Today I am interviewing Archos Terrian Stormranger from the book The Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles series by A.L. Butcher.
Hello, can you tell us your name and a bit about yourself.
I am Archos Terrian Stormrager, Lord of Tremellic. I am the Oncoming Storm.
A bit about myself? I am a sorcerer, probably the only Magelord, and certainly the only Skychild who walks this realm these days. Erana is a world of magic, but such magic is dangerous. The Order of Witch-Hunters believe they rule these lands, and the abhor all things magical. My existence is forbidden, but I have allies and wealth and I appear human, my valley is very remote so, at present the Order look for easier targets.
I am old, far older than the non-magical humans and even some of the elves. Although, of course as Passer human mage I have elven blood. At least one of my father’s kin was elven nobility, and my mother? Well that’s a secret you’ll have to discover.
Do you have a best friend?
Olek, my dear Olek. He’s a half-elf – elven mother and human father. Elves in Erana have no rights, they are officially no better than slaves, and the case is the same for half-elves. Those of us with the distant blood can hide it but the first or second generation elves – that’s a different matter. My lady, Dii’Athella is an elf and if we are graced with children they will be half-elves and by the law of the land cannot inherit. I tend to ignore such foolish laws. Within my own lands the law is mine.
Ah yes, we were speaking of Olek before I became distracted. He knows me better than anyone living, and I trust him implicitly. Once I saved him from the scaffold and he’s more than earned his life back from me. Olek is ruthless, and deadly but he is also amusing, clever and my equal in most things, something I rarely find. He’s an elf, that is true and officially he is my servant, but he knows his worth and his position in my house and affections and that suits us both.
Olek would die for me, and I him. My blood half-brother died long ago – murdered by Witch-Hunters and my half-sister left this world more years ago than I like to commit. I keep those around me I trust, for when one is a mage in world that abhors magic one’s life is precarious. Olek, and his lady Ozena, my beloved Dii, Simon, my Steward and Darius, the Thiefmaster – they are my family and my friends.
If you were to take us on a tour of your world, where would we go and what would we do? Is there places we should avoid?
Erana is beautiful! I’d start the tour in my Tremellic Valley. Bordered by the mighty Shimmering Forest, the high hills and Jagged Peak mountains and fed by rivers and streams she is a jewel. Far enough away from the ‘main land’ we are largely left to ourselves, and I ensure it is so.
The Shimmering Forest is magnificent. Once it crossed most of the land but as the wars which brought the Plague ravaged the peoples and the magic dwindled so too did the forest. It’s ancient, mysterious and, some say alive. Well, of course that is the case, very many trees and creatures dwell within, not least the forest elves, but it’s more than that. The forest as whole has some sentience, it knows, it feels, it mourns.
I’ll take you to the Far Isles, where the skin is dark and the rum darker. Grey-silver water laps on white-sanded beaches and exotic spices fill the air with their heady scent. Traders’ booths adorn the waterfront; one can buy everything from narcotics, to silk, to contraband. Theoretically the Order rules there too, but it’s a good deal harder for them to police the islands. They have their supporters, however, for the slavers have many a haven there.
Well now you have seen the beauty and the splendour, now for the other side of the coin. Varlek, the grandest city, looks out on the Silver Sea. Riches beyond imagining vie with terrible poverty. The Enclave…. Ah yes. You’d call it a ghetto for that is where the elves are forced to live, if living is the correct term. Elves own nothing – for all they have belongs to their master, and those who have non risk starvation, or death at the end of a noose. Disease is rife, despair is worse and few humans admit it is so. There are some who help where they can, with food, medicine and clothes but most simply refuse to see. Any elf outside the Enclave without the correct papers or valid reason will be taken into ‘The Hospitality of the Witch-Hunters’, most never return from that, and those who do bare the scars lifelong. Varlek is the queen of cities for the rich, for the noble’s quarter is fine indeed. It’s hell for the poor, but they can at least hide.
There are, of course other cities and towns, but for the elves an Enclave is an Enclave.
What’s the greatest adventure you’ve ever been on?
I have seen many strange things and visited many unusual places in my life, although perhaps the most astonishing was the Great Library or Lor Ar’thinis.
The Citadel was lost – hidden in a magical bubble and unable to be accessed. Until recently. Once a vast elven city it is now a ruin, but a ruin frozen in time. The library has so much knowledge, so much which has been lost.
What do you do when you’re angry?
I am the Lord of the Storm, does that tell you enough? I kill, I destroy, I wreak havoc.
What is your current state of mind?
