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The Protagonist Speaks

Interviews with the characters of your favourite books

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Fantasy

Rogan (of Forward Banners, Jamie Powell-McCrae)

Dear readers, tonight with us is a recently ascended prince, here to talk leading his people against ruthless invaders to his kingdom.


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

I’m Rogan, Prince of Blythinia – the central kingdom of Elyria, and younger brother to Rodar.  We both reside at the capital, Blythia, the seat of power of our late father.  It is a pleasant place: a sprawling city atop a hill, that sits both overlooking the upper lake of the River Slow Water and nestled beneath the first marches of the Spine mountains that separate the kingdoms of men from the north and the distant elurons.  Blythia is both rugged yet beautiful, modern yet old.  I’ve spent all my life there, apart from following our father to neighbouring Courlan to visit the Rennes, his – and now our – great allies.  Other than that I spent my three years at the Citadel like all of my rank and birth, learning the ways of war, courtly affairs and scholarly, educated strands.

You mentioned your father; what happened there?

He passed away nearly a year ago.  Unfortunately, I would be lying if I said I was stricken about it.  He and I never saw eye to eye.  Rodar was his favourite son, the very image of him in fact: cock-sure, confident, a talented soldier.  He decided to take Rodar with him to Sacaria during the troubles with the Avonners, whilst I was due to be married off to some merchant’s daughter.  Rodar would rebuke me for saying, but I think things have turned out for the better, despite King Jaime being perhaps the best military leader we need against this invasion plaguing Elyria.

What will you do now in light of your father’s passing and this invasion?

My brother and I will share rule and forego the expected passing of power to the eldest son.  Rodar’s a capable military man and will be able to lead our forces against this new threat.  I have confidence in him, and so too do the generals.  We have mustered all our strength and marched south to meet this invading force of ‘Bronzemen’ as they are commonly called.  The pride of Blythinia has ridden out: the White Lancers, the Retinars, our personal Blue Cloaks.

What has been your greatest achievement?

I suppose it would have to be ascending Retinars’ Rock, the lower peaks of the Spine that tower over Blythia.  It’s the final hurdle to pass into the ranks of the Retinars, one of our elite cavalry orders where any man can join despite his birth or heritage.  There upon that frozen precipice I carved my name into the rock amongst the hundreds who had surpassed me.

And a more recent affair would be the recent peace that was forged with Avon.  It wasn’t all my success, but I played a significant part, and I don’t think I’d be wrong in saying that it was my words at the end when our treaty was looking to fail that saved it.  I think it was a great achievement nonetheless; we couldn’t march to war without securing our western border.

Continue reading “Rogan (of Forward Banners, Jamie Powell-McCrae)”

Phil (of The Rose, by PD Alleva)

Dear readers, tonight we print an overheard conversation between a human protagonist and a millennium-old cephalopod, discussing vampires, aliens, and alien vampires.


Phil, standing on a floor made of water, watched as the atmosphere cracked in front of him. Watched as the crack raced to the right and left. Behind the barrier water tumbled into the space from far away and high above, racing towards the barrier, and rising high overhead, ten feet above him. It was when the water settled to a calm flow that he saw the famed giant cephalopod, Artemis. His tentacles pushing through the water to the barrier between him and Phil. His eyes, large and round and bright white with a black dot for pupils, watched Phil with a stare Phil assumed was both suspicious and intrigued. Phil understood he had to come, but the why behind the reason he was never told. His hands, clenched into fists, shook by his side. He had more dire circumstances to tend to, and this meeting boiled his blood. Having to take part in an interview with Artemis was a waste of time and time was not on his side.

Artemis floated in the water, assessing, scrutinizing, and scanning Phil. When he spoke, his voice was carried across the water and echoed through the chamber where Phil stood, garbled and liquidly was his voice.

Artemis: Did Robyn tell you why I’ve requested your presence?

Phil: Robyn speaks in riddles, so no. (He paused, watching Artemis and how his lips curled into his mouth. Phil cleared his throat). But I assume it’s because of the glimmer and the change in the Akashic record. Robyn is quite disturbed by this change. Do you know who caused it?

