TownCrier Interview Sessions with Nuadjha

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Nuadjha kis'Anthri
Towncrier interview logo.png
Captain of the Falcon Nuadjha kis'Anthri
Race Half-Sylvan
Profession Ranger
Affiliation(s) Member of Sylvanfair

By Oubar, TownCrier Corrrespondent
5 Phoenatos 5117 // August 5, 2017 - in Wehnimer’s Landing

Introduction

TownCrier Special Correspondent Oubar was recently invited aboard the mighty airship ‘The Falcon’ for a candid interview with her Captain, Nuadjha kis’Anthri. As expected, Nuadjha was a very pleasant interview, open and willing to chat at length about a variety of subjects. A renowned ranger, explorer, archer and traveler, he has developed a reputation for his willingness to help others, expertise in all items archery-related {Editor’s note: "Art of the Bow" is regarded as the go-to source for archery knowledge}, and of course his fantastic airship. A friendly, approachable sort, he can be found wherever the winds take him, but if there is ever a need for powerful defenders against all manner of invading horrors, you can reliably look for him on the front lines.


“It’s important to remember that justice cannot be taken for granted.” ~ Nuadjha kis'Anthri

The In-Character Interview

A small leaf chameleon scurries in.
A small leaf chameleon says, ""The Captain invites you to enter the portal."
Pale, swirling mist begins to billow out from nothingness before you, and quickly coalesces into a small orb of shifting essence.  Suddenly, the orb expands and forms an elliptical portal of swirling blues and blacks, its edges shrouded in dancing blue-white mist.
You step through the shifting portal.

[The Nexus, Fixed Point]
Concentric swirls of interleaved gold and brass erupt outward from a pedestal standing at the center of an expanse of cavernous, featureless darkness.  Blacker than night and unalleviated save by the glow of the orb atop the pedestal, the emptiness encompasses all but the floor, which seems to spiral outward to the furthest vagaries of sight.  The air smells faintly of brine and pitch.  You also see a shifting portal, an etched ebony obelisk and a shining silver orb.
Also here: Maze Master Arkios, Captain of the Falcon Nuadjha
Obvious paths: none

Nuadjha grins mischievously.
 
Nuadjha says, "Fair light of the evening."

You bow to Nuadjha.
 
Nuadjha touches one hand to the ground and chants a respectful bird-like trill.

Nuadjha's fingernails flash briefly with a tinge of green coloring.

>examine Nuadjha
You see Captain of the Falcon Nuadjha kis'Anthri.
He appears to be a Half-Sylvan.
He is taller than average.  He appears to be in the spring of life.  He has sharply angled inquisitive tawny eyes and weathered golden brown skin.  He has tousled and sun-streaked, unruly russet hair hacked off crudely at the shoulders and stained at the ends with a melange of autumnal hues.  He has a triangular, flat-planed face and slightly pointed ears.  Thin scars permanently dyed a deep cerulean crisscross his forearms.  His right hand is replaced with a silver and ironwood one.
He has a tattoo of gold-tipped black briars that twist around his left eye and curl in tangled knots down his cheek.
He is in good shape.
He is wearing a glimmering ruby sunburst earring, a deeply hooded longcloak woven from commingled chainsil and veniom strands, a small leaf shaped pin, a dull silver cloak clasp, a thrice-buckled storm grey surcoat glimmering with intricate veniom bluework, a sleeveless dusky blue chainsil undershirt, a faenor wrist cuff inlaid with copper briars, an inlaid gold ring, a weathered dark blue belt quiver, a leather herb pouch with a simple tie, some loose azure chainsil pants, and some fitted caedera leather boots.

Nuadjha says, "Welcome to the Nexus, which is, well, not really on The Falcon."
 
Nuadjha laughs softly, trying to hide his amusement.
 
The shifting portal shimmers slightly, the haze within its glowing outline growing opaque as it contracts to a pinpoint of blue-grey mist and vanishes.

You grin impishly.
 
Nuadjha bows to Arkios.
 
Nuadjha points at an etched ebony obelisk.

Nuadjha says, "Touch the obelisk there."
 
Nuadjha rests a hand on an etched ebony obelisk.  His form melts away into a mass of spinning colors that swiftly dissolves into thin air!
You rest a hand on an etched ebony obelisk, and suddenly the world begins to spin around you.  After a nauseating moment of dizziness, the wild carousel of color glides to a halt, leaving you standing somewhere completely different!

