2. Your age: 36
3. Describe yourself: I'm a swordsman for the King's Own.
4. Describe your mate (if applicable): Not applicable. I had a girlfriend once.
5. Where do you live? Third District in Ni-Yana.
6. What's your favourite sweet? (It is so a basic!) I don't have a sweet tooth.
What is your favourite...
7. Season? Winter. I'm not fond of heat in excess.
8. Food? It changes weekly. To eat, usually something nira-based, probably either marinaded or in a creamy beer-based sauce. To those who haven't tasted nira, it's something like lamb only richer and more gamey. On the road, stirfry is always a favourite because they're easy to make, anything can go in them and no two stirfries are ever the same. At home I enjoy cooking rather complex dishes or anything slow-roasted, things I don't have the time or facilities to make on missions.
9. Animal? Tigers.
10. Colour? Red.
11. Time of day? Dawn and dusk.
12. Weapon? Obviously my sword.
13. Can you read? Of course.
14. Can you write? Illegibly.
15. Can you sing? You wouldn't want me to.
16. Can you play an instrument? No.
17. What languages do you speak? Raykinian, and I'm relatively fluent in Kazinian as long as the conversation doesn't turn too technical.
18. What weapons can you use? Apart from my sword, I'm halfway-decent with a bow or a palu if I'm given a moment to warm up and get out of a swordsman's frame of mind.
19. Are you a virgin? No.
20. Do you mate for life? No. I drifted.
21. Who was your first lover? (or, if you are a virgin -- Who would you like your first lover to be?) Her name was Elinu, but I don't know that I would call her a lover. At the time she almost seemed it, but it's plain now that she wasn't.
22. Who is your current lover? I have none.
23. What is your favourite sexual position? One you'll not learn through reading a survey.
24. What are your kinks? Again, I'm not answering that for a survey.
25. What's the worst thing that's ever happened to you? Any one of the missions I've been on where we've lost one of our number.
26. What's the best thing that's ever happened to you? Probably my first mission with the Own. That's when I was introduced to the Sissillyan spice markets.
27. Who is your worst enemy? The blue and purple shirts can be irritating, but I wouldn't say they're my enemies. There's nobody I particularly hate.
28. Who is your best friend? Probably Melraan. I don't play favourites, though. I'm just as comfortable with any of the swordies, though Nimay's silence is still slightly unnerving.
29. Tell us about your worst kiss. I'm hardly the only one in the Own who's had drunken floosies throw themselves on him either in the pub or on the way home afterwards. The worst of them knocked me into the wall, half-suffocated me then tried to slap me when I pulled her off. I'm lucky it probably happens to me least of all the swordies.
30. Tell us about your best kiss. I haven't had it yet.
31. Smart? I'm not an idiot.
32. Arrogant? Possibly.
33. Good-looking? No, and for that I'm glad. Admirers are hard enough to deal with.
34. Sexy? No.
35. Capable? I haven't been killed in 8 years of Own missions, so I'd say I am.
36. Dangerous? If the time calls for it.
37. Do you have any scars? Many.
38. Do you have any piercings? No.
39. Do you have any tattoos? Anganur's slowly convincing me to get one. I may well do on the next mission to Assiraz.
40. Do you have any other markings? No.
41. Do you wear any jewellery? No.
42. Have you ever broken any bones? Only ever my fingers and a cracked rib or two. Nothing more serious.
43. Do you believe in a higher power? Yes, Lin and Aeia.
44. Do you belong to a formal religion? It's not really a religion in the true sense of the word.
45. Do you have any religious rituals? No different from the rest of the kingdom. I pay my respects on Winter Solstice and that's about it. If we're a religion, we're a very relaxed one.
46. Do your people have any sort of coming of age ritual? Your hrai-dani isn't a ritual so much as a big party in celebration of your life to that point. It happens the night before you turn 20, then at high moon everyone cheers and congratulates you.
47. Do you have any personal rituals? I'm sure we all have our own rituals before leaving on missions. Two days before leaving, I spend the whole day preparing, packing, sharpening weapons, making sure Charcoal's healthy and ready. That leaves the day before to relax, so I can spend the day in the baths and massage rooms, cooking the last decent meal I'll have for however many months, and relaxing at the 'Thrai with the other unmarried Own riders.
The night before we cross the Kazinian border, we build a fire and prepare in our own quiet ways, just watching the flames and thinking about whatever comes to mind. Preparing for whatever Kazin can throw at us.
48. Do you have any sexual rituals? How quickly these questions deteriorate to the gutter.
If you do not have a lover/mate/significant other/spouse, please answer the questions about your best friend.
