Here’s the first of one of the new-style interviews – Good cop/bad cop. These feature enemies, or even a couple of protagonists that don’t get on. So you get to meet the good guys AND the bad guys:) I thought I’d try it out on two of my own characters.
Names: M’alia Erlis – elven sorceress of Ilthendra.
You may call me Commander Hendrick – Order of Witch-Hunters
Q1 Why are you on this adventure?
M’alia: We left Ilthendra to find the heir to the House of Light; the ring of light had been returned and the Mirror of Watching sang. We could not believe the prophecy had come to be.
It was supposed to be an honour. Our grandfather was the last Eltenda to the Shining Citadel of Lor Ar’thinis and we thought we could find it with the heir’s help. We thought we could regain what had been taken from us. The City of Light has been lost for centuries – but magic is complex, it is mysterious and it has its own path and way. Just perhaps the Shining Citadel could be returned, perhaps the Lady of the Light could bring us freedom.
We are elves – we are nothing but slaves and we have no rights, our history is nothing, our culture is in ruins. We bring the Plague and the magic that corrupts goodly folk. At least that is the official line.
The elves of Ilthendra believed we were remote, we were safe. Complacency kills. Ignorance kills. But hope, now hope keeps you alive. It’s all I have now. It’s all any elf has.
From the group who left Ilthendra only myself and my sister remain. Our companions were tortured and executed. I will never forget their screams. I am a prisoner in this fort, and my twin, Th’alia, has been sent with the Witch-Hunter to trap the heir and deliver the whereabouts Citadel to the Order of Witch-Hunters. I fear for my sister’s safety, she is not strong and I do not know if either of us will survive this.
Hendrick: This adventure as you call it is my duty! I am a Commander in the Order of Witch-Hunters and my word is law in this land. These elves dare to think they have rights, they wish to seek this magic town, and regain their riches and their filthy magic. Elves are nothing more than slaves and magic must be eradicated! This city and its wealth will fill my coffers, um the Order’s coffers. That elven witch is wrong – the elves have no hope.
And then, of course, there is the defeat of the Archmage Lord Archos of Tremellic. He is the lover of this elven sorceress they seek. His demise will ensure my promotion. That bastard has been trouble to the Order for years; yet he wields power and influence, one cannot simply walk into his domain and arrest such a man on rumours. That man is clever and rich he pays bribes and sweeteners; no one dares touch him. I know my duty – he does not frighten me like he frightens the rank and file. He is just a man and men can be killed. He’s a filthy mage and all mages will fall to my magebane sword.
Q2 who is your nemesis? Why is this?
M’alia: I am a forest elf, therefore in the eyes of the Order I am a slave. I am a mage too and my existence is forbidden. Here and now I am a pawn. The Order is my nemesis…
Hendrick: Mages. Everyone knows magic brings the Plague. The elves almost brought mankind down, with war, disease and magic. The price they paid was high but well-deserved. Humans are the rulers now – and magic will be tamed.
M’alia: Magic will never be tamed; you’re like the others – you do not understand. Magic is everywhere, it is wild and will not be enslaved. The Order has ruled for centuries but still magic finds a way.
Q3 at your final showdown what are your plans (promise we won’t tell).
M’alia: if by some blessings of the gods I still draw breath I will fry that evil bastard. I will not forget my treatment, what I have been forced to do, or the death of Elfkind at his hands. I will not go quietly. If I must burn this place and all in it I shall.
Hendrick: Pah! You think I fear an elven mage half my age? I have killed far greater than you, witch. Soon you will cease to be of use or entertainment to me.
As for that bloody Magelord Archos of Tremellic, I look forward to the day I can sink my Baneblade in his vile hide. All mages fall to Banecrystal – he will do the same. I have a whip studded with it; there is little more satisfying than flaying the magic from a mage.
Q4 define a hero.
M’alia: A hero is one who will put themselves before others, no matter the cost. One who will do what others will not, dare not. A hero will free others even if that freedom costs him all.
Hendrick: A hero is a man who sticks to his duty, who will sacrifice popularity for doing what he thinks is right. Reluctantly I agree with the witch – a hero is one who will do what others will not.
Witch-Hunters are not popular, those who rule by arms rarely are. We protect the greater populace from the perfidy of magic, from the risk of the Plague, and from themselves. Freedom is not a commodity peasants and elves can be trusted with. The Order brings peace – there have been border wars, and occasional rebellions but the Great Wars of Old are a mere history lesson. A hero brings peace whether it is wanted or not.
M’alia: It is not peace, it is tyranny. What value is peace if it beneath an iron fist? What value has peace to the slave?
Q5 define a villain.
M’alia: *Looks at Hendrick. A villain is someone who uses others for his own ends, who takes away the rights of another, and who causes harm simply because he can.
Hendrick: A villain is one who defies the law, who harms innocents and threatens the peace.
Q6 why do you think the other person is on the path he or she is?
M’alia: Hendrick is greedy and cruel. He wishes to subjugate the elves and take what remains of our culture. He wants the wealth and honour. He believes he is right. He is wrong.
Hendrick: *Shrugs. Why should I give a damn what motivates elves? They have hope, apparently, but like all elven filth that will come to nothing. They have nothing, they are nothing. Let the elves and mages find this magic city – then it will belong to me, to the Order. I am the Order.
Q7 what are your feelings about the other person?
M’alia: You need to ask me that? How do you think I feel about him?
Hendrick: I do not care what witches think of me. I am their scourge. Do I care for this elf? Don’t be ridiculous, I care no more for this one than any other piece of property. She serves to satisfy my lust, and is a means to get the Archmage and his friends. She has knowledge that I require – beyond that she is nothing. If I want a woman I can take one – I have no time or inclination for the burdens of marriage. One elf is much the same as another.
Q8 where will you be 10 years from now?
M’alia: Most likely dead. If I am not perhaps at home in Ilthendra, with my sister and my friends.
Hendrick: I will be promoted to High-Commander. I will have power, wealth and glory for serving my land.
Q9 do you have anything you’d like to say to your nemesis, that you may not get the chance to say when you meet?
M’alia: My nemesis is all Witch-Hunters. I will say this: Elves are not property, magic is not a creature to be tamed. Both are free, both exist despite the Order. The more magic is subjugated the wilder and craftier it will become. Magic is, has been and always shall be. The elves were once great and can be again. Freedom is relative.
Hendrick: When I meet the Archmage I will ensure he knows the might of the Order and the right of the Order.
Q10 why should readers believe YOU are right?
M’alia: Why am I right? I did not claim to be right, I simply say elves and mages are not ‘wrong’ simply for who and what they are.
Hendrick: The Order of Witch-Hunters uphold the law, the peace and the safety of the people. It is our right to remove those deemed a threat. Elves brought the Plague which almost destroyed the human kingdom, and still they bring their nefarious ways. Magic is dangerous! It’s perfidy creeps in good people and turns them bad.
M’alia: That’s a lie! Magic is like any other skill or weapon – if the user is bad then it will be used for evil. Magic heals, it sees what others cannot, it brings learning and joy. If it is hidden, and it’s practitioners have to live as outlaws it’s no surprise they must commit a crime. One whose very existence is forbidden has no recourse to law to protect them.
Hendrick: The law is right, it cannot be other.
M’alia and Hendrick appear here:
The Shining Citadel – The Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles – Book II
Who rules in this game of intrigue where magic is forbidden and elves enslaved? Journey where beliefs shatter like glass, truth is unwelcome and monsters from ancient times abound: share the romance and revenge, magic and passion, and the wages of greed in a world of darkest fantasy. (18 age rated).
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