[The Falcon, Engineering]
Approaching the heart of the ship, the lengths of crimson-varnished wood give way to lightless blocks of crystal.  An enclosure of precious metals fans out around a pulsating hexagonal blue crystal, the source of an ethereal pulse bathing the chamber in blue-white luminescence.  Faint, haunting notes pour forth from the depth of the crystal in a strange and unending song.  You also see a mischievous golden brown fox, a stained workbench with a large gold-bound chest on it, a squat wooden stool, a set of steel hooks with some stuff on it, a pulsating hexagonal blue crystal and a brass and gold-rimmed pedestal with a solid silver orb on it.
Also here: Captain of the Falcon Nuadjha
Obvious exits: west

You gaze in wonder at your surroundings.
 
The crystal hums an alien tune, merrily, as if pleased with itself.

>examine crystal
Roughly the size of a giantman's torso, the hexagonal blue crystal hovers steadily in the air, washing its surroundings in blue-white radiance.  Forking skeins of prismatic hue glide through its depths.

Nuadjha says, "Welcome to the heart of the ship."

Faint sounds like glass shattering whisper through the air around the crystal.
 
Nuadjha carefully surveys his surroundings.

Speaking quietly to yourself, you say, "Amazing."
 
Nuadjha glances around the room.
 
Nuadjha confers with the crystal for a moment.
Pulses of color travel through the bulk of the crystal.  It states, "The designation of this ship is the Falcon."
 
Vivid motes of blue light wash off of the crystal, vanishing into the metal walls of its enclosure.
 
Nuadjha smiles faintly.

You stare at a pulsating hexagonal blue crystal.
 
Nuadjha says, "The crystal is perhaps the ship's true master, at least if you ask it."
 
The crystal bobs slowly in its enclosure, its radiance gone momentarily feeble.
 
Nuadjha flashes a quick grin.
 
Nuadjha confers with the crystal for a moment.
"I am authorized to receive orders from a finite number of humanoids as designated by the holder of The Falcon's deed," states the crystal.  "As such, it would be incorrect to suggest that I have but a single captain."

Nuadjha gazes heavenward.

You burst out in a sudden snort of laughter.
 
For a moment, vivid light washes off of the crystal.
 
Nuadjha says, "Yes, yes. At least you fly."
 
Nuadjha confers with the crystal for a moment.
The crystal keens softly, whispering, "Flight is my purpose.  I collect essential force while at rest and redistribute it to the ship while active."
 
Nuadjha scratches his nose.
 
Nuadjha coughs.
 
The crystal bobs slowly in its enclosure, its radiance gone momentarily feeble.
 
Nuadjha mutters something about pendantic.

Speaking to Nuadjha, you say, "Rather sure of itself."
 
A mischievous golden brown fox barks loudly!
 
The crystal hums an alien tune, merrily, as if pleased with itself.
 
Nuadjha says, "Aye, she is."
 
Faint sounds like glass shattering whisper through the air around the crystal.
 
Nuadjha says, "Crystal, tell the fellow a bit more about yourself, if you please."
 
Nuadjha confers with the crystal for a moment.
"I do not possess a designation," states the crystal.  "In brief, however, I am a thaumatocrystalline construct fully integrated into this ship's navigational capabilities, as well as providing the ship with necessary power."
 
The crystal hums an alien tune, merrily, as if pleased with itself.
You gawk at a pulsating hexagonal blue crystal.

The crystal begins glowing a vivid green before returning to its natural hue.

Nuadjha confers with the crystal for a moment.
"My home port is the city of Solhaven," the crystal responds in a gently musical tone.  "I am, however, capable of travel to a number of destinations as commanded by my current captain."
 
For a moment, vivid light washes off of the crystal.

You say, "Astounding, truly."
 
Nuadjha says, "Anywhere there are clouds, really."
 
Nuadjha confers with the crystal for a moment.
For a moment, a sardonic hint creeps into the crystal's voice.  It answers, "There are, indeed, clouds in the sky."
 
Faint sounds like glass shattering whisper through the air around the crystal.
 
Nuadjha stares at a pulsating hexagonal blue crystal.

You giggle to yourself.
 
Nuadjha mutters under his breath.
 
The crystal hums an alien tune, merrily, as if pleased with itself.

Speaking to Nuadjha, you say, "She was merely agreeing with you."

You shrug.
 
Nuadjha chuckles.

