Ask a Paladin

In case anyone’s interested, I thought it might be fun to begin answering some questions about my character (very much “Ask Father Koln” style) in character. I think that this might be a good thing since I always have trouble during live games actually staying in character and not giggling, and I really don’t think my role-playing does Ari justice.

(Plus, anyone that knows me will understand that I really enjoy writing and really like to get into my character’s minds, so I think that this would be a very fun activity!)

So, if anyone has any questions for Ari, she will be more than happy to oblige (in character!).

(Note: Please keep questions appropriate. I will delete any posts which I deem to be of an immature nature.)

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50 Responses to Ask a Paladin

  1. Pingback: Happy 250th Post! | The Paladin Project

  2. paladinari says:

    Hello everyone! Thanks for all the great questions you’ve been asking Ari. I really appreciate being able to answer them because I really enjoy writing and it’s a lot of fun to be able to get into my character’s mind.
    But this original post is going to start going into older posts soon (ie, the original “Ask a Paladin” post now has almost 50 comments on it!). So I made a little box at the top of my blog that says “Ask a Paladin” so the conversation will be easier to find in the future.
    So, if anyone else has anything to ask (and I really encourage it as I really appreciate your comments and love talking to all of you as Ari!) then please be sure to start commenting in that other page that way nothing get lost!
    Thanks again for everything!

  3. auerion says:

    Hi Ari! I had a fun day of hunting today with Brain. *as he speaks he munches on his venison* yum!
    So Ari, have you ever been hunting? Oh, and would you like a piece?

    • paladinari says:

      *Ari looks slightly repulsed by the bloody piece of meat, but she keeps her cool*, “Eh… no, that’s all right, Auerion. I don’t eat meat.
      As a matter of fact, I have actually been hunting before. Only twice. And both times I was a young paladin–or at least what you would consider a new paladin. My older brothers would commonly take the neophytes on hunting trips. It was always seen as an excellent opportunity to put our skills and training to the test, and by the will of Selene we would be allowed to hunt and bring home dinner in exchange for her training. If you understand my meaning.
      In any case, I only went twice. As a priestess, I had sworn off meat and so wasn’t expecting to hunt in order to eat any. And truth be told, I was a bit distraught by the whole experience both times. However, as you can imagine, a paladin must be familiar and comfortable with a certain amount of blood, so I endured the experience. Though I will not be too quick to participate again in the hunt anytime soon.”

  4. paladinari says:

    “Had it not been for the last comment, I might have answered.” *Ari turns away, clearly not amused*
    *After a moment, she turns back, clearly hesitant*, “Well… I guess you weren’t around when Denya was asking who my first ‘crush’–silly human term!–was.” *blush*, “And I described a young male elf, paladin initiate who once… struck my fancy. I cannot say that he was my only ‘crush’. And all of them have been other male elves of roughly the same build. So I suppose I would be interested in a male elf. But then, I have never known many men of other races. However, of what I have seen in my travels… no, the man would definitely need to be of the elf variety. I think I’ve seen too many unattractive qualities in human and dwarf men to be drawn to them.”

  5. auerion says:

    So… if you weren’t sworn to chastity, what would your ideal mate be like? Male/Female? Elf/Other? Maybe even… dwarf? *Auerion snickers*

  6. paladinari says:

    *…*, “Ai, law! Sa farn palan, Auerion! Just… wait. I’m sorry, I forgot you took things so literally. It’s my fault, truly.
    Okay, no. No, I do not mean that I… and Selene… are like that. Only… that I keep myself chaste in respect for her, who gave me this body and this life, and I will not defile her gift. Selene constantly watches over me, much like a mother, and offers me guidance. And in return I allow her to use me as she sees fit.
    Is that clear?”
    *Ari’s face is flushed red… not angry, just becoming a bit frustrated and embarrassed*

    • auerion says:

      So… she’s using you? Ari!I understand being guided by the gods, but it’s entirely different matter if we’re their mere playthings and tools! I wouldn’t stand for it! Neither would Bran! It’s good that she’s like a mother to you… I think… I mean now I’m starting to get the idea that you are in a slightly different relationship with her than I thought. Just if she ever demands too much, just remember, there are other gods in the sea.

