Updated: Oct 21, 2021
Hello, and welcome to an exclusive interview from Swoonworthy Battle Heroes magazine! If you’re new to this publication (and you are, because we made it up), here’s what you need to know:
SBH is an elite club exclusively for fantastical battle heroes who make all the heroines swoon
Membership in this club is determined by the 4 pillars of heroism: courage, character, conquering-of-evil, and charisma (aka swoonworthiness).
This month we’re inducting two NEW members — Lex (aka The Son of Prophecy) and his cohort Acarius Frost, the two hottest new heroes of Arameth* — and as a special treat, their acceptance interview is being conducted by none other than current members Wil Grimm and Jack Thomas (aka Prince Julian Vogel), heroes of Schwarzwald**!
*Arameth is a nexus world, one which touches Earth and other dimensions, but don’t worry; the heroes of Arameth won’t let anything happen to Earth… or at least, they’ll try not to. You can find out more in the Legends of Arameth series, starting with The Lex Chronicles trilogy by Crystal Crawford.
**Schwarzwald is a cloaked fairy tale kingdom hidden in the Black Forest of Germany, not that you’ll ever be able to find anything on it in the “normal” history books. To find out more about Schwarzwald and its heroes, check out The Immortal Grimm Brothers’ Guide to Sociopathic Princesses series by M.J. Padgett (don’t forget to check out her blog, too!).
And now, the feature you all came here to see…
Lex and Acarius’ Swoonworthy Battle Heroes club induction interview
hosted by Wil Grimm and Jack Thomas
Wil: Lex, Acarius, thank you for joining me today. As you know, Swoonworthy Battle Heroes is an elite club designed for only the bravest, most committed fighters of evil. First, let me ask how your fight against evil is going?
Acarius: Hey, we didn’t die! So there’s that.
Wil: You… You didn’t… um…
Jack: Die. They didn’t die, moving on Wil.
Acarius: Honestly, not dying is sort of a big improvement for us… well, for some of us at least.
Lex: He’s right. We’re taking that as a win… even if evil is, you know, still out there. But we killed one of them! I think…
Wil: I suppose not dying is an improvement over the alternative.
Jack: Of dying. Geez, this interview needs some–
Wil: Jack, shut up! As I was saying, it is an improvement. How long have you been battling evil?
Acarius: Oh, about a lifetime or so…
Lex: Or more… maybe like two lifetimes? Give or take a few resurrections.
Wil: I am, unfortunately, quite familiar with resurrections… or reincarnations… Let’s just say, I am over fifteen hundred years old. My wife is 23. Anyway, what sort of evil are you fighting right now?
Lex: Whoa, wait — you’re fifteen HUNDRED years old and you’re married to someone who’s 23? How does that —
Acarius: Don’t be rude, Lex. Anyway, we’re fighting… well, to be honest, no one is quite sure. A dark goddess, maybe? She could be a demon. Or a sorceress. We haven’t exactly figured it out yet, but she’s bad.
Lex: Yeah. She’s bad… *shudder*
Jack: So, you’re saying she could very well be a slice of cheese? Do you even know what she looks like?
Wil: Jack, this is my interview. Would you kindly go find some peanut butter and stuff your face with it? As I was trying to ask before Jack jumped in, how do you hope to eradicate this evil from your lands?
Lex: Okay, well, first… she’s not a slice of cheese. Have you ever seen cheese corrupt an entire world with dark magic?
Acarius: Well, there was that piece of cheese Liz left out on the counter one time — but no. Yeah, she’s not cheese. She’s more like…
Lex: Pure, dark evil?
Acarius: Yes. That.
Lex: And we will eradicate her by destroying her, of course. What else did you think we were going to do? Invite her over for dinner?
Acarius: For cheese sandwiches.
Lex: Yes! Oh, or cheese and crackers.
Wil: Um… H-how old are you?
Jack: Old enough to fight evil AND be cool! This just got so much more interesting. So, what kind of nifty gadgets do you have, because we have this super cool dagger thing that–
Wil: Jack! For the love of all that is… Could you shut up? We do still have much evil to fight before we blab our secrets to the world!
Jack: But… ok, fine, commence with the boring interview.
Wil: *clears throat* Now, on to what our readers really want to know. How, exactly, do you brood in your quest? Is it a smoldery brood, a love-scorned brood, or just your general, I hate everything and everyone sort of brood?
Lex: Wow, I’m not even sure which question to focus on! But okay… um… I guess mine is more of a confused brood? I mean, to be honest, I’m only about 70% sure what’s going on most of the time… not that it’s my fault. You try having huge chunks of your memory wiped by dark magic, and then see how you do in a battle against an evil goddess-sorceress.
