Donovan on Slayers

In this interview with Donovan Shea (the hero of Kiss of Fury), Deborah Cooke asks about Slayers and the final battle between Pyr and Slayers.

DC: Hi, Donovan. Thanks for meeting with me. Can you tell me, first off, who are the Slayers?

DS: Slayers are Pyr gone bad. It’s that simple.

There’s an old saying that Pyr are born, but Slayers are made. What we mean by that is that Slayers choose the darkness – they choose to turn their back on the Great Wyvern’s plan for us in this world.

In basic terms, the true Pyr follow our mandate to defend the earth, including humans as one of the treasures of the earth. The Slayers believe that humans are destroying the earth and so must be eliminated.

DC: It’s not a crazy argument…

DS: But it’s wrong! And we know that it’s wrong because the Great Wyvern withdraws the spark of her approval from those who turn Slayer.

DC: How so?

DS: Their blood turns black, which Sloane says is indicative of their turning away from the Great Wyvern’s divine spark. They also become infertile.

DC: I thought you were all infertile until your firestorms, that only your destined mate can conceive your son or sons?

DS: Technically, that’s true. The difference is that Slayers never get a firestorm, but they can still sense when one of the Pyr has one. I think that jealousy drives a lot of their need to interfere in firestorms, even beyond their greater goal of ensuring there are no more Pyr created.

DC: Then how do they get more Slayers?

DS: Traditionally, they recruited Pyr to choose the darkness over the light.

There has been another way, though, by using the Dragon’s Blood Elixir. I think Delaney should tell you about that, because he knows a lot more about it. He was, after all, forced to consume the Dragon’s Blood Elixir himself.

DC: Other than wanting to eradicate humans and stop firestorms, what characterizes Slayers?

DS: They’re selfish and greedy. They tend to choose their individual ambitions over the good of everyone. That’s why all this talk about saving the planet by eliminating humans is probably just talk – most Slayers I’ve met want to eradicate everyone except themselves. They want to be king of the world, at any price, which isn’t that positive of a goal.

The good thing is that they are all deceitful and would sell each other for a nickel. That gives us a chance to beat them.

DC: It seems as if things have heated up between the Pyr and Slayers recently. Why is that?

DS: Well, there are a bunch of prophecies, which isn’t really my thing. The point is that the world is at a kind of balance point. It’s about the nodes of the moon, and you’d have to check this with my mate, Alex, to make sure I have the details right. We’re in a phase called the Dragon’s Tail, which is the descending node of the moon. In astrological terms, it’s a period when the karmic balance must be restored. It’s a chance to make a change and set the world on a new course.

The cycle of the moon’s nodes is 19 years long – this Dragon’s Tail began in 2006 and culminates in September 2015. We don’t have that long to get it right!

DC: More star stuff. Don’t eclipses have something to do with firestorms?

DS: Yes. There’s a traditional idea within the Pyr that firestorms which are particularly important to us begin on a full lunar eclipse. There have been a lot of firestorms since 2006 that have begun that way, and you’ve been writing about them.

DC: Why would these be particularly important firestorms? Just because they’re happening within the Dragon’s Tail?

DS: I think maybe it’s because of Rafferty’s conviction. He says that a firestorm is a chance to make a strong partnership, for the the Pyr and his mate to be stronger together than either can be apart. He talks about two halves coming together to make a greater whole. So, it makes sense to me that our doing this in this time makes us stronger, and better equipped to defeat the Slayers forever.

It’s certainly what happened to me. I know I would be much less strong without Alex.

DC: Because you became the foretold Warrior as a result of your firestorm?

DS: It wasn’t just the firestorm. Alex and I felt the firestorm and could have just had sex, made a baby, moved on. The fact that we made a permanent union, that we each share our skills in solving problems, makes us a force to be reckoned with. It gave me the power to become the Warrior, and our partnership gives me the strength to use that ability when I need to.

It’s good stuff!

DC: What does it mean to be the foretold Warrior?

DS: It means that I can summon the elements as weapons and command them.

It means that I can kick butt.

DC: Don’t the Slayers have weapons of their own? I thought they were developing the ability to cut dragonsmoke.

DS: That is not good, and it’s because of the Elixir.

Let me just backtrack and explain dragonsmoke. Dragonsmoke is a boundary mark. We can breathe dragonsmoke and weave it as a barrier around a place we want to secure – like the location of a hoard, or the sanctuary of one’s mate. You have to work at breathing good dragonsmoke, at exhaling it slowly and evenly, at weaving it tightly. A good dragonsmoke barrier has a resonance that only Pyr and Slayers can hear – think of the ping of a crystal glass. It’s like that, but higher, too high a tone for humans to hear. Traditionally, a Pyr or Slayer could only cross a dragonsmoke barrier with the express permission of the dragon who breathed it.

What’s happened recently , though, is that Slayers who have drunk the Dragon’s Blood Elixir can cut dragonsmoke without there being any indication that the barrier has been compromised. They do this by hovering between forms – also very challenging – and letting only their right index finger change to a talon. They use that talon as a knife. I don’t think it’s easy to learn, even after drinking the Elixir, but the fact that they can do it at all is troubling.

Some dragons who can really control their dragonsmoke can use it as a weapon – they breathe it and surround their opponent, then use the dragonsmoke as a conduit to steal the life force of their adversary. That’s pretty challenging stuff, given that the meditative state used for breathing dragonsmoke isn’t usually the mood you’re in when you’re fighting.

It figures that a Slayer would have come up with that one.

DC: Sounds like the rules are changing.

DS: All the time. I like to think it’s a sign of desperation on the part of the Slayers, but that Elixir was really potent stuff.

DC: You mentioned that humans can’t hear the resonant ring of a good dragonsmoke mark. Why is that?

DS: The Pyr have sharper senses than humans do. We can see farther and in greater detail. We can feel each other’s firestorms, no matter where they happen, like a distant bonfire. Our sense of smell is very keen – we can smell Slayers and guess their distance, for example. That’s another thing – the Elixir has given some Slayers the ability to disguise their scent, which means they can surprise us. Not good.

And we can hear sounds you can’t – higher ranges, lower ranges, more distant and muted sounds. Our communication between each other is an old, very low, kind of talking which is called oldspeak. Some Pyr and Slayers – especially those with an affinity for air – can cast their oldspeak far and wide, while others can slide it into the thoughts of other Pyr and Slayers. Never been my forte, but I can do basic oldspeak.

Of course, Alex isn’t a fan. She likes to know what’s going on, so I don’t use it as much as I used to!

DC: I like that you make that concession to her! Thank you, Donovan, for telling us more about the Pyr. Fingers crossed that you kick all the butt you need to by 2015!

Interview ©2009 Claire Delacroix, Inc.