  7. auerion says:

    So Elf and Dwarf too? But then what about demons?

    *Auerion suddenly looks up, as if finally getting it!* Ah ha! I understand. So you and Selene…? Way to go Ari! I’m so happy for you!

    • paladinari says:

      *Flusters*, “Wait…. What? What exactly is it that you ‘understand’?”

      • auerion says:

        Well that you and Selene… You see Ari, uhm, how I understand it is that when an elf loves a goddess very much they… although I’m not sure how that’ll work, you being sworn to chastity and all? Does she know? Oh what am I saying, of course she does! …Why would she do that? Oh well, the will of the gods is a constant mystery, I’m just so happy for you that you found a mate that’s a goddess.

  8. paladinari says:

    *A strange, almost fixed smile appears on Ari’s face. It’s not unfriendly, but it’s rather… fake*, “Um… let’s stay away from the topic NightPanther, if you don’t mind? Actually. No. Let us go there. So, you say that NightPanther and I would ‘get along’, do you? And here I am assuming that you don’t think NightPanther and I would make great friends who would sit down to tea.”
    “She hesitates. The smile remains*, “But doesn’t that negate your argument, Auerion? Surely, if everyone in the world took a vow of chastity, then yes: Even I would agree that all races would be in trouble because, most obviously, there would be no multiplying of the numbers. However, I would also argue that if everyone were to procreate indiscriminately, the results would be equally detrimental. Even if you were to argue that people could beget children on the basis of love, you could also argue that–going on the belief, as I see you do, that there is one mate out there for each person… or elf or lupine…–there are not equal numbers of both sexes out there and so someone would end up alone.
    Back to NightPanther…” *pause, thinking*, “…first of all I don’t think of her… like that. But then, even if… well, if there were romance, it would carry along the same lines as the second of my arguments in that it would unbalance the world and deprive the world of a successful sacred communion of two members of the opposite sex who would, most hopefully, bring about children.
    I am assuming that when you insist that there be a mate for everyone it is to further the species, which would clearly not be the case in a… relationship between me and her.
    Now what was your last question? Oh. Does finding a mate make you less pure? No. As I said before, it is the divine gift of the gods to give mortals the ability to bring forth children who will love those gods in turn. In fact, I believe that there is no more happy occasion than a marriage or a birth, because it means that there was love enough between two such people who worship the goddess and wish to bring about another of Selene’s children. As for why remaining a virgin makes one more pure… well, I suppose it means that the love for our god or goddess is so deep that it transcends any love that one could have on the physical plane. Therefore, it is more holy to love the god or goddess wholly rather than sharing your self with another being.
    Have I confused you further, Auerion?”

  9. Auerion you do realize that two females can’t mate and produce children. Thus, your argument doesn’t work in that instance….

    • auerion says:

      Haha, I know, believe me. As a student of nature I am more than aware of how things work. That being the case, I have seen a couple female-female couples. Still, despite that simple biological fact they still uhm, try to mate. They seem happy and fulfilled, completely dedicated and loyal to their partner. You don’t yearn for that kind of companionship at all? Hm, elves are a different species indeed!

      • paladinari says:

        *There is an uncomfortable pause in the conversation as Ari looks like she is caught between answers. Finally, she speaks*, “Oh, hello Denya. Um… this conversation is beginning to become strange. But as a paladin, it’s my duty to… educate the masses. So I suppose I can’t shy away from this.
        But… this question is rather personal. So… I guess I can start by clarifying that I find the relationship and love between any two people to be the divine will of the gods. Man and woman. Woman and woman. Man and man. Um… elf and human–if it happens. Human and lupine. In any sense, it is still a beautiful thing. It is truly a gift from the gods to have the capacity to love.”
        *Ari looks uncomfortable for a moment, then seems to hurry through the rest of the conversation*, “And I do have love… and companionship. Selene is my constant guide and partner. I am never alone. And I feel very fulfilled in her care.”

  10. auerion says:

    Hm… well, it is the will of the gods that animals must mate. You however are sworn to chastity, but doesn’t that go against nature? Even if that’s not the case, have you ever regretting taking such a silly vow?

