Character Interview: Lain

This was a tricky one to write. A lot of the other characters would be perfectly willing to be interviewed. In order to answer all of the questions asked it would have to take place toward the end of the Trilogy, and let’s face it, Lain during the trilogy isn’t the sort of character who would be answering questions from just anyone. Thus, the interview is being conducted by Ivy, who is one of only perhaps three people Lain would even potentially answer. Even with that in mind, Ivy didn’t know some of the things that you good folks had questions about, so this is non-Canon, and she’s going to learn a lot. It therefore CONTAINS SPOILERS. If you have not read the trilogy and The Rise of the Red Shadow, don’t read this unless you are okay with having some major plot points spoiled. If this scene had a place in the book, it would be in the fields Lain’s rescue from the Volcano, in the time following Myranda waking him and helping him to recover.

Enjoy!

Ivy: Lain, you look much better now. How do you feel?

Lain: Well enough.

Ivy: (Hugging him.) I was afraid we were going to lose you.

Lain weathers the embrace and reluctantly returns it with one arm.

Ivy: (pulling back) Don’t scare me like that again! I mean… You’re my friend, Lain. And I don’t know anything about you! I can’t imagine losing someone I care about without ever really knowing them… I’m not taking that chance. I want to know all about you, Lain. Starting now.

Lain: Ivy, you don’t need to–

Ivy: (With finality) Yes I do. What about your name, Lain? Where does that come from?

Lain looks at her steadily, as if testing her resolve. She returns his gaze defiantly. When it is clear she will not relent, he releases a breath in something just short of a sigh.

Lain: Lain is a title. I earned it in Entwell for proving my skill and stealth.

Ivy: Well do you have a name then? A real one.

Lain: I have been called many things. Leo, Teyn, Shadow. I have no true name.

Ivy: How can that be? Did you forget it, or change into someone new, like me?

Lain: I lost my mother before I could learn my name.

Ivy: Oh… I’m sorry. So you grew up without a mother? What about your father?

Lain: I never knew him.

Ivy: Right… right, I remember now. Ether says he is a god.

Lain: So she says.

Ivy: Do you know which one?

Lain: I do not know that it is even so.

Ivy: Aw… growing up without a Mother and Father. I’d have been so afraid, but you’re never scared.

Lain: The only ones who are never afraid are the insane and the ignorant. I’ve learned to hide fear, but it is always there as a warning.

Ivy: Really? But you seem so brave!

Lain: Brave is the word for those who conquer fear, not those who do not face it.

Ivy: Well what is the scariest thing you’ve ever been through?

Lain: My first memory is being captured and brought to a plantation to serve as a slave. I’ve never been more frightened than in the moment they seized me by my tail. I knew there was no one to help me. I was powerless. It was years before I became numb to the fear.

Ivy: That’s horrible… There must have been good things too, though. What’s the most amazing thing you’ve ever been through?

Lain: What good does it do you to ask all of these questions?

Ivy: I need to know that there’s been some light in your life. (She crosses her arms.) And this’ll go a lot faster if you just answer questions instead of trying to talk me out of asking them. You aren’t going to talk me out of it.

Lain: (eyes shut in combined remembrance and subdued irritation) There have been many things. The village of Entwell, when the falls are flowing… And the cliffs just past the village’s edge. I’ve seen a wizard conjure up a whole city around me. I’ve seen a dragon hatch from its egg and choose a human as its caretaker.

Ivy: Wow… Have you… Have you ever met any other malthropes? Besides me, I mean.

Lain: Very few.

Ivy: Were any of them your friends? Or at least did you know any of them well?

Lain: One of them. I knew her very well.

Ivy: (Smiling) Her? (Excitedly) What was her name? What was she like?

Lain: (Pausing, as if hesitating to speak the words) Her name was Sorrel. She was lovely. Bold. Brash. Clever. Stubborn.

Ivy: Were you… close?

Lain: We were.

Ivy: Did you… Did you love her?

Lain: I did.

Ivy: (Eyes twinkling with emotion) And did she love you?

Lain: (Pausing longer, as though considering the question for the first time.) I believe she did.

Ivy: (Almost tackling Lain with another enthusiastic hug.) That’s wonderful! Where is she now? What happened to her?

Lain: I turned to my task, to buying back the freedom of the slaves. It was too dangerous for her. She went her own way. To raise a family in a place where she believed she could be safe.

Ivy: A family… she had children?

Lain: Twins. Reyna and Wren.

Ivy: Were they… yours?

Lain: … I believe they were.

Ivy: You’re a father! (Eyes streaming with tears and clasping his hand in hers.) What happened to them? Tell me they’re safe!

Lain: I don’t know for certain what happened. I know that she left for the Crescents, and reached them safely. She was heading to North Crescent. She believed she would be safe there. But that was decades ago. Even if their lives were long and happy, they are surely gone now.

Ivy: Oh… I would have liked to meet them. If you’d been able to, if you knew they were still there and still safe, would you have taken me to meet them?

