Battle of Chaeronea, Beyond Sanctuary, Beyond series, Character Interviews, Fantasy, fantasy series, Fantasy world, Janet Morris, mythic, Niko, Nikodemos, Sacred Band, Sacred Band of Stepsons, Sacred Band of Thebes, Tempus, Thieves' World
Welcome to Nikodemos, of the Sacred Band.
Tell Us About Yourself
Name (s): I am Stealth called Nikodemos; Niko to my friends.
Age: How do you mean? I have spent five years in the City at the Edge of Time, where time doesn’t pass, and lived now and again on Lemuria, where the Band is based, and where mortals do not age. When I joined Tempus’ Sacred Band with my first partner, I claimed twenty-five years, not quite true, but I’d already been a right-side partner for nine years. I have served sixteen years with the Stepsons. So, thirty-seven, perhaps, as mortals count time.
Please tell us a little about yourself. First I should tell you that I answer your questions only at my commander’s order. I’m overall second in command and hipparch, or cavalry commander, of the Unified Sacred Band of Stepsons. I manage our prodromoi, our skirmisher light cavalry, as well as heavy cavalry. I am a committed Sacred Bander, right-side partner of our commander, Tempus, called the Riddler, the Black, the Sleepless One, Favorite of the Storm God. I am also a secular Bandaran adept, initiate of the mystery of Maat. I’ve claimed Enlil when I have needed a tutelary god. These days, the goddess Harmony calls me her own. I’m not a man for words.
Describe your appearance in 10 words or less. Tall, but shorter than Tempus. Hazel-eyed. Dark-haired. Fit.
Do you have a moral code? If so what is it? The Sacred Band Ethos guides me. I am still learning what the Riddler has to teach. I strive for balance in all things. Stepsons should want neither too much to live nor too much to die. To serve with the Band requires unflinching determination; unwavering devotion – to one another, to honor, to creed. I’m Bandaran at my core: venerating the elder gods, but worshiping only the god within. The Band says, ‘Life to you, and everlasting glory.’ I don’t ask destiny even that much. Only to be useful while I live.
Would you kill for those you love? I have. I do. It’s what I am: a fighter. I told you: My mystery is maat, one of seeking balance and equilibrium, truth and justice. On occasion, I am justice incarnate, when justice must be dispensed with a sword.
Would you die for those you love? I am a Stepson. So, of course. If you are really asking about my being immortalized by Harmony, I will tell you only that what is between me and the goddess is ours alone, not yours to know.
What would you say are your strengths and weaknesses? We are all weak, even those of us, like my commander or myself, who’ve been immortalized by some god or goddess or touched by sorcery. I’m a Bandaran fighter. I have a calling: I take my strength, my mystery, my spirit and my skill out into the World and challenge its evil until it wears me down. Then I return home to Bandara or lately to Lemuria, restore my internal equilibrium, and do the same again.
If I must confess a flaw to you – and only the gods know why – it would be that I ask too much, not just from others, but from myself.
Do you have any relationships you prize above others? Ah, the women. Everyone asks about how a Sacred Bander can love so many women. It’s a soul that calls me, not the size of breast or buttocks. But yes, I love women as well as men and horses, and the sun that’s new every day, and weather on the wind. Without love, how can a man live fully the life that the gods bequeath?
My relationship with my commander is most important: love without limits, wisdom beyond price; leadership is what he teaches, and commitment beyond measure. I know I’m imperfect, still young in his sight, still balancing my rage. More now than ever, since the goddess Harmony touched me, I need his guidance.
And there’s Harmony. That this goddess favors me, gave me that great horse, is beyond my ken, but she’s goddess of the Balance, after all.
Above all else come my brothers of the Sacred Band.
And Randal, although he’s a mage and a shape-shifter, was once a partner to me and still like a brother: not every man is alike in mind, and differences define us all.
Do you like animals? I love the Band’s Tros horses, and the horses we bred up in Free Nisibis, and the black horse the goddess gave me. Love is vulnerability, you must understand: love comes at the risk of grief. I’m careful how much vulnerability I court.
Do you have a family? More than one: The Unified Sacred Band of Stepsons; Bashir and the free men of Nisibis; the adepts of Bandara.
Can you remember something from your childhood which influences your behaviour? Too much suffering, too much death. Terror in war. Slavery and sorcery. And then a left-side leader who loved me and made a man of a foolish boy.
Do you have any phobias? Witches. Warlocks. Arrogance. Stupidity. Stupidity kills more than all else.
Please give us an interesting and unusual fact about yourself. I was courted by the entelechy of dreams who gave me a charmed panoply forged in hell itself. I was stalked by a witch. The Greek goddess Harmonia is my current lover. Pick any one.
