Posted in Cut Scenes and Fun Extras | Posted on 20-04-2014|
As many of you know, Amaranthe, Sicarius, Sespian, Maldynado, Tikaya, and several others have been dealing with a few… troubles of late. After the events of the Forged in Blood books, everyone expected a long vacation, but transitioning from an empire to a republic is a difficult business, and there have been a few… incidents.
It’s a little early to go into the specifics, but I’ve managed to pull aside one of the key players in these events, the former emperor Sespian Savarsin, to field some questions. I tried to get the notorious assassin Sicarius to join in the interview as well, but after our last chat together, he was oddly disinterested in speaking with me again. I believe you’ll find Sespian’s point of view interesting, however, and with the help of a number of citizen journalists on my Facebook page, I’ve put together an interesting list of questions for him.
**This interview contains spoilers for earlier books in the series and is recommended for those who have read through Forged in Blood 2.
LINDSAY: Greetings, Sespian. Come in. Sit down. Thank you. You’re already being more amenable than your father was in his interview. I appreciate that.
He glances around the room.
LINDSAY: No, no. I was referring to an interview from a couple of years ago. As far as I know, he’s not around. Please feel free to answer your questions openly and honestly.
SESPIAN: Of course. I would do so no matter who is in the room.
A concerned frown crosses his face.
The questions aren’t going to be about him, are they?
LINDSAY: It’s possible his name comes up from time to time, but, no, these are about you.
SESPIAN: About… me? Wouldn’t people be more interested in hearing about recent events in the capital? Or about the transition from empire to republic, as seen by the emperor-turned-common-man? Perhaps some speculation on the future of international relations with the enemies we now seek to make peace with?
LINDSAY: Uh, it’s possible something like that will come up. Not… likely, but possible. Shall we start?
SESPIAN: Suspicious squint. All… right…
LINDSAY: Good. Oxalis asks, “You took Sicarius’s hand at the memorial for Books. That seemed to mark a turning point in your relationship. Did you have a chance to follow up on that before he and Amaranthe left on their vacation? If so, how did that go?”
SESPIAN: That evening… I believed that my father, whether he shows his feelings or not, considered Books a friend, and I wished to express my empathy. I also felt the loss of the professor, though I did not know him as well. It seemed a fitting gesture. After that, Father was busy preparing for his trip with Amaranthe. They left as soon as the voting had been completed. There was not much time for us to d anything together, though I confess, we have very little in common, and it is difficult for me to know what to say to him when we are alone anyway.
LINDSAY: Thank you for your honesty. How about a lighter question? Katie wants to know about Trog. Where did you get him, and how did you train him to leave “presents” for people you don’t like?
SESPIAN: I… believe the “presents” are delivered to people Trog doesn’t like and has little to do with my own wishes. Fortunately, he does have good taste and chooses his allies and enemies wisely. I got him from a breeder on the coast, the same one who once gave my mother a kitten from a similar line. Come to think of it, that one may have occasionally left presents too. I’m quite certain Commander of the Armies Hollowcrest cursed that breeder from time to time.
LINDSAY: An interesting line of cats. Next, Rebekah has a question for you: “Hi Sespian! How are you? My sister and I are wondering how weird it is for you to not be the Emperor. How are you adjusting to civilian life?”
SESPIAN: It’s a relief. I was willing to accept the responsibility of emperor when I believed the right—the obligation—was mine, but it was a great burden that always accompanied me. Now, I need only worry about taking care of myself. And my cat.
Granted, I do miss some of the conveniences of having a cleaning staff slipping in and out of my rooms several times a day. Learning to do laundry was an interesting experience. And keeping my little flat clean has been more challenging than I would have imagined. My whole life, I thought I was a fairly tidy person; it turns out there were just people whisking in at all hours of the day, clearing my clutter and putting things away for me. I have recently learned a new-to-me term: dust bunny.
LINDSAY: Yes, authors deal with such things, too, I fear. Here’s a question from Pw Finkle: “You have grown up quite a bit lately. What was the best piece of advice given to you during this time?”
SESPIAN: Well, I can promise you it wasn’t from Maldynado… Ah, let’s see. You may have heard I’ve gone to school to study architecture. I’ve been a little… concerned about public expectations. That people will either have high expectations because I was the emperor or they’ll believe I was a mindless figurehead and not take anything I do now seriously. It’s hard to dismiss the concerns, but President Starcrest told me, “Figure out what fulfills you, do it to the best of your abilities, and don’t give power to your critics by paying them too much mind.”
LINDSAY: Nice, I’m sure that one will end up in a fortune cookie soon.
SESPIAN: A… what?
LINDSAY: Never mind. I think you can only get them in Nuria. The next question is from Cindy. “What happened to that box of art supplies that Sicarius gave you when you were a kid? Did you use that a lot?”
SESPIAN: Art supplies? That Sicarius gave me? I have no recollection of him giving me anything. I rarely saw him as a child, and when I did… I always found it—him—disturbing.
LINDSAY: You don’t remember having some nice drawing items mysteriously delivered to your bedroom when you were a few years old?
SESPIAN: I… He gazes off thoughtfully.
LINDSAY: Next up, Ronmae asks, “After meeting Amaranthe and her gang, you seemed very calm and cool about it, how do you maintain your composure specially when Maldynado is concerned?”
SESPIAN: Maldynado is a trying individual, but I dealt with many such persons as emperor. Unlike so many of them, there’s no maliciousness about him. For all that it took me a while to adjust to the idea of having an assassin for a father, nobody in the group truly offended me. What they think of me is anybody’s guess.
LINDSAY: Sharni asks, “Now that you are getting along with Sicarius a bit better, what things do the two of you do together to bond?”
SESPIAN: …Bond? Er. Thus far we seem to have most to talk about when there’s someone else present, such as Amaranthe. Our private conversations are generally awkward. I suppose if we’re working together to infiltrate an enemy camp, we can get along without too much trouble. Opportunities for such activities are somewhat limited though.
LINDSAY: Kelly asks, “Do you want to continue your involvement in the Turgonian government now that it is a republic and you don’t have to act as head of state? Are you interested in studying the fields of biopolitics or post-colonialism?”
SESPIAN: At the risk of sounding like my monosyllabic father… No.
LINDSAY: All right, I have a lot more questions here from the citizen journalists that I could ask, but we need to get this out in a timely manner. One last one from Ameera. “Did you have friends growing up? If not, who did you spend a lot of time with and what did you do?”
SESPIAN: I had playmates brought in from a short list of warrior-caste candidates deemed suitable. They—and our parents—seemed to think we should shoot bows, wrestle, run races, and practice gouging each other with wooden swords. I wandered off whenever possible to read or draw.
LINDSAY: Thank you for your time, Sespian. Say hi to Mahliki for us.
SESPIAN: Er, why would… she wish to hear from me?
LINDSAY: Oh, no particular reason.
Thanks for reading everyone! Republic will be out within a day or two.