Today we have a real treat for all of you lovely readers out there. Jeff Wheeler, author of The Poisoner’s Enemy, has unearthed a most curious and ancient document from somewhere in Kingfountain. It seems to be an Interview with Ankarette Tryneowy, the Poisoner of Kingfountain! He’s been gracious enough to transcribe it here for us, so let’s go ahead and dive right in.
WRITTEN IN THE PALACE OF KINGFOUNTAIN—THE STAR CHAMBER—ON MIDSUMMER’S EVE
BLESSED BE THE LADY
HERE BEGINS THE PROCEEDINGS IN MATTER OF DUE DILIGENCE FORTHWITH OF OUR FIRST INTERVIEW WITH ANKARETTE TRYNEOWY OF YUORK. POISONER OF KINGFOUNTAIN. TWELFTH YEAR OF THE REIGN OF EREDUR ARGENTINE, KING OF CEREDIGION.
To all those who shall see these present letters of public instrument, I, Bensen Nichols, by mercy of the king now Master of the Espion, previous sexton of the Sanctuary of Our Lady, and Herbert Le Maistre, of the order of scribes, deputy of the aforesaid, were specifically appointed in this duty by royal decree.
We, said officers of the crown, undertake this interview, the reading of which is banned from public knowledge on pain of death and for use solely by future Masters of the Espion. All public references to said individual aforesaid mentioned are deemed secrets of the crown and prohibited.
MASTER NICHOLS: Greetings, madam. Will you state your age and when you began serving the Argentine family?
ANKARETTE TRYNEOWY: You could hardly expect me to confess that. I am greater than one and twenty. I have served the king since I was twelve.
MASTER NICHOLS: How so, madam? You served the Duke of the North previously in Dundrennan.
ANKARETTE TRYNEOWY: I served the king. My greater loyalty was always to him.
MASTER NICHOLS: I am mistaken then. I presumed your allegiance switched when the duke rebelled against the king?
ANKARETTE TRYNEOWY: Now you are closer to the facts.
MASTER NICHOLS: That is my goal, madam. You studied at the poisoner school in Pisan. That is a costly and rare privilege. Why did the duke choose you and suffer such an expense?
ANKARETTE TRYNEOWY: The duke summoned me as a companion for his two daughters, Lady Isybelle and Lady Nanette. I was training as a midwife under my mother in Yuork and having two daughters, he wanted to provide friendship and service for their future years and marriages.
MASTER NICHOLS: I understand, in your role as midwife, you participated in the birth of the king’s eldest daughter?
ANKARETTE TRYNEOWY: Indeed so.
MASTER NICHOLS: You have a unique position at the court of Kingfountain then. Bringer of life and death.
ANKARETTE TRYNEOWY: So it would seem. Are you done with your questions, Master Nichols? This interview grows tedious.
MASTER NICHOLS: I apologize sincerely. The king has told me that were it not for you, he would have died at the duke’s hands. Can you confirm this account?
ANKARETTE TRYNEOWY: I am the one who persuaded the king to confront his uncle rather than trying to escape the trap or fight his way out. The ploy worked. I arranged for the king’s subsequent escape with Duke Kiskaddon.
MASTER NICHOLS: Is it true that you were at the battles of Borehamwood and Hawk Moor?
ANKARETTE TRYNEOWY: I was not at the battle of Borehamwood. I came after it was won because I’d heard tidings about a friend who might have fallen. But I was at Hawk Moor. I captured Queen Morvared.
MASTER NICHOLS: I am astonished at your clandestine involvement in Ceredigion’s history. You also persuaded the king’s brother Dunsdworth to turn against his father-in-law and return to the king’s favor. It was your intercession that secured the king’s pardon?
ANKARETTE TRYNEOWY: Yes.
MASTER NICHOLS: Will you not elaborate further, madam? Why are you not more forthcoming?
ANKARETTE TRYNEOWY: I know many secrets, Master Nichols. Secret squirm inside of us. Like a chick wanting to be free of its egg. Or a moth quivering inside a cocoon. Secrets want to be told. The king trusts me because I do not tell them.
MASTER NICHOLS: Is it true that for a time you were once master of the Espion?
ANKARETTE TRYNEOWY: That is not true.
MASTER NICHOLS: I was informed you spent many hours in this very chamber, perusing all of the information coming in and out. That you were the hand directing events.
ANKARETTE TRYNEOWY: For a short while I assisted Sir Thomas Mortimer in his duties as Master of the Espion, a position he neither sought nor wanted. It was a dangerous time. Full of tumult.
MASTER NICHOLS: Thomas Mortimer, the Earl of Sur? How well are you acquainted with him? Were the two of you lovers?
ANKARETTE TRYNEOWY: I will say no more on the matter, Master Nichols. Good night. If I hear any scandalous talk about my relationship with the earl, from you or any member of the Espion, I know where to find you.
THUS CONCLUDES THE FIRST INTERVIEW TAKEN MIDSUMMER’S EVE.
If this left you wishing we could stay in this world just a little bit (or a lot) longer, check out Wheeler’s The Poisoner of Kingfountain series. We have a feeling it might be your new favorite thing.
Wall Street Journal bestselling author Jeff Wheeler took an early retirement from his career at Intel in 2014 to write full-time. He is a husband, father of five, and a devout member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Jeff lives in the Rocky Mountains.
To learn more about each of his worlds, his advice for new writers, and which series to start reading first, check out his website! http://www.jeff-wheeler.com/