Beautiful People is a monthly blog meme hosted by Cait @ Paper Fury and Sky @ Further Up and Further In. Every month they pose 10 questions for writers to answer about their writing and give readers the opportunity to learn more about the writer’s characters.
Drasten’s name might sound familiar if you’ve been following my Beautiful People posts for a while. He was featured in last year’s Siblings Edition with his brother Aurek, and was mentioned quite a bit in Aurek’s character interview this past March. But he hasn’t had a solo post yet; and now that I’m focusing on the supporting characters for my WIP The Keeper’s Curse for this series, this month seems like a good time to give him one.
Some quick facts about Drasten: He’s a 19-year-old Mountain Man, with dark brown eyes, long dirty blond hair, and a short beard. He also shares the title of Lord of the Mountain Folk’s Sumanhi Clan with Aurek, and has joined his brother in a mission to retrieve lost relics that once belonged to their people. (The mission serves as TKC’s external plot.) So, let’s see what kind of dirt we can dig up on Drasten.
1. Does Drasten want to get married and/or have children? Why or why not?
Yes, he definitely wants to marry and have a family – just not yet. He has more immediate goals that he wants to take care of first, mainly helping his brother Aurek retrieve the lost relics – without getting killed along the way, of course.
2. What is Drasten’s weapon of choice? (It doesn’t necessarily have to be a physical weapon.)
Ohhhhhh, it’s heavily dependent on the circumstances. Drasten is a skilled fighter, especially good with blades (sword, daggers) and his fists. If he’s in battle, his weapon of choice is his kruktsvaard, the Mountain Folk’s version of a scimitar. When he’s not in a fight, though, his temper can be pretty nasty. Drasten is direct and assertive by nature – and when he’s angry, he’s not afraid to yell, insult, or intimidate.
3. What’s the nicest thing Drasten has done for someone else? Why did he do it?
Would convincing Aurek to take their father’s deathbed advice and flee slavery count? Otherwise, Drasten doesn’t do something “nice” for the sake of being kind or thoughtful. Rather, he does it because he thinks it’s the right thing to do, or to thank someone else for their kindness. Chances are if you do something nice for him, he’ll show his appreciation by treating to you to dinner and/or drink at your favorite tavern or inviting you on a hunting trip. He might even organize a party in your honor, if he thinks it’s warranted.
4. Has Drasten ever been physically violent with someone? What instigated it?
(*scoffs at the thought of Drasten NOT getting into a physical altercation*)
OK, perhaps I shouldn’t say about Drasten, because I can answer this question in two ways.
First, Mountain Men often scrimmage in their spare time to maintain their strength, endurance, and skills with weapons. Drasten enjoys these scrimmages a lot. They allow him to release pent-up energy and unleash his competitiveness. (And he can be VERY competitive.) So, from that perspective, Drasten’s last “physical altercation” was a recent friendly scrimmage with one of his Mountain Men friends, and one they mutually agreed on having.
However, Drasten has trouble controlling his anger. This comes from his personality as well as the abuse he suffered when he was a slave (see Question #9), which left its mark on him physically (branding, scars from lashings) and psychologically (nightmares, rigid “black and white” views on justice, overprotectiveness of Aurek). As a result, his temper is “match-strike” quick. If you insult or threaten him, his brother, or anyone else he cares about, he’ll blow up at you.
5. Is Drasten a rule-follower or a rebel?
Drasten follows rules when he agrees with them. If he disagrees, don’t expect him to be quiet or cooperative. His true preference is to be the one who sets and enforces rules. He isn’t a rebel, but rather he’s more of a leader than a follower.
6. Is Drasten messy or organized?
Organized. Drasten prefers order and routine, and keeps his personal belongings and spaces neat and tidy. He also strives to be a good community organizer, establishing clear rules and delegating tasks to his fellow clan members based on their strengths.
7. What makes Drasten feel loved? Who was the last person to make him feel that way?
Loyalty, honesty, and trustworthiness. Show these qualities to Drasten, and he’ll want you by his side until the day he dies. He constantly feels this way about Aurek (in a brotherly way, of course) as well as many of his close friends and allies. The newest person to show him this kind of respect was Ondrus, a fellow Mountain Man (and the company’s lead cook in TKC). The night before they left Sumanhi for their mission, Ondrus took Drasten to a local tavern for some ale and conversation. Their outing left Drasten feeling relaxed, confident, and buoyed by their friendship.
8. What does Drasten eat for breakfast?
Bread. Lots of bread, especially pumpernickel and sourdough. He also likes fried eggs – the runnier, the better.
9. Has Drasten ever lost someone close to them? What happened?
Quick backstory: Drasten, Aurek, and their parents were slaves at a mining plantation. The boys and their father worked in the mines, and their mother was one of the cooks in the master’s kitchen. Both brothers managed to escape about 10 years before TKC begins. Their parents, however, didn’t live long enough to do so.
So, yes, Drasten and Aurek have already lost their parents. Their mother died first, when Drasten was 4 years old (Aurek was 9). Their master overreacted when his daughter was sick after breakfast; and when he learned Drasten’s mother had prepared the meal, he whipped and beat her so badly that she succumbed to her injuries days later.
Their father’s death came about 4 1/2 years later, when Drasten had just turned 9. (Aurek wasn’t quite 14). The father was defending a horse from a rabid fox, and… let’s just say that he saved the horse, but no herbal remedies or Mountain Folk gem-healing could cure the infection he got as a result.
(Gosh, I give some characters terrible deaths… )
10. What is Drasten’s treat of choice? (Or, if not food, how else does he reward himself?)
Drasten loves a good pint of ale. He doesn’t mind mead or wine, but after a long day or finishing something he’s proud of, ale is his go-to reward. With a round or two of loudly chanted Mountain Folk songs with his friends, too.
That concludes this month’s edition of Beautiful People! What do you think of Drasten based on these answers? What else would you like to know about him?