Being Preferred

Guardian Halvard Ariba answers your questions on being a Preferred:

What is the difference between Halvard and Preferred?

A. Halvard is the title given to Defenders of the Sands of Time. A Preferred is a Defender-in-training.

Can I become a Preferred?

A. If you are under 18 years of age, there is a chance you may become a Preferred. If so, a Watcher will come for you when the time is appropriate.

How long does it take for a Preferred to become a Defender?

A. It depends on how many Powers a Preferred chooses to specialize in and how fast they are able to learn. Usually, Preferred remain in training for anything between one to five years. Once they train and pass their badge tests, they are raised to the position of Halvard or Defenders in the ceremony in July every year.

What are the different Powers a Preferred may learn?

A. They are Guiding, Illusion, Logic and Healing. A fifth Power, which one cannot voluntarily choose to learn, is Watching. Preferred may choose to learn one or all of the four main Powers. Watching can only be taught to those chosen to be Watchers.

How does one become a Watcher?

A. One cannot choose to be a Watcher. It chooses you. Please see the answers of Councillor Enol, the Watchers' representative on the High Council, for more about Watchers.

What is a typical Preferred's day like at the Halvard Castle?

A. Well, it is hard to map out a typical day at the Halvard Castle. You see, Preferred come from different parts of the worlds and often live outside the Castle, in different time zones. Each Preferred follows a different routine, planned by their Watcher, depending on what Powers they learn, where their interests and apptitude lie. They only need to schedule their day in a way so as to be able to attend classes. Usually, classes are held in the afternoon—between 12 p.m. and 5 p.m. It is not absolutely compulsory for a Preferred to attend them. Quite often they are taught individually by their Watchers or other Halvard by arrangement.

Preferred are also required to undergo physical training, which includes fitness and basic self-defence. Combat training is optional. Once again, these are taught by Watchers individually to their Preferred, or in arrangement with other instructors. Training can be scheduled as per the convenience of the the learner and instructor.

The rest of the Preferred's day is taken up with studying or practising, as the case may be. Those residing at the Halvard Castle must also give at least ten hours a week working as volunteers. This involves helping out at the Halvard Centenary Dispensary, the Castle's library or adminstrative wing; assisting the Castle's housekeeping staff; or serving as individual assistants to Defenders.

Are Preferred paid stipends? How do they pay for their expenses?

A. Food, lodging, clothing and equipment are provided to all Preferred free of cost. Most personal items an individual may need are stocked at the stores in the housekeeping wing, and freely available to all Preferred. In addition, Watchers are paid an allowance as long as they have Preferred in training, and all additonal costs are met out of this.

(While this is not a rule, when their Preferred is raised to Halvard and are given their own credit accounts, Watchers transfer leftover credits from their training allowance to them!)

What are the living arrangements like in the Castle?

A. In the Preferred's quarters each room is shared by three people. Each individual's space is enclosed in a private cubicle with a lockable door. They are provided with a bed, table and chair, and storage space. Each room is also equipped with basic items like an electric stove and kettle, iron and ironing board, a washbasin and so on.

But Preferred don't compulsorily have to live at the Castle, do they?

A. No, they do not. They often choose to live at home, especially those who choose not to divulge their status to their immediate families. According to the High Council's Law that applies to the Eternal world, an individual is not a full adult till he or she completes the age of twenty. Even though one is allowed to work from the age of eighteen onwards, one must still reside with their families. Thus, in some cases Preferred also live with their Watcher and Watcher's family. If none of these options is possible, they are required to live with a foster family as long as they are in Eternity.

What do the different badges worn by the Halvard mean? They only wear one badge, but most are qualified in more than one Power.

A. The first Power you qualify in is the Power you are raised in. This is the badge you find Halvard wearing. For instance, though I am qualified in Illusion, Guiding and Logic, Illusion was the first test I passed and was, therefore, raised as an Illusionist and wear an Illusionist's badge. However, I am also a Guide and a Logician, and can work in either of these capacities.

Watchers form an exception to this convention. While they have a Preferred in training, they must give up their original badges and wear the Watcher's badge.

So... are the characters in the books based on real people?

A. For the official public files on the individuals featured in the book, please visit our personnel section. For the record, Halvard Noah and Halvard Chiyo—speaking for their Preferred as well—have denied being in contact with the author and being involved in the events described.

Can we contact the characters in the book?

A. Yes. Please use the Contact page, and be sure to state the name of the person you want your message to reach.

Please feel free to use the comments form to send in more questions.

ayushi on 30 July 2008

i am just reading the book....and just wanted to ask is these things really exist.....i mean is it truth or just imagination.........

i know this one is a real stupid question....:D

GUARDIAN HALVARD ARIBA, OVERSEEN OF PREFERRED says:: Good day, Ayushi, as one Logician once said, there is no such thing as a stupid question. As for these things really existing, ever wondered what makes time tick? ;-)

Ayushi on 7 August 2008


why can't anyone be a defender???

GUARDIAN HALVARD ARIBA, OVERSEEN OF PREFERRED says:: The ability to control Spirit manifests randomly. While all of us have Spirit, only some of us are able to control it effectively. Only those who can may be trained as Defenders.

I hope that satisfies you, Ayushi.

syafiq on 4 July 2009


can we, the readers of this book, touch spirit like the characters in the book..?
if so... would you teach me...:)

and may you keep the ground beneath your feet...

GUARDIAN HALVARD ARIBA, OVERSEEN OF PREFERRED says:: Hello Syafiq. Unfortunately, no. All of us cannot touch our Spirit. Sometimes , though, we do inadvertently make use of it — for instance, haven't you noticed how you manage to do something that you never thought you could?

Some people are able to harness their Spirit to a greater extent, and those are the ones who are trained to be Defenders. If you have that in you, a Watcher will Summon you, most probably around the time you turn 18.

I hope that answers your question. May the Sands of Time keep the ground beneath your feet as well.

MaTt HaRdY on 5 January 2010

hello .. yazabilecek kadar ingilizce bilmiyorumm ama lütfen bana yardım edin. gerçek mi tüm bunlar ? gerçek te maya.. chiyo.. lev.. noah jarryd ve bunun dısındaki tüm karakterler.. lütfen cevap verin ?

The Halvard Castle Data Network says:: Due to the events described in The Timeless Land, we seem to have lost parts of our translation software. Please accept our apologies and bear with us as we attempt to get back on track.

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