49. How long have you been together? Again, I don't really play favourites. I've known each of the swordies in the Own since they joined, or since I joined in Emon's and Rumal's cases.
50. What do you like to do together? Train and go to the pub.
51. What do you do to make your
52. What do you do even though it upsets your
53. If someone was going to meet your
54. What's your absolutely favourite thing about your
If you were a _____ what would you be?
55. a metal I'm not good with associations. I'll say steel.
56. a plant Something boring and Raykinian. Spinifex maybe.
57. a fault I'm not brilliant at dealing with the public. I don't know how to put that into one word.
58. a virtue Loyalty.
59. a colour ...Red.
60. a season Winter, more on the side of the Kazinian Winter, probably.
What is your most distinctive...
61. Physical feature? Probably the scars. No single one stands out, though.
63. Physical mannerism? ...I'm left-handed if that counts.
64. Character trait? To those who know me, apparently it's my cooking. To those who don't, I probably come across as stoic.
65. Turn of phrase? I don't have one.
66. Pet peeve? Blade archers, with bow archers a close second.
67. Habit? I don't pay attention. Ask someone else.
68. What's one place you've always wanted to go? I don't often hear about places until I'm actually due to travel there, usually on an Own mission.
69. What's one thing you've never been able to do? If I set out to do something, I can usually do it with some degree of success.
70. What one thing have you always wanted to learn but never have? I suppose it wouldn't hurt to learn how to use a dagger better. They're just so utilitarian and ordinary, though.
71. What's one thing you've always wanted to do and never have? Believe it or not, hold a dinner party.
72. What's one thing you've always wanted to have but don't have? Someone I feel I could spend my life with.
73. Who do you envy? I guess I have mild envy for the guys who aren't afraid to act like idiots. I'd like to be that free with myself.
74. Do you like animals? I don't have a lot of contact with live ones. I get on well enough with camels, and I've managed to negotiate Charcoal's idiosyncrasies over the years.
75. Which animals don't you like? Mongrel.
76. Do you hunt? If so, for food or pleasure? I don't hunt, I leave that to the firing squad.
77. Do you eat meat? Of course.
78. Which animal do you most closely identify with? I don't really identify with animals.
79. Which animal do you most closely identify your mate with? As a collective group, the swordies are probably like a pride of lions only with genders reversed.
80. What are you afraid of? Death. Thankfully I have some control over that.
81. How do you deal with your fears? I train harder and pay attention on missions to every sound around us.
82. Why did you cry most recently? I may have cried when General Rau was killed. Everyone else did, whatever they try and tell you.
83. What was the worst pain you've experienced? Physically? I dropped a pot of boiling water on my foot once several years ago. I couldn't walk for two weeks. Emotionally... probably coming home after Rau's death.
84. What is the worst injury or illness you've experienced? Nol's chicken soup disease.
85. What do you most dread losing? My life. It's a more real possibility for me than for most.
86. What is your comfort food? Any sort of steak. Throw it on the grill maybe with some cracked pepper or lemon for fish. The Anganur school of cooking, that recipe.
87. When do you reach for it? Not often. The first meal I have returning home from a mission. I guess you could say that was a personal ritual.
88. What textures do you like least? (Why?) Biting down on a grain of sand or grit. It sends goosebumps all over.
89. Which textures make you most want to reach out and touch? (Why?) Horses, especially their shoulders and necks and especially dark ones. They look so sleek and strong.
90. What scent do you like most? (Why?) The Sissillyan spice markets. Every breath has a thousand different scents and every one makes my mouth water.
91. What scent do you like least? (Why?) Ladies' perfumes. They choke me, particularly the higher class when they don't seem to know when to stop.
92. Who (or what) do you live for? Myself.
93. Who (or what) would you die for? I'd rather not die 'for' anything. If I die on a mission, though, technically I'd be dying for Raykin. I prefer to live for her.
94. In general, what do people think of you upon first impression? I think they're intimidated. By me or my reputation, I'm never sure.
95. What do people think of you after they get to know you better? Depends. I don't allow many to get to know me better, really just the swordsmen in the Own.
96. If you were to die right now, today, what kind of legacy would you leave behind? Not much of one. The current Own would probably remember me, but I keep to the shadows enough that the rest of the city would forget me within a few years.
97. What kind of legacy would you *want* to leave behind? I'm not interested in legacies.
98. Do you like children? No, not really.
99. Do you have children? No.
100. Do you want to have children? No.
101. What is your earliest childhood memory? Playing 'swords' with my brother. We used wooden spoons we stole from Mama's kitchen.
102. Who was your favourite person when you were a child? My brother, nearly two years older than me.
103. Name one thing that made it clear to you that were no longer a child. How old were you at the time? I don't think there was any one thing. I felt adult for my hrai-dani, but the day after it, it felt as though nothing had changed.
