I was trying to think of something a little light, a little fun, to do on the blog today since I’m definitely out of practice with regular posting and thinking of things to write. With the reclamation of the previously missing draft of Serpent in a Cage, the book has been pretty strong on my mind, too, and I just want to babble about it. For the sake of my poor readers, I wanted to at least give my babbling a little bit of an interesting twist, and so that means a meme. Specifically, the 10 Characters meme.
I’ve seen this used a lot in fan communities and in role-playing games, but there’s no reason I can’t go and apply it to my current WIP. So, here’s how it works. Below, you’ll see a list of ten characters from Serpent in a Cage, and, below that, there are questions, that I have no looked at prior to composing the list, about those characters. It’s a cool exercise in putting them into situations or thoughts you wouldn’t normally conceive of, and…okay. It’s an excuse to let me talk about my characters. Shhh.
The fun with the meme is that you don’t know which characters are going to be thrown into which situations, so if you want to swipe it and do it yourself (which I very, very, very strongly encourage), do so before reading my answers, or at least randomly switch the numbers to prevent predictable results. I know I’d definitely love to see this pop up in a few other blogs for a few other WIPs out there…
Anyway, onto the Serpent in a Cage bunch…
1. Locke Mandrake Battarack
2. Gilferen Allok
3. Auferrix Ferrore
4. Tayahyla Ma’a’goric
5. Estialog Emereson
6. Taluin Sera Cohl
7. Knolan Rszbeki
8. Awngel Demarkus
9. Tenenshe’ean Madean
10. Jaxson Devoii
1) Describe the children of #3 and #7? Are they good parents?
While I find it pretty difficult to imagine Auferrix and Knolan having children together, we know for a fact that Knolan is a capable parent, having raised Gilferen and Locke from babies into adulthood by himself and with hardly any resources. Auferrix is not likely to be as strong a parent as the more experienced Knolan, but, since she did witness her own parents’ death at a young age, she is likely to be very protective and very caring toward whatever children she may have. If these two were to procreate, I don’t think it would be a one-time thing. They’d probably get involved, have at least a few children, who would all be strong-willed and stubborn, capable fighters and strategists, though they’ll probably always feel a little bit at odds with their place in the world. Both their parents would try to ensure that they certainly had a place, but both parents spent a majority of their lives outside of the box they were meant to be in, and I can see that rubbing off on whatever offspring they might have.
I have to admit, exploring a sort of romance developing between these two fascinates me a little more than I should, and I’m creating this whole crazy AU in my head at the moment, involving a father-complex and a love triangle pulling in her current father figure, Kadue. Yikes!
2) Describe #5 and #1’s first kiss.
Do you mean besides completely accidental? Although I am now imagining a scene where Estialog has Locke in a vulnerable position, and the best way to kill him is with a spell that could only be executed with a kiss. Because an old Majani trying to kill you isn’t enough; it has to be overlaid with blatant homoerotic sensuality, as well…
3) How would #2 react to if #6 is pregnant with #10’s baby?
Shocked, offended….and incredibly impressed, not to mention a little bit jealous. Up until Jaxson joined the Battaracks, Gilferen was easily the ladies’ man of the group, and he mostly is, but Jaxson has a certain ability that makes him jealous, whether it be with knives, women, or general charisma. He can’t understand it entirely…but in a way, it makes sense. So he’d have to mentally give Jaxson a high five for that one, although he’d be left also thinking that he thought Taluin would be smarter than to be seduced by Jaxson. Especially since Taluin so deftly managed to spurn all of Gilferen’s own attempts to seduce her…
4) How does #8 convince #7 to go with him/her on a date?
Boy, so far, Knolan’s getting quite a bit of attention in this meme! However, Awngel’s got a pretty good job with this one…All she’d have to do is bat her eyelashes, twirl her parasol and smile at him and she’d pretty much be able to get him to do whatever she’d want. Historically, Knolan really is mush when it comes to pretty women…and Awngel is very good at using her feminine wiles to get what she wants out of a Battarack…
5) Where would #9 and #6 go for their honeymoon? How is #4 going to sabotage their honeymoon?
So, Taluin’s getting some action, too, it seems. This is a good meme for the old-school Battaracks! Well, if you can call marrying Tenenshe’ean a good thing, which I probably wouldn’t. There was probably a lot of manipulation going on there…if anyone other than Tayahyla was trying to stop it, it would probably be because Taluin was being swayed into an evil trap! The fact that Tayahyla wants to stop it, though, is probably because she’d be the one wanting to go on a tour of ancient Kassirian ruins with Tenenshe’ean. And she’d probably sabotage it fairly well, considering she was raised in the deserts and could track them better than anyone else. She’d probably wind up snagging Taluin and threatening to kill Taluin, which Tenenshe’ean would allow unless he hadn’t gotten whatever it was he wanted out of Taluin yet.
…So maybe not so good for old-school Battaracks after all…
6) #6 is in love with #1. #3 confesses his/her love to #6. Whom would #6 pick? Does #8 think s/he made the right choice?
