Sunday, January 29, 2012

Losing The Game


I saw just before on another blog I follow that Deniz was interviewing a character, which I thought was rather an interesting little exercise. I didn't quite feel in the mood to attempt it myself today, but then I remembered that while I was NaNo-ing I found an old game on livejournal and decided to play it again with the characters from Greywater and its sequels. It's ever so slightly out of date already, because I've had a couple of subsequent epiphanies, but here it is for posterity. And because it always amuses me.

Incidentally, the character above is Nan; she gets short shrift in this meme because of her thing for llamas. And guinea pigs. She also wants to be a Sizzling Gypsy. Well, shit. yeah, the way this works? You write out ten names of characters. Then you answer the questions. With any luck, HILARITY ENSUES.

...or not.

1. Derel Sabin, Warrant Officer and City Councillor at Southgate, Aran Nomese
2. Círa DeCameiron, Lady Greywater, Ice Maiden of Aran Nomese
3. Calden Larmenret, eldest son to Admiral Leyen Larmenret, Lord of Tiarenna
4. Ryennkar Vassidenel, Lord Rendran, Attorney-General of Lonan
5. Rýlea Denqual Calenta Dionallanata, Duchess of Mydaraë
6. Arosek Asfiye, Lesser Lord Wendar, First Lord Consul of Sarin
7. Kit Eryntalla, the Neverboy of the Crossroads of Yesret
8. Alara Feronza Ordrena, Lady of Lakenheath, Knight of Sai’Ona
9. Taryncíra Larmenret, daughter to Admiral Leyen Larmenret, Lord of Tiarenna
10. Otho Calenta, Major at Arris, named Hero of the Hellspring
11. Nantya Jerikak, Magian of the Spire
12. Cydrac Agrane, Fifth Lord Minister of Erindel

01. Who would make a better college professor, 6 (Arosek) or 11 (Nan)?

…er, Arosek. Hands down. Nan just…wouldn’t be the kind of person you’d leave teaching small children. And before you say “small children don’t go to college!” I’ve been to college. I’ve seen what happens to people who go to college. They turn back into small children, this time without adult supervision. Their plastic buckets are filled with cheap beer and when they play hide and seek it’s usually in other people’s bedrooms. Not to mention the Twister marathons and back-to-back cartoons the night before major exams.

…you know, I take some of that back. Nan would be a great college professor. It’s just her chosen subject would be cavy husbandry and llama guardage. Take that as you will.

02. Do you think 2 (Círa) is hot? How hot?

Ooh…that would be a rather large yes. My real-life image of Círa is based very heavily on Rachel Weisz, whom I think is one of the most gorgeous women in the world. Which I blame largely on Darren Aronofsky, as a matter of fact (although the director of The Constant Gardener has a lot to answer for, too). I also realised a while back something rather hilarious about Rachel; I don’t often give much of a damn for celebrity gossip, but I air-punched when I heard Rachel had married Daniel Craig. For ages I had no idea why I liked the idea so much. I then realised that while Daniel isn’t exactly Otho to my eyes (I lean more towards Clancy Brown OMFG THAT VOICE), he’s still more than close. It was like my brain’s favourite soldier/spirit OTP getting together in real life. Score.

03. 12 (Cydrac) sends 8 (Alara) on a mission. What is it, and does it succeed?

Hilariously, this almost makes sense; Cydrac is a government minister and Alara is a knight. It’s feasible, except for the fact ministers rarely deal in magic. The whole point of their prefect is to keep them away from it, actually. So, with that said…I’m not sure. About the only thing Cydrac would be hiring a sword for is to hunt down the murderer of his family, and given Cydrac knows who did it and would gain no satisfaction from that person’s death unless his own hand dealt the killing blow, well. Although if he told Alara the full story she’d quite cheerfully help him out to the bitter end, so there you go.

