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FR-P 758 VAB 1

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Subject Interview Catalog FR-P 758 VAB 1

Year 758 AC – Spring Season of Elmnas

 

Interview conducted and transcribed by Pruzin, Willow Historian of Farcaste Reach

To be copied and disseminated to Farcaste Reach, Elmnas, and Willow Elf Cache (locations unknown)

 

Subject of interview: Valero Ald-Bric, High General and Advisor to King Mronas

 

P: Hello, General, my name is Pruzin.  I am one of the Historians from Farcaste Reach.  I am collecting interviews from individuals believed to be influential over courses of history and events.  Thank you for taking the time to allow me to conduct this interview.  Copies of this interview will be kept in the histories of Mythos kept at Farcaste Reach.  However, Elmnas will have a copy to add to its libraries, and a copy will be sent to the Willow Elves to be kept safe among their many caches.

I will ask you a series of questions.  I only ask that you answer them as honestly as you can.  If you do not feel comfortable sharing an answer to one, simply say so, and we will move on to the next question.  

Are you ready to proceed?

V:  Yes.  I am ready.

P:  Very well.  Please begin with your full name. Do you have a nickname (if so, who calls you this)?

V:  My full name is Valero Ald-Bric.  Bric is my family name.  Only Colna has a nickname for me.  She likes to call me Val, and she is the only one I let call me that.

P:  What is your age today?

V:  I am 484.  Some would say I am in my prime among my people, the Forest Elves.

P:  Where do you live now, and with whom?

V:  I live in Elmnas near the palace.  I share my home with my life partner, Colna.

P:  What is your hair color and eye color?

V:  I have blond hair, which is kept short now as is the style of my rank in the King’s service.  My eyes are pale green, though sometimes they become deep green, I’m told.

P:   What kind of distinguishing facial features do you have?

V:  None, really.  Like most of my race, I have no facial hair, and have no scars or other noticeable features.

P:  What is your occupation?

V:  I am a warrior in service to my King.  After my training at Wargate, I was chosen to serve among the King’s elite guard for a while before I asked to form a unit of my own to help keep guard over the Deep Forest.  Now, I serve the King as one of his General’s and advisors.

P:  Do you have any annoying habits, quirks, strange mannerisms, or other defining characteristics?

V:  Colna would probably say my most annoying habit is that I am hard to read.  I do not express my feelings well.  I have been told I have no humor.  I think I do; it is just not inclined to silliness.

P:  I understand.  Please, describe any influences in your past that led you to do the things you do today.

V:  Like most young elves in Elmnas, I was fortunate to receive a basic education.  My family was not noble, and I had no aspirations to move up to a higher caste, but I did want to serve the king and our people, much like my father before me.  He had been a guard to the edges of Deep Forest for all his life.  I wanted to join him and explore Deep Forest for myself.  

Over time, I found I had a natural talent for fighting.  The more I learned, the better I became, and I began to surpass even my teachers.  I think that is why they allowed me to go to train at Wargate, so that I might learn other styles and techniques from the other races.  As a result, I developed a greater appreciation for the Forest Elves’ way of life, but also an understanding of the other peoples of Mythos, whom I would not have known otherwise.  I believe this experience allows me to be a better fighter and a more conscientious advisor to my king.

P:  I see.  What do you consider the most important event of your life so far?

V:  I believe it was the most momentous event in the history of Mythnium after that of the Great Cataclysm, but I was asked not to divulge because it might be a spoiler for something called “Echoes of Dragons.”

P:  I’ve never heard of it, but very well. Moving on.  Who has had the most influence on you?

V:  My father, who taught me to have faith and hope even when faith seems silly and hope seems pointless, and Colna, who is teaching me the depths of love that go far beyond the physical attraction we have for each other.

P:  What do you consider your greatest achievement so far, why?

V:  I don’t know how to answer this.  My achievements were never done alone.  I always had a unit with me, or a person beside me in every major event or success in my life.  If I have any great achievements, they are shared with many others as well.

