Dara – (Giggles coquettishly) “Some say Lucius has the Curse of Arminius and others say he is an ultimate he-man. People say a lot of things.”
HD – If Lucius has the Curse of Arminius how did you have so many children with him, and how did Riva manage to also bear one of his children?
Dara – The gifts of modern science and ancient magic can defy nature herself. The necessities of being a High Blood mean that even the Curse of Arminius could not thwart the Hand of Oberon and the instincts of Dworkin. (Pause) A girl does not ask another girl’s secrets though Riva is known to be unimaginative. I imagine she worked very hard to get that, or else Amberniting provides more advantages that I realized. (chuckle)
HD – Are you secretly married to Lucius? You two seem to act like you’re married when together.
Dara – As a teenager, I was married to his cousin Gaius. I was very young. Perhaps he must remind a great deal of Gaius
HD – Did you bear many children for Gaius and are any still alive?
Dara – Gaius and I did have children. He took pains to hide them for their safety. Sadly he considered me a security risk and took them from me. He was a hard man to be with. Unfortunately, I was wife number 7 or 8.
HD – Why are you keeping Corwin prisoner?
Dara – Corwin is not a prisoner. He is under the best care that Parys could provide. Our loving son Christophe is the primary caregiver under my supervision. We have around the clock care with the finest doctors and nurses under standby. Corwin is in a severe physical condition that causes harsh evil thinking people to accuse me of keeping him prisoner.
HD – If that’s the case what fuels the Free Corwin movement that’s gaining popularity amongst the Parys population?
Dara – (Shakes her head) Poor little Glen has delusions of his wishful thinking. He wants Corwin not Lucius to be his father. Me, not Jasra to be his mother. Can’t really blame him for either considering what fate dished out for him. (chuckle) Sometimes he tries too hard to make his delusions into reality. Unfortunately Glen needs to work with Christophe to build Parys not become a magnet for troublemakers and freaks who wish to disrupt the safety and security of our beloved Parys. Christophe is a great man whom I am proud of. Glen needs to see this and learn to obey and adore his adopted brother as he does for his perceptions of Corwin.
HD – Why has Jurt had so many problems recently?
Dara – Jurt always is a jealous troubled boy. While his father, Gramble Sawall, had similar issues, it would churlish of me to say it was heredity. I am hoping Jurt will stop being a rebellious Glen and obey his mother’s wishes. Unfortunately, it saddens me to admit that Jurt is my version of a Glen, that Jasra had.
HD – Is there any truth to the rumours that Jurt will be sent to the borstal?
Dara – Lucius has a plan to send almost everyone to the Borstal or Ambernite. I am sure he will do either to Jurt. Lucius even sent his sons to the Borstal though from what I understand it was more of a ROTC frat boy romp that what that kid of Riva’s was put through. Then again, my sons and grandsons are much higher quality and cut from much better cloth. (sniff)
HD – How would you describe your relationship with Jasra?
Dara – We are good friends. Our relationship is fine.
HD – How about your relationship to her husband, Brand?
Dara – Fine. He is asleep. That is good.
HD – Is it true that Despil now rules House Sawall and that Mandor is the power behind the throne?
Dara – I am the lawful Grand Duchess and Despil is Prime Minister and primary heir to Sawall. Mandor is a very talented and exceptional prince of Sawall who unfortunately is not eligible in the succession.
HD – King Swayville recently appointed the new head of Jesby. Couldn’t he do the same thing with Mandor and Sawall?
Dara – That was as a result of actions from the Jesby Council and their leadership team. Prince Rambault did not object and in fact welcomed it. While I will not criticize the decisions of King Swayville or those who help him in his sen-… physical and mental challenges. I feel that doing that to a Great House without their support would cause secession and or civil war. With Channicut and Helgram openly wanting independence, that would be foolish to even consider. All Sawall would resist Royal interference at that level without due cause.
HD – Are the Twins allowed in your lands, or do you ban them?
Dara – The Twins are my beloved grandsons. Perhaps they can come and help their poor destitute grandmother work at repairing Gantu after raiders sacked that grand old fortress. I can find hard work for them to do.