Nuadjha says, "Yes, so she'd say."
 
Faint sounds like glass shattering whisper through the air around the crystal.
 
Nuadjha asks, "Are you familiar with airship travel?"
 
Nuadjha raises an eyebrow.

You say, "Only in the vaguest terms."
 
Vivid motes of blue light wash off of the crystal, vanishing into the metal walls of its enclosure.
 
Nuadjha ponders.

Nuadjha confers with the crystal for a moment.
"The wind is irrelevant," states the crystal, its feminine voice polite.  "I am not authorized to derive joy."
 
The crystal bobs slowly in its enclosure, its radiance gone momentarily feeble.
 
Nuadjha frowns.

The crystal hums an alien tune, merrily, as if pleased with itself.
 
Nuadjha says, "I was asking her to tell you about flying, but she sometimes has ideas of her own."
 
Nuadjha grumbles.
 
A loud, musical humming sound emanates from the crystal.

You adopt an agreeable expression.
 
Nuadjha says, "Airships defy all normal laws."
 
Nuadjha looks lost in thought.
 
Vivid motes of blue light wash off of the crystal, vanishing into the metal walls of its enclosure.
 
Nuadjha says, "Nothing should be able to fly they way they do."
 
Captain of the Falcon Nuadjha's group just went west.
[The Falcon, Belowdecks]
Dusky blue tubes plated with refined veniom stand as tall as a man and far wider, lining the interior hull of the ship.  The metal sparkles dimly in the half-light.  They resonate faintly with the constant vibrations twitching through the ship, releasing a high-pitched hum into the cool air.  Glass pipes full of rushing water direct their frothing current eastward toward a steadily pulsating light source.  You also see a mischievous golden brown fox, a redwood footlocker, a row of spidersilk hammocks, a set of steel hooks with some stuff on it and a dark teak hatch in the ceiling.
Also here: Captain of the Falcon Nuadjha
Obvious exits: east
>look on hookS
On the steel hooks you see a brown fur hide hooded cloak, some imflass boarding axes, some sharp vultite grapnels, a variety of tools and a coil of silk rope.

Nuadjha says, "The exact science is something I don't entirely understand, but the short version is that through a fusion of magic and the natural properties of veniom --"
 
Nuadjha points at some veniom-plated dusky vultite tubes.

You glance at some veniom-plated dusky vultite tubes.
 
Nuadjha says, "The ship is able to conquer the normal laws that would bind it to the earth."
 
Nuadjha says, "Come above decks with me."
 
Captain of the Falcon Nuadjha's group just went through a dark teak hatch in the ceiling.
[The Falcon, Amidships]
The golvern-edged propellers of the ship glow silver in the moonlight, casting a wavering blur of reflected radiance over the smooth-worn and polished planes of wood below.  Fanciful tracery forms golden vines that twine up the trio of cylindrical supports leading to the whirring blades.  A dark teak hatch fastened with a black iron ring lies to starboard.  Unmarked crates and wooden barrels have been stacked high and lashed down near the railings.  You also see a mischievous golden brown fox.
Also here: Captain of the Falcon Nuadjha
Obvious paths: east, west

Nuadjha says, "Once you have levitation, you still need lift and maneuverability."
 
Nuadjha points at a trio of golvern-edged propellers.

You adopt an agreeable expression.

You say, "Makes sense."
 
Nuadjha says, "The main propellers provide the lift, and there are maneuvering blades on each side of the ship, as well as aft."

Nuadjha points east.
 
Nuadjha says, "The Falcon is designed for speed and maneuverability. She's far smaller than some of the ships you'll see in the air."

Nuadjha says, "Occasionally, however, a veniom tube will degrade and need to be replaced."
 
Nuadjha says, "Which gets rather expensive."
 
Nuadjha grunts.

You furrow up your face and wince.

You say, "I can imagine."
 
Nuadjha says, "And that's one of the reasons I carry cargo."
 
Nuadjha points at some unmarked crates.
 
Nuadjha says, "As we travel between towns, we do a bit of trading in certain goods."

You give a short little hum of surprise.

Nuadjha says, "Something to offset the costs of travel, and to garner a bit of profit."

You ask, "And do you trade with the towns themselves, through their respective leadership, or with the merchants individually?"
 
Nuadjha grins mischievously.

You try hard not to grin.
 
Nuadjha says, "Well, with some towns, but usually with individual merchants who know we're coming."

