Questions answered by Hanne

Name: Does the name have any special significance or meaning? If so, what? Does the character know this meaning? Does the meaning of the name apply to the character or is it an ironic statement about them? (For example, calling a big man “Tiny”)

"Hanneth'tel Ellessar. Hanneth is Elvish meaning 'One with nature'. Ellessar means 'Noble born'. 'tel signifies that I'm female whereas 'tan would mean male. The name Hanne which I use among humans means 'God is merciful'."

Age: Is this age young or old for the society the character comes from? Is the character considered an adult? A child? An elder?

"I'm 20 years old. For a half-elf that means I'm considered an adult, albeit a very recent one."

Sex: Is the character male, female or something else? Are there social restrictions/benefits to being one gender or another?

"I'm female, hence the 'tel in my name. I'm sure I will encounter some social restrictions and also benefits if I chose to travel abroad. Here in Rendrick I'm considered an equal."

Gender: Is the character’s physical sex the same as the gender they identify with or is it different? (i.e. are they physically female, but feel they were born male) Does their society accept this or are they shunned because of it? (Don’t think that a society has to be ‘modern’ to be accepting of different sexualities; the Plains Indians and the Vikings are two societies who recognized the concept of being trans gendered long before the word was even coined.)

"What a silly question. I'm a girl … euhm I mean a woman. Spending time with Father in the woods might have given me some boyish manners but I still feel like a woman I think. I never really thought about this before."

Physical Description: What does your character look like?

"Well I'm about 1m50 tall and weigh about 50kg. I'm a redhead like they say and my eyes are blue. I have that from Mother no doubt. Father has green eyes and I don't think I've seen a redheaded elf before. Not that I have seen that many elves actually. Hmm…"

Sexuality: Is your character homosexual, heterosexual or bisexual or something else? Is their sexuality considered improper by their society or is it accepted? (Once again, modern societies do not have the market cornered on acceptance; the Vikings had words for homosexual behaviour, which means they understood the concept and appear to have more or less accepted it…so long as it didn’t get in the way of someone having kids.)

"How rude. I'm not even going to answer that. The sheer nerve of asking a young lady questions like that."

Race/Ethnicity/Culture of Origin: What race/ethnicity is your character? What culture does your character come from? Is it different from the supposed native culture of his people? (i.e. is he the child of immigrants who identifies more with his adopted culture than his home culture?) How does the rest of the world see their race/ethnicity? Is this view stereotypical, and if so, is it a negative stereotype (all black men are lazy) or a positive stereotype (all Asians are smart and good at math)? How well does your character fit this superimposed mould? (Keep in mind that just because a stereotype is positive, that doesn’t mean it is true or that members of that group like being lumped into that stereotype. Personally, I dislike the stereotype that all women are maternal and nurturing, even though I exhibit nurturing and maternal behaviours. Also, race and culture can be two different things.) Click on the link above for definitions of culture, race and ethnicity.

"Well I'm a half-elf. The stories say that my kind is not accepted by neither humans nor elves. I haven't had any problems with that here in Rendrick. I think Father and Mother are too well respected for that. Father is a really good hunter you know and Mother knows magic. She can touch a wound and …kaboom… it's gone. But … euhm … well I think I answered the question, no ?"

Religion: What does your character believe in? What god/gods do they follow? Or do they follow any? Are their gods real beings or simply abstractions? What do they think happens after death? Are their beliefs typical to their culture? If not, how do they differ and how do others perceive this difference within the group?

"I believe in Ehlonna of the Forests, the goddess of the woodlands. Her symbol is a unicorn you know. Boy would I love to see a real unicorn some day. They live in the woods as well but so far no luck."

Social Standing: Where does your character stand on the social ladder? High? Low? Knocked off completely? How/why are they in this social position? What other factors contribute to their social standing? What ones detract from it?

"Social standing ? I don't think I have that. At least not yet. I'm still too young to worry about things like that. But my last name means 'Nobleborn'. Maybe I should ask Father some more about this. But he never wants to talk about his past. That orc raid on his people must still be haunting him. Poor Father. I'll make him a nice cup of herbal tea when he returns."

Occupation: What does your character do for a living? Do they enjoy their work? If so, why? If not, why not? Why do they stay? Are they free to change jobs or do social/legal issues bind them? (For example, someone who is under contract to complete a job can’t easily quit without risking being sued for breach of contract. Or, in a hunter/gatherer society, a hunter can’t easily switch to doing something else, simply because there’s not much else to do and because the tribe relies on him.)

"I don't do anything for the moment. When I need something Father or Mother provides it. Not that I'm spoiled or anything, Father and Mother would never do that. But I think I could be a hunter like Father and a guide or a guardian of the forest. Not sure if someone would pay me for being a guardian of the forest however. I'm going to ask Father about this when he comes back."

Education: What sort of education does your character have? Did private tutors teach him or did she learn how to sail a boat from her grandmother? If the character's society is literate, can your character read? If so, how well? If not, why not? Can he or she recognize other important symbols? (For example: even illiterate people in the US can recognize a stop sign by its shape.) Can your character count? Do mathematics? If so, how high? What other knowledge would your character have that might not be valued by his society, but which is valued by him? (Example: someone who can recite every episode of Star Trek in order. Or a field hand who can sing.) Keep in mind that while a society may not have formal schools, children are still taught the things they need to know. Yes, your barbarians may not go to college, but they will be trained by their elders to know whatever it is they need to know to be successful adults.

