Dear readers, tonight with me is a woman who endured weeks of torture after being convicted of witchery. She is her to tell us about her escape, and about being hunted by the Darkness and the Lady for the magic that sings within her.
Tell us a little about where you grew up. What was it like there?
I grew up in Greendale which is a lovely little town surrounded by flax fields. My father had a lot of trouble keeping me in line. I was a bit of handful. It’s a good thing Bran and Aeron were around. My Shield and Cloak kept me out of the worst trouble even if it was Aeron who taught me to pick locks and pockets. Bran didn’t like it, but he agreed it was a necessary skill to learn considering what I am. It was Aeron who taught me how to fight hand to hand and Bran who taught me how to shoot a pistol.
Did you have any favourite hiding spots as a child? Any cherished memories?
I loved to climb the clock tower in the church and hide up there. I could watch the whole valley and pretend I was going on an adventure to the Western Wilds or navigating the Warring Sea. When I was thirteen, I waited up in the tower until after nightfall and snuck down into the church. I stole the money from the offering box as prank since Father Delaney was a bit of crab. Bran and my father were furious, but Aeron slipped me a berry tart for a job well done.
What do you do now?
I’m a Healer, but beyond that I’m the last Vessel. Very few people know about me being the Vessel. If they knew, life would get … complicated. I don’t really want to be the Vessel. No one knows what will happen if the Lady or the Darkness fill me with their power. So the fewer people who know what I am, the better. I love being a Healer. Love helping people. It feels like forever since I’ve been able to be just a Healer.
What can you tell us about your latest adventure?
We’re on the run from demons, the Bastion, the Darkness, and pretty much anyone and everyone who wants to use me as the Vessel. But, the Lady tasked me with finding the Heart of Creation before the Darkness gets it. Michel thinks I’m nuts and Aeron is only going along with it because he feels responsible for me. Bran would freak if he knew I was headed into the Bonelands. But I don’t know where he’s at. Aeron mentioned that Bran intends to meet up with us. Not that Bran would get a say in what I’m doing. It has to be done. I won’t let the world be consumed by Darkness.
What did you first think when you were first arrested for witchery?
Light, that’s an odd question. I was terrified. Bran and Aeron, who are my protectors, were gone. Both had been called away by the Bastion. It was all a set up. All of it meant to get me alone so that Tolbert could swoop in and arrest me. I wasn’t doing much thinking once Tolbert started torturing me. I had to protect my secret and my only other thought was about how I would make him pay once Bran and Aeron broke me out of jail.
What was the scariest thing in your adventures?
Have you ever seen a demon? Rows of razor sharp teeth in a mouth that looks like a lipless gash. Glowing red eyes and long claws that drip venom. They used to be human before the curse tainted them. They still sort of look human, but their only driving need is to infect others with the taint. Ghouls are even worse. They eat anything and everything. They don’t care if it’s dead or alive. Light, they’re the stuff of nightmares.
Tell us a little about your friends.
Bran is my Shield and he’s a bit overprotective. He’s like a second father to me. Aeron is my Cloak and my best friend. I worry about him. He doesn’t like to talk about his past, but I know it haunts him. I just met Michel when he helped to break me out of jail. He shocked me when he became my Sword. I’d only known him for less than an hour when he did it. Swords don’t get a choice in who they swear to, their magic decides for them. But still, I wasn’t sure what to think of it. I think I can trust him. I hope I can.
Any romantic involvement?
Um … after the torture and being on the run from demons, romance is the last thing on my mind. Maybe someday when things settle down. If they ever do.
Whom (or what) do you really hate?
Light, do you really have to ask? Tolbert spent eight weeks torturing me. For fun. Yeah, he was possessed by a demon, but still, I can’t forgive him for that, no matter the circumstances. He’s the one who started this whole mess. If he had left me alone, I would still be living the quiet life of a village Healer.
What’s your favourite drink, colour, and relaxing pastime?
Elderberry wine, blue, and reading. Anything else?
What does the future hold for you?
Well, that depends. I suppose I’m going to have to find a way to contain the Darkness. Then, there’s the Bastion to deal with. And the paladins who are possessed. I’ve got to find and heal them. Plus, Plague and War. Those two are going to be a big problem. I have to find Bran and bring him back. Lady help me, the list of stuff to do is too long. It’s never-ending.
Can you share a secret with us, which you’ve never told anyone else?
Light, a secret I haven’t told anyone else? Well, I guess I could tell you that we’re headed to the Western Wilds and they are sending Tolbert with me. Now that he’s not possessed, they expect me forgive him. I don’t intend to. I plan to kill him.
For almost 30 years, Sonya Black has called the Pacific Northwest home. Her writing partners are two cats that distract as much as they encourage the creative juices. One is a sweet tempered tuxedo kitty named Pickles and the other is black-furred ninja demon kitty named Puck. Her husband and son put up with her frequent bouts of writing and leave her presents of chocolate to appease the writing muse. She enjoy exploring worlds beyond this one and use myths, legends, and fairy tales as her guide to new stories.
You can find Ris on the pages of A Sea of Broken Glass.
Join us on Friday to hear from a sorceress, a mage of Spirit and Fire, and world similar to our ancient Rome. Please follow the site by email (bottom-right) to be notified when the next interview is posted.