Acarius: I don’t brood.
Acarius: I. Don’t. Brood.
Lex: Okay, right, sure. To answer the other guy’s question, I don’t have any gadgets, but I don’t need them. I have magic. Like… really weird, really dangerous magic.
Acarius: That’s the truth.
Lex: And Acarius has… uh…
Acarius: I have a horse… and a sword?
Wil: We are quite familiar with magic, especially magic of the dangerous kind.
Jack: *wide eyed* Do… do you have the weird, gooey magic that makes you all bonkers?
Lex: Gooey magic? Uh… I’m not sure what that is, so I’m pretty sure that’s a no.
Jack: Whew, that’s a relief. We don’t need anyone going bonkers during an interview.
Acarius: But his magic can make him explode.
Lex: Oh. Right, yeah. There’s that. But don’t worry; it’s only if I lose control of it, which hasn’t happened in… oh, about 7 years.
Acarius: It would have happened a few days ago if Amelia hadn’t been there to stop you.
Lex: But she was. So… we don’t have to count that one. Right?
Acarius: Sure, whatever. Anyway, sorry… next question?
Wil: Who is Amelia? Is she one of your band of heroes? Perhaps a love interest?
Lex: Amelia is… how can I say this? She is definitely a hero, but I don’t think she knows it yet.
Acarius: She’s the light to his darkness.
Lex: Can you knock it off with the cheesy phrases? It’s so embarrassing.
Acarius: But it’s true.
Lex: You’re one to talk! You won’t even tell the girl you love that you like her!
Acarius: We are not talking about me right now, Lex. We’re talking about you and Amelia.
Lex: He didn’t ask for a cheesy love poem, Acarius. He asked who she was and if she was a hero. Yes, she’s a hero. We all would have died in our last battle if not for her. Is that hero enough for you?
Jack: Testy, testy. Me thinks thou dost–
Wil: Jack, would you please go away? Not every person must fall in love on their quest to end the evil in the world. Now–
Wil: *sighs heavily* What?
Jack: Who’s the other girl? And why won’t he tell her he loves her? Is she part of the Evil Killing Squad, too? How many are there in your group? Does everyone–
Wil: Perhaps one question at a time, doofus?
Jack: Uh… sure…
Lex: Are you two like brothers or something? You sure argue a lot.
Jack: He’s married to… Wait, no… I’m married to… Hang on, are we even related?
Wil: Um… maybe? I think… my wife’s brother is… nope…
Jack: Sure, we’re brothers. Next question.
Acarius: Well, that’s about as complicated as anything I’ve heard.
Lex: Ooh, now me. Acarius and I aren’t brothers. I was sent to kill him because the evil goddess-sorceress thought he was a prophesied hero but he turned out not to be, but I had already decided not to kill him and instead I trained him and now we’re…
Acarius: Friends? Let’s just go with friends. The whole what-really-happened-seven-years-ago explanation is just too complicated.
Lex: Yes. We’re friends. And evil-fighting partners. Well, not just us. We have a whole team… Amelia, Lytira — she’s the one he won’t admit he likes —
Acarius: Shut it.
Lex: Oh, and my ex-girlfriend is back, too. So there’s that. But I guess her powers are pretty useful.
Jack: Ha! I think Wil was the ex in our story.
Wil: I hate you. In case you weren’t sure, I hate you. How did you manage to become–never mind. Fighting evil together tends to bond you like family.
Jack: It does, which is why I already forgive you.
Wil: This interview has gotten away from me, unsurprisingly.
Jack: What’s that supposed to mean? I think it’s great. They’re nice guys here pouring out their souls to us–
Wil: You’re such a sap. Hush, now, Lex, can you explain how you manage to–
Lex: I forgot Nigel!
Acarius: What? That’s random…
Lex: When I was listing our team before, I forgot Nigel. He’s kind of important.
Acarius: Well, yeah. He’s basically the whole reason you’re not dead.
Lex: Exactly! How could I forget Nigel?
Acarius: To be fair, I think even Nigel forgets Nigel sometimes.
Lex: That’s true.
Wil: This Nigel, I believe I have heard of him. Is he not the strange man who designed the portals in this century?
Acarius: I think he prefers to refer to them as consoles, and I’m pretty sure they only go to Arameth… for now…
Lex: At least, we think so. It’s entirely possible they do other things, because we all saw what they did to me.
Acarius: True enough.
Jack: I’m afraid to ask, but what did it do to you?
