Free Bonus Material - Character Interviews from Emperor's Fate
Amid their harrowing journey, take a sneak peek into what it is like for Shylo to be on the run from the Empire. Hear what Jexsanna has to say about her dark side. Be the judge on whether Marxius is simply doing his job as High Commander or playing the political landscape to gain more power. Check out these interviews from several main characters in Emperor's Fate, book one in the Rulers of Tarmigan series.
Character Interview: Shylo Conserra, First Year Trainee - House Didimo
Interviewer: Ross Bud, Rhydarian Times
Dear readers, this is an exclusive interview that you will not want to miss. Recently, I was fortunate enough to go beyond the walls of Perdigon and speak face to face with Shylo Conserra, the youthful first-year trainee who has been accused of playing a crucial role in the Emperor’s Fate. Shylo, or as most of you know him The Didimo Boy, a pseudonym given to him by the Nobles, is currently on the run from the Empire. He stands accused of treasonous crimes. Let’s take look of the transcription that I captured while meeting with this youthful fugitive.
Ross: Shylo, the first question that is burning on everyone’s mind is, did you really do it?
Shylo: What do you think, Ross Bud? I’m a commoner from Florens, a nobody with slim to no connections among the Nobles. I was only in Perdigon for half a year before this all happened to me.
Ross: Some would argue that you fit the perfect profile for someone plotting against the Empire. A nobody who’s managed to get access to all the goings on of Capitol Hill. You were in the Senate’s political training program, you live in a Noble’s Villa near Capitol Hill, and you get to observe what is causing political tension that the Nobles all quarrel about. I mean, you practically commune with the people who are closest to the Emperor. You have means and the potential for accessing the Palace.
Shylo: I’ll say this, it’s going to be hard to convince people I’m innocent without solid proof. Like you said, I’m a nobody who was put right in the middle of everything that’s going on Capitol Hill. I just hope people can see that I have no motive for these crimes and I hope to get back to how my life was before these assassinations.
Ross: I want to believe you’re innocent, but there are many people in Perdigon and within the Empire who want to see you burn for this. What can you tell us about yourself to help readers see you as Shylo Conserra and not, The Didimo Boy?
Shylo: I’m just a young man, of the Commonwealth, from Florens. I don’t have any personal vendetta against the Emperor or his rule. My father served in the Imperial Legions and has built a successful tannery business from his military retirement. My mother is a financial consultant and has the connections that got Senator Didimo to consider my trainee application. I did what most Commoners can’t. I beat the odds to get into the program. Perdigon is how I can build myself up to have a bright and hopeful future. Why would I risk destroying that? I have nothing to gain from the Emperor’s or his successors’ deaths. I’m just a regular citizen who’s been put in an unthinkable situation.
Ross: I’m sure we can all relate to wanting a better life for yourselves. Now, the people want to know, what’s keeping you going out here? We’re beyond the safety of the wall, out here in the wilderness where the dracos and lazgrons are on the hunt. Not only that, but it’s fire season and a single spark could set the forest ablaze summoning the Volurem at any moment. Why take the risk of coming out here when you might hide in the city?
Shylo: It wasn’t my choice to be here. They forced me to flee. If I’d stayed, the mob would’ve killed me. It’s really not my style to be out here in the wilderness. Like most Rhydarians, I’ve only ever lived within the boundaries of a protective wall around a city. I was finally getting used to the plush lifestyle of the Noble Villa, and now… But for all I miss about the city, I’ve found something out here that I never would’ve found otherwise. It’s really changing my perspective on things.
Ross: Wow, that sounds like you have a secret to surviving all this chaos.
Shylo: I won’t give it away just yet, but I’m not alone in this.
Ross: That sounds like you have some help out here. I wonder who or what you are referring to?
Shylo: Sorry, Ross Bud, I won’t say anymore about it.
Ross: Fare enough. Can you tell us what challenges you’ve had to face since being persecuted by the Empire?
Shylo: Like you mentioned, there’s lazgron and draco that are out here, hunting in the forest. So far I have seen no fires and therefore, no Volurem have attacked me, though it’s constantly on my mind. There’s the armed guards and militant forces who are out searching for me. I’m worried they will kill me if they catch me, which is terrifying. And the food out here is hard to come by. I’ve been eating a lot of nuts and berries. We caught a pheasant and ate it.
Ross: I noticed you said, we just now.
Shylo: I mean, me and Chirp.
Ross: Who is Chirp?
Shylo: Chirp is my borca. I found him out here and he’s been a choice companion.
Ross: With a plump furry rodent like that at your disposal, you could have a quality meal at any time. Why haven’t you eaten the borca instead of scouring for nuts and berries?
Shylo: At first, I thought I was going to. I have to admit, it crosses my mind still, but there’s more than just my feelings I need to consider.
Ross: Are you suggesting the borca has feelings you need to consider?
Shylo: I think I’ve said all I can. You just need to experience what I’ve been through to understand. I really should be getting back to finding out how I’m going to prove my innocence.
Ross: I will take your word for it. Before we conclude is there a message you’d like to convey to the people?
