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The Protagonists We Love #1
From The Shining Citadel by A.L. Butcher
What is a protagonist?
The protagonist works toward the central story goals and tends to be involved in or affected by most of the choices or conflicts that arise in the narrative. The protagonist of a story is the main character, who has the sympathy and support of the readers.
Meet Lord Archos Terrian Stormrager
My name is Lord Archos Terrian Stormrager, Archmage, Lord of the Arcane Realm, Lord of Tremellic. I am the last Skychild who walks this Realm.
Tell us about your role in the adventure. We seek Lor Ar’thinis – the Shining Citadel; once the great Elven City of Light, now lost in magic and mystery. Whether we will find it, or what remains of it – I do not know. The elves have nothing – no rights, no wealth, a past mostly shrouded in legend and sorrow, and currently they have little future but slavery and then, probably, extinction. To find such a city may bring answers about the wars and the coming of the Plague, it may bring wealth to be used to better their lot. Who knows?
Magic is dangerous – it demands a price for its usage, but despite the machinations of the Order it persists and those who know how to tame it can use it for good, or, indeed for evil. I am, amongst other things, a collector of relics, and artefacts. Such things of history should be preserved and enjoyed. There are those that take them and hide them, break them or simply keep them so the elves can’t have them. One of the tools the Order use to ensure compliance to their tyranny is the removal of history – those with no past, or a past of shame, death and disease are viewed with distrust, with fear and the humans do not understand the true history. The history that binds all races, and the good and bad that unites. The Order rules with fear and lies, and both are successful, for when a lie is told often enough it becomes a truth. Truth in Erana is relative.
Do you think you are a good man? By whose laws? By whose morals? If we are talking about what passes for law in this land then no, I am a mage – that alone is enough to condemn me.
I have killed – monsters and men – sometimes they are one and the same. My hands are not clean of blood. I have lived long and travelled much and in all those years, I have killed to save myself, save others and for vengeance; I have stolen to eat, to feed others and because I can. I have sent men mad and boiled the blood within them.
I have freed people, and imprisoned them. I have brought life to the world, and removed it. There is little justice in Erana, for the law is a mockery. I make the law within my own lands, and ignore it beyond them, but with caution.
My household sends regular consignments to the Elven Enclaves, my privateer patrols the Bay of Blades and preys on other ships. We give to those who need it, and take from those who do not deserve to have it.
Am I good man? No, I am a traitor to those who rule this land, a murderer, an outlaw, a thief, an anathema to the Order of Witch-Hunters. Yet I will stand for those who cannot stand for themselves and speak for those who are not heard. To my friends, I am generous, loyal and will fight to my last drop of blood. To my enemies, I am the Oncoming Storm and there is no mercy from the storm.
Do you have a family? I have Dii’Athella – my love. We are bound in magic and I would do anything for her. I have Olek, my faithful Olek. He is my right hand, my confidante, my servant and the one who knows me better than anyone yet living.
I have a daughter – although that knowledge is recent. She is the heiress of the Troll Shaman of our allies among the trolls of the Helmerri Plateau. She is her mother’s daughter, as it should be with the Trollkind. I hope to get to know her better.
Do I have regrets? Many, some I have buried in the ground, steeped in blood. Those I have lost or could not save. I regret this world is as it is, and we must hide in shadow to be who we are. Do I regret the blood on my hands? No, not for a moment. Would I kill again, to save those I love, and even strangers who cannot defend themselves? Without hesitation.
What will you do when you meet your enemy? I will kill that bastard. I have fought with Witch-Hunters – they are merely men and men die. He seeks to take from me what I prize most and take from the elves that which is not his to take. I have fought with creatures worse than him – but not many. My demon, Kh’lak will enjoy that one… oh yes.
What do you think he will do when he meets you? He will seek to kill me, and my companions. He does not hold all the cards, although we are but eight, if I summon Kh’lak and I will not fall easily.
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