P:  I believe your response would prove you are a humble man.  Quite refreshing, if I am being frank.  Now.  What is your greatest regret so far? 

V:  My greatest regret will always be that I was not there the day my father passed away.  I was on a rotation that took me to the far northern edges of Deep Forest and did not even know he had taken ill until I was on my way back to Elmnas.  By the time I returned, the gods had already taken him on his eternal journey.  My regret is that I did not ever find the way to express to him how much he meant to me.

P:  I am very sorry for your loss.  Now, to touch on another hard question. What is the most evil thing you have ever done so far?

(lengthy pause)

V:  I don’t feel comfortable answering this question.  I will say I will never get rid of the piercing cries that echo in my nightmares.

P:  As I said, some questions would be hard, and you are not required to answer them all.  Let’s not dwell on that question.  What is your best memory so far? 

V:  I think my favorite memory so far is of the day I realized Colna and I were meant to be together.  She had just helped me take down a rather grotesque troll on the eastern edge of Deep Forest.  It was just the two of us that day, troll, and we were both struggling to get the best of it.  She had run out of arrows and was forced into close combat with the creature.  As she and I took turns cutting and slashing at it, we finally wore it down and were able to kill it.  After it fell to the ground, I will never forget how she turned to me with a grin of relief, covered from head to toe in troll blood and gunk, and a piece of me was just overwhelmed by the beauty of her smile shining through the gore.

P:  How strange that you would find her attractive in the heat of battle and in such a state of filth. Interesting.  Are you optimistic or pessimistic?

V:  I would say I am realistic by nature.  I tend to see things in a more practical light that can often allow me to see very clearly the good and the bad to any given situation or decision.

P:  What is your greatest fear? 

V:  My greatest fear… Would be to repeat the mistake I made with my father.  To not tell the people I care about just how deeply I care.  If you mean phobia, well, my greatest phobia is of heights.  I do not do well with heights.  For the longest time, I had trouble riding horseback simply because I was afraid of the distance of the fall should I fall off it’s back.

P:  Thank you. That could have been a double faceted question.  I appreciate you addressing both aspects.  What is your greatest extravagance?

V:  The home I share with Colna.  It is much grander than I deserve.  Granted, it was gifted to us by the King, for which I am grateful, but I do miss the home of my youth, which was a cozier place.

P:  Who would you turn to if you were in desperate need of help?

V:  Colna and my unit.  I chose them all myself for different reasons, and now they are all scattered among other units.  Some are units of their own, but if I had need of my original unit, I know they would drop everything to come to my aid.

P:  Do you trust anyone to protect you?

V:  Again, Colna and my unit.  I trust her, and them, with my life.

P:  Who is the person you despise the most, why?

V:  Despise is a strong word, and I assume you mean someone I know personally.  In that case, I would say the person I avoid above all others is a dwarf from the Silver Isles who made a complete ass of himself during the King’s wedding.  Granted, we have not had occasion to cross paths much since then, but when we do, I avoid him.  He is careless and outspoken and has no decorum.

P:  Interesting.  I believe I recall the event you are referring to.  Do you tend to argue with people, or avoid conflict?

V:  I avoid arguments, but am not afraid of a fight.  Does that make sense?  I have no use or need to convince someone else of the rightness or wrongness of their own ideas and beliefs.  In that regard, I think arguments are a waste of precious time.  However, should anything ever come to blows, I will not back down from standing for what I believe to be right.

P:  Very good.  What is or are your favorite hobbies and pastimes?

V:  I much prefer to be exploring Deep Forest especially to the west where the forest meets the Walker Mountains.  The number of lakes, creeks, waterfalls, caves, and hidden trails that lead into the mountains give me no end of enjoyment.  If I can’t spend time there, I enjoy simply relaxing with Colna by our fire.

P:  I see.  Do you have a favorite color?

V:  I do. The light of the sky between first and second sunrise.  The beautiful shades of blue that turn to lavender never cease to take my breath away.  

