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The Protagonist Speaks

Interviews with the characters of your favourite books

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Epic Fantasy

Jame (of the Kencyrath Chronicles, by P.C. Hodgell)

Dear readers, tonight we are extremely excited to host a character from a fantasy series we’ve been following since childhood (ours, as well as hers).

Jamethiel’s Priest’s-bane, known as Jame to most, comes to us from down the chain of creation, where her people – the Kencyrath – have been fighting the encroaching evil of Perimal Darkling for millennia. She is here to tell us about her adventures, and about the thin and blurry line between life and death.


Jame:  Oh, my head.  What happened to me?

Voice out of the shadows:  You stormed the priests’ subterranean college at Wilden, tripped, and fell down the stairs.

Jame (sitting up, grumbling):  I’m usually more agile than that although, admittedly, prone to accidents.   Kindrie.  I came to rescue my cousin Kindrie.   Your voice is familiar.  Who are you?

Voice:  We met in Tai-tastigon.  You were hunting demons, also dead gods.  Some of them, in turn, were hunting you.  See if you can remember yourself first.  Where were you born?

Jame:  In a keep in the Haunted Lands where my father, the Highlord, had gone into exile.  I suppose it was a terrible place, but then it was simply home.  The gray grass cried.  So did the vegetables when put to the knife, and they tasted of watered blood.  Nothing was properly dead there, nor properly alive.  That’s what it means, to live under shadows’ eaves, because Gerridon’s monstrous House loomed over us, day and night.  He sent our mother, the Dream-weaver, to us.  After we were born and he reclaimed her, our father went mad.  He tried to kiss me once, and ended up smashing his knuckles against the stone wall beside my head.  Father hated me because I was Shanir, also because he said that I was too like my mother.  He must have known that my brother Tori was Shanir too, but he never admitted that.  Tori was his favorite.

Continue reading “Jame (of the Kencyrath Chronicles, by P.C. Hodgell)”
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Kara Tanner (of Glyphbinder, by T. Eric Bakutis)

Dear readers, tonight with me is Kara Tanner, a recent graduate of the Magic Academy of Solyr. What follows is Scribemaster Tarano’s interview with Kara several days before her planned graduation.

The chaos that unfolded on Kara’s graduation day is still unclear to many, but we do know the academy came under attack, a number of students were injured, and that Kara and several of her friends (including an amnesic soldier treated for his wounds at the academy) disappeared. Their current whereabouts are unknown.


To start, Kara, I would like to congratulate you on your nomination as Speaker Supreme. You must have worked very hard to get here.

Thank you. I’m honored to be chosen, and will absolutely not make a wreck of my speech.

I’m certain you’ll do fine. To start, what do you most enjoy about your studies at Solyr?

Everything. Where else can you learn to set someone’s hair on fire and talk to the dead?

You set someone’s hair on fire?

Really? I honestly expected you to be more concerned about the other thing.

Well, you are a Glyphbinder. Soul glyphs are one aspect of your training, are they not?

Oh, right! This is an opportunity to promote Solyr to our patrons in Tarna. Five know I love promoting our academy!

If you could simply answer the questions as you would for someone outside Solyr?

Of course, Scribemaster. Forgive me. I’m practicing. For my speech.

What would you say is the most challenging aspect of your studies at Solyr?

The variety. Every week offers new aspects of glyph magic that either complement or contradict what’s come before, but wielding the power of The Five Who Made the World is inspiring. The Five made literally everything … the world, the sky, us … so channeling their power? Nothing compares.

Now that we’re into advanced glyph combinations, I find the more esoteric mixes fascinating. A week ago we learned the proper Life glyphs to form ice sculptures based on glyphs of idea, and there’s been no shortage of gorgeous and occasionally obscene ice sculptures popping up since.

Occasionally obscene?

Well, you taught us to create ice sculptures … with glyphs of idea. Look, I’m eighteen, and many of my peers are as well, but I imagine girls mature faster than boys. If I come across one more ice peni—

Why don’t you tell us more about your particular school! What’s it like to be a Glyphbinder?

Challenging. We teach Firebrands, Lifewardens, Soulmages and others, but Glyphbinders learn tricks from them all. Every school is scribed differently, and remembering how the lines work is a chore.

I won’t horrify you with what happens when you scribe Rannos the Wolf on a squirrel and accidentally use a Firebrand’s blood lines, but it’s not a mistake anyone makes twice. You never forget the smell.

