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Community Profile - Morguhn Baxley aka Taelonar

02/12/2016 05:00 PM

Community Profile – Morguhn Baxley aka Taelonar

Our Community Profile series intends to spotlight members of the For Honor community who are doing cool things, both inside our game and out. Want to see yourself here? Come participate in our Forums or Subreddit, meet us at events, or share your cool creations with us on Twitter or Facebook!

In this Community Profile we talk to the very talented Taelonar. We got to know him via his presence on the Australian leg of For Honor’s world tour this year. It’s hard to miss a real-life Warden standing imposingly in the game’s booth! Learn more about the man and his armor below!

1. What’s your name and where are you from?

My name is Morguhn Baxley, but online I go by the name Taelonar. I was born in Germany to American parents but I have lived most of my life in Australia.

2. What faction do you align yourself with?

I align myself with the Knights because I feel that they represent duty, honor and protection of the weak. I have always loved the armor that Knights wear and when you fight in it you truly feel unstoppable.

3. When did you first hear about For Honor and what was your reaction?

I learned about For Honor from a YouTube video previewing upcoming games at the end of 2015. As soon as I saw it I was immediately hooked. The beautifully gritty visuals, accompanied by the intense yet thoughtful combat really grabbed my attention. I have been fighting with martial weapons for over 10 years with my training partner Shaun who is a Federal Police Officer and For Honor is the closest thing I have ever seen to real combat in a video game. The Art of Battle system is truly revolutionary.

4. What was it about For Honor that compelled you to get involved in our community?

For Honor just speaks to me on a level that no other game has before. Maybe it’s because of my interest in medieval fighting or my competitive nature but I have never been so excited about a game in my life. So, when the Community Reporter Contest was launched in early 2016, I was super keen to enter and win a trip to E3, to meet the minds behind the game and get a chance to play it. That’s what started my involvement in the online community.

I decided to dress up as the Warden to make my video application more unique. I already had most of the armor because of my medieval fighting hobby, so I went with it. Unfortunately, I wasn’t selected but that’s ok because a few months later when I returned home it all worked out. Some of the guys at Ubisoft Australia saw my Warden cosplay and invited me to a special event evening in Sydney where I finally got to play For Honor. Not only that but they invited me to the EB Games Expo as a promotional partner, which gave me special behind the scenes access to the videogame convention for the whole weekend.

I really wanted to do a good job promoting the game at the event as a way of saying thank you, so I stepped up my cosplay. I painted up all my armour in defender colors and it turned out great. The weekend at the expo was amazing. I hung out at the Ubisoft booth meeting fellow fans of For Honor and getting pictures taken with them. I got to play more of the game and the best part, I actually got to meet the creative director of the game, Jason Vandenberghe. I got to speak to him about the game, ask him questions and he even signed a poster for me. It was one of the best weekends of my life!

5. Are you active in other online communities? Is this a special passion for you?

This is definitely a special passion for me. Before For Honor came along I had never gotten involved in a gaming community before. I do share photos of the miniature soldiers that I paint online through various websites like Flickr and Deviant Art but I’ve never really considered myself a part of an ‘online community’ until now. I’ve been following the development of the game, communicating with other fans through Twitter and Facebook, and I have watched hours and hours of For Honor videos on YouTube. I have especially been loving the gameplay videos from the closed Alpha.

6. You have become known for a really amazing set of Warden armor that you have customized. Can you tell us how you created it?

First of all, thank you for saying that my cosplay is amazing. Knowing that you guys like it makes it worthwhile. You know when I first saw the Warden I totally fan-girled out. I was blown away because I had spent over ten years slowly collecting bits of armour to use in my weapons training hobby and along comes this game with a character that has armour just like mine. Once I decide to try and perfect my Warden outfit I downloaded your cosplay guide to get a better look at all the aspects of the character.

To me the heart-plate was tricky as I had never seen anything like it before. So after watching a couple of instructional videos on YouTube I constructed a homemade forge in my backyard out of some junk, like a rusted metal barrel, a pipe, bricks, a hairdryer and few other bit and pieces. Then I reforged a small shovel head into the heart-plate. I am a high school English teacher not an armor smith but I did my best.

Next I got my hands on a blue and white tabard from Epic Armoury and got MTthreadz, an artist on Etsy to make me some custom Dire Wolf patches for the heraldry. After that I was pretty happy with my cosplay until I received the invite to the EB Expo and decided to step up my game and paint the armor.

After further studying the cosplay guide and other pictures of the Warden I used masking tape to cover all the edges of the armor, the rivets and any places that I wanted to appear to be battle damaged. I also taped up the leather straps to make sure they remained free of paint. Then I painted the pauldron (shoulder guard) I was planning the cross design for completely blue and the other completely white, with three coats each of spray paint. After the paint dried I used masking tape to make a cross on the blue pauldron and a wide central strip on the white pauldron. After that I sprayed them each with three coats of the opposite colors. After removing all of the tape I traced a basic template of the tree design on the right pauldron and then painted it free hand with a small brush.

I did the face-plate the same way except it detaches from the helmet and I was able to tape off half of it at a time which made it very easy.

7. Do you consider what you do cosplay, or is your interest more in historical reenactment?

I would say somewhere in the middle. My interest is in medieval fighting. Trying to learn to master fighting with and against different weapon combinations and in different types of armor. I’m just so glad that For Honor gives me a way to live out my warrior fantasies to their fullest.

8. Are there other characters from the game that you would like to build a costume around in the future?

Absolutely! In fact, I have also put together a Berserker cosplay, though it’s not as impressive or accurate as my Warden outfit, but I’ll keep working to improve it. Now if I could only put together a Nobushi set, I would be able to cosplay my favourite warrior from each faction.

9. What do you hope your biggest contribution to the For Honor community will be?

I would like my biggest contribution to the community to be becoming one of the most skilful players in the world. I have never been into first person shooters or played an online competitive multiplayer game. I feel like For Honor is going to finally give me the opportunity to show my quality and play to a competitive eSports level. When somebody sees Taelonar standing across from them on the battlefield I want them to know fear.

10. How would you describe For Honor, in your own words, to a friend who never played the game?

For Honor is the closest thing to real martial combat that you have ever seen in a game. It has a combat system based on skill not button mashing and grinding. The multiplayer aspect is going to be incredible. There are three factions, Vikings, Knights and Samurai with four warriors from each to choose from and all of the twelve characters play very differently from one another based on what kinds of weapons they are wielding.

11. Is there any advice you could give to people who want to get into creating their own armor/costumes?

Do your research. Don’t just pay something off as too difficult, there are lots of instructional videos out there to help you along the way. Also if you can’t make it shop for it, sometimes that one piece of gear can set off your entire outfit and bring the wow factor, making it worth the expense.

12. Is there any music you would recommend while playing the game? 

I’d recommend something instrumental and medieval like the soundtrack from the 1982 film Conan the Barbarian.

13. Outside of gaming, what are your hobbies and passion?

Well besides the weapons training and gaming, I love to paint miniature soldiers, Age of Sigmar in particular. I even won the ‘Armies on Parade’ competition in 2015 at my local Warhammer store in Penrith. I’ve already started my entry for next year’s contest so wish me luck ;)

14. If you were a member of the Beatles, which one would you be?

I think I’d be John Lennon, I always considered myself the philosophical type.

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