Wil: I give up on attempting to run this interview. What he said.
Acarius: Let’s just say it saved his life. Sort of. Parts of him, at least.
Lex: It would have spared me a lot of confusion if it had saved all of me.
Acarius: It would have spared us all a lot of confusion, believe me.
Jack: That’s… inconvenient? But I totally get it. I mean, I was sent through time and space to be reborn in this century, with no memory whatsoever that I was the King of a fairy tale land. Oh, and that I was killed by a troll in my first life. Super inconvenient, but now I can change into a giant wolf, so there’s that.
Wil: Jack, this interview is about Lex and Acarius. Could you–
Lex: Wow. I totally feel you on the memory loss thing. I once killed a whole bunch of people in a weird trance because my memories from my first life were trying to overwrite my new brain…
Acarius: It’s a good thing you did, too. They would have killed you if you hadn’t. They thought you were a demon, remember?
Lex: Right. Well, I suppose normal people don’t take too kindly to resurrected heroes blowing up parts of their towns. But how was I supposed to know? I didn’t remember doing it!
Acarius: Wait, did you say you turn into a wolf? That’s something I know a little about! Not that I can do it…
Lex: Don’t ask. Sore spot.
Acarius: …But I lived with Sephram for years, and they can. It’s a huge part of their culture, the shift — I always wished I could… but that’s not important. Anyway, Lytira shifts into a panther. You should see it! It’s awesome! I’ve never seen anyone fight like she can when she’s shift–
Lex: See what I mean? But he still won’t tell her!
Acarius: What are you talking about? Stop making a big deal over nothing. We’ve had this conversation. I’m not telling her, and you know why!
Wil: Ah, don’t pressure the guy. True love always wins in the end. Trust me, it survives everything, even evil and centuries of pining.
Acarius: Does it survive the woman becoming queen and having to marry someone who is pure-blooded magicborn so that she can pass on her powers to her people?
Jack: Oh, is that all? I mean, we have a witch who could totally curse you to–
Wil: Prince Julian! I mean, Jack! Whatever! We cannot go around cursing people with the wolf spell! Just… just sit and shut up!
Jack: But it’s true love, Wil!
Lex: Wait… Acarius… you’re not seriously considering it, are you? You have that look.
Acarius: What? No, of course not! We have more than enough curses in our world already. Although, changing into a wolf would be… but no. Nope. Definitely not. All good here, no curses necessary.
Lex: Now I almost feel bad.
Acarius: Hey, if you want to curse me so badly, just do it yourself. You’re probably capable.
Lex: Hey. That was harsh. I don’t curse. I just… do… dark magic… things.
Acarius: I’m joking, Lex. No curses — wolf or otherwise. We don’t need that kind of complication.
Lex: Hey, you know… if you just told Lytira how you felt, maybe the whole shifting thing wouldn’t —
Lex: Right. Okay. Dropping it! Next question?
Wil: This all sounds very familiar if I’m honest. Fighting… wait, did you say you have dark magic? Um… H-how exactly does that work? In my experience, we like our dark magic dead around here.
Lex: Oh, don’t worry. I’ve been dead once already.
Jack: That does not make me feel better. Do you hear voices? Cuz my wife, she heard voices. It was so NOT cool.
Lex: Not… all the time?
Acarius: Don’t worry. His dark magic is part of him. Well, it was part of the evil sorceress-goddess-person. But then she put it in him, and now it’s his. So… totally under control. Right?
Lex: Yep. Totally. Nothing to worry about here. I mean… as long as Amelia’s nearby to balance it if I start to explode.
Acarius: I’m sure she’s around here somewhere.
Lex: Then we’re good!
Wil: Perhaps we should invite her into the interview room? I have no desire to explode. It’s not on my schedule for today.
Jack: Yeah, dude, I haven’t had my peanut butter sandwich today.
Lex: No, there’s no need for that. What would Amelia care about a Swoonworthy Battle Heroes interview? She’s probably hanging out with Nigel somewhere. But anyway, you have nothing to worry about! I’ve learned a lot about my magic since the last time I blew up a city, and just last week I defeated a huge dark magic villain the goddess sent. So I’m totally reliable! No concerns here.
Lex: I said no concerns here.
Acarius: Sure. Of course. Honestly, though… Lex is one of the best heroes in multiple worlds. I trust him with my life. You have no need to worry.
Wil: Multiple worlds? Are you insinuating there are other worlds? I assumed this Arameth was simply cloaked as Schwarzwald is.
Lex: Uh… did he say multiple worlds? You probably misheard. *whispers to Acarius* I’m not sure they’re ready for this one.