Troubled. There are so many secrets, and so many hidden expectations. One day I know the Witch-Hunters will ride into Tremellic in force. My people are good people, brave people but they are not warriors. We have a few trained in sword and bow, the others are farmers, traders and miners. They are not soldiers. One day there will be civil war. One day.
On what occasion do you lie?
Everyday I must lie. I am a sorcerer and a Skychild in a world where magic is punishable by death. I have certain… acquaintances who live outside the law. The mages, the thieves, the pirates. Should it become known I am the Oncoming Storm then the Witch-Hunters will feel it necessary to remove such a thorn. They have tried and failed before, but a man cannot be lucky all the time. My house carries a bigger secret, one which could bring civil disorder. I am sure it will, when the time is right, if it ever is for such a revelation.
What is the greatest obstacle you have ever had to face?
Surviving. Have you heard nothing I have told you?
Can you list your bad habits for us?
I can be moody, I can be arrogant. I push myself too hard.
What do you most value in your friends?
Loyalty and talent.
Do you have a secret? Are you able to tell it to us?
I have many. I’ve told you some, not all.
If you had one day left to live, what would you do?
Take as many damn Witch-Hunters with me as I could.
Thank you so much for being here today. I’ve had fun learning about you and your world!
A. L. Butcher is the British author of the Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles fantasy series, and several short stories in the fantasy and fantasy romance genres. She is an avid reader and creator of worlds, a poet and a dreamer. When she is grounded in the real world she likes science, natural history, history and monkeys. Her work has been described as ‘dark and gritty’ and her poetry as evocative.
Connect with A.L. Butcher:
The Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles series – an adult fantasy/fantasy romance series, with a touch of erotica.
The Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles – Book I
In a dark world where magic is illegal and elves are enslaved a young elven sorceress runs for her life from the house of her evil Keeper. Pursued by his men and the corrupt Order of Witch-Hunters she must find sanctuary. As the slavers roll across the lands stealing elves from what remains of their ancestral home the Witch-Hunters turn a blind eye to the tragedy and a story of power, love and a terrible revenge unfolds.
Available as an e-book in all the Amazon stores, Smashwords, Barnes and Noble, Apple, and the Smashwords associate stores.
The Shining Citadel – The Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles –Book II
Who rules in this game of intrigue where magic is forbidden and elves enslaved? Journey where beliefs shatter like glass, truth is unwelcome and monsters from ancient times abound: share the romance and revenge, magic and passion, and the wages of greed in a world of darkest fantasy. (Please note the 18+ rating.)
The Stolen Tower – the Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles – Book III
What stalks the land cannot be, but is.
Where magic is outlawed a troll Shaman calls from her deathbed to her heiress, Mirandra Var, daughter of the storm. Mirandra vows to find her missing kin, sort friend from foe, and claim the dangerous secrets guarded by unthinkable creatures. If she succeeds, she will become the leader of her tribe. If she fails there will be no tribe to lead.
Tales of Erana series
Tales of Erana: Myths and Legends
In a world where magic is illegal and elves enslaved dare you hear the tales of old?
Five tales of myth, magic and monsters from the world of the Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles.
The Blue Phial – An apprentice herbalist receives a special gift from her mistress and learns the real wisdom of life.
The Tale of Treyna the Beloved – the sun and moon over the love of a mortal with disastrous results.
The Legend of Oeliana – jealousy exacts a terrible revenge in this tale of love and loss
Storm Born – a lonely mage does not appreciate what he has until it’s gone.
The Moon on the Water – A tale of greed, war and powerful magic from a time long past.
Tales of Erana: The Warrior’s Curse.
He who bargains with monsters beware! A hero forges an unholy bargain with a witch and learns magic never forgets.
Tales of Erana – Volume One.
Containing all the Tales of Erana short stories to date, collected in one place.
The Fire-Side Tales Collection
The Kitchen Imps and Other Dark Tales – six short tales of mayhem and mischief.
Naughty imps, missing socks, cunning thieves and baffled gods feature in this collection of short fantasy fiction.
Outside the Walls Co-authored with Diana L. Wicker (Expanded edition)
When the tide of war flows who will be caught in its wake? A short fantasy tale of a woman’s determination in time of war.
Of Blood and Scales – in Heroika: Dragon Eaters
The fate of the Kingdom of Ilmar rests on a dying child. Only the truly courageous dare to face the ultimate foe and save the realm.
Anthology pieces in the following:
A Splendid Salmagundi, which won the Indie Book Bargains Award for Anthologies in 2012 on Amazon US.
Wyrd Worlds (free speculative fiction anthology) on Smashwords.
No Sleeves and Short Dresses (A summer anthology) on Amazon UK
With the Indie Collaboration