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The Protagonist Speaks

Interviews with the characters of your favourite books

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Fantasy

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)”

Augustus Thorne (of A Hybrid’s Tale, by Andrew P. Weston)

Dear readers, with the release of A Hybrid’s Tale, the first novel in The Cambion Journals Series, we are proud to present an interview with one of the most intimidating characters you will ever meet: Augustus Thorne.

Augustus is here to tell us about his existence as a member of the demondim – supernatural creatures spawned following the rebellion and fall from heaven – a scavenging, insidious multitude who have preyed on humankind since the dawn of time. They live among us, in secret, and have steered humanity’s politics, religions, and evolution for countless centuries.  

This interview is set in the present day, and reveals the motives that drive Augustus to do what he does. Kill demons… And the dire situation such a lifestyle places him in mortal danger.

Pay attention, for some of the details he uncovers may just save your life.


Who are you, and where are you from?

My name is Augustus Thorne, and I was born on the 12th of November, 1760, in the tiny hamlet of Bearwood in the midlands area of rural England. My mother, Rosemary was raised in a protective environment by her father, Frederick—the village blacksmith—and his wife, Lilly. Because they were affluent, they paid a considerable sum of money to guarantee an education of the highest standards for my mother, and always ensured she was chaperoned wherever she went. That, together with her natural beauty and wonderfully long golden hair, meant she caught the eye of the son of the local squire, Robert Archer.

Unfortunately, it also resulted in her catching the eye of a monster; a devil in the truest sense of the word. A high-ranking Incubus; my spawn-father, Fanon. It was his arrival that blighted her life and led to my creation.

So you’re over two hundred and fifty years old? Do you ‘age’ in the sense that normal, everyday people do?

Yes, I have lived far longer than any human being could possibly dream of. And while I do age, it’s very different to the concept you’re thinking of. I’m a Cambion, you see, a human-demon hybrid; as reflected in the fact that I didn’t have a heartbeat until I was seven years old. After that, I grew as every other child did, but only until puberty. When that kicked in, my demonic hunger surfaced: the need to feed off human emotions. The stronger the better. And while I can eat normal food, it’s the life essence of human souls that boosts every aspect of my vitality, slowing ageing as a byproduct. And once a member of the demondim reaches physical and mental maturity – about thirty years old – the physical ageing factors slow right down, becoming almost negligible.

Continue reading “Augustus Thorne (of A Hybrid’s Tale, by Andrew P. Weston)”

Sir Ritter of Valkeneer (of The Last Keeper, by Joe Hilliard)

Dear readers, tonight with us is a captain of rangers, from a kingdom facing many threats – within as without. He’s here to talk about a blind boy with visions, an elven princess with a secret, and defending his home.

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

My family hails from a small town called Valkeneer. It sits on the border of Ravenwood, at the foothills of the Dragon’s Breath Mountains.

I live in Castle Valkeneer, but locally the castle is known as “the Bridge.”  The Bridge is my ancestral home, and it rests atop a windswept mountain. It overlooks the crystal lakes and the blue waters of the Gossamer River, which rushes below the castle. In the early mornings, when all is quiet, you can hear the river from a distance, whispering you awake. The tip of the castle is at such an elevation that sometimes the clouds break upon the peaks and surround the town, which is how the Dragon’s Breath Mountains got their name. The locals once thought that the clouds could only come from the nostrils of the mythical beasts. In the winter, the snow gathers in pillows on the firs of Ravenwood. It’s my favorite time to be in the woods. Its purity and beauty are unequaled.

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

Toys? No.

The dangers of the Dragon’s Breath Mountains and the trollborn tribes of the north left little time for games. I guess if I had to answer this truthfully, my favorite “toy” growing up was my longbow. I learned to hunt and defend myself (and my people) at an early age and was taught the life of frontier noble since I can remember.

Although I had little in the ways of toys, we did have many pets. I know that may not be the answer you are looking for but my mother Amandaris is a Raven elf from nearby Ravenwood, and she is a sorceress. The powers of her magics tend to attract stray animals and she passed that on to my sister, Aerendaris and a little to me.

