Welcome to Writer’s Gambit Sal!
Sal and I are both Holly Lisle students. That is how we met. I am thrilled to have her on my blog today with the release of her second book in her ongoing series Quest of the Guardians.
Fantasy Adventure Author S. R. Olson INTERVIEWS her character Mr. Luka Three-Feathers of Ba’aco.
We’re here today with Mr. Luka Three-Feathers of Ba’aco. Thank you so much for joining us, Mr. Three-Feathers.
Just Luka. Is okay.
I understand, Luka, that you’re a member of the Maaoteo people. Is that right?
Yes, this is right.
What can you tell us about the Maaoteo people?
Maaoteo very proud people. Work hard to serve king for many generations.
Let’s see…that’s King Faeran, right?
Faeran not our king. Only King Jakin of Surot our king.
My apologies, I did not mean to offend you. So, the Maaoteo people have been preparing for King Jakin’s return. Can you tell us more about what that means?
Start training very young. Learn to use weapons and to fight and ride gazelles and great Ba’ats. We make ready for battle, all our lives.
I see…and is that all Maaoteo? Or just the men?
All Maaoteo. Women great warriors too. But many decide to raise families instead, to grow army for King Jakin. This great honor, too.
That sounds a little…cold. Why would your people dedicate themselves in this way?
King Jakin is Guardian of Te’eta. We know he come back to save world, but need army when time come. It is our duty and honor to build army. Make preparations. We are Maaoteo.
Yes, but what does that mean?
Commander Maaoteo of King’s Guard, he decide in time of Chaos when king disappear. We still obey.
I see. So an ancient commander of the King’s Guard decides you’re all going to become warriors in the future and you all just go along with his decision?
I sorry. I not understand question.
That’s okay, let’s move on. I understand King Jakin has returned, as expected, and he has asked you to watch over Mr. Malakai Jenks. Is that right?
I’m sorry, what?
Prince Malakai Jenks. Not Mister.
Oh, I see. What is it like to watch over the prince?
This great honor. My duty to keep him safe. Teach him warrior ways. Help him understand what it mean to be Maaoteo.
Oh, is the prince a Maaoteo, too?
Yes, prince part of Maaoteo family.
But he wasn’t taught the Maaoteo way from birth, as you were?
No. Prince not grow up in Ba’aco. He grow up in Hornberry Draw, like son of peasants. He not know who he is until king return and tell him. Is Queen Oceana’s command. Maaoteo obey. Keep secret.
That must have been quite a shock for him. How has he handled it, since learning he is the heir to the throne?
Prince have honor. He is Maaoteo. He work hard and learn fast.
He has never rebelled? Never refused to accept the responsibility?
I sorry, not understand question.
That’s okay. Let’s see…Tell us more about the Maaoteo way of life. How have you all survived under King Faeran’s rule?
Maaoteo very smart. Have hidden city, but make Faeran and peasants think they just wandering beggars.
I’ve heard about the nomad clans. What do they do?
Clans travel through land, make trades with peasants to get supplies. But also gather…what is word? Clans like spies in Arh’et.
Yes, that right. Information. Clans seek to know what is happening at all times. Also search for missing pieces of Te’eta pillars.
Why are these missing pillar pieces important to the Maaoteo?
Faeran command words be broken off pillars and scattered to four winds. Maaoteo find pieces. Put back together for King Jakin.
What do the words say?
Not know. Only King Jakin read magic words.
So the Maaoteo send out these clans to gather information and search for the missing pillar pieces. Meanwhile, what are the others doing in Ba’aco?
People work together for all Maaoteo. Teach children, make weapons, clothes, blankets, pottery. Learn about healing with plants. Make things to trade with peasants for food and supplies.
The Maaoteo don’t grow their own food? What about hunting?
Maaoteo not have land for farming. That is way of peasants. Only hunt in secret so Faeran not know how many people we feeding. And we make secret agreement with Tav’res traders for right to fish. Sometimes Ba’at warriors steal pigs or cattle at night, not leave tracks so peasants not know what happen. Think animals wander away during night. We trade for chickens. Chickens easy to keep in Ba’aco. Not need much room.
I see. I visited the Maaoteo camp in Koss once, watched the acrobat show and played some of their carnival games. I noticed all the people had their faces painted, but your face isn’t painted right now. What is the purpose of the face paint?
Koss camp for training young warriors. We paint faces so peasants not know Maaoteo people always changing.
What do you mean, always changing?
People come, people go. Not always same Maaoteo in Koss camp.
Ahhh, so the face paint makes your people hard to recognize?
Yes, that right. Peasants think we all look the same and not try to know us because they think they better than Maaoteo. They easy to trick. Arh’et schools make peasants not smart.
You don’t think the peasants feel they are doing their duty, the same as the Maaoteo?
Peasants not free like Maaoteo. Peasants punished if they not obey. Maaoteo people have choice.
Has any Maaoteo ever chosen to not follow the Maaoteo way?
Queen Oceana. She keep Maaoteo secret, but choose life of peasants for prince. Not let him know who he is, forbid our people from telling him unless King Jakin return. She say it for best. But Maaoteo watch for prince. Make sure he get good trades in Koss camp. Clans visited Hornberry draw often, in case queen changed mind.
I see. Moving on, I understand you’re about to travel into the water realm of Tav’res with King Jakin and Prince Malakai. What will you do there?
Watch over king and prince while they search for Tav’res Trah’ez. Do as they command.
I expect this will be a dangerous journey. Aren’t you afraid to leave your home and everything you know?
Maaoteo die for King. Die for prince. Is great honor.
Of course. Well, thank you for taking the time to visit with us today. I wish you well on your journey into Tav’res and I hope you will visit with us again when you return.
Thank you, would be my honor.
Join Luka, King Jakin, Prince Malakai, and the rest of the gang, on their adventure into the water realm of Tav’res! Quest of the Guardians Episode Two: Drop of Water, launches on September 23, 2017. You can find it at your favorite online book retailers or the Quest of the Guardians website.
S.R. Olson has traveled through most of the lower forty-eight and has held many jobs, including: horse trainer, wedding photographer, teacher, and snow plow operator. She’s an avid student of ancient history and culture, and an armchair philosopher, all of which she injects into her stories. She became disabled by a serious back injury in 2006. Now she lives in rural Minnesota with her two Miniature Pinschers who keep her around because she has opposable thumbs and can open doors and stuff. Visit her websites to sign up for her mailing list and receive a free gift!
www.questoftheguardians.com ~ S.R. Olson—Author ~ Facebook