Continue reading “Kara Tanner (of Glyphbinder, by T. Eric Bakutis)”

Jarrod Torrealday (of The Outworlders Saga, by Joseph Malik)

Joseph Malik - Outworlders banner

Dear readers, tonight with me is a cross-dimensional champion. Taken from Earth to a strange new world, this former Olympic saber hopeful and medieval weapons expert was tasked to be an adviser to the war council for a magical realm teetering on the edge of collapse.

We wanted to meet Jarrod Torrealday since we first read his book, and finally caught up with him at his castle home in the Wild River Reach at the end of this past autumn, between his two book adventures.

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

I grew up in Connecticut, on an estate called Knightsbridge. Our house was one of these castle homes, with stone turrets and everything. (Laughs) I guess it kind of warped me. My family owns Eastern Technology Bank. We mostly handle hospitals and big tech campuses. We had a few hundred acres of woods that butted up against a huge green belt that went right down to the sea. I was much more into getting into adventures out there than I was ever interested in playing with toys.

What do you do now?

I’m part of an order of knights here in the kingdom of Gateskeep. Our order teaches hand fighting and military science to the troops, but also serves a counterespionage function, as well. We keep an ear to the ground and keep an eye on the fighters in the castles where we train other knights and soldiers. We find spies, and disrupt plots against the crown.

I’m also a Lord Protector of the principality of Falconsrealm, which means that I can be called upon—and have the right—to settle affairs of the crown in personal combat. A lot of the time, here, they’ll settle small wars and grievances with just two guys beating the crap out of each other, sometimes not even to the death. It’s a pre-industrial, mostly feudal society—interlinked fiefdoms of regional lords and magnates operating under privatized rule—but it’s technically possible to take over a castle and lands in a fistfight. Which keeps the afternoons interesting.

It all just goes to prove that we never really know where we’re going to end up, I guess. It’s a good gig.

What do you find most surprising about living here? Compared to Earth?

The number of women in the ranks of the military, especially the knights, and how effective they are. On Earth, we’ve really underrated them. Our brightest military leaders, and some of our toughest knights here, are women. Continue reading “Jarrod Torrealday (of The Outworlders Saga, by Joseph Malik)”

Michel Anglo and Vipa (of God’s Forsaken, by David Brevik)

Dear readers, tonight with me is an angel and a human woman. This isn’t the first time we interview such a duo, but this ‘Angel of Death’ is merely the professional moniker of a ruthless assassin.

Together, and with some unusual friends, they had to destroy a forsaken god. They are here to tell us of their adventures.


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

Michel Anglo: Well, their isn’t much to-

Vipa: Me first, me first! I was raised on Congla island after the Guilty One stranded us on an isolated island. Father died when I was just a baby, but Mom was an incredible huntress. Taught me to waterbend, hunt, and all that fun stuff.

Michel: Which I assure you which is abnormal. Where we’re from most people are work in factories or farms. My aunt and uncle adopted me and we lived in Kalaim.  Almost became a factory work if it wasn’t for my… assassination skills. Good things too. Damn factory is as dangerous as this crazed huntress I’m working with.

Vipa: Says the guy who hunts the world’s most dangerous predator.

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

Michel: I’m talking first this time, Vipa! Our family was poor, so there wasn’t too many toys. Yet my uncle got me a gun and a knife. Good for hunting and my friend used to play games just as knocking over cans who can piss off demons.

Vipa: That’s mean.

Michel: Hey, as my aunt said, ‘Demons have granite skin. You have easier time breaking iron.’

Vipa: Wow, that depersing. I used to have tons of friends and toy to play with.

Michel: I thought you lived on an island alone with my mother.

Vipa: Not just my mother. I have old Nubby the goat. Oh, we used to play tug war all the time. Oh, and then there this one time where mother left me alone in the woods when I was five. I cried so much, but then I made a doll and it kept me company. After surviving in the wilderness for a day, she gave me honey as an award.

Michel: *Stood dumbstruck for a bit.* Please never leave my children along with your mother.

Vipa: Why? She’s a good person.

What do you do now?

Michel Anglo: My real job is assassination, so I go around killing people. Not that complex, though I tend to spend week researching my target before going after them. Knowledge make life easy. As for my day job, I’m a sugar merchant. Spices and sugar are expensive and pay good.

Vipa: Now Michel help me hunt down the Guilty One.

Michel: Against my will! This crazed huntress is dragging me along for her crazed adventure.

Vipa: Which isn’t easy. You try tracking down a living island. Continue reading “Michel Anglo and Vipa (of God’s Forsaken, by David Brevik)”

Dembrek (of the DRUX series, by S.P. Joseph Lyons)

Dear readers, tonight with me is a man with a misty past, torn between heroism and rebellion. He is here to tell us about the power of love, as well as the power of heroes.

