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Louise: There have been a lot of rumors going around about you. Some claim that you will bring the realm into a new and better era, but others believe you have a more sinister intent that will usher in nothing but chaos and destruction. What do you have to say?
Braeden: Be wary of rumors; they can be a dangerous thing…both for the one who believes them, and the one who repeats them. My role in the realm’s future is over exaggerated, to be sure. When the Sovereign died, it was my obligation as his Chief Steward to step in and guide his under-aged son into his rightful place as the next Sovereign. That is my intent, and nothing more. However, there are always difficult decisions to make when one is in such a position of power. And until Darik has come of age, someone must make them in his place. The Council and I will continue to work together on these most important issues as long as it is necessary.
Louise: So you do intend to hand over your newfound powers once Darik is old enough to become the next Sovereign?
Braeden: Of course—as soon as he meets the age requirement. But he has much more to learn before he will be ready to step into his father’s place.
Louise: Some say that the Sovereign did not die of natural causes. Do you know what really happened?
Braeden: I was his Steward, not his physician. I only know that he went to sleep one fateful night, and did not rise again to greet the morning. This has been a sorrowful time for us all, and such speculation only stirs up fear and anger. We must get past this question of how he died, to which there is no answer, and get back to the business of living our lives as best we can without him.
Louise: There are some who swear that you are somehow the cause of Tyroc’s unusually foul and stormy weather. They also say you are preforming dark magic in your chambers, and that your collection of religious tomes is only a pretense. Are these accusations true?
Braeden: They are ridiculous, of course. What man can control the weather? And even if I could, why should I wish to unleash such destruction upon my own city? As for my collection of tomes, they were acquired over my many years of service to the Temple as a monk. My lifelong dedication to spiritual matters should speak for itself.
Louise: What do you know about the Hounds of Alazoth, and have they really returned to torment humanity?
Braeden: Tales of Alazoth are antiquated…merely stories, taught ages ago to explain to an undereducated population things that were beyond their understanding. We have progressed beyond the need for such simplistic views. It is time to put aside the childish fantasies of our past and take a more educated approach to the challenges facing us in the present.
Louise: The Circle served the Sovereign’s house faithfully for seven generations. Why was it secretly ousted after the Sovereign died?
Braeden: I know not what you speak of. The Circle is still in place today, just as it has always been—can you not see them standing guard at the door? Now, I think I have answered enough questions. I am a busy man, and Darik is waiting for me to join him for our afternoon lesson. Guard! You will see to it that my…guest…finds the way out? The corridors here are numerous and take many unexpected twists and turns. It would be unfortunate should you lose your way and become lost. Until next time, then…if there is a next time…
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