Tell Us About your world
Please give us a little information about the world in which you live. These days I live with the Band. Lately we’ve been in Thrace. When we’re not campaigning, we billet in Lemuria. There the Riddler’s sister rules with unchallengeable power from behind its sheer seaside walls. From there we fight where the commander and his woman send us, anywhere in space and time – past, future, other realms.
Does your world have religion or other spiritual beliefs? So many. What’s between men and gods powers all. We fight in theomachy, too often: Tempus is Favorite of the Storm God, so we fight a lot of wars.
Do you travel in the course of your adventures? If so where? Where? Sometimes, a world away. Wherever Cime, the Evening Star of Lemuria, decrees. To places decoupled from time and space, like Bandara or Meridian or the City, or Thrace. We’ve been places others only dream of. We fought in a future so far away that the seas were dead. We fought in a place so primitive ancient beasts walked the earth. Sometimes we slip through gates between dimensions… I’m a simple fighter. Ask Tempus and Cime these questions, not me. We go where he leads, we fight where he puts us.
Name and describe a food from your world. Nisibisi blood wine, made with bullock blood. Possets of watered wine with cheese and nuts and barley.
Does your world have magic? If so how is it viewed in your world? You jest. We fought a war for more than a decade against sorcery, thought we’d won it, but now fight the mages yet again, in other realms.
What form of politics is dominant in your world? (Democracy, Theocracy, Meritocracy, Monarchy, Kakistocracy etc.) An intellectual said we are timocrats. What that means, I don’t know. We fight for honor and our commander, not place or race national goals. Dominant in our world are fools and kings and reavers and their sorcerous allies, who scheme under any name that will give them total power. They try to seize control of everything and everyone.
Does your world have different races of people? If so do they get on with one another?Races vie for power. People hate anyone different, then deem them soulless, then try to wipe them out. Tempus says that, absent reason, men will fight over eye-color, hue of skin or heavenly affiliation.
Name a couple of myths and legends particular to your culture/people. We have no myths, except perhaps the one that says no nation can lose if Tempus and the Band fight on their side. We have truths and realities, sometimes long forgot, and often twisted, that fools think are myths, going back to the time of Gilgamesh.
What is the technology level for your world? Tempus and his sister have the Lemurian windows, to take you anyplace in space and time. We use repeating crossbows; some forged iron, some poor steel, some bronze, but well forged bronze still bests iron. We have naphtha and poisons, great ships and more. But what difference: it’s the man, not the weapon, that wins the day.
Does your world have any supernatural beings? Supernatural? Like the entelechy of dreams? Or do you mean the gods? Jihan, the Froth Daughter? Witches? Sorcerers. Some mainlanders say that we Bandarans do the same as sorcerers, just under another name. Mystical creatures? Of course. Naiads. Erinys. We have devils, demons, fiends, snakes that change shape, giant vipers and rocs and eagles. Don’t you? We have zombies, vampires, necromants; even a ghost horse, Straton’s mount. And our warrior-mage Randal, one of our bravest fighters, can become a dog or an eagle when he must…
Author notes: Novels(s) in which Nikodemos appears.
Beyond Sanctuary (1985), (2013), Janet Morris http://www.amazon.com/Beyond-Sanctuary-Sacred-Band-Stepsons-ebook/dp/B00GU0FPDG
Beyond the Veil (1985), (2013), Janet Morris http://www.amazon.com/Beyond-Veil-Sacred-Band-Stepsons-ebook/dp/B00GU0FIG0
Beyond Wizardwall (1986), (2013) Janet Morris http://www.amazon.com/Beyond-Wizardwall-Sacred-Band-Stepsons-ebook/dp/B00GU0FH6G
Tempus (1987), (2011) Janet Morris http://www.amazon.com/Tempus-Sacred-Band-Stepsons-Tales-ebook/dp/B00BI175EY
City at the Edge of Time (1988), Janet Morris and Chris Morris
Tempus Unbound (1989), Janet Morris and Chris Morris
Storm Seed (1990), Janet Morris and Chris Morris
The Sacred Band (2010), Janet Morris and Chris Morris http://www.amazon.com/Sacred-Band-Janet-Morris-ebook/dp/B00AMLKJAI
The Fish the Fighters and the Song-girl (2010), Janet Morris and Chris Morris, http://www.amazon.com/Fish-Fighters-Song-Girl-Sacred-Stepsons-ebook/dp/B007VQIJFY/ref=pd_sim_kstore_2
Nikodemos also appears in Morris & Morris Sacred Band of Stepsons stories set in the Thieves’ World shared universe, including:
“Wizard Weather,” Storm Season, Ace 1982
“High Moon,” Face of Chaos, Ace 1983
“Hell to Pay,” The Dead of Winter, Ace 1985
“Power Play,” copyright (C) Janet Morris, Soul of the City, 1986
“Pillar of Fire,” copyright (C) Janet Morris, Soul of the City, 1986
Author name:Janet Morris
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