April Ryan is the heroine of The Longest Journey, an 18 year-old art student who recently moved to the big city, Newport, to study at VAVA. April is troubled by vivid dreams and suppressed memories from her difficult childhood, when she had to deal with her abusive father. When strange things begin happening in her neighbourhood, events soon sweep her away on a dangerous and exciting journey, where she must use her wits and courage to survive, friend can turn foe, and not everything is as it seems.
April discovers that not only is she a Shifter, one able to travel between the twin worlds of Stark and Arcadia through the Divide, but that she is also a key figure in the prophecies of many of the magical races, and a force against Chaos.
For a detailed account of April's journey, see Chapters of TLJ.
She was also portrayed by Katja Koopmann in the pre-release promotion for TLJ.
The Longest Journey[edit | edit source]
The Country Girl[edit | edit source]
Born on the 14th of April 2191, April spent a short time in an orphanage before she was adopted at an early age by the people she thinks of as her family - her father, mother, and brothers Danny and Owen, living in the countryside somewhere near Greenvale. The day she was adopted, April's new father accidentally dropped her because he was drunk, and for many years it looked like she would never walk. However, April's resilience began early, and she slowly recovered, which actually made her father more resentful. She had no knowledge of her biological parents, and her new family raised her Catholic, although April admits she hasn't been to confession since 2206/7.
She also began making detailed diary entries at the age of 5, and perhaps around the same age discovered her love of drawing. It is possible that her years of disability caused a withdrawal into her imagination. She produced many colourful sketches, which she kept hidden under a loose floorboard in her room so her father wouldn't berate her for "wasting her time". She forgot about them over the years, but kept her love of art and began dreaming of studying at VAVA in Newport. Life was not all doom and gloom for April, however, and in many ways her upbringing was typical for a country girl. There was a pond behind her house that she tried fishing in several times (unsuccessfully) as a "wee lass".
In her final year of school she began planning to stay with her friend Sarah who had moved to the city the previous year. Meanwhile, her home life was growing more and more unbearable. April packed everything she could carry (including her childhood drawings), withdrew all her money and, during a final argument with her father, pushed him down the stairs causing him to break his arm. The first person she met upon arriving in Venice was Charlie, who eventually became one of her best friends. April arrived at the Border House soon afterwards - Fiona remembers seeing her come in, dragging her suitcase - and, after becoming a student at VAVA, eventually got a job waitressing at the Fringe Cafe to cover her student bills and rent.
From Artist to Shifter[edit | edit source]
At this point, with a secure job and a place at VAVA, April begins to suffer bizarre dreams and notice corresponding strange goings-on in her neighbourhood. The only person who seems to know what's happening is a local man named Cortez. Under his guidance, April learns of Arcadia, passes through the Divide on her first Shift, and begins her quest to restore the Balance... which also becomes a journey to confront the demons from her past. She also meets the wisecracking, kindhearted Crow, who acts as her sidekick and becomes her close friend.
Voyaging from the bottom of the ocean to the depths of space, April learns that she is vitally important both in Stark and Arcadia, though for much of her journey she does not know why. She fulfils many of the prophecies held by the magical races, and is told by Vestrum Tobias that she is the Thirteenth Guardian. Both Cortez and Benrime Salmin tell April she is important and 'strong in the Balance'.
Benrime also claims that April is strong in Magic, and that she could become a powerful Artisan with the proper training. The spirits in the Banda Spirit Dig tell April that her real family never abandoned her: they watch over her, even now, but allowed her to be adopted in order to let her live the life she needed to live, to "understand".
April finally meets the Mother, first seen in her dreams, who addresses her lovingly as "daughter". April, who witnesses her passing and the birth of the new White Dragon, writes in her diary that she is a child of the Draic Kin, and is later involved in the 'family reunion' at the MTI Building where Cortez's true identity is revealed. Believing she is the next Guardian, April travels into space and through a singularity to the Guardian's Realm and ascends to the Tower itself.