That needs to be broken down a little. Taluin is in love with her dead best friend’s son. That alone is enough to pause. Then Auferrix confesses her love for Taluin (I could be down with that…). Taluin most definitely chooses Auferrix, because she’s smart enough to know that it’s weird being in love with Locke, especially since she’s constantly thinking about how much Locke looks like his father, which then makes her wonder if she just really has a thing for her dead best friend’s dead husband who she thought she hated…Auferrix, meanwhile, is the first Asyentai who she has sworn to bring into power, and that’s a pretty great way to be at her side to make sure that happens. As far as Awngel’s opinion in all of this…she’d easily support Taluin’s choice, because she’s had enough drama in her own life to want the people in her life to be without drama as well.
7) #5 and #2 must pretend to be a married couple. Why?
I have no idea, but I bet it has something to do with with when Gilferen gets to the Majani Tower and wants to fend off the advances of another young male Majani. “See, we can’t date, I’m already married.” “…To who?” *Estialog hobbles by* “..uhh…Majani Emereson! ..wait…crap. Ahaha, hey, honey!”
Meanwhile, Tayahyla cannot stop laughing to save her life.
8) #10 is moving in with #9. What do they fight about the most?
Which one of them has the best wardrobe…
9) How will #4 prove his/her love to #1?
Tayahyla would most likely prove her supposed love to Locke by not killing Gilferen, as much as she would very much like to. After all, what says “I love you” better than “I won’t murder your best friend”?
10) #7 and #4. Love at first sight?
AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. …no. At first sight, Knolan finds Tayahyla to be an immature, petulant savage that he’d rather never have to deal with ever. And, although Tayahyla probably wouldn’t mind getting with Knolan if she had the chance, it would be more likely in an attempt to get under Estialog’s skin than out of actual attraction.
11) What would #2 give #9 for Valentine’s Day?
A sword in the belly and a swift kick to the head…Happy Valentine’s Day, Douchebag Trying to Take Over the World by Kidnapping, Torturing, and Raping Young Women!
12) Under what circumstances could #3 and #5 have a happy end?
Ooooh, now this is a great idea for an AU! The whole focal point of Serpent in a Cage balances on which group gets to help Auferrix first. Depending on who you ask, if Estialog and Tayahyla were to prove victorious, the happy ending for Auferrix could also easily happen, it’s just that she’s helped by different people and another faction is the one that wins. My whole over-arching theme in the Aryneth books is that the lines between good and evil are actually quite blurred, and the idea that the Black Majani aren’t the evil ones, that DiraSkyria truly is the Savior of the World rather than the destroyer of it, that the people trying to stop her are really the evil ones is fascinating, and the point is, if Estialog truly was the one to save Auferrix and she raised up the kingdom of A’aefar with him, it would still be a happy ending for the both of them…though not for the people who were trying to save her first.
Writing the book with the other side winning could be a very interesting exercise…
11) What would #8 like to change about #10? Does number #10 approve?
I’m actually tempted not to answer this one because it might ruin a surprise within some future volumes, so I’ll just leave it at mentioning that Awngel would like to change quite a bit of Jaxson’s past, which she’ll make quite clear to him in the future, once she figures out who he is and how they’re connected to each other. And he makes it quite clear that he doesn’t approve of her disapproval; he has no remorse for his past. Sorry ’bout it, Awngel.
12) #2 and #7 are together. Who is more protective of the other?
Well, this one’s a little easy, since Gilferen and Knolan have spent their whole life together. The idea of that turning into something romantic, as I’m sure the question is implying, is a little weird for me and treads on some pretty twisted psychological territory, but Knolan is definitely the more protective one. Their whole relationship is centered on the fact that Knolan has spent his whole life protecting Gilferen.
13) Who is first going to say “I love you”, #1 or #9?
I’m pretty sure Tenenshe’ean would cut out his own tongue before saying “I love you” to anyone, so I’d have to go with Locke on this one. We all know he’s actually a real softie inside.
14) Describe #10 and #4’s perfect romantic outing.
The two people on the list with possibly the most skewed ideas of ‘romantic,’ other than Tenenshe’ean, of course. It involves finding a bar…a nice one, a classy one, not some shitty hole in the wall…starting a game of poker, drinking a lot of alcohol, winning some money, and then going and frexing until they pass out. Not a bad evening, really…
15) Who suffers from pre-wedding jitters, #3 or #8? How does bridesmaid/best man #10 soothe them?
That’s an easy one; Auferrix is general unconcerned with matters of the heart, while Awngel has jitters about everything tied into relationships. Considering who Awngel ends up marrying, the idea of Jaxson as a best man makes me laugh, but his method of soothing the jittery bride is likely booze-involved, a release of sexual tension, or a threat with a knife…Yeah. Jaxson’s more likely to increase Awngel’s anxiety, not soothe it…
16) #6 is a secret admirer. What presents will they make the wo/man of their dreams?
Taluin would more than likely find some rare old book of poetry, dress it up with a ribbon, and pass it along. It’s a true sign of affection when a bibliophile willingly hands over something they’d love to just keep to themselves!
And there you have it! A lot of these situations were pretty absurd for this cast; Serpent in a Cage is hardly a romantic book, but that’s part of what makes it so much fun. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ll go ahead and get back to finishing the book so that you can all read it and see what I mean by these answers.