I asked my character Braph if he would do an interview to help me get to know him. He agreed.
Note that this interview takes place before the events of Healer’s Touch.
What do you do for a living?
I create. I am a creator. It doesn’t exactly earn me a living. But I sold the design for my wrist-worn magic device to Turhmos several years ago. Thanks to some savvy investing and the fact that I can create most of what I need with my magic, I don’t need much to live on these days.
Are there other people living with you? Who are they?
Yes, there are several. There is Nilv, my assistant, Danika and Maura keep the house running for me. I’m a busy man after all. And then there is my son and nephew.
Tell me about your parents. How well do/did you get along with them?
I got along with my mother very well. Unfortunately, she died when I was nearly three. I was to have had a sister, but neither she nor my mother survived the birth. My father remarried little more than a year later. [a sneer touches his lips]. I suppose my father and I got on well enough. Mostly we just didn’t talk. But he was away for much of my childhood, anyway.
What was your birth order? How many siblings did you have? Older? Younger?
I’m sure you know already that I have one younger half-brother. Everyone knows Jonas. He is, after all, Quaver’s hero, the thorn in Turhmos’ side. I am his senior by five years. It was just him and me growing up. As I said, I would’ve had a sister, if things had turned out different.
Who else was in your family while you were growing up? How did you get along with them?
I assume you’re asking about Aris. He was around a lot. Vested interest in Jonas’ upbringing and all. Can’t say I had a lot to do with him, really.
What were three things you liked to do when you were a child?
[laughs] Well, I suppose my number one hobby was making fun of Jonas. Here was this boy destined to be the hero of our nation. What else is an older brother to do but to make sure he remembers where he came from? He may be Syakaran, but I was stronger and faster for the first few years. There were some delightfully good throw-downs while he was little. But there was one thing he could never best me at: intellect.
So, I suppose, as a child, my three favourite activities were: beating up on Jonas, setting up challenges for Jonas to fail at, and making a fool of Jonas. Our family home was isolated. There was little else to do than humiliate my brother as often as possible.
What were you afraid of when you were a child?
Very little. In fact, I can’t think of anything.
How did you respond to the physiological and psychological changes in your life as a teenager?
Can’t say I particularly noticed. When I was twelve, my father and his wife were killed. Jonas and I went to live with relatives for the next couple of years, but two Karan boys are a handful for anyone, especially two highly competitive Karan boys like us.
That was really the only observable difference about my teenage years. I came into my Karan strength. But, by then, I was far more interested in what I could achieve with my mind.
What makes you happy now?
[He’s silent for a time, mulling this one over] Very little. [His eyebrows dip. He seems troubled]
What is your greatest fear?
[His lips twitch, almost like he wants to laugh. But I think my previous question still bothers him. Looking at the floor, he opens his mouth to answer, but thinks better of it. He shifts in his chair, looks ready to answer.] Orinia. [He clears his throat]. Losing Orinia. [He sounds exhausted. Defeated.]
What would you change about yourself if you could?
Nothing. [There is none of the awkwardness from the last few questions here]
What is it that you have never told anyone?
I am nothing if not an honest man. And I have reliable confidants.
What do you want?
I want Orinia back. [Despite the straightfoward manner in which he replies, there is a sadness about him]
Is that all?
[He is immediately on his feet and through the door…]