Metal Shadow PreludeWhat better way to kick off my (new) blog than with an interview with the main character of my action fantasy web serial on JukePop, Metal Shadow Prelude? I must say, Noa was a lot nicer in person than she is in the story. Very classy woman.

Some background info:

Noa is the Queen of Purgia, a city in Ende, a realm in exile from the rest of the world. She was raised by the Un-Sin, a type of humanoid beastie, after escaping captivity as a child. She’s not very popular because of a prophecy made about her, which states that she will eventually destroy the world. Very enigmatically, might I add. (But then, what prophecies aren’t enigmatic?)

Well, here’s the interview! Questions are big and bold, answers are in regular format.

Good day, Your Majesty! Welcome to the interview.

Ava diel. Pleasant to be here.

“Ava”-what now?

It means “good day” in the Old Tongue. You should know this.

I do, I do. Just keeping readers in the loop! Can you introduce yourself to them?

A-hah, as if they do not already know me? Well. Noa Rylie, queen regent of the city of Purgia, at your service. Prophecy also names me the Moon-Child, harbinger of the end of the world. A conflict of titles, but so it is. I was previously betrothed to one Doctor Tilzunde Dragon, who in turn fathered the Agency. Thus, by extension, I am the equivalent of a war-general.

Very impressive resume! Who named you Noa Rylie?

I have forgotten. The Clandestined–my previous masters–tell me one story and another.

(Ed Note: For those out there who don’t know, Noa was kidnapped as a child from the ruins of her birthplace by the Clandestined, a super-group currently ruling Purgia.)

Noa, can you tell us why they kidnapped you, and what it was like growing up one of their servants?

I was no servant, fool.

Oops! Apologies!

The Clandestined pampered me, in most regards. They needed me. When you fulfill the first prescriptions of a prophecy, it renders you something. An icon. I was born on the night of the full-moon, following six beats of a drum and a tsunami, and my hair and eyes are blue. This was all foretold.

“When you fulfill the first prescriptions of a prophecy, it renders you something. An icon.”

Naturally, the Clandestined were curious to see if I would fulfill the rest of the prophecy–the part where I destroyed the world in two nights. I may have been traded between hands, but there was always a sense of guardianship over me from each family. And perhaps fear. Definitely awe.

Did you like any of the families?

I hated all of them. Most were executed when I became Queen.

Harsh!

Lives for a life.

How did you become Queen?

Ah, that is Dragon’s doing. Really, he is the Queen here, and I am just his wife. Not my first choice of career.

Hahaha!

What?

Dragon is a man, isn’t he? How can he be Queen?

It was a play of speech. I am the ruler, and I am a Queen. Therefore the ruler of Purgia is a Queen.

It’s just funny to call a man a Queen.

Would you laugh so heartily had I called a woman a King?

…Good point! So how did you meet Dr. Dragon?

We met an odd number of years ago. Nine, or some such. I was a prizefighter, then a nobler sport, but despite my upbringing the strongest in the realm trounced me. He caught me after a lost match, and offered to grant me power, for a price.

“I am the ruler, and I am a Queen. Therefore the ruler of Purgia is a Queen.”

It wasn’t the offer–not entirely that–which made me take his hand. And I don’t believe he wanted me entirely to experiment with, either. There was a genuine connection.

Would you say it was love?

Love… From what I hear, mayhap that.

Can you tell the audience about his experiment?

Tilzunde sought a means to draw out a human’s magical powers, and needed subjects for it. He called it the “Adrenal Project”. I became his first mainstay.

Would you say you were, essentially, his servant?

Clean and true.

What did you do in his service?

Simple things. Fight. Kill. Simple things.

And he betrayed you?

Aye.

Can you tell us about that? How you felt?

I will not revisit the past. And words cannot express how I felt after it. I was never loved by another human until him, but he took things too far, too soon.

Let’s talk about the Agency. What is it? What’s an “Agent”?

The Agency is but another arm of the Adrenal Project. Dragon and his clown Niccoli would have all the details for you, but that is really the gist. It was formed nearly four years ago, following the collapse of the Liberation Front, a group of peons who thought they could dethrone me. Niccoli was named the director–or “chief ass”, as I and my fellow wife Shieva like to say–and he brought all his mainlander skills with him. It is, on the records, a military contractor.

“I was never loved by another human until him, but he took things too far, too soon.”

Agents are those who volunteer, as I did, to partake in the experiment. The Agency gives them strength through whatever arcane means Dragon has devised, then performs examinations by sending Agents out into the realm on humanitarian missions–often peacekeeping ones. Their strength is variable, but the strongest would probably provide me sport on an off day.

They sound more like an army than a group of test subjects.

You seem to appreciate how many servants Dragon has.

I think it’s an obvious observation!

It is. The Agents serve him without question, as I once did, which makes them more of an army than anything else.

Are there any Agents you know personally?

Dragon took me and the other wives to the Witch’s Keep following his appointment of Niccoli. So I do not know any of the Agents personally. I hear many of them are former, now captured and brainwashed, Liberation officers, though, and I do remember some of them.

You keep mentioning that Dragon has other wives. Who are they?

My memory! He has taken three other women from the Adrenal Project to his bed. They are Louqe Belleville, Raffikke, and Shieva Bennoev. All Clandestined, but charming otherwise.

Were you comfortable with this arrangement?

I was comfortable with him. And they are good at sharing. So, yes.

Did Dragon “betray” them the way he did you? And if so, are they on the run, like yourself?

I am sure he betrayed all of us, but I am sparse with the details. The way they cling, I doubt any of them have or would have fled. Only I know shame from his deed. They would probably be honored.

Thank you for the interview Noa!

Avai.

I’m so curious to know what it is Dr. Dragon did to Noa! Who are these other wives? Who are these Agents? What was the Liberation Front? What is the goal of the Adrenal Project?

For now, we can only speculate, as we follow Noa’s escape from Dragon’s far-reaching clutches across the realm of Ende. Check out Metal Shadow Prelude (#MSPre) to read the complete saga today!

(Shout out to Sean Munger for the awesome blog idea! Follow his blog here or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Munger.)

(Also, I tried to pull up some inspirational images of Noa, but I’m a bit too new at the blogging thing; inserting images is out of my scope. In any case, check out character inspirations of the series on my Pinterest!)

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