P:  Beautiful indeed.  What is your favorite food?

V:   You must be familiar with the dish of your people, called ‘elpo?’  It is a baked dish they make from mountain lizard, herbs, and spices on a bed of black rice.  I make sure to have some anytime I am able to be among the Willows.

P:  Ah, yes.  It is a popular dish among my people.  I make a point of having a bowl whenever I am among them, myself.  The spices are quite unique, I think. What makes you laugh?

V:  You’ll have to ask Colna.  She swears I never laugh.

P:  What shocks or offends you?

V:  I am not offended easily, but I am sometimes caught off guard.  What shocks me is the growing threat we seem to be having from the White Lord and the general lack of concern among our people, right now.  

P:  If you usually walk away from a situation that makes you angry, where do you go to calm yourself?

V:  Typically, if I am overcome, I just need to step away far enough to feel the suns’ light on my face or just get some fresh air.  Getting outside into nature has always been the fastest way for me to find calm.

P:   I see.  For me, I tend to hide away in stacks of scrolls and books.  Are you generally introverted or extroverted?

V:  I get these two words confused.  If I remember right, to be introverted means that one gains energy by being among one or two favorite, familiar people or alone, while being an extrovert means one gains energy from the immersion into a group of people.  Is that right?  If so, then I would be more of an introvert.  I tend to find the extended company of others, especially people I am not close to, to be exhausting.  I do much better alone or one on one.

P:  You recalled the differences between the two quite well.  What three words best describe your personality?

V:  Three words to self-describe my personality.  Aloof, maybe? Tough. Sincere.  Yes.  I think those describe me well.  

P:   If you could choose, how would you want to die?

V:   Part of me would hope to die of old age in the comfort of my bed.  Another part of me would admit to hoping to die with my sword in my hand, fighting for someone I love or something I believe in.

P:  What are your thoughts on the legends and rumors regarding the White Lord?

(lengthy pause, subject appears agitated)

V:  I think we are seeing the legends and rumors are not simply legend and rumor anymore.  Historically, the White Lord has always used the lesser races to herald his intentions to come to Mythos and wreak havoc.  I am concerned how short even our elven memory seems to be this time around.  I sense him coming.  I see proof of it.  Yet, little action is being taken, and that concerns me a great deal.  That said, I have no real idea for a course of action to hinder him or stop history from repeating itself.  Not yet.

P:  When faced with saving the life of your King or the betterment of the Kingdom of the Forest Elves, which would you choose?

V:  Even the King himself would say I should choose the Kingdom over the King.  That sounds like the right thing to say.  But inwardly, I know that if the King’s life is threatened in front of me, I don’t know that I would have the time to consider the implications of King versus Kingdom, I think I would instinctively do all I can to save his life and deal with the repercussions afterward.  I honestly cannot say.

P:  Thank you, General.  That concludes this interview.  Before I put my ink away, is there anything you would like to add?  Any recent events that may be missed in the histories? Or sightings or occurrences that you think bear mentioning?

V:  Thinking about it just now, no.  I don’t believe there is anything worth mentioning that the king wouldn’t include in his own records and letters to Farcaste Reach.

P:  Very well.  Thank you, again, for the time you took to sit with me for this interview.  If we decide we have any further questions based on the answers you have given, we will reach out.

V:  I understand.  I must go now.  I have an appointment with King Mronas.

P:  I see.  Thank you.  May the gods keep you.

V:  May the gods keep you.

 

Observation:

During the course of this interview, I noted that General Valero Ald-Bric was relaxed and open.  Toward the end, however, at mention of the White Lord, he appeared to grow agitated.  He sat upright and more toward me indicating a sudden alertness and unrest.  I suggest we look closer at other recent interviews and reports to determine if the subject of his agitation is something we should research more fully.

