Beautiful People, Vol. 17: Drasten Kolsteg from “The Keeper’s Curse”

Beautiful People 1

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.

(Visit the Beautiful People category page to catch up on past BP posts.)

Drasten collage

Yup. I picture Drasten as Fili-meets-Thor, in looks and character. He has Fili’s loyalty and skills with swords and daggers, and Thor’s arrogance and quick temper.

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?

26 thoughts on “Beautiful People, Vol. 17: Drasten Kolsteg from “The Keeper’s Curse”

  1. As ever, a fascinating insight into a slice of the worldbuilding in The Keeper’s Curse, which is evidently very complex and layered:). Drasten sounds a very well rounded character – I’m taking it that he is one of your main protagonists? Are you considering writing more books in this world – it sounds like Drasten and his peers have a lot of mileage in them…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Sarah! 🙂

      Drasten is one of the supporting characters of TKC. I think I mentioned that during the intro paragraphs…? I’m at a point where I know Eva (the protagonist) well enough that I don’t feel the need to do more BP posts on her. So, I hope that covering the supporting characters isn’t too confusing for you and other readers…

      And yes, I definitely would like to write more books in TKC’s world. I don’t know if I see Drasten as a future protagonist for any of them… But there are several places and conflicts I’d love to explore in the future, and more characters I’ve yet to meet there. We’ll see what happens. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I knew I’d like this character as soon as you said he’s like Fili crossed with Thor. 😀 I like the name too. It’s unusual – at least I’ve never come across it. I imagine him and Aurek as being the kind of leaders Fili and Kili would’ve become if they’d survived the Battle of the Five Armies.

    Liked by 1 person

    • XD Thanks, Nandini! Yeah, Drasten has been an interesting character from the beginning, to say the least. He’s very much a “Type A” personality, partly because of his personality and partly because of the abuse he suffered as a child. I hope he won’t come across as too unlikable during TKC as a result. :S

      Drasten’s name… I think it came to me out of the blue. Some of the other Mountain Folk names (Aurek, Willem, Okin) came from researching German, Dutch, and Scandinavian names for males. (Mountainspeech is a combination of those languages.) And I got the flavor for the sounds of the Mountain Folk’s language, I started thinking of more original names as well.

      Ha ha, well, Aurek and Kili are quite a bit different from each other. Aurek is more mature and serious and less reckless than film-Kili, even though he’s young. But I see where you’re coming from, too. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • Well, there seems to be a good reason for him to turn out the way he has and I’m sure the readers can sympathize with that. I don’t think he will be unlikable. It’s nice to know that you came up with a unique name. I just rely on good old research to name mine.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Tori! I’m glad you like Drasten and can see past his flaws and to the good in him. He can be a bit of a “problem child” character (*ahem*), but with a personality like his, he’s bound to be at least one person’s contagonist or antagonist, right?

      Funny you mentioned rewatching the Hobbit films. I’m finally getting back to the extras on DoS’s Extended Edition DVDs. I’ve had the trilogy since Thanksgiving, and I haven’t made a lot of time for watching it. :S

      “Gosh you really did give their parents some morbid deaths.”

      Yeah. 😦 But they were slaves, so it was impossible to imagine them having more peaceful or “normal” deaths.

      EWWWWWW. *lol* I can’t STAND runny eggs. I love omelettes and scrambled eggs, but my dad loves sunny-side up, which… just… Ugh. So when I thought of Drasten’s answer to the breakfast question, I was like, “You’ve got to be kidding me.” XD And yeah, I can imagine him sopping up the yolk with his bread.

      *runs to Tori’s BP post so she doesn’t have to think about runny eggs anymore*

      Like

  3. Fili crossed with Thor? That would be the best! I can see Drasten causing problems in TKC, especially with Eva. I’m looking forward to that. 😉
    I don’t think he’ll be a fully unlikeable character to readers; maybe just now and then in certain scenes of the book. But he loves his brother and friends, and sounds very loyal to them. That for me makes him more likeable than not. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, E.! Yes, looks-wise, Drasten is kind of a cross between Fili and Thor (though not super-bulked-up like Thor). And you got the jist of who he is and what matters most to him, so I’m glad you like him for those reasons. 🙂

      “I can see Drasten causing problems in TKC, especially with Eva.”