Artemis: I have my suspicions. (He pushed forward, closer to the barrier as if the closer proximity would allow him to stare into Phil’s thoughts). Perhaps you already know.

Phil (with a slow shake of his head, his mouth agape): I… I have no idea who changed the record.

Artemis (pushing back, his tentacles flapping in the water): Let us see your mind then. Allow your thoughts to go free. I see you’ve blocked your thoughts from telepathy. Release the barrier. If you are innocent as you as claim than allow me entrance. (His tentacles pointed to Phil’s right). Project your thoughts to the wall. I want to see the past through your eyes. Show us your youth. Where you were born. How you were raised.

Phil (Staring at the ground, gritting his teeth. He turned to the wall, watching as the liquid barrier changed, projecting his thoughts on the watery screen. Saw his birth and the vampires surrounding him and his mother): I was born on an island. Born into slavery.  My mother the same and hundreds of others. Forced to endure, to work in the mines searching for minerals and gold. Forced into bondage, slaves provided for torture. Both Drac and human alike indulged in the desecration of children. Forced to reproduce to maintain their slave numbers. My mother was a beacon of hope during my time there. Unfortunately, she was murdered by the Drac vampires before I was rescued by Robyn.

Artemis: How did he know to rescue you? And after, what did Robyn teach you? What was living like?

Phil: I don’t know how Robyn was able to rescue me. You’d have to ask him. All I know is, I kept my eyes focused on the light, just like my mom had told me. And then he appeared. Took me to the underground where I was raised by him and away from normal society. It wasn’t until I was eight years old that I discovered the human population living above ground. Saw something called a television and on that television were two humans I had seen on numerous occasions on the island. But there on the island they would pat each other on the back, as if they were best friends. But on that television, those same two men were pretending to be enemies. Robyn had said they did so to create confusion and division among the people. A needed commodity for the elite to keep their stranglehold over the population.

(He stepped closer to the wall, watching himself as a child, being trained by Robyn). From what I was told, my education was very different than most other humans. With knowledge and training within science of mind concepts, telepathy, telekinesis, quantum mechanics and alchemy. Including a comprehensive history of our species and our planet, Earth, untold to the humans above ground. I was taught the power of energy, frequency, and vibration. How the universe is a recycling pattern of energy and how the dominant frequency within that vibration slithers into the consciousness of all who live within its vibrational hold. That the balance between the vibrations rages on, and how we, Robyn’s people, were the keepers of that balance. Should the scales tip to far in one favor, the universe can be destroyed faster than the speed of thought. We fight to keep the balance, with the understanding that in order for the universe to evolve peacefully the correct mix of these two polar opposite vibrations are required, with the light capturing the dark in its embrace and not the opposite. Because dark energy has no restraint, it only wishes to consume and that consumption can lead to total annihilation. But perhaps that is what the darkness desires, to destroy the light and remake the universe into darkness.

We lived peacefully and in quiet solitude, except when Robyn called on us for special missions. It was then that he taught me the sacred martial arts of Kobudo Tonfa, fighting with the blades, and the power behind the rose manipulation offering the ability to change chemistry with a thought, move objects with my mind, and suspend gravity. The rose is an all-powerful resource if used and wielded properly.

Continue reading “Phil (of The Rose, by PD Alleva)”

Valentin de Broceliande (of The Signet Ring, by Ellis L. Knox)

Dear readers, tonight with us is the leader of a wandering troupe of acrobats, dancers, singers, and performers of small wonders. In a misty forest and a bizarre twist of fate (or the gods), he ran into our own Felix. We faithfully reprint their conversation.


A cold night. Mist settles over the pine forest, obscuring the thin moon. Two men pass through each other.

“Whup,” one said. “I didn’t see you.”

“Nor I you,” the other said. “Not even as you walked through me.”

“Noticed that, did you?”

“Hard to miss.”

The first man held out his hand. The other reached out as well. Their hands met but did not touch.

“Even harder not to miss, seemingly.”

