Dear readers, tonight with us is a young man on a quest to kill holy man with the blessing of a sun god. He is here to tell us about his enemy, about the struggles of slaves and masters, of light and dark. And of his own dark abilities.
Tell me a little about where you grew up.
What? Where am I? How did I get here?
You have been here, Kyris, with me. It’s safe, and we are just having a friendly chat. You were telling me about your childhood, where you grew up. What was it like there?
Yond? I thought it a grand city until I laid eyes upon Vigil. I see now it barely qualifies as a city in comparison. Life was hard when we first arrived. I had to beg and steal on the streets in order to feed myself and my sister, Jahna. But through shrewd scheming and an orchestrated robbery attempt, I was able to engender myself with Tasi and her grandfather, Baaz, an old pit fighter turned instructor. He took us in. I… I’m not sure why I’m telling you this. No one other than Jahna knows I did this. I haven’t even told Tasi after all these years.
It is fine, Kyris. You can trust me. You were not born in Yond?
No. I was born in Gailen. It’s a small village far to the east, past Yond, near the outskirts of the Imperium.
What was life like in Gailen?
It was… pleasant there, until it wasn’t.
Do you have any cherished memories from your time in Gailen?
Certainly. I remember my mother baking sweet spiced flatbread, and the divine smell of it. I remember my father hammering away in his work shed, and little Emin with his wooden blocks. But what I remember most was spending endless hours exploring the forest with Jahna.
What do you do now?
Do? What I must. What needs to be done.
And this includes stealing and killing?
Stealing, yes. But… Is this is about the job I did for Marlek? That was a fluke. Ask him about the jobs prior to Curunir. All performed flawlessly.
What can you tell me about the Curunir job?
As I said, it was a fluke. The Lord Curunir came at me with an ax, what was I to do?
How did you feel when you realized you’d killed Lord Curunir?
To be honest, and I don’t know why I am being so forthcoming… I was surprised by how easy it had been. A simple flick of the wrist and a man was dead. A rotten Imperium highborn but a man, nevertheless.
Tell me a little about your friends.
I have no friends, and have no need of any. I have my sisters, Jahna and Tasi, they’re all I need. There were others… but I ruined that. I suppose you and I must be good friends, for me to share so much, so freely.
Yes, Kyris, we are good friends.
Um, are we more?
I am a close confidante, nothing more. Do you have a romantic companion?
No. I ruined that, too. She hates me, and I don’t blame her. Perhaps one day I can regain her trust, if not her affection. Can we speak of something else?
Of course. What frightens you most, Kyris?
Nothing… Well, the wraiths, I suppose. I don’t fear death, but to fall to their touch… I fear failing, as well, letting my sisters down. Wait. This isn’t right. I’m saying too much.
Tell me about the wraiths and your ability.
The wraiths. I don’t know what they are truly. Nightspawns of Mezu Vos, most likely. What I do know is that they hunger, and they hunt me every time I step through. I don’t understand it, any of it, but I’ve learned to use it to my advantage.
And what advantages does your ability offer?
Have you not seen me use it? Oh, I suppose you wouldn’t have. I do go to great length to keep it hidden. My ability allows me to get into places with ease that the best thieves of Vigil could not. To face me in battle is to fight a phantom. The terror of the darkened realm… I am conditioned to it, but it strikes others as surely as my daggers. Would you like a demonstration?
Perhaps later. Who are your enemies? Who do you work against?
The Path of the Divine Flame. Or perhaps all of the Imperium. I’m not certain anymore. It used to be so clear. I had the one goal, the one path. But ever since that night… I suppose I am Caldir’s man now, and I go where he desires.
What does the future hold for you?
Do I look like a gray seer to you? How should I know? Whatever the future holds, it’s bound to be bloody.
Can you share a secret with me, which you’ve never told anyone else?
A secret, you want? I do recall something an associate told me once. Not really a secret. More an interesting bit of lore about seers of Rumathil and how they can delve into one’s mind, and how some can even intrude upon dreams. Pray that the visage you present is not truly yours in life for I will remember it, and when I wake, I will find you and ask some questions of my own.
Alex Lang is a potato farmer living on the outskirts of Portland, OR. He’s a potato farmer because his other crops never yield anything edible or end up being slug food. Alex is also a financial adviser to two cats who made a killing trading bitcoin, then blew it all on catnip. A lot of catnip. When he’s not tending to his crops or explaining to his clients that catnip is not a traded commodity on any of the mercantile exchanges, he’s plotting and writing fantasy. Although, he spends an equal amount of time avoiding plotting and writing.
You can find Kyris on the pages of Gloomwalker.
Keep an eye our for more SPFBO mid-week specials! Join us on Friday to meet a young woman destined to become a dark monster. Please follow the site by email (bottom-right) to be notified when the next interview is posted.