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The Protagonist Speaks

Interviews with the protagonists of your favourite books

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Dark Fantasy

Sav (of Black Cross – Black Powder Wars, by JP Ashman)

Dear readers, tonight with me is a former city guard, turned pathfinder for the spymaster.

He’s here to tell us about his love of scouting and archery, his travels, and the arcane plague that befell his lands.


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

Wesson? It’s not bad, as cities go, but growing up there was fun, to a point. The sea air is nice, although I prefer the smell of green. You know? Out in the fields and forests of Altoln. No cramped living. Less sickness and people! Childhood was running the streets, fighting with sticks and making slings and makeshift bows. It’s that sort of play that led to me enlisting in the City Guard.

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

The bows I mentioned. They weren’t all that good, but I loved them alright. Set me apart from the other lads who were all wooden swords and axes and such. Heh, I remember one time when this little shit came up out of Dockside with his mates, slinging rocks at us, one of which slotted poor little Dayn in the face. What did I do? I loosed my shitty shaft across Kings Avenue and… hit a passing coach. Not my finest moment, but I remember it because the arrow stood proud of the wood. Honest truth! I’d been lucky in finding a scrap of iron behind a smithy, which I used as a makeshift arrowhead, and the Dockside shite was lucky the coach passed when it did. Continue reading “Sav (of Black Cross – Black Powder Wars, by JP Ashman)”

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Konnon Crillian (of Song, by Jesse Teller)

Dear readers, tonight with me is a bounty hunter from the world of Perilisc. He’ll take any job though – bodyguard, a mercenary, anything – to afford the medication his daughter needs.

He’s here to tell us about taking the job of hunting one of the kingdom’s most dangerous men – together with others just as bad.


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

Dragonsbane is a marvel. It’s filled with landmarks and wonderful things that are mythic and legendary at the same time that they are terrible and magnificent. Your viewpoint on the city really depends entirely on where you grew up. So my viewpoint of the city is disjointed and confusing. I went from a poor child with a loving family, to a child monster, to rich, all within the span of about two years. I was raised in wealth, but never really took to it. I could drink at a corner pub on a mean street, in an angry section of town, or talk art with dignitaries and nobility. If I had my choice, it would probably be the corner pub.

What do you do now?

I’ve got a sick daughter. What do you think I do now? I’m sorry, I, you didn’t deserve that. I get angry when I think about the life she leads and the life I’m forced into. I have no money, though I was raised in wealth, I have no money. My daughter’s medicines are expensive and failing her. So I wander the country trying to cut a living out of the jobs that are available to a man who’s only really good at one thing. So it’s the sword, and whatever it can get me. Sometimes bounties, though I don’t really like that work. Sometimes I’m a bodyguard, a mercenary, anything I can do to put medicine in my daughter. I don’t get to see her much. But at least I know she’s out there, safe and happy, as happy as she’s capable of being. Continue reading “Konnon Crillian (of Song, by Jesse Teller)”

Bauldane (of the Ivory Chronicles by James Mansfield)

Dear readers, tonight with us on the interview couch is a living skeleton. He has no memories of how he got to be this way.

He is here to tell us of the world he lives in, and what he had discovered about it since awakening in this state.


Tell us a little about where you grew up.

I cannot.

Why is that?

I awakened in the Aulaen Grey Forest. Before then, there is nothing. I have retained my memories of the world, Gaea, but know nothing of myself, of who I once was. (Bauldane removes a gauntlet from a full set of cloth-like armor revealing the bare white of bones assembled in the shape of his hand, then promptly dons the gauntlet once more.) I was left for dead, transformed into a monster. Only bones remain.

That can’t be easy. What have you decided to do?

There is but one thing I aim to do; one thing I wish to accomplish – find the one who did this to me and take my revenge. I am searching. And yet, despite this all-consuming goal of mine, I cannot ignore those who need my help. In spite of this transformation, I was left with incredible strength, speed, and am impervious to physical harm. I am a monster, but I do not wish to behave as one.

What can you tell us about your latest adventure?