Nuadjha says, "Often, a town ... doesn't entirely notice that we're there."
 
Nuadjha winks at you.

You nod understandingly.

Nuadjha says, "And if they don't notice us, they usually don't think to tax us."

Nuadjha says, "You understand, I assume."
 
Nuadjha chuckles to himself.

Captain of the Falcon Nuadjha's group just went west.
[The Falcon, Foredeck]
A bronze-beaked falcon figurehead juts from the prow of the vessel, its spread wings embracing the crimson-painted hull.  Wrought from verdigris bronze, a waist-high railing mimics vines twining around modwir saplings.  A carved redwood ship's wheel crowns a raised platform several paces behind the figurehead.  You also see a mischievous golden brown fox and a woven spidersilk ladder.
Also here: Captain of the Falcon Nuadjha
Obvious paths: east
 
You say, "Of course.  No need to trouble them with things beyond their notice."

Nuadjha adopts an agreeable expression.
 
You adopt an agreeable expression.
 
Nuadjha says, "It would merely inconvenience them."

Speaking to Nuadjha, you say, "It's for their own benefit, really."
 
Nuadjha agrees with you.

Nuadjha says, "You'd make an excellent crewman."
 
Nuadjha flashes a quick grin.
>examine figurehead
Tiny crystal tears leak from the falcon's eyes.
 
Nuadjha points at a woven spidersilk ladder.

Nuadjha says, "The ship never really lands, so the ladder allows one to reach the ground."

Nuadjha says, "Or, at the home port in Redwing Spire in Solhaven, it allows you to climb down into the tower."

You say, “A moment.  Why is the figurehead crying?”
 
Nuadjha gazes thoughtfully at a bronze-beaked falcon figurehead.
 
Nuadjha asks, "Why does the falcon cry?"
 
Nuadjha scratches his chin.

Nuadjha says, "A question for the ages, perhaps, though some say that great sorrow struck the first captain."

Nuadjha says, "And the ship, echoing his emotions, wept ever afterward."

You nod understandingly.
 
You say, "It merely caught my eye, I apologize."
 
Nuadjha reaches out and touches a bronze-beaked falcon figurehead.

Nuadjha says, "Well, let's continue this chat over some drinks. I lay in a good supply wherever we travel."
 
Captain of the Falcon Nuadjha's group just went east.
[The Falcon, Amidships]
The golvern-edged propellers of the ship glow silver in the moonlight, casting a wavering blur of reflected radiance over the smooth-worn and polished planes of wood below.  Fanciful tracery forms golden vines that twine up the trio of cylindrical supports leading to the whirring blades.  A dark teak hatch fastened with a black iron ring lies to starboard.  Unmarked crates and wooden barrels have been stacked high and lashed down near the railings.  You also see a mischievous golden brown fox.
Also here: Captain of the Falcon Nuadjha
Obvious paths: east, west
 
Captain of the Falcon Nuadjha's group just went east.
[The Falcon, Aft]
A long redwood bench sits far aft, backed by a railing that overlooks the squared stern of the ship.  Far enough away from the ceaseless drone of the main propellers to be almost quiet, the deck provides a view of the steering blades situated midway down the ship's hull.  Beyond them is a dizzying view of the night-darkened earth below.  A lustrous redwood sideboard has been bolted to one section of the railing.  You also see a mischievous golden brown fox, a gap in the deck and a set of polished teak deck chairs.
Also here: Captain of the Falcon Nuadjha
Obvious paths: west

You grin from ear to ear.
 
Nuadjha glances around the area.
 
Nuadjha relaxes into a deck chair, his gaze scanning the skies.
 
Nuadjha points at a lustrous redwood sideboard.
 
Nuadjha says, "Help yourself."

You settle into one of the deck chairs, your gaze scanning the vastness of the skies.
>look on sideboard
On the redwood sideboard you see a dense fruit and nut bar, a crystalline flask of ice wine, a mug of thick cardamom-spiced coffee, an ice-filled glass of scotch, a cup of sweet dark tea, a chunk of fresh bread and a sparkling flask of spring water.

Nuadjha says, "I'm partial to the tea, myself."

Nuadjha pours himself a cup of sweet dark tea.

You say, "My thanks!  It all looks wonderful."

You pour yourself a cup of sweet dark tea.

You raise your sweet dark tea in a toast!

Nuadjha adopts an agreeable expression.