 

End of interview

FR-P 807 E 1

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Subject Interview Catalog FR-P 807 E 1

Year 807 AC – Winter Season at Farcaste Reach

 

Interview conducted and transcribed by Pruzin, Willow Historian of Farcaste Reach

To be copied and disseminated to Farcaste Reach, Elmnas, the Silver Isles, and Willow Elf Cache (locations unknown)

 

Subject of interview: Estryl Metal Singer of the Silver Dwarves, Blacksmith

 

P: Hello, Estryl, my name is Pruzin.  I am one of the Historians from here at Farcaste Reach.  I collect interviews from individuals believed to be influential over courses of history and events.  Thank you for taking the time to allow me to conduct this interview.  Copies of this interview will be kept in the histories of Mythos kept at Farcaste Reach.  However, copies will be sent to your people as well as other collections of historical significance with the Forest and Willow Elves.

I will ask you a series of questions.  I only ask that you answer them as honestly as you can.  If you do not feel comfortable sharing an answer to one, simply say so, and we will move on to the next question.  

Are you ready to proceed?

E:  I think so.  I’ve never been interviewed before.  I’m a bit nervous.  Excited.  But nervous.  Is that normal?

P:  Indeed, it is.  Just try to relax and be yourself.  Please begin with your full name. 

E:  I’m Estryl Metal Singer of the Silver Dwarves.                         P:  That is an interesting name, how did you come by it?

E:  Estryl?  Oh!  No.  You mean my surname.  Of course.  Metal Singer is the name that my great-grandmother had, and her grandmother before her, and so on.  Typically, “Metal Singer” only skips a generation, but for some reason, this inherited gift skipped my grandmother and my mother.  My people thought the gift had been lost.  I didn’t even realize I had the gift!  I only discovered it was a gift when my brother revealed that none of the other dwarves used music to help craft their swords, shields, and hammers.  

P:  Quite interesting.  And how old are you, my dear?

E:  Um… nearly 60.  Not so old.  My brother likes to tell me I’m still just a young pup.

P:  Considering that dwarves live nearly as long as the elves, I would have to agree with your brother.  You are just starting your life in many ways.  Where do you live now, and with whom?

E:  Oh, well, I am in transition, I guess you could say.  Home is in the Silver Isles, but for the past seven years, I’ve been here at Farcaste Reach… Well, not quite seven years here yet, but close enough.  It’s been seven years since we left the Isles.  Since this is home for now, I’m here with my brother, Stranick, and Elder Martan.

P:  Why did you leave the Silver Isles?

E: Well, once my people discovered that I’d been born with the gift, and I was using it without training, it was also discovered that we lost all but a few scrolls that were in my mother’s possession that even told us anything about it and how to use it.  Elder Martan insisted we try to find more information among the stores of books and scrolls you keep here.  He hopes I will also learn from the mages and magicians here on how to use my gift safely and effectively.

P:  This might seem like an obvious question to you, but please divulge me.  What is your occupation?

E:  Of course!  I’m a blacksmith. I create anything and everything that can be made with metal.  I started making simple tools like nails and bolts, even metal plates for peoples’ meals.  Then I started making short blades and daggers.  Once I moved to making weapons, I gained a little bit of attention from other dwarves who liked my work.  At their requests, I began to work on swords, shields, and hammers.  I love all of it, and also enjoy just playing with metals.  Sometimes, I swear the metal tells me what it wants to be.  As a result, I’ve made smaller items like bracers, rings, and bracelets.  I have an idea of a kind of link I’d like to make for a new sort of chainmail.

P:  Very interesting.  When we are finished with this interview, might I see some of your work? 

E:  Oh!  I’d love to show you what I am working on!  One of the mages here has commissioned me to create a set of rings for her.  In exchange, she is helping me learn chants and incantations that I can use to help me “see” the shapes in the metal better.

P: Do you have any annoying habits, quirks, strange mannerisms, or other defining characteristics?

E:  Well… I think if you asked my brother, he’d come up with quite a few things he finds annoying, but I think the thing that most people seem to comment on is that I get excited about everything very easily.  I think I am exuberant, but I think some people find my enthusiasm a little off-putting?  Beyond that, I think I am pretty easy to get along with.  