Note that we’ve previously interviewed Oreunasis, the Lord of the DRUX. It’s rewarding to see characters out of our earliest patron-books returning to the interview couch.


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

I was born on the home of the Original People. We were the first created beings of the Great Voice. We lived in harmony with nature, and our surroundings. Simple homes among the vast trees under a sea of stars at night. We were a peaceful race but were always ready for war if it should ever come to us. Though our home had been decimated by the men with hands like lightning and thunder, then by Mordrin and his slave army of Gaunlar, we always rebuilt. Stronger. Better.

Any cherished memories of your home?

My mother. She was everything to me in the absence of my father. When she was killed by Mordrin, I…I just, I don’t know. Losing her was the hardest thing I ever had to endure. I miss her terribly. She always saw the best in me, and always had a way of seeing the beauty in everything. When my father left for the stars, a part of her went with him. She’d often look to the night sky, wondering if he could see us. I hated him for leaving, even if he didn’t have a choice.

What do you do now?

After being exiled from my home, I went to the universal Arena to become a champion. In a fight to the death, it was no easy task standing against the greatest warriors in the universe. After winning, I became a legend. I was feared in every section of the universe. I guess having these powers, and being fearless, has its advantages in battle. Continue reading “Dembrek (of the DRUX series, by S.P. Joseph Lyons)”

The Hunter of Voramis (of Darkblade Assassin: Hero of Darkness, by Andy Peloquin)

Dear readers, tonight on the interview couch is the best assassin the world has ever seen. Driven by a cursed dagger with an unquenchable thirst for blood and death, he kills only those who truly deserve to die.

He’s here to tell us of his world and of fight for his life as he tries to find a way to atone for his mistakes.


Tell us a little about where you grew up and your history before becoming the legendary assassin of Voramis.

I have no memories of my childhood or anything before arriving in the city of Voramis. My earliest memories date back to the day I walked through the city gates, with nothing but the clothes on my back and my dagger, Soulhunger. But even despite the absence of memories, I discovered I knew one thing all too well: the art of killing. With no other prospects, I took on the profession of assassin-for-hire, and have spent the last five decades building my legend.

What is it like, spending your life killing people?

Death comes for us all, I simply hasten its arrival. But I do not kill at random. I find those who deserve death for the suffering they have caused others, and I deliver justice. In Voramis, many hide behind their wealth and use it to not only evade retribution, but to inflict pain and suffering on others. I am the one that sends them to the Long Keeper to stand trial for their crimes.

What can you tell us about the contract to kill Lord Dannaros?

When I discovered the truth of what he was doing, importing young women to sell as slaves, I knew he deserved the justice I delivered. It was a simple matter to use my pre-existing relationship with the nobleman—through my disguise of Lord Anglion of Praamis—to receive an invitation to his annual soiree, where I could find him alone and put an end to his cruelty. Continue reading “The Hunter of Voramis (of Darkblade Assassin: Hero of Darkness, by Andy Peloquin)”

Ryhalt Galharrow (of Blackwing by Ed McDonald)

Dear readers, tonight we print a magazine interview from the world of Valengrad, where the reporter managed to track down a Captain of the shadowy Blackwings – Ryhalt Galharrow.

All we’ll say, is that we’re glad we weren’t sitting in the interviewer chair this time.


I meet Galharrow on a red-sky day in Valengrad, me on a last-minute effort to grab an interview before heading back to the capital, Galharrow on a rare break from work. He’s been hard to find, harder still to pin down. Slightly glazed, he says that he didn’t have to come far from the office, but he looks like he’s been up most of the night. As I sip at coffee that has been brewing for at least the best part of a day, I can’t imagine an organization with Blackwing’s authority and reputation having an office in this part of the city, or why he’d choose to meet in The Bell. It’s not the worst alehouse that I’ve wandered into, but it’s not far off. Galharrow, to my disappointment looks like he fits in, shirt untucked and stained. He still cuts a daunting figure. He’s six-six, at least three hundred pounds and all of it the kind of weight that doubtless puts fear into the deserters he chases down. I ask if he’d like to share my pot of coffee, but the girl at the bar is already bringing him a bottle of brandy. He holds off questions until he has a drink in hand, by which time the clock is chiming ten. In the morning. The brandy goes down, his hand stops shaking quite so much, and for the first time there’s light in his eyes and a smile on his lips.