“This is strange upon strange,” the first man said. “, but we can be strange without being strangers. My name is Valentin de Broceliande.”

The second man raised an eyebrow. “You’re well-spoken for a barbarian.”

“I’m no barbarian, sir. As you see, I am not jabbering bar-bar-bar.”

“Heh. Fair enough. Valens Tine De Bro….”

“Call me Val.”

“I can manage that. My own name is Spurius Vulpius Felix, from here in Egretia.”

“The Lucky Fox?”

“Er, call me Felix, if you please. I like to think I depend more on skill than luck.” He cocked his head. “Your blond hair and blue eyes say you are from the north. What brings you so far south?”

“Magic, seemingly, for I am not so far south. Only in Suevia.”

Felix’s eyes widened. “But the Suevi dwell north of great mountains.”

Val nodded. “Indeed.”

“This has to be some sort of sorcery,” Felix declared, “though I’m not sure to what purpose.”

“Or it’s the work of the gods, and therefore has no sensible purpose at all.”

Felix chuckled again. “We seem to have a similar temperament, friend. Come, let us sit and see what we can puzzle out from this puzzle.”

“It’s a cold night, but this is worth a talk,” Val agreed. “I’ll sit here on this stump.”

“And I on my bench here. You will not be surprised to hear that to me you too are sitting on a bench.”

“No, on a stump,” Val said. “Just as you are.”

They shared another chuckle.

“Tell me, Val,” Felix said, “what brings you to this place … wherever it is?”

“We travel further north, looking for work.”

“We?”

“The Compagnie des Trouvères, a performing group.”

“Ah. You are an actor?”

“Director. I’m the padron of our little troupe. We do plays, but we are also acrobats, dancers, singers, and performers of small wonders.” He paused. “And yourself?”

“I am,” Felix hesitated a little, “an independent investigator.”

“That’s a curious title.”

“It’s an occupation more than a title. I look into … well … wonders both large and small. For a fee.”

“Oh, I see. I’ve done a little of that myself, though not always intentionally.”

“How so?”

“The Trouvères were indeed south not so long ago. On Capreae we recovered a valuable ring for the Duke of Calabria, for which we were paid.”

Continue reading “Valentin de Broceliande (of The Signet Ring, by Ellis L. Knox)”

Lady Hawise (of The Deadly Favour, by Ruth Danes)

Dear readers, tonight with us is a fun-loving, flirtatious young lady, recently widowed and keen to avoid the nunnery. She volunteers to go to Castle Malwarden as a hostage, hoping to make a second marriage afterwards. She is here to tell about a world full of dragons, plots and treachery.


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

I grew up the world on the other side of the void. You have your smartphones, democracies and airplanes. We have dragons, noble houses, and our own religion. Someone who came over through a portal called us pagans and said our religion reminded her of mediaeval Catholicism. I’m not sure how she would know that. I mean, it is 2015 in both worlds, and she could not time travel.

Still, I wasn’t offended, and I understood what she meant. Our worlds are completely different. You have cybercrime and climate change. We have ongoing wars between different kingdoms and houses, even if we all follow the same religion.

The wars dominated my life as a child. Being high-born only partially shielded me. By the time I was ten, I had lost all of my family, and so I went to stay with my guardians as their ward. It was there that I met Bessy, another noble girl orphaned by war, and we soon became as close as sisters. She is my rock.

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

Being brought up as a noble child meant I had plenty of material possessions, despite the wars. I confess I have always loved the finer things in life.

I’d rather not talk about my childhood. There are too many painful memories there. I’ve lost too many people, and it’s never been my way to dwell on anything painful longer than I need to.

What do you do now?

Well, I’m widowed without children, and I want to marry again. It’s just unfortunate that my behavior has given me a reputation for being overly light-hearted and fickle. Fun to flirt with, good to lie with and agreeable to spend time with but not the right sort of woman to settle down with. No sensible man will propose to me, and few people take me seriously.

However, I have a plan to make people take me more seriously, which will increase my chances of marrying again in time.

What can you tell us about your latest adventure?

