1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Greetings Guest!!

    In order to combat SPAM on the forums, all users are required to have a minimum of 2 posts before they can submit links in any post or thread.

    Dismiss Notice

"30 Minutes With..." Archive Sticky Thread

Discussion in 'UO Catskills' started by Guest, Apr 10, 2006.

  1. Guest

    Guest Guest

    This thread is here to provide an archive of Lord Franklin's "30 Minutes with.." post. Lord Franklin will be posting the “30 minutes with …” features both in the general Catskills Forums and also posting in this sticky thread. This thread is not a discussion thread, this thread is intended to simply be an archive of these interviews.
     
  2. Hello Catskills,
    I'm pleased to announce a new feature-type column for our Shard. I hope it will allow players on Catskills to get to know one another better. From time to time, I will be writing a new column called "30 Minutes With..." The column will feature interviews with various (and, yes, nefarious) people from our Shard. After getting the answers to a short list of questions, I will accompany an interview subject in-game for 30 minutes to see what it is they like to do. I will then post the answers to the questions and a summary of our 30-minute trip, along with a few screenshots, here for everyone to read.

    If you would like to be featured in a "30 Minutes With..." story, PM me with the answers to the questions below or send an e-mail to me at [email protected]. All questions should be answered from your character's point of view!

    What is your name?
    What is your profession?
    How old are you?
    Is there a place or city you call home?
    Where do you spend the majority of your time?
    What do you do while you are there?
    What skills do you have that make you good at what you do?
    Has anyone helped you or influenced you along the way? How?
    Are you a member of a guild or other association? If so, please elaborate.
    What is your greatest accomplishment?
    What do you enjoy doing the most?
    Is there a Virtue (or Anti-Virtue) to which you strongly relate? Why?
    What are your long-term goals for the future?
    Is there anything else the Catskills community should know about you?
    Where will we be going for 30 minutes?
    How can I get in touch with you to schedule our interview? E-mail address? ICQ? Note- Contact info won't be posted on Stratics.

    Remember that your answers are subject to editing to meet the Stratics RoC. Interviews in Fel will most likely take place in black and white, but hey, that's life (and death) at a newspaper. If you've got the time to wait on my ghost, I've got the Spirit Speak to interview you.

    Questions? Suggestions? Nominations for who you'd like to see a story about? Let me know!

    Peaceful Journeys,
    Lord Franklin
     
  3. Hail Catskills,
    What follows is the first in a series of interviews with many residents of the Catskills shard. This "30 Minutes With..." features Betsy, a Scribe who calls Skara Brae home.

    <center>[​IMG]</center>

    Betsy's answers to the background questions I've asked set the stage for our 30 minutes together. You'll see that Betsy has a kind heart and is popular at the Skara Brae bank!
    What is your name?
    Betsy, but if I go places someone is always yelling out BETSY ROCKS!!!!
    What is your profession?
    Scribe. GM Scribe that is.
    How old are you?
    Its not nice for a gentleman to ask a lady her age. *smiles* Lets just say I’m old.
    Is there a place or city you call home?
    Yes Skara Brae and the area around it.
    Where do you spend the majority of your time?
    Skara Brae bank.
    What do you do while you are there?
    Scribble of course, and talk to whoever is around.
    What skills do you have that make you good at what you do?
    Well I have a good handwriting. I make excellent scrolls. No complaints yet that I have heard of.
    Has anyone helped you or influenced you along the way? How?
    Ella helped me get started. She financed my early scribbling so I could get started.
    Are you a member of a guild or other association? If so, please elaborate.
    I am in the SCB. Senior Citizens of Britannia. It’s for old people.
    What is your greatest accomplishment?
    Being able to fill up magic books and not take all day doing it.
    What do you enjoy doing the most?
    Going and seeing new places since I love to gate people places.
    Is there a Virtue (or Anti-Virtue) to which you strongly relate? Why?
    Compassion I think it is. I like taking people to towns where they like to go.
    What are your long-term goals for the future?
    To make the best scrolls around.
    Is there anything else the Catskills community should know about you?
    If they need scrolls look for me at the Skara bank. I also have 2 vendors. Both are across the docks at Skara. Follow the road to the first sandstone and meet Bonnie there. Across the road you can see Esa Stewart for magic stuff.
    ---

    My 30 Minutes With Betsy began, of course, at the Skara Brae bank. She was easy to spot in her bright white robe, holding a spellbook. After exchanging a few greetings and getting a snapshot for the interview, I asked Besty to explain how she got involved with making scrolls.

    "I needed recall scrolls," she began, "so I decided to make some. That was OK. Then it was another scroll, so I got better, then I said, 'What the heck, make them all.'" She then gave a kind, charming smile you don't often see from someone who spends that much time in mage shops searching for scrolls.

    We decided that I would spend the remainder of our time together touring her home near Skara Brae and interviewing her there. She provided a moongate, and I was introduced to one of her many "neighbors," an ogre who had popped by for a visit. He was quickly dispatched and the tour of Betsy's home began.

    <center>[​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]</center>

    I was impressed by the effort and thought that had obviously gone into decorating the home. Everything seemed orderly and in its place. Even the books stacked on the floor seemed to fit in perfectly in a Scribe's home.

    <center>[​IMG]</center>

    "I have one of the few kettles around," Betsy noted, as we came to the top floor.

    Our interview continued on the balcony, which had a magnificent view of the surrounding forest. Betsy has been making scrolls for around a year. "The new books were coming out then," she said, "so I jumped on selling them. Books need scrolls. I made scrolls. It fit." Another smile. "Then people started making rune libraries. I keep my prices low so anyone can get them." Betsy makes several kinds of books, including rune books, bulk order deed books, and necromancer spell books.

    Betsy spends her time at the Skara Brae bank because it is close to her home and is quiet with "friendly people." She meets a lot of new people there. "Some want runes marked, some scrolls," Betsy said. "I will make rune books of cities for new people. I like helping people."

    Betsy's help extends to her fellow scribes, as she offered this advice: "Make scrolls. Recalls are easy and go to the banks and sell them. Have a speech ready. I went to a few cities where people were and sold a lot of scrolls. Make them there if you have to. If they want them, they will wait. Sooner or later, they will get sold."

    Betsy belongs to a guild, the Senior Citizens of Britannia [SCB]. She told me a bit about their activities. "Well, we have old people," she said with a chuckle. "Senior citizens for the most part. We're a fun loving group. We like to hunt and just have fun together. We do about any craft you want and we help out each other. And no fights. No meetings. A loose guild as far as rules go."

    Time ran out as I gathered my notepad and quill, took one last look at the beautiful scenery around her home, and thanked Betsy for allowing me to interview her.

    Peaceful Journeys,
    Lord Franklin
     
  4. Hail Catskills,
    It is time for the next installment of our Shard's "30 Minutes With..." column. This "30 Minutes With..." features White Lotus, an Animal Tamer with a soft spot in her heart for the Royal Zoo at Moonglow.

    White Lotus gave these answers to the background questions each person answers so we could get to know her better. She is proud of the work the Catskills Community has done with the Zoo, and she hopes the Community will come together for even more common goals.

    What is your name?
    White Lotus
    What is your profession?
    Tamer/Mage/Zoo Activist
    How old are you?
    7 In Game Years
    Is there a place or city you call home?
    Britain - West Bank to be specific
    Where do you spend the majority of your time?
    The Moonglow Royal Zoo
    What do you do while you are there?
    I tame and donate animals to the zoo, hang out with other tamers, help new folks, and discuss taming skills and other skills in the game with others.
    What skills do you have that make you good at what you do?
    I have 120 Vet, 110 Taming, 110 Lore, 100 Magery for my skills for actual taming. I have experience in game with taming skills as well as other skills &amp; a genuine caring and concern for people.
    Has anyone helped you or influenced you along the way? How?
    Lord FreshLegs &amp; all the other members of "The Zoo Crew" taught me how to make a tamer and have supported my efforts to help maintain the zoo. They have helped to keep our crane and the community points up as well as helped other players in the community of Catskills.
    Are you a member of a guild or other association? If so, please elaborate.
    We call ourselves "The Zoo Crew." We are a group of people who have worked extremely hard to maintain the zoo's community point total in order to keep the crane that we have on the Catskills Shard for longer than any other shard.
    What is your greatest accomplishment?
    Keeping Catskill's Crane safe and healthy for longer than any other shard. Helping to create a sense of family and community amongst the Catskill's players, not just the tamers.
    What do you enjoy doing the most?
    Helping others.
    Is there a Virtue (or Anti-Virtue) to which you strongly relate? Why?
    Compassion, not only the in-game virtue, but as a way of playing. I believe that giving to others is the best way to show a true sense of community.
    What are your long-term goals for the future?
    To maintain the crane at the zoo as well as expand the zoo till we have obtained all the animals for the entire shard to enjoy and be proud of. That and promoting the complete sense of Community and unity amongst players on the Catskills shard.
    Is there anything else the Catskills community should know about you?
    The things that I spend my time doing in game are for the good of the entire shard and to help the community and not for self gain.
    ---

    My 30 Minutes With White Lotus began at her favorite location, The Royal Zoo on Moonglow Isle in Trammel. I recognized her immediately as she has worked on several events I had been invited to report about in the past. I greeted her and we began our 30 Minutes together. White Lotus struck quite a figure with her pale elfin skin and white hair sitting atop her dark Nightmare, Devil.

    <center>[​IMG]
    </center>
    "Devil was tamed for me by my best friend Bondage the day I was able to have him and I have had him ever since," she said. She also showed me her pet White Wyrm, Devilish, who eyed me warily until realizing I meant White Lotus no harm. She snapped her fingers, a signal Devilish acknowledged by following her. After allowing me to take a picture of them together, she returned the Wyrm to the stable.

    White Lotus and I stood on the steps to the Zoo she loves so much while I asked questions. She has been taming for a year and a half. She became a tamer "to hang out with my best friend who plays a tamer. Bondage suggested I make a tamer so we could hang out together." She is also a member of "The Zoo Crew." I sensed the pride she has in this when she began explaining The Zoo Crew to me. "The Zoo Crew is a group of tamers and people who support the zoo," she began. They are "a collective group of people from Catskills that have tamers," she said, but they are not an "official" guild. She estimates there are around 45 people in The Zoo Crew. She told me there are members of several other guilds in The Zoo Crew - HOT, SCB, and others. The people in the Zoo Crew have banded together to try to keep the Royal Zoo's donation points high enough to maintain the Crane who presently lives in the Zoo. White Lotus and I stopped by to visit the Crane. "It has always been our Ultimate goal to not lose that crane again!" she said, her tone conveying as much feeling as her words. She pulled a fish from her pouch and the Crane happily gulped it down.

    <center> [​IMG] </center>
    White Lotus has helped organize several community rallies and auctions to benefit the Royal Zoo. "We have held several auctions," she said. "Bondage and I did those with the support of the rest of The Zoo Crew and the community on Catskills. We have had tamer challenges that have been made up by members of The Zoo Crew and myself - things like community hunts and also things like scavenger hunts as well." Why, when faced with the never-ending point drain on the donation box, work so hard on the Zoo? "That is an easy answer for me," White Lotus says with a sparkle in her eye. "I have played this game for over 7 years to date and this was the very first time I have seen anything that actually gave us players the chance to pull together as a community and make a difference, to set goals that we could accomplish together as well as folks still receive rewards for their own personal efforts. It has been an awesome opportunity to meet tamers as well as others who are supporting the zoo!"

    Seeing time ticking away, I asked White Lotus where she wanted to go next. She decided to go to one of her favorite taming spots, the Dungeon Destard. We walked through the moongate and arrived just outside the foul home of slithery creatures. "I come here to tame dragons and drakes," she said. I readied my tambourine in case a dragon should decide he wanted roasted bard for dinner, and in we went. After a quick run around the carcasses littering the floor, White Lotus showed me how she tames drakes to be donated to the Zoo. As an Elder Tamer, she had no trouble taming the drake she chose.

    <center> [​IMG] </center>
    Once she had soothed the beast and convinced him to join her, she said, "OK, we take him home to the zoo now." She opened a moongate, we stepped through, and I watched her donate the drake to a much nicer home than he had before in the dungeon.

    The last stop in our 30 Minutes was White Lotus's tower west of Minoc. We walked up to the top, where I accidentally got icing on my toes.

    <center> [​IMG] </center>
    "I had a birthday recently and the Zoo Crew did this," she laughed. As our time together came to an end, I asked White Lotus if she had anything she would like to add. "I'd just like to say that the Zoo Crew is about helping and building the Cats community! We do other things outside of just the zoo. The zoo is just what started the action." She also told me the Zoo Crew goes by a "Pay It Forward" mentality, where "when one person does something nice or helpful to you instead of rewarding them for doing it you go and do something nice to help someone else as if in their honor, hence 'pay it forward.'"

    I thought about her words reflecting both Compassion and Sacrifice as I closed my Reporter's Journal and thanked her for her time.

    Peaceful Journeys,
    Lord Franklin
     
  5. Hail Catskills,
    In this "30 Minutes With..." column, we will be following the adventures of The Evil One, a stealthy mage who has truly earned herself the title of Peerless Princess.

    The Evil One answered these background questions so I could find out more about her before we met at her house, just south of the City of Luna.

