Dear readers, to night with me is the son of an admiral who grew up amongst pirates. He’s here to tell us about being thrown together with a law-abiding righteous citizen, into a struggle to bring the world back into a state of balance from the precipice of madness and desolation brought on by a renegade sorceress hell bent on reviving the greatest threat of all.

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

I was born an’ raised in Saldour, the largest port city in Faltainyr Demura an’ the home of the navy. My father was an admiral an’ his father a shipwright after an accident an’ illness early in his career that forced him to retire from working at sea. Later, my entire family was murdered; I spent the rest of my childhood among pirates.

Did you have any favourite things to do as a child? Any cherished memories?

Liri an’ I used to play together on the meadows surroundin’  the noble estates around Saldour. I was also rather fond of sneakin’ into my mother’s secret library.

What do you do now?

I’m a pirate; an’ a captain at that, though it’s a bit of a long story how that happened. Ask me later over a drink of Tourenco Dark rum.

What can you tell us about your latest adventure?

Which one? There’ve been quite a few of them lately. There’s the one about the “unrequited love” of an obsessed an’ extremely stubborn elite mercenary? Or perhaps the explosive reunion between myself an’ a friend of my late father? There’s also the one involving a dubious encounter with a leviathan…  Oh, the best one has to be how Zehn an’ myself turned out to be tools of the gods… Wait, all of that’s connected isn’t it? It’s a little past noon; how long’ve you got?

What did you first think when Zehn came after you?

“Gods, here comes another one…” Except, Zehn came after me as though he were a starving’ wolf havin’ lived off scraps most of its life. I’d ask him if there’s any truth to that, but I may as well be lettin’ the cat out of the bag and lashin’ myself. I think that about sums it up.

What was the scariest thing in your adventures?

Bein’ told I was some sort of hero or savior an’ that I would have to endure some sort of test like they thought  I’d know what the f*** that meant. An’ besides, I’m not really in the habit of bein’ tied down with followin’ somebody else’s orders an’ expectations. Strangely that’s more frightenin’ than sailin into the Maidhrég, otherwise known as the Maw of Elinda.

What is the worst thing about life at sea?

Where do I begin? The sea, she’s a temperamental lass; as changeable as they come an’ never to be disrespected unless you’re looking to sleep with the fish for eternity. Accidents’ll always happen, but give her the respect she deserves an’ she might spare you. The worst of it though, that’s probably the doldrums where the wind just dies an’ you’ve no idea when it’ll return; your supplies start to dwindle an’ then you’re lookin’ at starvation – an’ that’s when you start facin’ a whole lot more trouble as its every man for himself an’ screw the rules.

What is the best thing about it?

The sheer freedom of it. The wind an’ waves an’ the salty air; the spray of the sea as it jumps over the bow. It’s just you, your crew an’ your ship; nothin’ else matters.

Tell us a little about your friends.

Well for one, there’s Krallan – my quartermaster. In fact, he was the first to fight me when I intended to relieve my mentor, Yahtyliir, of the burden of takin’ care of my beloved Greshendier. To most, I was rather too young to be a captain, especially of a warship. Once I’d beaten him, he swore loyalty an’ he’s been my most trusted adviser since. Then there’s Argwey, my bosun. He’s an elf from Cerendiyll with a personality that lies in the brothel – an’ an obsession with exploitin’ details of my sex life – but no-one else except me knows riggin’ like he does. Mey, uh… She’s a feisty one. Larsan’s a mercenary from the cold north of Icetaihn, an’ it’s quite a funny story of how I met him; he found a bounty for me on the Hunters’ Guild jobs board but he ended up in a spot of bother himself. I’ll let you work out the details. I met Zehn in very much the same way. Arcaydia… There’s somethin’ about her, besides bein’ who she is. She’s far too innocent if you ask me; maybe that’ll change in time, who knows? As for Melkhar, well… I suppose for a six an’ a half foot tall Kaesan’Drahknyr with colossal wings, a look that could kill an’ an attitude to match she’s not so bad.

Any romantic involvement?

(Blush). You’ve been talkin’ to Argwey haven’t you? As I keep sayin’, Mey an’ I are friends who happen to be more involved than most friends usually are… I’ve thought a lot about Liri quite a bit too, but we were childhood friends; she’s an admiral’s daughter, an’ though I’m an admiral’s son I’m now a pirate. There’s no way anythin’ could ever come out of that. Besides, I’d rather not be tied down to anyone, an’ I’ve got my reasons for that but it’d bother me too much to go into those details.

Whom (or what) do you really hate?

The Duke of Lonnfeir; Kradelow. Why? Because he’s the one responsible for murderin’ my family. There’s also the pirate Bardell an’ his crew; they were hired hands for that bastard callin’ himself a duke.

What’s your favourite drink, colour, and relaxing pastime?

Tourenco Dark – a type of rum from the Enkaiytan city of Tourenco – might well be my favourite drink, an’ as you can see, I’m rather fond of red (indicates to his feathered hat and long coat). As for pastimes, when I’m ashore back in Naredau I like to find a secluded area of the beach an’ drift off to the waves rushin’ up an’ down the shore in my hammock with a bottle of rum.

What does the future hold for you?

Apparently there’s a need to head north for a while, which I’m rather unhappy about an’ so are the crew. Icetaihn sound like it’s got warm, sunny beaches to you? It seems a bit of a pest from my past who stowed away on board my ship lives up there who’s got somethin’ I need, an’ it seems there’s more goin’ on up there than we thought. I’m rather glad we’ve got Larsan to be our guide on that one.

Can you share a secret with us, which you’ve never told anyone else?

Truth be told, I’m still very much haunted by my family’s murder, an’ I’ll ask you kindly not to ask for any details.

Melissa A. Joy is a new fantasy author with Asperger Syndrome who challenges the conventional expectations of fantasy and takes them to a whole new level. It is no secret that she believes in the existence of all things fantastical, and that anything is possible. She began building the world of Aeldynn and started writing seriously aged approximately 13, and has since developed it into something truly magical worth sharing. From the glorious winged Drahknyr and wise and fearsome dragons to pirates of the high seas and a world rich with history and lore, her imagination could be said to be limitless. When she isn’t locked in a reverie about what’s going on in the world of Aeldynn, she’s probably out sailing the high seas on a tall ship, training at Kung Fu, gaming, or perhaps dressed up in costume at an anime convention.

You can find Larkh on the pages of Keys of the Origin.

Keep an eye out for more mid-week SPFBO fantasy specials! Join us this Friday to hear from an ageing heiress, reflecting on decades of family drama and her early career as a burlesque dancer. Please follow the site by email (bottom-right) to be notified when the next interview is posted.