1. What is your name? What do people call you? Have you ever gone under an alias?
Duvessa El'lar. I prefer to be called Duvessa, unless under military circumstances. I hold the rank of Commander in my guild, Sentinel in the militia. I've been called Duv, or Duvey... I despise it. I have gone under an alias, though I won't say what, or it wouldn't be much of an alias.
2. Where were you born?
3. What is your family like? Did you have any siblings?
I had a good family, no siblings, but a large extended family. They were decent, honest, hardworking and tolerant people who did their best to care for me.
4. What was your childhood like?
Miserable. I stuttered, I was clumsy. The midwife who helped me into the world saw a darkness in me, and thus my name, Combine for 'dark beauty'. I'm not sure if I am what I am because of what she saw in me, or that by thus naming me, she self in motion a self-fulfilling prophecy, that had people treating me as an outcast from the start.
5. What sort of education did you receive? Were there significant role models?
From early childhood to about sixteen I was training to become a druid.
6. What sort of exposure did you have to outside events? Other races? Other cultures? Other religions?
Around sixteen I wandered too near Crushbone, was captured, and taken to Neriak as a slave, working for the priestesses of Innoruuk in their temple there. Within a few years, I had converted to Innoruuk's faith, and earned a citizenship in Neriak.
7. What do you believe in?
Now? Rational self-interest. I've been a follower of the Prince of Hate, the Plaguebringer, and more recently, Solusek Ro and I have a kind of an understanding. I do not publicly admit to holding to any faith or dogma.
8. Why did you leave home - or why do you stay?
I was taken from home. By the time I was free to come back, I wasn't fit to come back.
9. What is your position in society? Has this changed over your lifetime?
I've gone from slave, to assassin, to freelance wizard, served in several military organizations, and now, I serve as the second in command of a guild in Freeport, and as the owner of a popular inn and tavern. I would call my position in society more 'social organizer' than anything.
10. How do you make money? What sort of skills do you have? Who taught them to you?
Either as a mercenary, or as the owner of the Raven Mythic. I'm best skilled as a wizard. I was trained by my first mistress and the Spurned in Neriak.
11.What do you do to relax? What hobbies do you have?
I'm a sensualist. Good food, good drink, a good cigar, and a good bedmate. As for hobbies, I read, collect antiques, and in many ways, running my inn is my hobby.
12. Under what circumstances would you kill?
Like all people with a bit of power, I do tend to kill. I am honest about such things. Like most adventurers, I wander into the territory of beings that would often simply leave me be if I left them be. I kill them, and I take their things. I suppose I kill as a predator would. I'd kill defending my city, my friends. I rarely kill simply for the pleasure of it, though some have brought that side of me out.
13. What would you die for?
To be in a position where you must choose dying to accomplish a goal is, in the end, to fail. I've never been in a situation where I so monumentally screwed up that that was an option. I don't know what I would do.
14. What frightens you?
The mob. The unreasoning, doe-eyed, torch-carrying mob.
15. What is your most prized possession?
I suppose the Raven Mythic as a whole.
16. Who have you loved?
Many peope, mostly women, some men, often foolishly.
17. What are your goals?
It sort of changes moment to moment. I share a lot of goals with my friends. None of us is as stupid as all of us.
18. Where do you see yourself in the future?
I've lived in excess of five centuries, and I'm past the point I should have died a normal death. The magic that keeps me alive and looking young... well, skipping the details... one day it will stop, and so will I. Becoming a vampire isn't an option, it's not compatible with the magic already in me, so the easy way is out. I've had a good run, and I don't want it to end yet. But... unless I come up with some amazing discovery, my time is running out. I'd like to spend what is left of my future with the people who are my true friends.
19. If you had a free day with no responsibilities and your only mission was to enjoy yourself, what would you do?
I wouldn't know what to do. I'd pace a lot. I have responsibilities every day, some more than others, but every day. To have none would feel like something was wrong.
20. What impression do you make on people when they first meet you? How about after they've known you for a while?
I'd like to think, if they catch me on a normal, decent day, they find me gregarious and charming. Or powerful and something to fear. It depends on if I am in my inn, or in Freeport. I hope, honestly, I make a good reputation. I'd like to be judged based on me, and not my rumors.
21. What's your idea of a good marriage? Do you think that'll happen in your life?
No. Anyone who I have been engaged to has left me, left the whole world, right after. Hell, if you ever see someone declare their love for me openly... it's like a death knell, chances are good they will vanish soon after. I don't know why. Makes me sorry about the people who love me currently. I'd not like to lose them
22. What are you most proud of about your personal life?
Nothing. Next question.
23. What are you most ashamed of in your personal life?
We don't have that much time.
24. If you could spend the day with someone you admire (living or dead or imaginary), who would you pick?
25. Do you think you've turned out the way your parents expected?
Yes, which is unfortunate for them and me.
26. What do you believe about the gods?
I've felt the ecstasy of a god's touch upon the soul. I do know what that's like.
Which is precisely why I fear it. I've felt only the brushings of power that come from having dealings with Solusek Ro, and that's a very pragmatic thing. People of a deep and abiding faith worry me. They make laws not based on reason and logic, but based on their conviction that their god is in full support of their own small-minded bigotries, fears, and personal fetishes.
You can't convince a believer of anything; for their belief is not based on evidence, it's based on a deep seated need to believe.
Anything you don't understand, you attribute to the gods. Gods for you is where you sweep away all the mysteries of the world, all the challenges to our intelligence. You simply turn your mind off and say the gods did it.
You see, the religious people -- most of them -- really think Norrath is an experiment. That's what their beliefs come down to. Some god or other is always fixing and poking, messing around with tradesmen's wives, giving tablets on mountains, commanding you to mutilate your children, telling people what words they can say and what words they can't say, making people feel guilty about enjoying themselves, and like that. Why can't the gods leave well enough alone? All this intervention sp