I first began my venture into the online world in 2004 with a fansite. At the backend of the year, I moved away from pagebuilders and took the plunge into teaching myself how to code in HTML and CSS for a blog. This choice was partly inspired by what my friends were making... but honestly, it was largely because I really wanted to use certain images in layouts. Gotta hand it to stubborness. Once I had that first layout down, it was something I kept doing until the layouts for my fansite were self-made; it was several months after that I entered the world of fanlistings, now equipped with the tools in order to create them. Spoilers: there's no exit, I'm still there.
My first domain, lost-legends.com, was for my defunct fansite. It was my second that became the centre of my online presence for the next decade - fractured-memories.net. Fractured was purchased on the 24th August 2005 and was online within a few days, being summer holidays - it also had its own hosting package, which meant I could use FTP, make databases, and all that good stuff. Over the years as I branched out with fandom domains (keyofdestiny.org, florete.org, taguel.org, to name a few), Fractured became my network hub. Though it's a little strange to having let it go after so long, Nevarra is picking up the slack and taking over where it left off... hopefully, to bigger and brighter cyber pastures. This is where the magic (and the cost) happens!
Nevarra is named for a fictional country in Dragon Age. A lot of information about it is only known through ambient dialogue and what Cassandra Pentaghast, seeker of truth (and my heart) has to say about her homeland (it's not good, she hates it), but Nevarra is a morbidly fascinating place. For context, it's a kingdom known for their dragon slayers and for reanimating their dead in a great necropolis. There's a whole array of reasons why I choose Nevarra as a replacement for Fractured: it flows nicely, I was toying with fictional countries and titles and this one wasn't taken, and it falls into an unintended naming theme with my other domains (death and the undead)... I'm great at naming things, apparently.
At the moment, I currently own three domains (nevarra.org, cieth.org, and farron.net), because I have a problem. Nevarra was opened on August 17th, 2015 - just a week shy of Fractured's tenth birthday, actually. Long may the Pentaghast family reign?
Wanted!! So, what about the current layout? The third version of Nevarra is my favourite kind; a sudden burst of inspiration following the right image. I was mulling up making something with Persona 5 (#aesthetic, this game is incredibly stylish) after clocking a full hundred and fifty hours of completion time - but what, and with who? When I stumbled upon Arsene's artwork, I saw exactly what sort of layout I wanted to make in my mind's eye, which hadn't happened for several months, so I ran with it. This layout is not like that layout, but it is better than first imagining, so I'm somewhat grateful that my skills as a layout maker are much better these days. As much as I loved the previous layout with Sakura, I wanted something new, and this fits the bill. Variations with Melady and Carmen were a last minute addition.
I like to keep the imagery of a layout visible without getting bogged down with text, but this layout doesn't do that - instead it uses in-game sprites, and coupled with the color palette, it doesn't need Arsene (or Melady/Carmen) around all the time. It's a good kind of text heavy, and allows me to use larger buttons on my owned/upcoming pages, which is something I've honestly been meaning to do for years. I'm happy with the result of this revamp!