Her ability, what brought her to the attention of college, is to write the stories of the dead. Full stories, not mere transcriptions of wrongful death. She knows and imagines the details of a person's life entirely and often writes them as novels. She does this by being near the spirits of the dead, and learns details that no ghost or spirit has actively told her.
In fact ghosts cannot actively tell her these things. Her bloodline was blessed with a unique ability to withstand possession, and the blessing has warped slightly through the generations to manifest nearly as a curse for Jo. She is protected from the dead. She is completely protected. She cannot see them, she cannot hear them, she cannot smell rotting bodies. The physical dead can interact with her; she can trip over bodies and a vampire can certainly grab her, but she will still UTTERLY FAIL TO SEE THEM despite this. It can be frightening.
Name you are known by: Jo Raven
Your real name: Josephine Elaine Ravensward.
Coffee or Tea: Coffee. I have an unabashed and unalloyed addiction to the substance.
Family: I am without siblings of any sort, birthed or adopted. My father is Senator Richard Ravensward, my mother Irene Truholme-Ravensward.
Fave motifs: I am rather fond of what my mother would term 'high profile chic' or 'New England college wear'. That is exercise leggings and shirt layered under dark slacks and turtlenecks with wrapped scarves and fitted jackets as needed. I do not, despite my predilections, favor cardigans or draped items that might interfere with my morning runs or my physical lessons.
Perfume, or "grab their jacket and take a whiff": I am told I often smell of powder, as 'powder scent' is the aroma of my favored deodorant, and I am known to anoint myself sparingly with a scent termed 'Ghost Mist' for special occasions requiring a degree of high dress. Otherwise I am quite certain I smell as any other young lady attending classes.
Best fitting insult: 'Mouthy Bitch' is perhaps the most fitting one I've heard to date. I am rather erudite and often find myself employing a vocabulary beyond the ken of my listeners. When the company is less than agreeable I find myself unapologetic about such eloquence.
Tell me something obvious about yourself: I am, perhaps, socially unskilled. I find interactions with those my own age to be not unlike laboratory experiments where factors are considered and small changes observed. I am told I over-think these things.
Tell me something about yourself that I don't know: I trust in the inherent honesty of others when they are making unskilled, and unscripted responses. Fear, confusion, any honest reaction from others, I trust and will do my utmost to accommodate. I am told it is perhaps unwise of me to arm my roommate who suffers from bouts of PTSD, but she finds weaponry comforting and trust grounding.
What is your biggest fear: The very real risk of losing my mind. That may seem a trite answer but I have a family history of schizophrenia with at least one family member hospitalized per generation. I may not feel that my mind has 'slipped' per se but my thought patterns are odd enough to often warrant comment and my stories are disparate and patternless in their scope and topics.
Do you normally take the safe route or the shortcut: I am more often found on the routes that may lead to stories, or details for my stories. If these paths later prove to be shortcuts so be it, same for the safer paths.
What is the one thing you want the most that you can't buy with money: I believe I...want to understand what it is to be normal at least in passing. There are things I am told are normal for those in my age group, wants and desires I find preempted by my need for writing stories. I think I may be close to touching this ephemeral normality, perhaps, I believe I may have what most would term a 'crush', but I am not yet certain as to this.
What is your most treasured possession: In as much as a living being may be a 'possession' I treasure Munin. He has grown into a robust bird despite his half-starved and squawking state when he first came into my care. As yearling ravens go I am assured by bird enthusiasts that he is a fine specimen with a vocabulary beyond the normative for his kind. I sometimes feel I should apologize to him for exemplifying the breadth of language available, but then he uses 'Coffee' to signify 'any kind of drink' and I feel reassured as to his still avian thought processes.
What is the one thing you hate most about yourself that you do the most often: I was never prone to finding aspects of myself to 'hate' as it were. There may be actions I have taken in the past that I find childish or even foolish and reprehensible now, but certainly self-recrimination and blame to the point of hatred is against innate survival protocols. That disclaimer laid out though, I do often find myself in need of several moments of self-centering when I allow myself to be swept away in story writing or even story ideas. The other lives I imagine can be quite...intoxicating and it is not healthy to dwell in them overly long. In essence, I surmise, I hate...losing myself.
Tell me something about you sexually that I don't know: There is very little, sexually, I have not contemplated and detailed to the point of inurement. There are acts I find not to my taste, and attractions I cannot comprehend, but I have written them none-the-less. I wish, at times, that I might find titillation in the concept of sex, or even a sense of adventure, but so far it remains an act I have described in countless ways, countless times, since far before my own age of sexual maturity.
