The 5th in a series of pieces on characters and places featured in Joinings: A Seared Sky. This background information isn’t covered in the book but should enhance the reading experience. For some of my people, there’ll be a character drawing, supplied by Alice Taylor, maybe a video interview, and accompanying script. I may do short pieces of fiction, deepening knowledge of certain minor characters as well.
For the places, I may use sections of the map, to indicate location, along with a description of the place, as I see it, and, where appropriate, links with characters. Perhaps I’ll indicate the way of life there with a short anecdote or story. I won’t reveal any of the main story, either as already published or as written in the series, merely enhance readers’ enjoyment of the trilogy by providing more information. I hope this gives pleasure to those who’ve bought the book and, perhaps, persuades others to take that step.
Dagla Kaz – pronounced exactly as written.
Names are pronounced phonetically. But this is my take on them; how I hear them in my head. You may pronounce them as you wish; reading is, after all, active rather than passive.
Dagla Kaz – The High Priest – with the Fantasy Editor of Fantastic Books Publishing:
Dagla Kaz is an average man gone bad; really bad. He’s around 62 years old, a tall, lanky, bald man with little personal grace. A despot, he’s been corrupted by almost absolute power and by the input of ‘voices in his head’. His tone is arch.
FE: You’ve been a difficult character, Dagla Kaz.
Dagla Kaz: You helped make me. You have no right to complain.
FE: There’s some truth in that, of course. But I doubt you see yourself in the same way as I do.
Dagla Kaz: You think not? Perhaps there’s something in what you say. We all delude ourselves about certain aspects of our personality and the way we live our lives. But you gave me power: is it any surprise if I use it?
FE: You’re aware of its tendency to corrupt?
Dagla Kaz: Nothing but the wailing of weakness. Powerful leaders, especially we men, are essential to the control and function of the world. Imagine what would happen if leaders were as weak as those they govern. Can’t you see the destruction and chaos that would result?
FE: You believe firm leadership is essential. That may be true. But to take advantage of that power: is that just and fair?
Dagla Kaz: Just and fair? You talk like a soft-hearted woman. Use your wits, man; what few you possess. Is life fair? Is there justice in nature? Of course not. Red in tooth and claw, they say, don’t they? And with good cause. Life is hard and bleak and sharp. It’s every soul for itself. If I don’t take advantage of my position, use my gifts and brilliance for personal gain, what’s the point? I might just as well be as lazy, indifferent and complacent as the flock I lead. I mean, look at them: no ambition, no interest outside their own small circle. Lazy: they want people like me to do their thinking for them. Well, if they want me to control what they think, I might as well ensure those thoughts benefit me, don’t you think?
FE: And what of altruism?
Dagla Kaz: Fool! Do you see altruism in the wild? Will a terzet horn neglect its powerful armoury to let you wander free and unmolested over its domain? Of course it won’t. The great lumbering beast will slice you with its sharp horns and tusks and crush you beneath its enormous feet without a thought. That’s what life is like. You and your fluffy vision of love and companionship; you make me sick.
FE: You extend your scorn to your children?
Dagla Kaz: What are children but small adults awaiting their chance to usurp power? I gave them life. It’s up to them to make the best of that. Why should I expend time and energy on caring for them? Let them get on with it and learn the lessons life provides. Children are either a burden or useful servants for their parents. I know which I prefer.
FE: Servants are generally paid.
Dagla Kaz: Paid? You want me to give my offspring coin as well as all the other advantages my patronage confers? I gave them life and I give her a roof over her head, food on the table, clothes to cover her delightful form, tattoos to decorate her skin. She earns such things; the other deserves no more than an agonising death, renegade bowelcreep! What more should I give?
FE: Love, perhaps?
Dagla Kaz: Love, bah! Love is for fools whose hearts govern their heads, or even bigger fools who allow their loins to control them. Love. Give me the honest transaction of sex every time. No messy emotional tangles and pleasure shared according to status and facility to accept the proper roles of each partner. Love: you make me sick with your soft-hearted care and concern. Get back to your pen and parchment, man, and play with your fantasies. But let me live my life with proper purpose. I’m done talking with you.
FE: Thank you, Dagla Kaz. That has been most enlightening.
Dagla Kaz: Bah!