Member Spotlight: Ilverin Matriam

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Author: Taelinn Dolivras, November 2013

For this month's Member Spotlight, I decided to interview someone who, until recently, worked in the Department of Membership. But that's not all that she's done on the site! Among other things, she is a former member of the Online Events Team (now the Outreach Activities Team) and has translated the Old Tongue dictionary into Bulgarian. Who might our spotlight be on this month?

That's right, Ilverin Matriam, our outgoing Mistress of Accepted!

I began the interview by asking her to tell me a bit about herself. Ilverin is an Aes Sedai of the Gray Ajah and though she admits to being a bit quiet on the site lately, she loves posting and getting randomly into conversations. Her real life is quite exciting at the moment, which is part of the reason why she hasn't been online much! "I am newly graduate automatics engineer (bachelor), who's fighting for a masters degree in the same field," she told me. "Right now I took the opportunity to write my thesis work in Linkoping, Sweden, which is an amazing city! I love to read (obviously) and learn new stuff everyday (even picked up Swedish, while I'm here). I like taking long walks and act silly in front of people who don't know me." Silly is definitely welcome here, whether we know you or not!

We continued our conversation by talking about the Wheel of Time series. When I asked her how she first found out about the series, she told me that she was at a friend's house when one of the books caught her eye. "I asked her if she could lend me the first of the Wheel of Time [and] I am soooo glad she did!" Though her favorite book has changed through the years, she feels right now like book 4 is her favorite. "There's just something about Rand in that book," she mused. "He starts to finally make sense and we discover so many new things - about Tear, about the Aiel, about ter'angreal. It just has everything!" I asked her about her favorite character as well, and her answer was swift. "Moiraine. She's purely awesome. I can't say I agree with her decisions all the time, but I think the decisions she makes, push the story in an interesting direction, so I always like reading chapters with her." Choosing a favorite nation, however, was not easy for her. "I am not really that much fond of any particular nation," she admitted, "but I think if I had to choose, it would be Arafel or Saldea. Sadly, they are left for like the end of the series (sorry if that's a spoiler), because I really wanted to know more about them."

There was one more thing I wanted to ask her about the Wheel of Time: how she feels now that the last book has been released. Her answer was a little unexpected, but a pleasant surprise. "It actually feels great!" she said. "At first I felt like I don't have anything to be happy about, but after I read it, and it's all over, I just feel like rereading and reliving the story over and over again! It's an amazing adventure and now that it has an ending, [I] can enjoy it at fullest (even if it isn't the ending that I expected)."

From there, the conversation turned to TarValon.Net. I asked her what prompted her to join the site and why she decided to stay. Her answer will likely strike home with many of you. " I joined because I was looking for a place where people have the same interest as me," she revealed. "I wanted to discuss the books (I didn't have any friends who had read the series then) and maybe role play a little. When I found out that you can be an Aes Sedai here, I was so excited (even if it's only on the Internet and not in RL) and made this my main goal. But with time I got to know more people, I became friends with many people and used as a safe place to come talk with my friends, share interesting stories, cultural differences etc." When asked about her favorite think about the site, her answer was unequivocal. "For me, the thing I love most and cherish about is the different cultures gathered here. Yes, all of us are different, but we are all one big family and we work so nicely together! Sometimes there are misunderstandings, but we come out stronger after them!" Hear hear!

Next, we talked about her favorite memory on the site. And, I have to say, as a member of the Outreach Activities team, I love her answer. "I think it's the freeweeks," she declared. "The first time there was a freeweek when I joined, it was Shaoman and everybody changed their avatars. I was soooo confused, but enjoyed it so much! And next there come the freeweeks with your Ajah, and you are spamming the boards, trying to win prizes... just priceless!" Just for fun, I asked her why she chose her Tower name. "I just wanted my Tower name to begin with the letter that my RL name begins with, so I started with an I and went from there," she told me. "Now that I am so used to it, it's a part of who I am and it will be soo weird to change it!" I think many of us feel the same way. Our Tower name is so much a part of our identity that it would be strange to be known by any other name here!

After that, we got a bit more serious. When asked about how she knew she was Gray, Ilverin told me, "Ooh I love this question. It's like how you know you're in love! If anyone has fallen in love from first sight, then they know how I felt, when I joined Gray. I just knew this was the place for me. It has changed through the years, obviously, but as like our lovely leader Mari Sedai said - 'the more I am part of Gray, the more Gray I become'." That made me tear up a little!

I then asked her how she enjoyed being Mistress of Accepted and, true to her style, she gave me a great answer. "I enjoyed it a lot for the one reason: to get to know the Accepted more! " she declared. "And for them to fear me! MWAHAHAHAA *cough* No, but seriously, every time it's so exciting to send someone the Test and they return an e-mail with only squueeeecking... I am not saying names - you all know who you are! Other than that, it's nice to be appreciated by the membership and to see a little bit 'behind the scenes'."

Finally, I asked her the all important question: What is she going to do for her birthday? (November 18th). "I am not planning anything yet," she laughed, "but I would imagine it as a big PAAARTAAAAY!!! Maybe the Swedes will listen to some Bulgarian music finally!"

And there you have it. I hope you enjoyed getting to know Ilverin and won't hesitate to ask her what kind of Bulgarian music she wants those Swedes to listen to - I'm a bit curious myself!