    *Auerion picks up his book and reads, struggling to read the different handwriting* …uh… Griswald and Ari would make such a cute couple…?

    • paladinari says:

      *Ari takes a breath, looking like she’s gearing up for a conversation she has had many times before*, “Well first of all, Auerion, I’m not an animal. I’m an elf. And a very pious and devoted elf at that. And from an early age, my entire self–in mind, spirit, and body–has belonged to my goddess, not me. It is a sacrifice that a priestess, and then a paladin, is either required or encouraged to make, and I don’t think I have ever regretted my vow, which I believe will allow my goddess to work more thoroughly through me in this world.
      As I said to Denya yesterday, though, I am all for the sanctity of love and union. This ability, I believe, is the gift which our gods have afforded us, and those of us who are born to rear children are truly blessed to be afforded that sacred opportunity.
      As for the rest of us–the priests and priestesses, the paladins and the clerics–we are blessed in another way whereby our gods can work through ourselves due to the purity of our selves.
      So no, I don’t see this as a ‘silly vow’, as you call it. But it was the will of my goddess.”
      *She smiles, almost motherly, as though ready to see the light of understanding flash across Auerion’s face. Instead, though, Auerion speaks and she immediately flusters*, “What? You didn’t write that, Auerion. Is-is that Griswald’s writing?”

      • auerion says:

        *he nods and shuts his book* Yeah… I’m happy he can’t write in Lupine, but still… which would be a better outcome? If everyone in the world took that vow of chastity, or if everyone in the world didn’t? I don’t understand how finding a mate makes one less pure. Really I think you and NightPanther would get along really well, Bran agrees!

  11. paladinari says:

    *shrug* “Your guess is as good as mine, my friend.”

  12. paladinari says:

    *Ari cocks her head inquisitively to one side*, “Eh… no, Auerion, elves are not like snakes.
    In any case, did you not write this down in your book, Auerion? There, take your quill. Right. Okay, now write this down: The ‘black squigglies’, as you call them, are dark servants of my cousin, Kaeleen. Kaeleen sought to… save my family by taking it over. In order to do this, she wanted to kill me. In order to do that, she used the ‘black squigglies’ to take over the bodies of elfin hosts to use against me.
    There, did you get that?”

  13. paladinari says:

    “Griswald is lucky to have a friend such as yourself, Auerion. And I’m sure he’ll be happy with… fish? Oh, no. You said ‘loyalty’. Ah.
    As for Remadi and my slumber, as you know, I do not sleep, but only dream and think and meditate on things passed. Aside from that, I trust my reverie to Selene, and I trust the moon to shine bright and peaceful over my place of rest each evening. And yes, my rest was very nice, last night.”

    • auerion says:

      Ah, I was never clear how that reverie – sleep thing worked. I just assumed Elves were a kind of snake in that they slept with their eyes open.

      So… *Auerion puts down his book* What did you do to those black squigglies to make them want to kill you so badly?

  14. auerion says:

    But Griswald’s my friend. He saved my life, for that I owe him something great, like many fish… so many I cannot hold it all, so I’ll give him my unrelenting loyalty instead!

    So… did Remadi give you the gift of a peaceful slumber too?

  15. paladinari says:

    “Eh… well, no. Of course not. Though I would have preferred no stabbing in the first place. Or punching. In fact, just keep your hands to yourselves, you two!” *clearly frustrated*

    • AuerionVaehrgyd says:

      okay… hm, all I wanted to do was chat with my two nondwarven friends and I get punched and ganged up on. It’s not fair. >,<

      • paladinari says:

        “Oh, I’m sorry Auerion. You know we’re just teasing you. And I can certainly understand why you would prefer to converse with us instead of Griswald…”

  16. AuerionVaehrgyd says:

    ….she started it. >.>

    • paladinari says:

      *Shakes head*, “Your age shows. Both of you.
      And Auerion, how can you insult a woman’s ability to fight? You’ve been traveling with a highly skilled female Ranger and Paladin. Do you think so little of us?”