Nuadjha says, "Aye, the scotch comes from the dwarves of Zul Logoth, though we have to land at Khazar's Hold to take it on board, and the ice wine is from Ta'Nalfein."
  
You say, "Thank you very much for taking some time to speak with me this evening."
  
You take a drink from your sweet dark tea.
You close your eyes for a moment.

You say, "Very nice, indeed."
  
Nuadjha says, "You're welcome. I assume you'll be contributing to our docking fees in return."
  
Nuadjha appears to be trying hard not to grin.

You feel the blood drain from your face.

Babbling again, eh?
  
Nuadjha raises an eyebrow in your direction.

You weakly say, "I'm sure something can be worked out."
  
Nuadjha agrees with you.
  
Nuadjha says, "Excellent."

You nod slowly.

Nuadjha says, "Well, you said you had some questions, and we're well fortified."
  
Nuadjha takes a drink from his sweet dark tea.
  
Nuadjha adopts an agreeable expression.
  
You say, "I do indeed.  Some of this is rather common knowledge, and I apologize for any belabored points, but for the sake of thoroughness, I'd like to run through a few simple ones to start."

Nuadjha says, "As you wish. I find the skies contemplative, and a fine place for conversation."

You ask, "To begin with, what is your profession, for those who might not already be aware?"
  
Nuadjha looks lost in thought.
  
Nuadjha says, "Ah, well."
  
Nuadjha rubs his chin thoughtfully.

Nuadjha says, "I was raised among the Tyesteron, and hoped to guard the sylvan forests one day, but such was not to be. For many years, I wandered the wilds of Elanthia as a guide and hunter. These days, I mostly wander the skies."
  
A mischievous golden brown fox growls menacingly!
  
As Nuadjha scratches the golden brown fox behind the ears, the canine tilts her head into Nuadjha's hand.

You nod understandingly.
  
Speaking to a mischievous golden brown fox, Nuadjha says, "Peace, Tawny."
  
A mischievous golden brown fox stretches out and rolls over on her side sound asleep.
  
You ask, "What would you say is the best thing about your profession?  If you were attempting to convince someone still on the turnip truck to lean towards your profession, what would you tell them?"
  
Nuadjha scratches his chin.
  
You say, "For this one, I more mean the role you filled before taking to the skies."

You blush a glowing shade of red.
  
Nuadjha says, "Solitude. A hunter in the wilds has everything he needs if he only has a knife. There is nothing a ranger cannot do for himself, barring a few oddities."
  
Nuadjha draws a leaf-bladed hunting knife from one of the small scabbards sewn inside of his hooded longcloak.
  
With a quick flick of his wrist, Nuadjha lightly tosses his knife into the air and turns his hand to catch it, momentarily balancing the small blade against the back of his knuckles.  Completing the trick, Nuadjha snags the blade's tip with his thumb and deftly flips the knife to catch it again by its hilt.
  
Nuadjha sheathes a leaf-bladed hunting knife into one of the small scabbards sewn inside of his hooded longcloak.

You nod appreciatively.

You ask, "Similarly, what would you warn that same person about, if they were intending to become part of your profession?"
  
Nuadjha says, "Hm. Well, one hopes you don't want to learn how to throw fireballs. For that, you might wish to go talk to a mage instead."
  
Nuadjha rubs his chin thoughtfully.
  
Nuadjha says, "Though I suppose one can eventually learn to throw *some* fire, if one practices enough."
  
Ethereal carnelian foxfire flickers into being along Nuadjha's hands, slithering across his palms...
  
Nuadjha gestures.
A flare leaves Nuadjha's hand and shoots up into the sky where it hangs for a few moments before exploding into a breathtaking array of colors.  The sheer brightness of the image before you lingers in your sight for several seconds after the explosion can no longer be seen.
  
Nuadjha says, "Mostly useful for lighting wet wood, though."
  
Nuadjha grunts.

You grin.
  
Nuadjha takes a drink from his sweet dark tea.

You say, "I've seen others use similar spells to great effect against trollkin, though I wager you have better methods."
  
Nuadjha says, "I find it faster to shoot them in the eye, though I do like to do it with a fire-imbued arrow."

Nuadjha says, "Sears the brain so it doesn't regenerate, you understand."
  
Nuadjha flashes a quick grin.

You try hard not to grin.

Nuadjha scratches his chin.
 
You ask, "Would it be fair to say that you've progressed to the point that you're comfortable in any regions of these lands, regardless of what obstacles they might contain?"
  