Tell me something about you sexually that everybody knows: It is apparent that I present the fact of virginity in an almost unavoidable manner. That or no one can contemplate the act of sexual congress with me and therefore assumes, quite rightly, that I have no physical experience.
What is your favorite lie to tell: I'm quite alright I assure you. Please carry on.
Name something you have done once that you can't wait to do again: I scarpered. I left. I ran away from home. It was the most liberating experience of my life. Perhaps I should be alarmed at the ease with which I gained a passport without parental consent, or perhaps frightened by the fact that I then commenced upon a walking tour of Europe on my own before applying to a college utterly unsuited to my predilections. I have yet to experience the traumatic shaking or post-survival terrors though and as all my misadventure led me to Schutzhafen I can hardly complain.
Are you the jealous type: I do not believe myself to be, though I am hardly at a point where I might confess an undying love and as I am assured such is the true test, well, it remains to be seen?
What is the one person, place or thing that you can never say no to: My quad-mates apparently. They are rather convincing when they choose to be and I have yet to find a standing argument against allowing them their way upon occasion.
What is the nicest thing someone has ever done for you: I have experienced many kindnesses in my life. The warm touch and kind words of the women who raised me, the camaraderie of people I walked the roads with in Europe and the friendly, unquestioning acceptance of my foibles and idiosyncrasies by my quad mates, and even the unalloyed surprise and pleasure of being 'tapped' for fencing lessons with the alumni association. Perhaps if one were to define 'nicest' as the past moment that has proven the healthiest and most unlooked for then I might say that the acceptance letter from Schutzhafen would be the 'nicest'. Therefore I should extend my thanks and gratitude to the scholarship board.
If you could do something crazy right now, what would it be: Given my apparent lack of deterrents from socially unacceptable behavior or acts of common sense I might be forced to question the definition of 'crazy' expressed in this question.
When was the last time you cried: I often wake from dreams crying; my stories follow me into my sleep and they can be rather emotionally intense. If one is asking after the times I have cried related to things other than stories and borrowed, imaginary emotion, then I must say when I landed wrong after a fall with the Alumni. I struck my arm at an acute angle and while it was not broken it was stressed through the bone and brought tears to my eyes.
When was the last time you felt so good that nothing else mattered: I believe that is the definition of addiction; to crave a high, to feel 'so good' that nothing else mattered. There will always be outside factors in my life, I do not chase addiction in any form.
Do you feel comfortable in public with no shirt on: I do not believe I should. I live in the depths of the Black Forest. In Germany. As such a shirtless state should be rather uncomfortable if not dangerous to my health.
Name something embarrassing you did while drunk: There was a pub in the Scotland highlands that I found myself patronizing on my walk. It was a dark and crowded place, and the cost of a seat at the fire was beer or cider and food. It was stronger than I believed and soon I found myself speaking with the locals beyond the necessary and polite phrases of a tourist among natives. They asked for a story and, foolish, I gave them one. It was story I had been penning since my entrance to the pub, a simple thing. A story of a harlot who played the men in the village against one another with cheerful abandon to keep herself safe and comfortable until her natural death. Apparently there were details within my tale that struck many of the drinkers into discomfort and I moved on that night, embarrassed to so make my erstwhile hosts blush.
Weakness: I am, perhaps, naive. I trust those who accept me and it is a fallacious trait. One which I should be well aware of given my experience in boarding schools. Perhaps it is the fact that I was not accepted in my primary schools and therefore did not encounter a need to excise this trait from myself. I also, at times, find myself to be short.
Magic: I am told by trustworthy members of the faculty that my driving need to write comes not as my own imagination dictates but at the behest of deceased and otherworldly entities. It is a painful thing to consider, though the sheer breadth and scope of my story topics leads me to at least consider their statements as fact though I have not resigned myself to the role of mere transitive scribe.
Part 1: The Basics
1. What is your full name? Josephine Elaine Ravensward, but I go by Jo. Jo Raven if you must.
2. Where and when were you born? I was born in Boston, Massachusetts in the winter of nineteen ninety. I turned nineteen this past December.
3. Who are/were your parents? (Know their names, occupations, personalities, etc.) My father is Senator Richard Ravensward, my mother Irene Truholme-Ravensward. He is, naturally, a senator serving his fourth term in office and she is, respectively, a high profile real estate agent. They are rather concerned with the public image and dislike personal, emotional involvement with projects adopted to enhance said image. Projects such as child rearing for example.
4. Do you have any siblings? What are/were they like? I am without siblings of any sort, blood or adopted. Nor do either of my parents display the tendency to 'sleep around' and conceive without informing the family.
