1. What are the contents of your wallet/purse/handbag/briefcase?
Just loose change and a few gold pieces. Obviously I take more than a few gold pieces to the pub, as well as a pocket-sized pad of parchment and a stick of charcoal. Someone always asks me about something politics-related, so I write that down to go over the next morning and see if it was really as important as they made it out to be. Usually it isn't, but it's come in handy more times than I can count.
My saddlebags are another matter entirely. They're full of everything on The List. Insect repellent, sun cream, cooking utensils, spare arrowheads, tent-related bits... you name it, it's probably in one of them. And I could find it within seconds, too.
2. What do you like to do in the privacy of your own home?
HAH, privacy. There's no home on the continent more public than mine, I swear. That said, I don't think I'd be any different if I did have true privacy. I know I'm pretty relaxed outside, but I do still think about who's around me, how many people are watching. Even if I had privacy, I'd still feel like people were watching.
3. How do you 'let loose' over winter?
...More like letting loose over Summer. Winter is the more comfortable season for us, though in truth there's not much difference. Summer is when you can be forgiven for spending the entire day lying on the floor doing absolutely nothing, even as crown prince. Not for more than one or two days for the season, though.
4. Describe your hands.
I say I put being prince before being an Own rider, but these are the hands of an archer. The calluses inside my index and middle fingers from pulling back a bowstring are far tougher than my writing callus, I've broken all but three of them at least once, scars and nicks over my knuckles, nails bitten to the quick... They're not exactly princely.
5. If you have a nickname, how did it come about?
Nol, pretty obvious. Also Princey-boy from the blade archers and the odd swordie. I'm not a fan of that one. I'm sure Lynnlita has all manner of pet names she never actually says to my face, thankfully. Chicken Soup used to be one among the Own, but that was before I turned it into a threat. Nobody would dare, now.
6. How do you sleep?
Badly. Own missions have made me a light sleeper and I awaken at the slightest noise, so it's a good thing Raykin is a good deal quieter at night than Kazin. I'm usually awake a minute or two before the cry of 'AMBUSH' goes up, so that's a bonus. I generally sleep on my stomach with my face away from the closest wall, limbs splayed all over the bed. I must be restless, too, because I often wake up in the morning with the sheet on the floor.
7. How do you take your coffee? (If you don't drink coffee, describe your perfect beverage.)
I haven't quite figured it out yet, but I'm getting there. Lots of milk but no sugar, and I'm experimenting with cocoa.
The ideal beverage is, of course, a Liquid Sunset. Poured at the 'Thrai, of course, not out of the bottle, and in the special Liquid Sunset glass. Kal keeps it underground so it's as cold as it can be, and with a head exactly the thickness of your thumb. That's decadence right there.
8. What do you always take with you when you leave the house?
At least ten gold pieces, a dagger and that writing pad and charcoal stick.
9. What's your opinion on public displays of affection?
It makes me jealous, but apart from that I don't have a problem with it.
10. What signifies the beginning of summer?
The first time Majesty asks me how my speech for the Solstice is coming. People predicting when the first heatwave will be. I guess I start thinking about the speech when we get that first real gust of a north wind.
11. How do you act when drunk?
Disturbingly sober, for the most part. At least, I feel drunk a glass or two before anyone notices. My actions are pretty much the same, it's the brain that just loses it and I start telling people they've only got one eye or noticing that the table looks really sexy. Basically, I'm a complete idiot. Best kind of drunk there is.
12. Do you collect anything?
...Scars? Foreign enemies? Nothing I make a point of collecting, anyway.
13. Describe your favourite thing in your bedroom.
I'll be predictable and say my bow, but I replace it too often to really get attached to it. My sword, maybe? I hate that it's a snake, but I think it's a bit of a love-hate relationship now. When I get back from a mission, there's nothing better in the entire kingdom than my bed.
14. Where is the most comfortable place to be at home?
I'm not sure I could pick just one. It depends on the weather and my mood. I always feel comfortable in the archery range. The rec room has the best lounges as well as the beer, so that has to be up there. It gets nice breezes in the afternoon, too. The cool room is by far the best place to be in a heatwave, obviously the massage rooms are brilliant. My bed is particularly comfortable after a mission or a long meeting. The palace has a lot going for it, despite all the politics that go on there.
15. Who is your rock?
The other three archers in the Own, probably Garuk most of all. Nimay's always going to be up there, too. I'll never find a real replacement for Naraan, but at least I'm not alone.
16. What gets you out of bed in the morning?
The inability to go back to sleep. Not wanting to disappoint anyone, especially Majesty, by being late to a meeting.
17. How do you travel?
On the back of the most disobedient stallion ever to be tamed, and I use the term 'tamed' loosely. It's funny, every time I consider getting him gelded, he calms down and does just what I ask him. I only ever ride him long-distance, though. Around the city I just walk. Taking Mongrel out to meet the people would likely kill someone, or at least break a limb. Probably mine.
18. What do you have on your pizza?
I'm going to bring this concept to Raykin, seriously. I basically put as much on it as possible before the base goes floppy. The meat lovers ones are best, with a good gutsy sauce. Comes from my love of steak, I'd imagine. I can definitely see it working in Raykin, though.
19. Describe your most vivid memory.
The exact second Naraan died. He was coughing and choking on his own blood and obviously in so much pain, but the worst thing was that he kept telling us all that he wasn't dying, as though he genuinely believed it. Aeia... There was so much I wanted to say then, but I was too... I don't know, chicken to get it out, I guess. The best person in my life was dying and I couldn't say anything. Choking and spluttering and trying to breathe, then silence. That exact moment... Aeia.
20. If you could change yourself, appearance or personality, what would you do? Why?
I want to be what it takes to rule this kingdom. I'm working on it, but... I don't think Majesty ever believes I'll be able to do it right. I just want to be good enough. Spectacular would be nice, but I'll settle for good enough.