Ængstrom School for Superchildren
Father, Friend, Assassin
What is with the human obsession with years? I’m an adult – an Elder of the Duneyrr.
A guess? I don’t know. Maybe, 20 summers? Your kind measures years in summers, right?
I don’t understand this question. What is it asking?
What I preferred to be called? Jura, of the Duneyrr.
I don’t understand. I am male.
O-Okay. Yes, ‘he’.
- Where do you come from?
My tribe is here. I come from here.
What? What do you mean, originally?
My old tribe was the Panther tribe. They live in the far east, at the border of the Dragonlands.
- How do you talk?
With my tongue? I do not understand this question.
Ah. With purpose and strength. Mine is the voice of a Tribal Elder.
- What is the one thing you couldn’t live without?
No, I mean nothing. Self-sufficiency is a virtue amongst my people. At the age of maturity, children go through a ritual called the ‘Iseshin’, or ‘Rite of Independence’ in Towish. They are stripped of all things and cast naked into the woods. In one month, they may return. It demonstrates their strength and resilience, and that they are ready to be independent of their parents.
It is not cruel – very few are in any real danger. We care for our young, they are prepared far before the ritual.
Of course family is important – it is the most importan-
No, a man is inseparable from famil-
Listen, human, a man’s tribe courses through his veins, fills his lungs, and is woven into his spirit. Even if physically separated, a man is always part of his tribe – even in death. Asking if I could live without my tribe is like asking if a tree could live without it’s trunk. The tree would be a bush, it would cease to be a tree at all. I cannot exist without my tribe.
- What do you spend most of your days doing?
Hunting, mostly. For food, furs, and bones for tools. Sometimes for sport. I’ve been hunting less now that I have cubs and responsibilities with the tribe. These days, I spend most of my time teaching, or hunting with the Ironfist or Milazzo tribes.
What? Of course I spend time with the cubs. I take fatherhood seriously.
I don’t understand, didn’t I just say I spent most of my time teaching and hunting?
They are nearly one, they are ready to start learning to hold swords and to hunt.
- Where do you spend your days?
Mostly in Coppertow, but I have spent long weeks in Cris as well. My nest is in Coppertow.
What do you do for fun?
Didn’t we already cover this? I said I teach and go hunting.
Have you ever been hunting? I’m going out later with the cubs. It won’t be anything to dangerous, you should come.
- Who do you love most?
I love the Duneyrr, my tribe.
I can’t separate it further. Of course, I love Nilanth and the cubs, but they are part of my tribe.
Yes, Fedu is in the tribe.
Yes, I love Fedu. He’s strange and more uncivilized than most of you humans, but I would lay down my life to protect him.
- What are you scared of?
What am I scared of? Hmm.. There is not much that scares me. I find that much of the evil in the world can be extinguished at the point of a sword. What can’t be snuffed with a blade can be snuffed with magic, which the Duneyrr have no shortage of.
I think what I fear is the lost of the jungle. I’ve grown more anxious as I’ve watched CopperTow grow. They insist on cutting a wider berth around the city and wider roads. It will soon begin to disrupt the balance of the jungle. I can’t tell them not to, though – most humans are like niave cubs, they’d die if left exposed in the jungle. My attempts to encourage them to be self-sufficient and strong have fallen on deaf ears.
- Who do you dislike most?
Cassandra. Somehow, Al and my attempt to crush her business has failed, and it has not yet escalated to tribal feud, but I am patient. One slip, Cassandra.
- If you could have anything in the whole world what would it be?
A shortsword that can slay the Gods themselves. I am not much use against shades or phantoms. A magical blade would assure I could support Al, Dweme, Rana, Teien, and Morthos in any situation.
- What do you like about yourself?
About myself? I like my tribe. They are strong, resilient, and wise.
No, that is a real answer.
Other than my tribe? Hm, my connection with the allosaurus, I suppose.. I should probably have a pet allosaurus. As a guard animal, at the very least.
- What would other people say you are good at?
Oddly, I think they would say I am thoughtful. The other Elders have commented frequently that I am generous with meaningful gifts.
- What do you want to change about yourself?
Morthos has this amazing power to walk through shadows, appearing instantly in places wreathed in darkness but impossible to reach. I must admit, I wish I could do the same.
Isn’t that a change?
Well, I would like to take this cape off occasionally. It is beautiful and complements my feathers but-
That isn’t a change either? Hrmph. Well, I suppose I wish I was better at talking, but I think that is more because others have not yet learned they should respect me. The Duneyrr have traveled beyond the world, and looked down from the heavens. We have slain monsters that pass between planes, whose girth disturbs the very fabric of destiny. For once, I’d like to walk into a place and not have to threaten to eat someone.
- What is your favorite book/story/artist?
That is a difficult question. Scion Allison plays music brilliantly and Scion Marceau’s stories are funny, if embellished. Nilanth is a beautiful writer, her prose make my feathers stand on end. The Krimptons are artists with metal – though I admit I don’t use a Krimpton blade. Can you believe they’ve never even offered one?
My shortswords? They were forged in Stonebowl, by a blacksmith there. A woman named Sophia Woods. Look, you can see her signature on the base of the blade… It is a little hard to see now, it has been worn by battle and corroded by blood. I should commission a new pair.
- What is your favorite food?
Favorite? That would be black dragon steaks. They are spicy, and you have to drain the acid, but they taste amazing. Hard to find, though. I do also like giant ape meat.
Yes, the animal the vests are from. Haha, what a battle that was! Nearly pounded me into the ground like a tent stake. I could taste our victory in its flesh.
- Do you have a pet?
Of course! Have you met Nagas? He is a viper.. Careful, he’s poisonous. I also have a jar of Weird Wood insects I keep in the nest for light at night.
If your house was burning down, what would you take with you?
Hmm, I would probably pack my trophies, collect my blades, probably grab my dried herbs -
I’m resistant to fire, I’m not too worried. Nilanth and the silver cubs would have to rush out, but I think I could leave that to the brass cubs.
- You’ve got that. Now what non living thing would you take with you from the house?
Non-living? I guess if you make me choose one thing, it’d be the worn key. I usually wear it as a pendant with allosaurus teeth.
I don’t know where it is from, I found it back in the East. Seemed important, for some reason.