Connect with the Author
About the Book
This collection of short stories features myths and lore from Perilisc, a unique fantasy setting. Journey deeper into its history. Struggles of royalty, immortal love, unruly wizards, lost heroes, blistering vendettas and more, provide gripping insight into the scope of this realm.
Keep reading for an interview with Simon Bard from Legends of Perilisc:
Where were you born, and what was it like growing up there?
Born, not so much. I was fashioned, fit together and bent in place like wire or wicker. I was stretched over my bones and my father shaved off the jagged pieces. I never asked what I was made from. I know he gave me a bit of himself. There is a yearning that comprises me, a deep-seeded desire to create. He was of inspiration and craftsmanship, and I guess I’m the same way. As far as a childhood, I never really was able to experience one. I was created whole and fully formed. I remember a bird he gave me. I rode it from the heavens to the land. When I first found the land that would be man’s, I was scared. The first few years walking the planet alone were terrifying. The bird stayed with me. It protected me, kept me safe, fed me. It was my only friend for the first couple of years, until I crafted Andre. Then it left. I found its skull a few thousand years later in a cave on the side of a cliff. Man, I haven’t thought about that in a long time.
Do you have a close relationship with your family?
I have a few creations I have called children and they call me father. They love and respect me, but I am not a great father. I keep to the road and I don’t go visit very often. I got used to Andre when I was young. He was not affectionate. We spent tens of thousands of years together. In that time, I never really received loving attention. Great amounts of love and adoration make me uncomfortable. I stay away from my children. That makes me a bad father. One day I will regret the time I have lost with them. I know that.
Who was your best friend growing up?
The first few years with Andre were pretty great. He had this way about him—dry humor, quiet. He never ate, but he liked to watch me eat. He was powerful, humble. Andre was a perfectionist, and it was the only thing we argued about. He hummed while we worked, and with him being so big, the sound of it filled the cave or the cliff we worked on. Been thousands of years since I saw him. Need to look him up.
Who do you most admire in your world? Why?
There is a man who works in the town Manbo, in a nation in northern Perilisc called Tragon. His name is Bendus Begot. When he was young, he fell in love with a girl who lived down the road from him. He said nothing, had not the power to summon enough to go and talk to her. She married his brother. But after she promised herself to him, she started spending time with Bendus, and she fell in love with him. He knew it, too, but he refused to do anything about it. His brother loved her and he would have nothing to do with hurting him. He never let on he had feelings for her, and let her love for him fade. Bendus lives right down the road from her and has all his life. He watches her grow old and keeps his feelings hid. Her kids, his nephews, call him Nuncky Bendy. He has never loved another, and never will, would be my guess. He works alongside his brother every day. He holds no animosity for him. He sees the love of his life every day, and he does not let his need for her chew at him. Bendy is a man of true virtue. He is a man of true love. Nothing grand has ever happened to him. No great events have tested him, save his deep love for his brother’s wife. Every few years, I stop in to see him. He has not let bitterness into his heart. He is a good man with a terrible burden. When I think of the troubles I have, I think of him silently pining for a woman he will never possess, and I realize my plight could be worse. For in my opinion, there is no pain like unrequited love.
Tell us a little about your world, and where you fit in?
Well, after my body of work was complete, I started walking and I never stopped. At first, I went as far as the borders of the nation my favorite creations were carving out for themselves. It wasn’t until that nation was put together that I really got started. Hecatomb, the god of sacrifice and strength, came to me one day and asked me how he could reward me for crafting the humans. I told him I wanted to be able to see what was going on around the world so I could aid the men and women of the righteous races. He plucked out his eye and gave it to me. It shrank down in my hands to the size of my head. It gave me the power to see everything that was happening in the world, and everything that had happened. I had to hide it, but it is tied to me. I can see the lives of the people of the world. I go from place to place, telling stories and giving information to people who vie against dark forces. My stories give them power and knowledge to combat the dark and terrible things of the world.
What was the most embarrassing moment in your life?