HD – So you would actually welcome the Twins into Gantu?
Dara – I would welcome them into my home in Daraways. Gantu is under repairs and is closed to all. There was an incident with burglars damaging the place. I would be interested in having my grandsons over for tea and teach them proper table manners. I hear Lucius uses his knife and fork wrong. Knife in the left hand? Really!
HD – What do you think of the Bear cults and religions?
Dara – While I think worshipping my grandsons is rather silly, I know the devotion of the people who exemplify me and their brother Christophe in the Quadity. Every mother thinks her boys are godlike. I am glad others think so too.
HD – How does the Bear religion relate to the Quadity, is it part of that Pantheon in the same way they relate to the Lucifer/Lucian worship?
Dara – I am not a theologian. I do not worry about the decisions with the Bishops of the Church. I do know that they venerate me which is all very nice but of little consequence. I am sure that the Quadity considers the Bears to be Saints as they are both half brothers to Blessed Holy Deliverer Christophe and also My sons. Plus they are also half brothers to the Apostle Glen and stepsons of the Holy Archangel Corwin. As for worshipping ancient villains or paragons, I doubt any sane person would worship the past lives of Geran and Lucius who Crossed Sabres villainized.
HD – Who is your favourite Bear, and why?
Dara – The hardest question for a mother is which of her beloved children is the best. Each bear has their own positives and areas for improvement. Barry is brave quiet and strong. Arthur is capable intelligent and sensible. Theodore loves exploring and has an ability to work with all sorts including primitive societies. Rupert is solid, dependable and somewhat immutable.
HD – Which of the Bears spends the most time with you?
Sadly none of them do. Their father is as lazy as his brother Matthew. Someone has to run the state and do the work while Lucius lays around in the hot tub drinking red wine and devising devilish blood rituals to play in.
HD – Why is Christophe afraid of Glen?
Dara – Christophe is certainly not fearful of Little Mister Glen. I suspect he cares about his adopted brother and only wishes him the best. Glen does need tender care because Jasra was a bad mother. Glen also lived with Corwin during much of his Creation madness and Abyss madness and has Stockholm syndrome about his time when Corwin made insane decisions. Glen can be a nice boy with a wardrobe upgrade and perhaps acquiring better re-education.
HD – Is there any truth to the reports that Christophe refuses to leave Parys for fear that Glen will become more active there?
Dara – Christophe is extremely hard working, conscientious and diligent. He works very hard for the people of Parys and has an enormous sense of responsibility. He just recently had twins as well with his wife Jorrah. His family and his greater family of the People of Parys require that he work beyond his stamina to ensure that Parys remains the glittering star in the morning for Creation.
HD – What do you think of Julia and the Edgefield?
Dara – Gads! No in suite bathrooms in much of the facilities. How awful. They call it a borstal on par with the High Blood Academy. It suits Julia well though as she is a backward sort of trollop, floozy and strumpet. I think her association with the Twins are somewhat disturbing. Plus with all those bars, a distillery, a winery and a brewery, she will be constantly happy and in a jolly good mood.
HD – Would you be willing to visit the Twins at the Edgefield?
Dara – I am allergic to the black mould that the humidity causes. And that is just in Julia’s clothing and hair. That woman is a slattern.
HD – Is it true that Charles is your favourite son?
Dara – I love all my sons and do not play favourites. Charles is capable and highly skilled and proficient at statecraft. I believe he is Lucius’ favourite as he does most of his father’s work. The other son of Elizabeth and Brand is as lazy as his brother.
HD – As you’ve raised the topic of the other brother we have to ask: What do you think of the Lucius-Matthew alliance?
Dara – (Rolls eyes) They are full brothers and deserve one another. Luckily they are both so lazy that nothing gets done in their evil schemes. Ian said it best though that they are engaged in a “fraternal pissing contest” to see who is the better. Matthew had the disadvantage of Dworkin’s flawed and outdated education while Lucius is just plain determined to have everyone worship him. Matthew has somewhat better PR and can commit atrocities without people hating him as much as Lucius does.
HD – Do you use Jesby poisons or cultivate your own?
