Annah-of-the-Shadows, also known simply as Annah, is one of The Nameless One's companions in Planescape: Torment. She is a fiendling or tiefling (part human, part fiend) adopted by Pharod. She is proficient in thievery, can switch TNO to the thief class and instruct him in thief skills, whereupon he can teach her in his thieving skills above 50%.
Annah is voiced by Scottish recording artist Sheena Easton.
A brash, young tiefling (person with fiendish heritage; one of Annah's grandparents was a fiend) Annah is chaotic neutral. She appears mostly human except for her tail. A fighter and a thief, Annah was raised by her step-father Pharod to be a capable rogue, useful for tasks that his more ordinary underlings could not complete. She has no tolerance for fools or the clueless, and is quite skilled at heaping verbal abuse, heavily laden with Hive slang, on those who annoy her.
Habits that are related to Annah's years of independent living are hard for her to shake off; when TNO trains her in thieving skills, she spells out to him that this partnership is not a sign of weakness.
Although she can be found on the streets of Sigil very early in the game, she only becomes a companion at the mid-portion of the game, where she will automatically join the party after completing a task for Pharod.
Annah is a very useful ally as she can attack her enemies with her punch daggers when they least expect it; she is able to deal an multiples of her normal damage up to 600% if she performs a backstab, which is extremely useful before fighting a boss or some very powerful creature. She is able to scout ahead of the party for any potential threats and traps.
While she is shown dual wielding her punch daggers, this is a cosmetic effect and does not allow her to equip multiple weapons at one time.
Before she joins the party, Annah can be found in the Mortuary Area. She insults the Nameless One and attempts to ignore him, but, if pressed, she will answer some questions. When asked where Pharod is, she will point TNO towards the Alley of Dangerous Angles in exchange for some copper (her price can be lowered if TNO turns on the charm - requires 14 charisma), but it turns out it is a lie. If the Nameless One subsequently visits the alley he can return and accuse her of misinformation, which increases either his chaos value (by bluffing), or evil by telling the truth.
Conception and design
According to Chris Avellone (WP), she was inspired by the character Betty Cooper: "Annah and Fall-from-Grace were inspired by Betty and Veronica from Archie comics, embarrassingly enough." The character was voiced by and modeled upon the singer and actress Sheena Easton. Annah's most prominent features are her tail and milk white skin, she also sports tattoo of a wyrm on her right thigh. Described as being on the brink of womanhood suggests that she 17 or 18 years old. Quoting The Nameless One she has beautiful green eyes like emeralds and flame red hair.
Annah was described by the Planescape: Torment concept artist Eric Campenella as "very acrobatic and dexterous so her outfit is light and made of leather. She has light arm and leg armor on one side which, combined with her agility, affords her better protection than full plate since this would hamper her movement. The armor is also somewhat mismatched since she is not particularly wealthy and probably acquired the pieces at different places and times in her life. The spiked shoulder-pad is probably more for ornamentation and gives off an intimidating air. I would be dishonest if I didn't say the outfit is somewhat revealing partially to show that she is a free spirit and partially because it is appealing to me as an artist. Hey, at least I'm honest! Her weapons are punch daggers, which are basically brass knuckles with blades attached to them. So she has Wild-West style holsters on her legs for quick-draw action."
Canonically, the reason for her rather revealing outfit is that her fiendish heritage has given her a higher internal body temperature than that of the average human, and thus the less armor and clothing she wears the cooler and more comfortable she is. This is noted when talking to Goncalves, the tailor in the Clerk's Ward, about purchasing a new set of armor for Annah.
"In celebration of St. Patrick's Day and an excuse to thank all of you for buying and playing Torment," the developers released the "Power Action Leprechaun Annah" version (also created by Eric "Mr. Spells Madman" Campanella) as a free DLC.
In the novel
In the loose novelization of the game by Ray Vallese, Annah is similar in personality, but in many other aspects very different to her game incarnation. In the game, Annah's sole deformity is her tail. In the book, Annah is described as having beige skin, six functional fingers on each hand, thin black lips that barely frame her wide mouth, which is filled with a chaotic jumble of squared-off teeth and pointed fangs, white hair that covers her head like lamb's fleece in inch-thick curls, and slits of skin instead of ears. She doesn't have a tail by default, but ends up temporarily turning into a wererat after being attacked by one, causing her to grow a tail when she transforms. She also wears a tightly laced dark-purple bodysuit instead of the mis-matching scraps she wears in the game. She also differs by being a multi-classed thief/wizard instead of a fighter/thief and by going by the name of just Annah rather than Annah-of-the-Shadows.
The character of Annah-of-the-Shadows was received very positively by the media and general public. Eurogamer gave this "streetwise young tiefling woman with a twitching tail and a sharp tongue" the Gaming Globes 2000 award in the category Female Supporting Character. GameSpot included her on the 2000 lists of the ten best female characters in the PC gaming according to the staff and readers alike. Tom's Hardware included this "savvy and independent thief" on the 2007 list of the 50 greatest female characters in video game history ("Annah is a true standout"), applauding her for her "witty, sexy personality," and adding that she could be played Kelly Macdonald in a live-action film.
- The Ten Best Female Characters | GameSpot
- Gamasutra - News - Weekend Thoughts: 'Why I Had Sex With The Alien'
- The Escapist : Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me
- The Greatest Games of All Time: Planescape: Torment - GameSpot.com
- Sheena Easton as Annah | PlanetBaldursGate - A Member of the GameSpy Network
- Annah | PlanetBaldursGate - A Member of the GameSpy Network
- Planescape: Torment - Old News
- Planescape: Torment - Novelization
- Gaming Globes 2000 - (7/19) | Eurogamer
- Readers' Choice - The Ten Best Female Characters | GameSpot
- Rob Wright, The 50 Greatest Female Characters in Video Game History, Tom's Games, February 20, 2007
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