5. Where do you live now, and with whom? Describe the place and the person/people. I currently reside in the third ground floor quad of the Shutzhafen campus. A quad being four similar dormitory style rooms connected to a central living area. I share a room with my friend Amber and my pet Munin, and have two additional friends, Chris and Jake. It has been a curious experience so far, learning to share general quarters with those I actually like. I have learned to share the coffee pot and even make new pots when I finish another off. I have learned to worry when they are not home and to place their worries foremost in my concerns. I have defined them as my friends and accept their own oddities as they accept mine. I may even place them in the category as 'beloved' friends, though that is something I am yet hesitant to apply.
6. What is your occupation? Student and possible ghost-writer.
7. Write a full physical description of yourself. You might want to consider factors such as: height, weight, race, hair and eye color, style of dress, and any tattoos, scars, or distinguishing marks. I stand in that middle ground between short and tall at five foot and four inches. I find myself well balanced, physically, with a waist that is in proportion to my chest, the latter being a light C. My hair falls to my mid back, indoors the shade tends to be darker, leading to the description of 'light brown' though outdoors it becomes evident that my hair is at least 'auburn' if not 'red'. This leaves only my face to describe, and that is average I do believe. I have the pointed chin, or heart-shaped face, of my parents though I sadly lack a widow's peak. My mouth is of proper size, my nose being neither long nor stubby, and my eyes are a perfectly matched and dark hazel.
8. To which social class do you belong? I exist in whichever standing a student on full scholarship resides. I do not rely, or call upon, the social standing of my parents nor even wish for them to know of my current location. I have the social skills necessary, should I feel the desire, to exist in most echelons I believe though I do not feel the urge to so define my existence.
9. Do you have any allergies, diseases, or other physical weaknesses? I experience unfortunate reactions to latex goods, as discovered at a dental appointment to my intense disgust, and to walnuts. All forms of walnut usage from consumption to dyes.
10. Are you right- or left-handed? I have the pleasure of being ambidextrous, it facilitates comprehensive and quick writing. I also find that it has it's benefits in fencing.
11. What does your voice sound like? I fancy that my voice is of a reassuring and pleasant timbre as none have ever commented upon a nasal quality or a discordant whistle or buzz when I am speaking. I have the tendency to gather audience when I relay stories and so I draw the conclusion that my voice is as engaging as my content.
12. What words and/or phrases do you use very frequently? The space provided to summarize my speech patterns is, sadly, lacking. In order to fulfill the requirements of this curiosity I refer the reader to the common lexicons of English language and any page therein. That dubious trove of wording aside, I find myself fond of 'I see'.
13. What do you have in your pockets? I have an abundance of pockets given my predilection for cargo pants, but for expedience's sake I shall only list that which I carry in the common pockets. Upon inspection I have discovered two short pens and three pencil stubs, two shiny pebble gifts and a packet of saltines for Munin. There is also a bright bit of string I have not had the chance to discard out of the raven's sight and two buttons and a hair tie I believe my pet stole from Chris.
14. Do you have any quirks, strange mannerisms, annoying habits, or other defining characteristics? I write, often, and without thought as to other activities. It is not uncommon for teachers to notice transcription of notes with one pen and story writing with another. I do not write to the point of seeking non-paper materials such as my friend Amber, nor do I write to the exception of all else. I can start, and stop, though the stories stay with me.
Part 2: Growing Up
15. How would you describe your childhood in general? My early life can be best describe as a high velocity gauntlet of expectation and social engagement. My pre-schooling years had some alleviation in the form of governesses and nannies I was quite fond of but then came the boarding schools and the 'fast track'. My parents expected me to become a lawyer, as that would be useful, or failing that a CEO. My compatriots in schooling were badgers and wolverines in human guise more than happy to tear the throats of their competition if it meant one further mark in the proper areas. This is where I gained my habit of consuming coffee and a tendency to expand my sentences by no fewer than eleven words when in public.
16. What is your earliest memory? My earliest memory is of sitting in a cushioned lap. The skirt beneath my legs was patterned in small flowers, daisies I do believe, and the woman holding me smelled of baby powder and cut grass. She was reading to me, Dr. Suess as is appropriate to a child of that age, and then I told her a story about an uncle I wish I had. She deemed me a 'good child' and stayed with me for two years yet, until her death.
17. How much schooling have you had? I have had the finest schooling available to a youth, giving me what most would consider an advanced highschool diploma as well as near to a bachelors in English. In my initial attempts at higher schooling I achieved the international equivalent of a full bachelors, and now I attend Schutzhafen where the degrees being earned seem far more esoteric and merit based than knowledge based. I find it to be a healthier system of schooling given my history of accelerated learning even in the face of physical and mental detriment.