    What is your name?
    The Evil One
    What is your profession?
    Stealth, Mage, Spellweaver
    How old are you?
    38
    Is there a place or city you call home?
    Brit Bank/West Side.
    Where do you spend the majority of your time?
    In UO, I'm a peerless junkie.
    What skills do you have that make you good at what you do?
    Stealth is a great part in what I do. On Peerless I can hide, walk and cast Word of Death.
    Has anyone helped you or influenced you along the way? How?
    I have had some influences along the way. Lady Mystyka and Sunshine have helped me along the way. Taught me to help people in the game rather than tease them and call them names as I see many do.
    What is your greatest accomplishment?
    My greatest accomplishment was when I made my first 1 million gold after playing for 5 years. LOLOLOL. I learned through that how hard it was to actually make money and that I wanted to help new players on a higher level.
    What do you enjoy doing the most?
    What I enjoy doing most is helping others but peerlesses are running a close second.
    Is there a Virtue (or Anti-Virtue) to which you strongly relate? Why?
    The virtue I strongly relate to is compassion because you need a lot of compassion for some things in this game and for some people.
    What are your long-term goals for the future?
    Long term goals I have are to have millions of gold and have almost everyone in this game trust me and know that they can ask me anything.
    Is there anything else the Catskills community should know about you?
    One thing Catskills should know about me is that I do everything the best I can, no cheating, no macroing, and I treat everyone as I would want to be treated.
    ---

    Because of the nature of this 30 Minutes With... column, I asked The Evil One a few extra questions:
    How many times have you defeated a Peerless?
    I have defeated the Peerless roughly 100 times.
    Which Peerless is your favorite to fight? Why?
    My favorite at the moment is Travesty because there are only 3 keys to get and you can usually whip right through her with the right people.
    Which Peerless is your least favorite to fight? Why?
    My least favorite is Paroxysmus because I just hate that deadly poison.
    What advice would you give a person new to fighting Peerlesses?
    My advice for new character just starting out for peerless would be to listen to the people in your group and do things the way they ask when they ask. They have obviously been there before and know exactly what's gonna work and when it's gonna work. Follow any instructions given and always cross heal and rez your team.
    ---

    After reading about The Evil One's interest in Peerlesses, I had a feeling I knew where we would be spending our 30 minutes... and I was right. The Evil One was planning a trip to Travesty. Fortunately, I did manage to get a few questions answered before the action commenced. We met at The Evil One's house near Luna, where she showed me around and I admired her Peerless decorations. I was impressed by the number and variety of them. The roof, in particular, gave me a good idea of just how many trips The Evil One had been on to kill Peerlesses.

    <center> [​IMG] </center>
    Before we went anywhere, however, I had to know how someone named The Evil One could have as much Compassion as she said she did in her background questions. "There is a story behind that name," she said. "Everyone I meet in real life or in-game always say I'm evil because of jokes I tell or pranks I pull, so I just thought a good name would be The Evil One. People that don't even know me call me evil, so I figure if I name myself that, they won't call me that because I already know."

    <center> [​IMG] </center>
    She mentioned that she was the "jokester" of her guild, HOT. "HOT is mostly a crafting guild," The Evil One said, "with great people, ready and willing to help anyone with anything. I couldn't ask for a better guild with a better GM." As I opened my mouth to ask my first question about the Peerlesses she'd slain, The Evil One received a message from her "Peerless partner" that it was time for us to go collect keys to allow entrance to fight Travesty.

    While I had been to The Citadel before, I knew I would not be much help to The Evil One in collecting her keys. The ninjas there ignore my peacemaking, so I decided my best bet was to just stay out of her way and try to cover the action. Since The Evil One uses stealth quite a bit, it wasn't always easy to keep up with her or even tell if she was in the room with me. Our first stop was perhaps the most panic-inducing of them all, as what looked like an entire Clan of Ninjas lept out of nowhere to confront The Evil One.

    <center> [​IMG] </center>
    She ran up the stairs, and I wondered just how long my invisibility spell would last. What I didn't know was that she had stealthily snuck back into the room. She popped out of nowhere and began casting Earth Elementals and Energy Vortexes to deal with the ninjas. It wasn't long before they were all dead. After another message from her Peerless partner, we returned to the main hall where several other members of HOT were waiting. Several of us, including The Evil One, were at high levels of Spellweaving, so we left The Citadel, found an Arcane Circle, and made a level five focus. I personally had never felt such power flow through my body, as if I was at one with all of nature. Several other members of The Evil One's group commented on the power of their spells as well. When we arrived back at The Citadel, it was determined that we still needed a blue key to unlock the way to Travesty.

    Upon arriving in "the blue room," I completely lost track of The Evil One... where had she gone? I wondered if she had gone on ahead without me. She was in the room the whole time, practicing her hiding skills. I did manage to catch a glimpse of her casting her powerful magic spells from time to time, however, hoping to catch the ninjas offguard.

    <center> [​IMG] </center>
    Everyone in the room knew the ninjas would attack shortly, but even being prepared did not save all from death. When the ninjas were dispatched and the dead were returned to life, a key was discovered, and the party went to the entrance of The Citadel to see if it was time to battle Travesty.

    It wasn't.

    The group ahead of The Evil One's took a long, long time to vacate Travesty's room. There were fears that the group before ours would have left a lot of spawn. As we were finally teleported into Travesty's area, it turned out the fears were not unfounded. Ninjas swarmed the halls, and Travesty herself came out swinging early. This would be a battle to remember!

    I rapidly lost track of The Evil One in the opening seconds of the battle. I headed west, cast invisibility on myself, and waited for ninjas to wander away from me before I tried to cast any offensive spells. My Nature's Furies killed a few of the stray ninjas, and I managed to get to the center of the room using my Ethereal Voyage spell. I was amazed that I hadn't fallen victim to the massive number of ninjas, but it did appear as though the party had dealt with nearly all of them. At this point, I caught sight of The Evil One again and also of the Peerless she had come to slay, Travesty.

    Travesty did not go easy on anyone that evening, and The Evil One was no exception. It seemed, in fact, that Travesty remembered The Evil One from previous encounters and went out of her way to mimic The Evil One's form.

    <center> [​IMG] </center>
    All the while, however, The Evil One stayed calm and kept casting her Energy Vortexes at Travesty.

    <center> [​IMG] </center>
    Travesty, however, did NOT stay calm! As you can see, she lost her temper with The Evil One and attacked with all of her fury.

    <center> [​IMG] </center>
    It was, of course, not enough, and with several powerful Word of Death spells from Arcanists, Travesty was slain.

    <center> [​IMG] </center>
    The few remaining ninjas protecting Travesty were finished off, and, as a fitting end for our time together fighting Travesty, The Evil One plucked the Eye of the Travesty from the Peerless corpse! As I closed my Reporter's Journal on this night's adventure, there was no doubt in my mind that, as her guild title states, The Evil One is the Peerless Princess.

    Peaceful Journeys,
    Lord Franklin
     
  6. Hail Catskills,
    This "30 Minutes With..." column will focus on Cadderly, the Guildmaster of The Brotherhood Of The Dragon.

    <center> [​IMG]</center>

    Cadderly was brought to my attention by one of his guild members, Qaokin, who had high praise for Cadderly. "He's the kindest and most generous person I have ever met in this game," Qaokin wrote. Cadderly agreed to answer my background questions and to spend 30 minutes with me for this column.

    What is your name?
    Cadderly, Leader of The Brotherhood Of The Dragon (BtD)
    What is your profession?
    Noble Paladin
    How old are you?
    I am 42 years of age.
    Is there a place or city you call home?
    Trinsic is the real city of Paladins. Luna is too overrated. I do prefer the eastern borders of Yew.
    Where do you spend the majority of your time?
    At my guildhouse, assisting guildmates with everyday occurences.
    What skills do you have that make you good at what you do?
    I live in eastern Yew and we know there are a lot of trees and I am a GM chopper so that comes in handy when I need resources. I am also a 7x GM warrior and almost legendary parry.
    Has anyone helped you or influenced you along the way? How?
    My old Guildmaster Joe Zahn for telling me being a Guildmaster does not make you a god, you are but a servant to your guildmates. Also one of the most fanatical bards I've ever encountered is Qaokin. Just his technique and approach was a huge influence on me once I first saw him then found out what a really down-to-earth person he was.
    Are you a member of a guild or other association? If so, please elaborate.
    I am the leader of The Brotherhood Of The Dragon (BtD).
    What is your greatest accomplishment?
    Holding the guild together for over 5 years as the Guildmaster, after it was passed into my hands by my old Guildmaster Joe Zahn.
    What do you enjoy doing the most?
    Helping out my guildmates with questions or anything they need. I really enjoy helping them and I get a good feeling inside and that's what counts.
    Is there a Virtue (or Anti-Virtue) to which you strongly relate? Why?
    Only one and that's Sacrifice ("The courage to give of oneself in the name of love."). I love my guildmates, what can I say? [​IMG]
    What are your long-term goals for the future?
    Keeping my guild together and doing more guild hunts and having fun and keeping it competitive.
    Is there anything else the Catskills community should know about you?
    My guild does not work on greed. Greed is what has already ruined the game in some instances. I am a servant to my many, many guildmates of my Guild.
    ---

    Upon meeting Cadderly at the moongate in Yew, I was immediately struck by his pleasant nature. He greeted me as if we were long-time friends, and then invited me to his guildhouse where we would spend our time together discussing what led him to become the respected leader of a Guild with over 60 members.

    Cadderly's guildhouse, "Ye Honorable Abode Of The Brotherhood Of The Dragon Guild," stood west of the Shrine of Justice. Cadderly welcomed me to the house and said it was "a bit small, but with a lot of heart. Everything you see locked down is for whoever needs it within my guild." I looked around the room and spotted shafts, quivers, boards, dye tubs, and several artifacts.

    <center> [​IMG] </center>

    We climbed the stairs to the second floor where Cadderly politely asked me to "excuse the mess." We shared a chuckle at how cluttered houses can become. "I am constantly enhancing," Cadderly said, "and keep lots of weapons and armor here for members. If they see something they like, it's theirs."

    <center> [​IMG] </center>

    Going up one more set of stairs led us to the roof of the guildhouse, where Cadderly keeps peerless ingredients. He told me the Guild shares these as well. "I had 287 taint," he laughed, "but it went away rather fast." I commented on his generousity. "Well, when they need something, I can't see them paying millions when I have the item they need laying around, gathering dust." He then explained that the top of the house was a little bare because the Guild had donated a lot of items to a 6-year old friend of the family.

    <center> [​IMG] </center>

    Hearing about the taint and seeing the spoils of countless Peerless battles, I asked Cadderly if his Guild went on a lot of hunts. "Aye, we sure do," he said. Travesty seems to be the Guild's favorite to fight at the moment. "At the end, when she nearly dies and all the red ninjas come out, it's a rush and a blast," said Cadderly, his eyes blazing as brightly as his armor. His Guild uses a system of dividing the loot from a Peerless battle that helps ensure those who need items and ingredients will have them. "I have given away 2 crimson cinctures myself to members who wanted them," said Cadderly. Knowing the value of these items, I was impressed by the bond this man shares with those in his Guild. What was the history behind this Guild? How did Cadderly come to join?

    Cadderly scratched his beard and thought for a moment, then began telling the story of how he became a member of The Brotherhood Of The Dragon. "I was from a Great Lakes Order Guild," he began, "and an old friend talked me into coming to Catskills. His name was Gandar. Back in those days, there was no Trammel, just Felucca. I lost more armor from PKs than I could afford." I remembered that time in our Shard's history as Cadderly continued with his story. "I eventually learned of poisoning a blade. The poisoning skill saved me a lot of times." Perhaps, I thought to myself, that is something I should have tried those many years ago! Cadderly continued on, saying, "One time I saw this crazy mage fighting 3 reds at the same time. He was taking them out and he was blue. He got done. I said, 'You gonna kill me?' His response was, 'NEVER! I'm in an honorable Guild.'" Cadderly was invited to the man's guildhouse, where he met Joe Zahn, the Guildmaster, and the rest of the Guild. This was the beginning of his time with The Brotherhood Of The Dragon.

    "Capitol, the Mage I had seen fighting the reds, took me under his wing," Cadderly continued. "He taught me the ways of Courage, Compassion, Love, and how to help people instead of hurting them. And thus my life in UO took a big turn in a different direction. When I helped people, whether ressing them or giving them gold, they saw my Compassion and my willingness to give. To see the words, 'Thank you so very much' impacted me. From that moment, being in The Brotherhood of The Dragon, I truly became a Paladin."

    <center> [​IMG] </center>

    Cadderly's chest swelled with pride as he said, "I will still to this day stand by my guildmates and die with them in Honor for our cause. There is not a greedy person in this guild. I've taught them how to give and how to love each other as a brother," he said. "I'd have to say The Brotherhood Of The Dragon is truly a one-of-a-kind Guild on Catskills, and one of the oldest."

    I was so swept up in Cadderly's story that I had not realized that our time together was through. I finished making my notes in my Reporter's Journal and bid a fond farewell to Cadderly, a Paladin who has influenced the lives of countless members of our Community.

    Peaceful Journeys,
    Lord Franklin
     
  7. "30 Minutes With..." returns for a visit with Huma, a man with many interesting stories about life as a Paladin.

    <center> [​IMG] </center>

    Huma's answers to my background questions provided some insight into the many talents he uses in his noble profession.

    What is your name?
    Huma
    What is your profession?
    An avowed champion of the precepts of light
    How old are you?
    On this account, 1 in-game year but I have been playing since the day after Clean Up Britannia.
    Where do you spend the majority of your time?
    Ice Dungeon.
    What skills do you have that make you good at what you do?
    I am an Elder Swordsman and I have Chivalry and Bushido and with Bushido naturally comes Parrying.
    Has anyone helped you or influenced you along the way? How?
    My Guild, GRI, who I have been with since the beginning. They helped me get on my feet in the beginning and I would be hard-pressed to find a better group of individuals.
    Are you a member of a guild or other association? If so, please elaborate.
    I have been with my Guild, GRI, for over a year and never regretted it once.
    What is your greatest accomplishment?
    One time, with the Guild, we managed to do a champion spawn without getting raided.
    What do you enjoy doing the most?
    It doesn't matter what it is as long as I am doing it beside my friends.
    Is there a Virtue (or Anti-Virtue) to which you strongly relate? Why?
    Valor. A sorry, sorry Paladin I'd be without Valor.
    What are your long-term goals for the future?
    As always, I plan to seek and vanquish a more powerful foe than yesterday. After that, I shall find the next strongest and vanquish that one.
    Is there anything else the Catskills community should know about you?
    I'm NOT a tamer! I keep getting asked tamer questions and people are asking me to rez their pets as they see me astride Molases, my lesser hiryu, who has been with me ever since I became a Master Samurai.
    ---

    I must admit, seeing Huma sitting upon his hiryu in Skara Brae, I could have easily mistaken him for a tamer. Thankfully, I had studied his background information closely before our time together. Huma, amid the chattering of youngsters, greeted me and invited me to his home for a sushi dinner.

