Welcome to the second interview in the series spotlighting some characters from Mark Charan Newton‘s Nights of Villjamur and City of Ruin!
Today I’ve got the awesome rummel investigator, Rumex Jeryd. Jeryd is a character in both Nights of Villjamur and City of Ruin, and one of the most colouful and likable characters you’ll get to read. Focused on his work -helping to keep Villjamur’s street’s safe with the Inquisition- and possessing a practically unshakable sense of right and wrong, Jeryd too is drawn into the conflicts that will see the Jamur Empire changed.
Let’s hand him the floor, shall we? 🙂
Dave: Thanks for agreeing to this interview, Inspector Jeryd. I appreciate you giving up your time during this important investigation. First off, what brought you to the Inquisition? And why in Villjamur? Surely there are quieter spots throughout the Empire.
Jeryd: Well it wasn’t the paperwork, that’s for sure. It’s been so long since I’ve joined – decades and decades – that I can’t really remember why. A calling. A safe job. The need to do some good in this city. I was born and raised in Villjamur, but I don’t fancy making my way out in the sticks. It’s not as violent as some cities. And sure it’s quieter out in the country, but there’s no protection, no guarantee of food, risk of attacks from tribal uprisings and the likes. Plus now the ice is kicking in, I’m glad I’m behind these city walls.
Dave: When you’re not persuing a suspect, when you feel the need to relax for a time, where do you go? What do you do?
Jeryd: Time to relax? Very little of that these days. Back in the day, me and my wife, Marysa, we’d take in some of the underground theatre shows – she loves a golem show. Maybe dinner out, read a book. My breaks are when I get to a bistro, and I watch the world go by. There are a lot of characters in Villjamur. There’s a lot going on beneath the surface – but you need to look hard to see what’s really going on.
Dave: Care to comment on the Inquisition’s practice of not allowing humans the higher positions? It just seems a bit strange, considering that the Emperor is human.
Jeryd: Way back, there were massive tensions between humans and the rumel race. We were a massively suppressed people. After some serious fights and rebellions, given that humans held some damn important positions in the Empire, we were allowed to take such a major role in the Inquisition – as a peace offering of sorts. An social conscience thing. But also, given that we far outlive our hominid friends, we found we were much better suited for the job – experience is the key. Knowledge of laws, that kind of thing. Pretty soon, only we could become full investigators, and humans, who seem rather transient to us, could only achieve certain levels of progress. Hey, I know it isn’t fair – but I don’t make the rules, right?
Dave: Coming to your wife: How does she handle your work? Has it put a strain on your marriage or does she handle it well?
Jeryd: Hey, I’m hardly the guy to answer that one well am I? I mean, I guess you have to work at relationships, right? But with Inquisition work, well, it just takes over your life. I’m hardly there to see to her needs and when I am everything seems trivial to murders or whatever. No, I’m not so good when it comes to these things. I’d like to think I can turn things around though.
Dave: Well, the city does have a way of bringing out the best or worst in a person. Coming back to the Inquisition, can you give us a short history of the Inquisition? Do you know anything of how it was formed and how long its been in charge of justice in Villjamur?
Jeryd: As to how it was formed in the first stage, no one really knows. Most of the stories suggest it started with Jamur Joll, the Emperor who five thousand years ago re-named the settlement as Villjamur, and had the walls built. He established some kind of order (though you might think that order never really came), and the Inquisition was to enforce civil obedience. The Inquisition really took hold within the last couple of thousand years – in its current capacity. There was a great deal of combat between human and rumel, and the upshot of these tensions were that the rumel would be allowed to form the main rank of Investigators. It was a peace offering of sorts, to force two races to live side-by-side in peace. And we’re a relatively liberal city compared to others, so I’ve heard, so I guess the policy worked.
Dave: Granted, it does seem to have worked. Looking back over your years in Villjamur, is there a memory that stands out more than most? Something good or bad that you’ll never forget.
Jeryd: Memory is a strange thing. My species can live for a good couple of hundred years, so I tend not to rely on what happened all that long ago. We can distort things in our minds even after a few hours – think what that’s like for a few decades! Nah, whatever I’m thinking about probably isn’t how it was.
Dave: That seems a sad way to live, but understandable from a rummel’s point of view. Is there then something you’re looking forward to? A dream that you’ve been nuturing?
Jeryd: I’m realistic! You’ve got to think practically to be in the Inquisition. None of this emotions nonsense. I look forward to building a better marriage, but as for things to look forward to? Well, believe it or not, I’m a big fan of the theatre. I’d love more free time to take my wife to see a lot of the shows. Villjamur has great underground shows, and even in an ice age there’s a lot going on. I’m trying not to think too far ahead – what with the ice, nothing is certain.
There we go, a nice glimpse of the rummel investigator for you. 🙂
Remember to head over to your nearest bookshop to pick up your copies of Nights of Villjamur and City of Ruin, or order Nights here (Amazon UK paperback and hardcover) and City here (also Amazon UK). Looks like the dates on Amazon are incorrect, since Mark Tweeted today that the novels are already out on shelves. 🙂 And don’t forget, Nights of Villjamur will be making a splash in the US this month, too! Here’s the page over at Random House.
Be back tomorrow for the final character interview, being the awesome Night Guard Commander, Brynd Lathraea Adaol. 🙂