Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Character Interview #1: Sohrem Terahl

Hello, fellow digressors! On Saturday, I opened up my character, Sohrem Terahl, to be interviewed, and some of you came up with some really great questions. Today I bring you the resulting interview. I'm rather surprised he actually answered the questions, but hey, somehow it worked. Enjoy! 

If you had the choice to either save Sheth and die, or let Sheth die and you live, what would you do? 

Not that I really care, but I'm tired of being a liability, so I'd probably just go ahead and die. Might as well save someone in the process, I guess. And I don't think Sheth deserves to die. Get slapped, sure, and maybe have someone put a gag in his mouth every once in a while, but die, no. 

Finally, he admits it. Do you listen to music? What kind do you like? 

I've never been all that interested in music. Especially the bright, cheery kind that twitters and rings and flounces all over the place. It gives me a headache. Keep it mellow, and I'll probably tolerate it. No ballads. 

You know, bud, not all ballads are the same. You'd probably like some of them. Anyways, what color best represents your personality? 

Seriously? What is this obsession with color among people in your culture? All right, fine. I guess I'd go with a sort of dark, rusty blue, infused with electric green (whatever "electric" means). Maybe some dots of red or black. Don't ask me why. 

Very specific. Let's just say you're green. That's your eye color, and it's close enough. When did you start keeping a journal, and why?  

I started when I was eighteen. At first, it was because I'd just learned to read (don't judge me), and I needed practice. It's also a way to vent, I guess. But touch it, and you die. 

I bet it's a riveting read. I know you had a very hard childhood, but do you have any happy memories? 

I suppose I had some, but they're kind of hard to remember. My memory is a little skewed, in general. I think I enjoyed spending some time with Motre and messing around in the rain. And once upon a time, Tal and I got along and had some laughs. But that was a long time ago, so I don't think I can be much more specific than that. 

Oh, quit being a grumpy nihilist about it. You must have at least one good memory from recent years. 

...Fine. I guess one of my best memories from recent years was the first time I beat Jorthen in a sparring match. He spent weeks trying to convince me that it was a fluke, or that he meant to let me win. He ended up beating me in the next match, but the time from wounding his pride to experiencing his revenge was priceless. Nobody beats Jorthen. And when they do, it's hilarious. Well... Okay, I could state an exception to the "no beating" norm, but we made a pact about that, so I won't say anything more. Just ask him. 

When did you and Jorthen become friends, and why? How did you meet? 

...Ah. Long story there. When I was seventeen, I got into some trouble. Or rather, the trouble got so bad that I had to get away, so I stole a horse and rode off into Reshan territory. I didn't really have a plan. It was kind of stupid, looking back, but I just figured I'd keep riding until there was no more distance to cover. I was in bad shape physically and mentally, and ended up falling off of the horse outside of the Jaern military base, where Jorthen lived. Jorthen was the first person to find me. I guess I must have looked pretty pathetic, because he took me to a physician and took responsibility for me during and after my recovery. He made me nervous, to tell the truth. I didn't really talk for the first few months, and just wanted to be left alone, but he kept following me around and checking up on me. 

Turns out it was a good thing, because a lot of people at the base thought I was a Shamindo spy. Let's just say that their idea of a fair trial and punishment is extremely harsh. Protesting wouldn't have done anything but given me more bruises and humiliation. Jorthen saved my hide a few times, and at some point I accepted that he wasn't going to leave me alone, so I started training under him, and we somehow ended up friends. I'm not sure how, considering that he was always covering for me and cleaning up my messes. I basically just knew how to mouth off and muss things up. I also picked up on a few things about him that he thought he'd hidden well, which I think piqued his interest. I'm good at noticing things. I guess I made a decent wing-man, but that's another story. Most of the effort was on his part. You'd really have to ask him why he thought it was worth it, because I've never figured it out. 

I'm sure he had his reasons. Jorthen doesn't trust much more easily than you do, really. He's just better at acting calm. What is the darkest thing you feel you might be capable of? 

Probably killing someone. Well... all right, I guess killing someone in the heat of battle or in self-defense wouldn't be all that dark by most standards. I guess the thing I'd be most afraid of doing would be... I don't know. Probably going after someone I care about, doing something horrible to them that would prove I was some kind of monster. Not that I care about a lot of people. But if I snapped, and went after one of those people, and no-one was there to stop me... 

Wait... Seriously, Carissa? This is not fair play. Stop squeezing answers out of me. 

I'm not squeezing answers out of you. I'm just asking the questions and letting you answer. 

Control freak. 

