The following are character interviews with Aileen O’Shannon:
Renee Writes (Original Interview)
- Question: Where were you born, and what was it like growing up there?
Answer: I was born a little over 1,700 years ago during the reign of Constantine the Great in a tiny village that no longer exists in what is now the county of Ballinasloe, Ireland. I lived with my mother and father, who was the village blacksmith and the strongest man in the whole village. When I was 12, they were killed by a hellhound. That is when I was I initiated into the Tutores Contra Infernum, an ancient secret order that protects humanity from demon incursions.
- Question: Did you have a close relationship with your family?
Answer: We loved each other very much, and it was extremely hard to lose them, leave my village, and join the order.
- Question: What is the happiest memory from your childhood?
Answer: Sharing lunch with my father at the smithy. He would often let me stay for a while so that I could watch him working and see the sparks fly as he hammered the glowing metal. He was so big and strong; he made me feel safe when the wolves howled in the nearby forests.
- Question: Who is your enemy? What makes you enemies?
Answer: My enemies are the demons that invade our world to kill and enslave people, often treating us a mere livestock and the subject of torture for their entertainment. It does not matter if they are devils, imps, gargoyles, or hellhounds. I hate them all.
- Question: Tell us a little about your world, and where you fit in?
Answer: Prior to Hell Day, I lived in Fairbanks, working as a reporter for the Daily News-Miner, a local newspaper. Secretly, I was a curatrix, or warrior sorceress of the Tutores Contra Infernum, responsible for protecting the people of Alaska from demon incursions.
- Question: Have you ever been in love? How did that work out for you?
Answer: Yes, many many times over the centuries. My first love was not a member of The Order, and I had to keep our forbidden relationship a secret from my superiors in the Order. However when I eventually became pregnant, that secret became impossible to keep. Because I had broken my vows and risked exposing the existence of the Order, I was forced to choose between my first love and my baby. I refused to give up my child, and it was one of the hardest things I have ever done, watching him grow old and die while I remained young.
- Question: What kind of clothing do you prefer to wear?
Answer: I wear the clothing of the place and period, but with two small differences. Being incredibly old and not a little vain, I have amassed a sizable fortune which has allowed me to dress in the best quality clothes, whether that means designer dresses or the best in outdoor wear. I also have hidden pockets sewn inside the left forearm of any clothing that covers my arms so that I can keep my wand both secret and readily available should I need it in a hurry.
- Question: What was your greatest achievement?
Answer: Taking the war to the demons. By traveling through one of their portals to the demon home world, I helped spread the demon plague that turned the tide of the war and hopefully enabled their human slaves trapped in Hell to rebel against their masters.
- Question: Would you ever or have you ever lied? How do you feel about lying?
Answer: My life has been full of lies I have made to keep the existence of The Order secret from those who would envy our powers and long life. Hiding for centuries in plain sight as an ordinary mortal has made me an excellent, if solitary and lonely, liar.
- Interviewer: Welcome, Ms. O’Shannon. To begin with, why don’t you tell us a little about yourself?
O’Shannon: My full name is Curatrix Maxima Aileen O’Shannon, and I am an officer in the military arm of the Tutores Contra Infernum.
- Interviewer: I’m not familiar with that organization. The name sounds Latin to me. What can you tell us about it?
O’Shannon: The name translates roughly as “Guardians Against Hell.” The Order, as we informally call it, is an ancient secret society that for millennia has protected humans from demonic incursions. As a Guardian, I am responsible for finding and killing any demons that appear in my area of responsibility, which is currently Alaska, The Yukon, and British Columbia.
- Interviewer: Demons?
O’Shannon: Magical demonic creatures from Hell that invade our world to capture slaves and generally kill people and spread terror. High demons such as devils and imps, and low demons such as hellhounds and gargoyles.
- Interviewer: Wow. That must be a terrifying job.
O’Shannon: It can be. Mostly though, it can be rather boring, waiting for the next incursion. Sometimes weeks, even months, pass by between assignments. The rest of the time, I spend studying the latest research in demonology and combat training.
- Interviewer: How about your family life? Are you married? Do you have children? Do you have any brothers and sisters, and what about your parents?
O’Shannon: I was an only child, and my parents were both murdered by demons. As for my husband and children, they died a great many years ago.
- Interviewer: Many years ago? You’re kidding? You don’t look like you can be any older than in your mid-twenties. Thirties, tops. Just how old are you, if you don’t mind me asking?
O’Shannon: I was born during the reign of the Roman emperor Constantine the Great, some 1,400 years ago. I was briefly married during the Middle Ages, but after watching my husband, children, and grandchildren grow old and die, I decided that marriage was too painful and incompatible with my duties in The Order.
- Interviewer: How is that possible? What are you? Are you human or are you an immortal?
O’Shannon: I’m as human as you are. My advanced age is due to a combination of a powerful rejuvenation elixir I must take every few days combined with the effects of my amulet. However, even they have been unable to keep me young forever. What you see is my glamour spell. Without it, I would appear as I truly am, a vain old woman with the body of a healthy, spry 80-year-old.
- Interviewer: What can you tell me about your amulet? Can I see it?
O’Shannon: Of course. As you can see, it consists a devilstone – that is the disk-shaped red crystal – surrounded by a gold ring inscribed with the name of The Order.
- Interviewer: Devilstone? That seems like a strange name for the major component of a magic amulet belonging to someone who fights demons for a living.
O’Shannon: Actually, there is a very good reason for that name. Every devil has a devilstone attached to his skull at the base of his brain. These devilstones are the source of their magic powers, and by harvesting them from the devils we kill, we are able to use the demons’ magic against them.
- Interviewer: It must be hard, having such a long life without a family to share it with. Nothing but your work, finding and killing demons, year after year, century after century. How do you deal with the loneliness?
O’Shannon: It is not so bad. I have my friends and colleagues. Curatrix Tabitha Freeman and I have been close ever since the day I rescued her from a demon incursion at the plantation where she was a slave. She was a cook in the big house and managed to cut off the head of one of the devils with a meat cleaver. She became a good apprentice and an even better friend.
- Interviewer: Well, I want to thank you, Curatrix Maxima O’Shannon. This has been very interesting. Is there anything else you would like to share with us before you go?
O’Shannon: Just a bit of advice. Sometimes, the things that go bump in the night are real. If you ever see a devil, imp, hellhound, or gargoyle, you should run away as fast as you can. Leave the demon hunting to the professionals; it is what we are here for.
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