Next up on Love & Magic Week, I'm happy to welcome Marden and Th'alia from The Shining Citadel by A.L. Butcher:
1. How did you meet?
Marden: *Looks awkward.* Th’alia was my captive. I was an escort on a mission for the Order of Witch-Hunters. Those days seem long ago now, foolish, blind days.
2. What was the first thing you noticed about the other person?
Th’alia: I tried not to like him. I did not confess I liked him but I suppose he was different to the elven men I knew. He was actually quite handsome for a human.
Marden: Th’alia is clever, and there was something I found fascinating, her defiance probably.
3. Did you know when you met that you would end up together?
Marden: No, you must understand I was a Witch-Hunter, she was just an elf. The chance of us both surviving what we had to do was small. So much changed.
Th’alia: Of course not. I knew what he was. What I did I did to save my sister and my town.
4. What do you like best about the other person?
Marden: She is clever. She does not pretend to be someone she is not. She is proud of her heritage.
Th’alia: Marden is brave. He gave up a great deal to be with me. I suppose I do not appreciate that often enough, to have to change one’s beliefs and one’s life cannot be easy.
5. What is something you enjoy doing together? (Besides the obvious!)
Marden: We do not actually have much in common, save a shared history and our son. I suppose we like to assist the people in Tremellic, our new home.
Th'alia: I like to read and keep the records of my people. Marden is still learning.
6. How has the other person changed you?
Marden: In my old life I was cruel, foolish and unquestioning. I know that now. Th’alia and the other elves and mages have shown me the law is wrong, the beliefs of the Witch-Hunters are wrong. I never thought I could care for an elf, but elves are also people – they love, they hate, they cherish in the same way humans do.
Th’alia: I have a son now, and perhaps my views on humans is more flattering now.
7. What are the biggest differences between you? How important are these differences?
Marden: There are many differences, I think the biggest is what now should be done to free the elves, Th’alia is unrealistic and she wants to simply tell all the elves what we have found, about the Citadel and Dii but I know this would be very dangerous.
Th’alia: He doesn’t listen to me, he thinks he is right when he isn’t.
8. What do the two of you have in common?
Marden: Our son, our shared secrets.
9. What does your family think of your partner, and what do you think of your partner's family?
Marden: My family would disown me for settling with an elf. My father is very prejudiced and would not see Th’alia for the intelligent woman she is. He would simply see an elf, a slave. He would undoubtedly ask me to choose.
Th’alia: My twin sister does not exactly approve but if I am happy she is happy. The rest of my family are dead.
10. What role does magic play in your relationship?
Marden: I am not magical, and until recently I believed magic is the cause of all which is ill in society but I now know that is a lie. I am learning about magic – Th’alia I believe is what is known as a scholar adept. She can remember what she has read far better than most, and she has an uncanny knack at languages.
Th’alia: Marden is learning, I am more familiar with magic as my sister is a mage.
11. What are your plans for the future?
Marden: To raise our son with the best of human and elven characteristics. To protect Tremellic. To protect what we have learned.
Th’alia: To let the elves gain their freedom. To be avenged for Ilthendra.
12. "The whole is greater than the sum of the parts" How is this true for the two of you?
Marden: Well together we are stronger, that is obvious. I do not know much about elves, or elven lore, Th’alia does.
Th’alia: Marden is a good warrior, he will fight when we need him to.
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