Hey, all! It’s been a pretty wild couple of weeks (actually, the entire summer has been fairly irregular in that regard for me!), but through all of that I’ve still had a couple of free days that I stole away for working on Falconsbane. It wasn’t easy, I’ll admit, after a two-month hiatus, but it still felt good, and I got to work on an event that I’ve been working towards and anticipating for a while, so I’m stoked about that! This past Thursday was the finale of my local farmers market, so that will no longer be swallowing up days and hours from every week, and that’s time that I would love nothing more than to devote to Falconsbane, especially with NaNo just around the corner.
Which means that today’s post, part of a Language of Worlds link-up by Liv. K. Fisher, is aptly timed! For several reasons! This one focuses on characters, and normally I would bring Roscha along to answer these, but last I saw him he was being sick on a hillside, so he’s not in any condition to be interviewed.
I should probably get him some help, soon, actually . . .
So! We’re going to haul in three others, because they’re part of the story and need a stronger presence in it, and I also need to get to know them some more in a work-based setting. For some context and introduction, since you haven’t met them yet, they are part of Roscha’s unit ─ which is technically called a ‘tactical unit’, comprised of five men who live and train closely together. Their names are Azel, Mallori and Mattan.
1. Your character is in crisis! Who is the first person they turn to?
Mallori throws his arms in the air. “Life is a crisis!”
Mattan shakes his head. “No, no, no. You are a crisis.”
Mallori gasps, presses a hand to his heart. “You wound me!”
Azel rolls his eyes and interrupts, “If that’s the case, then you’re half the problem, Mattan. But if anyone is a crisis, it’s Roscha.”
Mallori and Mattan both nod in unreserved agreement.
“Still, that wasn’t the question,” Azel continues. “If we were any of us in a crisis, who would we turn to first?”
“Shyloh,” they reply in unison.
Azel shakes his head. “Wrong answer.”
“Why?” Mattan asks. “He’s our unit leader.”
“That may be so, but think about it. Would he really be the one you confide in?”
“Oh,” Mattan says, and throws an arm around Mallori. “Then in that case, Lori.”
“Same,” Mallori agrees. “I mean, in Mat.”
Azel sighs. “Well, that’s not really surprising. For me, it’d have to say my father.”
Mallori looks incredulous. “What, seriously? He’s the first one?”
Azel raises an eyebrow at him. “Well, he’s the first one I’d go to of my own volition. If we’re talking chronological order, then it’d be Roscha, because he’d be the first one to notice. He’s not exactly what I’d call a good counselor, though.”
Mallori and Mattan laugh. “True that!”
2. Who has their unconditional loyalty?
“Mallori,” Mattan says, at the same time Mallori answers, “Mattan.”
“Adon’sar Gydean,” Azel says. “And unit one. Without a doubt.”
3. What cause do they believe in? Why?
Azel smacks a fist to his chest. “Protecting my country from the Federation and all other enemies who would seek to destroy my home or kinsmen. I want to protect my brothers and sisters and make sure no one else has to lose their mother to a blighted Mehdali warhound.”
Mallori and Mattan each grab one of Azel’s shoulders. “We know, Az,” Mallori says, sobering some. “We’re in it for that, too.”
“I guess this isn’t a good time to add in that we also believe in the cause of having fun at our superiors’ expense?” Mattan adds in somewhat awkwardly. “Because that’s true, too. I mean, pulling pranks at the temple is what landed us in this program in the first place.”
“True,” Mallori nods. “Who knew that painting over the prayer walls and setting up string traps on the doors would end up being a good thing?”
Azel shakes his head at them. “You two are incorrigible. And your logic is backwards.”
4. Are they easy to get along with?
“Yes,” Mallori and Mattan reply simultaneously.
“No,” Azel corrects.
“Lies,” Mallori insists.
“Truth,” Azel maintains.
5. Are they a night owl or morning dove? (Or “weird daytime pigeon”?)
“What in Avin’El’s braided nosehairs is a ‘weird daytime pigeon?” Mattan asks, brow furrowed.
“What if you’re an everything?” Mallori says.
“Then that qualifies you as a ‘nutjob’,” Azel replies. “But to answer the question, it’s safe to assume we’re all this ‘morning dove’. I mean, it’s kind of required around here. We’ve been getting up before dawn every day since we were twelve.”
Mattan rubs his chin, eyes squinted in thought. “I think I’d rather be a ‘weird daytime pigeon’ . . .”
6. What do they consider most vital to their health? Are they right?
All three respond in unison: “Food.”
Mallori remarks, “Wow. How very Roscha of us.”
