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The Protagonist Speaks

Interviews with the characters of your favourite books

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Swords & Sorcery

Trilisean Conn (of Broken Crossroads, by Patrick LeClerc)

Dear readers, tonight with me are an acrobat turned burglar and a jaded former mercenary. They have been thrown together into an unexpected adventure involving deadly blades, subtle schemes, glittering treasures, dark sorceries and fell servants of forgotten gods. They are here to tell us about it, and of Fate’s sense of humour.


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

Trilisean: I grew up as a slave. I don’t know who my parents were, whether I was taken in a raid or sold as an infant or born to slaves. I have no idea what a normal childhood should have been. Eventually I learned I was being prepared to be sold as a concubine or to a brothel. So I escaped. I knew how to smile and put men at their ease, which was useful, and I knew dancing and etiquette, which would come in handy. I managed to join some traveling performers, learned to tumble and do sleight of hand and throw knives. When we made it to the big city, one of the leaders of the troupe got…presumptuous, so I ran away again. Knowing a bit about disguises and a lot about knives made it challenging for them to find me again. And made my living on the edges of polite society.

Conn: I grew up on a farm until the Jarvings invaded. I fought my first battle at thirteen. Then I spent a few years as a rebel until they finally beat us. I ran off to join a mercenary company, until I realized that I was just fighting for the glory and gain of the men at the top. Figured if we weren’t going back to liberate my homeland, I may as well fight for my own.

What do you do now?

Trilisean: I’m a thief. Don’t look at me like that. It’s true. I like the word “thief.” It’s honest. I’m a very good thief, and it’s hard to take pride in your profession if you won’t even say the word. Euphemisms make my eyes roll. “Acquisitions expert” sound like someone who works in a bank.

Conn: You’ve done some work in banks.

Trilisean: But never for banks. There are limits to my villainy.

Anyway, I can support myself picking pockets, but the bulk of my work is contract burglary. If somebody wants something stolen, word will come to me, and I’ll plan and execute the job. Quite a few come from a fence I know. People will talk to him about a thing they want, and he’ll pass that on to me, taking a cut for his services that he will lie to both me and the client about.

Conn: I’m along to carry heavy things, act as a lookout, and to deal with any guards she might have underestimated, including bloody demonic temple guardians that bleed fire. Just standard soldiering stuff, really.

Trilisean: That made us a lot of money, and you figured a way to defeat it. I had faith in you.

Conn: Aye, well, the prospect of a hideous death if I didn’t was quite the incentive to get creative.

Trilisean: You see? You get to expand your skills and challenge yourself an get paid for the privilege. I really think you should show a bit more gratitude for these experiences I’m opening for you.

Conn: I know I seldom lie awake in fear that I may die peacefully in my old age.

Trilisean: There you go.

Conn: And in between this one trying to get me killed, I run a fencing studio. Teaching swordsmanship and self defense in a city where that’s like to come in handy.

What can you tell us about your latest adventure?

Trilisean: It’s…embarrassing.

Conn: We did save the city.

Trilisean: Working at the request of the Watch.

Conn: Not the Watch officially. Just one sergeant.

Trilisean: But it’s still the law. And we didn’t get paid.

Conn: True enough. But at least we didn’t get any credit, either.

Trilisean: Well, that was a relief. And I got my lip split. I’m sure we agreed taking punches is your job.

Conn: But you did get to match wits with a criminal mastermind and come out on top. Expanding your skills and – what was it – challenging yourself and all.

Trilisean: That was nice.

Conn: And you managed to only give the good sergeant half of what he wanted and survived.

Trilisean: That was even nicer. What kind of criminal would I be if I let the Watch dictate terms? If I’m going to do that I may as well just get an honest job. That was just a lesson he had to learn. Still can’t buy much with gratitude. Even less with grudging gratitude.

Continue reading “Trilisean Conn (of Broken Crossroads, by Patrick LeClerc)”

Lt. General Quain Marln (of The General’s Legacy, by Adrian G Hilder)

Dear readers tonight with us are two companions – a lieutenant general, second in command to the general, and an archmage. They are here to tell us about bloody battles, about a world of warriors and magic, and of a war without end.


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

Quain: I grew up in the port city of Halimouth on the southern coast of Valendo. When I got to the age where watching canal barges and ships coming in to dock became dull, Halimouth lost its appeal. Trouble with Halimouth is it’s full of sailors — men. That means too few women to go around and—

Disembodied man’s voice: Just eight heartbeats to start talking about your women conquests. These people are sophisticated intellectuals interested in higher learning. They want to know about Valendo’s snowcapped mountains, the sweeping green valleys, enchanting waterfalls, the history of the Ruberan pilgrim fathers establishing of the Church of the Sun here. They want to know about the civil war that almost happened and the subsequent invasion of the Nearhon army. They want to know about the legendary General of Valendo, Garon.

