“Assassin” by Ivar Dahlberg

Greetings, blog visitors, and welcome to my very first character interview. Today, we are joined by Christian Richardson, a rogue, scoundrel, and the protagonist of my NaNoWriMo novel, The Unquiet Dead. Mr. Richardson, if you’ll please take a seat in this chair, perhaps you might tell my audience a little more about yourself.

Christian:  Why in God’s name would I want to do that?

Me: Because these are the people who will be reading more about you. *narrows eyes* Now, please, take a seat.

Christian: Oh, very well. *lifts the ends of his cloak before settling into the very modern chair. pauses a moment to settle into it* Far more comfortable than the seats I am accustomed to.

Me: Modern amenities. Now, Christian, first of all let’s talk about your name. Is that your birth name and do you have any aliases?

Christian: Christian is indeed my birth name. Surnames from my time period are more indicative of parentage, profession, or region, so Richardson is quite literally, the son of Richard.

Me: Kind of like when Thor calls Phil Coulson the Son of Coul, right?

Christian: *blinks* I beg your pardon?

Steve Rogers: *points* I got that reference.

Me: Oh gods, get out of here, Steve, you’re not even my character. Anyway, Christian… So, that is the name your friends know you by?

Christian: Not entirely. My brother, Jeffrey is the only one. Most call me Christian of the Black.

Me: Of the Black?

Christian: *folds the lapel of his cloak over, revealing an embroidered rose* Everybody who sees this knows what it means to be ‘of the Black’, my friend. Nobody questions it any further if they know what is good for them.

Me: Why is this?

Christian: Because we mainly serve the nobles. We are specialists. Assassins, thieves, and spies for starters. Most bands of mercenaries are hired soldiers or warrior grunts. Not us.

Me: ‘Us’ meaning the Brotherhood of the Black Rose. How long have you been with them?

Christian: From some time after my fifteenth birthday. I just celebrated my twenty-third .

Me: Eight years, then. Let me switch tracks for a moment. Now, you’re from England, but this is not any England we would recognize in modern times. Not outside of a history book. What year were you born and where?

Christian: I was born in the year 1442, though I’m not certain where. Somewhere in Southern England, but not in London. My father was in the midst of one of his travels, skirting as close as he dared to where the smugglers brought in goods from France, when my mother gave birth to me. My father once said she named me Christian because it was God’s grace which brought me into this world, safe and sound, despite birthing me in the back of a cart.

Me: It sounds like you were close to your parents.

Christian: I barely remember my mother. She died of a fever when I was very young. My father, however… *trails off*

Me: *raises an eyebrow* Your father?

Christian: *manages a smirk* He taught me everything I know about the blade. Much of what I know about the world as well. *glances around* Are we finished here yet?

Me: Almost. I have a few random questions for you. First, describe your appearance for us.

Christian: I am 5’9″, with wavy, sandy brown hair and blue eyes. Very thin and lithe. I might make a decent coin for my profession, but you still find yourself just as hungry as the peasants when you’re too far from a proper meal. It comes in handy, though, I must say. I’m able to climb higher and step lighter than many of my compatriots. Besides the cloak, my normal apparel is dark leather, from boots to gloves. My cloak has a hood and my shirts are dyed black.

Me: So, I doubt anyone sees you well at night. Next question, you mentioned your brother Jeffrey. Do you have any friends or other family?

Christian: Jeffrey is married, to a girl my age named Adana. She despises me. *grins with relish* I have two nieces, Ida and Ivette, and Adana is with child again. My brother hopes it might finally be a boy.

Friends? Not many friends a rogue can boast. My brother-in-arms, Paolo, might be considered my best friend. Our leader, Roland, is a friend of sorts, even if I’m mostly a pain in his ass.

Me: I am beginning to detect a trend. Next question: I know the subject is taboo in your time, but would you consider yourself gay, straight, or bisexual?

Christian: I have no idea what on earth those things mean.

Me: Do you prefer men or women in the bedroom?

Christian: Ah. *laughs* Taboo? Please. The nobles are banal, they just mask their proclivities well. I’ve snuck into many a place by being flexible, if you know what I mean. I still prefer the fairer sex, though.

Me: Noted. Is there anything else unique about yourself you’d like to share before our interview ends?

Christian: Unique… Let me see. *pauses in thought* Well, I can read. Which, for a man not born of noble blood, this is a rare skill. My father taught me. I kept a few small items from my childhood which my brother stows for me on the farmland he tends for the local lord. *grins devilishly* I sleep in the stables when I need a place to hide. Otherwise, I’m an accomplished swordsman and can shoot a bow in a pinch. Paolo is the better archer, however.

Me: One final question: Have you ever been in love, or would you ever settle down and marry?

Christian: I doubt it. *eyes darken as he glances away* I have more important things to do.

Me: Very well, then. I will not keep you any longer. Thank you for stopping by; we will be looking forward to learning more about you as the story unfolds.

And thank you, blog readers, for joining us. If you have any questions for Christian, feel free to leave a few comments. He might be a little bristly, but he is chatty when you fluff his ego a trifle. 😉

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