While desperately seeking answers to my…situation, I came upon the name of one who may have answers, however meager. Quoran the Abandoned, a sorcerer now cut off from his ability to use magic, was said to know of who might be responsible, but Quoran was not easy to find. We were required to delve into long-forgotten corners of Gaea, and journey into less-than-desirable realms – a nuisance to be sure. Once we reached Quoran the Abandoned, we discovered that I am at the center of a greater plot formulated by an elusive enemy. Though a mere tool for his nefarious purposes, something went awry that left my memories shattered and my body altered. Quoran did not surrender this information easily. Continue reading “Bauldane (of the Ivory Chronicles by James Mansfield)”

Angelica Cross (of The Paranormal Detectives Series by Lily Luchesi)

Dear readers, tonight with me on the interview couch is an unusual woman. A half-vampire, she is employed by law enforcement agencies to hunt down other creatures of the night.

She is here to tell us about 


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

I was born in Leicester, England in 1814. I grew up the daughter of a human Lord, Vincent, and a vampiric Lady, Veronica. My childhood was spent learning how to control my appetite as a half-vampire and learn to be  a ”proper” lady like my mother after me.

In the late 19th century I moved to Chicago Illinois and have remained there all this time. I love the city, and it feels more like home than England ever did.

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

For the first twenty years of my life, I lived relatively normally. Half-vampires can go out in sunlight, so few suspected what I was and I was able to deal normally with humans. I lost my fiance at eighteen, a werewolf who had become possessed by a demon.

As a small girl I preferred books to toys, and I suppose I still do, if you count blessed serrated blades and Glock 9mm guns as “toys”.

My parents were wonderful people, people I tried hard to emulate and make proud of me. Mother was a true Victorian Lady, and Father was a businessman and former vampire hunter before he met Mother. It wasn’t until Mother turned him that things went sour: he killed her right in front of me. Continue reading “Angelica Cross (of The Paranormal Detectives Series by Lily Luchesi)”

Lawrence Choyce Bartholomew (of Tompkin’s School: For The Dearly Departed by Tabi Slick)

Dear readers, tonight with me is a young man who has been forced to go back to school – a century after he originally graduated. It’s not too bad, as he is a creature of the night, and is able to manipulate time.

He is here to tell us about his extraordinary powers, his time travels, and his continuing quest to be reunited with his younger brother.


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

I was born in Missouri in 1893 so you can imagine it was definitely in the country. My father owned a brewery and my mother raised my younger brother and I. Or tried to, anyway. I never could get control over my bloody temper and my younger brother was no better. That’s why we were sent off to Tompkin’s Academy when it opened in the autumn of 1910.

What have you been doing since 1910 and now?

Since my brother and I have been separated, my powers haven’t been progressing like I know they were meant to. So I’ve been using what power I do have to sense other beings like myself in the hopes that I find  the one powerful enough to reunite me with my little brother, Edwin Bartholomew. Continue reading “Lawrence Choyce Bartholomew (of Tompkin’s School: For The Dearly Departed by Tabi Slick)”

Tynan Selvantyr (of Into the Darkness, by A. M. Rycroft)

Dear readers, tonight with me is a man long departed, contacting us from the other side.

Once the realm’s greatest sell-sword and adventurer, he sealed his sword in a dark cave, and placed a curse upon it. He spent a century in the caves as a ghost, until someone found a way to accesses the deepest reaches of the caverns and trigger the curse.

He’s here to tell us about his adventures as a ghost, mentoring the young woman who retrieved his sword and triggered the curse.


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

I was born in the bustling port city of Acantha. It’s close to the Golden Peaks, south of Cathell itself. My father was a well-known merchant there and our family was quite influential across the region. I found it a stifling environment, however, with too many expectations I had no desire to meet. I made every attempt to leave as soon as I was old enough to set out on my own.

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

No, not really any favorite toys I can recall, other than my stuffed bear Rufall. My father did not believe in a lot of play time for his children. He pushed learning on us more. I had favorite books instead. Histories of the realm and the rise of the Tae’Ahjin Empire. And my magik primers, of course.

What do you do now?

Well, as a ghost, I don’t have many worldly demands on my time anymore. However, I was once Cathell’s greatest adventurer. The bards sang of my exploits across the realm. I genuinely miss being an adventurer — the thrill of exploration and hunting out treasures that farm-hands only dream about. There are few things as exciting as that. And of course, a good clash of swords and trading spells with rival adventurers and mercenaries! I have to admit, when the chance arose for one last adventure, I jumped at it. Perhaps I should have warned Aeryn, before I gave her my sword, but sometimes the path to a good adventure requires a little subterfuge at first. Continue reading “Tynan Selvantyr (of Into the Darkness, by A. M. Rycroft)”

Kaiya (of The Last Faoii, by Tahani Nelson)

Dear readers, tonight with me is the last disciple of a militaristic order, that for generations have protected the empire.

