Tammy: Alan never wore a dress, but he got into his mother’s makeup once–as did Thom and Aly–when they were small. George caught them, cleaned them up, and replaced Alanna’s makeup. A good time was had by all.
University life, without the religious element, is the same as it was in the medieval universities in our world. You’ll find out more about that in the companion book when it comes out in 2013. And the blue hair thing lasted as long as most fads–a semester, if that.
If there are pacifists, they live far out of the way of most people. The medieval world was a rough, nasty place and pacifists didn’t tend to survive.
Goodwin has always been religious. These people don’t tend to link religious belief and behavior on the job unless it involves murder.
Rosto was a merchant’s illegitimate son whose mother married a man who hated him. Rosto finally ditched home when he was ten and took to theft and brawling in the streets, where he turned out to be good at both!