Nathan I don’t like interviews.
So, I’ll put down contrary and stubborn as usual.
Nathan If you say so.
So tell me about yourself… other than that you don’t like interviews.
Nathan … … … *** points to crown with ‘are you stupid’ expression***
Okay, smarty pants, I know you’re the king, and you don’t like it and you hate your crown and all that. Surely there’s more to Nathan than that. Tell me about your life with the Circle of Mages. I understand you have a reputation for having a wicked temper.
Nathan I suppose. The guys are a little rough on me sometimes, and one or two of them know exactly which buttons to push to set off my worst reactions ***cough*** Cullen***cough***.
I understand you and Cullen are very close, though.
Nathan If by close you mean least objectionable person to be in one’s presence, sure. I guess we are.
Cullen Like he’d ever admit it. Sheesh! You’re not too bright, are you?
Cullen, don’t interrupt. You can talk when it’s your turn.
Nathan She’s not too bright, is she?
Cullen Not really.
Alright, beat it, Cullen! Nathan, focus! Circle of Mages. You. Proceed.
Nathan Fine! You don’t have to get grouchy.
Cullen Kind of makes your temper look good-natured by comparison.
Nathan I know, huh!?!
Nathan Well, since you said ‘please’. Cris started it before I even took the throne because he wanted me to be just like everyone else here… not expect special treatment because I was a prince. I never wanted to be treated differently, never complained about it, either. But the other’s picked up on it, like they do, and were ten times harder on me than Cris ever thought of being. When I was pushed onto the throne, it just got worse.
Why did Cris never intervene on your behalf?
Nathan Cris has done enough intervening on my behalf, I think!
Well, that’s a helpful attitude.
Nathan Cris said, and I agree, that it would only make it worse. I’d have been fine with that if he hadn’t added ‘It’ll be good for you’.
Cullen That set off a tantrum like you wouldn’t believe. Sent a whole tree right through the Council Chamber – in one wall, out the other. Cris was furious.
Yeah, I’m not getting rid of you, am I?
Nathan Thanks Cullen. I just LOVE revisiting the top ten worst moments of my life.
Cullen Most people have a top ten, Nath. You have a Top Eighty.
Nathan … … … yeah, well.
Has it really been such a miserable life?
Nathan Oh, I don’t know about that. It’s been long and it's been tough, that's for sure. My father and I did NOT get along.
Cullen Harald was ^&*(%\.
Cullen! If you must be here, at least be respectful!
Nathan My father was a ^&*(%\. Hey, I’m just telling you the truth. He was a horrible man, a wretched king, and difficult as it is to believe, my brother, Andrew, was even worse.
Cullen Fortunately, Andrew wasn’t king for very long.
Nathan Long enough! Andrew died of an… ahem… unmentionable disease, and between him and my father, they left one hell of a mess for me to clean up. Rowan was this close to collapsing. Worked my fingers to the bone pulling this country back from despair, and what thanks do I get for it? Nothing! That’s what!
Cullen! Stop making that awful screeching noise!
Cullen Aw, I’m just playing my violin for His Royal Pain in the…
Nathan Shut up, Cullen! Don’t you have something else to do? See what I mean? Let any one of them have a bad day and they expect me to hold their hand for an hour while they pour out their tale of woe like an old woman! I frown once, and I get lambasted like nobody’s business! I mean, what’s the point of admitting my father was a ^&*(%\ if I don’t get to feel anything about it? I mean really! I’m not the only one with a bad temper. Cullen’s been known to get mad and shove someone’s head in a rain barrel till they’re drowned!
Cullen I have NEVER drowned anyone! Not completely.
Nathan Oh, pardon me! Only mostly. I’m sure that was much more comfortable for them than ‘completely’.
Cullen Well, you can’t drown a mage completely for a start!
Nathan Lucky for them!
Ahem! Do you two mind if we continue?
Nathan By all means. Pray, do continue.
Where were we?