My latest adventure is a direct consequence of my plan. My house, the House of Lothwold in the Woldsheart, needed to exchange three hostages with our enemy, the House of Malwarden in the Westlands, in order to ensure that a recently-declared truce is kept.

It is customary for children to be exchanged, but the only actual rule is that they have to be of noble blood. By offering myself as a hostage, people will appreciate me more, thus raising my chance of making another marriage. (My absence will also give them time to forget my past behavior).

Continue reading “Lady Hawise (of The Deadly Favour, by Ruth Danes)”

Mr Muller (of The New Age: The Caribbean witch, by Vox Deruste)

Dear readers, tonight with us is an other-worldly spirit, here to tell us about the coming apocalypse where one family must survive— where family drama, trauma, and mythical creatures are just the start.


As the door shined with energy inside it, a figure emerges from it. First a handmade of a noxious white gas. Then from it a unnaturally arm and body, all made up of the same smoke with the proportions of a stick figure. The face was nothing but two orbs of pale, sickly white and a closed mouth that occasionally revealed deathly white teeth.

(shifting the neck in cracking manner) Alright, lets get this interview over with. I have business with a tricksy Indian in Puerto Rico about a staff.

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

(Smirks with a Cheshire grin) I am not at liberty to share that bit of information but I can share other bits. I am the representative of Europa to the America’s. Back in the glory days of colonization I was sent to make sure that the magical elements of the indian’s-

Why do you refers to the American natives by outdated terms?

(rolls his eyes) fine, the natives, I was sent by the leading magical elements to keep things civil. To make sure the mortals war of conquest would not be interfered with. Agreement the Eura-Asian gods had since the days of Christ.

Why?

(shrugs) I am not asked to question but to maintain but think of it this way. If worship is power and the Christian/Muslim god was allowed to fight the other gods directly…How long would the pagan god’s last. We are lucky the Christian and Muslim prefers to humiliate them. Letting them simmer in hate as his worshiper grows.

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

(Muller manifests a sharp weapon, a runic axe that has Norse runes on it.)

I would leave the question of my past behind your prominent thoughts.

(Muller presses the flat of the axe next to the interviewer’s head, and says with cold pale eyes staring into the soul): Unless you wish to know the rage of a Hari.

What do you do now?

As I said earlier its about making sure that the natives give us a fair shake of things. When the magical order of the Pantheons came to the America’s the colonist and native population was split in two. The magical and the mortal. The mortals had their wars and their revolutions while we offered the magical native population the option to keep their traditions and way of life while allowing the colonist to mimic the biggest cities in the magical realms.

In essence, I am the middle man between the city dwelling colonists and rural natives. And the one that prepares the apocalypse on the Europa end.

What can you tell us about your latest adventure?

(shrugs with little regard) It is as I said and to answer two questions, yes. That is my current duty. The world is dying, the humans poisoned the planet and many magical creature want to reclaim the world they lost. When the Christ was resurrected in Rome, magic began to dimmish in mortal realm so it started as survival. Then the Abrahamic god grew in strength to the point of necessity. And now.

(Muller manifest from his wrist a trio of symbols. A star of David, a star and moon, and a cross. He then tossed them up in the air-slicing them all into pieces with his axe.)

We will reclaim it, when the time is right. For instance, when I get my staff after this annoying interview.

Continue reading “Mr Muller (of The New Age: The Caribbean witch, by Vox Deruste)”

Shelta and Loki (of the Roots and Stars series, by Leia Talon)

Dear readers: Tonight, time-traveling musician Shelta Maclean sits down with Loki, Keeper of Lost Souls and Stories, for a candid conversation. Though Shelta doesn’t meet Loki until book two of the Roots and Stars series, he has watched her since the beginning.

Loki leans back in his chair, his dark suit threaded with silver, and offers to trade Shelta a few of his stories for a few of her songs. She agrees.


Shelta: How did you come by your title: The Keeper of Lost Souls and Stories?

Loki: How many names have you collected over the years?

Shelta: I only had Shelta when I started.

