The Protagonist Speaks

Interviews with the characters of your favourite books


June 2022

Ervig Greenfields (of Dragonborn, by Donna Sundblad)

Dear readers, tonight with us is a prison guard, talking about self-sacrifice for the greater good, how humans join with the dragons to become Dragonborn, and his adventures as he slipped through a tear in time to the past to change the future.

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

In my early childhood, I lived in Resallat’s capital, Prudek. My father was the glasssmith there. I started to learn his trade while very young, but I lost my parents in a tragic mudslide. So I went to live my grandmother on her small farm on the outskirts of Prudek, in the foothills. It wasn’t an easy life, but we helped each other through the loss. I grew strong, developed an interest in the different purposes of plants, and learned how to work without complaining.

Did you have any favourite toys as a child? Any cherished memories?

I didn’t have many toys, but my father had crafted a stick horse for me. I remember galloping around in the glassmaking shop which was at the front of our home. Da and Mother were always telling me to “take care.” Then one time I bumped the table and a tall bottle fell and knocked the next, and the next until they all came crashing down in bits. From then on no riding allowed in the shop. Da started teaching me how to blow glass orbs and a few basic shapes, but then the accident happened. I’m not sure what happened to my horse when I moved in with Grandmother. Life totally changed. I had to grow up pretty fast. We both worked hard, but we had a good life together.

When my chores were done, I used to sit in the shade of the nut tree watching dragons circle over the mountains to the north and wondering what it would be like to fly. To visit places beyond the mountains. Grandmother watched them too. She said that dragons communicated with animals but only very special people. I was still young enough to believe her and said, “I wish I was special like that.” I can still see her smiling at me and saying, “I think you are, but that would be up to the dragons.” For a good while I believed such tittle-tattle, until the other children at school started calling me a dull-headed nimwit. I still watched the dragons circle, but overtime I didn’t believe in them the same way. Then Grandmother died just as I was coming of age. I closed up the house and moved to Prudek. There I found work as a prison guard. It provided a place to live and a wage. I liked the discipline and the work except for the dungeon. I hated the dark and the odor smelled like death.

What do you do now?

That’s a bit complicated. I’m what you call Dragonborn. Not something I’m free to talk about in full, but since you live on this side of the portal, I can tell you that the Dragonborn are part of a select group of humans who have joined with the dragons to overcome the evil of a living book I came into contact with through a prisoner. He cursed me with its dark magic. As part of my oath to the dragons, I must be careful how much I say about some things, so if I sound like I’m evading a question, you would probably be right. I can tell you that the curse trapped me in an…unhuman body. Don’t ask me more. I’m not saying, but he locked me in that dungeon, in the dark, and I didn’t even have a voice I could use to call for help. Long story short, I thought back to my Grandmother’s teaching about the dragons. She said they had powerful magic and with no other options, I hoped they might be able to help me…maybe even change me back. If they didn’t eat me first.

Because I wasn’t human, I found a way of escape. I made my way to the mountains, to the dragons. I kept calling with my mind believing that dragons could communicate with animals who can’t talk, it made sense to me. I thought of nothing but the dragons while keeping my eyes open for predators like snakes and hawks. The suns hung low in the sky when I broke through the foliage and onto a wide stone ledge. A dark shadow loomed above me and asked. “Who calls for help?”

As you can see, I’m human again. The dragons offered access to the Labyrinth of Times. Within the corridors of time, all magic, other than dragon magic, is erased. But there was a catch…a cost. I can tell you no more, for I gave my word. But, I can say, that I work with the Dragons across time to shut down the Book Darkmore. I’d like to say destroy it, but it can’t be destroyed.

You work with dragons then. What can you tell us about your latest adventure?

Adventure? Well, that same prisoner who changed me into…something else. He escaped from the dungeon and stole people’s identity. I mean their face, voice, how they dressed. Everything. The dragons wanted to get the book and I wanted to get the prisoner. So we worked together. But when we found him, he looked like my friend Claus and was ready to escape into the Labyrinth through an unsanctioned portal. The book’s dark magic gave him that power, but that forced opening into the Labyrinth also caused a tear in time and a vulnerability. Everything that Book does is bad for the world. As we spotted him, the portal was swirling with red energy. He stepped through, and I ran after him and jumped through. As it closed, I hit the floor in the darkness. Pain wracked by body as I turned back into a man. I had to get that book away from the prisoner, because as long as he had it, he could draw power from it, but if I got the book away from him, it would draw life from him. He’d get weaker, and lose his magic.

Continue reading “Ervig Greenfields (of Dragonborn, by Donna Sundblad)”

Antonius Xandron (of An Evil Planned, by Theo Faurez)

Dear readers, tonight with us is a Roman citizen from the time of Trajan. He’s here to talk about the why Antioch is a better city than Rome or Alexandria, about cultural diversity, and about winnowing truth from lies when a crime has been committed.

It’s not often that we have a guest from Antioch in Syria. Tell us about your city.

Antioch is the finest and most beautiful city in the free world, the one, true beacon of civilisation.

Many people in our audience believe that description fits Rome and Alexandria better.

I said, the greatest city in the FREE world. In Rome, no one is free. Without the imports of grain from the East, the city would starve. To walk in the streets is to contract infection unless you can avoid the contents of latrine pots that people throw out the window. You cannot speak the truth for fear of offending the Emperor, who has spies everywhere. As for Alexandria, you cannot even set foot there without written permission from the Emperor. No, freedom is neither in Rome or in Alexandria. But in Antioch, it is everyone’s birthright.

Besides freedom, what else does Antioch have to offer?

The first daughter of freedom is creativity. The city is full of poets, philosophers, musicians, actors, sculptors, painters, architects, writers. Artists beautify not only the city itself with monuments, porticoes and gardens, they beautify the mind. The second daughter of freedom is truth. In Antioch, no one needs to pretend they are someone they are not. We are who we are, in harmony with ourselves from the moment of birth. To be forced to be someone we are not is the greatest crime.

Speaking of crime, your brother Antonius Sabas is famous in the whole Roman Empire for solving them. Especially murder.

My brother is the best discoverer of crime in our city’s history, if I do say so myself. You see, a murderer kills someone, and then proceeds to live a lie. He or she must pretend they did not do what they did, and take care to deceive everyone around them. Sabas exposes the pretence. He reveals what the murderer actually did, which in all cases is very different from what the murderer says he did.

You assist him in his inquiries. Do you enjoy looking for criminals?

I enjoy separating the facts from the fiction. To pretend to be someone you are not, or to love something you actually hate, or not to have done something you actually did, is to attack not only the truth, but the harmony of the cosmos. I enjoy helping Sabas to restore that harmony.

Continue reading “Antonius Xandron (of An Evil Planned, by Theo Faurez)”

Blog at

Up ↑