Q. Today’s interview is with the exorcist, Fr. Máolan Martin, whom we meet in DARK RIFT. Father Martin, can we start off with what makes you different from other exorcists?
M.M. I suppose you’re referring to the fact that I have abilities like those of the Philosophers trained by the Gray Tower. I can “predict” other people’s actions with mathematical accuracy. I know the True Names of things, and persons…and spirits. I sense enchantments, and can both do and undo them. Not all enchantments, mind you, but many.
Q. So do you consider yourself a wizard? A wizard-exorcist?
M.M. If I were trained by the Gray Tower, I would. However there is a cohort of us within the Church who believe our special abilities are gifts from God, and we cultivate them to His glory, regardless of what the Tower thinks or does.
Q. So are you able to work alongside Gray Tower wizards?
M.M. Most certainly, I even consider a few of them friends. The Gray Tower has been around since the Middle Ages and we’ve always crossed paths with them, exchanged information, and fought against the Black Wolves together when needed.
Q. But I’ve heard that the Gray Tower dismissed you as an ambassador because it claimed the Vatican sent you to spy on the Order of Wizards.
M.M. My dear, can you imagine this old wrinkled bag of bones crouching in dark corners and rolling down pathways? I was an ambassador to the Tower–and I didn’t mind asking questions or making keen observations which I passed along to my superiors. If that made me a spy, then so be it.
Q. Let’s talk about your job as an exorcist. How did you get started? I’m betting you didn’t just wake up one morning and answer a Want Ad.
M.M. I started off when I was a young priest. I was an assistant to an exorcist by the name of Father Joseph O’Brien–a kind, elderly man who was very disciplined and had great faith. Now, when he died there was no one to take his place, and the bishop asked me to do so. I at first refused.
M.M. We have an old saying in Ireland that goes, “You cannot put an old head on the young.” I always took this to mean that youth entertained a certain level of inexperience and naivete, and though I had assisted Fr. O’Brien, I still possessed vestiges of these things. This line of work gets dark and draining, and I suppose part of me wasn’t ready for it.
Q. What made you change your mind?
M.M. Sheer compassion. Seeing the great need of others for deliverance. Those enduring demonic possession suffer greatly. As you know, this becomes even more dangerous when we’re dealing with people with magical abilities. If the demon cannot win over someone through seduction, it will do so through unceasing harassment. The demon will especially harass wizards because their life force is so potent and their powers attractive to feed off of.
Q. And that’s how a Cruenti warlock is made, right?
M.M. Yes, the Cruenti warlock makes a most damnable pact with the demon that will lead to his destruction. Cruenti devolve into beasts, both physically and mentally, and these we call Black Wolves.
Q. In DARK RIFT, you don’t fight any Black Wolves, but you do have to go toe-to-toe with a demon.
M.M. Yes, and it was one of the most difficult things I had to do. It weakened me.
Q. How so?
M.M. The reason why there aren’t many of us [exorcists] to begin with…why I was afraid to accept the task as a young man, is because you must stare a most terrible form of evil in the face and fight it with all your being. Exorcists know that with each exorcism, you never emerge the same person. Never. It takes a piece of you.
Q. Will you ever get it back?
M.M. Not until I die. Only God can make me whole again.
Q. Any advice for aspiring exorcists?
M.M. Don’t do it. Don’t do it unless it’s divine intervention calling you or it’s absolutely necessary.
Q. Thank you, Fr. Martin for the interview.
M.M. And thank you for the free whiskey.