Dear readers, tonight with us on the interview couch is a living skeleton. He has no memories of how he got to be this way.
He is here to tell us of the world he lives in, and what he had discovered about it since awakening in this state.
Tell us a little about where you grew up.
Why is that?
I awakened in the Aulaen Grey Forest. Before then, there is nothing. I have retained my memories of the world, Gaea, but know nothing of myself, of who I once was. (Bauldane removes a gauntlet from a full set of cloth-like armor revealing the bare white of bones assembled in the shape of his hand, then promptly dons the gauntlet once more.) I was left for dead, transformed into a monster. Only bones remain.
That can’t be easy. What have you decided to do?
There is but one thing I aim to do; one thing I wish to accomplish – find the one who did this to me and take my revenge. I am searching. And yet, despite this all-consuming goal of mine, I cannot ignore those who need my help. In spite of this transformation, I was left with incredible strength, speed, and am impervious to physical harm. I am a monster, but I do not wish to behave as one.
What can you tell us about your latest adventure?
While desperately seeking answers to my…situation, I came upon the name of one who may have answers, however meager. Quoran the Abandoned, a sorcerer now cut off from his ability to use magic, was said to know of who might be responsible, but Quoran was not easy to find. We were required to delve into long-forgotten corners of Gaea, and journey into less-than-desirable realms – a nuisance to be sure. Once we reached Quoran the Abandoned, we discovered that I am at the center of a greater plot formulated by an elusive enemy. Though a mere tool for his nefarious purposes, something went awry that left my memories shattered and my body altered. Quoran did not surrender this information easily.
You said “we”. There were others?
Yes, my companions, Barta, Kael, and Nuthalia. Barta, I came across in the lair of a vile criminal, Rumiun. Kael and Nuthalia are paladins awarded to Barta and myself for breaking Rumiun’s hold on the region. Despite their position of servitude, our paladins eventually proved themselves worthy to be named, “friend”.
What was your reaction when you discovered you would have to track down Quoran? How did you first learn of him?
It was Quoran who instructed Rumiun in the ways of magic. When I rescued a young boy from the hands of Rumiun’s lackeys the boy’s father returned my kindness with Quoran’s name, as he once worked for Rumiun. He believed I might learn more of my situation through him.
I admit, I held no fear in facing Quoran, though Abandoneds are said to be highly dangerous. However, while briefly imprisoned by Rumiun, I discovered I am not impervious to magic. Upon reading a comprehensive study done by famed scholar, Matheis Mordra, I discovered that Abandoneds may not be able to directly utilize magical forces, but may indirectly wield them in powerful and destructive ways. The prospect of facing such a foe was cause for greater concern than I anticipated.
What was the scariest thing in your adventures?
I care little for myself. I desire answers and revenge. I have little to lose, except…except those who foolishly follow me. Barta does so out of her desire to do good in this dark world, but where I go, I risk losing her. I cannot bear the responsibility for her death. Should my own need for revenge lead me into the mouth of danger and she falls because of it…
Present your next question.
Very well. What is the worst thing about your situation?
Assuming you mean, aside from being ignorant to all motive and reason behind it, the worst is being unable to touch another. Within my hands is a curse so great that the living are destroyed immediately. Any thing that once held life is turned to ashen dust at my touch. That is why I wear these gauntlets.
What is the best thing about it?
As I mentioned before, I am impervious to physical harm, and my strength and speed are great. I would speak lies if I told you I do not enjoy these things.
Tell us a little about your friends.
Nuthalia is kind and gentle, yet she is a fierce combatant – traits often found in Elvenkind. Kael, as an Elderrace, is quite knowledgeable, though I sense treachery in him. Perhaps it is only because he is so young. He is only seventy-five. Barta is tenacious and not to be trifled with. Her passion often boils to the surface. Without her, however, I do not believe I would have retrieved the information I needed from Quoran.
You seem to speak fondly of her. Any romantic involvement?
(Bauldane shifts uncomfortably in hesitant silence.) No. If I were to, one day, return to my former self, perhaps…until then, I do not have such luxury.
Whom do you really hate?
I thought it obvious. Perhaps you think it foolish of me to hate an enemy that I know so little about. Whoever forced this curse upon me and left me for the Aulaens, has not the courage to face me. My enemy does not make himself known and hides in the shadows while I search for him. There is no honor, only cowardice.
What does the future hold for you?
Upon returning to Temlen, the city where I met my companions, the Goddess, Ysilstra, spoke to me. Though she was not forthcoming of my enemy’s plans – a thing that she is surely aware of – she encouraged the study of magic. She said only I am able to defeat this villain, and somehow the study of magic will enable my power to be greater than his. Ysilstra may be known to all as a benevolent goddess, but I do not fully trust her. Regardless, I will take back what was lost to me. I will have my mind and body restored one way or another. In the meantime, there are things that we must take care of until I am ready – if, indeed, I shall ever be ready.
Having always been a fan of fantasy, James Mansfield started Ivory Chronicles while in college. Once finished with college, he wasn’t able to get into his field due to other responsibilities so he decided to complete his book. He found an incredible passion for storytelling and writing. He now lives in the Midwest of the U.S. where he gets to support his wife who’s a high school teacher (he swears he couldn’t do her job!) and take care of his two boys.
You can meet Bauldane on the pages of Ivory Chronicles: Call of the Dead.
Join us next week to meet the school;s golden boy, as we try to determine if he’s related to the recent disappearance of several girls. Please follow the site by email (bottom-right), via Twitter, or like our Facebook page to be notified when the next interview is posted.