My first pet was my only pet—a war falcon that I named Storm—that found me when I was six. I convinced my parents to let me train with him, and now he rarely leaves my falconhand.

What do you do now?

I am the captain of the Longmarchers, a team of rangers and scouts, that protect the people of Valkeneer and those pilgrims and merchants traveling to and from the Bridge.

The term “Longmarcher” was a moniker given to my rangers by my father, Lord Hertzog Valkeneer, because he felt it perfectly befitted the scouting element of my small retinue of woodsmen. We operate outside of typical military protocols and spend extended periods of time in the field.

What can you tell us about your latest adventure?

I am defending the realm of Warminster from a man known as Graytorris the Mad, a fallen Keeper of the Forbidden, that is seeking revenge on the Cathedral of the Watchful Eye. His sect excommunicated him when he tried to use their vast powers of prophecy for his own purposes, and his Ancient, Erud, the God of Knowledge, cursed him by stealing not only his physical sight, but his powers of seeing the future.

Graytorris has many allies, however, including Baron Dragich Von Lormarck, a man who is in open rebellion from the crown of Thronehelm. Von Lormarck has moved against King Godwin Thorhauer and has brought Warminster to the brink of war. Valkeneer is just a small province in the barony of Queen’s Chapel, but it is a pivotal one. Without the Bridge to guard against the trollborn tribes of the north, Thronehelm and its army may starve over the harsh winter.

I cannot fail.

Continue reading “Sir Ritter of Valkeneer (of The Last Keeper, by Joe Hilliard)”

Constance Nicolette Neethe (from Of Slaves and Exiles, by Margaret Gaffney)

Dear readers, tonight with us is the heir to the Throne of Men — but that doesn’t matter anymore since all humans have been enslaved. She is here to tell us about the immortal overlords, about drug addiction, and about fighting to save the world her addiction makes her susceptible to every evil enchantment.


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

I didn’t get out much. Well, not that I didn’t try. Anastasia was always trying to find ways of keeping me occupied in our little forest cabin. She did have a point there. When you’re supposed to be dead it’s best not to draw attention to yourself, but why not interact a little with your people, even if they’re all slaves?

Where was I? Oh, I grew up in the forests around the Freand estate, a sort of mini village owned by one family and the home of hundreds of slaves and their Curae guards. It wasn’t the most exciting childhood, but the occasional visit to the slave tavern for cards and a drink (maybe don’t mention that bit to Anastasia – she’s my guardian – please?) made things a bit more interesting. I always had to pretend to be a slave to blend in, which was no fun at all, but it was for my own safety.

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

Anastasia worked hard to provide me with little toys here and there, but that didn’t happen often. I would make dolls out of grass – that sounds pathetic now that I say it out loud.

But I suppose … it was nice when Anastasia would brush my hair in the evening. I always complained, but I also always slept better when I’d let her do it.

What do you do now?

I’ve wanted to travel since I was a child. I know it isn’t safe, but I can’t help it. I devoured any books Anastasia ever had the chance to get me, but geography was always my favorite. There’s a whole world out there, and now that Prince Ewan has come to find me and is taking me to Ephaniest? I mean, that’s the main port city for all Verdania! Though, I hope the smell of fish isn’t as bad as the travel accounts claim …

Though, if I were to answer more seriously, I’m scared. I only agreed to this expedition because my companions know I’m scared and that I might not decide to rise to my throne. Asking someone to pick a fight not even their parents’ could win is a big request. Ewan’s told me repeatedly that it’s my choice … I just hope I don’t choose wrong.

What can you tell us about your latest adventure?

We haven’t gone very far yet. I never knew a forest could be so large. Though, we did come across a Curae outpost the other day and … I can’t help but shudder thinking about it. I’d really rather not describe what happened, if you don’t mind. Suffice it to say it left me sick and even more terrified than I was before. Time will tell if going on this journey was a mistake.

Continue reading “Constance Nicolette Neethe (from Of Slaves and Exiles, by Margaret Gaffney)”

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