I began the Fangs & Broomsticks blog in February 2013 and honestly, it seems like forever ago. I am thrilled to be doing another Q&A on the Realm as follow-up to the original Witchspeak 101 that kicked off the blog almost eight months ago.
I am going to jump into the questions because they are good ones (as a disclaimer – the main content of the questions is the same as submitted, I adjusted and/or truncated some of the text for clarification for the blog in some questions).
From Rachel -
Can you explain why and how Turloch became a Dark? Since he isn't an Ancient to my knowledge, who are his parents? Are you born darkness or does the environment you are raised in determine if you become a Dark? Where did your inspiration come from for him?
I can always count on Rachel to make me think. The questions above were raised when I posted on the Ancients Facebook page a rather hot picture that made me think of Turloch along with the indication that in Alia's story, I would be going back to the beginning, and it would include the time before Turloch became Dark.
In Forsaken, I actually do make reference to the fact that Turloch is an Ancient and that he lived in the time of the Ancient Queens. He is one of the original created Witch, so he has no parents.
One of the premises behind the series is that the Ancients- both Witch and Vampire – were created with the same flaw (or not, depending on your perspective) as humans – free will. While the Witch were created in the Light and the Vampire were conceived in the Darkness of Hell and their purposes were instilled in them at the time of creation, neither breed was restricted from choosing a different path.
In Chosen, Kaitriana makes reference to the fact that Turloch hated Brisen and all of the Queens. That idea is more fully explained in Mistaken and I do not want to dive into it too deeply, but the reasons for those feelings are revealed (whether justified or not.) I will say that there may be a couple of happenings in his life that push him into full Darkness – those \will be explored more in the 4th book.
As far as inspiration for Turloch – I cannot think of one character in fiction or a single person in real-life that came into play when I created him in my head. I needed a smart protagonist, an evil Witch that would be fierce enough to hold his own in a Realm of Dark Vampire and with Rhydach. Turloch came to life as that, and he has continued to evolve and develop in complexity (in my head) as he comes into more prominence in the series. He is dynamic, and somewhat fascinating, and while I do not expect many will be wishing for him to have a change of heart by the end, he might have a few readers longing for him to reconsider his Dark ways. He is intelligent and charming, but his soul is black and ultimately, his fate is already set…and it will be a great storyline for him by the time all is done.
From Angel -
Ok so I know Kat is the Queen of Queens and Ella is the Fire Queen but what is Kylie the Queen of? Also since there are only 7 different Castes will the other Queens be Vampire? I mean there are supposed to be 13, correct? I’m sure that Kat is included in the 13 so that would leave 5 Queens that would not be Witch. Can you talk about these without giving anything away?
You are correct, there are 13 books already plotted for this series. There are also a few novellas, so at first glance, the numbers do not add up if every book features a Queen. There are only 7 Castes. The ‘Queen’ designation began in Ancient times as a title for the most powerful Witch in each Caste (which just happened to be a female – because women are awesome). Kat is the Queen of Queens, but again, that means the rise of 8 Queens total – so 8 books, series over.
Each book will not feature a newly risen Queen in a Caste. Kylie was the first example of this – she is not a Queen, but she is very important to the Light’s purpose. In Broken, Kylie is given a very special designation of her own. This will be a concept that you will see develop and grow over the remainder of the series…watch for it, it is key.
From Candy –
We have the Queen of Queens aka The Chosen, a Fire Queen, and the Nature Queen. What are the other Castes the Queens come from?
There are seven Castes of magic in the Witch breed – Fire, Nature, Light, Seer, Spell Casters, Healers & Warrior. There is more information about the Castes on the Ancients website on the info page: http://www.ancientsoflight.com/info.html; the powers are described a bit more there, as well as a bit more information about the Realm in general.
From Theresa –
If the Realm is in Europe and modern Europe is heavily populated, what prevents humans from wandering through it? AFAIK, there are no vast tracts of unknown Europe.
In Broken, Kat explains to Kylie that …“Laverock and certain other structures in the Realm are so well protected by magic they could never be discovered by humans, but there are places where we co-mingle with the mortals and they are never the wiser. Other holdings are in plain sight, but are so magically enchanted that the ongoings of the Realm remain hidden. We clean up as best we can when the cloak of magic is breached, but no doubt much of the lore surrounding Witch and Vampire in human culture has been derived from encounters where we did not fix things quite as well as we believed.”
Based on my research, there are still vast areas in mainland Europe that are unpopulated, or sparsely populated. The areas are not necessarily undiscovered they are simply so well protected that access to them is restricted completely – humans would not be able to wander into them, (such as Laverock) - or they are in plain sight, but supernatural happenings are cloaked by magical means. Any human looking upon them would see nothing beyond the appearance of normalcy, whatever the Witch choose to project.
It is part of the duty of the Witch to protect the humans from both the knowledge of the supernatural world and the Darks.
From Sharon -
Over the years who would be the one person who had the greatest positive influence in Lorcan’s life? Was it a mortal? A great leader perhaps? Not necessarily family or close friends - excluding Kat.
We all know that Lorcan had a strained relationship with his father. You will learn more about the dynamic between Brisen and her sons in Mistaken, but she was not the greatest positive influence in Lorcan’s life either. Lorcan would tell you that Sayer remains the greatest positive influence in his life. Lorcan is an incredible warlord with a Warrior’s mindset while his brother has always been more thoughtful, more deliberate, and less volatile. He is a great counter to Lorcan’s temper and unyielding persona. Before Kat, Sayer was the greatest voice of reason and is by far the most intellectual of the Elite. Sayer is not only his brother, but his most trusted advisor, along with Colm. Those are the two he most often seeks for counsel.
Second to Sayer would be Maeve. I cannot tell you too much of the dynamic that exists between them without giving away more of Maeve’s story, but sufficed to say, she was the first female to show him that a female is fully capable of being a Warrior and having a generous spirit and giving heart. He had a special fondness for Maeve when he was a child, and despite the overbearing, domineering lout he became over the centuries before Kat’s appearance in his life, he has always held admiration and love for Maeve.
From Sharon –
I have another question. Kat lost her parents at a young age, and we know her father was a force to be reckoned with, and we know her mother was Brisen's BFF, but we really don't know much about them. So, with that intro.....what would be Kat's favorite memory of her parents?
Kat spent much of her youth and young adulthood training on Warrior skills with her father. Her favorite memories of Elfred would be around those times.
Since Vevila was a Healer, she was not often called to battle; she had a lot of time at home with Kaitriana when she was a child, while Elfred, Myrrdyn and the others were at war. Kaitriana learned her heritage, the lifestyle and culture of the Witch breed, and received basic instruction on healing and magic from her mother. Vevila, with her gentle spirit and kind heart was also a balance against the haughty arrogance that Kat was exposed to regularly with her powerful grandpapa. Her favorite memory of Vevila revolved around those times and would almost certainly have something to do with wrangling spiders.
Kaitriana was close to her parents and had much affection for them, despite that they were not typical Witch and preferred to not associate with the faction regularly. She gained much of her free spirit and independence from them.
Thank you to everyone that posted questions on the Realm, and please continue to post your questions about the series and the books either here or on the Facebook page. I love to talk about the characters and their stories. Thank you also for your ongoing support of the series – I am having so much fun and am so happy to have found so many of you that are having fun in the Realm as well.