Dear readers, tonight with me (not quite on the couch), is The Prancer – the unicorn guardian off the pages of The Unicorn Throne. Let’s find out what this mystical being has to say to us humans.
Can you tell us a bit about the First Kingdom, and the origins of the animosity between the unicorns and dragons?
The People of the Trees are the first born children of the Land. We honour her and entrust our bodies to her from birth. And in turn she gives the Dancer the gift of Judgement and the Painter the gift of Healing. The Family, however, have never been accepted by the Land. They killed her original children the moment they emerged onto the Land. And, from time to time, a dragon will come and hunt from the herd. It was a dragon, the red one called the Traveller, who killed my milk-brother Storm. And I’ve promised on Storm’s grave to track down this dragon and demand from him the piece of horn he took away in his eye from their fight.
What is it like to serve a human king?
You misunderstand. The Keeper of the Unicorn Throne rules under our authority. King Anton should be the first to protect unicorns, even as the People of the Trees are sworn to protect his kingdom. But when I visited the Third Kingdom, he kept his distance from me. I think he resents the unicorns. There is very little honour in him.
Is it true that only a fair maiden can ride a unicorn?
The unicorns are the most beautiful of the Land’s children, and we admire beauty in others. But it’s not outward beauty that we admire most. Unicorns are very pure beings. That’s why only pure silver can injure a unicorn. We don’t understand why anyone would speak anything other than the truth, or why anyone would try to harm another creature. So it’s that sort of purity which we look for. If you mean maiden in the way I think you do, you should know that I celebrated Fianna’s first night with her squire, Jeremy. Yes, I know she carries Deian’s hope promise, but a filly often runs with one stallion for her first time, then chooses another the next. Don’t you humans do the same?
What do you think will happen if Queen Fianna finds all three parts of the summoning ring?
She says that possessing all three parts will give her power over the dragons. That’s why I tried to help her to find the third part. Not only could she then summon the Family, and I could meet the Traveller to demand Storm’s horn from him, but her kingdom needs the support of the dragons in the coming war. I have seen what Anton hides under Castle Secondus. There are weapons there more powerful than swords and horns.
When do unicorns grow their horns? I presume as foals, rather than born with it…
The horn is but a promise when we’re born. Nothing more than a small lump under the skin of our foreheads. The silver tip begins to break through when we’re about a month old, and it can be painful. I think you humans have something similar, when your teeth begin to appear? It’s very important that the foal has access to a dam’s milk to help support the growth of the horn. That’s why I was brought to my aunt after my dam died, so that I could share her milk with Storm.
What is your view on how some cultures treat powdered unicorn horn as a medicine?
[Shocked silence] Let me understand this. There are humans who would remove a unicorn’s horn to use it for their own purposes? You say a creature called ‘rhinos’ are killed so that their horn can be hacked out for medical use, although there’s no proof that this can cure any diseases? I do know that humans can be selfish. Fianna is my best friend, but I know that she has sometimes acted in her own interests rather than what is best for her family and her kingdom. I also sense that she’s hiding something from me… But she, like any intelligent being, would never condone the murder of another being simply for its horn. I had no idea that humans could be so barbaric. You need to be part of the Land. Then you would realise that the death of one being lessens us all.
You say that the Queen is your best friend. What do you think of other humans you have met?
You asked about me serving a human king. I would gladly serve Deian. I have never before met any human who had such a close connection with the Land. I don’t understand why the court feels that his occupation, a pig herder, somehow makes him less noble than they are. I also quite like Jeremy, the Queen’s squire. He’s very good at brushing my coat and keeping my hooves polished. Colonel Pealla is also an honourable woman, a noble knight and someone who both challenges and supports Fianna. Humans are complex creatures, but I have become quite fond of them. And I particularly enjoy drinking their ale.
Chrys Cymri is a priest by day, writer at odd times of the day and night, and lives with a small green parrot called Xander because the upkeep for a dragon is beyond her current budget.
The Protagonist Speaks, Chrys Cymri and The Prancer all proudly support Chengeta Wildlife, in their effort to protect African wildlife from illegal poaching. If you care about our natural world, please consider supporting them too!
You can find the Prancer on the pages of The Dragon Throne and The Unicorn Throne. You can download free samples from her website, www.chryscymri.com. And if you sign up to her newsletter you can have one of her ebooks for free!
Next week on the guest couch will be an unwitting time traveller, who will tell us all about what the middle ages were really like. Please follow the site by email (bottom-right), via Twitter or like our Facebook page to be notified when the next interview is posted.