104. Can you ride a bike? I don't even know what a bike is.
105. Can you drive? If so, what? I can ride a horse or a camel, that's all.
106. Can you swim? Well enough.
107. Can you fly? No.
108. Can you fight? I get by.
109. Can you lead? Not really. I'm better at following.
Would you rather...
110. Eat an endless amount or photosynthesize? Eat an endless amount, I guess.
111. Hold your breath indefinitely or make yourself turn blue? Why would I wish to turn myself blue?
112. Learn sign language or talk without moving your lips? Neither would be particularly useful.
113. Keep your eyes open without blinking or be able to turn off your hearing? Keeping my eyes open without blinking would probably be most useful.
114. Fly or walk through solid matter? Walk through solid matter. Trees irritate me in Kazin.
115. Live forever and stay young or be reincarnated with your old memories? Neither. If I had to pick one, though... being a child with my memories would be painful.
116. Are you poor, rich, or in between? Rich.
117. Growing up were you poor, rich or in between? In-between, by Ni-Badra's standards.
118. Is money important to you? I'd like to say no, but I couldn't stand cooking ordinary food with no spices.
119. How do you acquire money? I'm a swordsman for the King's Own.
120. What is your most valuable possession? Either my sword or the pot of saffron I bought in Kazin a few missions ago. The price of saffron only continues to rise. I'm not sure what it's worth right now. I don't pay much attention to the Raykinian market when I know I'll be in Kazin again well before I run out. Charcoal would be, but I couldn't sell him to anyone in Raykin. Horses are a privilege of the Own only.
121. What is your most valued possession? I don't hold much sentimental value with objects. What matters is in my head.
122. What is your favourite sound? Running water. We don't hear it often in Raykin. Even the Ra-Lin is too sluggish to hear much of.
123. What is your favourite thing to touch? I already answered this. Horses.
124. What is your favourite smell? I answered this one, too.
125. What is your favourite taste? I love cummin.
126. What is your favourite sight? Either seeing Ni-Yana for the first time after months on a mission, or the Sissillyan spice markets.
127. Which of your senses is your favourite? Taste and smell together.
128. Can you cook? Well enough.
129. What kind of food do you normally eat? Food with strong flavours, lots of spices and rich sauces.
130. What food is a special treat (like for a birthday)? A restaurant meal. I enjoy cooking, but it's always a pleasure to have a meal prepared for me. I like to try and pick what the ingredients are.
131. Do you drink alcohol? ...I think I'm insulted.
132. Have you ever been drunk? Relate the most memorable time. I'm a boring drunk, so much so that nobody believes I am even when I can't walk straight. I don't believe these people who say they can't control themselves while drunk.
133. What is your cure for a hangover? Whatever the healing house prepares. There's coconut milk and honey in it, but that's just masking whatever the active ingredients are. Something bitter, not anything I could identify.
134. Have you ever witnessed a crime? A few. I intervened where possible.
135. Have you ever committed a crime? Of course not. Why would I need to?
136. Have you ever been wrongly accused of a crime? No.
137. Have you ever been arrested? No.
138. Have you ever been to jail/received punishment? No.
139. What's the worst thing you've ever "gotten away with"? Nothing.
140. What are you allergic to? Nothing I know of.
141. Do you eat fish? It's the staple meat of this kingdom.
142. Who is your oldest friend? Probably Emon. I'd say I got to know him first of the current Own. I haven't really kept in touch with anyone outside the Own. The chunks of the year when I'm away make it difficult.
143. What makes the best pet? I don't know. I've never had one. Charcoal doesn't count.
144. What is the grossest thing you've ever done? Gutting animals in preparation for cooking.
145. Here is a needle, a tube of toothpaste, a deck of cards and some string. Make something. What did you make? Knots in the string. I'm not creative, but I do fiddle with things when I'm bored.
146. Name one thing about your physical appearance would you change. I wouldn't mind being a little taller.
147. Name one thing about your mate's physical appearance you would change. Rumal's life would have been much easier without his criminal scars or missing little finger. Not to mention that if the finger was still in tact, from his words, Naraan wouldn't have died. He was no less annoying than any other archer, but I never wish for any of the other Own riders to die, especially the way Naraan did.
148. Name one thing about your life would you change. I'm not too unhappy with any of the events in my life. Deaths of friends are more their lives than mine.
149. Name one thing about your mate's life would you change. Again, Rumal not losing his finger. Nimay being able to talk. Emon having better luck with ladies and maybe not being so paranoid as a result. Haenel not losing his wife. Melraan and Ulkar seem happy enough.