Dara – What a cruel thing to say. I am a very good cook now. Corwin used to say that to insult my meatloaf. How insensitive can you be about people’s culinary skills. Corwin used to say he preferred Jesby poison to my Baked Alaskan. One cannot please everyone.
HD – Should Jesby be concerned about the competition?
Dara – Gloriana is a determined upstart who is rapidly consolidating her power in Jesby and probably will go after Osric’s old lands. Jesby should be concerned about its new Lady and dragging them into a war.
HD – What position do you now have with the Dragon Court now that you’re no longer the Foreign Minister?
Dara – Everyone serves King Swayville as the King determines. The High King deemed to give his daughter a job for gainful employment. I am not saddened as it gives me time with My Own Court at Sawallways as its Grand Duchess. That is my main position currently.
HD – King Swayville is considering appointing you to be Ambassador to Asgard; what are your thoughts on that?
Dara – How does one learn to eat with their hands and feet and to sleep wrapped up in stinky furs. I also would need a course in learning to pick fleas from one’s hide.
HD – Are the rumours true that you killed other versions of yourself in places like Equinox and Fatherland?
Dara – I do not know the rumours but I have heard people say silly things about me. One rumour that Lucius has been spreading is that I poisoned Agrippinilla Jesby and me, not Gana stabbed Rilga. Also the Twins sell lovely Florida swampland in Badovia. I do not know of Equinox and Fatherland? Do they take Sawall passports?
HD – Who was the last person you killed, and why?
Dara – (chuckles) I considered the last action I killed was a plot to get Swayville to adopt him and make him heir. The poor old King was being befuddled by Lucius pretending to be his nephew Lucian and answering to the SNAP of the old man’s fingers. I also killed the scheme by Glen to become King of Parys but it keeps coming back to life with more lives than an energizer bunny.
HD – Are you familiar with this so-called Grand Stair, and a creature known as Ix?
Dara – My palace has a grand staircase. It was build by Gramble’s father in Sawallways. It is beautiful and mysterious. Perhaps I will let the hoi poli view it. In the meantime, I think it is grand. As for Ix. He is an obnoxious creature – once he asked me to be his fourth wife. Good Heavens!
HD – What is Ix like and why would he want to marry you?
Dara – Even a tumbled down jumped up little demon like creature can hope to love a beautiful and powerful woman as me.
HD – Was Gantu looted recently?
There were some petty burglars trying to find Oberon’s Will. Probably sent by Random. They were rather stupid and ended up being whipped. They ended up in the stocks with the hobbits and had rotten eggs thrown at them.
Hd – Do you keep Tone with the other hobbits or does he have a separate cell?
Dara – I do not have Tone. The smell of hobbit feet would fill Daraways with near lethal toxic stenches.
HD – Did Andres treat you well when he was your doctor?
He is a highly competent and ethical physician and surgeon. I am grateful for his skills. He gets maligned in the press too much. He is caring for the poor and the environment. A nice good man. I believe in him and fully endorse him.
HD – Does Andres use your poisons?
Dara – No, I imagine he maintains a full medicine cabinet or apothecary as a physician and surgeon.
HD – What is your favourite hobby?
I have so many. Collecting, Music, Dance, Ruling Sawallways, Being a good loving mother.
HD – What sorts of things do you collect other than hobbits and other creatures to whip?
Dara – Were I wanting collections to whip, I would have married Tubble Channicut.
HD – It’s been said you have three wombs and are always pregnant. Whose children are you bearing right now, and are they aware of their impending fatherhood?
Good Lord, more of THOSE rumours again. They used to give medals to proficient mothers. Now they get ridiculed How times have changed and attitudes really soured. I think this rumour came from Matthew when I caught him trying to take a doggie bag home from one of my receptions. Or maybe that late son of Geran, who threw a dagger at my mouth.
HD – Did you give the order to kill Erik or do it personally?
Dara – It is no secret I mourn him not. However I do not seek out war with his father Geran. I did not kill Erik nor order it done. I did, mother one of Geran’s sons, Eugene who is a fine young man and serves his father very well.