    Near Umbra in the vast land of Malas, Huma's house was huge. Huma hurried me to the top floor where dinner awaited us. I caught glimpses of interesting treasures as we teleported from floor to floor in his home, but I would have to ask about them later. For now, it was dinner time!

    <center> [​IMG] </center>
    I could not believe how tasty Huma's sushi was! "I must say," said Huma, "the recipe is not mine. It is Travesty's, who, as we all know, is a connoisseur of sushi." I had seen hundreds of bits of sushi supposedly prepared by Travesty, but I had never actually sampled any before. "It was certainly hard enough to acquire that!" Huma said with a shudder.

    We finished off the last morsels, and I asked Huma to tell me about his life as a Paladin. "I live according to the Virtues and hope others do the same. And when one's deviation from that can endanger me, well, I'm not too virtuous to swing a scimitar mind you," Huma said, obviously remembering some past battle. "Sure, one can holler their principles from atop a mountain, but if yer not willing to fight for it-" Huma trailed off. I nodded, giving the warrior a minute to put his strong emotions into words. "Only as a last resort do I resort to violence, but when I do, I don't fight to injure mind you. These are dark times we live in, but every night must eventually give way to dawn," he said.

    I wondered where this devotion to Valor and Courage came from. It was clearly deeply ingrained in Huma. "Do you remember the invasion of Trinsic?" Huma asked me. "Yes, I remember it well," I replied, although I remember it in a different way than most. "Well," Huma continued, "it was a different time, with extraordinary men and women. My father, Huma the Older, was part of the defenses of the Mighty City, and I can remember when he was at battle. The children were in hiding." Huma paused, his eyes focusing on the past. "I remember seeing and smelling the undead roving through the streets, basically unchallenged. At the time, there were only small pockets of resistance. They eventually drove them away, but it took time," Huma said. "I remember once, I was trying to get somewhere safer, and a zombie found me and gave chase. It would have killed me if not for the Courageous Dupre, and to this day I can still remember the feeling of helplessness. From then on, I vowed to never be that helpless again," Huma concluded. "Dupre himself?" I asked, surprised. "Yes, Dupre himself," Huma nodded, "and afterwards, he said it was nothing. But to me, as you can guess, it was quite a bit more than nothing! Wonder why I have his statue and shield?

    <center> [​IMG] </center>

    The statue and shield were down a floor- just a few of the curious items I had missed on our whirlwind trip to the dinner table. "Afterwards, we couldn't live in Trinsic anymore. Father said the blood of too many of his countrymen was spilled on those cobblestones. We lived near Empath Abbey, but not quite Yew," Huma said. "I was told stories of paladins before me, mainly Dupre, as you can imagine, and that is why I decided to follow that path."

    Huma had struck me as a valiant paladin, but he seemed rather humble to me as well. He had not bragged about his accomplishments, and had, in fact, downplayed my efforts to get him to tell me about his greatest adventures. While he seemed a bit uncomfortable talking about it, I did manage to get the following story from him about a trip to the Dungeon Destard. "It's probably nothing much compared to the exploits and deeds of today's warriors, but it started with a group of us in Destard. As is usually the case when facing those odds, a few of the..." Huma coughed and rolled his eyes, "...less adventurous fellows decided they were suddenly needed somewhere else. It ended up down to three of us, I believe. Naturally, we decided to press on," Huma said. Now that he was started, I thought he was warming to telling the tale. "We went down the stairs to a lower level, and the smell was overpowering. I almost gagged. Standing there, like a part of the mountain, was an ancient wyrm staring balefully at the three of us," Huma said. "I'm surprised I didn't soil my armor," Huma went on.

    "For one second, there was total silence, no one moving, just the three of us staring and her staring back. And then, all at once, the small chamber erupted into motion. Steel was flashing, bolts were thrown, talons were slashing. My one thought was to escape those cruel talons and enormous jaws," Huma said. "I fought with the desperation of one who knew he was going to die but was willing to inflict as much damage as possible. To one side, I saw one companion fall. Almost instantaneously, the other fell. So, saying a prayer to whoever was listening, I did the only thing I could do. I waded in and swung like there was no tomorrow, for if I failed, there would be no tomorrow."

    Huma continued, "Soon we were both bleeding from numerous small wounds, and some not so small, and finally my arms were so tired and my sword felt like lead. I put all I had into one swing, and, by some stroke of luck, it was just as her jaws were about to make me two paladins..." Huma grinned as he remembered the blow that finished off the wyrm. "That was the straw that broke the camel's back!"

    Seeing our time coming to a close, I had to quickly ask Huma about Molases, his pet hiryu. "Hah! Ol' Molases," Huma chuckled, "named fer his blinding speed. And his stablemate Stumbler, thusly named fer her agility. I will say this, though, encounters that have killed me, Molases has lived through." Huma then went on to explain how spelling Molasses correctly would permanently mentally scar anyone viewing it. I nodded, not really understanding how one could be embarrassed seeing a pet named that way, but if it kept the masses happy, it was not much of a hassle.

    <center> [​IMG] </center>

    After Huma bid me farewell, I thought about how the actions of one man on one day so long ago changed the life of Huma of Catskills forever. I wonder if we all have a similar effect, whether positive or negative, in the lives of others we encounter in Britannia. With that thought in my head, I tucked my Reporter's Journal in my pack and went in search of more of Travesty's sushi.

    Peaceful Journeys,
    Lord Franklin
     
  8. I had the opportunity to spend 30 Minutes with Aedon Durreah, leader of the people of Connemara.

    What is your name?
    Aedon Durreah
    What is your profession?
    Part time warrior, king and tavern keeper
    How old are you?
    I have reached 42 summers of my life
    Is there a place or city you call home?
    I am From Connemara, but of late call the Aegis my home.
    Where do you spend the majority of your time?
    McDermmots Tavern, in Aegis
    What do you do while you are there?
    A great many things really. We have a guild hall upstairs, so members come in and out with questions and concerns. Leaders of other guilds come by to discus matters concerning the communities surrounding the area. From Empath Abby,to the Yew Crypts. On Mondays we have open tavern, and people from many of the towns and villages drop in.
    What skills do you have that make you good at what you do?
    Skills, well, I am a good listener. That makes not only for a good tavern keeper, but a good leader of people as well. All of my people know they can come to me with anything, and speak freely.
    Has anyone helped you or influenced you along the way? How?
    Brother Kyriel, One of the brothers of the Order of the Blessed Gideon. He was a man of great patience and understanding. He reached out to all around him trying to bring a sense of peace. Also, Jack Jones, reluctant magistrate of the Township of Aegis. I have seen him face the very fires of hell, and come through with a smile for all, and a song in his heart.
    Are you a member of a guild or other association? If so, please elaborate.
    I am leader of EKOC, the Kingdom of Connemara. My children come from all over Sosaria. The common bond is Honor and friendship. We protect those within the Aegis, and offer our assistance to our friends and neighbors in time of need.
    What is your greatest accomplishment?
    My son Aramis.
    What do you enjoy doing the most?
    Just after closing time, there is a great silence that comes over the area. I leave and walk through the glade and listen to the sounds of life all about me. It is a time for quiet reflection and renewal.
    Is there a Virtue (or Anti-Virtue) to which you strongly relate? Why?
    I would like to say Humility, but that would make far too many fall into fits of laughter. So I will say Honor. A person without Honor not only cheats those around himself, but himself as well. In all I do I try to deal with those about me in a way that its honorable and just.
    What are your long-term goals for the future?
    The peace and stability of the Aegis, and the lands surrounding Yew. To give those who live and visit the area the chance to enjoy all the glade has to offer without fear of attack. I would love to see a Yew Council alive and thriving, and the many villages that make up the area able to work together for the betterment of all.
    Is there anything else the Catskills community should know about you?
    Some may not believe this, but I am a very shy and private person. For me to put myself out there day after day is hard on me, but I do it for the people and the lands I hold dear. I lead not with my sword drawn, but with my hand extended in friendship.
    ---

    My 30 Minutes With Aedon Durreah began with a tour of the area he calls home. "This glade is called Aegis," Aedon said as we arrived at McDermott's Pub near the City of Yew. "It means protection." The Pub was just a short ride from Empath Abbey where I met Aedon, and was immaculate. With a bubbling fountain outside and plenty of seating on the inside, the Pub had everything needed for a good, fun night of celebrating or just relaxing.

    <center> [​IMG]</center>

    "Every Monday we are open here," said Aedon, who sometimes serves as barkeep. If you're ever thirsty on a Monday evening, stop by McDermmot's and try a mug of their "special" brew.

    After touring the tavern, Aedon was ready for me to see the land he calls home. "Come, I will show you around," Aedon said. "The village of Connemara rests in Aegis." We visited several homes in the area, including those belonging to Elora, Theodore, an old Knights of Yew Guild Hall, and a blacksmithy undergoing renovations. Aedon told me most of the homes were beautifully decorated by a woman named Tanis Wildspirit. "I am saving the best for last," he said, as I wandered around a cottage he uses for guests. "Come along. The next place she did not do."

    <center> [​IMG] </center>

    "This is Connemara, my home," Aedon said. "It is, as she puts it, 'an ugly man home.'" I disagreed with Tanis Wildspirit's assessment as I found the house appealing. Then again, I am a man. The houses we visited were all open to the public, and the citizens of Connemara seemed to be a tight-knit, friendly group. A few stopped and said hello to Aedon and myself as we toured the village. If you have not had a chance to visit the area, it is located in the first glade to the south of the Trammel Yew Moongate and the surrounding region. Dragging my attention back to the present, Aedon said, "Come see what I had build by Tanis," and off we went one more time.

    <center> [​IMG] </center>

    "Welcome to the chapel," Aedon said, as I looked around the structure. "This is beautiful," I said, and a smile appeared on Aedon's face. The chapel was a work of art. The more interviews I do, the more I realize how talented the residents of the Catskills shard are at interior decorating.

    <center> [​IMG] </center>

    Now that I had seen much of the glade, Aedon told me some more about the people who lived there. "All in all there are about 20 homes in the village. EKOC has 54 members." EKOC is Aedon's guild, the Emerald Knights of Connemara. Aedon Durreah was not born into his kingdom, as many who call themselves rulers are. "Those that follow me do so because they choose to do so. Their Truth, Courage and Love make me king," he said. "I am here for them. I help in every way. Training, gold, housing - if they need it, I am here. I have counseled them and have sat up all night when one was down. But I know they would do the same for me," he said. "They are my children, my family."

    Our conversation turned to other matters that occupy Aedon's time. "Right now I am heavily involved in The Council of Yew," he said. I thought I detected a more serious tone in his voice. "The Council is a gathering of guilds from the Yew area. We have signed a treaty. The idea is to provide the people with a place to bring problems and seek solutions," Aedon said. "Public meetings are held once a month at The Court Of Truth and sometimes get a bit heated with humans, elves and Drow trying to get along."

    One such meeting was planned for that very evening, so I tagged along with Aedon as an observer to spend a few minutes watching the Council work out the issues facing its members. Having family members who live in the area east of Yew, I also wondered what effect this Council would have on them.

    <center> [​IMG] </center>

    The lighting in The Court Of Truth was weak, perhaps for the benefit of the vampires or drow, so I must apologize for this rendering. Aedon is on the far left, and I am sitting next to Jannison Venroe, who Aedon was scheduled to marry this week. The others in attendance included members of different guilds and races who seemed to be focused on the fact that there were not enough representatives present to cast a proper vote. I am no courtroom reporter, but after the representatives from one guild stormed out and the session adjourned, I had little hope that their differences would be resolved without a lot of work.

    I left The Court Of Truth, closed my Reporter's Journal, and sighed with relief that there are men like Aedon Durreah who have the patience and leadership skills needed to deal with the governing of villages and kingdoms.

    Peaceful Journeys,
    Lord Franklin
     
  9. Greetings, Catskills! It has been awhile since I have had the opportunity to bring you a 30 Minutes With... story. I hope you will find Charlie, the Empress of the Purple Guardians of Honor, as delightful to read about as I did to interview.

    As with all my interview subjects, I asked her to answer several questions before our time together.

    What is your name?
    Charlie Tiberius.
    What is your profession?
    Swordswoman and Guild Empress.
    How old are you?
    I am 30 years of age.
    Is there a place or city you call home?
    I live currently by the star bridge in Malas.
    Where do you spend the majority of your time?
    With my husband Kodoz and my guild members.
    What do you do while you are there?
    Well, we go various places.
    What skills do you have that make you good at what you do?
    I'm an exceptionally strong female. *laughs*
    Has anyone helped you or influenced you along the way? How?
    Well in a round about way my Centurion Doddz did long ago. He gave me items as a young traveler and when I asked how to repay him he said, "Just remember this and do for others once you have your own things you can give."
    Are you a member of a guild or other association? If so, please elaborate.
    I am Empress of PGoH (Purple Guardians of Honor) alongside my husband Kodoz Tiberius. We are a long established guild who did go through some rough times, however we are climbing back to in my eyes a grand guild full of wonderful people.
    What is your greatest accomplishment?
    Rebuilding PGoH in the past year.
    What do you enjoy doing the most?
    I enjoy my family... I have 2 daughters and one son, then my adopted son Robert. My children by birth are KitnBoo, Galen, and Karly.
    Is there a Virtue (or Anti-Virtue) to which you strongly relate? Why?
    Honor, of course, and Sacrifice. Honor because,well, it's just who I am and with Sacrifice, I would sooner shield a friend or guildmate from danger than see them hurt.
    What are your long-term goals for the future?
    To continue building the guild and perhaps retire knowing there is a grand next generation Emperor following Kodoz and I.
    Is there anything else the Catskills community should know about you?
    I am extremely friendly so never be afraid to approach me.
    ---
    My 30 Minutes With Charlie began at the bank in Trinsic. I was in a hurry as I had misplaced my quill (I suspect my parrot ate it) and had to stop to purchase a new one. Charlie was already waiting in the bank as I arrived.