Loki: Now, you’re the Song Weaver. And you’re young. Imagine being immortal.

Shelta: What do you do with your lost souls and stories?

Loki: I give them a home. A family. A library. Sometimes, I give them my attention. Sometimes, I turn my attention elsewhere.

Shelta: Like watching me?

Loki: Like watching you, and your family.

Shelta: Do you remember being a child? Do immortals forget, after so many years?

Loki: I remember. Even then, I was always on the edge of things. My mother is Arianrod, Goddess of the Silver Wheel. Frigga tolerates my father’s adventures, but Odin’s lovers aren’t welcome in Asgard. I grew up going back and forth, sometimes here, sometimes staying with my mother. I helped her gather the spirits of the dead and ferry them to the Otherworld. My youth in Asgard mainly consisted of sparring with Thor and devising plots to upset the tedious routine of living in the palace.

Shelta: You started out as the God of Chaos, didn’t you?

Loki: I’ve displayed enormous talent for mischief, yes, but “God of Chaos” lacks scope, and most legends written about me miss the mark. They certainly don’t reflect who I’ve become.

Shelta: You’ve matured?

Loki: I like to think so.

Shelta: How long have you followed my adventures?

Loki: Since you were birthed into the World Tree.

Shelta: You mean abandoned and flung into the future to bounce through foster homes until I was old enough to live out of vans and lovers’ beds, playing music on the street? Yeah. You’d think I would’ve had an easier time of things with gods watching over me.

Loki: You would’ve had a considerably harder time if we hadn’t been. Your mother guided you to Killian. What perfection that was.

Continue reading “Shelta and Loki (of the Roots and Stars series, by Leia Talon)”

Genie, Whit, and Mei (of Descendants of Avalon, by J. Lynn Else)

Dear readers, tonight we are joined by three friends who claim their friend was kidnapped by an evil wizard. I mean, we were supposed to be joined by three friends who are, well, I guess they’re still out looking for their friend? Wait! Something is happening. Yes! A portal is opening. It appears to be made from water. This beautiful circle is expanding on the wall, opening up to–oh my! Lo and behold, we’ve now been joined by three young women. High school ages I would guess. Behind them are lovely trees and a city up in the—no wait! The portal closed. (heavy sigh) Well, welcome guests! May I get your names?

Girl 1: Hi, I’m Genie. Sorry we’re late.

Girl 2: I’m Mei.

Girl 3: And I’m Whit. Hello!


So, portals! That’s an interesting way to travel. Tell us about why you’re here.

Whit: First of all, thanks for having us. We’re all excited for this opportunity. 

Mei: Though we can’t stay long. Beth, that’s our other friend, she’s being held captive. So yeah, Morgana gave us, like, 10 minutes to spread the word.

Genie: Sorry about that. You’ve heard of Morgana, right? AKA Morgan le Fey? Basically, one of the bad guys from Arthurian legend. While I still have my suspicions, she is helping us rescue Beth, so there’s that. She’s pretty strict about things being her way or the highway, and I thought she was going to curse us just for asking for 10 minutes.

So where are you all from? Is it where you portaled from? Oh look, I think I just made a new word. Portaled.

Mei: That is strictly classified. I mean, I’d like to tell you, but.

Whit: We’re actually just visiting there. It’s so pretty in Av–. I mean, that av-idly magical place. 

Genie: Whit is the smooth one of the group, as you can obviously tell. Ouch! Watch the elbows, Whit. Anyway. We’re not supposed to let the outside world know this land still exists.

Mei: I tried to take a selfie, and Morgana zapped my phone. So not cool. It’d better work after we find Beth and go home.

Genie: We’re actually from this small town in Northern Minnesota. Its near Hinckley, if you’ve ever been to the Casino there. The cell phone reception is the worst, but we discovered we have a portal connecting us to a magical land.

Mei: Talk about well-disguised. No way would you guess it’s secret. It’s this old, crusty fountain that we made a wish into. The waters are all orangish and gross. Like you’d never guess it was a magic fountain.

Whit: (whispering) I think they get it.