Shylo: In our society, it’s easy to be blinded by the vanity of what something with magical properties, like brismil, can bring you. Everyone is chasing after the wealth that comes from militant strength. I want people to know that understanding is where true power lies. The truth is often difficult to see. We’re all faced with challenges in life, mine is particularly unique, but if we can come together, unified by some common cause like social justice, we can accomplish extraordinary things.
Ross: There you have it, folks. Shylo, good luck to you.
Readers, I’d like you to know that I never felt threatened by Shylo’s presence. However, shortly after this interview I was chased by a lazgron. It was a horrifying experienced. The massive lizard was longer than my horse. Luckily, I escaped unscathed. I’m not sure what the future holds for Shylo but I will be monitoring this story closely as it unfolds. From all of us at the Rydenar Times, have a pleasant day and brighter tomorrow.
Ross Bud, Rhydarian Times Investigative Journalist.
Character Interview: Jexsanna - AKA - Number 2841 - AKA - The White-Haired Assassin
Interviewer: Ronan Stillwater, Commonwealth Harrold
Rumors about a new race of Terra person have been circulating throughout the Empire. First, we heard about the assassination of Emperor Jermanus and his heirs, then there were the rumors of a deadly monster roaming the Apgar Forest outside Perdigon. On a recent trip overland from Perdigon to Florens, I bumped into an unexpected character just outside the small town of Yaak. In my brief stay, I managed to grab this interview with the woman whose reputation is rapidly spreading throughout Apgar as being the most dangerous person in Rhydenar.
Ronan: Thank you for agreeing to speak with me today. Could you please introduce yourself to our audience?
Jexsanna: Thank you for speaking to me, most people run when they see me. My new name is Jexsanna. Before, my name was a number assigned to me by the Masters.
Ronan: The Masters? Could you tell us who they are?
Jexsanna: They raised me. The Masters taught me everything I know. I trained day in and day out as they instructed. They made me obey and in turn I was allowed to continue training.
Ronan: What kind of training did they make you do?
Assassin: Fighting the Volurem.
Ronan: You were raised to fight the fire-people of the south?
Assassin: We mostly trained among ourselves to prepare us for the fights the Masters pitted us against with the Volurem.
Ronan: You said, we trained, who were you sparring with?
Assassin: The others like me.
Ronan: There are more people who look just like you?
Assassin: Um, I’d rather not talk about it.
Ronan: Okay, that’s fine. Is there anything else about your background you’d like to share?
Assassin: For obvious reasons, I don’t want to tell you more than you need to know. All I can say is I was different from the rest of the others like me.
Ronan: It sounds like you are a rarity indeed. I want to know, someone with your expertise in the art of combat, what is your favorite weapon?
Assassin: This willow-leaf saber is my weapon of choice, though, I am proficient in any sword, ax, spear, and, well, anything that has a sharp edge to it.
Ronan: It looks to be a fine make, but can that thin blade hold up when fighting, say a Volurem soldier who’s being possessed by the magical influence of a Pyrignum?
Assassin: Yes, it can hold up against incredible pressures when in combat with creatures or forces as strong as a Pyrignum’s magic, or a Rhydarian in brismil armor.
Ronan: Really, you think it can hold up against a thicker sword wielded by a powerful soldier wearing brismil armor, someone who is harnessing the strength of a dragon of old?
Ronan: I would like to see that.
Assassin: Maybe you will.
Ronan: Since you don’t appear to be of purely Rhydarian, Agunzi, or Zethrillian race, I wonder if you share the same aspects of the rest of us, in terms of emotion, morality, and how you live your life?
Assassin: Lately, that is a question I think about often. I haven’t met many people in the Empire outside of the Masters, but it seems like I am just as much a Terra person as anyone. I feel the same emotions and act on them when they are strong enough to get me to respond.
Ronan: In that case, you say being raised in isolation has skewed your outlook on the world?
Assassin: I can’t say yes or no to that question because I don’t know. I only know what the Masters taught me and what I’ve learned since.
Ronan: It seems like you’ve developed a reputation as being extremely dangerous, yet, talking to you now, you don’t seem like someone who would be described as a monster.
Assassin: That’s only because you have spoken with me. If you were coming at me with a sword, then you would have a different opinion of me.
Ronan: Fair point. I assume when you’re fighting Volurem, too, that you may appear different during that heat of the moment, pardon the intended pun.
Assassin: Heat, because the Volurem are people of fire, I get it.
Ronan: How can you be this relaxed when talking about fighting them? Does it bother you when you’re put into a situation where you need to kill?
Assassin: You’re talking about my morality? I didn’t choose this life. It was the one I was given. I have put a lot of effort into surviving. That’s all it is to me. I will do what I need to in order to survive.
Ronan: Including killing.
Ronan: Including killing someone of great importance?
Ronan: Interesting. Do you enjoy fighting?
Assassin: I’m good at it.
Ronan: But do you like it? I imagine it give you quite a thrill.
Assassin: I don’t want to talk about that.
Ronan: I don’t want to make you uncomfortable. I just want to know if you are responsible for what the Empire is claiming you’ve done.
