"It is an equation."
"An equation of what?"
"Of the way things ought to be."
I said I would do more character fractalling, and I have. The more I write, I swear, the less rules I find can apply across the board. I've never really had to do character fractalling for a book before. Gingerune sticks out its bottom lip at me until I've done so, and then - and only then - can we move on happily with the story. Though, I don't know about happily... ("She doesn't look happy." "She's the protagonist," I explained. "Protagonists are never happy.")
mazelin, of the house of the white cyclamen
Who is your character as described in one sentence?
Mazelin is part of the White Cyclamen branch of the royal family, far from the throne yet near to the queen, so that he has had a chance to watch the events of the queen’s life unfold and, spurred by a sense of pending danger and a curiosity sparked by the old legends, he has spent his life trying the thwart the doom the queen’s actions are bringing down on Thera and trying to unearth the riddles of the past and a civilization that has been buried in the dust.
Who is your character as described by several key words?
Quiet, curious, elemental.
Who is your character as described in a paragraph?
While he comes from a lower branch of the royal family, Mazelin has always exhibited an aura of being in command—ever since he was about six years old and had begun to read. He is “incurably curious,” and comes across—whether he means to or not—as impertinent and sometimes judgmental. He is endlessly intrigued by puzzles, riddles, history, and human interaction, all of which are often the same thing. He had a quick, inscrutable mind, and once he has begun to ply his questions it is often very hard to hide things from him.
Who is your character as described by several key phrases?
The wandering prophet. The Lion of Libya. “Just a man.”
Who is your character as described by several paragraphs?
Mazelin is a very quiet, patient, nondescript sort of person. He took his education into his own hands at an early age—in the scheme of ranks he would not have amounted to much anyway, so he was quietly left alone and unhindered in his quest for knowledge. He learned early on the knack of watching people and places, and soon began to unearth secrets that the royal family had forgotten for generations.
But even in Mazelin there is a streak of the impetuous and the strong-willed, and the hard-headedness that comes with being an idealist and the only person, seemingly, who can see what the future is unfolding into. No one takes this sort of behaviour well from an adult, and it is even less agreeable when coming from someone on the nether side of manhood. He and the queen—who is old enough to be his mother—clashed continually for several years until, getting nowhere with her, Mazelin picked up his bag, bought a ticket on a merchant ship, and left to find the answers to a handful of riddles, promising, once he had got them, to return.
What is your character’s extroversion or introversion preference?
Mazelin is very introverted. He has learned to interact with people when necessary and he can be very genuinely friendly, but he has also learned to hold his cards close to his chest, as it were, and that habit of being both wary and deeply thoughtful has turned him irreparably into an introvert.
What is your character’s sensing or intuitive preference?
He is accidentally intuitive—intuition is often like that—with occasional odd feelings and even dreams, but more often he is keenly deductive and can extrapolate reasonably down a line of facts to arrive at an accurate conclusion. He knows the nature of things, and furthermore he knows the nature of people. It is very hard, once you have started talking, to hide things from him.
What are the weaknesses and strengths of your character?
He can speak and write in the language of the Earth-Masters, all things considered he is patient and long-suffering, he is both kind and just, and he is unafraid to act on his deductions. Unfortunately he does occasionally overreach himself. He is not infallible and he does not always take that fact into account. This has already cost him three lives.
What is your character’s love language?
Mazelin would fall into the “words of affirmation” category of the love languages. He is not a man of possession and therefore has very little to give. He is a man of learning and mental abstraction, and so does not have much occasion for “acts of service” in a more material way. If he likes you he may be happy to be quiet in your company, but being introverted and keenly psychic he is not drawn toward—and can sometimes be adverse to—physical touch. But as a naturally quiet person who makes as a matter of course value judgments (which are often harsh, if accurate), he best expresses his admiration through a simple spoken phrase.
What is the story of how your character’s personality changes?
He grows into a man, and he grows far away from family and friends where he must learn to shift for himself and where life must be anticipated quickly before it can catch him unawares. His naturally pleasant, quiet disposition does not leave him; the harshness of life abroad does not make him cynical: if anything, it makes him more merciful. He knows what people are and what people might have been, he knows what the world is like and what it might have been like, and he has always tried to be a force of anonymous good wherever he goes, so that, inasmuch as possible, the place he leaves is better than it was before he came.
What axioms and definitions influence your character’s decisions?
Life is a war, and inasmuch as possible a man ought not to go out into it unprepared to fight to the last breath, to win back a ground stolen and surrendered.
What does your character believe about origins and how does that effect his decisions?
Mazelin believes in Elohim, the single God and progenitor of man. He believes in the conquest of the gods, in the Fable of Falling, and the promise that someday, out of obscurity, a man will rise up to reverse the decay of man and arrest the kingdom of the gods. Until then, he can only emulate the promise as best he can.
What does your character believe about the afterlife and how does that influence his decisions?
He believes in a place of waiting—whether of wakefulness or sleep he does not know and cannot say—where the souls of the dead go to await the man of Elohim. He believes that place is divided between those who believe in the man of Elohim and those who follow the gods, and that those who live and die in the faith of the promise will enjoy the rejuvenation of the kingdom of Elohim, those who adhered to the gods will be imprisoned forever with their gods in a state of judgment.
How does your character’s family influence his decisions?
The only influence they have over him is in the sense that he wants the best for them but is equally aware of the fact that they will get in his way, disbelieve him, and have already gone a fair way to surrendering much of their power to forces which do not want their good. Unfortunately, a prophet is not without honour except in his own country…
How do your character’s friends influence his decisions?
In some ways they are more of a complication than an aid. No one is quite Mazelin’s equal and he is reticent to delegate to people he does not trust are up to the task. Additionally, in the midst of plotting the next step, trying to anticipate the next twist of fate and sentient interference, he must always have one eye on his friends lest something happen to them.
When someone first meets your character, what does he notice about him?
That he is a man apart, a man whom death follows, and there is some doubt if he is a man or a demigod or something altogether other.
When someone is an enemy of your character, how does he perceive him?
Impertinent, inscrutable, a nuisance, possibly even a danger.
How does your character display his various moods?
He is of a thoughtful, half-amiable disposition at most times: he comes across as a pleasant, self-satisfied sort of person who will demand nothing from you (probably because he assumes you have nothing to give him) and will impose none of himself on you. Unless he is angry to the point of physical violence, it is hard to tell his anger and his determination apart: they are both dark, hard auras, electric and powerful. He is obviously a man who gets what he wants.
What is your character’s frame?
Well over six feet tall and built like an ox. He is very lightly-footed and can be very graceful and precise, but his frame is almost breath-taking in its sheer size.
How does your character fight?
Against another man or an animal, Mazelin prefers his fists—couched in iron knuckles. Against anything worse, he has a few other tricks up his tunic sleeves.
What are your character’s features?
Olive-skinned with dark, curly hair kept short. He is not a good hand at growing a beard so he keeps his chin clean-shaven. He has a harsh brow, the final word in aquiline noses, and brown eyes.
How does your character speak?
In general, quietly, imperiously—he is, after all, of a royal family, and after a fashion burdened with glorious purpose… He also speaks abstrusely as regards the content of his conversation, and is careful not to give much away as he takes from you everything he needs to know.
What does your character wear or carry with him?
In his travels he wears a pair of breeches, a tunic, and a robe; on Thera, as is the fashion, he wears a tunic and his indomitable pair of nail-shod boots. He carries a staff and wears a leather satchel in which he carries all of his few worldly possessions.