Dear readers, tonight with us is the Knights Commander of the West and 2nd Sword of King Kaimar the 3rd of Ostravah. He’s here to tell us about a forgotten war, a world of nine realms, old betrayal, broken magic, new perils and a friendship worth dying for.
Tell us a little about where you grew up. What was it like there?
My family has retained their seat of power in Zanzier since before the Chaos War. I am a noble.
The only son of the ruling house, I was schooled as befit my standing to inherit the province mantle. I will not bore you with the details. My father had wealth and power – I knew this would be mine, though that day came sooner than expected.
Did you have any favourite toys as a child? Any cherished memories?
Memories… I recall how Old Town stank of poverty and filth even when I was a child – yet despite the destitution, rot and ignorant peasants, it still held a strange fascination. Other memories are less favorable and yet they persist. Like the river-stench of brackish saltwater that blankets much of the lower city even on a good day…
I suppose you could say early youth was neither good nor bad. Yet it was better than the peasant nobles’ because of my birthright. Toys, I don’t remember, but I do recall stealing my father’s dagger to go exploring in the dungeons beneath the two towers. It’s was wet and dank even then, but back then the rats were still there. It was following them that I learnt the secret of the underground warren and found the lake of fire and the cavern that I later used to hold the two Hyatt monsters that were lent to me by an ally. Back then, I felt obliged to strive for perfection; there are things in my ancestry that scream to be set right but no one else seemingly willing to acknowledge this, I was driven.
And were your parents proud?
(Shrugs) My mother was a… disappointment. My father was a fool: a slave to his flecking urges and his string of unsuitable women, meanwhile neglecting to guide my ‘worldly’ sister so that she all but forgot what was expected – as though we had no standards nor concerns for Zanzierian traditions.
I do not regret his demise – he had his time and squandered it. I inherited young and made sure my sister did her duty.
Ah, I see. (Smirks with a touch of disapproval) Please tell me you are not one of those liberal Etruians!
Well, no matter. I’d urge you to study more history and less of the modern manuscripts. New thoughts lead to immoral ideas, right from how to deal with criminals, to the ways we allow society to spiral out of control. You are aware, surely, that we must now tolerate female soldiers, commanders, yes knights even?
The fifteen provinces are united so I abide the general law, but Zanzier is not Etruia, and it’s certainly not the realm of Ostravah. We adhere to values of a purer age. Our Women represent the honor of our name and family, but in the home, not in leathers and armor on a battle field. Any true-born Zanzierian woman should conduct herself in a manner that does not tarnish nor shame a house, and a lady of noble birth especially. My sister was under the impression that she might marry whomsoever she pleased. It was not her fault, but my father’s. I forgave her and she is happier now. She has a great house, a new name and a husband learned in the traditions of Zanzier. That is enough.Continue reading “Simarovien Zulavi (of A Change of Rules – The Missing Shield series, by LL Thomsen)”