    <center> [​IMG] </center>
    "Hail," she said, somewhat nervously. "I am Charlie Tiberius and this is my husband Kodoz." We all three exchanged greetings and discussed where we would be going over the next half hour. We agreed on several locations that were important to the Purple Guardians of Honor. As excited as I was to find out more about this famous guild and to visit its most hallowed sites, I wanted to know more of Charlie's past.

    "I was born in Skara Brae," Charlie said, "and my parents had left me abandoned in the town." I felt my stomach start to get queasy. I had asked the wrong question. "That's horrible!" I said, wondering how any parent could abandon his or her offspring. "I don't feel bad anymore," she said. "I found a beautiful sword. A katana." She smiled at the memory. Perhaps I had not caused her any grief after all. "I learned to fend for myself and once I found that katana I knew I wished to be a warrior. Many years passed, and I had spent most of my time in Skara Brae." Charlie went on to tell me with great fondness of her children, named Kitnboo, Galen, Kjarly, and Robert.

    It was now time to travel to Felucca to visit one of the sites that were historically important to the Purple Guardians of Honor. The first site, Ventryn's Lair, had two reasons for its importance. I cast the gate travel spell to allow the three of us to cross over to the darker side of the shard. We arrived without incident, and I immediately noticed the strangely colored pentagram on the ground.

    <center> [​IMG] </center>
    "This is the Entrance to Ventryn's Lair," said Kodoz. "To enter, one merely need speak the code word..." and with that, Charlie and Kodoz were both gone! I have to admit I felt a bit foolish, standing alone in Felucca next to a light blue pentagram and some ore piles. Thankfully, Kodoz reappeared and told me the password. I was instantly teleported inside a dark, cavernous room that exuded a feeling of ancient evil. Glowing skulls, moldy spellbooks, and a pit of molten lava all hinted of some horrible atrocities that had been carried out here. Kodoz told me of the battles the Purple Guardians of Honor waged again Ventryn and his plans. The lair is important not only because of the battles fought there, but also because it is where Charlie and Kodoz decided to build a family together. They shared their first kiss there as well.

    <center> [​IMG] </center>
    I mentioned that it seemed a strange place for a romance to begin, but upon reflection, considering the deep ties Kodoz and the Purple Guardians have to the lair, it is not surprising that he and Charlie would spend time there.

    Our next stop was Olympus, the Guild Hall of the Purple Guardians of Honor. Olympus is a castle located just north of Trinsic in Trammel. Charlie began to give me a tour, and I was overwhelmed by the sense of history in the building. Charlie still seemed a bit nervous or anxious to be around me, but I was the one who was being extra careful not to accidentally knock a relic or irreplaceable piece of Britannia off a table!

    <center> [​IMG] </center>
    I was led to the second floor of Olympus, where I was shown the Purple Guardians of Honor guildstone and The Honor Walk. "We knight our members here," Charlie said.

    <center> [​IMG] </center>
    I asked what prospective members needed to do to join this guild, one of the oldest around. Both Charlie and Kodoz explained that they looked for like-minded individuals to interview for membership. After the interview process, the candidates become legionnaires for one month. During that month, they learn about Honor, the Virtues, and family. The members of the guild have a very strong bond.

    As we were about to leave Olympus for the next location, Kodoz told me a story that drove home the rich history of this guild. I will quote him word for word here.

    "Olympus Castle stands as not only our headquarters, but is also in a sense our treasure chest. We keep within it the most valued piece of the Empire, and that is something given to us many years ago by Lord British himself. During the days of Trinsic's occupation by the undead, we fought valiantly... Alongside the likes of the Guardians of Light, the Valor Knights, and many others. After the fight was over, Lord British himself visited us in these very halls and asked us what we wanted with Trinsic, if we wished to govern it. Pater Borg said to him that we had no wish for governorship but that we merely wanted to guard. Impressed by his words and his selflessness, Lord British presented us with something of tremendous value, that resides in this castle to this day: the Deed to the City of Trinsic. Of course, I can't tell you where it is, as only Pater Borg knows the location, to keep it safe. But it is still our sworn duty to protect the City of Honor."

    Having seen the invasion of Trinsic from another side, I knew exactly how overpowering the undead could be. That any guild could have fought so hard and valiantly that Lord British himself would reward them with the Deed to the City of Trinsic left me speechless. Thankfully, I didn't need to say anything. It was time to visit the very first place the Purple Guardians of Honor called a Guild House.

    <center> [​IMG] </center>
    It was a small, boarded up house right to the west of the Honor Shrine in Felucca. "According to what I know," said Kodoz, "The Guardians of Honor were of the first three guilds ever created and are the only one of those still in existence." "It was four men, correct m'love, that laid the foundation?" asked Charlie. "Aye," answered Kodoz, "Sir Lagsalot, Yukon Bob, Borg, and Balandar. The first three were smiths, and this is why we wear the half apron." Charlie nodded. "So we do not forget the hard work of what brought us here. And Balandar was the first Grandmaster Mage to grace this particular shard." We talked more about the history of the guild and how Charlie came to be an Empress. Over a year ago, Charlie wrote a letter to Pater Borg expressing her concern over the decline of the Purple Guardians. She recommended Kodoz be named Emperor. Borg agreed and called them both to Olympus, where he dubbed them Emperor and Empress. Approximately 80 citizens are involved with the Purple Guardians of Honor in one fashion or another. Now the guild is not only keeping its promise to defend Trinsic, but helping in the defense of Vesper from the current Ophidian invasion. "It is certainly difficult sometimes," said Charlie with a smile, "but rewarding."

    With time running out for our interview, we headed to Galehaven Tavern, one of the many halls that the Guardians keep scattered across the lands. Much more than just a spot to get a quick ale in the desert, the guild sometimes holds its meetings here. The tavern also has an auditorium.

    <center> [​IMG] </center>
    I couldn't resist getting my imps to take a picture of the Empress and Emperor of the Purple Guardians of Honor on the front steps of the tavern. Despite his protests, I think Kodoz liked wearing his ceremonial armor for Charlie.

    <center> [​IMG] </center>
    We said our farewells and I wished them continued success, making a note in my Reporter's Journal that thirty minutes has never been long enough for an interview!

    Peaceful Journeys,
    Lord Franklin
     
  10. Hello again Catskills! In this 30 Minutes With... interview, we'll spend some time with Vallend, one of the heroes of the Ophidian War on our Shard.

    <center> [​IMG] </center>
    Let's begin by seeing how Vallend answered the background questions.

    What is your name?
    Vallend, though those who know me just call me Val for short.
    What is your profession?
    I am an Honorable Paladin in service to the good and just people of our world.
    How old are you?
    41
    Is there a place or city you call home?
    I was born and trained in the combat arts in Jhelom. Still even then I dreamed of the becoming something more. I saw the knights who visited my home town riding their barded war horses, wearing shining armor and carrying a shield emblazed with a crest, and I dreamed of being one of them. When I became old enough I traveled to Trinsic to try to become a paladin, but there was no one there to train me in the needed arts. So I did my best to live by the Virtues and be the best warrior I could, till I heard about a place called Luna who would train you to become a true Paladin. I rushed to Luna and took the needed training and at long last was a true Paladin Knight. I have lived many years in an area the locals call the point. It’s around the bay from the Justice Shrine.
    Where do you spend the majority of your time?
    These days I spend most of my time trying to push out the Ophidian invasion. So you may see me in Skara Brae, Serpents Hold or Vespers.
    What do you do while you are there?
    I engage as many of the ophidians as I can, help other warriors and unfortunately die every once in a while. I try as best I can to drive the Ophidian army back.
    What skills do you have that make you good at what you do?
    I have elder Swordsmanship and Parrying skills and I’m a grandmaster in Chivalry, Tactics, Anatomy, Magery, and Focus. So as you can see most of my skills are for close combat with a foe.
    Has anyone helped you or influenced you along the way? How?
    I would have to say that my old guild the BtD (Brotherhood of the Dragon) helped me a lot in learning the skills to survive. Players Like Severn Ironwolf who was the GM when I joined and served as my friend and mentor. I quickly moved up the guild ranks and became his Vice-GM and I was honored that the others thought so much of me. I was very sad when Severn retired from the position as Guild GM, but then I became the GM after him. I too decided I didn’t have the time to serve the guild as it needed so I retired from the position and was followed in the position by Joe Zhan and he passed it on to Cadderly, who has remained the Dragons GM ever since then.
    Are you a member of a guild or other association? If so, please elaborate.
    No not at this time. I left the BtD over a year ago due to internal guild politics, and at that time I refused to join another guild or start a new one to prevent the BtD from splitting in half. I have the utmost respect for Cadderly and what he has done with the guild and I wanted to see it keep thriving. After a year of reflection I now feel that I should try and serve all of Catskills at this time of war, and I feel I would be limiting myself by joining one guild at this time.
    What is your greatest accomplishment?
    There are so many things I have done. Let's see- I would have to say all the times I have helped defeat the foes that have plagued our fair cities over the years, such as the undead in Trinsic, the orcs in Cove and Minoc, Lord Blackthorn's forces and the Juka in Yew, The Despise army in Britain and of course the Ophidians in Vesper, Serpents Hold and Skara Brae. Though we have yet to defeat the Ophidians.
    What do you enjoy doing the most?
    I enjoy the thrill of meeting a well-matched foe in honorable combat. My sword and armor verses its teeth, claws and scales or tough hide.
    Is there a Virtue (or Anti-Virtue) to which you strongly relate? Why?
    Everyone says Honor and that is a virtue that all should have, but it takes Valor to stand up for what is right. Valor to fight the injustices of the world, Valor to protect the innocents who can’t defend themselves. So I would say Valor with Honor to make sure you always do the right things for the right reasons.
    What are your long-term goals for the future?
    I’m hoping to win this war so I can return to my simple life of hunting monsters for fun. Then going to a tavern in the evening for a nice ale and swapping war stories with other old veterans.
    Is there anything else the Catskills community should know about you?
    It's not so much me I want people to know about as that we need everyone to help drive the Ophidians back to where they came from. That we need the people who sit at the banks all day or are waiting out the war in the safety of their homes to come help us. The war is no longer a local problem that can be avoided. soon it will affect everyone if nothing is done. If everyone will work together we can end this war in our favor. I once read that a hero is someone who is at the wrong place at the right time. Maybe you could be a hero if you help us.
    Where will we be going for 30 minutes?
    One of the cities that has been captured by the Ophidians.
    ---
    As you have most likely gathered from Vallend's answers to the questions above, this interview took place before the Ophidian Army was finally driven from our lands. Although we had fought side-by-side in Vesper less than a week earlier, we talked just one day before the ultimate battle. Look closely and you will see Vallend helping to finish off an Ophidian invader in this picture from the Battle for Vesper.

    <center> [​IMG] </center>
    Fighting off Ophidians didn't lend itself well to conversation or pleasantries earlier in the week, so I wanted to make sure Vallend would have all the time he needed to tell his story. With that in mind, Vallend and I arranged to meet at the bank in Moonglow. We exchanged greetings and briefly chatted about the war. Vallend expressed how elated he was that nearly all the cities on the Trammel facet had been liberated, but was not as optimistic about the Felucca facet. He had ventured to Felucca to help fight the Ophidians there but was set upon by murderers at a Moongate. Vallend's old friend, Cadderly, stopped by to meet us both. "Cadderly has been working with me to free our lands, among others," Vallend said. "Guilds and people have been pulling together." I told Vallend that he was certainly one of the leaders rallying the troops. "I think more of myself as just one of the troops," he replied. I had seen him fight and I knew he was not the type of person to sit on a hill far from the battle giving orders, but he certainly could muster up reinforcements and raise the troops' morale. He looked thoughtful for a moment, then said, "Anne Nomilly has been the leader. She has been very good at getting people to where they are needed."

    <center> [​IMG] </center>
    Her Guild, O*S, LSM, and SCB have all been working well in this fight," he said. I agreed about Anne. In fact, I was still wearing my red healer's cape from an earlier battle. She had asked anyone capable of healing and resurrecting the dead to wear such a cape.

    I asked Vallend if he knew what the Ophidians were after or if he could guess what would keep them out of our towns. "I'm not much in politics," he said, "I just think we need to drive them out of our cities. I let others do the talking. I just put a iron fist behind them." Cadderly agreed. "Vallend is dedicated to this cause to say the least." I nodded, and seeing the resolve on both these warriors' faces made me feel certain the Ophidian War would end in our favor. "I will show you my home now," Vallend said. "It's not much..." with that, he opened a Moongate to his home near the Justice Shrine.

    <center> [​IMG] </center>
    As we arrived, Vallend pointed out that the front of his house was set up to allow others to find out about the War and to get to key locations easily. "The runes on the steps are for the War. The book I update with news of the War so others know what is happening," Vallend said. I quickly read through the book and found it to be a very detailed and accurate account of events. I closed the book and Vallend opened the door to his home for me. We went inside and I found a seat on a bench.

    <center> [​IMG] </center>
    After admiring the spotless main floor for a minute or two, we went up to the second floor. I have to admit that I am puzzled by the concept of keeping a live mongbat as a dartboard. I personally find the critters to be utterly repulsive, and keeping one alive in one's home, whether magically or not, makes my stomach turn. To each his own, I suppose.

    <center> [​IMG] </center>
    As we reached the third floor of Vallend's home, I couldn't help but let out a "Wow." Vallend had more fountains on the third floor of his home than I had ever seen in one place before! They were arranged quite nicely in a row, and other hard-to-find items were on display in this area as well. Bags of daemon bone and ranger armor were on the table, and several little replicas of various creatures made noises as I walked by them. Ingenious!

    <center> [​IMG] </center>
    "The roof is last," Vallend said, as we walked onto a magical transporter to get there. The roof was a beautiful combination of a waterfall, pond, greenery and flowers that made for a peaceful setting in which a person could meditate and almost - but not quite - forget about the horrors of the Ophidian War. "I like to relax here," Vallend said. Talk of the War was put aside for a few moments, and Vallend told me of being married three times. "I'm a charmer and a knight," said Vallend with a smile. "I do travel the lands a lot. I love seeing new places and things. I love visiting taverns, trying the local ale, meeting the local ladies."

    <center> [​IMG] </center>
    As our conversation continued, I realized just how concerned we both were about the War. Even "innocent" subjects like taverns and ale somehow kept leading us back to battle tactics and how to help out those with less experience fighting the Ophidians. That was when Vallend mentioned another friend of his, Flutter. "It was her idea to start dropping the gold off of our kills for those who need it more," he said. With people dying over and over to the Ophidians, that bit of gold could help them with their insurance costs. "I have enough gold in the bank," Vallend said, "but some of those fighting need it for theirs." On this note, we decided to go to Papua to see how the city was faring.

    At this point, the city was not faring well. I managed to get a few pictures of Vallend in action as I dodged the Ophidians, but the two of us were not going to be able to liberate the city ourselves. We stuck to the edges of town, picking off any stray Ophidians we saw. I do apologize for the quality of my pictures, but as I was dodging magic spells and mad snakes, I feel they turned out fairly well considering.

    <center> [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] </center>
    After defeating several Ophidians, dozens of snakes and one angry Balron, Vallend escorted me back to the "safe" zone where I could recall away from the hostilities. "You know what a hero is?" asked Vallend as I finished jotting down a summary of our battles in my Reporter's Journal. "Tell me," I replied, curious to know what Vallend's definition was. "A hero is someone who has the courage to take action when others don't," he said. "So we need everyone to be a hero."
    ---
    Since the interview, the Ophidians have ceased the attacks on our cities. Enough people stepped up to the challenge to be heroes that the Catskills Shard was saved. If there are more battles to be fought, we can rest a bit easier knowing we have noble warriors such as Vallend to help in the fight.

    Peaceful Journeys,
    Lord Franklin
     
  11. Hello again, Catskills! After a bit of a break, the 30 Minutes With... series resumes this week with an interview featuring Lord Ivor MacGregor, Legendary Paladin and Patriarch of the Paladic Order of Inethria.

    <center> [​IMG] </center>
    As you will soon learn, Lord MacGregor speaks with a strong accent. I have done my best to capture his words as they sounded during our interview to give you a truer perception of this man. Here are his answers to the questions I ask everyone before our 30 minutes together.

    What is your name?
    Meh name be Ivor MacGregor.
    What is your profession?
    Meh profession be a Paladin.
    How old are you?
    Ay be 48 years o' age.
    Is there a place or city you call home?
    Ay currently call tha Kingdom o' Inethria 'ome.
    Where do you spend the majority of your time? What do you do while you are there?
    Ay spend tha majori'y o' meh time in tha Paladin Hall o' Enden within tha Kingdom 'o Intheria und within tha town i'self. Ay provide meh services tu other members o' tha Kingdom und oversee tha functionin' o' tha Paladic Order o' tha Kingdom. Ay alsu 'unt Balrdons in Ishlenar und other evil beas's through ou' tha lands o' Britania.
    What skills do you have that make you good at what you do?
    Meh understandin' o' tha Virtues und i's abillity tu over come evil be meh grea'es' skills und they provide meh with tha necessary tuuls tu empower meh as a Paladin.
    Has anyone helped you or influenced you along the way? How?
    Many grea' leaders 'ave 'ad a 'and in influencein' meh. Flint Fireforge o' The Free Corps. 'e was a strung man und brave leader when tha Shadowclan, Undead und tha Drow roamed tha lands in grea' numbers. Nathan Longbow o' tha Shadow Rangers was a grea' tactition und fearless leader who fough' beside The Free Corp with 'is forres' rangers many a time tu du battul with tha Shadow Clan, Undead und Drow. Veener Blackhand o' The Kingdom o' Inethria 'as many a time proven 'imself worthy o' tha crown und o' meh loyalty und dedication tu meh service for tha Kingdom. There be many more grea' men und women than dhus' above.
    Are you a member of a guild or other association? If so, please elaborate.
    Ay be a serven' tu tha Kingdom o' Inetheria und tha Paladin Patriarch o' tha Paladic Order o' tha Kingdom o' Inethria.
    What is your greatest accomplishment?
    Meh greates' accomplishmen' be everytime when ay cin serve others with meh knowldege in tha Virtues und up'old justice through ou' tha land.
    What do you enjoy doing the most?
    Ay truely enjoy fellowship with meh fellow citizens o' Inthria. Ay enjoy figh'in beside meh fellow Paladin(s) agains' 'orid beas's a gian' monsturs. Ay enjoy contridutin' tu tha growth und well-bein' o' tha Kingdom o' Inethria. Ay enjoy servin' those tha' be in need o' meh 'elp. Ay enjoy studyin' tha vas' knowledge o' tha Virtues.
    Is there a Virtue (or Anti-Virtue) to which you strongly relate? Why?
    Ay strungly realate tu ull tha Virtues as weil as tha virtue 'Chaos'. Ay mention Chaos because a Paladin truely dedicated tu tha Virtues understan's tha need tu balance both tha ligh' und dark side o' tha relm.
    What are your long-term goals for the future?
    Meh long term goals for tha future be tu see tu tha 'ealth o' tha Kingdom o' Inethria und tu guide fellow Paladins in their dedication tu tha Virtues.
    Where will we be going for 30 minutes?
    We will be spendin' our time in tha Paladin Hall und per'aps tha Kingdom i'self if a tour be warren'ed.
    ---
    My 30 Minutes With Lord Ivor MacGregor began with a quick greeting of "Failte." After opening a moongate to the location provided to me by Lord MacGregor, we stepped through to be met by several members of the KoI guild and citizens of the Kingdom of Inethria. I was introduced to Ismene D'Arville, Filbert Eggcup, Lord Mandrake, a pet slime named Glursh, and Nova the Mongbat. Lord Mandrake serves as the High Paladin of the Paladic Order, Filbert is the Mayor, and Ismene is the Emissary for the Kingdom. As for Nova, all I heard was "I's a good cook," as we walked past.

    <center> [​IMG] </center>
    A tour of the Paladin Hall followed, and my pixies were hard-pressed to capture the beauty of the building in pictures for you to view. It was obvious that a lot of care, thought, and love went into the construction of this building where the Paladins of the Kingdom of Inethria live, eat, train, study, meditate, and sleep.

    <center> [​IMG] </center>
    The magnificent entryway on the ground floor branched off to the east and west. To the east was Lord MacGregor's office and some sleeping quarters. To the west was a giant rotating globe of the entire planet. Lord MacGregor pointed out that "yas cin see tha wurld from 'ere und plan yas trip." True, I thought, mesmerized by the tiny towns and mountain ranges as they slowly spun past.

    "Thus beh our rune library," Lord MacGregor said from the next room, waking me from my trance. There were several rune books set out to allow easy transport for the Paladins to get from here to there in a blink of the eye with their Sacred Journey ability.

    <center> [​IMG] </center>
    We walked upstairs to the second floor. "Thus beh tha Paladin's barrachs und some shor' 'istory beh ou' on tha balcony abou' our Order," he said. There were several beds on this floor, each with a footlocker and a silver book of Chivalry. Next door to the sleeping quarters was a washroom that any warrior would be proud to use.

    <center> [​IMG] </center>
    West of the sleeping quarters, Lord MacGregor led me into another room. "Thus beh tha mess 'all," he said, "und Mariam there beh tha Order's chef." I looked around at the well-stocked kitchen area. "She cheeps us fat," he said with a smile.

    <center> [​IMG]</center>
    "After yas sir," Lord MacGregor said, as I walked out of the mess hall and up the stairs to the third floor of this magnificent structure. "Thus nex' area beh our grea'es' area, he said. "We Paladins spen' much time in study und much information 'as been collec'ed 'ere." He showed me the class area, where several chairs were placed. It is "where we teach initia'es abou' tha' virtues und 'old speaches," Lord MacGregor said. We then proceeded to the Order's library, which Lord MacGregor reverently referred to as the Order's most sacred area. I felt very honored to be allowed to visit this area. "Lord Mandrake, My self, und a collection o' knowldege from tha ages lays 'ere," he said, and I walked in and examined the books in the library. They were indeed filled with wisdom about the Virtues, among other things. I returned to the hall outside the library where Lord MacGregor was politely waiting for me.

    <center> [​IMG]

    [​IMG] </center>
    We walked together to the top floor of the Hall, and Lord MacGregor ushered me into a room with a long stone table with nearly twenty chairs surrounding it. "Thus beh tha Order's mee'in ruum," he said, "though we ten' tu 'old many o' other mee'ins 'ere with our allies und enemies aliche." I sat down at the end of the table and peered toward the other end of the room. "There is no 'ead," Lord MacGregor continued. "Every man und woman beh equal 'ere, und equally respec'ed tu speach their mind."

    <center> [​IMG] </center>
    We left the meeting hall and walked over to the West Tower. A cannon stood guard, and Lord MacGregor said, "Citizens cin come tu tha Hall when trouble stirs as 't 'as before. Those who wish tu seech sanctuary may du su 'ere. They will beh pro'ected by tha Order. Inethria 'as seen many wars, und tha Order stibhes for peace, bu' weil tache up arms when tha 'ime calls." I had no doubt that he spoke the truth and that any frightened citizens would be well-guarded by the Order. We strolled past a garden area and I met Bubba, the Order's parrot, on the way to the East Tower. A cannon fortified this tower as well. "Thus beh our East guard tower," Lord MacGregor said, "und Ramsay 'ere beh our watchman."

    <center> [​IMG] </center>
    This concluded the tour of the house, but I wanted to get more information about Lord MacGregor and the Kingdom of Inethria for my loyal readers before leaving. Lord MacGregor and I went down to his office to talk a bit more.

    As I took a seat in front of his desk, I asked if he could tell me more about the Kingdom. "Tha Kingdom alsu 'as many buildin's aroun' 'ere, und a cas'ul as weil," he said. "Tha Order beh an ex'ent o' tha Kingdom." I wrote this down in my Reporter's Journal as quickly as I could, and I hope I managed to get it right. "We were ruled once by Veener, till 'e dissapeared," he said. "Our high commander, Lord Rotghar tuuk 'is place till tha Council decided upon a sor' o' republic-" Lord MacGregor looked thoughtful for a moment, "-or democracy, rather. Filbert beh our Mayor und we 'ave a council. Ay si' on tha council as Patriarch o' tha Order."

    "How many members make up the council?" I asked, beginning to wonder just how big the Kingdom was.

    "There are a number o' other members," Lord MacGregor said. "Le's see. There beh two councils. Tha Citizen council und grea' council. Sebhen on tha Citizen's council und three on tha Grea' Council."

    "How many people are in the Kingdom? Do you have a rough guess?" I asked.

    "Aye," he answered, "Abou' sebhenty if memory serbhes."

    Earlier, in the tour of the Hall, Lord MacGregor had mentioned the citizens being able to go to the Hall in times of trouble. I asked him about this.

    "You mentioned wars and times of trouble. Can you tell me about some of those and your history?"

    Lord MacGregor replied, "Tu star' with tha wars o' thus Kingdom.... We recenly saw war with the Emerald Kingdom o' Connemara, though i' ended with littul death. It was a 'ime o' confusion. We use tu see much comba' from tha Undead, bu' they 'ave gone intu sleep since then." He continued, "We are curren'ly loochin' intu a possible threa' from bhampires. Tha's somethin' tha Order beh inbhes'iagtin' now. Ay meh self though... Was nau' always a Paladin. Ay serbhed in tha Free Corp under Flint Fireforge in tha wars." I remembered he had mentioned Flint Fireforge in the responses to his preinterview questions, so this man had obviously made a deep impression on his life.

    "You mentioned Flint Fireforge in your earlier answers as well," I said. "What did you learn from him?"

    "Leadership und 'onor," he replied. "'e was a fine man und leader before 'e fell in battul. A'leas' tha's tha rumor...ay did nau' see i' meh self."

    We spoke of a few more matters, such as the Ophidian invasion and the recent influx of blackrock. Lord MacGregor told me that Lord Mandrake was compiling a report on the blackrock and that "aftur such 'as been done, tha army und tha Order wil march." Brave words from a brave man. "Tha Kingdom o' Inethria stibhes tu pro'ec' nau' only its own lands bu' tha' o' tha people accross tha land. We 'ave a Wizards guild, Paladic Order, Warriors Guild und many citizens who partache in such ques's.

    "I wonder," I asked, "if a person would want to join the Kingdom, how would he or she go about it?"

    "They would come tu tha Kingdom und seech ou' a member o' tha council," he responded, "und would beh guided from there."

    "Alsu," he added, "ay would liche those tu know tha' evil will nau' triumph und there are many more, like meh self, tha' 'ave chosen tha path o' tha Virtues und stiche ou' a' evil cons'an'ly."

    I commented that the world was lucky to have protectors such as Lord Ivor MacGregor, stuck my Reporter's Journal in my backpack, and walked outside where the members of the Kingdom were still gathered. I bid them farewell, and Lord MacGregor called to me as I cast a spell to take me home, "Guud trabhel tu yas."

    Peaceful Journeys,
    Lord Franklin
     
  12. 30 Minutes With... is back with a tale of a hero born through tragedy. Huckleberry Finn is a Legendary Mage with a sad but interesting story of how he became the hero he is today.

    <center>[​IMG]</center>
    Huckleberry's answers to my background questions begin to explain his status as a Legendary Mage, but they did not prepare me for the full, powerful, emotional story he had to tell.