Lain: If I knew they were safe, I would send you to them. But I wouldn’t go with you.

Ivy: Why not?!

Lain: (Gesturing around at the army, and at his own injuries.) This, all of it. I can’t leave this behind. Where I go, this follows. I couldn’t risk bringing it upon them.

Ivy: (Wiping away a tear) Then we’ve got to end this war. We’ve got to make it so that you can at least try to find her. Or your children. Or your grandchildren. (She clasps her hands and bounces excitedly) You might have a whole family out there. I can’t wait to tell Ether. Imagine the look on her face. … Hey, tell me the truth, what do you think of her? Because she loves you.

Lain: She thinks she loves me, but she doesn’t know what love is.

Ivy: No, that’s the funny part. She thinks she doesn’t love you because she doesn’t know what love is. But she’s head over heels for you. I can tell. What do you think of her?

Lain: (Shaking his head slowly, a dash of irritation showing on his face) She’s occasionally a valuable ally, when she can control herself. More often she is a liability. She’s spent an eternity learning little of her own potential and nothing of the world she’s tasked to save. Until she learns the value of those things she’s shunned, she is hardly deserving of consideration.

Ivy: Wow… Well, what do you think of me?

Lain: You are young and you have a great deal to learn, but you have grown much in the short time since we found you. You are a credit to our race, and I value your safety above all else.

Ivy: Oh… (She covers her face for a moment in embarrassment.) Thank you. What about the others? What do you think of Myranda?

Lain: When I first found her, I believed her to be like any other human. She seemed foolish, perhaps even greedy. I’ve come to respect her in the months since then. She is dedicated, patient, intelligent, and tolerant. She is many things I thought humans were incapable of. There aren’t more than five people in my life that I’ve ever truly trusted. She is among them.

Ivy: Yeah, she’s wonderful… What about Myn, what do you think of her?

Lain: She is cunning, fierce, and loyal. Everything a dragon should be. To see how far she has come despite the endless calamities in her short life, I can only imagine the sort of dragon she will become.

Ivy: What about Deacon?

Lain: I admire his skill, but I believe his thirst for knowledge and his blind devotion to Myranda will lead him to a terrible end.

Ivy: I sure hope not! He’s great! … Hey, he’s been to Entwell too. Everyone I know who’s ever been there seems like they’ve learned wonderful things. Did you have a favorite teacher when you were there?

Lain: (Expression very slightly hardening, his patience with the conversation waning.) I learned a great deal. I am indebted to my many teachers.

Ivy: But who was your favorite?

Lain: … Those who taught me combat, stealth… Their lessons were the most valuable. But there was a fairy, Fiora… She taught me things I’d never known I would need to know. She taught me to read, to write. She taught me languages. And I believe she valued me as a student as highly as I valued her as a teacher.

Ivy: She sounds nice. Fiora. I don’t think Myranda mentioned her when she was talking about Entwell.

Lain: It was before Myranda’s time.

Ivy: Are there any from your visit with Myranda that you liked?

Lain: I went there to recover, not to learn.

Ivy: Still, was there anyone?

Lain: … I was pleased to find that the elder had taken her rightful place.

Ivy: What about…

Lain: I’ve answered enough questions. There is much to do in the days ahead. You need your rest and I need mine.

Ivy: Fine… Thanks for answering though. Sometimes it seems like you’re this larger than life thing. Like a statue of a great hero instead of a living, breathing creature. It’s nice to know that inside you’re a person, even if you don’t always show it. (She leans in and gives him a peck on the cheek.) Get some rest. I’m going to get my fiddle.

Well, there you have it. I hope all of your questions were answered. If you have additional questions, or questions for other characters, don’t forget the poll is always open.

Thanks for reading!

3 Comments

  1. You know what I would have loved to know?

    At what point did he start to view Myranda in this way. When did she become someone he could trust as one of the five people he truly trusts?

    Like in the trilogy events timeline.

    Did he trust her before he realized it? If so when did he realize it?

    1. I think Lain’s respect for Myranda began very early. When he came to her as Leo and eventually revealed his face, it was as much a test of her attitudes as a means of confirming she had the sword. When she remained friendly and gracious, it became clear that she was different. His respect for her was further cemented when he saw how she treated Myn. By the time Myranda found him, injured and seeking the Cave of the Beast, that respect had become trust. The best evidence of this might be that he allowed her to choose if she would follow him through the flooding tunnel to Entwell.

      1. Interesting. Now that I think about it, that moment he allowed her to choose is held in a better light. I don’t know why I didn’t think of that. If he was solely thinking of the bounty (hence needed to keep her alive) He would have forced her.

        After they get to Entwell though, having just learned who he is, she is more aggressive towards him and he becomes more cold. So maybe I hadnt thought he trusted her at that time.

        But now I can think of it. He allows her the right to ask him anything if she hits him, and when she does he upholds it. If he hadnt trusted her, I doubt he would have ever told her anything.

        Hmmm, I just read the trilogy in a day when I was sick, a few days ago. But now I have a strong urge to reread it from the start.

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