18. Did you enjoy school? Pardon me while I laugh. I know it is quite rude but it is a reflex action. I enjoy school now.
19. Where did you learn most of your skills and other abilities? Voracious reading and writing on my part, though schooling certainly did not hurt my skill set. Beyond that I can attribute my 'abilities' as it were to good breeding, an intense imagination, and a certain independent stubbornness that led me into interesting companions and situations.
20. While growing up, did you have any role models? I had many role models; I found them on the covers and within the pages of the books in my home library and then later in the libraries of other establishments.
21. While growing up, how did you get along with the other members of your family? Coolly and with polite reserve. We were a model family to the point that we may as well have been coated in shellack and set on display in a Sears catalog.
22. As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? Honestly I had an intense desire to be anything but what was intended for me. A novelist would certainly do.
23. As a child, what were your favorite activities? I took up running and jogging at an early age; activities that took me beyond the bounds of my home in an acceptable manner. I never excelled at the more acceptable horse back riding, nor cared for the dramas included in that particular social set. Likewise I abhorred tennis and golf. Swimming, hiking, and when pressed, dancing as I was expected to attend social functions without my notebooks for jotting.
24. As a child, what kinds of personality traits did you display? Cool, reserved, high bred. Those were the expected traits, naturally. I became known for scathing, rather than scintillating conversation and a tendency towards the direct, though wordy, at a young age.
25. As a child, were you popular? Who were your friends, and what were they like? No.
26. When and with whom was your first kiss? Considering I do not have the ability to predict future events, and I assume that this question refers to the romantic bestowal of such, I cannot out a name or date answer.
27. Are you a virgin? If not, when and with whom did you lose your virginity? I am indeed a virgin.
28. If you are a supernatural being (i.e. mage, werewolf, vampire), tell the story of how you became what you are or first learned of your own abilities. Hardly.
Part 3: Past Influences
29. What do you consider the most important event of your life so far? Accepting the acceptance letter to Schutzhafen. Given it's dubious provenance I did seriously consider disregarding the notice.
30. Who has had the most influence on you? I am not honestly certain who has shaped me the most. I suppose that dubious honor must be laid at the feet of my parents as most of my personality and actions to date have been an extended form of rebellion. By rejecting their desires I have been formed, but by laying said desires upon me they molded.
31. What do you consider your greatest achievement? I consider having three stories published under a pen name in America to be a great achievement, but to date? I still believe that my escape from my parents has been my crowning glory.
32. What is your greatest regret? I do not honestly think I have enough regrets, nor regrets of an intensity, to label them greatest. Simply put I have not lived long enough, nor made enough mistakes, to slot anything into that particular question.
33. What is the most evil thing you have ever done? Much like with regrets, I haven't led a life of such extremes. I would like to believe that presented an opportunity for great evil I would not take it, but who am I to make such judgments in a vacuum?
34. Do you have a criminal record of any kind? Unless my parents have reported the theft of my own intended funds and my disappearance, then no. Given the tenor or their existence I expect they have been informing their peers that I am attending college out of the country and prefer to ski in the Swiss Alps over vacation breaks rather than return home.
35. When was the time you were the most frightened? That would be when there were zombies. Zombies that I could not see or hear. Apparently they were not actively after the students, the students were simply between them and their target, but Gabrielle had to lead me around because she, at least, could hear them. We ended up crawling through the hedges, and I could hear the bushes thrashing behind us, but still I couldn't see anything. It was very frustrating to be blind to such a threat. When I had boosted Gabrielle through the window to our quad and followed her we barricaded ourselves I with our quadmates and then I curled up around my coffee mug and shook for hours.
Munin, in contrast, sat on the window ledge, watching through the glass, and laughed. At least I assume the chuckling quork noise was laughter. He is an opportunistic carrion eater after all. The bodies I could not see were probably enticing.
36. What is the most embarrassing thing ever to happen to you? Unfortunately for my own memory and peace of mind my college experiences prior to attending Schutzhafen were less than favorable. I encountered students who were quite willing to, and in fact took a perverse joy in, embarrassing others. There was an unfortunate ruling that if security found students being less than dressed in the halls they were paraded quite publicly to the security office, so naturally the sadistic masses took great joy in ejecting the chosen targets from the communal showers sans clothing. I believe I blushed.
37. If you could change one thing from your past, what would it be, and why? I would have begged my first nanny, Maria, to stay the evening with me rather than leaving to go shopping. She was in a car accident and thus I lost her, but she was ever kind to me and a far more gracious mother than my own. I would have liked to have seen her in a good life of her own rather than in the smooth, polished confines of a casket I was not allowed to approach.