Assassin: I don’t want to talk to you anymore.
Ronan: Wait, before you go. Is there anything you want the people to know? A message of some kind for them?
Assassin: I want the Scaled One to know, I’m coming for him.
Ronan: Anything else?
Take what you will from that interview, but I for one was glad to be putting distance between me and her. It started out innocent and became more concerning toward the end. Whatever fate befalls her, I hope she figures out what she wants.
Until next time, this has been Ronan Stillwater.
Ronan Stillwater, Reporter for the Commonwealth Harrold.
Character Interview: Marxius Ovando, High Commander - Saypo Division
Interviewer: Ross Bud, Rhydarian Times
Dear readers, this is an interview I recorded with High Commander Marxius Ovando shortly after his return to Perdigon this spring. Here is my transcription.
Ross: High Commander Marxius Ovando, what motivated you to embark on your successful political and military career?
Marxius: Who is this interview for?
Ross: The Rhydarian Times.
Marxius: Good day to the readers of the Times. From a young age I was inspired by the great leaders of early Apgar and the military history of Rhydarian Expansion. The tales of glory and honor resonated with me, as I am of Noble bloodlines. That is what fueled me to work hard to surpass the legacy of my father and his father to create a notable legacy here in this great city.
Ross: A well thought out response, indeed. Is there any major political maneuvering or strategic battles that carried you to such a pivotal point in your career to be one of the top advisors to the Emperor?
Marxius: You could say I was born for this role, you could say I’ve had the makings of a top ranking political leader and military strategist from the start, but what I believe I did differently than most Senators, was take on the role of leadership beyond just lobbying and positioning. I am a man of action. I was formally trained and climbed to the rank of Senator quickly in my career, what set me apart was my move into the military shortly after. I have had countless victories with my Legions over the Volurem. Being a High Commander of the Saypo Division is an honor I cherish. Now being a senior member of the Defense Committee and serving as Duke Benton’s right-hand man, I’ve positioned myself to have a lasting role in the Rhydarian Empire.
Ross: So you’re saying you intentionally chose to be Benton’s security detail on the latest supply audit throughout the states of the Empire?
Marxius: I was approached about it when the Emperor was still Duke Benton, and yes, I took the job with enthusiasm.
Ross: I couldn’t help but notice you left out the fact that you share the role of High Commander over the Saypo Division with the famous Commoner, Galterius-Brex. Does that play a role in your success of commanding the Apgar defense forces?
Marxius: Galtrius-Brex is more of a boots on the ground type of leader, where I take on the majority of the leadership decisions for the Sayop Division. I’ve been serving on the Imperial Defense Committee for much longer than Galterius and I have served as a Senator where Galterius could never as he is a Commoner.
Ross: You make it seem as if you’re making all the decisions and Galterius-Brex is just the brute who carries out orders among the ranks. Is that right?
Marxius: That is more or less the way of things. Glaterius’ fame proceeds him in most maters, but he is new to Perdigon and still learning how a High Commander acts when serving in high society.
Ross: Fascinating. You’re truly a remarkable individual, and have accomplished much with your career so far, but not without controversy. Many people of the commonwealth would disagree with much of what you’ve said about Galterius-Brex and advocate that he was closer to the Emperor than any of the other Commanders in the military. Some go so far as to say his role in renegotiating the Agunzi Treaties was a promotion, while your trip to audit the imperial supply chain was a demotion. What would you say to those criticisms?
Marxius: I don’t recall Galterius ever being tasked with leading negotiations with the Agunzi.
Ross: That is what he has been doing since your departure. His presence on Capitol Hill is increasingly prominent. It is the first time a Commoner has filled into a political role that Nobles have the right to take.
Marxius: I don’t have enough information to speak on this matter.
Ross: But you’re co-High Commanders in traditional Agunzi lands. These negotiations are both of your responsibility, if I’m not mistaken.
Marxius: I couldn’t say, I’ve been gone for several months and out of touch with the politics that lead to our late Emperor’s demise. Rest assured that I take the security of our Empire seriously and assign it the greatest importance of my current tasks.
Ross: Are you saying you were not aware of the negotiations with the Agunzi and that Emperor Jermanus didn’t consider you to lead them?
Marxius: That’s all the questions I’m answering today. Unless they are about the successes of Emperor Benton or my victories I have claimed for the Empire, that is all.
Ross: What will you do now with the Agunzi treaties after Emperor Benton has publicly blamed them for playing a crucial hand in the assassination of his uncle?
Marxius: I will serve my Emperor as best I know how. That is all. Good day.
Ross: What will you do if called to wear your brimsil armor to battle?
Marxius: I will don my armor with the majesty of a Nobel and do what my Empire needs of me. I said no more questions. This interview is done. Good day.
Well, there you have it folks. High Commander Marxius Ovando returned from his mission with Emperor Bendon, Jermanus’ nephew and newly coronated Leader of Rhydenar. It will be interesting to see how this political turmoil shakes out in the coming weeks. Stay tuned. For now, I’m Ross Bud, Investigative Journalist for the Rhydarian Times.
Ross Bud, Rhydarian Times Investigative Journalist.
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