Good morning friends. Today, I have a treat for you. Braeden Drakonin is here. Party hats!
Oh, sorry, you might not know who that is. Rest assured, he likes it better that way. Where he comes from, he’s a wanted man. One king needs him taken alive, another king would really like to put a poisoned blade through him, and then there’s Deirdre, the plucky soul thief ready to sell him to whoever offers her more. No wonder he was so anxious to cross over and do this interview.
Braeden: You summed that up really well, actually. So you’re 100% certain that no one can trace this, right? I can’t have anyone from my world reading this.
WSR: I can say with 100% certainty that I’ve never had a page viewed from Ourea, but I am still building my audience.
Braeden: Ah. You’re a sarcastic one.
WSR: Braeden, you mentioned to Kara that you’ve spent a lot of time in the human world. How long have you been coming here? Do you have any favorite places?
Braeden: I’ve been coming here since I was fifteen, so that’s, what…nine years? Yes, nine. As for my favorite places, I love to sit in bars and just watch humans do their thing. You want entertainment? Go to a bar. Plus, there’s whiskey. Magical stuff.
WSR: Your world is called Ourea, which is on Earth, but in a parallel dimension to ours, and you can cross between them using Lichgates. Kara Magari walked through one to find herself in your world. What can you tell us about the lichgates?
Braeden: No one knows who made the first lichgates, or who founded Ourea, but we have figured out how to create new lichgates. My home, Hillside, is protected by several that we created, so no one can even see the city unless they know where these lichgates are and how to open them.
Lichgates are wonderful defenses because they can be anywhere and appear as anything. I even saw one disguised as a mural on the side of a brick wall in the human world, once. In plain view! I couldn’t believe it, but no one else seemed to know what it was.
WSR: Huh. I’ve seen murals that looked like you could walk right through them. I’ve often been tempted to try it.
Braeden: Careful. They aren’t all lichgates.
WSR: Thanks, I’ll keep that in mind. Now, magic is commonplace in your world. Your people use for everything from heating bath water to forming weapons out of air. How does your magic work? When do children begin learning?
Braedon: Mastering magic is all about controlling the energy in all things around you. You tap into that power and manipulate it to make even inanimate objects move. Or, if you’re controlling the elements, you pull what you need from the world around you. To make a flame, for instance, you tap into the energy in the wood and the air to ignite a fire in your hand.
Children begin learning as soon as they start to walk, really. Small things here and there, like warming the dish water with a flame technique or chasing away weeds from the garden with a root-breaking spell.
WSR: Magic allows you to change forms. You appear as four separate races of yakona during Kara’s adventure. You spend most of your time as Hillsidian, but…the Kirelm can fly; The Losse can breathe underwater. What’s your favorite?
Braeden: That’s tough. I’ve spent a solid twelve years pretending to be Hillsidian, so I can hold that form without even thinking about it. It’s comfortable. But the Kirelm form is incredible! Enhanced eyesight, excellent sense of smell, tuned hearing…there’s nothing like it. So it’s a toss-up for me.
Oh, but don’t tell Kara that. She and the Kirelms aren’t on the best terms right now and I don’t want her to get mad.
WSR: But, in truth, you are Stelian.
Braeden: *Sighs* Unfortunately.
WSR: When you were 12, your mother and Blood Aislynn of Ayavel smuggled you out of Stele. Your father’s not exactly the merciful sort, so why would either take the risk?
Braeden: Blood Aislynn was half-unconscious from being tortured, so she didn’t have much say in what was happening. Mother, though…I think she realized how my father was training me to be like him. I didn’t want that, and fought it as much as I could, but I wouldn’t have been able to overcome it if I’d stayed. I guess she thought giving me a second chance at life was worth risking death, or worse.
WSR: And until recently, Carden, your father, thought you were dead. What gave your secret away?
Braeden: A king—we call kings “Bloods,” but the term is interchangeable—he draws his power from the royal bloodline, which gives him and a single heir incredible power. When he couldn’t conceive another son with the bloodline, he realized I wasn’t dead like he had previously assumed.
WSR: While we’re still on the subject of Bloods, heirs, and bloodlines, what is the daru?
Braeden: Bloods, Wendy! You ask hard questions.
WSR: You wouldn’t want Kara to think I soft-balled you, would you?
Braeden: Fine, I’ll answer.
The daru is, according to legend, the physical embodiment of a royal’s soul. It’s the manifestation of absolute and unimaginable power, and it can rarely be stopped once the royal calls it forward. It’s a frightening thing to behold. I hate mine.
WSR: Kara Magari. When you were trapped together in a cage and drug back to Stele, what did you think of her?
Braeden: Oh man. Now you have me worried that she’ll read this, too. This is between you and me, but I thought she wouldn’t last long. Pretty thing like that? No way. Especially not if she was going to my father’s kingdom. It wasn’t until I realized that she had the Grimoire that I thought she stood a chance, and even then, it was a small one. She really proved me wrong.
WSR: The Grimoire? What is it?
Braeden: The Grimoire is a thousand-year-old book that can answer any question asked of it. It’s powerful, and its secrets are coveted by everyone who knows that the book exists. It was hidden for the last millennia, and now that it’s back, everyone wants it. Including me.
WSR: Me too! Now, the Vagabond plays a very important role to the story. Who is The Vagabond? What does it mean to be a Vagabond? Why is having one important?
Braeden: The Vagabond is the Grimoire’s master. It’s a title handed down from the first Vagabond, who created the book a thousand years ago. Only the Vagabond can read the Grimoire, so he or she is crucial to interpreting and using the book’s magic.
WSR: One last thing, before we go. Your home is Hillside, but with your “brother” Gavin promising to kill off the Stelian bloodline…which is you…where does that leave you? What’s next for you and Kara?
Braeden: Gavin’s parents adopted me without knowing what I am, or who my real father is. I have no idea what I would do if Gavin figured me out, so I have to lay low, play it safe, and hope for the best. I don’t have the best track record with that sort of thing, though.
WSR: I wish you luck. Thank you for coming and indulging my curiosity. I will be picking up the next book to find out how you do.
Braeden: I appreciate that. Thanks for having me.
Everyone, please check out The Grimoire: Lichgates. And click on the banner below for more contest details! There’s one just for people who visited my blog today!