Mei: (louder) Even if you had a thousand guesses–

Genie: Anyway! We made this wish and apparently an evil wizard now wants to capture us and our wishes. His minions got to Beth. So now we’re on a quest to rescue her. We could use your help, if you could spread the word.

Why does this wizard want your wishes?

Genie: He’s using coins thrown in wishing wells to reforge Excalibur. Basically, he’ll be able to cut himself free from the bonds of his prison and take over Earth since there’s all this dormant magic we’re not using anymore.

Mei: I guess he’s got Excalibur’s hilt, but no one’s seen the blade since King Arthur died or something. That right, Genie? She’s the King Arthur expert in our group.

Genie: You know, Morgana is pretty hush-hush on the details there. Total sus.

Whit: Maybe she’s just misunderstood.

Mei: Watch out, Genie, Viviane may call you arrogant again if you keep on judging Morgana.

Genie: Don’t remind me! So embarrassing.

Whit: Viviane is the Lady of the Lake, by the way.

Genie: Yes, well, Viviane and her friend the misunderstood dark sorceress said this wizard is using people’s hopes and dreams that they imbue into their wishes to reforge the blade.

Mei: So now we’re kicking robes and taking names.

Robes?

Mei: Wizards wear robes, don’t they?

Got it. So what’s the scariest thing in your adventures so far?

Whit: Val’s sword training.

Mei: Morgana’s beady eyes always watching us.

Whit: The bruises I have from Val’s sword training.

Mei: Morgana turning into a raven. She’s like Edgar Allen Poe’s dream girl. Can you imagine what a meeting of those two would be like?

Genie: Seriously, no. It was those Betwixt creatures that attacked us. Twice.

Mei: They’re not scary at first. Stout little dudes with giant puffs of hair.

Genie: They are when they morph into different creatures to try and trick you. And when they have swords they can use effectively. Cause, we can’t use our swords.

Mei: YET. Can’t use swords yet. But okay, you win.

Continue reading “Genie, Whit, and Mei (of Descendants of Avalon, by J. Lynn Else)”

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)”

Erevan (of Sword and Sorcery: Frostfire, by Ethan Avery)

Dear readers, tonight we print an interview overheard with a swordsman-to-be on the eve of a great adventure. He’s here to tell us about friends, family, past mistakes, and the chance to fix them.


Brisk steps tap along the grass as an upbeat man carrying a quill and parchment approaches a young swordman watching merchants unload bags of goods from a wagon.

Palon:  Hello there, young man, would you mind if I ask you a few questions? I’m Palon of the New Longaiya Gazette and I promise you’ll be well compensated for this discussion.

Erevan:  Is it about age? You’re probably used to seeing mercenaries that are bit older, huh?

Palon:  I am indeed. But I was more curious about where you’re from. For that traveling merchant wagon there to have hired you on for protection, it must’ve been a long road.

Erevan:  I’m from Bogudos on the other side of the country. It’s pretty common to learn how to use a blade when you’re still young there. You never know when you’re going to need the skill. But you will need the skill.

Palon (scribbling with quill and parchment):  I see. So you’re saying New Longaiya is a much better place then?

Erevan:  Well, I didn’t say that.

Palon:  So you hate New Longaiya and all its people?

Erevan:  I didn’t say that either.

Palon:  But you do support a culture of violence.

Erevan:  Not at all. It’s just that I haven’t always had a choice. It’s not like I have cherished memories of stabbing people. Swords aren’t toys.

Palon:  How does one as young as yourself become a mercenary anyway?

Erevan: To be honest, I’m not a mercenary yet. But I will be. I’m going to duel my father for his blessing later today, and when I beat him, I’ll be able to officially claim that title.

Palon:  Who’s your father?

Erevan:  Sir Lee—

Palon:  Sir Lee?! Then I think it’s more fair to say if you beat him. My sources have heard of his swordsmanship from three dozen travelers. How is it you and Sir Lee ended up escorting these merchants?

Continue reading “Erevan (of Sword and Sorcery: Frostfire, by Ethan Avery)”

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