In this interview with Niall Talbot (the hero of Whisper Kiss), Deborah Cooke asks about the Pyr‘s affinities with elements and the power of eclipses.
DC: Hi Niall. Thanks for making the time to talk to me. Can you tell me a bit about the affinities that the Pyr have for the elements?
NT: Hi Deborah. As guardians of the elements, we have a connection with all four elements. It seems that most of us have a stronger connection with two elements. For most of us, one of those elements is fire – we do breathe fire, after all! It’s pretty key to the whole dragon shape shifting thing. But in addition to that, most of us appear to have a connection with a second element.
DC: That sounds a bit vague.
NT: It’s not always obvious. I’ve been lucky, because my own affinity for the element of air has always been strong. I couldn’t not know about it. It’s been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. I could whistle up a wind by the time I was twelve.
Other Pyr aren’t so lucky. They have to work at figuring out their affinity.
DC: What’s the point of having an affinity?
NT: It’s easier to be able to command that element. Of course, I had to work at my ability to conjure storms and to bend them in the right direction. It doesn’t all come naturally! But practice and patience make a big difference.
DC: How are affinities with other elements manifested?
NT: Rafferty has an affinity for the earth. He can sing to the earth – it’s more like a chant, really – and collect news from Gaia, in much the same way as I ask questions of the wind. He can also move the earth, coaxing it to open or close. Magnus, the leader of the Slayers, has the same affinity, but uses it for dark purposes.
Even though some of us have the same affinities, they come to light in different ways. Erik, for example, also has an affinity for air, but he has prophetic visions. Erik can see into the future because of his gift. I can’t do that, but he can’t summon a tornado.
Donovan and Delaney both have affinities with water – again it manifests slightly differently for each of them. Delaney has compassion for others while Donovan has an intuitive understanding of others. Donovan can anticipate reactions, which is part of what makes him a great fighter, and the Warrior of the Pyr. Sloane has an affinity for water, too, and his expresses itself in his ability to heal. He’s the Apothecary of the Pyr.
DC: You’re talking about the roles of the individual Pyr. Do these result from affinities?
NT: Not necessarily. But a Pyr who undertakes a role, either a hereditary one or an assumed one, usually relies upon his affinities to better fulfill that role.
DC: Do affinities run in families? Donovan and Delaney are brothers, and they both have an affinity with water.
NT: You know, I’m not sure. My twin brother, Phelan, never exhibited an affinity, so I’m not sure what his was. Fire was obvious, but otherwise, I don’t know. Of course, Phelan was never much interested in anything that required effort on his part.
DC: Phelan turned Slayer before his death, didn’t he?
NT: I don’t want to talk about that.
DC: Sorry! Is there anything else you can tell me about traditional roles in the Pyr?
NT: I really need to get back to work. I’ve got a ton of bookings to take care of, and since Delaney left the partnership, I’m on the run all the time.
Maybe you’d better talk to Quinn about that.
DC: Do you miss Delaney in the eco-tourism company you used to run together?
NT: You bet. But it is what it is, and he’s happy with Ginger. That’s the best thing I can hope for any friend of mine – happiness and a great relationship. Gotta go!
DC: Thanks for talking to me, Niall. Don’t work too hard!
©2009 Claire Delacroix, Inc.