Acarius: Don’t be ridiculous, Lex. Yes, of course there are multiple worlds. Lex has been to at least two himself! Arameth is not just a world, it’s a nexus point, one which touches many other worlds… your Earth being just one of them. Arameth is protected by the Worldforce, which is like a benevolent force weaving between the worlds, plus its Sentinel army, which patrols the Veil of the in-between to prevent the evils of Deepside from infiltrating through the nexus and corrupting the other worlds which touch its–
Lex: Whoa, too much. Too much. Just… yes. There are multiple worlds. Sorry to break it to you… I know Earth people think they’re like, the center of the universe or something. I’m sorry to say it’s not true. Technically, I guess Arameth is the center…right?
Acarius: Do you mean geographically or functionally? Because I’m not exactly sure how the inter-dimensional spatial relationships work…
Wil: Wait, just… please just forget I asked. Battling evil on earth has been difficult enough with trolls and… never mind all that. Just, please, make sure you don’t lose! This old man has had quite enough.
Jack: How does one travel to the other worlds? And, if say, someone accidentally followed–
Wil: Don’t even think about it. Hadyen will kill you and you have a child to care for, or have you forgotten you are an instant father?
Acarius: Earthborns can’t pass through the Worldforce to Arameth, anyway. It… scrambles their brains.
Lex: Yeah. Just ask Nigel. You have to be a dual-born to make it through safely, or at least have an Aramethian bloodline.
Wil: In fairness, Jack’s brain couldn’t possibly be more scrambled. Don’t worry, no one will be attempting to skip to another world.
Lex: The Deepside demons would probably kill you in the Void on the way over, anyway, so… that’s probably for the best.
Wil: Yeah… I don’t have room in my brain to catalog additional monsters and evil places. What is next for your band of heroes?
Acarius: Well, seeing as we defeated the minion of the evil goddess but not the goddess herself, we’re off to kill an evil goddess!
Lex: If we can figure out how.
Acarius: Yes. Small detail. And we have to rescue my sisters first, anyway, because apparently she had them kidnapped.
Jack: Your… your sisters have been kidnapped and you’re here getting an interview? That’s… well, I suppose priorities?
Acarius: Oh, we’re on our way. Believe me, I would not be wasting time here if I could be out there saving them right now. But… the pesky magical people in charge of building our portal to where my sisters are being held said we can’t leave until they’re ready, and I was going crazy just sitting around waiting. If I wasn’t here, I’d be off killing something… I couldn’t sit around that dumb royal mountain another second.
Jack: Ah, the royal… well, we don’t have a royal mountain, but there’s lots of castles and boring stuff in The Black Forest, too.
Acarius: Speaking of the royal mountain, though… it’s about time I head back and pester those magic people about the portal again. It has to be close to time now, right? How long can it take to prepare a portal?
Lex: Good idea. Yeah, we should get back. The villain we thought we killed but didn’t is probably waiting for us on the shore by now.
Wil: Well then, uh… best get back to ensuring the death of the dark villains. Incidentally, if you discover a way to destroy the main source of all evil in the world, please send an email. I’m quite tired of killing minions. I’d much rather be done with this and go into retirement.
Acarius: You and me both.
Lex: Retirement? Acarius, you’re only twenty-four.
Acarius: Yeah, well, you’re one to talk. You’ve been seventeen twice and the evil goddess you fought the first time still isn’t dead! Don’t you want a break? Besides, I’ve had a hard life.
Jack: I’m only… actually, I’m not entirely sure how old I am. The jumping into the future thing makes math hard. Anyway, be safe and if you decide you want to shift into a wolf thingy, you know who to call.
Lex: Hey, so did we pass? Did we make it into the Swoonworthy Battle Heroes club?
Wil: I mean, we obviously have to run it by the ladies, but…
Jack: No chance in a million years I’m letting Hayden anywhere near these guys. Dude, look at them!
Wil: Yes, that is true. Yes, I will approve your applications, gentlemen.
Acarius: Do we get t-shirts? Nevermind, it doesn’t matter. Anyway, let’s go, Lex! We’re out of time.
Lex: Thanks for the interview! Maybe we’ll see you around as we’re all battling evil!
Wil: Let us hope we will see each other after the battle is won.
Thanks for joining us here today at Swoonworthy Battle Heroes magazine! We hope you enjoyed today’s interview.
Do you want to see more interviews like this? Let me know in the comments!
For more about the characters in this interview, check out:
Crystal Crawford // CCrawfordWriting
M.J. Padgett // MJPadgettBooks