Dear readers, tonight with me is a man with a misty past, torn between heroism and rebellion. He is here to tell us about the power of love, as well as the power of heroes.

Note that we’ve previously interviewed Oreunasis, the Lord of the DRUX. It’s rewarding to see characters out of our earliest patron-books returning to the interview couch.

Tell us a little about where you grew up. What was it like there?

I was born on the home of the Original People. We were the first created beings of the Great Voice. We lived in harmony with nature, and our surroundings. Simple homes among the vast trees under a sea of stars at night. We were a peaceful race but were always ready for war if it should ever come to us. Though our home had been decimated by the men with hands like lightning and thunder, then by Mordrin and his slave army of Gaunlar, we always rebuilt. Stronger. Better.

Any cherished memories of your home?

My mother. She was everything to me in the absence of my father. When she was killed by Mordrin, I…I just, I don’t know. Losing her was the hardest thing I ever had to endure. I miss her terribly. She always saw the best in me, and always had a way of seeing the beauty in everything. When my father left for the stars, a part of her went with him. She’d often look to the night sky, wondering if he could see us. I hated him for leaving, even if he didn’t have a choice.

What do you do now?

After being exiled from my home, I went to the universal Arena to become a champion. In a fight to the death, it was no easy task standing against the greatest warriors in the universe. After winning, I became a legend. I was feared in every section of the universe. I guess having these powers, and being fearless, has its advantages in battle.

What can you tell us about your latest adventure?

The only thing left for me to do is hunt Mordrin. Even if I have to lay down my life, I will end him and his slave army for what they did to my people, and my mother.

What did you first think when you found out that Mordrin had killed your tribe? Your mother?

I was enraged. I vowed revenge. Though I am of the Original people, I’m told my father was a DRUX, and that he wielded amazing powers. I see many of those powers in me, but they only manifest during my greatest emotions. When I stand against my most hated enemy, I will have more than enough power to take him down. Even to my last breath. I’m sure of it.

What was the scariest thing in your adventures?

I hate to admit this, but, I worry that I’ll fail. That I’ll fall. And that I’ll never avenge my people, or my mother. Though I’m confident and will never give up, sometimes that’s not enough.

What is the worst thing about yourself?

Hate consumes me, or so I’m told by my elders. Hate, I’ve found, gives me the endless strength and desire to be victorious over my enemy. I’m told it takes over and twists your soul into the same nightmare you desire to fight. I guess I see this happening now. Though I like striking fear in all those with a wicked heart of destruction, I can’t help but wonder if it’s destroyed the small part of me that’s still pure. That’s still love. I don’t know.

What is the best thing about you?

I never thought about it much. I suppose being strong, fearless, and part DRUX makes me almost…immortal. There’s nothing that has stood against me and survived. But is that really a good thing?

Tell us a little about your friends.

I keep to myself mostly, but I do have a good friend, Omaran. He’s from my tribe and suffered the same losses I have. He’s loyal and honorable. I know I could trust him, and count on him, but I fear he’ll get killed in my skirmishes. I don’t want to see any more of the people I care about die. He’s stubborn and always follows me into battle. He never lets me go it alone. I guess that’s the mark of a true friend.

Any romantic involvement?

Yes, actually. I never expected to fall in love. I met her on the home of the Mages, El-Jeal. She stopped my heart in a moment. Sheal has been the perfect balance I have needed, and she’s shown me unconditional love, no matter how brutish I have been. She completes me, as weird as that sounds. I’d do anything to make her happy. I’d die to protect her. Somehow, in her, I can see who I really am, and I like that part of me. I just hope I never lose her. I couldn’t even imagine.

Whom (or what) do you really hate?

Evil. Tyrants. Warlords. Those who prey on the weak and helpless. Those who would conquer a world and torture its inhabitants to death. Mordrin. If I serve no other purpose, it’ll be to end him, and anyone like him.

When you’re not in battle, what do you do with yourself?

I spend all my time with Sheal. Being with her is like being one soul. We can read each other’s thoughts. Feel each other’s feelings. The greatest moments of my life are when I am with her. At her home. By the water. Just being together makes time stop and the reason for life emerge. She is all the good in me, and everything worth living for. I never knew love before, or what it could bring to life in you.

What does the future hold for you?

I don’t know. A warrior’s journey is uncertain. My hope, though, is to have a life with Sheal. A family. A place to call our own. Somewhere I can let the warrior life go and just be me, be us, forever. I wonder if that’s even possible in a universe so chaotic. It gives me hope when the pains of this life are hard to carry.

Can you share a secret with us, which you’ve never told anyone else?

Yes, but you have to promise never to tell anyone. I have been afraid twice in my life. Once when my home was attacked and my mother was killed. I hate myself for being such a coward at the age of five and hiding from the Gaunlar in the forest, but Sheal told me there was nothing I could have done to save them, and that I would have surely died if I had tried. The other fear is, well, losing her. Sheal. The love of my life. It hurts me to think about it. I know she’d never leave me, but what if she’s taken? What if she was killed? I can’t even imagine what horrors would unleash in my immortal soul if such a thing were to happen. Yes, I am afraid. Even me. Legendary warrior. Universal Arena champion.

S.P. Joseph Lyons is a Canadian author with Indigenous ancestry. As a young child he was impacted by abuse and neglect. He was then taken into foster care at the age of three where he continued to endure abuse until his adoption. It was in those dark times that he realized the only safe place in this world was not of this world, but in his imagination and creativity. His own experiences and encounters helped form his six-book series’ rich themes and unforgettable characters. Passion and creativity never ceased and once into adulthood, he began to pen his series with boundless energy and enthusiasm. Before he started his writing career, he had had much success as a business development manager and account executive, working for a number of large firms, as well as running his own company. Though he enjoyed the challenges of his work, his heart was always in the universe he had created, and was endlessly driven to bringing those stories to life. He is best known for his fierce passion and wild imagination. Take the journey with him, suffer the pains, rise with the triumphs, fall in love, and defend honor at all cost…

You can find Dembrek on the pages of the just released Dembrek of the Drux, continuing from the first in the series: The Demond of Legend (whose protagonist we interviewed before).

Join us next week to meet an empath from a world with shape-shifting dragons. Please follow the site by email (bottom-right) to be notified when the next interview is posted.