What follows is a non-canon interview with Deacon. Though the answers reflect what I believe are appropriate and honest answers now, I may change my mind. The interview and its answers contain SPOILERS for any readers who have not finished the trilogy, and may give unwanted hints of future events. IF YOU DIDN’T READ THE TRILOGY, YOU WILL ENCOUNTER SPOILERS BEYOND THIS POINT. It takes place a short time after the events of The Battle of Verril.
Interviewer: Welcome Deacon, and thank you for talking to us today.
Deacon: You are very welcome. It is always an honor to indulge the curiosity of those who share my thirst for knowledge. I am actually rather interested in the nature of your visit. What world do you call home? Through what means did you come to Kenvard? Were you–
I: I’m sorry, but if you don’t mind I’m sure our readers would prefer to have their own questions answered. When we are through here we can address your questions.
D: Oh, yes. Of course. I apologize. What would you like to know?
I: Perhaps you could begin by telling us a little bit about yourself.
D: Well, My name is Deacon. I was born and raised in a place called Entwell Num Garastra. In honor of my role in the Battle of Verril, I was made a Duke of the region called Kenvard. I am proud to call that place my home.
I: Do you have a family name?
D: I do not. It was the tradition of my mother to take the name of your city, so I suppose I would be Deacon of Entwell Num Garastra, but you’ll understand if I was reluctant to be known as Deacon of the Belly of the Beast. It sounds a bit redundant.
I: That is understandable. You mention your mother. What were your parents like?
D: They were, and are, typical denizens of Entwell. My mother is named Tiana. She is a wizard like myself, though in recent years she has sharpened her focus to scrying and other divination arts. My father is named Elliot and is a bit more broad in his focus. He spends most of his time on the Warrior’s Side, as I believe his father did, but he met my mother while he was learning some basic elemental magics.
I: So your parents are still alive?
D: Of course. Was there some indication otherwise?
I: Well, in all that we’ve seen and heard of you there has been barely a mention of them.
D: In Entwell, children are not always raised as they are elsewhere. The more recent arrivals still raise their children as they did in their own culture, but both of my parents were native to Entwell. Father is a seventh generation Entwellian, and Mother is at least a third generation. They chose to start my education as early as possible. I have been in apprenticeships literally for as long as I can remember. Though my parents taught me a great many things, I could name a dozen other villagers who had a far greater role in my life than they. All things considered, I likely spent more time with Master Gilliam than my parents.
I: What was the most important thing your parents taught you?
D: They always made it quite clear that dedication was the key to all things. Even when I took up Gray Magic, a topic neither of them would have chosen for me, they encouraged me to pursue it to the best of my ability. I suppose if I could sum it up as a single word, my parents taught me focus.
I: I have a question here… well, it is more of a statement. It simply says “Time Travel Shenanigans.”
D: Hah. Yes. If I understand the meaning of “Shenanigans” correctly, then you would be referring to the curious behavior of my bag after the untested transportation spell. I’ve done my best to determine what precisely has happened. Over the last few months I’ve retrieved from the bag at least seventeen items that I do not have any memory of placing inside. As a test I wrote myself a note on a piece of parchment and placed it on the table beside the bag, with the full intention of eventually placing it inside. I then searched the bag and eventually found that a second note – or perhaps the same one – was already inside. As best as I can determine, some aspect of the transportation spell corrupted the enchantment that provides the bag with its disproportionate interior. It has decoupled the space within the bag from a single point in time, allowing… I am sorry. Myranda has tried to remind me that others might not share my insight into such matters. I am trying to learn to state things more simply. Let me see… Items placed inside the bag can be pulled out before they have been put in. I’m hesitant to analyze the anomalous items too closely, as if they are from a future time, they may bring with them knowledge I was not intended to receive. There are strict rules in Entwell regarding meddling with the timeline.
I: Regarding your transportation spell, and leaving Entwell. How did you decide to leave and follow Myranda, knowing what it would cost you and knowing nothing about the world beyond the waterfall?
D: I am afraid I don’t understand the question. Knowing Myranda, and knowing the dangers she was facing, how could I make any other choice? If there was any way that I could be of aid to her and be by her side, in this trying time and ever after, then no price was too high to pay.
I: Tell us a bit of the back story concerning Entwell. How the original wizards discover it?