Her monastery was destroyed and all her sisters slain. She now travels the country on a mission to avenge her sisters and preserve what is left of her heritage.

She is here to tell us about a war-ravaged empire, of betrayal and freedom, and of family secrets she has uncovered.


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

I grew up in the Monastery of the Eternal Blade, which I think is the largest of the Illindrian Monasteries. It was an okay place to grow up. Every girl wants to be Faoii, right? The Preoii used to always tell me I should be grateful for the chance to be there. And for the most part I was grateful. I loved learning swordsmanship and war magic, it’s just… do you have any idea how long the Preoii can babble on for during Chapel? I always hated that part. Why should Faoii have to learn about Preoii spells? Or Cleorii? And when am I ever going to use calligraphy? That kind of stuff was just so boring.

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

I remember the wooden fantoii I got one summer. It was full-sized and weighted and everything! Most of the other girls were still in smaller blades then, but I was already the tallest in my class, and the Ascended Faoii decided I was finally worthy. It even had “my blade is my arm” engraved on the side! Can you believe it? Part of the Oath right there! For everyone to see! Mollie was so jealous!

What was the worst thing about living in the Monastery?

Early Morning Chapel. Seriously. If the Goddess is Eternal, why would it matter to Her whether I’m up at Dawn or two hours later? Continue reading “Kaiya (of The Last Faoii, by Tahani Nelson)”

Drangar Ralgon (of Shattered Dreams by Ulff Lehmann)

Dear readers, tonight with me is a man fighting men and demons in a world torn apart.

When war engulfs the land and an ancient evil is about to be released, gods and wizards try to intervene. Our guest was raised as a shepherd, until he found himself embroiled in their machinations – after being dead for a few days.

He is here to tell us about his world and his adventures.


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

I was raised by the Sons of Traksor. And before you ask, the cunts fool others into believing they were tasked by Lesganagh to guard the world against a demonic incursion. Another demonic incursion, I mean. What? Never heard of Lesganagh, have you? He’s the ruler of the gods, the Lord of Sun and War, and some say I was blessed by him as well.

Demons? Yeah, the Sons say that a hundred years ago or so, some asshole found some books in an elven ruin, and upon being promised something or other, you know how it is, power-starved bastard promises another bastard more power if they free them. So, story goes something came out the door the idiots opened. In the end the Kalduuhnean prince Tral of House Kassor beat them back. If you buy into that kind of shit.

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

Favorite toy? I liked the blunt sword my… da… gave me on my sixth birthday. At least I thought he was my da, bastard only pretended I was his son. Cherished memories? Amidst all the pain of being shunned by other kids, and mocked by my cousin, Dalgor, and generally being treated as an outsider, at best, yes, there were some. Anya, one of the weapons teachers, she didn’t treat me like a leper or target for whatever the others would throw at me. She took me under her wing. Felt nice not being the pariah for a change, but a student. Continue reading “Drangar Ralgon (of Shattered Dreams by Ulff Lehmann)”

Superior Mother (of Women of the Grey: Starburst, by Carol James Marshall)

Dear readers, tonight with me is the chilling leader of an alien race.

She is the Superior Mother, leader of the secretive Women of the Grey. They live amongst us, unknown to humanity.

She is here with her assistant, to answer a few questions.


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

“It is understood among my kind that we do not question our leaders. Answers, my sweet, are earned. I hardly believe you have bothered to earn such information from me.”

With this Superior Mother sits back. There is a sense of cold in the air, almost like the first hint of autumn.

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

Superior Mother learns in, seeming displeased.

“If I had known you were to ask my questions of such insolence I would have prepared myself to be entertained. Our kind does not play. We plan, we build, we watch, and when humans are busy with these toys you speak of, we strike. I do not understand how humans have thrived for so long, with concepts like toys.”

Superior Mother sits back, slowly shaking her head with the occasional tap of a ring on her index finger to the table. Continue reading “Superior Mother (of Women of the Grey: Starburst, by Carol James Marshall)”

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