38. What is your best memory? That seems like such a simple question on the surface, like asking a child what their favorite part of summer break was. The answer should leap to my lips, unbidden and honest in cherished, beloved tones. A shining jewel of memory should be obvious after all; a prize within the velvet confines of my mind, displayable and awe inspiring. Sadly for such a stirring build up I cannot answer this so readily. How do I compare one memory to another like an appraiser given a box to sort? What facet of joy or love elevates one scene above another?
Given I cannot grant this question an immediate and moving answer I will offer the memory that holds the greatest detail in my mind. Detail, as I well know, lends far more reality than most and therefore the scene I shall spin out will at least hold the attention if I cannot grace it with the term 'best'.
First there was wind. It leaked and teased through the holes punched in the aluminum entry way. Damp on the tongue, cool, but not nearly as foreign tasting as I expected. It held the tang of grass, of hot metal, and rain wet tarmac. Certainly not the auspicious taste of freedom I had hoped, but my heart sped despite the commonplace. The connecting tube rattled and shook under the thrum of feet shuffling off the plane and I was caught up on the tide of exiting, the rubber mats along the floor squeaking and skidding beneath my boots as I finally stumbled into the airport. As such things go London was not far from Boston, hardly unreachable, but still it felt so alien, so foreign and free. The announcements on the speaker drifted over the comfortable buzz of conversation, the whole rounded out by British accents and spatter of rain on the windows. Escape, running away, boiled down to shuffling through the customs queue and hoping against hope that my parents had not placed a flag on my visa. The man behind me had a horrid cough, the woman before me kept pausing to look around for the person she was to meet and I...I stared straight ahead until my eyes hurt, hoping. Hope was a new thing to me and it froze the words in my throat as I finally made my way to the counter. Business or pleasure? One shouldn't have felt the need to rehearse such but I did. Fear slammed in my desk and the slick surface of the customs desk seemed to grit under my fingers, but I managed to say 'Pleasure' and the man smiled, passing my visa back.
39. What is your worst memory? Unlike the 'best' memory that which dwells in deepest shadow seems easier to pinpoint. When was I frightened? When was I so afraid that my skin crawls yet at the memory and my mind feels reduced to simple, monosyllabic gibbering? When did I feel crushed, hopeless, and doomed? Why, that answer is an immediate one. I had just come home from Ingleton Prep for the summer, it was my eleventh grade year and there were important things to be said. I was summoned to the sitting room and there my parents laid out the appropriate papers for me to fill in. I was to attend college soon, they'd already spoken with the faculty there, but forms had to be followed. I had to apply like any normal, underprivileged sort. I imagine my acceptance letter still arrived at my home in due course, but I never saw nor opened it myself. When I had set the pen aside after filling in the papers my father smiled and patted my hand as he was wont to do. I hadn't been home long but couldn't I freshen up a bit? There was a young man I was to meet who would suit me quite well.
That summer was a horror of stilted interactions and my parents beaming over my shoulder. The young man they had chosen for me and no doubt intended me to marry was an over bred twit with a tendency to finger the employees. He even went so far as to tell me to my face that I was a decent enough young lady but certainly no prize, he'd be quite certain to keep his diversion private for the sake of appearances as long as I did the same. Granted, I was no lovelorn young woman with dreams of romance, I was not shocked by the forthright admittance of planned infidelity, but it did bring home the fact that I was trapped. Caught and hemmed in. That revelation, and that summer, hold the sad distinction of my worst memories.
Part 4: Beliefs And Opinions
40. Are you basically optimistic or pessimistic? I prefer to tout myself as cautiously optimistic given my adoration of happy endings. Most might call that simple naivete though.
41. What is your greatest fear? While I do believe I was quite succinct in the above question it can do no harm to reiterate. There is a family history of schizophrenia in my family and I would not care to have it myself. Given what I have been learning this past year in college my relatives may have been misdiagnosed and simply suffer as I do from an excess of stories, but it is not a certainty.
42. What are your religious views? I believe quite firmly that there are powers beyond my knowledge and ability to comprehend. Many in fact, and a plethora of realities that I can no more touch than I can embrace the sun. As to whether these powers are worthy of veneration, or care to receive any I cannot guess nor bring myself to offer. I do not follow a formalized religion, and I always felt it rude to offer lip service in the church of my parents when I was home and forced to attend.
43. What are your political views? I prefer to avoid politics, especially any in America, though I find myself with a growing respect for the leadership of the poli-sci professor here.
44. What are your views on sex? Between consenting and careful adults it can be fun I am quite certain. It certainly seems like others enjoy it immensely. I myself would prefer an emotional connection before engaging in physical congress and that kind of connection is likely to be quite far away.
