KL: Thanks for being here today, Ryan. So I understand that the people in your city had more time than others to escape once the spirits invaded Cardonia.
R: Yeah, Veralin is in the northern part of Cardonia, so we had a pretty good lead on the spirits, which were entering from the south.
KL: From what I know of Cardonian geography, the mountain ranges at the core of the kingdom, which is where people are protected from the spirits, are split into four sections.
R: Each quadrant surrounds a basin or valley, yes. So people in the northeastern part of the kingdom, like me, evacuated to the northeastern basin, which is surrounded by the Steeple Mountains.
KL: Coming from a city, I would imagine it would be especially difficult for you to adjust to living in what must be very primitive conditions.
R: I think it's been harder for my mom, since she's not comfortable in big crowds of people, but yeah, going from a sturdy house with nice, thick walls and a comfortable bed to sleeping on the ground near a fire with maybe a blanket hung over a branch for privacy is tough.
KL: I would imagine food is an issue as well.
R: Definitely. We packed as much as we could, but now we're really relying on each other, meaning not just me and my mom but everyone in the camp.
KL: And so everyone helps out with finding resources?
R: (nods) We have a few Plant Tenders; they're really helpful, and enough people who can hunt who are willing to share any game they catch. You know, for the most part people pitch in where they can.
|Image courtesy of Tom Curtis/FreeDigitalPhotos.net|
KL: In all of northeastern Cardonia it seems there'd be more than just a few Plant Tenders.
R: There are, but here's the thing: a lot of people from Veralin and other cities in that area don't really use their Gifts. Plus, once we got news that the royal family had left Cardonia, a lot of people started fighting and the group broke apart into smaller factions. Most of the active Plant Tenders took off.
KL: A smaller group means fewer mouths to feed. Is it possible that the breaking up of the larger group was a good thing?
R: I think a smaller group is more manageable. I just think it's sad that in this time of crisis, people started fighting instead of working together. It just seemed like no one was really willing to step up and be a leader, even those who had previously been leaders in their own cities.
KL: Finding out about the royal family must have been really shocking for everyone.
R: It was, and like I mentioned earlier, no one stepped forward as a clear leader for northeastern Cardonia. I think it was just too overwhelming, so people were doing what they felt they needed to in order to survive. A lot of them figured this was it, this was our new life.
KL: And what exactly did they do?
R: People found each other. There'd be a group of thinkers and academic type people over here, and then some Healers over there. Or a bunch of people who thought we were better off without the queen, who were ready to establish a whole new country for themselves. The basin covers a pretty large area, so groups just took off to who knows where.
KL: Is safety an issue?
R: So far the larger animals have kept their distance. The bigger threat has been people acting out of anger or desperation. The Shielders who stayed with the original camp keep getting messages about raids within the basin.
KL: Does that worry you?
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R: So far it's been mostly groups with a lot of nobles or rich merchants being raided, but the attacks seem to be getting more violent, so I am worried. (shakes his head) I just want things to go back to normal.
KL: You've shown a lot of courage so far and seem like a pretty level headed guy. I'm sure if anyone can come through this unscathed, you can.
R: Thanks. I'm trying to be strong for my mom. It's not easy though. One minute I was in school, the next I was leaving everything behind.
KL: That's not something many of us can even imagine. Unfortunately we do have to say good-bye. I'm hoping for the best for you and your mom.
Wow, talk about putting things into perspective. I'll be taking more moments to be grateful for what I have and encourage my readers to do the same. Thanks for joining me and be sure to check back in next week for another peek at the Cardonian Chronicles.