Dear readers, tonight with me a non-human guest. In fact a non-biped, which is why we forgo the usual couch.

Meet the stag who mentored and traveled with the young unicorn foal, destined to save his tribe.

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

First of all, I want to say that I am honored to be chosen for this interview.  I would have never imagined to be doing this since I’m not even a unicorn but you can’t always niggle out the why of some things. I am Gaiso, a stag who lived out most of my life on MarBryn in the Guarded Forest. Back in my younger days, with the rise of that despicable sorcerer, Magh, it was really the only safe place left in the land. But I left the safety of my home to guard and protect a little blue unicorn. My friends thought I was crazy but for me, it was an easy choice to make. I just had this feeling that his quest was of great importance.

Any cherished memories of your first introduction to that little blue unicorn?

It was a fateful day when I first met the little one.  A brutish manticore; thinking to make me his dinner had crept up on me unawares.  We clashed and slashed – him with his claws and me with my antlers. I had just about routed him when he stomped a massive paw down on one tine, pinning me to the ground.  I thought my time was up – when out of nowhere, a little blue creature darted towards us. I thought he might be a unicorn but I wasn’t sure because every unicorn I had ever known had a metal horn and hooves.  This one did not.  He just had some kind of stub sprouting up from the top of his head that seemed to be covered in blue leather.  As I said, he ran towards us, yelling at the top of his lungs. That action so intrigued the manticore (because as everyone knows, unicorn meat is a manticore’s favorite treat), that the hungry fellow stepped away from my antler and I was able to swiftly gouge him in the spleen. He went to his maker, still smiling at the thought of a sweet unicorn meal. If it hadn’t been for Blue’s action that day, I would not be here telling this tale. 

What do you do now?

Now, that Blue’s quest is over I am back home, in the Guarded Forest living a much calmer life. I’m still nursing a few war wounds but I tend to forget all about them when friends and family come by wanting a recounting of the grand adventure that Blue and I shared with our friend Girasol.  She’s a firebird, you know. . .very handy to have around at times.

What can you tell us about that adventure?

We were three amigos – all for one and one for all. . .well, that’s what the Pendragon said about us, anyway. Oh, the things I could tell you about that big waddling bird, but that’s for another story.  Girasol…the Firebird joined up with me and Blue just as soon as we broke through the eastern line of the Guarded Forest, headed in the direction of Smaul Mountain. Now, that’s an amazing place.  They say it’s the highest and coldest place in the world.  But I digress. . .I had yet to make the Firebird’s acquaintance and I’m not ashamed to say that she scared the living daylights out of me when she came hurtling down from the sky at us like a flaming comet.  I do feel a little silly, admitting that I hid behind a bush for protection and that that gave Blue a good laugh at my expense.  Once I got to know Girasol, I was glad for her company.  She saved our hides a few times and when things were at their worst, she was the one to pull us through.

You mentioned war wounds. . .tell us about one of the battles you found yourself in.

Alright…let’s see…Girasol, scouted from the sky as Blue and I followed her smoke trails from the ground. The firebird had seen a sight that had her in extreme distress.  Some filthy Bugans had captured a Humongas Elutron…kind of a giant beetle.  The Bugans’ custom was to use the bug’s hard-shelled outer-wings to craft shoes and shields and they created scarves and other clothing from the filmy under-wings.  Being a flying creature as well, Girasol just could not leave the poor Elutron to die at their hands.  I was worried about Blue entering into that fracas because – although we had had many sparring sessions, he had never faced a real foe. Oh, yes, I forgot to mention, that after that incident with the manticore, Blue asked me to train him to fight.  Of course, I could not turn him down.  He had saved my life after all, even if somewhat indirectly.  Anyway, as we entered the battle, I did my best to intervene when I saw him in any danger.  Girasol did the same from the air.  She and I extinguished all those Bugans without Blue having to engage in the fight.  In the heat of the battle, I didn’t even realize that one had sliced me good with a razor sharp blade.  Girasol, immediately took control of the situation and came at me with a red hot talon.  I thought the crazy bird had lost her faculties but before I knew it, she had seared my flesh shut. She called it cauterization.  Well, whatever it was, it hurt. . .bad. . .but the blood stopped flowing and my hide was sealed back up.

What was the scariest thing in your adventures?

The scariest thing that happened to me on our quest was when Magh’s minions fired a wave of arrows at us as we stood exposed on the battlefield outside of Muzika Woods. Maybe I should have run for cover, like everyone else, when the order was given but I didn’t.  Like a fool, I stood my ground as their sharp tips arced toward me. I just stood there – twisting my rack back and forth parrying the arrows away from my body. Most of those projectiles landed in the tall grass around me but a few dozen impaled the dirt. To this day, I don’t know how I managed to avoid a single one of those deathly daggers.  When the second volley was launched I thought I was doomed for sure.  I knew I couldn’t accomplish that feat again, but the most amazing thing happened.  A troupe of Humongas Elutron rose up from the tall grasses and used their wings as shields to protect us all.  Lucky for us, they said were paying us back the debt they thought they owed when we saved one of their own from the Bugans.

Tell us a little about the other unicorns.

There is so much to tell about the metal-horned unicorns but it would take an entire book and I know you don’t have time for all that. I will tell you that they are not native to MarBryn. They come from a place called Unimaise. The only denizens of Unimaise are unicorns – unicorns of every shape and size. The Metal Horn Unicorns are only one tribe of many from that place. They ended up on MarBryn as part of an outreach program to share magic with other creatures. I know, that sounds kind of weird but these unicorns were highly technological as well as magical. Despite having all of that going for them, they were stranded here for hundreds of years until one was finally born who could pilot their craft back to their homeworld. That one was the little blue unicorn who had no metal and no magic but he did not let those disadvantages keep him down.  I am proud that I got to know him and that he was my friend. If you get a chance to read his story, I think you’ll feel like you know him, too.

Sybrina Durant writes for factual and fanciful books.  Currently, she is concentrating on books about magical metal-horned unicorns whose magical powers are loosely based on the real world science of the different metals.

You can find Gaiso on the pages of Journey To Osm.

Keep an eye out for more mid-week SPFBO specials! Join us on Friday to meet a woman in a coma, drifting between realities. Please follow the site by email (bottom-right) to be notified when the next interview is posted.