When I was younger, I was in a bar, and I thought I saw a guy pick his nose and eat it—not as uncommon as you would think. I have the Eye; I see it happen all the time. I walked up to him and clapped him on the back and said I do it, too. He looked at me like I was an idiot, and asked what. I told him what I saw him do, and he laughed and told me he hadn’t. I looked in on the Eye and, sure enough, I was wrong. He went around the entire bar telling everyone what I had said. I left. I know every one of those people is dead by now, but I still can’t go back to that town.
What is the most important lesson you've learned about life?
The most important lesson I have learned in my hundreds of thousands of years of living is not to get too attached to people. All the descendants of the ones I have created are too dear to me to ever live with for long. If I stay in one place, if I allow myself to touch for too long the lives of the people I love, then their tragedy will break me. Their lives are so fragile, so brief. I think any immortal that really wants to live has to keep a bit of distance. I have learned this lesson, but I can’t keep to it. I still love too deeply. I still care too much. I give too much of myself away and I suffer for it.
Where is the best place to visit in your world? What places should visitors avoid?
There is a place that makes stew in Konith called Beaver’s Sip and Sup. They do wondrous things with barley and mutton. You gotta stop in there. Don’t mention my name to the barmaid. She and I don’t see things the same. Order the stew, but don’t drink that swill Beaver ladles out of his still. In all of Perilisc, there is one view that you can’t live without seeing. It is from a cliff outside a town called Wadts. Skip the sunset and sunrise. They are overrated. Go there when you smell a storm. Stand in the notch of stone on the western breast of the cliff, and watch the things Bluxo does with lightning. The first time I saw it, I swore she was tearing down the world. It is her best work. She creates with fire and light out there things that cannot be seen anywhere else. Her lover died in the god war. When she gets in a mood, she puts on a show for him. Do I have time for one more? There is a valley up in the mountains of Jamoid called the Mudflats. Long ago, a landslide flooded the entire area with mud and rock. When it all leveled out, the ground went brown and soppy. I’m not sure what was covered up. I have a guy I could ask, a cartographer I knew a few thousands years ago. I can’t ask him, though, because I owe him a few gold. And there was an interest thing, and now I just have to avoid him. But anyway, when that landslide hit, it covered up something strange. The ground is always wet there. Nothing grows, and every now and then, the ground burps. There really is no other word for it. A great belch of air will erupt from the ground and a colored gas will fill the air. It doesn’t smell, well not real bad, but it does give off a great sound and a pretty dazzling show. If you have a little boy, take him there. Girls are never as amused by it as they should be.
Do you have any hobbies? What are they?
When I am tired of storytelling and wandering, I like to write. Not much, not as much as most people, but I have penned a tale before. It’s not as alive as telling it out loud, but it is immortal, or damn close to it. I have written about five hundred books in 120,000 years since the god war ended. That is not really that many. Most of them are lost. I can see the remnants of the few that have survived. It is discouraging to know you spent six years of your life illustrating and writing a tome on the patterns of racial migration over the War of the Yern, and when you look in on it, it’s holding up the end of a tilting bookcase filled with books about the sexual exploits of a deviant mind. It has been there in that library holding up that bookcase for a decade. Every time I’m in that country, I tell myself I am going to march into that house, grab that book, jerk it out of that library, and watch that lecherous old man spit and sputter as his bookcase topples. But I never seem to have the time.
If you could meet someone from another novel, who would it be? Why?
That is easy. Without a doubt it would be Roland Deschain of Gilead from Stephen King’s Dark Tower series. Roland is a magnificent storyteller; I am captivated by a well-told story. Roland has a sharp and dangerous mind and cannot be outdone in riddles and mind puzzles. If I could share a campfire with him, I would walk away happy. He is one of the most dangerous men that ever lived. I would love to watch him shoot. He is intense and powerful and everything I am obsessed with. A fire with Roland would be a thing to experience.
Do you have a secret you've never told anyone? Would you tell us?
