Interview with Sumto
Hey there Stellaites! It’s time for another guest to be interviewed by the world’s greatest (and best looking 😉 ) superhero, me!
This time I’m joined by a man with a long name, Sumto Merian Icatha Cerulian.
Question 1: Hiya Sumto, first of all I’ve gotta say your name is a bit of a mouthful. What’s the history behind it? Is it a family name or has it got some sort of meaning or what?
I am Sumto of the Cerulian branch of the Icatha clan of the Merian tribe, one of the founding families, sometimes known as the famous families. You can tell, of course, by the number of names that we are an ancient family of the first class, and thus that I am a patron by birth. The name of our tribe is important when voting in the tribes; one has to know when to vote. There are some implications regarding where we stand in the order of battle, though these are redundant in modern times.
Question 2: So, whereabouts are you from Sumto? How do you like been in England, land of the greatest superheroes?
I am a citizen of the City. I suppose that I should explain that by the City, I mean Luria, the only location where stone, the fuel of magic, may be found. We tend to speak and think of it as the City, as though it were the only one; certainly it is the most important. I’m not quite sure what you mean by superhero… our hero’s are champions of freedom and protectors of the ancient liberties of the people. England strikes me as somewhat lacking in those freedoms from government and taxation that we hold so dear. Still, electricity strikes me as a good idea. Might be better if it was cheaper, though, don’t you think? Maybe if production were deregulated?
Question 3: Lurian huh, what’s it like there and how does it differ to London? Is it a nice place to live or a war-ravaged slum (Kinda like Peckham ;))
We have a saying, “All roads lead to the City.” Well, they would. We built them. No sense building them to funnel trade elsewhere. I always thought of Luria as a large city; among the largest, in fact. But London is… endless.
I would say that Luria is like most places; better if you have money. London is the same, I see. Having all these wonderful things to buy is a bit pointless if you let the government take most of your money you produce and worse, waste it. I mean, schools. Why are they so expensive? Should be the cheapest thing ever; you only need two things – someone willing to teach and someone willing to learn; job done.
London is in interesting place to visit, but I hope not to stay here. Still, I like not having to walk to the baths; just turn a tap and there you are, bath ready. That electricity again; good idea, that. How does it work?
Question 4: Sounds like a pretty interesting place to grow up. So what exactly do you do there?
Sleep late. Read books. I’m an avid historian. Gamble some, when in the mood. Avoid my creditors where I can. I like to ride; I’m good with horses. Then I socialise, of course, until I can’t stand up any more.
Question 5: Why don’t you want to join the military? I’ve known a few people who have served and it’s not such a bad life? Kinda like being a superhero except without the powers.
Are you joking? Have you seen how sharp those swords are? A person could get killed. My brother did get killed. Granted, we have magic on our side and don’t lose battles often; but a battlefield is a pretty dangerous place to be, and a bit more arbitrary as to who gets a sword in their belly than I’d like. I mean, I like to gamble, but that’s ridiculous. And why? so that I can make some money and earn the right to go into politics? Seems like a lot of risk for not much gain, to me. Of course, I’m going to have to do it now; certain death against the risk of death is not much of a choice, is it?
Question 6: Seems a bit brutal to threaten to kill you if you don’t sign up and serve in your countries military. Is that a usual happening for Lurian?
Not that I’ve heard of. Once seems too often, if you ask me.
Question 7: So, the war that’s brewing up north. Who is that against and how did that start?
Oh, there are a slew of barbarians up north. One tribe or another is responsible. They probably want money; of course, they could work for it but that idea seems to complex for them to grasp. Honestly, I haven’t asked, or even heard about it until today. It’s not like I thought that kind of thing would ever effect me, is it?
Question 8: Sounds pretty serious, how do you think your nations chances are at winning? Have you got a strong army, any mages or dragons or anyone else with special abilities who fight with you?
Well, it is serious for me, and thank you for seeing my point of view. I’m not too worried about it. We almost always win. Even if we do lose, we will just send a bigger army for round two. Heck, if it gets really serious the Assembly of Patrons will get involved and that would be the end of that.
We don’t keep much in the way of standing armies. Any Patron can raise an army, and there are the colleges of magic who supply battle mages and healers. Battle mages enhance the troops so that one of our men is worth ten of the enemy. Also they have some nasty offensive magic to throw around. The whole thing should be over in a few weeks at most.
Question 9: Have you learnt any magical skills?
Well, I am a noble. I have stone, of course. But magic costs money and I have other uses for that. Still, I have a few cantrips. I use one to clean my teeth, for example. And if it’s chilly I can use another to stay warm for a while. And to get dry after it’s rained. That sort of thing.
Question 10: How about any combat training? It seems like you’re gonna need it in the near future.
Everyone of the first three classes trains for a few years. I was too young to say no so I pretty much had to learn which end of a sword to hold. And my uncle took a few of us lads for one summer; it was billed (is that the right word?) as a holiday in the country but it was more like a military training camp. I used to be quite fit, but I’m a little on the soft and chubby side right now. Still, I expect I’ll manage.
Question 11: So, are you going to cave into your families wishes and join the military or not? If not, what do you plan to do instead?
I think I’d better go and do it. If I don’t it will mean exile, and though that has it’s appeals, travel and so on, there are also downsides. No money, for example. Yes, I’ll go to war; it’s only one short campaign, after all. I can probably get away with only one years service, what with my family connections and all. And it’s only a few barbarians. How bad can it be? But my prospective brother-in-law, on the other hand… he is serious, I think. He won’t put up with having a black sheep associated with his family, and I’m confident he can afford to have me killed and hush it up. So, I’ll go. Of course, having earned the right to stand for public office, I’ll see about paying him back for the threat by stunting his career wherever I can. In the long run he will regret it more than I do.
Question 12: Thank you for being a guest on my blog Sumto. Is there anything else you would like to add?
Thank you for inviting me. You must come and visit me in Luria some time. You could maybe pick up some tips on how to keep government from sticking it’s nose into your business at every turn. Can’t imagine why you put up with it.
Sumto is a character from the novel The Last Kings Amulet by Chris Northern.