Nuadjha ponders.

Nuadjha says, "I've hunted the depths of the Scatter with the Vvrael Champions to the top of the Sanctum of Scales, the broken ruins of Old Ta'Faendryl, and the watery recesses of Temple Nelemar on Teras. When a demon forces entry to this plane, I hunt it for sport. Perhaps that gives you some idea."

You nod respectfully.

You say, "It does indeed."
  
Nuadjha shrugs.

You ask, "What is your preferred method of hunting, and why?"

Nuadjha says, "I have always loved the bow, for speed and accuracy. While another might hammer away with a maul as if the opponent were a tree, an arrow is a death as graceful as a sparrow landing. The velnalin smiles as it exhales its last breath."
  
You appreciatively say, "Well spoken."
  
Nuadjha says, "And that makes the meat taste better."
  
Nuadjha adopts an agreeable expression.
  
You ask, "Are you married?"

You grin impishly.
  
Nuadjha laughs softly, trying to hide his amusement.

Nuadjha says, "Never yet have I met the woman who'd join me in the skies, and who could talk fast enough to keep up."
  
Nuadjha flashes a quick grin.

The golden brown fox shifts in her sleep as Nuadjha gently scratches at the canine's neck and ears.
  
Nuadjha says, "Well, except for Tawny here."
  
Nuadjha chuckles.
  
Nuadjha says, "But that's not quite what you meant."
  
Interlocking his fingers above his head, Nuadjha stretches slowly, extending his spine in a satisfying stretch.

You grin.

You say, "Not exactly, no, though I take your point."
  
Nuadjha takes a drink from his sweet dark tea.

You ask, "Are you a member of any of Elanthia's Great Houses?"
  
Nuadjha adopts an agreeable expression.
  
Nuadjha says, "Aye, indeed. I was once a Knight of Paupers, but these days I gather with the members of Sylvanfair."

You nod understandingly.

You ask, "What drew you to each of those?"
  
Nuadjha says, "As a wanderer, I never cared much for commitment, and Paupers respects that. Sylvanfair, on the other hand, has an ethos of common aid, and when one wanders the wild, one learns to appreciate the value of a piece of bread when one is hungry."

Nuadjha says, "After some bad experiences when I was younger, I always try to keep an eye out for the young and foolish, and Sylvanfair feels the same way."
  
You say, "Indeed.  I myself reside in Icemule Trace, and am always glad of the assistance of White Haven."

Nuadjha agrees with you.
  
You ask, "Aside from this stunning airship, what would you say is your most prized possession?"

You say, "And I'm not necessarily speaking of monetary value here... though we may get to that."
  
Nuadjha ponders.

You grin impishly.
  
Nuadjha says, "Undoubtedly, my hand."
  
Nuadjha reaches out and touches his replacement hand.
  
Nuadjha flexes the fingers of his silver and ironwood replacement hand.
You blink at Nuadjha.
  
Nuadjha absentmindedly traces the silver joints of his replacement hand.
  
Nuadjha says, "Without it, I could never shoot my bow."
  
Speaking to Nuadjha, you say, "I assume there's a story behind that... is it something you'd be willing to share?  I've never seen its like."
  
Nuadjha ponders.
  
Nuadjha says, "Ah, well. The short version."
  
Nuadjha scratches his chin.
  
Nuadjha says, "Some years back, I fought a being who wasn't from this world, and who wielded unusual weapons."
  
Nuadjha says, "I won, but in the battle, I lost my right hand."
  
Nuadjha says, "Typically, an empath could have healed me. I've often been wounded but managed to scrape myself back together."

Nuadjha says, "Much to my very great dismay, however, nothing would heal the wound left behind by that sword."
  
Nuadjha says, "And without a right hand, it's very hard to shoot a bow or wield an axe."

You say, "I should think so."
  
Nuadjha scratches his chin.
  
Nuadjha flexes the fingers of his silver and ironwood replacement hand.
  
Nuadjha says, "The priests of Phoen led me to a devotee of Imaera, one who worked in wood."
  
Nuadjha says, "With his help, and with divine magic, he carved me a hand, one that moved with my thoughts as if it were my original."
  
Nuadjha absentmindedly traces the silver joints of his replacement hand.

You quietly say, "Amazing."
  
Nuadjha says, "And that let me pick my bow back up again."
  
Nuadjha adopts an agreeable expression.
  
Nuadjha says, "It's also excellent for picking up hot things."
  