45. Are you able to kill? Under what circumstances do you find killing to be acceptable or unacceptable? I believe that killing to be a viable option in self-defense and in the defense of others. Killing in and of itself for no cause is unacceptable though and I do not honestly know if I would be capable of it. I am a runner by inclination and physical training, in a situation where killing may be the only recourse my instinct would no doubt run toward flight, but the alumni have been training me in sword work and that is a weapon quite capable of mortal wounding. I do not know.
47. Do you believe in the existence of soul mates and/or true love? I would not be surprised to learn of their existence, though I do not believe a soul mate or true love exists for all. If they did one might expect the world to be a happier place than it is.
48. What do you believe makes a successful life? I have been indoctrinated to the needs and requirements of a successful life since I was very young. One does this, and this, and excels here, and then one is a success. I can manage investments and hobnob, I have dabbled in prelaw and know which brands to wear to parties or which dressmakers to patronize in order to fit in. Frankly it's annoying and pointless. There is not a single concrete achievement involved in being 'successful' and I'd prefer to live outside those boundaries. If I, is anyone, enjoys their life and their occupation? I believe they have done well for themselves and hold far more that is real in their own two hands than any successful person could.
49. How honest are you about your thoughts and feelings (i.e. do you hide your true self from others, and in what way)? I have long since dispensed with falsehoods when I speak with people, the truth is far more useful in conversation and requires less premeditation. Granted, this may have arisen as a defense mechanism in and of itself during schooling where backstabbing and blatant lies were a way of life. I may upon occasion obfuscate the truth, wrap it in words so that the true meaning of my statement slides past the conscious mind to the unconscious, but I do not lie.
50. Do you have any biases or prejudices? Undoubtedly, though I do not think upon them constantly enough to recognize all of them. My prior peers, the driven children, their manipulative parents and any who act like them are a sure way to raise my ire. Liars, those who refuse to learn from mistakes, and fools who enjoy hurting others. Perhaps in summation I might admit that people annoy me immensely upon occasion but I do try to reserve judgment.
51. Is there anything you absolutely refuse to do under any circumstances? Why do you refuse to do it? Lie. I refuse to lie and I refuse to return to America to play my parent's game.
52. Who or what, if anything, would you die for (or otherwise go to extremes for)? My friends. I do not have many, and I may not be the best friend in return yet, but their limited number simply means I cannot afford to lose any when I may prevent it.
Part 5: Relationships With Others
53. In general, how do you treat others (politely, rudely, by keeping them at a distance, etc.)? Does your treatment of them change depending on how well you know them, and if so, how? I treat others as...well, I must admit to several social failings. Interactions were not seen as paramount in my schoolings. I treat most as people I have nothing in common with, with conversation such as I am wont to give. I am learning to interact with my friends though. Casual touch, easy concern, the translation of my usual vocabulary...
54. Who is the most important person in your life, and why? I do not believe I have a person I would elevate above others in my concerns. Perhaps if I were to fall in love, or if I were to have a sibling or child of my own I would narrow my protective instincts. As it stands I hold my friends in high esteem and I have a responsibility to my raven.
55. Who is the person you respect the most, and why? I find myself respecting just about the entire faculty of Schutzhafen. Aside from the one or two that give even me chills their judgment and intelligence has been stunning. Beyond that they truly care for their students and the education they impart.
56. Who are your friends? Do you have a best friend? Describe these people. My friends are the people who live in my quad, students like myself with their own problems and outlooks on life. Perhaps my best friend would be Amber, she is a young woman who suffers from an abundance of words much like myself though she has suffered far more harshly for it. She does not get full tales, nor does her mind fill with information and detail as mine does, but she writes. An automatic writer the faculty calls her, and her past left her open to evil and dark influences that seek to transcribe through her. We wake each other often, writing.
My closest female friend aside, I have two male friends who live in the rooms across the common in the quad. Jake is a musician, and he's very good at putting things in perspective for me. He lived a life very different from mine but I get the feeling the heart of a knight beats within him. He keeps an eye on Amber and myself, and he's quick to come when there might be danger. He's also someone who feels it's important to have fun, we watch movies with him, and I try to return the favor of conversation and fun when I feel he is becoming depressed or moody. It meets with mixed results. Chris though, is the epitome of 'laid-back'. He is a painter and a center of calm when the world seems turbid. He is also one of the only people who doesn't seem to be worried when Amber scrawls, or I zone out to a story. Even Jake blinks at us upon occasion but Chris just...takes it in stride. For that alone I believe I would care for him. He offered a trip to his home in Italy this summer, but I felt the desire to stay at Schutzhafen, at least this first summer. It feels...safer.
