This is the 8th 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 will give pleasure to those who’ve bought the book and, perhaps, persuade others to take that step.
Tryonta – try-on-ta
Dagla Kaz – pronounced exactly as written
Ytraa – eet-rah
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, of course: reading is, after all, active rather than passive.
Tryonta is around 35. He’s a snake. Amoral and utterly self-centred. His voice holds the sinister charm of the man who knows how to manipulate others. Although his responses may appear terse, they’re spoken more with a superior questioning quality than with overt anger. Here he is interviewed by Fantastic Books Publishing’s Fantasy Editor.
FE: Good morrow, Tryonta. I gather you’re a sort of aid to the High Priest?
Tryonta: What of it?
FE: Ah, I merely want to get your view of your position and your feelings about the…
Tryonta: Feelings are for fools. My position is that of guardian, helper and informer for the most important man in the land.
FE: What sort of things do you do to…help Dagla Kaz?
Tryonta: You don’t look like a fool. Does a trusted deputy discuss his duties with all and sundry? No. I don’t wish to appear obstructive, but you must understand the delicacy of my position.
FE: Let’s try a different tack. What are you feelings…thoughts about your religion?
Tryonta: What is there to think about? We are Followers. We obey the will and the regulations set out by our High Priest. We do our duty. Those who fail to obey are dealt with according to the law. Such fools deserve the pain and humiliation they suffer for their failure to do as they are required. What more is there to say?
FE: Do you have personal pleasures you’d like to share with us?
Tryonta: A good meal, served with good drink. A compliant partner for joining; preferably someone who understands rank and status. A well-made tabard, of silk and decorated with suitable designs.
FE: You enjoy joining with a willing woman, then?
Tryonta: What man does not enjoy the pleasure to be had with a compliant partner?
FE: How do you view the High Priest?
Tryonta: You choose your words with care; that’s good. The High Priest is my commander, my provider; dare I say, my friend? But I am also his protector and his most trusted aid. We form a team, in which he plays the part of the leader, of course, since he is blessed by Ytraa, and in which I play the role of reliable and unquestioning assistant.
FE: And, if Dagla Kaz were to ask you to do something, shall we say, not quite within the law?
Tryonta: A foolish question, if you will forgive my bluntness. Dagla Kaz is the chosen of Ytraa. It is impossible for him to act outside the law, since he is the law. You understand?
FE: I believe I do. Thank you for your time, Tryonta. Most enlightening.
Tryonta: Really? And I thought I had been so circumspect in my answers. If you believe yourself enlightened, I can only assume you’re a better questioner than I imagined, or, perhaps, not honest enough with yourself to understand the true nature of our exchange.
FE: Perhaps. Honesty and truth, however…
More to follow.