      • AuerionVaehrgyd says:

        Again, my mother was very strong, much stronger than me even! I can insult a woman’s ability to fight just like how I can question a man’s ability to fight. The fact is I was right in front of Denya when she stabbed me, if she stabbed like a hunter should, then I would be dead. Fortunately, on that day she didn’t put much behind it, and I am lucky for it. Would you prefer another outcome?

  17. AuerionVaehrgyd says:

    *yipes as he’s struck AGAIN by Denya* I apologized! …I think I did? I mean you were under the influence of illusion magic and had no idea what was going on. In a situation where you thought your life was in danger I’m sure you’d put much more ‘oomph!’ behind it, right? And I don’t think I said it was because you were female, my mother was the best hunter in my village, granted she was also a Lupine.

  18. AuerionVaehrgyd says:

    Hi Ari! Hello Denya! Bran says ‘hi!’ Uhm, well in my spare time I like to be active in nature of course, and listen to what the forest tells me. It’s alive, it breathes, speaks, and pulses… and can even have its own heart, which I will tell you guys about some other time. I also have a variety of other hobbies, but I don’t want to bore you, especially since I had a question for you Ari. So… uhm… *Auerion takes out his dusty brown book and begins flipping through the pages* Ah! So after we heal Night Panther and finish our quest for good, will you attempt to bring our new friend to justice? Because if you try, I won’t let you!

    • paladinari says:

      *Ari smiles and shakes her head*, “No, Auerion. While at first I was suspicious of NightPanther’s actions–such as beating up seemingly innocent librarians–I won’t be so quick to bring her to justice for it since her actions were founded. NightPanther has good reason to want to seek revenge on the Dim Triad, and I applaud her courage. In many ways, her actions are not unlike that of a paladin–though they seem much more random.”

    • Aurien!!! *punches you in the shoulder for saying her dagger skills are weak because she is a girl earlier*

  19. I agree ocarina playing is good when your alone. Silence can be defining as they say. I often times would talk with Nightshade when without two legged companions…which is more often than not in my life. I’ve never been too much for reading as I sludge through trees and mud many times and such things would get ruined in those conditions…Most of the time I prefer the trees to an enclosed bedroom so a book was rarely in my hand if not in school when I was younger. though I would occasion the library once in a while for a change of pace or to research a particular ability, fighting style or way to kill(such as Goblins).

  20. paladinari says:

    “Well, now that you mention it, I do enjoy reading. There’s only so much that they teach you during your training as a priestess or a paladin, so it’s nice to sit down with a good story, or maybe even a book on history or philosophy every once in a while. However, it haven’t gotten the chance much, lately. And I don’t generally carry books with me on my travels.
    Also, I play the ocarina. People smile at me when I start playing, but I think that is because I never became very good at it. It must be because I have a warrior’s lungs and hands, not a musician’s! But I suppose the playing is good enough for myself, to keep me amused on long, lonely nights.”

  21. *laughs* Thank you Ari. Well you asked me about my extra talents as it were..How about you what do you do in your spare time?

  22. *sigh* Ari I feel we see the world from two different lenses. although I understand that love is a wonderful thing for many I have never thought it one for me. I have had a romping or two with the boys of my town with no intent of longer lasting relationships.. I think I may have broken a heart or two along the way although I’m sure I didn’t mean to. I have never seen being with a man as anything more than a fleeting romance as it were. Alnir is a wonderful man I can see that with how he cares for his family and you but I know better really to think that he would want anyone of my caliber and limitations. Alnir has been a great comfort and distraction to me in this time of unknowing about what’s going on is this crazy world of ours and I thank him for that. But I know we’ll move on and friends we will possibly remain and nothing more.

    • paladinari says:

      *Ari begins to stay something, then stops very abruptly. She thinks, then offers hesitantly*, “Well, of course, who am I to preach? I, who will never experience that communion with another being. So I am sure that you have your reasons for thinking the way you do and acting the way you do. And it would be foolish for the ignorant to judge the wise.” *Shrug*, “As for Almir, he will certainly wish to remain your friend. He has a good heart and is always the gentleman. You would do well to keep in touch with him.”