    What is your name?
    Huckleberry Finn
    What is your profession?
    I am a mage, a healer, a smiter of evil, and use my powers to aid the light and the virtues.
    How old are you?
    Being a mage I cannot truly tell you, but my powers allow me to age slower than usual.
    Is there a place or city you call home?
    The only home I knew when I was a young lad was Delucia, which I did not live far from.
    Where do you spend the majority of your time?
    At the ruins of my father's homestead in the wilds outside of Delucia.
    What do you do while you are there?
    Fishing the narrow creek that runs south into the river, listening to the river and enjoying the peace and quiet, sitting back on a mossy covered bank, smoking my pipe filled with the sweetest smokeable weeds that grow abundantly in the area.
    What skills do you have that make you good at what you do?
    I am fast approaching legendary status in all skills that pertain to being a great mage. I also still retain the part of me that remembers the fun part of my youth growing up running a fishing trade with my family. Fishing is still in my blood - I doubt it will ever leave.
    Has anyone helped you or influenced you along the way? How?
    There are two people that turned my life around and I consider them family. They are Cadderly and Pierre (mostly known as Gadget Man - Cadderly nicknamed him). They were there when I was at my lowest... I cannot go into detail here.
    Are you a member of a guild or other association? If so, please elaborate.
    The Brotherhood Of the Dragon. I cannot ever repay them back for what they have done for me. Cadderly and his guild have been nothing but the kindest and most sincere people I have ever met. I will always be by their side faithfully.
    What is your greatest accomplishment?
    Becoming who I am today, from being a farm boy who could barely swing a fishing pole to becoming a great mage. Once I had these powers in my hands I could change things. I had powers to set forth the wrongs that are being done. With that said, I set forth defending the good and bent on destruction of all evil.
    What do you enjoy doing the most?
    Recently I enjoyed helping the army of people on Catskills freeing the towns from the evil Ophidian invasion, and then taking the battle to their side in their faces inside their own keep, finally sending home the message that the people of Catskills will not sit idly by and let the forces of evil overrun all that is good in our lands.
    Is there a Virtue (or Anti-Virtue) to which you strongly relate? Why?
    I would have to say Valor: the Courage to take actions in support of my convictions. I do not hold back when I'm defending right, Justice, and all that is good. I put my life on the line every time and I give my all. Whether I live or die, these are my convictions I live by.
    What are your long-term goals for the future?
    One day perhaps restoring my father's old plantation house. I still own the land by deed. But the estate lies in ruins and has been taken over by undead things. I am there most of the time trying to kill out the evil that still remains there. One day I will restore it in my father and mother's name. And I will still be there when and if our lands are threatened again and still playing the role of the good guy doing the virtues justice.
    Is there anything else the Catskills community should know about you?
    Well, if you ever see me, talk to me face to face. I am a down to earth person. I do a lot of deep sea fishing and I did help out when our lands were invaded by the Ophidian menace. I worked a lot with a well-know paladin, Vallend. We had worked together a lot piecing together clues about the Ophidian invasion. I consider him a good friend of mine and many others think fondly of him as well.
    Where will we be going for 30 minutes?
    We will be walking the shores of my old homestead and if I get my father's old fishing vessel, Morning Glory, out of the bottom of the river we will set foot aboard her. We might have to fight a bit but we will be fine.

    ---

    My 30 Minutes With Huckleberry Finn began in West Britain at the bank. I was running late, having had an accident with an Ash Arcane Circle and a caramel apple left over from Halloween. Huck was patient, however, and we met and greeted each other at the bank. Huck wanted to take me to his family home near Delucia, where he would tell me his story. He warned me that it would be very emotional for him. He opened a moongate and we stepped through.

    <center> [​IMG] </center>
    We arrived at some undead-infested ruins that I was sure I had passed before, but had never given a second thought to. Huck's guildmates, Julie and WebCaster, returned the undead to their graves so we could talk safely.

    "My home I was born in," began Huck, sadly, "now is but ruins. I was born here. Two brothers, my mother Miriam and my father Nicholas... we were a poor river family. Made our living from fishing." I could tell this was difficult for Huck, and I was sure seeing his old home ravaged by undead was not helping matters. "We barely had enough to put food on the table, but my father was a hard worker," he continued. "I grew up on a boat smelling like fish most of my life, helping my father run his business. It was a hard life aboard a sea vessel, the sun and the sea. My father wanted me to follow him in his footsteps," Huck said, "but I wanted to do something more meaningful with my life." As I was writing this down, a ghoul sprang from the ground and began to cross the remains of the home toward Huckleberry, but Julie dispatched it before it could do any harm.

    "My brothers had different ideas, and left me holding the fleet by myself... just me and my father. It was hard times." Huck's eyes were becoming misty. "He knew deep inside I had talent other than being a fisherman," Huck said. He walked over to one of the collapsing walls of his family's home and looked out the hole where the windows had been before something had shattered them. "I used to go to sleep looking at the stars through this window," he remembered. "I felt the power. I knew I had a calling. My father lacked the funds to allow me to fully pursue my dream. I remember one day coming off the boat with a load of fish," Huck said, turning back to me, "Lizardmen tried to steal our fish. We fought. I felt a power deep inside. Anger at first. Then it surfaced into a powerful bolt that left my fingers and killed two of them where they stood. My father had a somewhat reluctant look on his face, like he did not want me to pursue this course." Huck turned around again and looked longingly inside the sooty remnants of the home's fireplace. "We used to sit here on cold winter nights and think we were great magicials, me and my brothers."

    As if drawn by his story, four lizardmen carrying a large metal chest came up to the ruins from the south at that very moment. Perhaps it was Fate, allowing Huck to have a bit of revenge for the earlier attack, but whatever the case, the lizardmen did not last long. "Corp Por" chanted Huck, quickly followed by "Die!" I heard the lizardman gasp, "Aaah! That hurt...," with its dying breath, but I felt no sympathy for it, since it was invading this man's home. The others were quickly dispatched by Huck's guildmates. "My poor father worked most his life on these banks to make a living," Huck continued. "Why these creatures are still here I do not know."

    I weighed my next question carefully, because I knew it had the potential to open old wounds. I reminded myself that part of my job as a reporter was to get the whole story, and took a deep breath. "What happened to your parents and the house?" I asked. Tears immediately formed in Huckleberry's eyes, and I hoped he could go on with the interview. "They were murdered in front of me," he replied in a choked voice. "I could do nothing. I was powerless. I never felt so weak." Feeling as though I'd just poured salt in Huck's oldest wound, all I could say was, "I am so sorry." I knew it was feeble, but words failed me. "Orcs," Huck continued, "Orcs invaded Delucia. They came here. My mother and father died in front of me. One strange orc came through the door. I felt hot fire assault me. I fell. I knew I was dying. I heard in the distance voices, then the sound of arrows and the clang of weapons..." Huck trailed off, and reached down and sifted through the dirt of his family's home. "Nothing much remains of what was once here," he said, more to himself than to me. The bony clattering of WebCaster dispatching a skeleton brought Huck's attention back to his story. "The voices grew louder," he said. " Arrows thudded around me. The vision of orcs falling, dying left and right, and the vision of a purple haired warrior twisting and spinning... his blades danced a song of death to the orcs. I felt something soft lay over me, and saw a big smile and a beard." Someone had saved Huck, but who? The description sounded familiar, but I had to be sure. "Who saved you?" I asked. Confirming my hunch, Huck answered, "The warrior was Cadderly and the archer was Pierre. Later we came to call him Gadget Man. They were my saviors. My father held on a little longer. I held him in my hands as the life ebbed from him. His left hand shot to my chest and he smiled and said, 'Within are where heroes are born and of where they come forth.'"

    I could see that Huckleberry was getting angry remembering the day his family died and his feeling of helplessness. I did not want to cause him any pain, but he went on with his story. "He died in my arms. I pledged that day to fight and defy evil any way I could, to help those out who need it, to heal the weak." He raised his fist in the air, and said loudly, "The light shall prevail!" I told him those were noble goals his father would be proud of. "I never knew what he meant by heroes come from within. At that moment, the hero was born. I am who that young child is now. Cadderly had vast wealth and he sent me away to start my training. He knew he saw within me what was going to become someone of substance and the powers I now hold," he said. "I will never know that feeling again to be weak, for I am the hero who had come forth from my heart." Looking through the ruins of his old home one more time, he said, "I could not bear to come back here for some time. My brother Jerald and I wrestled on this staircase and he fell and broke his arm. He had it coming to him!" Huck's mood seemed to lift, and he chuckled, remembering the good times his family spent together. He told me of his mother cooking and greeting the menfolk with a warm smile when they came in smelling of fish and the salty sea. "Time has taken its toll on this once noble family dwelling," he said. "It wasn't much, but it was home."

    "You have gone from a helpless child to a powerful mage. How did you do it?" I asked, wondering what training this man had been through. "The schooling was hard," Huck replied. "What did you study?" I asked, hoping lessons that he had learned might help other aspiring mages along their paths. "Magery and alchemy," he answered. "The school was called the Royal Mages' Academy, and many mages attended. I was an exceptional student. I remember one time we were on a assignment near Moonglow. A mage I never met we were to meet. I was unnerved. This mage was a murderer. We were told to try to talk to him. There was no talk." Huck shivered, thinking back on the murderous mage's rampage. "The outlying areas where most poor people lived were wiped out. Even the women and children. It all came back to me as I held a child on the shore, calling for his mother. I could have been holding my own father again. It felt as if I were revisiting my past. To kill children..." Huck closed his eyes and took a breath. " To hold a dying child... I cannot tell you how that feels. I had powers to heal, but it was too late. Again, I felt powerless. I had to watch the life ebb from that child's eyes. It is something I never want to experience again." Huckleberry trembled again at the memory. "Was the mage who did this brought to justice?" I asked. "I killed him," he replied. "I unleashed all my powers on him. He fell. There was no corpse. I had come to find out some of the members in my school were working with this murderer. Greed, my friend, is an evil design, but they were brought to justice." Knowing that Huck wanted to show me his father's boat, I thought mentioning it might be a more positive subject. "I keep asking questions that bring up old wounds," I said. "Perhaps visiting the boat would be a pleasant change?" I asked. "Old wounds seem to be all a part of my past," Huck said, "but my resolve is always right. Follow me, my friend!" I thanked Julie and WebCaster for keeping the undead from interfering with the interview and followed Huck through a winding, twisting path toward the family's boat. On the way, Huck showed me a patch of snakeweed, which he says is "good smoking weed."

    <center>[​IMG] </center>
    "Here she be!" Huck proclaimed as I stared at the ship in disbelief. "I dredged her up from the bottom. Come aboard!" I climbed onto the boat and marveled that such a large, fine vessel could have been navigated down a tiny stream. "How my father guided this vessel in such short river I'll never know," Huck said. He had a lot of good memories of the boat, "stacking fish, slipping and sliding, wrestling with my brothers until my father would say stop, then start laughing." I asked if he still fished. "I sure do," he answered. "I figured I never would, but some things from childhood you will always love. See that tree?" Huck asked, pointing across the stream. "I used to sit under it and fish and let the cool breezes waft over me. I'd take out my pipe and smoke. I still come here to meditate and clear my mind. We used to have a old swing that you could swing out and drop in the water. The simple life of river folk is something that will never leave me. Pleasant memories," Huck said with a smile. "I can still see my father sitting under this mast, smiling and cleaning fish, and me throwing fish guts at my brothers." The thought of this made us both laugh. Although he may take a break on the banks of the stream from time to time, he told me, "I will always be around to fight invasions. Whether I die or not I give my all. That is my pledge. Vallend and Anne Nomilly have done a good job. They are people who will not stand for our lands being invaded." Very true, I thought, and without heroes like Huckleberry Finn our lands would be overrun soon enough.

    Huckleberry asked me if I had enough time to visit The Brotherhood of the Dragon's new guildhouse. As most of you who are regular readers of my stories know, I enjoy touring homes and seeing how they have been designed and furnished. I agreed to his request, and he opened a moongate to the guildhouse, which was not far from the Shrine of Justice in Trammel.

    <center>[​IMG]</center>
    Huck showed me the entrance, with the flags featuring the guild's colors, and took me inside. There were several chests and packs lined up, overflowing with useful items. "These boxes are guild donations," Huck explained. "Notice how they are almost full? We have such giving people in our guild. We have a nice rune library as well, with lots of places and locales."

    <center>[​IMG]</center>
    Heading up to the next floor, I was introduced to Clyde the bartender. There was quite a variety of drinks behind the bar. I eyed the pumpkins, however, noting that some of them were becoming quite black. "I think they are trying again to make fermented pumpkin juice," Huck explained. Maybe if we'd had that to offer The Grim Reaper a few months ago he wouldn't have killed so many of us!

    <center>[​IMG]</center>
    The top floor of the guildhouse contained several powerful artifacts belonging to the Brotherhood of the Dragon. Huck said that many new members had been inducted into the guild with the sword on display. I asked him about the book titled, "The Code of the Dragon."

    <center>[​IMG]</center>
    "It is the original code, from when our old guild master formed it. We live to serve each other, to defend one another. We will not falter in the destruction of evil. We must always support friends and allies. We have been around for a long time my friend. We are pledged to each other, a bond that cannot be severed. Friends, family, life and love - we are bound by these. It is what makes us strong."

    Before leaving Huckleberry, I asked him if there was any other advice he would give to a young mage hoping to become someone as powerful as he is. "I would say stay true to who you are," Huck said, "and keep your mind set on your dreams. If you love something, you will work hard to obtain it." With that, we bid each other farewell. I finished making my notes in my Reporter's Journal and wondered how many other ruins in the land had a tale such as Huck's associated with them.

    Peaceful Journeys,
    Lord Franklin
     
  13. Grog had volunteered to be interviewed for the 30 Minutes With... column. He submitted these answers just before tragedy struck his family, and sometime in the last couple weeks he wrote me to tell me he thought he was up to the interview again. Unfortunately, that interview will not be taking place now.

    I thought you'd like to read what he'd submitted as his pre-interview answers. So many of you spent a lot more than 30 minutes with one of the many Grogs that an interview was probably not needed anyway. If you never met him or talked with him, his answers below will give you an idea of the humor and (infinite!) patience that made him who he was.