04. What is or would be 9 (Tara)'s favorite book?

She’s not a huge reader, our Tara. I’d say anything horsey. Our Tara loves her horsies. ^__^ Although that’s given me an idea; I think Arosek should give her a book. She’d treasure anything he gave her, whether she actually got around to reading it or not…

05. Would it make more sense for 2 (Círa) to swear fealty to 6 (Arosek), or the other way around?

Ooh, that’s a tricky one. Technically neither of them should be swearing fealty to anyone; Arosek’s job is to be neutral so that he can act as a justice to the whole world, and Círa is an imprisoned companion of the banished water-god, living under the shadow of the earth-father of the North. But…this is a funny question, as there’s no doubt in my mind whatsoever that had their circumstances been ever so slightly different, Arosek would have married Círa. In that respect, he’d have sworn his heart to her without caution nor regret, and she would have done the same for him.

As things stand in the real world (?), Arosek still has a deep sense of loyalty and responsibility towards Círa, and she feels an affection for him that goes deeper than she often cares to acknowledge. This in fact forms the crux of their rather tragic relationship, the end of which…will be written. You’ll just have to wait and see.

06. For some reason, 5 (Rýlea) is looking for a roommate. Should she share a studio apartment with 9 (Tara) or with 10 (Otho)?

…excuse me as I roll around laughing. Rýlea, being the only daughter of a very well-off landgrave and the eventual wife of a Duke, would hardly be looking for a roommate. Even if she was, she’d be unlikely to share with a thirteen year old girl (though not unwilling, I must say; Rýlea loves children, and she’d adore Tara…Tara, on the other hand, might be weirded out). I mean, if she lived with Tara, it would have to be a fostering situation of one kind or another. As I said, Rýlea would enjoy the company, but Tara…well. For all she’d have little interest in living like a lady, Mydaraë isn’t the most usual of fosterages. Give Tara a racing llama and she’d probably be in heaven.

Tara, however, would always be miles better for Rýlea than Otho. Rýlea and Otho were married, very happily so, until Rýlea decided that Otho wouldn’t be a good husband in the long term because of his work. So she divorced him. Otho never got over it. In a way, Rýlea never did either. This is one of the major threads of Greywater, so…yeah. Um. Not a good idea, putting those two in the same building and asking them to play house, oh, no…

07. 2 (Círa), 7 (Kit) and 12 (Cydrac) have dinner together. Where do they go, and what do they discuss?

Círa and Kit are old friends. They’d probably be swapping stories about asshole Attorney-Generals and voyages to the ends of the world before you know it. Cydrac and Círa also know each other very well and would talk about polite matters of state and current government policy (!), but I’m not sure how Kit and Cydrac would take to one another. Cydrac’s in his early forties and his son would have been about Kit’s age, had he lived…and Kit’s got an automatic jealousy-switch that gets kicked on whenever Círa shows interest in an attractive older man (mostly because she so rarely bothers). So…it could be an interesting little discussion. They’d almost be competing for her attention though while Kit sulks Cydrac would just be politely bewildered, and Círa would just roll her eyes and eventually announce THIS IS WHY I CAN’T HAVE NICE THINGS, ISN’T IT.

08. 3 (Cal) challenges 10 (Otho) to a duel. What happens?

Candy happens. AND HILARITY ENSUES. Cal’s thirteen, Otho’s thirty-four. And a Major in the Northern Armies. Then again, Cal’s an absolute headcase and would quite cheerfully challenge Otho to a duel with SHEBERT STICKS and then they’d end up in the fountain and there would be BUBBLES and then Círa would get frustrated and there would be ICE and probably Nan would come riding in on a giant llama with CAVIES FOR EVERYONE.

But the candy’s the important part. I swear.

09. If 1 (Sabin) stole 8 (Alara)'s most precious possession, how would she get it back?

Firstly, the day Sabin attempts to steal something from somebody (who doesn’t deserve it), the world will end. Secondly, Alara’s most precious possession is Nan Jerikak, who would probably adore being stolen and in the end Sabin would tie her up, stuff her into a box filled with strawpeople and bind it up all neatly with brown paper and string and send her straight back to Alara with a referral to a thought-weaver with a very good record in the field of Mydaraën blood-insanity.

Alara would then rip it up, let Nan out, and kiss her silly. Aw.

Two days later Nan would be back on Sabin’s doorstep with a big grin saying CAN WE DO THAT AGAIN?!

Four days after that, Sabin would be experiencing firsthand the intricacies of self-sectioning at the thought-weaver’s guild. But he’d have the paperwork in order first. Naturally.

