Character Profile: Iman
Date of Birth: Lune’s Shadow (January 15)
Appearance: Iman is a large Duslander with dark skin, and black shoulder length hair that she keeps neatly tucked under a turban. She prefers to wear casual beige clothes that give her room to move and breathe, though she’s known to dress up for occasions with silver moon jewellery of her House. She wears a purple sash around her waist in place of the Houseman sash than men wear.
Home: Arlent, central Duslands
Job Role: Stewardess to House Arlbond.
Story Role: Side character and mentor to Mina. Iman acts as the main female role model in Mina’s life and tries to steer her toward more feminist pursuits and ideals. Iman is the one character Mina can come to with questions she wouldn’t ask Talin!
Motivations: Iman is loyal to her brother and House, but she doesn’t suffer fools. Though she’ll perform the duties expected of her as stewardess, she doesn’t care for politics or Houseman rules and will avoid Solus and the Keep’s Council meetings if she can get away with it. But she understands the political dance and knows how to play it better than Talin when it comes to keeping the people of Arlent safe.
She truly loves Talin and will do anything he asks of her. She worries for him, but trusts Jonan to keep him out of trouble. When Mina enters her life, her priority switches to keeping Mina safe and doing what’s best for her as the aunt Mina never had.
Personality: Iman is larger than life in more ways than one. Like Salasar, she is no-nonsense and can sometimes come across as blunt and rude. But like Salasar, she understands politics and the rules she must adhere to as part of a noble House. In that sense, she can control her temper better than Talin, though her tribal upbringing makes her rough around the edges.
She believes in working hard and getting the job done as a means to success, but also thinks life is too short to take seriously. She’s seen too much death to let the stresses of life get to her, thus she likes to indulge in the finer things in life, especially pies and wine. In her youth, she was more eager to get her hands dirty, but now she declares she’s retired from fighting and lets the “boys” run off to have their fun in her place. However if pushed, her temple can flare with spectacular consequences.
Though Iman comes across as masculine, she has many feminine interests and desires which she enjoys on her own mostly due to a lack of good female company. But for Iman, there’s nothing more relaxing than sitting beside a fire with a glass of wine and a good book.
Iman is a feminist at heart who will readily dismiss any man that claims women can’t be more.
Quirks: Iman is loud, both in speech and mannerisms, and she tends to dominate most rooms she enters without meaning to. She can be intimidating but doesn’t realise the effect she has on people.
Abilities: Iman is skilled with a blade and has experience of killing men to prove it. However, age and too much indulgence has taken its toll and her fitness levels aren’t what they used to be. These days she much prefers training other people in swordplay, but she could still take down a man if she needed to.
She has many talents from her tribal upbringing, including hunting, crafting, and cooking. Iman is a talented cook and baking is one of her favourite hobbies, especially pies and sugared buns.
Iman is also a natural scholar and taught herself the skills needed to run House Arlbond during Talin’s days in the Academy. She would spend days in the library learning reading, writing, and accountancy. It was only after spending time in Solus did Iman discover she had a skill for handling papers. She actually enjoys handling the paperwork of House Arlbond, which is just as well; Talin is useless at it!
Secrets: Iman has a few secrets she keeps close to her chest. There is a reason why she never married…
Family: Like Talin, Iman comes from the large Sanstrider tribe and has an extended family of tribesmen that she rarely visits or speaks to these days. She was much closer to her tribal family than Talin, however she left them behind to join Talin on his adventures across the sandsea when they were young. She had a close relationship with Talin as he always treated her like an equal and made her believe she could be just as good as the boys. Talin also supported her when Iman’s father tried to force her into an arranged marriage. Though she and Talin had shared a few disagreements over the years, Iman has always stuck by his side.
Iman is fond of children but doesn’t believe she’ll have any of her own. She enjoys playing aunt to Mina and comes to love her very much. The people of Arlent are an extended family to her.
She dismisses Jonan’s concerns that Mina is a brat, because Mina is their brat and that’s all that matters.
Favourite Food: Lamb pies, samosas and other pastries, sugar buns, mint tea, red wine
Favourite Colour: Burgundy
Favourite Place: The study in Arlent’s mansion, though the kitchen is a close second
Favourite Hobbies: Reading, wine tasting, napping, swimming in the river, writing reports (she finds it therapeutic!)
Iman was born in the Sanstrider tribe as the daughter of the Djharn’s third wife, only a day apart from Talin. As such, the two of them were raised together and learned to do most things together. As a young woman in a tribe, she learned to be self-sufficient and master a variety of crafts, as well as how to handle a weapon in times of danger, and her sword-fighting lessons with Talin and the boys were among her favourite. She believed learning advanced skills was a necessity in the sandsea due to its dangers.
She loved her older brothers and would chase after them with sticks. She grew especially close to Talin, who always treated her like an equal, and so she became his shadow. Every game or adventure he played, she was there, and soon she became the voice of reason whenever he would get them into trouble.
After annoying their father, she discovered she had been betrothed. She had no interest in men and found her betrothed to be a creep, so when Talin made plans to leave the tribe behind, she willingly left with him using the excuse that Talin wouldn’t survive on his own without her.
She soon earned her place among his side. Any who underestimated her was put down, and Talin didn’t once need to defend her or her honour; Iman could handle herself just fine. She didn’t always agree with Talin’s schemes, but always supported him.
You’ll need to read Sand Dancer to learn more of Iman’s history as it contains major spoilers!