Dear readers, tonight with us is a woman who never believed that humans can’t bond with dragon, and has thought this was just lies spread by elves. She is here to tell us about the unique opportunity presented to her when she found a dragon’s clutch ready to hatch.

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

It was one of those Wood Elf communities in Ilesh on that other continent I have to go back to – I don’t remember or care if they had any names! They kept us humans as slaves for generations and generations, and I would rather not talk about it. It was really unfair, because we have such short lives compared to them already, stealing our lives so they can have even more luxury is just atrocious! They deserve what happened to them when the Northern Horror came, but I also sort of wish it hadn’t, because that makes rescuing Mom and freeing my people something that might not happen. If they are all dead.

But the seasons were a lot milder over in Ilesh. I don’t ever want to be in Ilesh again, but I like the seasons there a lot better, especially since the cold hurts Radiance’s wings.

Is there anything about your childhood you can enjoy talking about? Any special memories?

Not really. Because everything reminds me either of those cursed Wood Elf slave masters, or of my Mom and the fact I might not be able to rescue her, and everything that’s lost! I don’t have a lot of really nice memories, but one thing that really helped me at times was I can do this thing only Wood Elves are supposed to be able to do: I can shadowblend, so you don’t really notice me. I wasn’t nearly as good a mage then as I am now, so I couldn’t do it well compared to them, but enough for a moment of quiet sometimes, and enough to make me laugh inside at all that stuff they said about humans being inferior and incapable ….

But a memory I like? Mom showing me Dad’s favorite constellation, the Dolphin. He died in an accident before my brother was even born, so Lavilor never knew him at all, and I don’t remember him very well. That’s about all I have of him. So it’s sad, but also special.

What are you doing right now?

Right now, Radiance is carrying a clutch of eggs, so we have to wait for her to lay those and for them to hatch before we go off and do anything. We can’t even fly off to find  the potential riders for her eggs! It’s really unnatural, by the way. Dragons shouldn’t  have to hatch until they want to, and the only reason these do is because those cursed Wood Elf life-mages changed them! But we want our hatchlings to be able to choose riders who are suited for them, unlike so many others, so other Dragonriders are helping to gather as many children and young people as we can for when the eggs are ready.

What can you tell us about your latest adventure?

That I wish it had never happened, though maybe it was a good thing and showed me that I’m not really ready, so I can become ready. But I do not know, and I do not want to talk about it.

What did you first think when you saw the Wizard-King?

Oh, so you know about  that somehow? Because that really is the thing I do not want to talk about! But, I guess I’ll give you an answer anyways, though who let that out? Or was that me? Seriously, how many people know about that? Did my scream reach everyone? Oh no!

He looks dead. Not just looks dead, but feels dead, too. Not he. It.

What’s the most frightening thing to you?

Will you just leave that alone already? I don’t know why you are interested in this! But to me the most terrifying thing is that some powers – like the Wizard-King – seem to be able to violate other’s free will. But it’s really not something you  or I should be thinking about. I got so many things wrong in my relationship with Radiance by letting these kinds of questions and concerns shape my thinking into something that wasn’t really what I believe, though it sounded so much like I was deceived for far longer than I should have been.

What is the worst thing about being the Dragon-mage – that is you, right?

<An exasperated, angry sigh> Some people have called me that, yes. Are they really doing it out in the world so everyone can hear them?

The worst thing about it is that it’s really confusing. Power should come from loving and being free at heart. I am certain that’s where my power comes from, and from how I and Radiance love each other. Yet other people, who I’m sure, don’t love any less than I do, or desire freedom any less than I do, and maybe even better, don’t have this power! I shouldn’t be more powerful than anyone else, unless they’re evil. No one should be! Just let me stop thinking about this stuff, would you?

Well then … what is the best thing about being a Dragonrider?

<A smile> That Radiance is always with me. We’re two different people, and yet we’re one, too. There’s some things I sometimes find difficult about figuring out how to respect her, but it really is the best thing ever. We share everything, and that when we share what makes us happy, it makes us even more happy! It really is everything I ever dreamed, and so much more!

Tell us a little about your friends.

I’m kind of confused about what I even think about friendship, or if I want it, outside of Radiance! I suppose my little brother, Lavilor, is a good friend, though he doesn’t seem so little anymore. He grew up a lot while I was away for a short while, but it seems to be all in good ways, and he really cares about me. There is also this other Dragonrider named Teladri. She’s trying to be a friend, and she’s nice, I think, but I’m not even really sure what that means or how I feel about it!

If you don’t have friends, is there any romance in your life?

What?!  … Oh, that! Ask Radiance, maybe! Not in mine, and I don’t want to talk about it, but I told you she has eggs. So you know that means there’s someone.

But you probably can’t talk to her anyways. Most people don’t hear dragons, at least not most of the time. But that’s her life, her choices, not mine, and it’s one part of her life that I prefer to be left out of.

What’s your favourite way to relax?

It’s not very relaxing most of the time, but I am trying to make art! Right now, I’m trying to do designs with sand. I might get into carving, because I just really want to depend on other people’s help for this as little as possible. It’s a lot more frustrating that I imagined it would be to get what I see in my thoughts to come out, though I guess I didn’t really imagine how it would be, only realized I might be interested in it!

But flying with Radiance is pretty relaxing when it is warm! Splashing with her in the hot pools all over Aros Cor – at least the ones we’re both comfortable in – is the best thing when it is cold.

What future do you see?

What do …

Oh, Radiance is answering this for me. She says we are definitely flying to defeat the Wizard-King, and it is unlike me to be concerned I can’t do it. But  it won’t get away with hurting her rider like that, and every doubt or fear I have only makes her more determined that we will destroy it.

Besides, she would never leave that sort of thing in the same world as her hatchlings and their riders. They must grow up free and safe and  it is the greatest threat.

So if I listen to her, we’re going to sit these eggs until they hatch, make sure all the hatchlings and their riders are happy and healthy, and then we’re going to destroy the Wizard-King and come back alive!

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

I already have – how many people do you think have heard about Dad’s constellation? And you are asking for more? What do you even want? I don’t have a lot of secrets! And certainly don’t expect me to share a secret that Radiance and I don’t share! There are very few of those, none really, and certainly none either of us would share with anyone else! At this point, I do not like you anymore!

Raina has been writing fantastic tales since she could write stories with the words she could read. She writes dawndark fantasy with rich world-building, characters who feel like real people, and a touch of the philosophical or spiritual! She believes that the magic of fairytales does not need to pass away just because of modern beliefs about the universe and galaxies. And she definitely loves dragons and volcanoes.

You can find Camilla on the pages of Heart of Fire.

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