The plagues had ended, and the purges had wiped out those grave-maggots … or so they all thought.
Threadfin Todder is undead, an exiled thief with little magic worth spit. When he learns of a threat to his sister, he sets out to save her.
Pursued by a shapeshifter who wants his half-soul, Threadfin must reach her before a horde of invading giants. To succeed, he must wrestle for control of a magic so vicious, it may devour him.
Thrust into a maelstrom of fantastical beasts, fallen angels, and undead souls, he will discover an enemy so powerful it threatens to unravel existence itself.
What is your full name and title?
Are you not a member of the imperial family? The Todralans? Once a prince, and heir to the throne?
I gave up all that, changed my name. Fine, if you must know, I was born Threadfinius Markus Todralan blah, blah. Now I’m just plain old Fin Todder. It’s a good enough name.
And you are a mage?
Sometimes. How long is this interview going to take?
Not long, I assure you. You were born dead?
For the love of the Spectrum above, I’m half dead. Why do none of you breathers ever get that one right?
But you are a viral, aren’t you, one of the Plagueborn, otherwise known as the undead?
What you getting at? You’re not one of those pious Exemplar fanatics, are you?
Virals possess magic, don’t they?
Now wait, if you’re talking about those goats turned inside out, that wasn’t my fault, and the eternally burning blue fire was an accident. Honest. Besides, I’ve heard tourism in the imperium has improved.
You make a lot of mistakes with magic?
Is this an interview or an interrogation? Did my sister put you up to this? I told her it wasn’t my fault.
So, tell me, how do you feel about the purges of two centuries ago, which almost wiped out your kind?
Any relationships, or any plans to get married. Do virals marry?
Well, I got a few girlfriends tucked away in a crypt somewhere. I drag one out whenever my sister throws a party. For some reason, everyone ends up going home at that point.
Well, okay, moving on. Let’s see, you grew up in the Black Palace in Icarthya, isn’t that correct?
Yep, educated by Church paytors, and tucked away out of sight most of the time.
I see, well, was it a good childhood, considering you were undead?
Nobody knew, except for a few, such as my sister. Would’ve meant my head getting the chop if they had known. Those Exemplars were nothing if not dedicated. Aiyana, she put about a story I was suffering a rare skin disease. It wasn’t all bad. We had some fun times.
Until she convinced your father to exile you.
Now, wait a minute. She was protecting me. Liviana Avitus had it in for the both of us, and if she’d learned I was undead, the game was up. It would’ve torn the imperium apart.
Let’s move on to your magical abilities. You can see things in reflections, can’t you?
Reflections are dangerous things. You never know what’s looking back at you. Wouldn’t recommend you go into the undead mage business if I were you. Nasty stuff.
Most of your existence, you didn’t have a reflection, did you? Now you do have one?
Like I said, dangerous things, those reflections. Never trusted mine. It tried to drown my sister once.
You mean Aiyana?
No, the other one, Sarscha.
She was the imperial marshal, commanding the imperial legions. Where is she now?
You mean since the Nephilim invaders? Somewhere getting very drunk I’d imagine.
You and Sarscha don’t get along?
She’s living, I’m undead.
Viralic magic is what your power is known as, isn’t it? Is it true, you need to draw on human life to work your mage powers?
I don’t like this line of questioning? You sure you don’t work for the Church? Oh fine, it’s nothing really. I just take a little here and there. It isn’t usually necessary to draw life to the point of death.
But it does happen?
What assurance can you give us living people that you are of no harm to us?
Seriously? It was you lot who near wiped us out, remember? Listen, I don’t know how it came about that it all ended up at my door, but us undead protect you lot. You breathers may have built this world, but it’s us undead who protect it.
Well on that, I think we’ve reached the end of this interview.
Well, thank the Spectrum above for that. You can tell my sister I’m not doing any more of these.
Author Bio and links
Darren Joy is an epic dark fantasy author from the southwest of Ireland. When not writing fantasy, he’s reading it, dabbling in digital art, or designing new maps to go with all the stories he makes up.
Both a cat parent and a husband, he is obsessed with all things fantasy, whether movies, books, or gaming. If it’s got magic, he’s all over it.
He also enjoys kayaking, playing snooker, a drop of whiskey now and then, and is learning chess. Sort of. All when he doesn’t have his nose in a book, or isn’t slaving at the writing desk, or entertaining the cat’s every whim.
Amazon book links:
A Viral Imperium Book 1 Plagueborn series: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B099644WYP
A Malignant Fetch Book 2 Plagueborn series: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09C4YXB4X
Social Media and Website links: