Character Interview – Claire Bo’Fauhn
This is Aaron’s secondary mind, reporting from the creative recesses of his psyche. We’re here with one of the main characters of Myth; of Men and Monsters. She doesn’t quite understand that she’s a character and she hasn’t gone through any of the events in the story yet, we’ve caught her the day before her first introduction.
Ms. Bo’Fauhn, it’s lovely having you here, are you comfortable?
Yes, very much so, thank you.
Wonderful. Let’s get started as I know you have things you need to accomplish. Can you tell us a little about yourself? Give us some history on you.
My name is Claire Bo’Fauhn. I’m sixteen years old, nearing the end of my Spiriling courses at the Byohar Tower Schools. I’m the daughter of a Ghirault, a nobleman from Fridinlay.
How do you feel about your parents?
I respect them. My father died when I was very young. His last act was giving his life to ensure his family escaped the men wrecking through our town and our home. I don’t remember much of what kind of parent he was. I know I was loved. I know we laughed a lot. I remember the days when I was younger. I remember my mother and the maids and caretakers but I can’t even picture my father’s face.
Tell me more about your mother.
She risked herself to bring me to the Tower Schools. After our home was attacked, she rushed me to the safest place she knew. I wish she could have stayed. Having one parent alive isn’t much consolation when you never see them. My father died the same day as I last saw my mother. It’s as if she died with him. This is a horrible idea… and…. I’m sorry. I’m crying while telling you this, but somehow, in my mind, she’s not really my mother. I look at her as more of a queen, someone to be seen with awe and adoration but I don’t have the feeling that she’s my mother anymore. I feel like a bad child for saying that. I still have many questions I want to ask her. I have no idea why they attacked us or who they were. I want to know why she didn’t stay with me. I want to know why I feel like this but I’m so afraid she’ll be angry.
Would knowing change anything?
That’s not the point. I want to understand my past. I want to know for the grace of knowing. I don’t know why it’s important, it just is.
How was your transition into the Tower Schools of Byohar?
I came here at an earlier age than most girls. I think I’m still transitioning, if I have to be honest with myself. I never hit the stride that most students do. I was young and Maggia took me under her wing. I was taken from the normal classes and given more rigorous training. They see something in me that, at times, I can’t really see in myself. Most of the time I can’t see it. In a funny way, I think I wasn’t given the chances that the others have.
Please don’t misunderstand me, I’m grateful. I’ve been told I’m being groomed for a high position on the council. That does excite me. But I don’t have many friends. The other students get to go out into the city. I can’t. My classes consist of three or four very competitive, much older girls who see me as a threat. I’ve been very lonely. I find it ironic that the others see me as loved and pampered by the people and the priestesses. I find everything so distant. Maggia has been the only one to give me any comfort. She… and maybe someone else too.
What’s your idea of love?
That depends on the kind of love you’re talking about. I love Maggia, the mother priestess. She’s been everything to me. When I tell someone else, in the rare conversations I have with others, about the long talks she and I have, they give me very strange glances. I’ve found that I’m one of the few Maggia will speak to directly. It makes me feel special. It gives me something of my own, a connection to her. I do love Maggia.
Romantic love, then, what of that?
It exists. I don’t really understand the question.
What are your feelings and experiences with romance?
Oh. You’re asking if I’ve ever been in love. Why did we have to get into this? Why did I promise to answer every question honestly?
Yes. There is a young man. I can’t tell you his name or what he does. I can’t even tell you why I can’t tell you. But he is perfect. I saw him one night and couldn’t focus on anything else. We’ve been meeting together for a while now. I think I do love him very much. I must confess I believe he loves me more than I do him. It makes me feel inattentive. I appreciate him. I just find love so hard to gauge. I don’t think I’d have known about romance if it weren’t for him.
I’m sure we can find other things to discuss.
You promised to answer every question openly and honestly.
I did, yes. But, may we please continue without talking about that? It’s not right. Who would want to know those things?
Ok, the Aelphi are a big influence on your people right now. Have you met one of them?
No, I haven’t had the pleasure. I’ve heard stories and I’m a tad intimidated by others’ opinions of them.
What have you heard?
Some say they are tall, powerfully built creatures. I’ve been told that their women are just as imposing as the men which worries me on how they would treat more feminine females, like those of my people. My real worry is how I’ve heard they act, that even the lowest born walks like a king. I suppose they deserve it. They’ve done great things for so many.
So you’re a supporter of the Aelphi?
They bring knowledge and advancement with them. I wasn’t aware there was an opposition against them, not enough for someone to be labeled more in favor than any other. There are words being said about the amount of control they request when they give aid to a city but I think it’s a price that needs to be paid. More than that, the Aelphi have secrets we can use to help our own people and they’re willing to give them to us. I think the positives outweigh any negatives. I don’t understand the country folk who are worried about control over land. It doesn’t make sense to me.
What about the Prince of Dust?
He’s not something we speak of. I don’t know much about him but I do know he’s a murderer. He targets the Aelphi and anyone who associates with them.
How do you feel about someone like that?
I should hate him. I’m becoming a priestess. We are keepers of life. My future career will focus almost solely on ensuring my people live long and fruitful lives. Murder goes against everything I trust and love. But I don’t hate him. I don’t hate anyone. I feel pity for him. Fear, of course, from all the horrible things he’s done but pity more than anything. I don’t know his motives, but how misdirected do you have to be to kill the Aelphi?
You’ve never gotten along with your city’s political leader, Renant Dulbin. Why?
He’s a politician. His entire purpose is to pander to the people, to change his opinions to suit them but this never goes more than skin deep. Somehow, things always end beneficially for Mr. Dulbin, even if he didn’t go the route the people wanted, which he rarely does. He’s a liar and a sneak. When I was younger, I didn’t like him because he didn’t seem to like me at all. He’d put on an act, but I could always hear his mind whisper of the things he’d do if he could. They were terrible, sick things. I didn’t understand them back then but now that I’m older, I feel queasy when he’s near a young girl. I hope his leadership ends soon.
You’ve been called many things by the people of Byohar. Half of the people are behind you becoming the new Maggia and bringing in an age of old leadership under that name. Others think you’re a pawn. Do either of these thoughts affect you?
How could they not? I don’t see myself as Maggia’s successor. I don’t have the patience or the wisdom or the power it takes to do the great things she does. I don’t know what we’d do without her.
I don’t think I’m a pawn either. The Tower Schools have always been very direct in how they handle issues. Playing games and positioning pieces isn’t what they do.
What is your greatest dream?
I want to see a new age of peace and hope for the people of Byohar. I want it to spread through Thaliannay and across the world. I want everyone to be happy and have everything they’ve ever wanted. I don’t think it’s naive. It’s possible, it really is.
What is your greatest fear?
I don’t think about fears. This question is a little troubling because I don’t think I have a greatest fear. I’m not fearless but I don’t give bad things much attention. I’ll answer this, though. I just have to think.
I believe my greatest fear is being alone. I don’t think I could live without someone near me. I need to ask questions just to be sure of myself. I need that comfort of someone else, anyone else, even someone I don’t necessarily like. It would be terrible to be alone.
You recently took the mid-course exams, the placement test which helps to decide your future as a Priestess. Tell us about the experience.
It was panic-inducing. They administer the tests in three parts, written, oral and physical. The written was the worst. I was put in a small room with no windows and simple blank walls. It looked like the inside of a grey box, but with a light stand and a desk. I almost fainted.
The oral part wasn’t very bad. Once I overcame the nervousness of speaking to the council, most of whom I’d never seen, I was fine. They check for proper speaking and poise and everything necessary for someone who will become a public figure as prominent as a council priestess. But as much as how you sound is important, what you say rivals it. They ask questions about the Spiril courses and they make you critique a teacher. They choose the teacher, as well. Of course they assigned me my least favorite. I didn’t feel right about saying anything nasty or biting. I told them how I felt but I don’t like being mean, so I wasn’t.
I enjoyed the physical part. The entire council watched me demonstrate what I’d learned and the extent of my natural skills. I looked at it as just another practice session. I feel truly happy when I practice. The energies I can move make me feel stronger than I really am.
Overall, it wasn’t a horrible experience. Though I did sleep almost a whole day afterwards.
You were given the single highest grade ever recorded since the introduction of the tests nearly six generations before, how did that make you feel?
Guilty. I was happy too, of course I was happy but everyone’s looked at me even more strangely since then. Some are proud. I’ve never been able to understand pride, to accept it when it comes from someone else. It gives me a sickness in my stomach I can’t get rid of. Others were angry. They called me names. I think it’s because they wanted to prove something to themselves by being higher than I was, by being greater somehow. I wish they had been.
