Biographical – William Hulce
Thenni Interviews … William Randolph Hulce
With a declaration of war hanging between the Harts and the Lions, it seems important to give Edreja the chance to learn the facts of the matter. Also by doing this I hope to cut through any slanderous propaganda that might be produced by other parties in this matter.
I interviewed our Lord Regent, William Hulce, at his home. Serious as always, his commitment to the good of Albion and the service of the Pendragon Throne shone through in everything that he said.
Thenni, High Bard of Albion
How did you come to live in Albion?
I was born in Gloucester; the fifth child of Thomas Hulce and Iseult Audeley. My family fled Roxanne’s assassins when I was relatively young and I spent a fair proportion of my childhood in Italija but I was always raised to think of Albion as my home.
When Miles died at Dunwich I was actually serving with Finn in Erin against the Empire. After the funeral our family’s affairs were in something of a mess and so I stayed in Castleford. Since then religion, politics and circumstance have all conspired to keep me in Albion. There are still plenty of places I’ve not seen and I may consider travel again if I live long enough to retire from public life, but I can’t see myself leaving Albion again in the short term.
How did you become Lord Regent?
There is currently no Lord Regent of Albion and will not be until the Royal Council convenes at the Great Erdrejan Fayre. I believe I am a strong and competent candidate for the post, but such an important appointment can never be simply the choice of one man. Albion has been down that path before and we all suffered as a consequence.
When Michael died it was important that someone assume his duties and so I’ve done that to the best of my ability. The losses against Castel were a bitter blow on top of the heavy casualties we’d taken during the Cataclysm and it was simply not a good moment to be leaderless. I believe I made the right choice, but others may not agree. Only history will tell us for certain.
Which ancestor do you worship and why?
My father was a follower of The Hunter and I was raised in the faith. I remember my first kill and I remember being blooded as a child. I’ve fought beside Tylendal in the Greenwood and knelt before my ancestor in Chapel Perlious. I was one of those who carried The Hunter’s wrath against The Green Man to Teutonia, and I have dedicated the patterns of the dead to his name. In spite of that, it’s not the colours of The Hunter I wear most prominently.
The Dragon first appeared to me when I was in Erin; mostly through dreams but occasionally in waking visions also. I disregarded them mostly because I knew my sister Georgiana had been plagued by similar spirits during childhood and that embracing them had done her little good. It was only after returning to Albion that William Dimens approached me, saying not only that he had found others sharing such dreams but also that his ancestor had identified me as one of its own.
The Dragon is special to me because it is my choice rather than that of my family. Whilst The Hunter is perhaps a more active and visible part of my daily life, The Dragon is always present in the back of my mind and is a voice for order, stability and duty that might otherwise be put aside in the heat of the moment.
What achievement are you most proud of?
The most pride I have felt in recent years was as the Harts marched en masse to face the coming Cataclysm. We were confident after our skirmish with the Dragons, resplendent in our colours, more numerous than I’ve seen us for a long while, and we turned a lot of heads marching across that marketplace.
That wasn’t my achievement … it was the work of many good people over a long period of time to create that degree of confidence and unity, but most notably it was the achievement of Michael O’Donovan. I felt pride for him that day and if the Harts can hold to the same course in the months to come then I’ll feel pride for whatever part I play in that too.
Do you find the future scary?
I think uncertainty always is. No matter how much we hope and wish to continue rebuilding the faction we can never predict what trials are to come or what problems might divide us. Fear should definitely not however prevent us from trying to stay the course.
What is your biggest regret?
Regret is a self-indulgence and serves no purpose. We cannot change events once they have occurred and all we can do learn from the mistakes of the past and we move on.
Are you looking for love right now?
No. I love my country and I love my family (despite our occasional differences); that is sufficient for me right now.
Of course, as Lord Regent, there is interest in the more fashion-conscious parts of the court as to what you will be wearing this season. Do you have any tips for what will be fashionable in this new Edreja?
I’m afraid I’m probably going to be something of a disappointment on that score. It’s been a long time since I bought a new frock coat … and, if I remember correctly, my sister Isobel had to bully me into doing so even then.
Fine clothes are all very well but in their proper time and place. In these coming months I suspect you’ll see more of me in chainmail than in courtly attire.
What did you want to be when you were a child?
During the civil war? A solider. Before that I suppose I must have aspired to something else but, years on, I really don’t remember what.
After a hard campaign, how do you relax?
It’s in my nature to plan and I’m almost always working through future possibilities and considering how I cope with them, or better still pre-empt them. It seems to work but it does mean that I rarely really relax as there are always new challenges to consider.
How do you spend your spare time?
Spare time is something of a rarity, but I enjoy good food and drink when I get the chance. I admire a good performance and I have written both songs and poems in the past, but find less opportunity to do so recently.
I must confess that I’m also quite a fan of Jugger – although Esmund always used to insist I was something of a philistine and never fully appreciated “The Sport Of Kings”. Rumours of a possible Erdrejan championship at the forthcoming Fayre are very positive and if it does take place then I’ll certainly be encouraging Albion to make a strong showing. We did, after all, invent the sport.
What’s the best thing about being you?
After the Cataclysm I step into this new Erdreja secure in the knowledge of my ancestors’ patronage and, as far as I’m aware, with my enemies suitably scared of me (as well they might be). I look forward to a good year or, failing that, a memorable death. Either way I will stand before my ancestors unbowed.
There are rumours suggesting that you are a power-hungry maniac intent upon the throne. Would you like to take this opportunity to rebuff that?
The throne of Albion belongs to the true heir of the Pendragon Line. That is not and will never be me.
We are all subjects of the King and all serve him in whatever role fate hands to us. I consider myself fortunate that I am a better politician than I am a farmer, but those who serve on the Royal Council are no more or less a part of Albion than the farmer, the fletcher, the solider or the sheriff, and we all labour for the same cause.
What is your opinion of our war with the Lions?
I don’t believe the Lions actually intended any harm to Albion. I don’t believe they intended any harm when they condemned Erdreja to fester under the Cadre of Mediocrity either. They merely saw the right choices for their people and took them … regardless of the consequences for everyone else. I can’t honestly blame them for that – had I been in their place I would have done the same thing – but ultimately my duty is to protect Albion and so neither can I ignore the harm that has been caused; deliberately or not.
Whatever their faults the Lions are essentially a civilised people and I believe they can be reasoned with. I have faith in the considerable skills of our ambassadors and am convinced that a diplomatic solution is not only desirable but also quite possible; one that will see the Lions join with us in repairing the hurt to our land and people.
If I’m wrong and they are unwilling to make amends then we can always choose to forgive and forget. Unfortunately I think to do so merely sends a message that Albion does not defend her own; that those who bring suffering to our people face no consequences. That is not the way of our ancestors and I do not believe it should be our way either … those who harm our land and our people will see the error of their ways and repent, or they will suffer the wrath of The Pendragon.
Is there anything else you’d like to say?
Long live his majesty Edward Pendragon, all praise be to The Trinity, and Albion forever.