Quain: Eight heartbeats? You seriously counted eight heartbeats?

Man’s voice: What of it?

Quain: You think that’s normal, to count—

Man’s voice: Shall we get back to the interview?

Quain: Sorry. Anyway, you missed mentioning Valendo’s famous Vale horses. Indomitable beasts but I prefer Ruberan horses. Less hairy, sleek with a much better sense of rhythm.

Man’s voice: Why is a horse’s sense of rhythm relevant?

Quain: It’s way easier to teach them to dance and the way their mane swishes from side to side is enchanting.

Man’s voice: And the relevance?

Quain: It puts on quite a show at the head of a marching arming as I get them singing, and forgetting about the prospect of burning to a lump of greasy goo in mage fire. If they avoid that, it’s swords or whatever necromantic horror Magnar conjures up next. Which reminds me, the Nearhon scout network thinks you’re dead, or at least too sick to function. Aren’t you blowing your cover coming here invisible and gate crashing my interview?

Man’s voice: I might be a lost soul come back from beyond the funeral pyre to torment you for the rest of your life.

Quain: Are you sure I’m the one that would be tormented by that situation?

I’m sorry, I have to interrupt and ask who your unexpected companion is?

Quain: He’s called Jade.

Man’s voice: My name is Zeivite Quarntaker. I am Archmage of Valendo. I would appreciate it if you kept that silly Jade sobriquet to yourself. It’s a girl’s name that thankfully hardly anyone knows.

Quain: What about the five thousand two hundred and twenty-five members of the Valendo army at the last Battle of Beldon valley in 1852? That’s including the ladies of questionable repute, if you take my meaning. Can’t forget to include them.

Zeivite: The one’s that aren’t dead have probably forgotten about it now.

Quain: And anyone reading this interview?

Zeivite: Shut up.

Quain: You will go around wearing a dress—

Zeivite: It’s a robe and—

Quain: It’s very important to your station as Archmage. It has pockets and everything. Because you need somewhere to keep your tea making supplies.

Continue reading “Lt. General Quain Marln (of The General’s Legacy, by Adrian G Hilder)”

Halea (of Torn Apart, by J.M. Riddles)

Dear readers, tonight with me is Halea, a priestess in the service of the dragon goddess, roaming the land hunting demons and sealing tears caused by the Chaos Dimension.


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

I don’t remember much about where I was born, but I was brought to the holy city of Ruinac after my father died when I was quite young. I’m one of very few born blessed by the dragon goddess, Tiamet, which means I’m far faster and stronger than an average human, and I also have the power to purify evil.  That was a bit much for my poor mother to handle all on her own, and it just so happened my paternal grandfather is a cleric of Tiamet who lived and worked in Ruinac, so we joined him, and he mentored me on the path to becoming a priestess. Tiamet worshippers are tasked with fighting the evil of the Chaos Dimension that seeks to converge with our world. As for Ruinac, it wasn’t so great, just a crowded seaside city and it was hard to fit in because there weren’t many children like me. Sadly, when I was about twelve years old, a convergence destroyed the city, killing everyone in it, including my mother, and at the time, I thought it had killed my best friend Varg too. A convergence is a massive dimensional tear that can only be banished by sacrificing the life of a priestess, and let’s just say the ritual didn’t go as planned.

Did you have any cherished memories from your youth?

My fondest memory will always be of the day I first met my best friend, Varg. He was in the form of a wolf when I first saw him, and then he turned into a scrawny little wolf boy and threatened to eat me. Those were good times.

What do you do now?

These days I am an official oath-sworn priestess of Tiamet. Priestesses are given immortality in exchange for serving the goddess. We roam the land hunting and slaughtering demons and using our powers to seal dimensional rifts called tears. The work hours are kind of crazy and we’re not allowed to put anything or anyone above our duty, so no marriage, love, children, or anything else that can distract us from our calling. Kind of a thankless job, but it pays well, and if the demon’s don’t kill you or you don’t get chosen as a blood sacrifice, you get to live forever, so it’s not all bad.

What can you tell us about your latest adventure?

Well, it would seem my long term career plans didn’t turn out as I expected and I’ve been unwittingly thrust into a managerial position for which I’m vastly under-qualified. I’ll make the best of it – somehow.

Continue reading “Halea (of Torn Apart, by J.M. Riddles)”

Corbett (of Rocks Fall. Everyone Dies, by Eddie Skelson)

Dear readers, tonight with us is a wizard. He is part of an adventuring group (because he’s broke), and he’s here to tell us about dungeons, dragons, quests, and bad attitudes.


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

Well I lived in Trestfall with my parents, two brothers Vine and Berek, and my sister, Shana. It was nice I suppose. My father was a baker and I always hoped to become a baker myself, or perhaps an accountant. Unfortunately, when I discovered that I had the ability to mess with the elements and blew my father’s kitchen to pieces I was shipped off to the local witch, Our Sharon, to be assessed. After that it was off to the Elementalists School for me.