Nuadjha flashes a quick grin.

You ask, "In the same vein, but from a different direction, what would you say is your most valuable possession from a straight silvers standpoint?"
  
You grin impishly.
  
Nuadjha chuckles.
  
Nuadjha says, "Ah, well, that's an easy question. At the moment, that would be my bow."
  
Nuadjha says, "A good archer wants the finest one he can make or buy."
  
Nuadjha asks, "Would you like to see it?"
  
Nuadjha raises an eyebrow.

You say, "Yes please, if you don't mind."
  
Nuadjha unslings a bronze-banded ruic longbow with an ethereal bowstring off from over his shoulder.
  
Nuadjha shows you a bronze-banded ruic longbow with an ethereal bowstring, which he is holding in his left hand.  You also notice a small enchanter's glyph.
  
Nuadjha tosses his longbow a few inches in the air, catching it adroitly and settling his hand comfortably around the grip.

You nod appreciatively.
  
Nuadjha says, "This bow was made by Lirion, the master craftsmen, and then enchanted by skilled craftsmen."

You say, "Very impressive... and rather effective, from what I understand."

You grin impishly.
  
Nuadjha says, "It's what those in the know would call an eight times enchanted elemental bow."
  
Nuadjha says, "It makes its own arrows that are imbued with various elemental magics, is permanently blessed, and so forth."
  
Nuadjha carefully sights down his ruic longbow and points it directly at you.

Nuadjha chuckles.
  
You say, "It's an amazing weapon, truly.  I’d wager to say that it fits your description of the best bow than an archer can make or buy."

Nuadjha chuckles.
  
Nuadjha says, "It hits all the things."
  
Nuadjha adopts an agreeable expression.

You ask, "What would you say was the most memorable moment in your adventure to this point?  If you had to choose a single one, that is?"
  
Nuadjha ponders.

Nuadjha says, "Well, winning the Falcon, certainly, but beyond that, a dark period with some dark vambraces."
  
Nuadjha ponders.
  
Nuadjha asks, "You've heard of the ShadowDeath?"

You say, "I have indeed."
  
Nuadjha adopts an agreeable expression.
  
Nuadjha says, "Some time back, I acquired, through one means or another, a pair of the ShadowDeath vambraces."
  
Nuadjha says, "Much to my regret."
  
A pained expression crosses Nuadjha's face.

You nod understandingly.
  
Nuadjha says, "Wearing them was a terrible decision."
  
Nuadjha shakes his head.
You ask, "In what way?"
  
Nuadjha says, "Slowly, ever so slowly, the shadows invade your mind. They turn you against your friends, they make you hate your foes even more."
  
A pained expression crosses Nuadjha's face.

You grimace.
  
Nuadjha says, "And ever and ever do they hunger. They are never satisfied."
  
Nuadjha says, "Soon you find that you hunt to feed them. Then you give over your life to feeding them, and nothing is ever enough."
  
Nuadjha slowly empties his lungs.
  
Nuadjha says, "But where there is darkness, there is light, and the one flees the other."

Nuadjha says, "With the help of some priests of Phoen, I was able eventually to remove them. I gave the vambraces into their brilliant care, and good riddance to them."
  
A pained expression crosses Nuadjha's face.

You say, "I can't imagine... and for that I find myself grateful."
  
Nuadjha agrees with you.
  
Nuadjha says, "I still find myself less patient than once I was, though."
  
Nuadjha shakes his head.
  
Nuadjha says, "More prone to violence, less accepting of insults."
  
Nuadjha grunts.
  
Nuadjha says, "So it goes."

You say, "It definitely sounds like something with long-lasting effects.  My condolences for that."
  
Nuadjha says, "My thanks."
  
Nuadjha nods to you.
  
You ask, "As your journey progressed through the various lands, what period of your time would you say was the most enjoyable?"
  
Nuadjha rubs his chin thoughtfully.
  
Nuadjha says, "Hmm. If I understand your question, I'd say hunting the eastern lands was the most enjoyable, from the Blighted Forest to the Griffin's Keen and through Maaghara's Tower."

You ask, "That's exactly what I was shooting for, thank you.  What about it made it particularly enjoyable for you?"
  
Nuadjha says, "You can never underestimate a challenging opponent."
  
Nuadjha flashes a quick grin.
  
Nuadjha says, "And besides, you can use storm griffin feathers for arrows."
  
