An interview with Peregrine of Ruelle

I’ve seen character interviews before, but only ones where the character comes from a recognisable version of Earth. Even if the character is a fantasy being like a vampire or a werewolf, the Earth setting means their human author could feasibly show up and talk to them. It’s a handy convenience.

My characters aren’t quite so approachable, since they’re on a different plane (maybe?) in an Earth-like world (sort of?) and they’ve never seen a human before (definitely). But hey, I don’t quit just because of some logic quibbles!

Today I interview Peregrine of Ruelle, the main character of Remedy (A story of Aligare). He’s a 169-year-old korvi, the race of bird-like dragons who use firecasting magic to fly.

Peregrine in paper mache form, pictured with his assistant/adopted daughter, Tillian.

Hello, Peregrine, and thank you for joining me today.

[Grumbled:] No trouble.

So, you spent most of your life mining, and you’ve more recently started flying messenger errands. What’s the biggest change in your daily routine since the gripthia outbreak [the main event of the Remedy story]?

I fly more than I used to. Messengers can’t very well walk their errands in at a worm’s pace. It’s been some trouble getting my old bones back into the sky, but I’d make the endeavor all over again if I had to.

Has your hearing loss made the messenger work difficult?

There are troublesome times. Some folk speak so quickly, I doubt they even know what they’re babbling about. But this new job has been a different lesson than I thought it would be. I can follow mouth movements and piece together the words fine enough, so long as I make the effort. I’m managing.

Is your home life anything like your upbringing in Ruelle House?

It’s less crowded. Ruelle House had a handful of ferrin just like this clan does, but more korvi. All in a Volcano tunnelhome I could nearly touch with my spread quills. It was well stocked with love, to be sure, but still small even for a mining family. When the uncles and cousins came for festival dinners, we didn’t all fit around the hearth.

Sounds cozy.

Plenty enough. I had the fear of close air worked out of me early, but I still like enough space to perch while I’m taking a meal. Giala and I made our Skyfield home large with that in mind. Out of grass thatch, so the aemet folk wouldn’t fuss about how much wood was used.

Do you keep in touch with your blood family?

Some years. There hasn’t been much we care to say. No good word but no bad, either.

If you took up a new type of casting, which type would you pick?

Watercasting sounds like a fine tool to have, but it’s so damnably hard to find a teacher — and an old fire-heart like me wouldn’t make much of a student, I’m sure. I’d choose brightcasting. I can work a casting stone full of someone else’s charge, but it would still be useful if I could mend up a cut with just my own self.

What or who is the greatest love of your life?

[With a wry smile.] I think I’ve had too many of those. Each of them is a who, not a what — that’s the measure that counts. My greatest loves are my mate, Giala, bright light that she is, and all the earferrin who’ve kept company on my shoulder. Zitan, Jiseroy, Ritti, Kelria and now, Tillian. I owe them more than I could ever pay.

Where would you like to live?

My clan home in Skyfield does just as well as anywhere. It’s a settlement near enough to my mine to be merciful to my old wings, and folk grow enough crops to keep my family fed. What else does a fellow need?

No, really, Peregrine. If you could live anywhere?

[Dryly.] I should think anywhere would include the place I already am.

What would be your second choice, then?

[A slight smirk.] Fair enough. I’d choose somewhere by the Hotrock Volcano slopes, I think. Near where my last mine tunnel was. It’s only a few furlongs from Skyfield, but the terrain is different — more favourable for flowering things that a person can either look at or make a meal of. And Giala would be nearer to her friends living in the Volcano. I imagine she could visit them more often.

On what occasions do you lie?

When the truth would cause folk to fuss and worry themselves to pieces. There’s no real sin to a lie like that.

What do you consider the most overrated virtue?

[Peregrine frowns. He is silent for a moment. ] … Pride. It makes no hay for anyone.

If you could be any animal, what would you be?

An animal …?

Yep. If the gods appeared before you and said they were going to stick your heart and essence into an animal’s body, which animal would you want to be?

I should hope the gods would tell me why they’re working such nonsense. [Harrumphs, but considers.] … A horse, I suppose. It’s strong enough to be of use. And it doesn’t have a mind to hunt. We can’t have this wretched Peregrine going about biting folk …

Thanks again for indulging me, Peregrine.

Fine. Good winds to you.

Got any questions you’d like to see Aligare characters answer? Ask them in the comments!