To celebrate the completion of the Enslaved Chronicles, I decided I needed to get around to this long overdue character interview with Aven! I’ll post Miara’s later this month, so comment if you have questions for her! This takes place between Mage Strike and Star Mage, so if you haven’t read Mage Strike yet, spoiler warning! If you’re new to the series, get started with Mage Slave and come back after Book 2!
Well, Your Highness, you’ve been through a lot over the last month or two. Can we have a few moments of your time for Ye Olde Akarian News?
Ye olde what?
News. Sort of like the town crier, except we write things down.
Do you post it somewhere, then?
We make a lot of copies. A lot of them.
Isn’t that a little tedious? Doesn’t your hand hurt?
Not at all, I assure you. We have interns.
What are interns?
Young apprentices who help out for little to no pay.
*frowning* You understand slavery is forbidden in Akaria.
Of course, Your Highness! They’re all volunteers.
Sure, they are.
What? Why are you looking at me like that? News Papers are a trend! It’s going to catch on any day now!
Uh. I’m a little busy—there’s a war under way, you know, and my father—
It’ll only take a moment. The Akarian people are burning to know more about you! We also brought these apple dumplings?
I guess I do need to eat.
Surely you have some things you’d like to say to the Akarian people.
All right. Ask away. And three dumplings, please.
Let’s get started. First question. Do you have a favorite fruit?
That’s what Akarians want to know about me?
We thought we’d start you off easy.
Um, well, apples, I guess. There aren’t a ton of shelf-stable fruits in Estun. And you can put them in dumplings.
Okay, well, that’s kind of boring, but everybody loves apples, I guess.
I have some more important things to—
Next question! Do you have a favorite of these magical spells we’ve been hearing more about?
Oh, that’s a tough one. *buys time taking large bite of dumpling* Lightning is hard to discount. Starting fires could keep you alive in some pretty dark places. Does it have to be a spell that I can do?
Uh—no, I guess?
Then healing would have to be my favorite spell. There’s so much good it can do. I’m jealous of that one.
Next question. Do you believe your newfound magical abilities will help or hinder your ability to rule effectively? And why do you think so?
I don’t think it should make a difference. I’m still the same person I’ve always been. The law is still the same. Akaria is still the same. Magic shouldn’t make a difference.
But healing, lightning, fire—these seem pretty powerful. You don’t think they could strike fear in the heart’s of Akaria’s enemies?
Like Kavanar? Not, exactly no.
Well, what about your political enemies within Akaria?
Uh… *eyes widen* I settle disputes based on what is right and fair. What’s the law. Not who I can set on fire.
And that’s certainly why so many hold you in such high esteem. Moving on… You seem to have lived a fairly lonely life. Do you think you and Derk could ever be friends?
I’ve had my brothers. It’s been my choice to focus on working and trying to find a wife.
You’re dodging the question.
Derk’s an ass.
But is he an ass you could be friends with?
Ask me again when I’m married.
Will do. Beer or wine?
Next question. With both nations under new leadership, is there a chance that diplomacy and negotiation could cool hostilities between Akaria and Kavanar? Or is war really the only option?
Diplomacy. Negotiation. You know, talking to each other and working things out.
Oh. Hmm, let’s see the first time I tried talking it out, I was tortured with a hot poker. That doesn’t bode well to me.
That sounds terrible. *leans forward, looking delighted* Can you tell us more?
You’re a little sadistic, you know that? I’d rather not.
I guess that’s fair. But if you were to meet with Kavanar on even terms?
There are no even terms. They’ve got five hundred mages, and we have a dozen. Also, in order to negotiate, you have to have something that the other party wants that you can trade. We don’t.
And what does Kavanar want?
I’m pretty sure they just want me dead. And to take all our land, enslave all our mages, and probably move on to Takar. None of those are things I’m willing to barter with, as you might imagine.
Oh. Uh, I see. Are you sure you can see no other options for a diplomatic resolution?
I suppose I could marry the newly widowed Queen Marielle. *raises eyebrows* Somehow I don’t think that’d be a satisfactory solution for pretty much anyone.
But if it could bring peace and save lives—
SHHH. By the gods, don’t give my parents any ideas.
But don’t you think there could be—
And this interview is over. Thank you for the dumplings!