Character Interview: Toril Valda

Toril is a character from The King’s Paladin, serving as a love interest to Ismena and something of an antagonist to Coraline. He’s a Mandorian ambassador, and he has enhanced charisma and influence due to training as a Paladin. (If you’d like to read more about him, he’s one of the POV characters in The Paladins from my short story collection.) Enjoy his interview. :)


Toril: *enters and shakes hands with the interviewer* Hello, sir. *sits down across from the interviewer with a smile*

Interviewer: Hello. How are you today?

Toril: I’m quite well. And yourself?

Interviewer: I’m doing fine. Shall we begin?

Toril: *nods, a smile still on his face*

Interviewer: First question: What is your name?

Toril: Toril Emlen Valda.

Interviewer: How old are you?

Toril: I’m twenty-one.

Interviewer: Do you have any siblings?

Toril: Not by blood, no.

Interviewer: You have adopted siblings?

Toril: Of a sort. I was raised with five others by Eliot Dashire. None of us were ever very close in the way siblings generally are, though. Except perhaps myself and Dorian.

Interviewer: What was that like? Growing up with them?

Toril: *sighs* Somewhat difficult. Several of us never really saw eye-to-eye. There were, of course, the outcasts, those who didn’t fit in with the rest of us. There were fights, competitions, that sort of thing. But it worked as well as it needed to and Eliot kept us all from killing each other. *grins*

Interviewer: Who were the outcasts? What made them different?

Toril: Gabel and Coraline. They were always rigid and uptight, following the rules to the letter and disapproving of our antics. Usually they sat and read when we weren’t training, though, so they didn’t cause too much trouble.

Interviewer: I see. So you believe rules are made to be broken?

Toril: At times. I’ve matured a bit since then, I’ve had to follow rules as an ambassador, but I think rules need to be bent sometimes to do good.

Interviewer: *nods* What’s it like being an ambassador?

Toril: Rather boring, actually. We’re not really needed for much nowadays. The countries have rather lost contact other than through trade, and ambassadors aren’t needed to accompany merchants on their trips. *chuckles* But that leaves me more time with Princess Ismena and the council and whatnot, learning about Mandoria and how it functions. *smiles*

Interviewer: You know the princess personally?

Toril: *nods* We’re quite close. I met her when I became an ambassador and we found we have quite a bit in common.

Interviewer: For instance?

Toril: We share a similar stance on rules, but as princess and ambassador we don’t tend to have much say in how we bend the rules. We’re held quite strictly to them, and we both seek to change that as we advance in our duties.

Interviewer: Interesting. Are you an introvert or an extrovert?

Toril: An extrovert. I spend a lot of time alone, mostly studying, but I do need my social time. *smiles*

Interviewer: What is your favorite food?

Toril: Venison. Deer are plentiful in the Laemar forest, just outside the capital, so we have plenty of fresh venison. The palace cooks roast it to perfection.

Interviewer: Do you have a favorite color?

Toril: Sky blue, Mandoria’s national color.

Interviewer: Do you have a favorite book?

Toril: Prince of Shadows. It’s one of the lesser-liked Kersir books, but I think it’s quite a fascinating story.

Interviewer: Why is it lesser-liked?

Toril: It’s less… conventional than the others. The main character makes poorer choices, people think, and has a harder time recovering from them. I say her mistakes were no worse than any others, and her slow recovery was realistic. *shrugs*

Interviewer: Do you have a favorite animal?

Toril: Horses. Useful and, in most cases, faithful.

Interviewer: What are your hobbies, aside from reading and studying Mandoria?

Toril: Playing the piano, horseback riding, and hunting are the main ones.

Interviewer: Which of these is most important to you: Kindness, intelligence, or bravery?

Toril: Intelligence.

Interviewer: And honesty or selflessness?

Toril: Selflessness, which I think breeds honesty.

Interviewer: One last question: What can’t you leave home without?

Toril: My sword.

Interviewer: Thank you for your time. *smiles* It’s been a pleasure talking with you.

Toril: Ah, the pleasure is mine. *grins and shakes the interviewer’s hand as he rises* Goodbye.

Interviewer: Goodbye.

Toril: *leaves*

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