57. Do you have a spouse or significant other? If so, describe this person. No, I do not. People do not look upon me in that manner.
58. Have you ever been in love? If so, describe what happened. Again, no, I have not. I believe I may have the first stirrings of a crush but love is a far more complex emotion.
59. What do you look for in a potential lover? I believe it might be best to look for kindness and experience, especially given my own lack of skill.
60. How close are you to your family? I am currently many thousands of kilometers from my family.
61. Have you started your own family? If so, describe them. If not, do you want to? Why or why not? No, I have not. I feel too young and far too unprepared to warrant becoming a mother simply for the sake of alleviating loneliness. Should I ever find myself in a relationship that may lead to the formation of a family I can only hope not to find myself emulating my parents.
62. Who would you turn to if you were in desperate need of help? Any of my friends or the faculty at Schutzhafen. In this instance I am counting the Alumni Association among the faculty as they are most often found on school grounds and do not live with me as my friends do.
63. Do you trust anyone to protect you? Who, and why? I refer the reader to the question above as my answer remains the same in case as it did in the previous.
64. If you died or went missing, who would miss you? I fear I may begin to sound redundant repeating the same names over and over. The faculty are very invested in their students, they would notice my absence. Beyond that my friends Amber, Jake, and Chris would be quite active in the hunt.
65. Who is the person you despise the most, and why? I believe I despise my parents equally, for what they expected and forced upon me and for what they would have done to any child they had.
66. Do you tend to argue with people, or avoid conflict? I do not avoid arguments, they are an incredibly good way to gain an understanding of the person I am disagreeing with. That does not mean I go out of my way to provoke others, but it seems craven to avoid all conflict.
67. Do you tend to take on leadership roles in social situations? I believe it would be frightening were others to follow my social examples.
68. Do you like interacting with large groups of people? Why or why not? Oddly, despite my earlier statements, I do. I enjoy watching interactions and taking notes on how people speak to one another, and this allows me to learn as well. It is an environment without the artifice I am used to in gatherings and therefore something worth engaging in.
69. Do you care what others think of you? Generally I do not care what opinion people hold of me. They may take me as I am or despise me for the same reasons, but if they do so honestly I do not care. Lately I have found myself hoping for the good opinions of the faculty and my friends, this is most likely a side effect of their esteem in my own mind. It might bother me to learn that any or all find me tedious or deranged, certainly it would make me retreat until I could puzzle through the pain.
Part 6: Likes And Dislikes
70. What is/are your favorite hobbies and pastimes? I have garnered a liking for exploration from my friend Amber, though thankfully not her love of underground edifices. I run most mornings and recently I have taken up fencing at the behest of tutors. I also, in calm moments, read and write voraciously.
71. What is your most treasured possession? I find myself with little attachment to belongings, nothing I have dragged with me through thick and thin and cannot part with. Books, no matter how loved, can be replaced, and writings as well. In as much as one might call a pet a possession I believe I treasure Munin the most. He is a yearling raven, and healthy, though his wing set wrong and he'll never fly properly. That is a handicap I can accommodate though and I cannot imagine my life without him.
72. What is your favorite color? I am partial to soft, smokey colors like light lilac and late autumn greens contrasted with dark grays and blacks.
73. What is your favorite food? I enjoy sampling foods and will try anything once. Of those I have tried though I find oranges to be a favorite and clam chowder to be comforting. I would not care for the latter at all times though, as when I am not ill or depressed the thought of clams is rather revolting.
74. What, if anything, do you like to read? Everything. If it is written on a page I will read it, though solid smut or pointless rhetoric I have managed to set aside before reaching the end.
75. What is your idea of good entertainment (consider music, movies, art, etc.)? Storytellers and singers, good music and engaging conversation. Movies may have decent stories themselves and therefore I will watch them, but they are more engaging in a group and I will seldom put a movie on of my accord.
76. Do you smoke, drink, or use drugs? If so, why? Do you want to quit? I will have a drink upon occasion in a pub or with my friends and I am still working out what tastes I enjoy in alcohol and which I do not. As for the rest, no, I do not. Smoking and drug usage would harm me, perhaps push my mind toward schizophrenia, and inhibit my running.
77. How do you spend a typical Saturday night? Most recently I have spent them in the quad common room with my friends. Often we are doing our own work, jotting on assignments or talking through points that confuse us, but other times we set a film on and talk about...anything. Rambling conversations that I find quite entertaining. Rarely we will leave the campus to go to the nearest town for shopping or a pub visit, but I prefer the evening at home as it were.
78. What makes you laugh? Good tales, good music, enjoyment in general? I enjoy laughing and I seem to do it more in the company of my friends.