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

I used to have a couple of wooden dolls that I would play ‘entrepreneurship’ with. Essentially one of the dolls would come in and ask for a loan to start up his own turnip producing business. The other was an investor who would advise him that there was no money in turnip production and had he considered killing dragons instead. But it would turn out that the investor had a scam running with the local dragon who, being in on the deal, would lie in wait for the former would-be turnip magnate and eat him. After getting him to sign over all his capital to a Hoard Based Currency System that is.

Endless fun.

What do you do now?

Well at the moment I’m involved in a questing group. They are an absolute shower. Andreton, typical warrior, as dumb as rocks, five times as hard and ten times as stubborn. There’s this Ranger, you know, nature type. Noble, brave, clueless. A wretched woman named Daisy, I ask you, Daisy, and she’s a fighter. Watch out for your head, she has a habit of removing them. The Cleric, Valeran, as you can probably imagine has his head so far up his own backside he probably needs an Elixir of Nightseeing just to find his own shoes. And a Rogue, Donalt. He’s always behind you. Doesn’t matter where you are.

What can you tell us about your latest adventure?

So, under absolutely bloody false pretenses I got dragged into this group of sociopathic idiots and now we are faced with angry townsfolk, angry Trolls and angry Demons. I have no idea why but everywhere I go everyone is either very stupid or mad at something, and they naturally take it out on me. God’s save us. Everywhere I go, ‘Why don’t you have a pointy hat?’ or ‘Have you arrived precisely when you mean to? Because you’re bloody late.’ That’s what I get all the time. Look. WITCHES have pointy hats, OK? Wizards can wear whatever headgear they like. And I don’t use a wand either. That’s all marketing. I can point a cake at you and do the same spell.

Continue reading “Corbett (of Rocks Fall. Everyone Dies, by Eddie Skelson)”

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)”

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)”

Remiel Vesarus (of First Words: Final Lesson by Shakyra Dunn)

Dear readers, tonight with me is the sole heir to the throne of the kingdom of Linmus. However, being the illegitimate son of a mage and a human makes life complicated.

He’s here to tell us about his quest to resume the throne and restore his kingdom to its former glory.


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

I was born in the kingdom of Linmus within the world of Adrylis, sole heir to the throne. Linmus itself is rather unique from the nature-inclined world, as we have more industrial landscapes. The castle? Extravagant on the outside, vibrant and full of life due to those that walk along the polished floors, but no different from a prison, at least for me. But that is particularly because of my lineage, and I’m not referring to the royal title.

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

In addition to being a prince, I am what you would call a Bloodlinch, so growing up wasn’t easy no matter how you swing it. A Bloodlinch is the illegitimate child of a prolific mage and an average human, my mother and father respectively. I didn’t really have any toys or games that I liked to play, and my favorite pastime was probably when I got to leave the castle. I was always running away from the servant that was sent to watch over me, and I would hide in the local pastry shop. I got punished a lot by my mother for it, but it was because of that reckless behavior that I later met my best friend Solus. Continue reading “Remiel Vesarus (of First Words: Final Lesson by Shakyra Dunn)”

Flintathriël Eliowën (of The Last Dragon Rider by Errin Krystal)

Dear readers, tonight with me is an elven prince raised to rule and trained to fight. He’s here to tell us about his adventures in fighting dead things, the love he found on the way, and – of course – about his magically glowing tattoos.

Please excuse his excitement, but his book will be released tomorrow (August 9th)! You can join him and his author in the fabulous release party on Facebook.

Let him now speak about his background and upbringing, as well as his exciting adventures. And tattoos, of course.


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

Valatha is the most beautiful city in Thril-Garëw. Buildings of moonstone and crystal. I played as a child near the crystal mines, and on the lush lawns of the palace beneath the crystal spires.

When I was fifteen, my twin sister and I began our Nuvian training, to join the elite warriors. I earned my rank of Nuvian at twenty-four, a year early. Faë still thinks I cheated.

But I suppose you meant what it was like growing up in the palace? What do you want to know? That I ditched out on my studies to play pranks on my sister? That I hid scorpions in my uncle’s desk? That I ran naked through the ancestral hall’s to impress a girl?

Because I never did any of those things. (He smirks)

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

According to Faë, anything that was hers. She claims I broke her first bow, but I swear, it threw itself from the top of the quarry…

You mentioned you were a Nuvian Warrior? Being crown prince, you are allowed to fight?

Of course I fight! I am a warrior and we are at war. Yes, I am my father’s heir, which is all the more reason for me to fight. A day will come when I need to be able to lead my armies, not sit on my throne and send others to die for me. It is not the elven way.

Besides, I have siblings, my parents have Faëlwyn and Thalion should I do something stupid like get myself killed. Continue reading “Flintathriël Eliowën (of The Last Dragon Rider by Errin Krystal)”

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