150. Name one thing you did that made negative changes in your life. Would you do it again? I can't really pick single events that have made my life worse. I've made bad recipes, but they're hardly life-changing.
151. Name one thing you did that made positive changes in your life. Leaving Ni-Badra and signing up for army training, instead of becoming a fisherman as most young men do down there.
152. Do you believe in love at first sight? That's not love, that's lust.
153. Are you in love right now? No.
154. Is anyone in love with you? Some would like to think they are, but no.
155. Has anyone ever broken your heart? No.
156. What is the best thing about being in love? I don't know, I never really have been.
157. What is the worst thing about being in love? For me, it would be the fear of dying and leaving them alone.
158. What was the most memorable event of your childhood? I saw my brother kiss a girl. I nagged him for weeks after that.
159. What's your favourite memory? Why? My hrai-dani. It was the first time I'd seen my family since I'd left Ni-Badra, and they were so proud of me.
160. What's your least favourite/most painful memory? Why? Naraan's death. He hung on for so long, I think some of us almost thought he might make it.
161. What do you do to help you preserve your memories (i.e. photographs, mementoes etc)? Nothing special. I write down recipes that work.
162. Do you have a good memory or are you constantly forgetting things? I don't have a lot to remember. What I need to remember, I do.
163. Is memory a curse or a blessing? Neither, but it does define a person.
164. Describe your hair. It's... there. Part over my left eye. I have a short beard.
165. Describe your mate's hair. Ask them.
166. If you could change your hair this minute, what would it look like? I really don't pay attention to my hair. As long as it stays out of my eyes, I'm happy.
167. Ever had a hair disaster? What happened? No.
168. Are you usually concerned with the appearance of your hair? (ie do you think about it or just brush and go) I comb it, that's as far as it goes.
169. Hairy or smooth -- which do you prefer? Smooth, I guess.
170. Do you believe in romance? I see it all the time. It seems to work on women.
171. What is the most romantic thing you have ever done? I'm not big on romance, myself.
172. What is the most romantic thing someone has ever done for you? Nothing.
173. Is a sense of humour important to you? It may be hypocritical of me, but yes.
174. What is the silliest thing you have ever done with a lover? I've never really had a true lover. I had a girlfriend, but that didn't work out.
175. Name something that looks like fun, but that you would never do. Why wouldn't you do it? I can't think of anything off the top of my head, but I'm not good at spontaneity or silly things. I have too many inhibitions to get past.
What is your favourite... (and why?)
176. Fruit? Mangoes. They're more versatile than you might think.
177. Movie? I don't watch movies.
178. Way to spend time with your mate? I already answered this.
179. Number? I don't have one.
180. Time waster? I'm not good at time wasting. I like to be doing something useful all the time.
181. Sport? Dagger toss, though I'm not brilliant at it.
182. Have you ever paid someone for sex? No.
183. Have you ever had someone tie you up? No.
184. What's the weirdest thing you've ever been penetrated with? I never have been.
185. Where's the oddest place you've had sex? In a bed.
186. What's your most perverted fantasy? Who would honestly make that kind of answer public knowledge?
187. Has your partner ever done something to you that you thought you'd hate and you got off on it? What was it? No.
188. When did you get your first paying job? I signed up for army training when I was seventeen, but it doesn't start paying until you graduate, which was at 24 for me.
189. What was it? I started out in Second Company and worked up from there.
190. What job are you working now? First Company swordsman and rider for the King's Own.
191. What job do you expect you will be doing in the future? The same one. I'd like to be able to retire. So far so good.
192. If you didn't have to work (money wasn't an issue) would you still work anyway? Yes. Much as I don't like the prospect of death, the prospect of boredom for the rest of my life is worse. I don't have anyone to spend my life with at home, so I may as well stay on the road.
193. What is your ideal job? This one.
Say the first thing that pops into your head after each of the following words. Do you know why your brain made that connection?
194. Hate. I don't hate. Blue and purple shirts irritate me, though.
195. Love. Unknown.
196. Sex. ...Not something for a survey.
197. Family. Supportive, for the most part.
198. Fear. Death.
199. Humanity. Too hung up on fighting. Hypocritical, I know, but I take time to appreciate the small luxuries in life, too.
200. What is your favourite sound? I already said, running water.
201. If you were deaf, what would you miss the most? There's no way I could still be in the Own--hearing is a huge part of it--so I'd miss that lifestyle.
202. What does your voice sound like? Gravelly.
203. Can you sing? You really don't want me to.
204. Can you play an instrument? This survey could be half the length if it didn't keep repeating questions.
205. What is the sound of a sunrise? Sunrise isn't a sound; it's the smell of fresh bread.