At the end of The Longest Journey, having helped Gordon Halloway - the true Guardian - to take the Guardian's throne, April is left bereft. Though Gordon tells her he thinks she still has a part to play, April does not know where to go or what to do next. Followed by Crow, she opens a Shift from the Guardian's Realm and disappears.
Dreamfall[edit | edit source]
Now also known as Raven or the Scorpion.
Ten years passed, and April became a very different person. After seeing her friends gunned down and being hunted by the Vanguard in Stark, she was too afraid to Shift back to the world she knew. This eventually became a psychological block that saw her lose her Shifting power entirely, and she remained in Arcadia.
Becoming Raven[edit | edit source]
Little is known of what happened to April in between the end of The Longest Journey and the beginning of Dreamfall, but she presumably left Marcuria when it was occupied by the Tyren and went north into the Border Mountains with Crow. About two years afterwards, she separated from Crow and continued travelling alone. At some point she became aware of the Azadi occupation of Marcuria, understood the threat they posed, and began getting involved in the resistance.
She became a hardened warrior wielding a quarterstaff, and made a name for herself among the Azadi, who called her the "Scorpion" though they believed she was male. She taught herself to kill without remorse and saved the life of a young man called Brynn who started looking up to her almost as a mother figure. He became one of April's core band of Rebels, along with Chawan and later Na'ane. Among the Rebels, April became known as "Raven", presumably because of her dark hair and her previous association with Crow.
Having helped established a rebel base in the swamplands but running low on supplies, April led her band across country back to Marcuria, where the Azadi had occupied the city for a decade. They hid out in the Journeyman Inn, protected by Benrime Salmin, while they bought medicines and food, and arranged a ship to take it back to their base. Meanwhile, April began musing over the Azadi Tower - it was such a focal point of their occupation that it presented an almost irresistible target.
Lost Girls[edit | edit source]
Hardened to her new life, April was shocked when Brynn kidnapped a stranger from Stark who had been asking about her. Zoë Castillo claimed that she had experienced visions, with a little girl telling her to "Find April Ryan. Save April." Seeing Zoë, whom she believed to be a fellow Shifter learning to use her powers, brought back uncomfortable memories for April, especially as Zoë had recently spoken to Charlie and Emma. She asked Na'ane to put Zoë into a trance to help her control her powers, but was taken aback when Zoë simply vanished without Shifting.
April tried to put this incident out of her mind and focused on the Azadi Tower again. She ran a night reconnaissance mission, climbing up to the Azadi Emissary's office. While she watched unseen, she saw the Emissary speaking nervously with a man in a black cloak - the Prophet. April followed him across the city and into the Catacombs under Marcuria. His trail led her to an eerie chamber under the Azadi Tower, filled with a strange light and the sound of hundreds of voices, like people's dreams caught in a vortex.
When she discussed her find with Na'ane, April realised that whatever was happening, she was being dragged back into a fight to save the world. Having both been there and done that and found a new purpose in life, she started wondering what her role was now. A chance meeting with Brian Westhouse sent her to the Dark People's Library to meet with the reborn White Dragon. To her delight, when she arrived she was reunited with Crow, who was at the Library to further his voyage of self discovery. Crow tried to remain hurt and aloof at her abandonment of him, but he was too pleased to keep up the facade for long.
The White of the Kin told April that she was hiding at the Library because someone or something was hunting the Draic Kin... but that April was not in danger. Despite what April had seen and heard in The Longest Journey, she was not a dragon in the same way, though she was the White Dragon's sister in spirit. The White of the Kin agreed to send April to speak to Gordon Halloway, now the Guardian, on the condition that she took Crow with her. She claimed that though she could help April Shift again, Crow's presence was non-negotiable and that he was 'special'.
