Tim Akers has been doing some very interesting things with his style of Steampunk called Noird, a fusion of Noir and the New Weird. After I started The Horns of Ruin I knew I wanted to do something a little different and was immediately drawn to the star of the book Eva Forge. This interview acts as a nice vignette of what is to come and takes place before the events The Horns of Ruin.
MH: Eva, thanks for joining us today. I know your duties with the Scions of Morgan keep you quite busy.
EVA: Of course. I'm always thrilled to play the part of Public Relations goon for the Cult. It's precisely the sort of thing my years of training in sword and pistol have prepared me for. Sitting. And talking. Just thrilled to be here.
MH: Can you tell us a little about yourself and what you do for the Morganites?
EVA: What I do? (leans back in her chair, sighs, runs a finger across her temples and then to the revolver at her hip) What I do. The Cult is the earthly embodiment of Morgan, Brother Immortal, Champion of the Fraterdom and God of War. Our temples are battlefields, our liturgies are the clash of blade and bullet. For centuries we have stood between civilization and chaos, carrying the standard of battle against any who would oppose the Godking.
As Paladin of the Cult of Morgan, it is my holy and sworn duty to lead the charge against the darkness, to bear my sword and sight my iron against the enemies of the Fraterdom. In their blood I find redemption. In their bones I sanctify my soul.
(folds hands neatly across her knee)
This is what I do. What warriors do.
MH: Ummm, I mean no disrespect. Your skills are well known, if not quite understood. The people of Ash need to be educated about Morgan what with The Betrayer's lot still lurking around. Speaking of the Cult of Amon. Given their pedigree do you think it is fair that they are all imprisoned? None of the current followers were even alive during Amon's time.
EVA: It's an interesting question. Many ways to ask that question. Let's try this: Three hundred years ago, Amon the Scholar murdered his brother in cold blood. His brother, who had dedicated his life to defending the citizens of humanity from the darkest threats this fractured world could conjure. Murdered him as he slept.
I'm not saying that they're murderers. They aren't the Betrayer. But they worship him, do you see? They are dedicated the what he was before the Betrayal, to the Scholar and the Engineer and the Scientist. But there's the seed of murder there, somewhere. They worship who he was, but that Brother, that God, he was becoming a murderer.
I don't understand it. I don't understand giving yourself over to a God who became something so awful. But that's their choice, and the Godking allows it. Encourages it. And if there are going to be Amonites, then yes. They must be kept locked away. They must be kept from us. It's unfortunate that it has to be that way. But it is their choice, not mine.
MH: Devotees of the Fraterdom are often given by their parents at a young age to the Cults. What was your childhood like growing up in the Strength of Morgan?
EVA: Hard. Barnabas was good to me, always, but he was always honest with me, too. He never made it easy. The ones who let up on the training because I was a girl, because I was a child and an orphan (or as good as an orphan) did me no favors. Barnabas expected a lot of me. And he got it.
MH: Barnaba is still a bit of enigma to me given he hardly leaves the Strength, but he has always been known as honorable. Eva, there are some that are saying the Cult of Morgan is dying with no chance of a resurgence. How would you answers these detractors? Are they right?
EVA: The way things are going? Yes. Absolutely. Precious Alexander coddles the Scholars, bleeds them for the latest gadget, drains his damned war machines out of their corrupt brains... and Morgan is forgotten. Morgan, who stood on the walls of Eliathas and fought back the hordes of Malcontent King, who led the charge at the battle of Veri-dunne. Morgan, the God of War. And war has been taken from him, and entrusted to the machines of a murderer. So, yes, I think the Cult is dying. Because the Fraterdom is dying. Alexander has stopped caring about honor, or respect, or an honest fight. All he cares about is what he can get out of the servant of Amon, and that the servants of Morgan pay the proper respect.
(she waves her hand, clearly frustrated)
This is a matter for the Elders. It is not my place, and if Barnabas were here I would be scrubbing pots for the rest of my life. I am only the Paladin. My place is the battlefield. Not the Council Chamber, or the marketplace, or the newspapers. Or, for that matter, the interview room.
Morgan keep you. (She stands and leaves, muttering about words, words, words...)
MH: But...but...but...Hrrrmmm... (drops face into hands) I knew this wouldn't go well. Damn Alexander and his insipid request. Oh! I hope nobody heard that.
***************Read more Eva Forge in The Horns of Ruin, which will be available November 22nd from Pyr Books. Learn more about Tim Akers at his blog or check out his other book Heart of Veridon, the first in the Jacob Burn cycle.
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