Born the son of County Orange in Fallcastle, Grey is ironically the Grey Duke in Kingdom Come’s newest Duchy, Drakeshead. After graduating from Journeydown University with a concentration in commerce and economics, he worked in the private sector for several years before receiving his noble appointment.
1) Congratulations on your noble appointment, Your Grace! Were you hoping for an appointment out on the edge of civilization, or was that a surprise?
Being selected at all was both an honor and a surprise. Of course, many are called to serve the Kingdom, but few are selected to do so in the position of Duke. Yes, I was excited to learn that my appointment would take me to the very western edge of the Kingdom. It is a challenge I’ve embraced fully.
2) Is it true that you were named Grey because your body mother was the White Contessa and your body father the Black Count?
Ha! Yes, unfortunately that is true, and I have been teased about it all my life. But it’s a good name, and somewhat prophetic as well.
3) How do you respond to the criticism that the White Queen didn’t take the appointment of Drakeshead seriously, and only chose the eight of you because your given names happen to match your position?
It is irritating, but of course people will find all kinds of things to criticize the nobility for regardless of whether the criticism is deserved. We’ve been married for more than a year now, we have four beautiful baby girls, and we have all learned so much about ourselves and each other. The White Queen does have a sense of humor, but her matchmaking skills are impeccable. We’re very happy.
4) Do you think the adversity you faced in the past few months made you a stronger family?
Absolutely. It’s like making coffee… you put the beans in hot water, but the beans transform the water itself into something comforting and fortifying. That’s what we are to each other.
5) Which role is more fun? Being a Duke or a Daddy?
Definitely a Daddy! Of course, the noble appointment comes with many advantages and perks, but all that pales in comparison to the high I get from being a father.
6) Do the eight of you pay careful attention to who is actually the body parent to each child?
Well, for the women, it means who is breastfeeding and who isn’t. And I have to admit, there is something fun about looking at a baby’s face and wondering if they’ve inherited your dimples or your grandfather’s proclivity for whistling. But other than that, we’re all parents together. We may have an arranged marriage and a noble appointment, but we’re really just a big, old fashioned, traditional family beneath it all.
7) Have you seen any of those dimples of yours in the girls?
Charity thinks Compassion has dimples, but they’re definitely Forrest’s, not mine.
8) What unique challenges do you face as the Grey Duke of a brand new Duchy?
When we were installed, the only population and infrastructure we had was the bare bones starter-package the Kingdom built. As soon as the Duchy opened, there was a huge influx of businesses and population, all trying to find a balance that would bring them prosperity.
9) And is Drakeshead prospering?
Absolutely. We’re continuing to grow at a rapid pace. The challenge will come ten years down the line, when that rapid growth has slowed.
10) Where do you see Drakeshead ten years from now?
We have a growth plan similar to that of the Kingdom as a whole. Only a small part of the Duchy is open now. We’ll be opening up more Counties as the population grows and there is a demand for more open land.
11) Will there be open land preserved? Or do you see it becoming more like your home Duchy of Fallcastle?
Besides the land around the Scar, there will be a great deal of open, natural land that will remain natural in perpetuity. In Fallcastle, the population is dense simply because it is the oldest Duchy. A lot of commerce is centered there.
12) Do you anticipate Drakeshead having a great deal of commerce with Fallcastle?
We are actively encouraging commerce with all the Duchies of the Kingdom. Only a small percentage of our economy depends on being geographically close to those we interact with.
13) Financially, what advantages does Drakeshead have over other Duchies?
At the moment, we have rapid growth. There are always people and businesses who are eager to move into a new area as soon as it is opened, so they can create for themselves the life they want from scratch. Rapid growth is a boon to our economy.
14) What is the Duchy’s biggest financial challenge?
The relatively small population. Even though we’re growing, our population is only a tiny fraction of that of most Duchies. Fortunately the Kingdom plans for that, and we have more help from the planetary government than the older Duchies.
15) If you could attract any one business to Drakeshead, what would it be?
Toby’s! I miss Toby’s, but they only have restaurants in Fallcastle and Newburgh. I miss their peach cobbler.
16) You haven’t left Drakeshead since the Duchy opened. Do you have plans to travel abroad any time soon?
I suppose I must. I actually hate travelling, but as a Duke it is important to maintain relationships with my peers, with prospective investors in the Duchy, and of course with the Kingdom. I have a tentative trip to Skytower planned in a few months, and I’ll probably visit several other Duchies as well.
17) Are any of the other Dukes or Duchesses going with you?
Yes, but I’ve no idea who. Whenever we have to be gone for more than a few days, we try to make sure we don’t have to be alone. That really makes a huge difference as far as feeling like a family when you have to be away. And of course there’s always someone at home, too. I’ll miss the babies the most. They’re going to change so much even if I’m only gone a month!
18) What has surprised you most about being a Duke?
Laughing. My parents were fairly easygoing, but the Duchy of Fallcastle always seemed so formal to me. When I received the offer of the Duchy of Drakeshead, I thought I’d have to be that serious too.
19) Did you know any of your spouses before you were married?
Not very well. Charity is also from Fallcastle, also the daughter of a County, although our two Counties aren’t close to each other. Fallcastle is a big place. But as the children of the Counties, and being as close in age as we are, we were forced to socialize on many occasions. She didn’t like me so much back then… but fortunately she didn’t recognize me as “that boy” until we were married and it was too late!
20) Who shot first, Han or Greedo?
Well, if that’s a legal question, I suggest you save it for Lawson, the Black Duke. I have no idea, and I’m sure I’m not qualified to give an opinion.
If you were expecting a jet pilot/author today, I apologize, we had a scheduling snafu! We’ll see him in a couple of weeks. Meanwhile, fortunately for me, my characters are always willing to be interviewed. The four Dukes and four Duchesses of the Duchy of Drakeshead were the first characters I created for Kingdom Come, and although their story is more intertwined in others than stand-alone, these eight characters are my favorites to play with when need arises. The picture of Grey is actually Paul Teutul Jr of “American Chopper” fame and the genius of Paul Jr. Designs. When I first created these characters about five years ago, I imagined Grey as looking like him. It was important that Grey, being like the boy next door to Charity, have his kind of charm. And dimples. ♥
If you’re curious, you can read the interview with Charity Kochsato or Royal Kochsato, or check out my page on the Kingdom Come stories.
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