What is your perfect occupation? Why?
I desperately wish to become the Public Hospitality Officer. It’s the person everyone looks to for joy and cheer. She controls the holiday celebrations and delegates funding to orphanages and charities. She uses her abilities to maintain the barriers on the walls of the city. Her greatest duty, the one that takes most of her time, is to help the farmers ensure plentiful harvests by teaching them and giving them Spiril infused tools and charms. She’s a mother, I guess, the Mother of Byohar. I want so very much to be that to the people. I would be loved by everyone and they could see that I’d love them back.
If you were given the title of Maggia, what would happen?
I cannot lead. I would give it up. There are so many others who are more deserving. I’ve been trained, just as they have but I don’t feel I have what is needed.
Priestesses are required to learn combat training in order to protect their patron cities. How have you fared in that area?
If I’m ever attacked by a wooden dummy, it will think I was the goddess Byohar herself.
I can defend myself in theory, but I’m not entirely convinced I could fight against real, live, breathing fiends. I’m not sure I’d let myself
Aren’t you forced to duel other students?
I’ve only dueled once. I was given special permission to be excused from all the other exercises that required me to use my abilities against another person.
At first, I thought I was going to die. We were both young. Ms. Ouli sent us to spar in the courtyard. I can’t remember the other girls name but I know she wasn’t very fond of me. She sent terrible attacks and I hadn’t learned how to dodge or block yet. I had scars and bruises for the whole season.
When she sent the fallen sapling at me, I was afraid. I stopped thinking about not wanting to hurt her. I stopped thinking about not wanting to be hurt by her. I woke up in blood. I thought it was mine.
If the medical officers hadn’t been inside that building, so close to the door, she would have died. That’s not just me saying that, that was what I was told.
They had to remove pieces of clotted dirt from her wounds. No one saw what happened and I don’t remember. The story is that I somehow sent spikes of hardened soil at her.
She refused to leave the medical ward with me still in the school. I volunteered to leave. I could have gone to see my mother but Maggia wouldn’t hear of it. The girl was sent away to another school to the north.
I would call that effective. Why do you say you won’t be able to fight against a real enemy?
I surprised her, I think. If I fought against someone trained and experienced, I wouldn’t have a chance. If I went against someone aggressive who simply couldn’t fight, I don’t think I’d be able to defend myself conscionably.
What are your hobbies?
I love the theatre. I can’t get out of the towers to see the shows in the city but when they travel, I’m the first one to get a ticket.
I enjoy reading very much as well.
Do you have a favorite author?
Yona Lavisher is, by far, my favorite. I don’t care if she only takes older stories and renews them. Her book on the history of the royal family of Thaliannay was breath taking. Some of the tragedies were sickening but the romance, superb. It was beautiful and left me crying for days after.
Nepeng Skith is my other favorite. You probably wouldn’t expect me to enjoy horror stories but they do intrigue me. I guess I like the rush of fright I get when I read about some monsters. His are soft enough to let me pass through without many nightmares. And they always end happily. At least they used to. He’s changed with his last few books, making them darker and gorier. His latest is on the Prince of Dust. I haven’t read it yet. I think it’s called ‘The Demon’. I’ve stayed away from it mostly because I’ve heard it’s terrifying. I think the Aelphi are calling for a ban, they say it’s too horrific. Of course, that’s made the sales go up.
I may be forced to read it sometime soon. His way of twisting a story around is simply too good to keep away from. Though I think I won’t be able to sleep for a while. Maybe then we can redo this interview and I can tell you more about the Prince of Dust.
I don’t think you’ll need to read a book for that.
What do you mean?
… Nothing, just thinking out loud. We’ve come to the end of the questions I have. Is there anything you want to add?
I’ve spoken too much already, I’m sure. I don’t know who will be interested in knowing even this much about me.
Then I’d like to thank you for your time and your honesty.
You’re very welcome. I did like talking to you for the most part. It’s not something I do very often.
Posted on 06/14/2011, in Concepts, Freewriting, Myth, Myth Concepts, of Men and Monsters, of Men and Monsters Concepts, Projects, Questions and tagged character, development, fantasy, fiction, interview, literature, novel, science fiction, series, writer, writing. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.