tells Shakespeare that he must experience pain before he can foresee the truth, and tells him to return when he is ready.
In the Another World of Tir Chonaill, Shakespeare indeed finds Triona's grave, proving that Cichol was not lying. He agrees to assist the Fomor God, who tells Shakespeare to create the Sphere of Truth. After obtaining the materials scattered through the Beach of Scathach, Falias, and Zardine, and then combining them with Synthesis, Cichol uses the sphere to create the Truth Helm, allowing Shakespeare to approach Bella without succumbing to mind control. Cichol advises Shakespeare to join Admiral Owen's assault on to reclaim the throne.
Before he joins Admiral Owen, Shakespeare heads to Rundal Dungeon to "check on something" (what this was not revealed), and calls the Milletian via owl to meet him. However, when the aid arrives, Merrow ambushes them both. After the third Guardian of Avon's defeat, the two retreat to a secluded spot in Dunbarton, where Shakespeare tells the Milletian that they must stop Bella. However, Shakespeare is unable to pass as a normal soldier and requires a Belvast Supply Bundle, which Annick happens to be selling.
When Eirawen leads the assault on Lugh, Bella's mind control is released once Shakespeare comes within her vicinity, and the insane Lugh murders her. An angered Shakespeare in turn kills Lugh. In Bella's dying breath, she apologizes for her unforgivable actions, which she claims was done in order to protect Erinn. She gives Shakespeare her notebook and says good bye; the souls from the deceased gather which are all sacrificed along with Bella to purify the Soul Stream.
Morrighan reveals to have ordered the Emissary of Destruction to sacrifice herself, which angers Shakespeare, stating she has no right to speak Bella's name nor mourn her. Calming himself, he asks what the Goddess would do next. Morrighan states she will no longer pursue Milletians, for because of the death of the Emissary of Destruction, Milletians will no longer harm Tir Na Nog. With all that, Shakespeare then requests to be returned to his former world; Morrighan warns him that he will lose all his memories and abilities he had created on Tir Na Nog, and he will simply be a mortal. He accepts the consequences, as it pains him to continue to linger in Tir Na Nog with the loss of Bella.
Shakespeare wakes up back home, his appearance varying on the choices made in the Generation. He sits down at his desk and proceeds to write a new story.
- Shakespeare using a magic flute to lure away rats and later children from Avon is based on the legend of the Pied Piper of Hamelin.
- According to Marlowe, one of Shakespeare's "reborn" forms was an Elf and a Giant, despite that it is currently impossible for players to rebirth into another race.
- This may explain why Shakespeare has skills from other Races in Generation 16.
- In Shakespeare of Mag Tuireadh, he fights with a Lightning Wand although he has a Longsword in the cutscene.
- The quote "The Gods treat us, the humans, as little more than pests. They slay us, toy with us, without remorse." is a modified version of the original quote: "As flies to wanton boys, are we to the gods. They kill us for their sport." stated in King Lear. In fact, the original quote was stated in foreign servers.
- All the World's a Stage - Localizing the Merchant of Venice states that Nexon's localization team translates various lines from Korean to English and then rewrites the quote(s) to make it more understandable.
- Strangely, after Shakespeare is sent back to his home world, there is a portrait of Bella in his room.