Dear readers, we are ecstatic to present you tonight with a unique view to the characters of one of our most favoured series! Moreover, the detective from this historical-urban-fantasy has brought unique guests (some not quite in our world).
This interview is set in the middle of the just released Black City Dragon, but should not interfere with your enjoyment whether you read it (or the previous volumes), or are still about to. We trust you’ll enjoy this glimpse!
Claryce: Stop talking! Nick! Wake up!
Nick: Sorry. Guess that last Wyld took a lot more out of me than I thought. Fell asleep as soon as I sat down on your couch. You say something about me talking in my sleep?
Claryce: Not you. Him. He was talking through you.
Nick: More like talking to me. He’s done this before. It’s different than when we just communicate through my mind. He’s trying to influence me through my subconscious. What’re you up to?
The Dragon: Eye? Eye was merely reminiscing about all our lovely time together, all the things we have shared. All the deaths we have caused. All the things we have burned…Saint George.
Nick: Yeah, it’s been a fun sixteen hundred years since I slew you, hasn’t it been? Sixteen hundred years since our blood mixed and the gate you were guarding — and didn’t bother to tell me you were guarding — made me its new sentinel.
The Dragon: Us…it made us sentinel. Eye thought death would free me. Instead, it trapped me inside you, a leviathan trapped in a flea who now goes around pretending to be a hunter of false ghosts for ignorant clients when he is actually hunting the Wyld, the foulest of Her Lady’s realm of Feirie…or that accursed Dacian Dragon.
Claryce: Nick! Your expression! What is it? What’s he saying to you?
Nick: I’ll clear it up with you afterward, Claryce. For now, you would do me a great favor if you could get me some coffee.
Claryce: That thick black sludge? I know you need to confront the dragon by yourself, Nick, and I know you’re afraid part of him might show through in the process. I’ll make your coffee — it’ll take enough time — but you didn’t need an excuse. Just ask me. I understand.
Nick: It’s not that. I promise you. I’ll explain all afterward.
Claryce: I’ll keep away until you call. And don’t worry. I’ve got the Smith & Wesson on me if anyone tries to sneak in.
The Dragon: So many promises to her unkept! Why, Eye thought you loved her. Why keep so many secrets? Are you afraid to tell her how you have failed to keep her previous incarnations alive each time? How they all perished violently and that you fear it is not bootleggers, gangsters such as the ones you call Capone and Moran, and the other vermin of this city Chicago that will be responsible for her dying, but rather Galerius, once Roman emperor and the man who had you beheaded in Nicomedia? Ha! A death so marking you that you always call yourself by some variation of that land’s title?
Nick: Yeah, that didn’t last long, that incident…and you should talk about names. You’ve come to calling yourself ‘Eye’ instead just using the pronoun because that’s the part of you I dare you most, your vision. The only part that might not be used to trick me into letting you out.
The Dragon: Hmph. What is in a name, anyway? Why bring up names, Saint George? As for the losing of your head, I lasted long enough, Eye remember the pain as well as you do. Eye was there in you already, even if it took your death to meld us as one and begin our curse.
The Dragon: No reply? Ah…are you dreaming again of your Greek parents in Syria, or your life as a tribune and friend of the emperor Diocletian, who is just as guilty as Galerius for your execution or else why does his ghost haunt you? Are you dreaming of Claryce or her earlier self, the Princess Cleolinda…or any of the other incarnations?
Nick: Leave her out of this!
The Dragon: But she is the focal point of all of this! Far more important than even you thinks she is? Such a loyal love, following you through death again and again. Ah! That makes you burn! Careful, oh fiery saint! You might open the way for me again! You recall what happened that one time, when this very city burned…
Nick: I had to let you out. Oberon wanted to make Feirie and our world one.
The Dragon: Our world? Eye fight only for myself and for the day when I can make everything burn, including her. If Galerius lives and has one of the cards of the Clothos Deck, it may not even be your world, anymore, but a variation he creates with the card.
Nick: That’s not going to happen.
The Dragon: No? A simple use of the one you secreted in Holy Name Cathedral with the help of the renegade elf Kravayik did so much already just to landmarks in Chicago! You will need more than the questionable help of an elf converted to Christianity or the errant archangel Michael to help you if another card has been found. Best you give the first one to me. Eye will deal it well…
Nick: I don’t think so. I also think I’ve had enough of this conversation.
The Dragon: But Eye could make this place so much more appealing. All you care about is her. Admit it. Eye promise Eye would not do much to her. She may face…a little change.
Nick: Not a chance…and there’s more to it.
The Dragon: Oh? You have concern for Kravayik and that dwarf of a man Barnaby? Recall that it was his son Joseph who caused much of what we face and who could very well be the key to what Galerius is doing. Dunning will not be a safe enough place to keep that madman if Galerius wants him. You know that. Is it that lapdog of a shapeshifter, Fetch? He can be amusing at times, especially when he annoys you with the human slang, but you know he is a treacherous hound. He almost gave you up to Oberon! Perhaps, he will do so to Oberon’s more than cunning former mate, Her Lady, since she sits on the throne now…
Nick: I know Fetch’s shortcomings…but I know his loyalty, too.
The Dragon: But will that loyalty change again? He has already hidden refugees from Feirie in the city and has some sort of pact with the so-called gangster “Ladykiller” Leighton…or should Eye call him Laertes like the elf he really is? Where are all these refugees? Maybe you should even ask the archangel Michael. He seems to have a hand in many things. Or maybe your very good if ignorant friend the police detective or his witch of a wife…
Nick: Leave Cortez and his Maria out of this. In fact, leave me out of this, too. I’ve let you taunt and try to manipulate me for the past few minutes in order to see what you’re up to. I think I know. You’ve seen how stressed my mind is since I found out Galerius was still alive. I wondered why he began entering my nightmare where you and I keep reliving our battle. Now I know. You’ve been trying to get me so damned distracted so that you could attempt to slip in and take over.
Nick: No snappy comeback? No mocking taunt?
Claryce: It suddenly got very silent in here. Is everything all right?
Nick: You can put the gun away. Everything’s all right.
Nick: For now…
Richard Knaak is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of The Legend of Huma, WoW: Wolfheart, and nearly fifty other novels and numerous short stories, including works in such series as Warcraft, Diablo, Dragonlance, Age of Conan, the Iron Kingdoms, and his own popular Dragonrealm. He has scripted comics and manga, such as the top-selling Sunwell trilogy, and has also written background material for games. His works have been published worldwide in many languages.
You can find Nick Medea (aka St George), Claryce and the Dragon on the pages of the Black City series, starting with Black City Saint, continuing in Black City Demon, and the just released Black City Dragon.
Special announcement: for those of you in the San Diego area, Knaak will be signing books this Friday (June 14th) at Mysterious Galaxy! Knaak is a wonderful person as well as a great author and getting signed copies of this awesome series is a great addition to anyone’s bookshelves, so pop over and say Hi.
Full details here: https://www.mystgalaxy.com/Knaak-06-2019
Join us again this Friday to meet a paranormal investigator, torn between fairy godmothers and mafioso godfathers. Please follow the site by email (bottom-right) to be notified when the next interview is posted.