10. Suggest a title for a story in which 7 (Kit) and 12 (Cydrac) both attain what they most desire.

Heating the Winter and Felling the Spring: How one mild-mannered government minister avenged his family in a bloodbath in the Fields of Gold and a thirteen year old boy married an ageless water-spirit beneath the Iron Bells of Greywater with the Dark Horseman officiating. …you only wish we were kidding.”

11. What kind of plot device would you use if you wanted 4 (Ryenn) and 1 (Sabin) to work together?

THERE IS NO PLOT DEVICE IN THE WORLD. Even I don’t know exactly what Ryenn did to Sabin, but he’s biding his time. …geez, I am going to have to bug the hell out of Sabin on this front one day. I used to think Sabin disliked him because a) Ryenn has a habit of turning up in Aran Nomese without notice and expecting people to fall at his feet with whatever information he wants and b) while Ryenn is capable of charming most people’s socks off, with some people he just doesn’t bother. I always figured Sabin was just one of those people. From what he casually said to Otho towards the end of Greywater, however…um. I’m not so sure anymore. …BASTARD.

12. If 7 (Kit) visited you for the weekend, how would you get along?

Pretty well…I think. Kit’s essentially a projection of my nephew, so I imagine we’d go horse-riding with Calden and play with foxes and climb trees and then the boys would laugh their asses off because I’d fall out of said trees and crack my skull open and you know. GOOD. TIMES.

13. If you could command 3 (Cal) to perform any one task or service for you, what would it be?

…oh, well, that’s easy. GIVE ME YOUR ORRERY, KID. LIKE, NOW. AND FOREVER. …seriously now, while there are any number of things in my novels I would love to get my grubby fingers on, that orrery is number one on the list. I imagine most authors have a vague day-dream of having their books made into movies and television serials and visiting the set and covertly making off with some beloved prop, but me being me…I have to pick the one thing that would require a Mack truck, a crane and sixteen strapping young men and ABSOLUT COVER OF DARKNESS to acquire. …I also imagine I’d need a wrecking ball to get it into my attic. Gah.

14. Does anyone on your friends list write or draw 11 (Nan)?

This is a livejournal-based meme from way back when, so there’s no flist involved here. So, no. But I had a commission done of Nan AND I LOVES IT SO. Rara is awesomesauce, no doubt about. <3

...incidentally, since I did this in November, Neme-chan did me an adorable sketch of a squishy!Nan, which I ended up colouring for teh lulz. Observe:

15. If 2 (Círa) had to choose sides between 4 (Ryenn) and 5 (Rýlea), which would it be?

These are getting so hilariously accurate, I start to think I set myself up. Wow. O_o Well, Ryenn makes her life a misery. Rýlea is her husband’s still-beloved first wife. …Rýlea, hands down. For all her faults, Rýlea has a soul. Also, Ryenn keeps trying to annex Arosek’s life, and this makes Círa very. Angry. INDEED.

16. What might 10 (Otho) shout while charging into battle?

Oh, Christ, this is a weird one. Otho is a major, so he does, in fact, charge into battle. I don’t think he’s a talker, mind you. For all Otho often can’t keep his mouth shut off the field, I think he’s one of those terrifying quiet types when he’s actually fighting. It’s just when he thinks he’s about to get killed that he gets mouthy…

17. If you chose a song to represent 8 (Alara), which song would you choose?

Portishead, Requiem for Anna (Un Jour Comme Un Autre – Anna).  I’m still trying to figure this one out, but for some reason it’s there in my head. I suspect it’s the lead singer’s voice, and the fact that the song appears to be about someone pretending that the world is just the same even when it’s clearly not. Alara is like that. She is a Knight of Sai’Ona, something a woman must never be, and so she does it while dressing and behaving almost as a complete lady. Because she has to. Um.
18. 1 (Sabin), 6 (Arosek), and 12 (Cydrac) are having dim sum at a Chinese restaurant. There is only one scallion pancake left, and they all reach for it at the same time. Who gets to eat it?