79. What, if anything, shocks or offends you? Sadism, causing pain for the sake of pain, is offensive to me. I have never condoned bullying nor the creation of a target for a group to mock. It is a senseless and crippling social norm that I find detestable.
80. What would you do if you had insomnia and had to find something to do to amuse yourself? Generally I read or write when beset by bouts of sleeplessness. If the insomnia proves insurmountable I brew coffee and commence with my day.
81. How do you deal with stress? I run, and I write, and I think upon the problems causing me such stress.
82. Are you spontaneous, or do you always need to have a plan? I am oft spontaneous given the 'story' nature of my interests. I am more likely to 'wander' as it were in the company of friends, but I rarely plan anything outside of my studies and homework.
83. What are your pet peeves? Bullying and chewing gum with ones mouth open.
Part 7: Self Images And Etc.
84. Describe the routine of a normal day for you. How do you feel when this routine is disrupted? I am a student. My day begins with coffee and my morning run, then showering, breakfast for myself and Munin if he did not snack during my run, classes, lunch, classes, dinner, and study time. Added to this I now take fencing and fighting classes every day of the week. After my run on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and after my afternoon meal on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I do not experience any particular upset at a disrupted schedule as long as I can have my coffee.
85. What is your greatest strength as a person? I would be forced to say my ability to accept the odd, given my alma mater, though I would also put forth my vocabulary as an asset.
86. What is your greatest weakness? Once I would have said my inability to function properly without coffee. Now, with access to greater information about myself, it would seem to be my sheer inability to detect the dead. Any dead person, any being of sentient levels that is deceased, I cannot see, or hear, or even smell. I can trip over a body, though when I look down it will be as if I have tripped on air, and even undead members of the staff (though this concept presses my imagination to the limits) I seem unable to detect. It has proven a liability at least once in my current school career.
87. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? On a genetic level I would change the above mentioned weakness. One doesn't expect to not see people in their coffins when attending a funeral. If this question refers to an aspect of my own personality though I might deem it a good idea to shift my initial decision for social withdrawl, though that would have led to far more damaging consequences in my early school career.
88. Are you generally introverted or extroverted? Given the definition of an introvert that would be the most fitting term to apply to myself. I hold my own counsel, I know myself far better than I know others, and I ponder upon statements made by others and often come to the wrong conclusions about their genesis.
89. Are you generally organized or messy? I have an organized mind, a plethora of messy stories, and an absence of belongings that leads to an uncluttered life. I also have the tendency to make my bed.
90. Name three things you consider yourself to be very good at, and three things you consider yourself to be very bad at. Composition, dictation, and drafting whereas my failings lie in socialization, entertaining, and simplifying.
91. Do you like yourself? I like myself upon most occasions, and lie content with my own mind and heart on most others.
92. What are your reasons for being an adventurer (or doing the strange and heroic things that RPG characters do)? Are your real reasons for doing this different than the ones you tell people in public? (If so, detail both sets of reasons...) I am an author, I write stories. They may or may not be stories of my own provenance but the detailing and the quality of my writing originates in me. To ensure that the details are correct, that what I write can capture the mind with details, I need to experience them, and to that end I go out, I explore, I experience.
93. What goal do you most want to accomplish in your lifetime? I do not know. I did not know when asked in school, I did not know when my parents did not ask, and I don't believe I'll know ten years from now. I am content with not having my life planned out or a one true purpose. I have too much to learn to be so narrow minded.
94. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? At Schutzhafen. If I have achieved a degree by then I shall be obtaining a masters or perhaps a doctorate.
95. If you could choose, how would you want to die? Nonviolently.
96. If you knew you were going to die in 24 hours, name three things you would do in the time you had left. I believe I would write letters to my investment groups passing my funds into the care of Schutzahfen, minus disbursements for my funeral care. I would also set up trust investments for my friends with sealed letters to be delivered ten, perhaps twenty years down the road when the investments have matured. Those two chores settled I would corner my friends, explain, and ask if they will sit with me until the end, and if one or all of them could care for Munin.
97. What is the one thing for which you would most like to be remembered after your death? At least one good story.
98. What three words best describe your personality? Reserved, erudite, inquisitive.
99. What three words would others probably use to describe you? Cold, mouthy, unnerving.
100. If you could, what advice would you, the player/writer, give to your character? (You might even want to speak as if he or she were sitting right here in front of you, and use proper tone so he or she might heed your advice...) Jo, you're intelligent and brave to tackle the world as you have but you have a long way to go and the learning curve is a depressing one. Don't lose heart, don't give up, being able to relate to people is worth the cost in pain even if it doesn't seem it at the time.