Welcome to my character portrait gallery

For anyone who is wondering, Wednesday became 'black Wednesday' for me because I cannot draw mid-week!
In fact I'm sure the rainforests mourn Wednesday too by the amount of paper I tear through in frustration... so this is a blog for all who know what like it is to regularly shout at their pencils
Oh yes it's also all about fictional characters plus interviews with them, yeah, that too :)

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Alanor O'Danach

At 47years of age and respectable 5ft tall Alanor O’Danach bears the outward appearance of a stern woman, one of great poise and dignity who we mistakenly thought would spend most of the interview looking down her nose at us lowly workers. Instead we find her to possess an inquisitive nature one that reveals a calm, genuine and kind-hearted lady who is more than interested in her current surroundings and the people therein.  

That said we immediately learn she has an intense dislike of being nicknamed ‘Alan,’ and nicknames in general. She professes we may call her, ‘Lana,’ if we must shorten her name, however doesn’t see how anyone can be so lazy as to avoid pronouncing a third syllable. We’ll take it as a given that her husband doesn’t have a pet name for her then.

A well-respected lady of commerce Alanor is also Mathias' younger sister and hence bears the O’Mahryn family glyph on her forehead. Whilst incredibly busy with her own work she has frequent contact with her brother and young niece Tomor. This is partly due to the fact that the O’Danach business ties in well with the O’Mahryn’s, Mathias and Tomor raise and sell wyvern, whilst Devahn and Alanor design, fix and manufacture riding apparatus, armour and clothing. She is quick to inform us that she didn’t marry Devahn because of their obvious business ties but rather that their shared investments led them to meet. 

From the way Alanor speaks of her husband it is clear that she is actually deeply in love with him, which is fortunate considering all drow have their spouse’s family glyph permanently emblazoned atop their left hand. Marriage laws are a serious business in drow society as are the constraints on child rearing. So what if they want to get divorced or the spouse dies? We are sure you are wondering as that was the first thing we immediately cried. Well, Alanor explains that yes divorce does happen and if the reasons are legitimate or a spouse dies then the glyph is merely faded. She explains further that if however the divorce occurs for an untoward reason such as infidelity then the glyph is branded red as a warning to future partners. We think it amusing to imagine a whole bunch of drow wandering around with strings of red spousal glyphs like cheap nightclub stamps all over the backs of their hands. Much to our childish dismay we are swiftly informed that this red branding is a rare occurrence and most divorces are ruled fairly resulting in a faded glyph instead.

Alanor’s personal speciality is dressmaking; she is lead designer for several ranges of thermal and outdoor wear but confesses that her passion isn’t in the practical clothing that forms the bread and butter of their business. It is a rare treat then when she is asked to design a unique item, one with likely limited saleability in the market. The wealthier members of society have on occasion requested she design outfits for them and as a side-project Alanor does make one-off custom clothes that, as her catalogue will attest, sell for hysterically extortionate prices. 

In dealing with customers Alanor tells us that women are unsurprisingly the worst offenders when it comes to demanding alterations and are also the worst when requesting specifics for their priceless gowns. In fact Alanor explicitly details that the things she least likes designing are, ‘frilly frocks, and baroque, gaudy fascinators that those puffed up princesses order and wear for one night only.’ Now aside from the fact that she knows her work is going to spend the rest of its miserable life gathering dust in a closet we assume it pains her to put her name to whatever cheap and tacky eye-catcher is en vogue for those precise five minutes.

After wasting a full thirty minutes talking about fashion we realised it was going to be a pretty dreary interview if we didn’t swiftly change the subject and so set the next line of enquiry to ‘any hobbies that don’t involve clothes.’ Following a raised eyebrow or three and a few flirty remarks at our Freudian slip we were surprised to learn that Alanor is more than adept with a bow and arrow. Whilst she doesn’t profess to be any good at riding or shooting from wyvern-back she tells us she has won many an archery competition in her time. Amused she relays that as a child her eye was so keen her father had hoped the idle hobby would transform into a profession. To this day she tells us she finds it laughable that her father wanted her to be an archer when all she really wanted to do was play with clothes and dress up dolls. She recalls how, in a backwards act of cunning defiance, she would make sure she was seen sneaking from the house with her bow and arrow and heading to the woods, where she would in her own words ‘proceed to sit and brazenly sew things.’

We’re not entirely sure how one ‘brazenly’ sews anything but to avoid stumbling back into a conversation about clothes we ask if she still practices archery. The answer in short, yes she does. Alanor tells us she likes to goes out hunting small game of a weekend with Mathias and Tomor, but ruefully explains how her niece seems to be ‘at that age’ and that Tomor is ‘more interested in chasing after older men than catching rabbits.’

The supportive and accepting type Alanor reveals that she is at times quite literally an agony aunt for Tomor’s woes. Thankfully as an understanding and well-rounded soul she has the patience of a saint and enjoys counselling young people. She relates that if she hadn’t made a success of clothing design she would like to have become a counsellor or teacher. However Alanor informs us that she believes in embracing opportunities as they present themselves and that as much as she loves children her career arrived first.

That’s not to say her career is the be all and end all. In fact she slyly saved the most exciting bit of news right until the end of the interview and then like some clandestine agent suddenly revealed that she is pregnant with her first child! We had wondered why there was a new range of thermal baby grows in her catalogue slapped next to the cocktail dresses.

After an intense round of congratulations and fawning from the staff, we ask if she thinks it will be tricky choosing which of the two surnames to gift to the child seeing as both families are equally prosperous. Alanor smiles broadly at this question and relates that she and Devahn have already agreed that the infant’s surname will be dictated by whichever business is doing best at the child’s time of birth. Now that’s strikes us as special, in a competitive ‘whoever is making the most money wins,’ kind of way, which incidentally doesn’t sit well with the steady and solvent personality we have been presented with over the past hour. All of which makes us wonder what other ‘little’ secrets seemingly open Alanor is keeping to herself.