“But seriously,” Mattan says, “what kind of question is that? Is it a literal or metaphorical question?”
“Do you even know what ‘metaphorical’ means?” Azel asks, completely serious.
Mattan scowls at him. “I’m educated! We even got schooling before joining the military, o smart one.”
Azel’s expression darkens. “You want to know what’s detrimental to your health?”
“Food,” Mallori says, nodding ─ completely ignoring the mood. “I mean, do you remember Galli’s concoction that one time? I think half the base was up all night with the vomits. At least everyone in our barracks was.”
“Oh, yeah,” Mattan agrees. “Except Roscha. He slept through it all, didn’t he?”
“He did,” Azel says, voice still dark. “But if we’re going metaphorical on the question,” he adds, glaring at Mattan, “then that’ll be harder to say. We’re trained to deal with a lot of scenarios, so I’d be hard pressed to think of something.”
“I think it’s rather easy,” Mattan says with some haughtier.
Azel says, “I bet I already know what it is.”
Mallori and Mattan bump their fists together and share impish grins.
7. What was their childhood fear?
“I used to be afraid of water,” Mallri says. “Does that count?”
Mattan bites his lips and shakes his head. “Not going there.”
“Me, neither,” Azel says.
“Come on,” Mallori prods. “It’s just a childhood fear, not a trauma.”
“Next question,” Azel insists.
8. What do they have nightmares about?
Mallori says, “If I eat custard before bed, then it’s usually something like frogs with dragon’s teeth or noodles turning into snakes.”
Mattan shakes his head. “I don’t think that’s exactly what the question’s asking.”
“If it’s chronic nightmares,” Azel says, “then Roscha’s the one to talk to.”
“Not that he’d talk about it,” Mattan says.
“Like either of you are any better,” Mallori retorts.
“You, either, Lori,” Mattan snaps back.
“This isn’t a good question,” Azel says, voice clipped. “What’s the next one?”
9. What sights/sounds/smells remind them of home?
Azel nods. “This is a better one. The chirping of redjays does it for me, since we had a mess of them on the farm where I grew up.”
“I’m going with the song Luar Luir,” Mallori says. “Mum would hum it all the time.”
“Yeah,” Mattan nods. “And I’ll add the smell of burning milk and lavender.”
Azel’s nose wrinkles. “Burning milk and lavender?”
“Not together, haywad!” Mattan says. “Mum always burned the milk when she tried to make cheese, and the house had a large patch of lavender growing out back.”
“Oh,” Azel says. “That makes more sense.
“And strong ones, too!” Mallori laughs. “Get it? Because ‘sense’ sounds a lot like ‘scents’?”
Mattan snickers, but Azel doesn’t laugh. “Really? That’s a poor joke.”
“You only say that because you don’t know how to make any,” Mallori says.
“I don’t need to, I live with a pair.”
10. What do they love most about themself?
“Self-love, huh?” Mattan says. “Isn’t that what Chaplain Jonathyn says we should, you know, avoid?”
“I don’t think this is supposed to be in that same kind of context,” Azel replies. “What’s something about ourselves that we can take satisfaction from or confidence in? Let’s put it that way.”
Mallori rubs his chin under his bottom lip. “Hmm . . . I have to pick just one specific thing?”
Azel rolls his eyes.
Mattan says, “My lack of potential to be another cleric like my father.”
“Are you serious?” Azel asks.
“You’ve met my father, Az. He looks like a week-old fish and hardly ever leaves the temple. I don’t want to become that, and I thank Avin’El and all his angels that I don’t meet any of the qualifications. I love the man, don’t get me wrong, but I don’t want to be him.”
Mallori nods in agreement. “That is a good one. But more than that, I think what I like best about me is my unmitigated cleverness and undauntable spirit.”
Mattan snorts and then laughs.
“I know you are, and that’s what makes it funny!”
Azel ignores them. “I’m not sure what I could say I like most about myself, I’ve never really given it much thought before. I do try my best to be ready for anything, though. Does that count? I like being able to fulfill whatever task or roll is required of me.” He concludes with, “Is that an end to the questions? We have an assignment to get to soon. Mallori, Mattan, go find the other two and meet me at the Adon’sar’s office.”
The twain throw salutes and declare, “Ei’kaiden!” before dashing off.
That was . . . That was something, wasn’t it? I honestly had no idea where that was going to go, so thanks for sticking around to listen! I think those are some great questions that delve into who the character(s) is/are, and am glad to have the opportunity to explore them in a setting like this. Oh, and don’t forget to check out the others on this link-up to learn more about other awesome stories and their amazing characters!