This was written originally as a character interview promoting Rast, my fantasy novel to be released next March. I’m enlarging on it here (well it’s my space, isn’t it?)
CH: Hi, folks. First off, this is me, the author, setting up the interview. To interview the Pythian, one has to descend a long passage beneath the Palace of Rast to the underground chamber where the Oracle resides. Another thing to mention is that the Pythian is given to breaking out into riddles in blank verse. To give the setting, I’ll quote a passage from a chapter in Rast where the Prince goes down to consult him.
<Step after step wound away before him. His feet followed them down and down, around and around, as if the way would hypnotize him. The bronze studs of his boots clacked on the hard stone until there were steps no more, merely a steep sloping tunnel to slip and scuff down into the depths. He descended in a flickering bubble of light that seemed as a globe, drawing him down into a darkened, petrified ocean. And then, all at once, he was at the bottom.
His light became a glimmer in a wide chamber. At the far end two green orbs appeared as from an empty void. “Egon,” came a resonant voice. “What a pleasant meeting.”>
CH: Here we are in the pitch black chamber … don’t become bogged in the thick dust … it’s a bit creepy. Can’t see a thing. Whoops, there are the eyes in the distance, like two green moons.
“Oh, hello. Have I met you before, dear boy?”
CH: Boy? That’s a good one, I’m seventy-one.
“Pshaw. I’m at least a hundred times that. But should I know you from somewhere?”
CH: I did write the book.
“Mere triviality. We are the creatures who inhabit it –.
“Empty pages only blow in wind
“When no spirits reside therein”
CH: I guess you’re right about that. But one thing I didn’t establish in the book was this matter of all magic creatures being connected. How does that work?
“Interests in common
“Common discourse make”
CH: Uhuh … so what form does it take?
“No phone have we;
“We may reside in diverse abodes
“And fixed as mountains or the sea …”
CH: Yes, I know all that but how do you do it … telepathy?
“I’m coming to that. Don’t interrupt.”
CH: Sorry, but I don’t have your millennia to pursue these answers.
“Fault is yours; creator-man.
“Builder of worlds fantastic.
“Written a better self prognosis should you have.”
CH: I didn’t get the chance.
“Then what merit is yours
“Ink bedraggled scribbler?
CH: You took that from a line in my book.
“So sue me for plagiarism.
“Mighty author, what power hast thou
“If a minor character
“Has wit to baffle your designs?”
CH: Okay, already. Characters have to possess the freedom to be themselves.
“So I may choose my answers?
“Foretell or obfuscate
“As I may delight?”
CH: Will you let us get on with the answers if I concede your point?
“Meaning, dear boy?”
CH: You’re right.
“I generally am. Did you come for some advice, or a foretelling of your future?”
CH: You might let me know how many copies of Rast will sell.
“Your pecuniary question is moot
“Since your task is done
“And other eyes and minds will take their route.”
CH: Thanks, I believe I already knew that.
“Oh, think a lot of ourselves, do we?
“Is that the right you claim
“As writer of the book?”
CH: Hmm. Should we get back to this oracle business? What would be the best avenue of book promotion?
“Does a poor magic creature
“Residing in dark, bereft?
“Offer words of value
“For so little consideration?”
CH: Oh, you mean I didn’t bring you your honey toasted roaches?
“Aha, not so dull after all.
“Visit the palace kitchen
“Catch the morsels (plenty reside therein)
“And tender them to me.
“I may answer your question then … or not.
“You see – the future is easy not to learn.
CH: Drat. Here I am on the way up the passage. Sorry I wasn’t able to find out more about the Pythian and his world. Magic creatures are not easy to handle.