Nathan This is your interview. How should I know?
Cullen She’s not very good at this, is she?
Nathan Not very. It’d be nice if you could focus. I haven’t got ALL day, after all.
Life! Before the Circle! Tell!
Nathan Well, I say! That’s was a bit demanding, don’t you think?
Cullen Bit of a command there, really. I wouldn’t tell her anything until she agrees to be more polite.
Cristov Cullen, you have patients to see to! I suggest you get to it, before I find something else to occupy your time.
Cullen Oh… rrrhrrhgh! Fine!
Thank you, Cristov!
Cristov Not at all. Sometimes you just have to be blunt with Cullen.
Not sure how I could have been much blunter! But thank you very much, just the same! Now Nathan, your childhood, if you please.
Nathan Well, I don’t please. How do you like them apples?
SPILL IT! GAHHHH!!! I’m soaking! Was that really necessary???
Nathan You were being rude.
Cristov Nathan! Don’t make me come down there!
Nathan Fine. It sucked. OK? My dad was a jerk and my brother was an ass! My mother, the only person in my life who cared anything about me, died when I was twelve.
I’m sorry. That must have been hard for you.
Nathan It was. It was very hard. Andrew hated me because he wasn’t a magicker, and in the royal bloodline, a magicker has precedence, even over an older sibling. I would have happily abstained, but my father wouldn’t hear of it. And Andrew took it out on me – baited me, did his best to make me look idiotic. My mother buffered a lot of it, but when she died, I got the worst of it.
That was when Cullen joined the house, isn’t it?
Nathan Yes,Cullen came on as the Royal High Healer. My father hated that he had to have a mage in the role, but the Rowan Healer’s Guild refused to have anything more to do with the House of den Rowan after he had the healer taking care of my mother executed because she died.
Was it the healer’s fault?
Nathan No! She was frail and sick, and if it was anyone’s fault it was my father’s! He always let his fists fly when he was angry, even to my mother. I hated him. A lot. Anyway, Cullen… where is he?
He’s gone. I believe he went back to the hospice.
Nathan Cullen ended up patching me up a lot. Andrew dealt with my father much better than I did. He and I always ended up screaming at each other, and then he’d start pounding me. I always told myself not to lose my temper with him, but… it was as if he demanded the worst of me. I never could master it. Anyway, Cullen gave him his own back quite a few times.
Nathan He’d poison him, just enough to make him sick. Sometimes he’d have “accidents” when Cullen was nearby. Father knew it was him, but he couldn’t do anything about it. He tried to have him fired, only to find you that you can’t fire the Head of the Guild – especially when no other Guild in the world will take you on for any amount of compensation. The court had to have a High Healer and it was Cullen or nobody, end of story.
Did that ease tensions between you and your father?
Nathan No. My father retaliated by forcing me to join the Navy, which actually turned out to be one of the best times of my life. That thoroughly pissed him off.
You did well in the Navy?
Nathan I learned a lot, but it was tough. Really tough! They didn’t want a helpless crybaby of a coddled prince around, so I really had to work hard to prove myself. But I did, and ended up with my own command eventually.
Cullen Only the youngest commander in the history of the Navy!
Nathan Oh, look who’s back.
Mind your manners this time, Cullen, or I’m calling Cristov.
Cullen I’ve said my piece.
Nathan I was only the youngest commander because of my heritage, nothing more. But I did work really hard for the respect of my men. I shouldn’t have, though, because when my father found out, he figured I’d grown up and it was time to take on ‘real’ responsibilities.
So he made you come home?
Nathan Yep. Very shortly after, though, I joined the Circle. Well, he just wasn’t having that, so he attainted me and that was that until they both died and I got pressed into service.
Cullen Um, there’s a whole bunch you left out there, Nathan.
Nathan And it’s going to remain left out, because I’m not talking about it and it’s time for me to get back to… other stuff. So nice talking with you today. Goodbye.
Um… yeah. Nice talking to you, too. Bye…