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

RG: If you don’t know the story, then I’m not going to go into it in detail and it’s better left that way for everyone. Sounds dramatic, I know, but it was a good place, in a lot of ways. My family had money. A lot of money. I didn’t want for anything. I was always encouraged, which I guess passes for love in some families. There were a lot of expectations. I’m not sure that I ever lived up to any of them.

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

RG: Toys were frowned upon, as a rule. I had the usual things that boys my age get given when they’re expected to serve on the Range as an officer. Practice swords, horses, strategy games. There were a lot of lessons, but I didn’t dislike them. I enjoyed learning, and I was competitive. I had an older brother, and he was always going to inherit the estate, so I tried to better him in other ways.

I don’t find it healthy to hold onto memories and call them good or bad. The days were what they were. Most of them are better left buried.

Me: Can you tell the people back in the capital a little of what you do as a Blackwing captain?

RG: If people are fortunate, they never need to see, or know what Blackwing does, but there are a lot of unfortunates out here on the Range. Not every soldier is good, and not every man is a man. Blackwing is tasked with rooting out the sympathizers that side with the enemy, military deserters, the Cult of the Deep, the Brides that corrupt men’s minds, that kind of thing. If it doesn’t belong here, it’s the captain’s job to find it and neutralize it. Continue reading “Ryhalt Galharrow (of Blackwing by Ed McDonald)”

Katrisha (of Order & Entropy web-series, by K. Quistorff)

Dear readers, tonight with us is an a young mage from the distant occidental land of Avrale – one of the smaller, more secluded nations of the former Empire.

She’s here to give us a unique view of life on her world.


Could you tell us your name?  Seems someone forgot to include it.

Oh, sorry about that.  Probably just Mercu being clever.  He likes to make opportunities for me to introduce myself.  I am Katrisha, daughter of the moonlight and the winter frost, mage of Avrale, and a woman of…a certain faith.  Sorry to be elusive, it’s oddly problematic. I am however a little weary of these games, and you seem like the sort who might appreciate the truth of things, even when hidden in plain sight.

Is that a title?  The bit about moonlight.

Honestly, I’m not sure.  It’s Sylvan in origin, and something my father used to call me when I was very little.  I don’t quite remember the Sylvan phrase for it. ‘Lunka,’ I think might be their word for moonlight, but that’s about all I can remember.  Father would call Kia, ‘daughter of summer glades, and the passing storm.’ Mercu loves to encourage us to use them like titles. Says it sounds properly mystical for young twin mages in training.  Which is a bit silly really, mages don’t generally care for mysticism as a rule. Still, it reminds me of father, so I guess I have my own reasons.

Continue reading “Katrisha (of Order & Entropy web-series, by K. Quistorff)”

Tyir (of The Thousand Scars, by Michael R. Baker)

Dear readers, it took us a while, but we were able to secure a meeting with the legendary necromancer Tyir of Irene. We sit in the chambers of the Jaal of Valare himself, where Tyir called a servant over to bring us iced milk sweetened with honey.

He’s here to tell us about the dark and disturbing forces that shaped him to the necromancer he is today.


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

Hah! What was it like there? Do you really want to know? It was a shitehole. Miles upon miles of poverty, rocks and shite fields where nothing could grow. Irene was the wasteland where the refuse of the world was sent to die. No wonder so many people emigrated north. I was very young when my family joined the latest band of refugees.

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

Toys? Do you really think I had toys as a child? It’s as if you think I had a happy childhood. Most days we lived off crushed acorn paste, which tastes like dying shite, my friend. I do recall making a friend with a rabbit, once. That happy relationship lasted for just a day, before my father chopped it up for our rare meal of meat. It wasn’t the worst relationship I’ve ever had.

So….what do you do, if it’s not being a good-hearted soul?

Please, I’m pretty well known for my kindness. Just ask the Pharos Order, the Quellion family…the two thousand odd Order soldiers I’ve killed during the Sorn Rebellion…the Redure quisling scum…okay. That was meant to be a joke.

You could say I am a sculptor of man. I like studying, you see. There is so much knowledge trapped in the bowels of the underworld, laws that we cannot understand because the only ones who did understand it were dead centuries ago. If only the Order were so willing to accommodate that, but they have less intelligence stuffed into their one brain cell then Horse does when he’s on a good day. I also enjoy cutting up dead bodies and finding out how they work. I’m known as the Peddler of Flesh. If I did not know how bodies work, I would make an even poorer necromancer then I do already. Continue reading “Tyir (of The Thousand Scars, by Michael R. Baker)”

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