    ---

    I was encouraged tonight (between being pwned by dark wisps) to make myself available to you. So...

    What is your name?
    Grog, although there are as of now 2 non-Grogs guilded in the Catskills shard Grog guild.

    What is your profession?
    What 'cha got?

    How old are you?
    Various. Three to three hundred perhaps.

    Is there a place or city you call home?
    The present Grog homestead is in the Malas desert as is the new warehouse.

    Where do you spend the majority of your time?
    Tough question to answer. Mining, crafting, adventuring, seeking, etc. Everywhere.

    What do you do while you are there?
    See above.

    What skills do you have that make you good at what you do?
    Thinking mainly. Being agreeable to others also helps.

    Has anyone helped you or influenced you along the way? How?
    Aye, indeed. Long lost friends were very influencial in Grog being in the Catskills shard. Others have helped with gaining experience in unfamiliar skills. Still others help in just being the nice people they are.

    Are you a member of a guild or other association? If so, please elaborate.
    LOL! Sorry. There is a Grog guild in every known shard (26) and there are at least 2 Grogs (60 total as of this moment) in every Grog guild. The Brothers take very seriously the good name of their father; Grog.

    What is your greatest accomplishment?
    Hmmm. Surviving so long? Ah! In the Great Lakes shard long ago a Grog became the very first to GM a skill (tailoring). That is number 1!

    What do you enjoy doing the most?
    That is hard to say. I enjoy mining alone, exploring alone, crafting alone... But I also enjoy the company of good friends either at idle chatter or serious adventuring.

    Is there a Virtue (or Anti-Virtue) to which you strongly relate? Why?
    Honesty. The Father Grog takes very seriously his good name and reputation. The Brothers naturally were imbued with the same trait.

    What are your long-term goals for the future?
    To make the good name of Grog known everywhere.

    Is there anything else the Catskills community should know about you?
    If there is they will find it out sometime. The Brothers have been known to wield a pen with abandon at times.

    Where will we be going for 30 minutes?
    Perhaps the best way to know Grog is to just spend time in the main Grog home and meet all of the brothers (and sister and... ???) We would enjoy seeing some family portraits.

    ---

    Grog... Peaceful Journeys.
    Lord Franklin
     
  14. Hail, Catskills. It is time for another 30 Minutes With... interview. Today you will find out more about Pitr, a man who says he is the guiding hand of the Gentle Rest Inn (GRI) Guild, one of the largest in Ultima Online. Knowing that the journey would take us to Felucca, I let my twin handle the interview. While my spells are effective against possible attackers, I must admit that my musical instruments have little effect at the Yew moongate on "the dark side."

    <center>~~~
    [​IMG] </center>

    Pitr's answers to the standard 30 Minutes With... questions led me to believe that he was going to have a lot to say about Ultima and the many roles he's played over the past years. I was right.

    What is your name?
    Pitr,
    father in sanskrit
    or Pi times ray, half the circumference of the circle…

    What is your profession?
    TormTar, i guess…

    How old are you?
    Over 500 years old, and i talk like Yoda too…

    Is there a place or city you call home?
    vesper

    Where do you spend the majority of your time?
    Hard to say… depends on my mood… from New haven to Despise…

    What do you do while you are there?
    New Haven… train folk or gather with the circle for some event.
    Despise… defend a spawn and fight some reds.

    What skills do you have that make you good at what you do?
    Hum, i’m just an average joe…

    Has anyone helped you or influenced you along the way? How?
    Dove… showed me there was room for Compassion in uo.
    Seven of Nine… taught me to “always be there” for a guildmate.
    Certyl… balanced my wild, hot planning with cold logic.
    Celclydia… taught me to slow down so i can enjoy and savour uo.
    And of course… the over 1900 players we tutored, each one was/is special.

    Are you a member of a guild or other association? If so, please elaborate.
    Shesh long list!
    Member of House Rosmar,
    Founder of GRI, 1998.
    Paladin of P*V,
    Paladin of EyE,
    Paladin of L*V,
    Keeper of K*J,
    Field Trainer of GOL,
    Field Trainer of LER,
    Squire of PGoH,
    Co-GM of GNK,
    Founder of LAW,
    Member of DOA,
    Member of KX,
    Member of DB4…

    What is your greatest accomplishment?
    On the short term, i won a minor victory… our paladins now use bandages for healing instead of just using chivalry! That was a tough battle…
    Mid Term… looking back the last year i’m happy with the way GRI woke up…
    Long Term… looking back the last ten years… i’m very happy that no player has nothing to point at me… never disrespected anyone, never pked, never did anything that would hurt GRI or my own honorability… not that i am perfect… just very aware of my flaws.

    What do you enjoy doing the most?
    Teach a new player while re-learning uo with him and sharing his fresh perspective…

    Is there a Virtue (or Anti-Virtue) to which you strongly relate? Why?
    Compassion less and less… Justice more and more… guess folk are used to manipulate the uo context… creating aware new players seems to be a thorn on their side… i wonder why.

    What are your long-term goals for the future?
    How can i have long-term goals if uo can become extinct in a flash?

    Is there anything else the Catskills community should know about you?
    GRI boards are public, my views are posted… we have no secrets…

    <center>~~~</center>

    My 30 Minutes With Pitr began at the bank in Skara Brae. I was running a bit behind, but Pitr just smiled at me, with a slightly amused gleam in his eye. There were several destinations on our tour, and he opened a moongate to New Haven, our first stop. "I'll try to show you how I see UO," he said, as we walked through the gate.

    Upon our arrival, Pitr and I made our way toward the bank. "We developed a system," he said, "called the Magik Academy, so any player becomes independent in the first minutes." He said that new players who arrive in New Haven are given 15,000 gold pieces for insurance money, full spell books, a lower-reagent cost suit of armor, and backup from GRI. "Many come here to give items," Pitr said, "and what I call 'indirect help.' We set a goal, to get it to all newcomers, friends, neutral, or foes."

    This sounded generous to me, and I thought back to the first few hours I spent in Ultima Online, wandering around the Britain bank trying to figure out what was useful and what was garbage. Was that apple good for anything? The potion? The accurate sword of might? "I'm sure suits and spells can make a huge difference," I said. "Aye," Pitr agreed, "The insurance gold and the starting skills are also important, but above all, knowledge." Pitr's group suggests buying seven skills, doing the quests for them, and at 80 skill they believe you are ready to go explore. While GRI and Pitr will help nearly any new character who appears in New Haven, he says that they won't train characters "with racial names or leet dudes."

    <center> [​IMG] </center>
    As we made our way north through town, Pitr introduced me to Shinigami, a member of GRI. We exchanged pleasantries and a small joke or two. "Our next stop is the inn," said Pitr. "It was named The Lion's Rest," he said. "I 'prayed' for a sign that we would not be insane to try this... academy, and someone... it changed into our name on all shards." Sure enough, the name on the sign said Gentle Rest Inn. "Seriously?" asked Shinigami, "Was it really named after GRI?" "Not sure," said Pitr, looking at the sign. "Huge debate about this. Maybe the 'gods' are sneakier than me. Shall we go inside?"

    He held the door open for Shinigami and me, and we entered the small, cozy inn. "This is the hardwood table I usually use," said Pitr, "and we have our monthly meetings here." Shinigami spoke up again, saying "I never had this tour. Franklin is lucky!" Pitr chuckled and told him, "No one did. I never stop to explain anything! I let you learn at your own pace." Shinigami obviously felt honored to be in the inn, spending time with Pitr.

    <center> [​IMG] </center>
    "Next," said Pitr, casting another Gate Travel spell, "our Heart." I emerged from the moongate by a large tower. From the surrounding landscape, I guessed I was far to the northeast of Yew. "The GRI home," said Shinigami. "The EyE of the Storm, HQ of the Paladins," said Pitr, "and our greatest secret. Mystwood. All the houses around us are GRI town number one. There are 27 houses. We'll see them after," he said. "This way please!"

    I hurried after him, trying to notice as much detail as possible for my report. We made our way to the second floor. "We moved here when Trammel was created," Pitr said, remembering events from many years ago. "GRI started in 1998. I was with Dove and THR in 98 and all the roleplay community." He went on to tell me that his character was created the first week that Catskills was available as a brand new shard. "So I started here," he said, "and along the way I made many friends."

    We toured different rooms of the tower, including one dedicated to GRI's crafters. Then we arrived at a room where I could feel the history seeping from the walls. "The Tormtar Hall," Pitr said. He told me that some players roleplay a guild of paladins of Torm, "all lonewolves questing, no pyramid style, and they report evil areas and necromancy, and," he added with another smile, "we have fun."

    We climbed the stairs to the roof, where Pitr said, "This is our way... no leaders. A circle. And to make sure all is fair, behind me is the paladin path." I looked at the series of dye tubs and crystal balls. "Each month they get a new color, so we don't have favorites." He gestured toward the GRI guildstone, saying, "This is GRI's third incarnation. We have three rules. No foul language, no disrespect, and no killing others (blues)."

    <center> [​IMG] </center>
    I wanted to find out more about the paladin path, since there was obviously a lot of tradition and history there. I asked Pitr if he would explain it more to me. Shinigami was interested in hearing more as well. "We have two types of paladins," said Pitr, "One inside GRI, one in TORM guild. TORM roleplays, GRI paladins don't. When you start a Tormtar character, you are a cadet, first tub, red. After that you train. At 80 skill you become a faithblade, which means Torm gave you insight." I wrote this down as quickly as I could in my journal. "After that, you are challenged to do the eight virtue quests. While doing them, you become battle-hardened, a vigilant. Once they are done, you become a defender. The next quest is to take a hollow prism and go to Hythloth. You must find the blood pentagram, drop the hollow prism, destroy a balron, capture its essence and return.

    "That is quite a test!" I exclaimed.

    "Aye," Pitr agreed. "No magikal healing, so the Tormtars learn to cross-heal. Once you reach the paladin fortress, the essence of the balron is purified and instilled into the new enforcer, so each new enforcer is actually a... dead balron." I jotted this down, wondering if I should ask more about it, but there was no time. Pitr told me about a few other ways to advance, including joining and participating the several other guilds. "I joined several so I could learn," he said, "so my perspective would not be narrow. Most guilds see only themselves. I was insane and tried to embrace it all, from crafts to PvP." At this point, Shinigami told us it was time for dinner and bid us farewell.

    "All in UO is about perspective," Pitr said after Shinigami had disappeared. "That is what we try to create, very aware players. Aware of scams, hacks, everything. And we create a shell, called fellowship, where they can grow. That is GRI." I knew whatever community GRI had created had worked well for them, as I see their members everywhere, from Luna to Heartwood to deep in the dungeons of the land.

    "We have a very simple structure," said Pitr. "Earthdragons, our artisans; Tormtars, our paladins; Dragonlords, our tamers; Manticores, our archers; Griffons, our mages; The Ancient Secret, our peerless hunters; Abyss Crusaders, our Doom hunters; Golden Team, our champ spawners; Isto Faer, our drow; The Blackguards, our evil warriors; and Shadow Griffons, our necromancers. Each member can create their own guild inside or outside of GRI and expect full backup." This was a lot to take in, but it sounded very organized and thought-out. "GRI structure is simple," Pitr continued as I made more notes, "All equals. All GMs, even ronins, even folk that are just added, they all have the same status."

    Pitr told me of a journal he keeps to track the guild's progress. "We have trained 2017 players, we gave them homes, and we kept the runes so we would know where they are." I was astonished. "Is that on Catskills, I asked?" "Since May until today," Pitr replied. "Amazing," I said.

    <center> [​IMG] </center>
    Pitr then took me on a tour of several houses in the area, each with its own design and purpose. We visited a rune library, a storage house, a diplomat's home, a popular vendor, and other GRI buildings.

    Pitr told me, "At the end of every month, we check with our cadets and we give them this." He pointed to a small tower. "Small towers to start playing UO. Sometimes they stay, sometimes they vanish. Just gold." He shrugged and we continued on through one of several GRI warehouses.

    "Please make recipes stackable," he said, and I smiled, knowing the space that they take up in my brother's house. Keeping them available for new players must take a lot of lockdowns. "That's quite a lot of gear," I said, seeing the boxes and boxes of inventory waiting to be handed out to needy new characters. "Aye," Pitr agreed, "Folk are great. They keep us stocked."

    We stopped and chatted for a few minutes about past friends and people and events in the world that had changed since the start of Ultima Online. We both have quite a few people we miss that have left the realm.

    <center> [​IMG] </center>
    Moving along with the interview, Pitr opened a red gate to Felucca. Several ghosts of murderers were "haunting" the nearby Moongate, and a mini-battle was taking place between Lord Scorpion and InToXiCaTed. "After the hunting and the teamwork, our members have done it all," said Pitr. "So, they come here to train and fight reds. This is basic training... and fun." My brother has asked me to try very hard to stay out of fights lest I be accused of taking one side over another, so I simply had my imps take a picture of the action.

    "It is cat and mouse," said Pitr, between casting Explosion spells, "'til someone makes a mistake. To leave, he must die or we must die."

    <center> [​IMG] </center>
    A man named Drakkar arrived on the scene, and Pitr greeted him. "Drakkar was in PKT, the first guild we fought. Respect is mutual, so a friendship grew. There is an old GRI motto, respect everyone, even foes, and in time even Master Drakkar joined us." The battle was left behind us for the time being, and Pitr ushered me to a house near the Moongate. The house had a convenient ledge for archers. "Shooting practice," he said, as the three of us balanced on the balcony. "After our members train, then we go for the last stage, field PvP, champion spawns, and the harrower."

    Pitr opened a moongate to take us to Luna, where the 10th anniversary fireworks display was in full swing. It made it nearly impossible to talk, but Pitr did leave me with a few more words. "This is OUR game," he said. "We need the developers, and they need a community. It is that simple." Making one last note in my journal, I asked Pitr if he had anything else he wanted to add.

    <center> [​IMG] </center>
    "Have fun," he said.