Just answer the questions. Like this one: How do you feel about all these fangirls that seem to really like you? 

I think they're all insane, but as long as they don't try to hug me or anything, I can live with it. 

I wouldn't bank on the "no hugging" thing, if I were you. What exactly is a demon-dragon, and how did it feel to be possessed by one? 

...You know how I feel about this, Carissa. 

Answer. The. Question. I'll give you a break from flashbacks if you cooperate. At least until I need to raise the stakes again in 'Rescuer'.  

Fine. Demon-dragons aren't really dragons, or at least not the ordinary kind. They just usually appear that way to people. Or at least, they do when they don't feel like they need to be especially tricky. They sometimes look like people. The Shamindo call them the Vansar, and the Reshen call them the Saethen. I guess other people have other names for them, but those are the only two I know. We each have our own legends about them. The Shamindo legends say that the Vansar are creatures that lurk in dark places and near rivers, that they lure people to drink their tainted water, and then either drive them insane, possess them, or kill them and take on their forms, depending on who you ask. I guess the nearest equivalent to a Vansar in your world would be a siren. Maybe a vampire, minus the blood-drinking part. But that's just a story. If staying away from dark, wet places was all it took to evade them, they would be much less of a problem. 

Honestly, I don't remember half of what happened when I was possessed. Sometimes the dragon would use a lower level of coercion, and I'd just get a chill up my spine and a sudden mood change or odd thought. I did a lot of lashing out without really knowing why, but I didn't question it. Well, I did the first time it happened, but at some point I got so used to it that I barely noticed a change. Let's just say it did a lot of "conditioning" with me during my adolescent years, then managed to trick me into thinking I'd escaped, so half the time I'd assume my own personality was just asserting itself and that it wasn't a problem. And then, if the dragon didn't want to have to deal with my input, he'd just shut me down and take over. I'd be doing something one minute, then come to myself hours later and someone would tell me about some odd or horrible thing I'd done, and I would honestly not remember it. I got a reputation for sleepwalking when I was at Jaern. I even got up, grabbed my roommate's copy of his "Holy Scriptures" and tossed it onto a trash heap outside. I didn't remember it in the morning. For the record, I didn't really want to kill Sheth, either. I just had another odd thought and got suddenly very angry, and somehow I just ended up following him and attacking him. And the other time I attacked someone, the dragon was in charge. I fought back, believe me. But it didn't work. I still don't know why it ended up letting go. All I did was scream at it. 

Sometimes I would notice the dragon's influence and try to fight back, but then it would get angry, and I'd feel like it was digging its claws into my skull. It made it impossible to think unless I followed its lead, so a lot of times, it was easier to do as I was told, even if I didn't want to. The most unnerving feeling, though, was when my body would do things without my consent. It was like I'd been demoted to a passenger while the dragon drove my actions. And then there were the torture sessions. Those were fun. Overall, I think it's impossible to be possessed even once and come out as the same person you used to be. I know I'm not. Next question. 

There are no more questions, but I'll ask one anyways: What would you do if the Saethan that possessed you came back? 

...We're done here. 

No, wait, just answer the question. Come back! Buddy? ...Well, he's gone. 

Well, there you have it, folks. I'll be bringing in Jorthen Lavahr, Sohrem's best friend, to be interviewed on Saturday, so stay tuned! He's a very busy person, but more amicable than Sohrem, so it shouldn't be too hard to get him to answer your questions. Thanks for reading, and for participating in these interviews! I hope you enjoy getting to know my quirky characters. 

So what did you think of this interview? I'd love to hear your thoughts. If you have more questions, or didn't get to ask any before the deadline, you can ask them in the comments below, and I'll drag Sohrem back in here to reply. He doesn't really hate it as much as he lets on. He just has a reputation of indifference to uphold. 


  1. Yay! I was so happy to see this interview up! :) Character interviews are a lot of fun..well for me as an author anyways.... (I'm gonna have to force Claire to do one soon here.She's not too pleased about it already which might make things a tad difficult....well more than usual...) anywho....loved the interview! Can't wait for more of them! :D

    1. Ah, yes, Claire's interview was fun, as well. Feisty girl. xD

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks! :) I'm a little surprised Sohrem actually talked. He doesn't like doing that. xD

  3. Sohrem sounds really cool and I like the demon dragon concept. :) Good interview!

    Stori Tori's Blog

    1. Thanks! The demon dragons are fun to work with (even if I hate the dragons themselves). Fun fact: The first demon dragons I ever created were fashioned after Screwtape and Wormwood from C. S. Lewis's 'The Screwtape Letters'. That was so much fun.