Arosek. But only after the most painfully protracted period of polite debate you can imagine. Again I feel like I’ve been set up, because all three of them are polite to a fault. Sabin simply wouldn’t go near it. Cydrac would offer it to Arosek, being he’s First Consul. …actually, I told a lie. Arosek would eventually take it, but he’d offer it to everyone in the whole restaurant before even considering eating it himself. Some snot-nosed kid probably got it in the end. Either that or he’d stick it in his pocket and feed it to the first stray guinea pig he noticed on the street. (DON’T ASK YOU’LL GET NAN STARTED AGAIN.)

19. What might be a good pick-up line for 2 (Círa) to use on 10 (Otho)?

HOLY FUCK SET-UP. Basically she could say: “Baby, it’s business time!” and he’d be in there. O_o It’s a bit more complicated in the beginning, mind you. I believe the first time she said something about not wanting things to be make-believe any more. Take that as you will.

20. What would 5 (Rýlea) most likely be arrested for?

Ha ha ha. ARREST. RYLEA. Really? REALLY? …probably picking flowers from somebody else’s garden. But she’s so pretty she could just put them in her hair and they’d say OH THEY’RE SUPPOSED TO BE THERE LOOK AT THE PRETTY!!! and she’d get off scot-free. With even more flowers. And even scot-freer.

21. What is 6 (Arosek)'s secret?

He’s never married for two reasons: first of all, he doesn’t naturally tend well towards sex and intimacy of that sort. He loves everyone. Loving one person (or at least, setting aside the time to devote himself to maintaining any sort of deeply intimate relationship) goes completely against the grain of his personality. Things kind of went wrong when he was seventeen, though; his best friend seduced him and Arosek fell mostly in love and was consequently never able to reconcile himself to either his default factory setting or to a happy medium. His deepest shame is that he still can’t let his friend go even after said friend goes and gets married (TWICE). Though in all fairness this supposed friend is really jerking him around. …jerk.

22. If 11 (Nan) and 9 (Tara) were racing to a destination, who would get there first?

Depends. If it was a fair-run horse race, Tara all the way. Bring in the guard-llamas and the cavies, however, and Nan’s gonna win hands down.

23. If you had to walk home through a bad neighbourhood late at night, would you feel safer in the company of 7 (Kit) or 8 (Alara)?

Sorry, Kit. Alara all the way. Kit’s a thirteen year old boy (albeit a very unusual thirteen year old boy), but Alara has been trained to the sword from babyhood and then went and became a Knight of Sai’Ona against all known law and tradition AND KICKED ARSE TO DO SO. The woman’s one hell of a BAMF. And she looks like Vivien Leigh. I am so down with this.

24. 1 (Sabin) and 9 (Tara) reluctantly team up to save the world from the threat posed by 4 (Ryenn)'s sinister secret organization. 11 (Nan) volunteers to help them, but it is later discovered that she is actually a spy for 4 (Ryenn). Meanwhile, 4 (Ryenn) has kidnapped 12 (Cydrac) in an attempt to force their surrender. Following the wise advice of 5 (Rýlea), they seek out 3 (Calden), who gives them what they need to complete their quest. What title would you give this fic?

JESUS CHRIST WHAT THE FUCK. Some of this works – because Tara spends her time trying to foil Ryenn, Cal is her brother, Nan once worked for Ryenn, Sabin also hates Ryenn and Cydrac might have his uses. But it’s still crack, because Tara’s thirteen, Sabin’s a desk-jockey and Rýlea’s main interests in life include kittens, pancakes and putting pretty flower crowns on her My Little Cavy collection. Hmm. I can see it starting out like a “Spy Kids” flick and ending up more like “Kick-Ass.” So let’s call it “A Series of Unfortunate Events Wherein The Guinea Pigs Take Over The World (We Still Don’t Know Where They Came Fro….NAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAN! GODDAMMIT, NAN!)”


  1. Hahaha, great read!

    If I ever need a llama protected, I'll know where to turn...[g]

    I should try this myself...problem is, half my characters don't even have names yet. Sigh. :P

    1. It's quite a lot of fun to do, that game -- and it's even more hilarious when the set-up means the questions are surprisingly useful, hee. But yeah, I hope you get to give it a go when the characters decide to give you names; even when the answers are pure crack they can tell you a lot about the characters and their motivations in life and love. ^_~

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