  23. paladinari says:

    *Ari raises an eyebrow at Denya’s question, then thinks a moment*, “Almir is… not unlike any other elf male. He has his fancies just like anyone else. I’m sure that he finds you attractive, Denya. However… love between an elf and a human always ends in pain. He would probably distance himself from getting too close to you, even if he did like you, if only to keep from seeing you hurt. He is a good person.”

    • *sigh* I know love between Humans and Elves is forbidden because of the poor creatures that are born from the mixing if our races…but it’s not like I’d go that far with it.. sex is just sex right? Ah well we’ll be leaving soon and my eye candy will likely disappear from my mind.

      • paladinari says:

        *Ari twitches at one statement, then the other*, “First of all, I find it a bit disconcerting to hear my good cousin referred to as ‘eye candy.’ I hope you haven’t been leading Almir on just to keep him in your sights?
        As for the rest, I wasn’t just referring to… the act of love-making. And I assure you that it was not the first thought on my mind as I spoke of my cousin! But the love between an elf and human is painful not only because of the cursed child which could result, but also because of the… lives of both parties.
        First of all, Denya, you are young. But forgive me in saying that your life is probably half to a quarter over at this point? Almir, on the other hand, Goddess willing, will survive well into the next century. And it is a sad shame for the elf in the relationship when their love must be laid to rest while they endure.
        Also, while elves and humans may coexist peacefully in this world, their own spheres of life are vastly different. You probably find the Elven Lands exciting at the moment, never having been here. But I’m sure that you would find life in the realm of the elves as strange and unsettling as I found life in your human world, even for those few weeks I was there.
        And sex for the sake of sex? I only hope, Denya, that you have never given yourself so capriciously! Though elves are a bit more… flirtatious than is probably normal for a human, even we know that the act is more sacred and complex than any man nor beast could possibly comprehend. Especially you, being human, should be particularly careful–being more liable to conceive than an elf is.”

  24. paladinari says:

    Well, it’s not something that I can just blurt out since I’ve never actually thought about it (or even put it into Ari’s backstory). But, without further ado, the answer:

    *Ari hesitates, then draws herself up and smiles*, “Well, that’s a good question, Denya. And it’s probably not one that I would answer for just anyone. But since you’re a close friend of mine, I suppose I can trust you with the answer.
    As a paladin, I’ve taken a vow of chastity: Having sworn my entire self to my goddess to do with as she sees fit. Despite this, even I am not immune to the occasional draw towards the opposite sex–though I would be folly to act on it.
    My first ‘crush’, as you humans call it–That is a human term, is it not? A crush being someone who stirs up romantic emotions in yourself?–was a fellow paladin initiate at the Temple of Selene. I was around 75 years old when he first showed up, and he was almost 150 years my senior. His name was Gilan Starfall, and he was the first one who was ever able to make my heart stir–how would you term it?–in the way a ‘crush’ would.
    And what was he like? Well…” *a faint blush appears on Ari’s face*, “…very masculine, I suppose. By Elfish standards, at least. He was very tall, and he had darker skin than Moon Elves do. Almost honey-colored. I think his mother was a Gold Elf, and he had strange, red blonde hair and dark, dark brown eyes. He was well-muscled, but despite his gruff appearance, his voice was very quiet and delicate. He rarely raised it. And when he smiled, the whole world went away…”
    *Ari pauses, lost in a daydream. When she returns, her face drops into sadness*
    “I never spoke to him. I don’t think he ever knew my name. Worried about the way I felt towards him… I never approached him. He was traveling, anyway. And a month after he showed up at the Temple, he left again. I’ve seen him only once since, as he was passing through the Capital. I think I managed a smile, but he acknowledged everyone at once. I don’t think he saw me.”

    • Denya*He sounds like he was a true Paladin in physical and mental stature. If nothing else he sounds as though he was a good choice for your heart to race too. although you’ve taken a vow of chastity to truly serve your community I feel knowing what love can be(even in crushes) is essential to being able to understand the people around you whom you serve and protect….Do…Do you think Alnir likes me…like that?*

  25. So…you were all excited about this but I have as of yet to get a reply…Oh I know she’s thinking!! This should be good:-D

  26. So who was your first crush and what were they like?

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