Inquisitor: “I must say that I am surprised to see you here, Lord ‘Weiss. Is this a voluntary visit?”
Dharromar: I wouldn’t say it is completely voluntary. Commanded is more like it. I had the option of choosing to obey the command or going to prison. (smirks, his eyes devoid of humor)
“Prison? For what?”
King Albero requires all his lords to endure this confessional experience. Being one of his dutiful servants, I am blessed with this opportunity to clear my conscience. Or face prison. Simple, no?
“Ah, I see. Well, let us begin then. For the record, what fae breed are you?”
I am half-faerlin. My mother is from a noble faerlin family in the Eastern Fae Wood, located on the Jorthus continent of Verdaillia.
“And your father?”
Evidently, he was an invader from the world of Quorrelles.
“For whom do you work?”
For myself, mostly.
“How old are you?”
I’m not entirely certain. I believe that I am near two hundred and forty-seven.
“That’s rather specific. You seem older than the faerlin, Keinigan. Is there a reason for that? Perhaps a genetic one?”
This may be a result of my experiences more than my genetics. I have been afforded the repeated opportunities of healing spells. These spellsongs condense the natural healing process from months to hours. It can take a toll on the body. In effect, each time I was healed by the majiks of Jorthus, I was aging in minuscule amounts.
“Does this bother you?”
Not too incredibly. The Fae live a long time, no matter which breed I may be. I probably have another thousand to two thousand years.
“Unless your life is cut short for some reason. What is the one type of death that you dread the most?”
What a suspiciously specific question that is. There are a few undignified ways to die that I would prefer to avoid.
“Give us some examples.”
Being eaten alive. Being buried alive. Public execution of any kind. Of course, most executions are designed to humiliate the victim in some way as he dies or to have some sort of symbolic significance. Why do you ask?
“Have you ever come close to any of those types? Is that why you fear them?”
Fear them? I don’t consider it that. I abhor them, perhaps. I would prefer NOT to die, but I especially prefer not to die in those ways. To answer your question, yes. I have almost been eaten alive before. I’ve seen assassins hung by their ankles, buried in the ground upside down while screaming and thrashing in their bonds. I will confess that it disturbed me to see that.
“I understand. Next question: do you have faith?”
“Alright, moving on. You claim to be betrothed to the daughter of Baron Halsenor, but she is just an infant. Are you honestly betrothed?”
Does it matter? She won’t be eligible for a Bonding ceremony for at least two decades. I have had words with the Baroness, in the past, and she expressed her admiration for me. Baron Halsenor has no objections, but to be truthful here, my answer is… no. There has been no contract extended for that arrangement. It is just a convenient excuse.
“As I suspected. So, do you wish to get bonded in marriage someday?”
“Do you have a ladylove? Or a prospect of one?”
To answer that may cause too many broken hearts. I beg your forgiveness in not answering.
“Too many hearts? You certainly have a high opinion of your … charms.”
Not really. I simply admit that, in my past, I have left many ladies with the hope that we would meet again. Whether we ever do is up to the Emmissars of Fate more so than me.
“Do you believe in true love?”
First, we must establish what love is. If it is passion you speak of, then yes. I do believe in passion. If it is obsession, yes. Love? That is more obscure to me. I remember a poem about love:‘Where lies love?
Somewhere between obsession and loathing.
The place I cannot find.
Where hollow vines steal my breath,
Where the hate beyond your eyes strikes mine.
Where passions bleed, ripped from ice and bone,
Our marrow sweet, combine.
Where lies love, my dear?
Between your death and mine.’
“Interesting. Who wrote that?”
I don’t remember.
I don’t claim to be a poet.
“What do you claim to be?”
(grinning mischievously) A monster.
“Now, close your eyes and react to my words with your first instinct, your first thoughts.”
Close my eyes?
“Yes, please.” (waits as Lord Dharromar hesitates, and then the subject closes his eyes) “Money.”
Contrived mass murder.
“What would you do if you saw … a dragon?”
“Or an ogre?”
(The room falls to silence as Lord Dharromar’s jaw sets and tightens over his words.)
“Answer the question.”
I’m thinking. I’m not sure I have an answer that would not be considered criminal.
“I see.” (Inquisitor makes a note as Dharromar opens his eyes.)
Are we finished yet?
“Alright. Well, I have nothing further for now. Thank you, Lord ‘Weiss, for your gracious contributions. I’ll get back to you at a future time.”
Getting me back in here? Shall we place bets on that? (laughs)