D: Surely the story is well known by now. The Cave of the Beast and the undefeatable creature within were an irresistible challenge for the wizards and warriors of the world who wished to earn glory and recognition. What most found too late was that it was the cave itself that had taken the lives of those before them. The best of them, first Azriel then others, were able to traverse the cave safely and welcomed the opportunity to recover and collaborate with their peers in the paradise beyond. With the exception of those who returned to the place, like Lain, I believe only the seer Tober came to Entwell knowing what he would find.
I: Did the bulk of them move there at the same time or did they arrive there as individuals?
D: Generally speaking, arrivals to Entwell are alone, or else part of a small adventuring party. Warriors come in groups more frequently than wizards do. I understand that outside Entwell, wizards are normally quite solitary and isolated. Judging from the frequent clashes of our masters, I can see why that might be prudent.
I: Is the tunnel to Entwell a natural phenomenon or was it created?
D: To my knowledge it is natural. If it was created, it was created long before Azriel arrived. I will say that the peculiar behavior of the waterfall may have some mystic aspect, but certainly not one over which we have any control.
I: Anything else interesting about the place?
D: I do not know that this is true, but there is certainly evidence to suggest that something about the place affects the mind of the residents. There is a tremendous tendency for even the most motivated individuals to lose interest in the outside world once they reach Entwell. If it is indeed the case, I suspect such a thing would be the work of spirits, though for what reason they might wish for the wizards and warriors to remain I can only guess.
I: Is that why the people from Entwell didn’t come to the Chosen’s aid when in need? There were so many battles, and yet of all of the powerful people in Entwell no one came except for you. If not to help the Chosen, why to learn all you’ve learned?
D: It is certainly possible that, if there is some manner of will coaxing the Entwellians to remain, it may have had a hand in keeping them from offering aid. I do remember that, shortly before my departure, there were those among us who were in favor of leaving Entwell to aid in the battle against the D’Karon. Unfortunately, even without other forces at work there are few things more difficult than getting a group of Entwell’s masters to agree on something. The first act is always to debate, and often it does not progress beyond that. By the time I left, there had been little progress in the discussion.
I: What would happen if you tried to go back to Entwell?
D: I hesitate to speculate. The Wizard’s Side has very few rules, and I’ve violated nearly all of them. I allowed some of Hollow’s prophesies to go unrecorded. I cast a powerful and untested spell, one that was perilously close to being a gateway spell and thus forbidden. No one before me has so thoroughly violated all that Entwell’s community has worked toward. I do not believe that they would have me executed, but I would certainly be prohibited from ever again taking on a student for fear that I might lead them down the same path. No other wizard would willingly work with me. I would not be welcome there, and I will not be well remembered. Of that much I am certain. It is possible they might even turn me away if I were to return.
I: Where do you see yourself in ten years?
D: There is still a tremendous amount of work to be done to restore the city and kingdom of Kenvard. Between that and repairing diplomatic relations with Tressor, I imagine I will be quite busy for years to come.
I: I think perhaps the question was focused more on your personal life.
D: I will be by Myranda’s side for as long as she will have me.
I: Is there any kind of magic you DON’T know?
D: I have at least a basic understanding of most types of magic studied within Entwell, but there are some areas in which I am less knowledgeable than others. I’m rather poorly versed in necromancy for example, a deficiency which was very nearly tragic, you’ll recall. My skills of prophecy and divination are sorely lacking as well. Naturally I have not pursued any of the forbidden magics either. That includes communicating or traveling from one world to another, or from one time to another. In addition, there is a field called chaos magic which I’ve only just begun to explore.
I: Were you ever scared?
D: There were times that I was terrified that I might fail to reach Myranda, or that my help would be not enough to see her through to safety or victory.
I: Were you scared for your own safety?
D: I was aware that I might lose my life, but the fate of the very world was hanging in the balance. My own safety was comparatively of minor concern.
I: A final question, one directed not only to you but to each of your friends and allies. If you found out that you were going to die tomorrow, what would you do?
D: If I were to learn of my impending death, and there was nothing I could do to prevent it? I suppose I would do what I could to put my affairs in order. I would endeavor to record any spells or findings I might have. I would write a letter to Myranda and to each of the others that I’ve cared about over the years… And to be perfectly honest, there are a few spells I’ve been tinkering with that are nearly ready for a final test. It would be a shame to die before I learned if they worked properly.
I: Well thank you very much for taking the time to answer our questions.
D: You are very welcome. Now, as I said earlier, I wonder if you could answer a few of mine…
That’s all for this interview. If new questions arise, I may add them to the interview. You can submit them HERE if the survey is still running. Thanks for reading!