Character Interview with Rose the Whyte
In your own words, how would you describe the four different areas of the world you live in?
Well I have only really explored Aurum and Ferrum to any extent yet. I only know about Hydrargyrum and Rhodium from what I have learned from the Sooth and from Cognito class. Aurum is the most eastern of the Afterlands, the land of the golden dawn. The climate in Aurum is temperate, but quite warm and the landscape is generally one of wide open plains, though there are mountainous and wooded areas and a large area of swampland off towards the south west inhabited by the wolf men known as rougarou. The capital city of Aureus is rather grand and its people are intellectuals who are relatively wealthy. There is little evidence of hardship in Aurum from what I have seen, everyone seeming to lead a happy and contented existence, except for the rougarou that is.
When we travelled into Ferrum the landscape changed dramatically to one of green rolling hills, forests, waterfalls and areas of open water. There seemed to be a lot of animals and farm land, the buildings had a more rustic feel and the people were less refined than in Aurum. We ran into some prejudice in one of the small towns and that upset me a great deal. I was disappointed that such a hardworking and unpretentious people could harbour such hostile feelings about people from their own world, many of whom even had Ferrish blood running in their veins.
I learned a little about the southernmost land, Hydrargyrum, from one of its people; the Blood Ascendant, Lady El-on-ah. She described it as a hard land, a barren land, where its people were forced to endure great hardship and had to work in the mines in order to provide for their meagre existence. In the Oratory we were taught that the area was inhospitable because it was mainly volcanic, but that it was also one of the few areas in the Afterlands where dragons could be seen living wild.
Of my own land, Rhodium, I have yet to travel there and I know very little except for what Lord Dux has told me. Rhodium the most northerly of the Afterlands and is a land of snow and ice, its towns and cities were now mainly in ruins after the Great Dragon War of over a thousand years’ ago. No one lives there now; all of the Whytes were destroyed. I am the only member of a long dead race, from a land of ruins frozen in ice and time.
How do you feel about each of the different members in your cell?
When we ascend to these lands, alone and without memory of our past lives or our families, we are told that the members of our cell will become our families, and that is sort of how I see them now.
Auriel is like a sister to me and I regard Ash and Lee as brothers. I love them all dearly; I love Auriel’s strong moral compass and unshakable loyalty, Ash’s sense of humour and his ability to always see the rainbow in every thunderstorm and I even love Lee’s naive insensitivity and cold clear logic, because it’s unashamedly honest. Lee would never lie, he just wouldn’t know how to.
What is your favourite aspect of your world?
I think that my most favourite thing is that being a Whyte ascendant has given me the freedom to be anything that I want to be, to do anything I want to do and to have the chance, despite being young and female, to really make this world a better place.
At first when I discovered that I was the only Whyte I hated it. I felt alone, isolated and powerless to change anything. Now I feel different, because of Eldwyn’s prophecy, being a Whyte has actually given me power, power to make people take notice of me and listen to what I have to say. It has made me realise that I can make a big difference, maybe even save some lives or at least make some peoples’ lives better.
I also LOVE magic and I especially love being good at it!
What is your favourite thing to eat?
In the Afterlands every ascendant’s favourite food is the same; Guilywally Fyre-pot, it’s a traditional dish from Hydrargyrum, a pink stew that is enchanted so that it tastes of whatever it is that you are hungry for. So you could eat it every day and never get bored with it because it would taste different every time you ate it. It really is the most delicious thing ever!
However, In Cognito class we learned that as good quality fresh food was so scarce in Hydrargyrum, that the alchemists devised the charm so that scraps and poor quality food would taste as good as the finest Aurum feast. That way everyone would have enough to eat, there would be no waste, and no one, but especially the children, would realise that they were often eating food that was not really fit to be eaten. It never quite tasted the same after I learned that.
What is your biggest dream?
My dream is that prejudice and inequality be wiped from the face of the Afterlands. That it’s people would live in harmony, each of them, though different, being accepted as equal, and that Lord Ka and the Djinn of Erebus be purged from these lands forever.
Where would you love to live in your world if you could live anywhere?
I would like to live in Rhodium, in my own land, with my own people, but my people are gone forever, so this can never happen.
What do you think about the place you’re studying?
I expect you mean the Oratory? When I first arrived at the Oratory I felt rather overwhelmed by the opulence and grandeur of the buildings and the obvious high status that had been afforded to me and to a lesser extent the other ascendants. The Sooth frightened me and so at first, did Lord Dux, who used magic with such ease and to such effect that it took my breath away. However once I had met my cell and settled in I enjoyed being there. I learned so much about my new world in such a short time that I quickly began to feel a part of it. The classes were amazing and all of the Magisters were such experts in their field that I doubt I could have been schooled by a more qualified group of teachers. Who wouldn’t like learning how to read a whole book in a few seconds, talk to bees, brew charms and cast spells? I struggled a little at first, but Lord Dux helped me and I soon discovered that I had a great aptitude for most of it, especially the magic.
Do you like magic?
Magic is at the core of my soul. It now comes so naturally to me that it is like a reflex... like blinking, I do not have to even think to use it. When I need it I just react, in the blink of an eye, no conscious thought involved, even the incantations are instinctive now. So I don’t like it exactly... that’s like asking if I like breathing, but I don’t think I could live long without it now.
Are you ready?
Can we ever be ready for something as all consuming as a war against evil, against prejudice and cruelty, and against an enemy so powerful that they can take the very essence of what you are and imprison that essence within their bodies for eternity?
I believe I am here for a reason, the prophecy of Eldwyn predicted that I would ascend and tells of my unifying the people of the Afterlands against an old enemy, but the way I read it, it does not predict the outcome of that confrontation.
Am I ready to unify? Yes. Am I ready to fight Lord Ka and the Djinn of Erebus? Yes. Am I ready to lose my friends in battle, to see these lands burned to ash and to be assimilated into the body of a Djinn until I can no longer act for myself and can only bear witness to the horrors that unfold before me? No... no... I will never be ready for that.