On a visit to Bluehaven I met with Duke Danu and he answered a few of my questions.
Me: Good afternoon, Your Grace. Thank you for agreeing to answer some questions.
Danu: I hope that I can give your readers some insight into my life and how I came to be involved, however slightly in the important events that took place last year.
Me: Firstly, how did you come to know Mabryl?
Danu: Well, I was, in fact, not the eldest child. I had an older brother, and so I was not expected to become the Duke, so I had to find another occupation. Fortunately I had a little
affinity for magic and so my father, being rather enlightened (magic isn’t trusted still after all these years since the Mage Wars) allowed me to go to the Mage Tower to train.
Me: That was where you met Mabryl?
Danu: Yes. He and I were in the same batch of youngsters training to be mages. In fact our teacher was the man who now leds the mages, Magister Robiam, although at the time he was simply Mage Robiam. He hadn’t even progressed to Arch-mage. Still, he was a good teacher and it was obvious that he would go far.
Me: Were you friends from the start?
Danu: Well, I was a bit jealous of Mabryl at the start. He was so much better than I was. He was a natural where I had to work hard to keep up. However, we soon overcame our differences and became firm friends.
Me: How was it that you ended up as Duke?
Danu: It was tragic really. While I was away there was sickness in Bluehaven. My mother contracted it by visiting and ministering to the poor who were sick. she then contracted the disease and my brother caught it from her. She recovered. My brother did not. Mother blamed herself for his death right up to her own. she never really recovered from it. A terrible thing, the death of one’s child.
Me: I am really sorry to hear of this tragedy.
Danu: Thank you. Of course my father sent for me straight away and told me that I must learn to be the Duke and give up my magic practices. I have, however, always kept an interest in magic, and although I never did the Apprentice Tests I have kept up with what is going on. This was why mabryl brought the prophecy to me when Carthinal found it in that old book.
Me: Did you know Carthinal then?
Danu: Not at that time. I knew Mabryl had taken him on as an apprentice. I advised him against it though. To take on a wild thing like him, who knew no discipline. Madness! Many times Mabryl came to see me in despair at one thing or the other he’d done. Then he went and adopted him! I will admit now that I was wrong and he has turned out alright in the end.
Me: About the prophecy. Did you know what it was about?
Danu: Not really. I could make some wild guesses, but they were just based on myths and legends so I didn’t say anything of my suspicions. I don’t want to say any more at the moment, but I have an idea as to who the ‘immortal mortal’ is.
I opened my mouth to ask him when he held up his hand.
Danu: No, I’m not saying any more until I have more facts of the matter.
Me: Tell me about Randa then.
Danu: She was a spoiled brat of a child. Rollo tried to make up for his earlier neglect of the girl by giving her everything she wanted. That made her think she was superior to everyone else, and her attitude to those not of her class was appalling. And to those who were non-human, like the elves and dwarves she was even worse. When she wanted to learn swordmanship I thought he would draw the line. What highly born young lady would ever need to swing a sword? It just isn’t lady-like. But no, he allowed her that too.
Me: Wasn’t it a good job, though, that she could use a sword when she went on the quest with Carthinal and friends?
Danu: Perhaps if she hadn’t been able to wield a sword she would never have gone on the quest in the first place! And she would have chosen a husband instead of rejecting all those suitors that have asked her father for her hand. If she had been settled down with a few children she wouldn’t have been able to go on the quest, would she?
Me: Some say that it was foreordained that those particular folk went on that quest; that the gods had a hand in it.
Danu snorted: The gods, as you well know, young lady, do not interfere in the doings of humanity.
Me: But it does seem as though there were a few ‘pushes’ propelling them in the right direction.
Danu: Believe as you will, but I cannot think that the gods would have instigated that flood that killed so many people.
Me: Thank you for you time, Your Grace.
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