    With that, I went off to enjoy the fireworks with a lovely lass I saw standing all alone by the stables.

    <center>~~~</center>

    You may have noticed that the interviews in this series are getting longer as time goes on. The name is becoming increasingly inaccurate, as Pitr and I spent several hours together over the course of two nights. If you'd like to be the subject of an interview but you're thinking you wouldn't be able to tell your story in 30 minutes, please don't hesitate to contact me anyway. We ought to be able to work something out.

    Peaceful Journeys,
    Lord Franklin
     
  15. Vallend

    Vallend Sage
    Stratics Veteran Stratics Legend

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2005
    Messages:
    660
    Likes Received:
    1
    **bumped for a friend**
     
  16. Bob_the_fart_guy

    Bob_the_fart_guy Slightly Crazed
    Stratics Veteran Stratics Legend

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2005
    Messages:
    1,424
    Likes Received:
    6
    Vallend?


    Is Lord Franklin ok?
     
  17. Lady_Calina

    Lady_Calina Lore Keeper
    Stratics Veteran

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2008
    Messages:
    903
    Likes Received:
    0
    Franklin interviewed me directly after he interviewed Pitr, at my old castle. I wonder where that interview went?

    Hmm, perhaps he'll have to do it again! :p
     
  18. Franklin

    Franklin Guest

    Re: "30 Minutes With..." Archive Sticky Thread

    Not sure where it went Calina, but for history's sake, here is the text of it:

    Alright folks, it's time for our next 30 Minutes With... interview! I'm glad to see some of you are stepping up to the challenge of spending some time with me so we can all get to know you better. Don't forget that Lady Lava is sending out questions for some of you to answer too for her column. Check those mailboxes!

    This column's focus will be on Calina, a woman who has literally grown up with Ultima Online. She started playing ten years ago... when she was just ten years old! During our time together we took a tour of her gorgeous castle, I learned more about her Guild, and we relaxed by the fire and chatted about her family and the past. You may notice your reporter Franklin breaking character a bit more than usual, but considering the nature of some of what Calina had to tell me, I think it was the best way to get to know her.

    <center><img src="http://uo.stratics.com/newspics/catskills/catscal1.jpg" width="270" height="332" border="1"></center>

    As always, let us begin by seeing how Calina answered the 30 Minutes With... interview questions.

    <b>What is your name?</b>
    Lady Calina O'Riley Rhiannon

    <b>What is your profession?</b>
    Swordswoman

    <b>How old are you?</b>
    Nineteen

    <b>Is there a place or city you call home?</b>
    Trinsic, though I currently live closer to Skara Brae.

    <b>Where do you spend the majority of your time?</b>
    Oh my... I would have to say the Blighted Grove as of late.

    <b>What do you do while you are there?</b>
    I'm on a continual quest to keep Lady Melisande at bay! You know, she seems to be giving cats a run for number of lives!

    <b>What skills do you have that make you good at what you do?</b>
    I'm trained in swordsmanship, tactics, anatomy, spell resistance, parry and healing... I think I can handle myself pretty well!

    <b>Has anyone helped you or influenced you along the way? How?</b>
    My loving husband, Magyar. It's only because of his unwavering support that I can maintain my sanity in Sosaria sometimes!

    <b>Are you a member of a guild or other association? If so, please elaborate.</b>
    Yes, I'm the Guild Mistress of Dark Revelations (D|R)

    <b>What is your greatest accomplishment?</b>
    Founding and successfully running D|R, I'm more and more proud of my guild members everyday!

    <b>What do you enjoy doing the most?</b>
    Designing and decorating homes. That's my real, true passion.

    <b>Is there a Virtue (or Anti-Virtue) to which you strongly relate? Why?</b>
    If I had to choose one, it would be Compassion if only because I feel that no one can be an adequate leader without being able to understand and identify with each and every one of their people. I may look like a sissy for saying this, but I would rather be viewed as "too soft" or "weak", than "ruthless" or "hardcore".

    <b>What are your long-term goals for the future?</b>
    Continue to run a professional guild built on friendship! (Okay, and doing champion spawns, who am I kidding?)

    <b>Is there anything else the Catskills community should know about you?</b>
    (This is totally out of character) I began playing Ultima Online at the age of ten in 1997, I will be twenty in December. I have grown up within the UO community and I have to say that I don't think there is any other game out there that has such an array of characters! (both personality-wise and template-wise)

    <b>Where will we be going for 30 minutes?</b>
    Chateau Rhiannon, my castle just South of Skara Brae, Trammel.

    <center>~~~</center>
    I met Calina at the Skara Brae bank and we exchanged greetings. The first thing I noticed about her was her glasses. They seemed rather dark, but suited her. I did wonder how a warrior managed to keep her glasses from breaking in combat, but I had many more important questions to ask! Once we both were ready (I had to check my pixies to make sure they were painting portraits), we magically transported to Calina's castle, outside of Skara Brae.
    <center>
    <img src="http://uo.stratics.com/newspics/catskills/catscal2.jpg" width="479" height="457" border="1">
    </center>
    "Welcome to Chateau Rhiannon!" Calina said, as she gestured at the massive structure in front of me. I've always been awed by the sheer size of the few castles that dot the landscape. This one was to be no exception. As we walked in, I caught a few glimpses of rare treasures from countless ages ago. I couldn't wait to see the rest of Calina's home and discover what else was inside!

    "This castle serves not only as home for myself and my husband," Calina said, "but as a meeting home for the members of my guild." She smiled at me, obviously seeing my interest. "Would you like a tour?" Would I like a tour? Of course! "It's... it's beautiful! I love the carpets!" I said, feeling a bit silly. As many of my faithful readers know, I love touring the homes of people who have a knack for decorating. My own attempts have not been too successful. We climbed the stairs to the second level of the castle, where I paused to let my pixies capture this image.

    <center>
    <img src="http://uo.stratics.com/newspics/catskills/catscal3.jpg" width="501" height="435" border="1">
    </center>
    "This is our meeting hall," said Calina. "I must make it known that I love my flowers!" I agreed that they were a fantastic addition to the room. We continued on our tour, visiting the kitchen, where I smelled something simmering in a pot that made my stomach rumble. We paused over the door of the castle, Calina pointing to the two statues. "My husband and I in stone," she said, smiling, "watching over our guild."

    <center>
    <img src="http://uo.stratics.com/newspics/catskills/catscal4.jpg" width="532" height="491" border="1">
    </center>
    The tour continued through a room with exotic parrots, with names like Rose, Ember, and Peppermint. "A great deal of time, effort and gold went into this place," Calina said, as she led me to the center of the roof, "but I feel it was worth every bit of it."

    <center>
    <img src="http://uo.stratics.com/newspics/catskills/catscal5.jpg" width="471" height="491" border="1">
    </center>
    "Now we should probably go sit somewhere and get down to business," she said with a grin. "I've toured a lot of homes, and this is one of the most attractive I have seen," I said. She was right, though, it was time to get on with the interview, and we moved back down to the first floor to sit together next to the fire and chat.

    <center>
    <img src="http://uo.stratics.com/newspics/catskills/catscal6.jpg" width="471" height="491" border="1">
    </center>
    As we both situated ourselves, Calina looked at me and asked the question that reporters dread to hear, "So, what would you like to know?" Everything! I smiled. "You mentioned both your guild and your husband in your answers to the questions you sent me. Those are two places to start," I said, opening my Reporter's Journal. "Well, I wouldn't be anywhere today without my husband, Magyar," Calina began. "He's helped me through some very difficult times, both in-game and in reality." I nodded and asked her to go on. "When our old guild, ReV, fell apart, he inspired me to take our old members and start a new guild, based on friendship above all else. It's grown so big! It's a great surprise," she said, proud of their accomplishment.

    "How many members do you have? I asked. "Currently we have about 110 veteran players," Calina said, "and total we have over 200 members." I told her that was impressive and that she must be doing something right. "What I am most proud of," she said, "is the fact that we all know each other, we're all close, and we talk every day in Ventrilo about both real life and in-game issues. These people, I think, are truly my best friends, and not a lot of groups out there can say that." I grinned and said, "I love that about UO. It really brings people together, both in game and out."

    "Aye," Calina agreed. "My mother and stepfather actually met in this game and he drove all the way from Virginia to Texas to marry her." "Wow," I exclaimed. I knew there were love stories like this associated with Ultima Online, but it has been a long time since I have heard one. "It's really a story," she said with a smile. "I've been playing this game for ten years, and for some that seems like it is not very much, however I began playing when I was ten, so I've grown up in this game. I'll be 20 in December. This account will be 10 years old around the same time."

    "That's interesting," I said, making a few notes with my Quill of Justice. "Have your views of Ultima Online changed as you've gotten older?" "Quite a bit," Calina answered. "When I was younger, I loved to explore. I would gate-hop, landing me in so much trouble from time to time. But I would just run around everywhere. I remember discovering this giant telescope and calling my mother over to see. I was so excited!" I chuckled, remembering some of my 'firsts' in the game years ago. Imagine having that same experience as a youngster, who is amazed by the world around her! That must have been something to see. "But now," Calina continued, "as in reality, as you play the game longer, you realize that it is not so much about the game, but how you play it."

    "So tell me a little about how you play now," I said. "I see you're a legendary healer, and you said you're a warrior." She nodded and smiled. "Aye, I'm legendary in swordsmanship, tactics, anatomy, parrying, healing, and spell resist." I blinked. Twice. "Now that took a lot of work," was all I could say. "Very much so," she agreed. "This is my first character and I worked her the old-fashioned way. No golem-beating for me. I went to Shame and worked up quite a sweat, but it was worth it. I can handle myself quite well in both pvm and pvp." I laughed a little and said, "I would imagine so with all those skills and the experience of ten years too!"

    I asked Calina to tell me more about her guild, D|R. I knew Dark Revelations was listed as the second-largest guild on Catskills in the UO database, but I wanted to find out more about what they do together. I asked if she went to fight Lady Melisande with her guild. "Aye, always," she replied. "We love peerless. I, being a head-strong swordsman, run in head-first and, of course, am first to die. I always say, though, that I got the first hit! We have several tactics for handling Melisande with dexxers, tamers, mages... each has its own little quirks." Calina glanced at me with a puzzled look on her face. "Are you comfortable?" she asked. "Do you need anything?" Such a pleasant host! "No, I'm fine," I answered. "Thanks for the offer, though."

    "Let's talk about your guild a little more. You have a lot of members. Do they all pvp, pvm, or do whatever they feel like?" I asked. "Surprisingly, our guild is rather diverse on that front. We have both pvm and pvpers and even our pvpers can't resist the pull of a good peerless from time to time," she said. "I'll come into a conversation where they're all at the Yew Gate and suddenly I'll hear, 'Let's run the Gauntlet!' I can't help but laugh!" I agreed that there were a lot of choices, especially for a guild of their size. "So many people view our pvpers as tough guys, but to me they're just silly, good guys. Believe it or not, for being as skilled as they are, they don't let it go to their heads," she said, proudly. "They're very respectful. We have maybe only five female members, including myself, so it is very much a 'boys' club' from time to time, but they show a lot of respect towards the women in the guild."

    I glanced down at my Journal and saw the last question I had to ask Calina. "Tell me a story about you. What's a funny or exciting story from your ten years in Ultima Online?" I asked.

    Questions like this stop some people cold. They don't know what to talk about, or they're not willing to let others in on their private stories. Calina didn't even hesitate.

    "It would have had to be when I was about eleven years old or so. I snuck into my mom's home in-game and stole her two hair restyle deeds and used them on myself," she said. "I really wanted white hair! Well, I was silly enough to go to my mom and show her and she knew right away. I got grounded, but the next day I helped decorate her house, and she let me off grounding." She laughed. "The family joys of UO!" I wonder how many other people could have been punished because of their actions in Ultima! "That's a great story!" I said. "How many people in your family still play?" Calina thought for a minute and said, "My mother, stepfather, and younger brother just recently left, but we all played Catskills. My brother and I used to fight over who would play UO. Early in the morning, we'd sneak downstairs and wake everyone up with our loud dial-up. Those were the days! I would 'shoosh' my computer, as if it would work," she said with a laugh.

    We talked a little more about family and our pasts in Ultima, and I asked her if there was anything else she wanted to add. "I will say this," she said, "People say that UO is just a game. Yet if this game were gone tomorrow, I think everyone would feel exactly the same: Sad. Simply put." I agreed.

    I put my Quill of Justice and Reporter's Journal in my pack as Calina led me out of Chateau Rhiannon. We bid each other farewell, and I thanked her for her time. As I recalled back to my keep, I reflected on just how many families this world inside a world has touched over the years. I hope they've had positive experiences like Calina's.

    <center>~~~</center>
    If you would like to be the subject of a 30 Minutes With... interview, <a href="http://boards.stratics.com/php-bin/uo/showflat.php?Cat=4&Number=6557104&page=0&view=collapsed&sb=5&o=&fpart=1">click here to find out more.</a>

    Peaceful Journeys,
    Lord Franklin
     
  • About Us

    Stratics is the oldest continually running MMORPG Fansite on the Internet. Founded in 1997 Stratics has served the Ultima Online Community for 18 years. We strive to provide the most complete social experience for Ultima Online players.
  • Subscribe Now!

    Want to provide Continual Support? Subscribe and gain additional benefits as a patron of Stratics.com!
    Subscribe Now!

    Stratics Professional Accounts feature the following advantages:

    • Ad-Free Browsing of our Forums
    • Upload a custom Profile Cover
    • Unlimited media upload storage space
    • Use of the theme styler
    • Ability to collapse the sidebar
    • Premium background themes to choose from
    • Access to additional features of the Classifieds System
    • Ability to Customize Your User Title
    • No Post Delays
    • Additional Signature Allowances:
    • Special Professional Banner Display with your Account
    • PM Allowance Upgrade
    • Additional Thread Allowances
  • Support Us!

    Don't feel like subscribing? Donations to benefit the further development of Stratics and for purchase and inclusion of additional features are always welcome.

    Donate to us!