Soldiers and Guardians[edit | edit source]
Emerging in the Guardian's Realm - very different to the last time she was there - April spoke to Gordon, who told her that her role was over and that she was free to live her life. Relieved but also oddly dissatisfied, April returned to Marcuria, only to be told that Zoë Castillo had reappeared and been arrested. She was now in Friar's Keep. Feeling obliged to help another lost girl, April went to the prison to see if she could help, but met an Azadi soldier on the way. He seemed to recognise her and asked if they had met before, but she had no interest in talking to him.
However, when he asked her why many of the Marcurians were so hostile towards his people, April lost her temper and tore a strip off him, citing the Magic Ghetto, the continued occupation, the Azadi religious arrogance and the persecution of the Sentinel as her grievances. Their parting was not hostile (however, in the options where April hears his name, she does not seem to find it familiar).
At Friar's Keep, April sent Crow to find Zoë, then fetched supplies to help break her out. However, remembering what Gordon had said, she refused to get involved with Zoë's own investigation, telling her that she had to take care of the Rebels and that Stark was no longer her problem. Incredulously, Zoë stormed out, followed by Crow.
April had no time to be concerned - the supplies they had gathered needed to get to the Rebel City as soon as possible. She took a ship back to the swamplands, where she heard from the last people to leave Marcuria that there had been an Azadi operation back at the Journeyman Inn, and Benrime had been arrested for helping them. April pleaded with Kara to go back and help Benrime, but Kara refused - "You may have a death wish, but you cannot risk the lives of others."
Seeking, Finding[edit | edit source]
Wandering through the city, despondent, April met Na'ane, who seemed oddly subdued. She told April she had a visitor with an important message, and to go and wait on the piers for him. April went and waited, only to be greeted by the Azadi soldier she had met outside Friar's Keep. She thought he was an Azadi infiltrator, but he assured her he wasn't there to harm her and that he thought the Goddess had led him to April to show him the truth.
Just then, a squadron of Azadi Cloudships arrived, storming the Rebel City. The soldier told her he was an Apostle who had been sent to kill the Scorpion, to which April reacted with surprise, revealing that this was the name the Azadi had given her. An Azadi commander ordered this Apostle to kill April, but he hesitated. Instead, the commander gave an order and April was stabbed in the stomach with a halberd. She fell from the pier. As the Rebel City was razed by the Azadi, the rebels, knowing this was their final stand, gave the battle cry: "For Raven!"
Though April is not seen after the attack, she is later mentioned by Faith during Zoë's visit to the Winter. Faith claims that a White Lady told her that Zoë had 'done good' and that she had saved April. The implications of this statement have been the subject of much debate.
Dreamfall Chapters[edit | edit source]
April's body is seen during the prologue of the game as the people of the swamp city hold a funeral for her. Drawings depicting April's journey can also be found by Saga in the House of All Worlds. Kian hears her voice in his dreams, she tells him "You freed me, Kian Alvane. Don't blame yourself for my death. This is what I wanted. To be free. To be reborn." She also later appears to Zoe in a dream state clarifying what "find her, save her" meant and reminded her what she needs to do before sending her back to the real world. She then asks Crow if "he is ready to go" and they both set off into the afterlife.
Spring Girl[edit | edit source]
"Spring Girl" is the nickname given to April by Saga. She also refers to her as "The girl who was named after Spring" and "The girl who is Spring". It seems to be a call out to Ragnar Tørnquist's explanation (4:25:30) for choosing the name "April": "The fact that it's spring - a new start, a new beginning".
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- Given her comments inside the Hope Street Cathedral, with references to Confession and the rosary, one can conclude that April was raised in a Catholic household.
- She is allergic to synthetic wood.
- She weighs 118lb.
- Until she was 13, her secret passion was gas-guzzling cars.
- The name April "was [a] name for various things; the month she was born, the fact that it’s spring - a new start, a new beginning. Which has relevance both toThe Longest Journey and up to Dreamfall Chapters." - Ragnar Tørnquist, 4:25:30, livestream.