P:  I understand.  What do you consider the most important event of your life so far?

E:  Without question, the fact that what I thought was normal for all dwarves was in fact a magical gift only I possess.  Even now, seven years later, and learning more about magic and how to use it, I am still in awe.  I often question why this gift skipped my mother, and why I was born with it instead.  No one seems to know the answer, and I don’t know if that makes me very special, or cursed.

P:  I see.  Who has had the most influence on you?

E:  Stranick.  After our parents passed, leaving us alone while I was still quite young, he made sure to take care of me. He taught me everything I know about metal working, casting, forging, crafting.  He has also sacrificed a life of his own to be here with me and to support me every day.  I sincerely hope that I make him proud.

P:  What do you consider your greatest achievement so far, why?

E:  My greatest achievement?  Well.  Let me think on that a moment. Of course, I am proud of every object I have ever created.  Though I think the one I am most proud of is the shield I made that revealed to Elder Martan my gift.  I’m not proud of it because of that. I’m proud of it because I think it is the prettiest shield I had ever made.  Even since then, the work I have done for commissions, I love them all, but that one just holds a special place in my heart.  I wonder: do creations become part of us? Or do we put pieces of ourselves in our creations?  Hmmm…

P:  I can understand the pride you have in your work, and you raise an interesting question that may be best posed to the mages who are helping you with your gift.  Now.  What is your greatest regret so far? 

E:  My greatest regret.  Regret?  I don’t have any regrets.  Not yet, anyway.  I want to live life.  I want to explore.  I want to see the world, and experience the cultures of Mythnium.  I think I am very blessed to be here.

P:  Very well.  That may be further testament to your youth.  What is your best memory so far? 

E:  Oh!  That is a recent one!  Since we have been here, Stranick and I have had opportunities to do things that dwarves do not have access to in the Silver Isles.  We actually got to accompany a hunting party down in the valley!  It was my first time riding a horse.  Actually riding!  Our journey here, we rode in wagons.  But I got to ride one of those strong but smart and gentle creatures.  After the hunt – no, I didn’t actually kill anything myself – I helped unsaddle the horse I rode, and brushed her down and took care of her before she was led to the barn where the horses are kept.  As I was brushing her, I looked into her eyes.  There is a deep gentleness in those creatures.  If they could talk, I imagine they would have a great deal of wisdom to impart to us.  I look forward to riding just for the sake of riding again very soon.

P:  Yes.  Horses are valuable beasts of burden, but I have to agree with you.  There is a nobility to the creatures, and that nobility extends to their cousins the unicorns and pegasi as well.  Are you optimistic or pessimistic?

E:  I am an optimist.  Without a doubt.  I mean, I can have pessimistic periods, but in general, I like to give the benefit of the doubt and assume the best about situations and people.

P:  What is your greatest fear? 

E:  Hmmm… I didn’t think I really had any until recently.  When Stranick told me of the eclipse, we were still underground and it seemed so far removed from me and my people.  But since being among the surface peoples and among all the scholars and magic users here, the significance of the eclipse seems much more serious.  I don’t know that I am afraid really of what it might have meant, but I sense fear in others, and that does concern me.

P:  Thank you.  Yes, that was an alarming and incredible event to behold and many people seem to be reacting to it in very different ways.  Who would you turn to if you were in desperate need of help?

E:  Stranick.  Yup.  My brother has my back.  

P:  Who is the person you despise the most, and why?

E:  Despise?  Um.  No one.  I mean there are people back home that I prefer not to be around.  Some I would say I don’t necessarily trust or even respect, but there is no one that I hate or despise.  

P:  Interesting.  Do you tend to argue with people, or avoid conflict?

E:  I avoid conflict.  I want to get along with everyone.  I want to try to, at least.  I know not everyone can be gotten along with.  I know not every fight can be avoided, but I do try.  I think the only person I can’t avoid fights with is Stranick, but then we are siblings, and we do know how to get under the others’ skin.