"Everything I know I learned from Father and Mother. And I'm pretty smart too. I can speak four languages, even orcish. And I can talk to some of the woodland creatures as well. Father thought me that. I once encountered a spirit living in a tree. Father told me the spirit helped him guard the forest. The spirit told me stories of the time when the tree was still very young and how she and the tree had met and had fallen in love. I love that story."

Environment: Where does your character live? What is the physical landscape like? The geography, the weather, the climate, how do these things affect your character’s life.

"Well I live in the Dancing Wolf Inn in Rendrick. Mother is the owner of the Inn. Rendrick lies in the forest. There's the North Woods and the West Woods and Harren Ticket and all the way in the north are the Razor Peaks but I've only seen those from afar. I've never been beyond the edge of our forests."

Politics: How does your character feel about the people governing him? This can be his tribal chief, his king, his feudal lord, or his president. Does he respect his leaders or mistrust them or both? Or something else? Does he like the way things are run or does she seek a change? For either, why? How connected does he feel to his leaders? Does she feel they have her best interests at heart or are they something she rarely thinks about?

"The village is led by Samuel Arnault. He's some sort of noble I believe. He's also a relative of Killigan but I don't think they've ever met. Samuel's father was a cousin of Killigan's mother or something like that. If something happened to Samuel, maybe Killigan would inherit rulership over the village. That would be funny. He's so not like the nobles from the stories. But I miss him. It's been four years since he left."

Ethics: What does your character consider ethical behaviour? What would he or she never do and why? What does your character consider to be unethical behaviour? How rigid are his or her standards?

"Ethical behaviour. Pffff !! Why do you even want to know all that stuff. Doing good things is ethical and doing bad things is not. Everyone knows that already."

Family: What is your character's family like? Consider the family they came from and any family they have started on their own. How do they relate to their family members? How well do they know their own lineage? How important is the concept of family to them?

"Father is a hunter and guide and Mother owns the Inn. I already told you that. Family is very important and my parents love me and I love them. I would have loved having a sister though but I'm the only child they wanted. For a while I had a little brother Killigan but he left. I told you that already as well didn't I ?"

Life Experiences: When/how did your character first learn about death? Was it the loss of a pet? A grandparent? A sibling? A parent? How did this affect them? When was their first sexual experience? Was it a positive one or a negative one? How has it affected them? Who was this character's first crush? Have they had a first crush yet? What events do they consider most important in shaping their life? Which are least important? What milestones have they been through? Coming of age ceremonies? Important social rituals? (For example: in modern America, the first day of school is an important ritual/coming of age event, as is getting your driver's license. For hunter/gatherers, making your first kill as a hunter might be an important milestone.)

"No one has died in my family. Father told me about how orcs murdered his family and that made me feel very sad. I hate orcs !! And of course I saw that representative of the Mages Guild get killed. But he hurt my friend so I don't feel sad about him. I'm going to ignore the question about sex. A lady doesn't talk about such things. My first crush ? Euhm… heh… Killigan ? Maybe. I don't know. I think so. A milestone was passing Father's test in the woods. I had to collect several herbs, track seven animals, hunt a deer, calm an agitated boar and treat a small bird who had fallen out of its nest. Father then gave me a bow he had crafted himself. It looks fantastic. It is made out of white wood and has a lot of dark twirling lines on it."

Mobility: What is the farthest your character has ever been from home? Why did she travel that far and whom did she travel with? How broad is her perception of the world? Is it limited to her village or does it encompass an entire galaxy? Or is it somewhere in between?

"The farthest I've been from home was the border of the North Woods because father wanted to show me the Razor Peaks. Other than that I have not travelled far. I haven't even been to a nearby village. I wonder if there's a lot of villages out there. I'd love to visit some other forests too and meet with the hunters and spirits. Maybe there's even a forest where the Elves still live. I'd love to meet the Elves."

Outlook: How does your character view the world? Is he an optimist or is she a pessimist? Is life a bowl of cherries or is it the pits? Is this life a preparation for rewards in heaven or is it the only chance we get so we better make it good or will we be back around in a new life? What gets your character down? What cheers her up? How does he face adversity?

"I'm an optimist most of the time, except when I think about orcs. I really hate them. I haven't had that many tough times actually because life in Rendrick is really simple. I'll answer that when I have travelled a bit."

Personality: How would other people describe your character? As a nice guy? As a real jerk? Is she the kind of person you go to when you need help getting things straightened out or could she not organize her way out of a paper bag?

"I think everyone likes me. Some of the boys in the village like me a lot. Killigan liked me too I think and Curtis as well. I miss both of them. See, now you've made me sad … I think I'm also dedicated. Father tells me I am and when Father says so it's true. And everyone can tell you I like stories. A lot."

Hobbies: Are there things that your character likes to do whenever there’s some time left?

"I like to spend time in the forest, with the birds and animals and trees. And I really like my new bow. I've been practising with it every day."

'General Favourites’: What’s the favourite food/colour/instrument/… of your character??? Please enter everything you think might add to color your character (there’s no need to fill in all the details, but it’s nice to know your character usually wears blue, no?

"I like the colors of nature. Green and brown and all the color variations of the leaves in the autumn months. And I like Mother's vegetable stew. Noone can beat that stew. I tried to make it once but it didn't taste very good."

Miscellaneous: Here's where you answer all the questions that weren't answered above. Add anything and everything you think you need to know about your character. Don't be surprised if you come up with ideas for your character's personality as you work on your story. Make note of anything that comes up in the process of creation and be willing to adjust your character and your story if need be.

"I think I've answered enough questions already. I'm going to see if Mother needs some help in the kitchen."

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