      *MUAHAHAHAHA* 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I keep letting the opportunity to participate in these slip away. I have to start this month! It’s not the only thing I’ve fallen behind on 😛 Hence my late appearance here…
    Drasten sounds like a most interesting character! First, the description of him as Fili-meets-Thor creates a most pleasing image 🙂 Secondly, his personality sounds so well thought out. You have such an impressive story here, and the world building is incredibly solidified! It just makes me more excited for the moment when I can fully immerse myself in your story 🙂
    Thanks as ever for sharing your characters!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey, it happens now and then. You can only do so much with the time you have. And as far as I’m concerned, there’s never an expiration date for commenting on other people’s posts. 😉

      *blushes* Yes, well… like I said, Drasten isn’t super-bulked like Thor is. But if you like the mental image, then I can’t complain! XD

      I was going to say “*blushing*” and other really modest comments about the rest of your comment, too… but then I’d only be repeating myself. :S I just hope that the story lives up to the impressions that people are developing for it!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. An interesting character! He has a painful past, but he doesn’t come across as one of the gloomy brooding types, and he’s definitely flawed (anger issues) which makes him more interesting. I feel like what you have for him is very realistic. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: Time Flies!: July 2016 | Sara Letourneau's Official Website & Blog

  7. *CRIES* Oh my gosh, his backstory totally broke my heart. THIS CHARACTER. As soon as you said he was a slave previously, my heart went out to him, and then when I read about his protectiveness over his brother and the way they lost their parents… :'(((((

    *hugs Drasten*

    Anyway, I always enjoy reading about your characters. I think I’m already a little attached to this one.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Awwwwwww. *lol* You should read about his brother Aurek too, then. They’re very different from one another, and they’ve dealt with their past in different ways.

      It’s weird, though, because Eva and Drasten do NOT get along in TKC. So she paints a slightly… unfavorable picture of him, but I’ve made sure that Aurek explains Drasten’s behavior (or, rather, the reasons for it) in a particular scene. Hopefully that will humanize Drasten enough.

      Thanks for your comments, Brianna!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Haha, I think I just get really upset when it comes to slavery – it’s one of those pet issues I’ve hated since I was a kid. So if there are slaves in a story, you can expect I’ll instantly get riled. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Drasten sounds . . . exhausting. But then, any person that intense is bound to be a little tiring, lol. But in all seriousness, he sounds like a thoroughly developed character, and your answers to the BP definitely give him background and reasons for the way he is. He sounds like someone you’d rather have on your side than against you, but I can totally see why he and Eva would but heads. Does his behavior make Aurek and Eva more or less inclined to get along? Siblings can make you go both ways, after all (speaking from much experience).

    As always, I really like reading about all your side characters!

    Liked by 1 person

    • XD He’s a Type A control freak with a degree of PTSD. What can I tell you? XD

      Anyways, I’m glad that people like Drasten and/or think he’s realistic, especially when looking at his background. I originally had him as a simple “Big Meanie,” so Draft #3 (and this BP post) has been a good opportunity to humanize him.

      And yes, Drasten is definitely NOT someone you’d want to have against you. And unfortunately for Eva, he never likes her from the get-go… which makes things (*ahem*) interesting during the mission they go on together. :S

      “Does his behavior make Aurek and Eva more or less inclined to get along?”

      More inclined. 😉 Aurek is warmer and more compassionate and introverted than Drasten, so Eva feels more drawn to Aurek to begin with. But there’s a point early on when Eva doesn’t like either of them – and you can thank her prejudice against Mountain Folk and her vow of vengeance for that. 😮

      Liked by 1 person

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