P:  I understand that.  What is, or are your favorite hobbies and pastimes?

E:  Ah!  Horseback riding.  Working with metal.  Singing.  Even when I’m not working with metal, I always seem to have a song in my mind.  

P:  I see.  Do you have a favorite color?

E:  A favorite color?  You know, I don’t think I’ve ever thought about it.  Red, I guess.  It’s so bright and in your face.  You can’t ignore it.   

P:  Indeed.  Do you have a favorite food?

E:   Oh.  Food.  The food here is good.  Interesting, anyway, but I do miss the fish from home.  Goodness!  I can smell it now.  Mmmm… just the thought is making my mouth water and my tummy rumble.  I’m sorry.

P:  Don’t worry, we are nearly done and then you can get something to eat. What makes you laugh?

E:  Everything!  I love to laugh, and I find a lot to find happiness in.

P:  What shocks or offends you?

E:  Some of the jokes that Stranick finds in the bars and pubs here.  I mean, really. I don’t understand the need to be crude or mocking to find humor when it is at someone else’s expense.  He thinks they’re hilarious. I think they are… Well, I don’t like them at all.

P:  Are you generally introverted or extroverted?

E:  Ooh! You mean am I outgoing or more of a homebody?  Definitely more outgoing.  I draw my energy from being around people.  I love being around people.  

P:  Give me three words that best describe your personality.

E:  Three words.  Oh.  Well.  Let me think.  Stubborn.  Oh yes.  Absolutely stubborn.  Then, maybe, excited?  Oh.  I don’t know.  Happy.  I am happy.    

P:   If you could choose, how would you want to die?

E:   Ew.  That is a morbid question.  I’ve never thought about it. Why would I?  I think I will skip this one, thank you.

P:  Of course.  That is fine.  We’ll move on to the next question.  What are your thoughts on the legends and rumors regarding the White Lord?

E:  I honestly don’t know anything beyond the old scary stories told among my people.  The legends told among the surface dwellers are very similar, and the rumors of his so-called return seem strange to me.  I don’t want to discount them, because I know in the time my great-grandmother was alive, my people were called upon to assist in pushing him and his forces off Mythos, but that was so long ago.  So, I honestly don’t know.

P:  Thank you, Estryl.  That concludes this interview.  I appreciate your honesty.  Before I put my ink away, is there anything you would like to add?  

E:  Beyond feeling so honored that you would interview me?  No.  I don’t think so.  

P:  Very well.  Thank you for taking the time to sit with me for this interview.  

E:  Of course!  Thank you!

P:  May the gods keep you.

V:  May the gods keep you.

 

Observation:

Estryl is indeed quite young, but her talent, her gift to shape metal with magic and song is quite unique.  My observations of her during this interview suggest to me that she was indeed fated for this gift as it seems to match her indomitable character.  She is very light of spirit beyond just the lightness of youth.  Within her, I sense a bright soul that could very well be a tipping point in the favor of the goodness of Mythnium.

 

End of interview

 

Following the interview:

I had the honor of viewing some of Estryl Metal Singer’s work.  I viewed a dagger she has been commissioned to make for a young guard.  A basic piece, but it was well crafted.  I also viewed the rings the mage commissioned.  They are not yet complete, but there is an elegance to their design that is both unique, yet practical for daily wear.  Estryl was quite excited to show me a row of links that she is playing with, as she calls it.  The links are unlike any I have ever seen on chainmail.  They are so perfectly joined that you cannot see the seam.  She demonstrated the strength of just that single row by hanging one end to the roof of her forge and an anvil hanging over the ground from the other end.  The weight of the anvil did not stress or stretch the links in any way.  I will put in a request that our master blacksmith take a look.  The young dwarf may be onto something.

 

FR-P 756 AR 1

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FR-P 751 TWS 1

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FR-P 748 O 1

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