I just met you. I don’t even know anything about you. But I know what it took to get me here, and I know there is no way for you to get back to my land, so I will tell you, I guess. But this is kind of a rude way to start a relationship. After this, I want to hear your greatest secret. If we have a pact, then I will begin. I met a woman. This was about two decades ago. She was fun and cute and smart. An artist, and a better one than me. Her name was Rebekah, and she stole me fast. I talked to her for hours one night over a tankard of ale, and she kissed me as she left, on this scar here by my cheek. Fell in love with her then. I let her go and I ran. I went to the other side of the continent and stayed away. But you don’t forget a woman like that. She saw a few friends of mine in the time I was gone, but no one knew how to treat her right. I was able to keep track of her through the Eye, and I just watched as she went about her life. She had a penchant for falling in love with losers that would hurt her. I went to her after five years was up, because I just couldn’t live without talking to her. I was able to keep it together for a few years, but life with a house and a village, life in a sedentary state—not what I was built for. I left, and I missed her every day. Still do, but my boots can't stay off the road, no matter how much I want them to. There was a son. She gave me a boy. I didn’t know until he was gone. See, Hecatomb’s Eye won’t show me my family. He grew up and left the house and I never met him. My only true born son is out there somewhere. She said he inherited the power of the Eye. She said he was an artist, and he worked in stone.
What kind of clothing do you prefer to wear?
I like anything durable, anything easy to travel in. For the most part, that is leather, but not just any leather. There is an animal, you would think is a terrible beast, known in the mountains of Drine. They are carrion eaters, and they must consume the corpse of a man-sized creature every week. They are gross in every way, let out a smell, foul beyond your understanding of the word. The elite in the nation use them as mounts. Well, when they die, their skins are harvested for their hides. The leather made from them has a stench that sticks to the vestment for years. The true horrors of the Drine army wear these wretched-smelling skins as a way of scaring enemies. Well, if you let that smell play out for a few years, then it finally dies and you can wear it with no harsh effects. It is the most durable leather known to exist on my planet. It cannot be punctured. It cannot be crushed. It is lightweight and easy to sew. It is the perfect material for boots, coats, and belts. The coat I am wearing right now is made from these beasts. See this cuff right here? It is just now starting to show signs of aging. No other place has even a scuff. Do you see it, right there? That little burr of the leather. That is the only mar I wear. This jacket is 2,000 years old. Do you see? This is the greatest leather you can get.
No, the hat is a different kind of leather. No, I can’t talk about it. Next question.
Name some of your bad habits.
I don’t bathe as much as I should. I’m on the road a lot, and I have to travel light. There is a smell. I’m aware of it. Rivers and lakes are cold and not suited for bathing, no matter what the progetten of the mountain tell you. I carry soap on me, but I can never find it. It seems like every time I use it, I forget to pick it back up after the bath. I have left a trail of soap bars across this land and back many times. I sleep with my boots on. I get sores. I have asked my father if there is any way he can make me odorless. He is a god; he could do it. But he refuses. It’s a tiny thing, but I get looks. I don’t care. They will just have to deal with it.
If you could change something about yourself, what would it be? Why?
I talk too much. It is a problem. I’m almost offended when someone else is telling a story in front of me. I could tell it better. I have over a hundred thousand years of storytelling experience on almost every man alive. I’m a bit of a snob about it, but it is a fact. I dominate every conversation I am in. It’s obnoxious, but no matter how many times I try to rein it in, I can’t stop. As soon as someone starts telling a story, I already know the end. The Eye shows it to me. Then I’m just sitting, listening to a buffoon butcher a story. I know it’s annoying. You are a bit annoyed, I can see. I will try to do better and stop interrupting between your questions.
If you had one day left to live, what would you do with your last day?
If I had one day left to live, I’m assuming I knew this was coming and have carved my sarcophagus. I’ve built my tomb and I have—what am I saying? I’ll be buried on the side of the road in a ditch, probably in a town I hate. But let’s say that I knew I had one more day to live. I think I would get drunk. I would go to the Drunken River in the nation of Ganamaia. I would sit in the chair of honor there, and I would drink. People will tell you the Tragonians brew the greatest ales know to the world. And on most days, they would be right. But the Ganamaians have a lager called Days End that cannot compare to any other drink the world knows. It is only given to the men or women who are on their deathbeds. I once sat at the hand of the king as he died, and he gave me a sip. If I had one more day to live, I would be in that pub, drinking that ale. It’s a great way to go.