Nuadjha laughs softly, trying to hide his amusement.

You try hard not to grin.

You say, "Very true, at that."

You ask, "What would you say inspired you to begin on the path you're currently on?  What was your mindset when you began, and do you feel like you've been true to that path on your journey?"
  
Nuadjha ponders.
  
Nuadjha says, "Curiosity has always moved me. If I stay in one place too long, my feet get itchy. Walking new trails helps."

You nod understandingly.
  
Nuadjha says, "I've been true to curiosity in the way one can be, with each new adventure spawning new insights and new attitudes. Life is change."

You ask, "Would you say that's what drives you to this day?  Or is there more meaning behind your day to day actions?"
  
Nuadjha says, "Curiosity, profit, and justice."
  
Nuadjha adopts an agreeable expression.

You nod appreciatively.
  
Nuadjha says, "Sometimes, actions are simply necessary."
  
You ask, "Would you say that you have a fixed goal in mind, or something that you strive towards?"
  
Nuadjha waves his hand in a dismissive gesture.
  
Nuadjha says, "Whatever the wind brings me, in general, but overall, to bring light to places that are full of shadow, as any good follower of Phoen."

You ask, "If pressed to narrow the list to a single name, what other adventurer would you say has had the most profound impact on your life?"
  
Nuadjha scratches his chin.
  
Nuadjha says, "Japhrimel. We have been friends for 25 years."

You burst out in a sudden snort of laughter.

You say, "Pardon me."
  
Nuadjha starts chuckling at you!

You say, "I was speaking with him before this, and he had a few interesting comments to make."
  
Nuadjha laughs softly, trying to hide his amusement.
  
Nuadjha says, "I'm absolutely certain that he did."
  
Nuadjha chuckles.

You ask, "Specifically, I was instructed to ask you about a marriage that you may have overseen in your role as Captain of the Falcon?"
  
Nuadjha laughs softly, trying to hide his amusement.
  
Nuadjha says, "Ah, yes. He insisted that the Falcon fly in and host the wedding."
  
Nuadjha gazes up into the heavens.
  
Nuadjha says, "But, he's the Navigator, so it's his right."
  
Nuadjha rubs his chin thoughtfully.

You grin impishly.
  
Nuadjha says, "Not that he really navigates much. The crystal ignores us all."
  
Nuadjha grumbles.

You say, "So it seemed."
  
Nuadjha chuckles.
  
You say, "To slightly less weighty matters, then, and then I'll be at the end of my list."
  
Nuadjha chuckles.
  
Nuadjha adopts an agreeable expression.

You ask, "Would you be willing to give the TownCrier readers a rough idea of your current finances?"

You grin impishly.
  
Nuadjha scratches his head.
  
Nuadjha asks, "Huh. Well, in the bank or in goods?"

You carefully ask, "In the bank?"
  
Nuadjha chuckles.
  
Nuadjha says, "Well, let's see..."
  
Nuadjha removes an ink-smudged handbook from in his azure chainsil pants.
  
Nuadjha glances down at his handbook.
  
Nuadjha says, "Looks like I have .... 158,579,271 silvers in the bank at the moment."
  
Nuadjha put an ink-smudged handbook in his azure chainsil pants.

You nod appreciatively.

You say, "That's quite the tidy sum!  Thank you for sharing that."
  
Nuadjha shrugs.
  
Nuadjha says, "It comes and goes."
  
Nuadjha says, "Just you wait until the Falcon needs repairs."
  
Nuadjha mutters under his breath.

You nod understandingly.

You say, "I can only imagine... and would rather not."
  
Nuadjha chuckles.

You ask, "Last but not least... and apologies for the brazen nature of the question... would you be willing to give us a peek inside one of your lockers?"
  
Nuadjha says, "Well, let's find a manifest."
  
Nuadjha removes a coverless manifest bulging with loose pages from in his azure chainsil pants.
  
Nuadjha says, "Ah, there we are."
  
Nuadjha shows you his coverless manifest.

Locker contents of Nuadjha kis'Anthri, the Half-Elf, as recorded in Mist Harbor:

In a deep chest:
  an opalescent glass jar containing azure blazestars
  an opalescent glass jar containing moonglae opals
  an opalescent glass jar containing uncut rubies
  a tall glass jar containing inky necrotic cores
  an opalescent red glass jar containing white-point star diamonds
  a rectangular steel-barred cage
  a thin golden oak case inset with golden flaeshorn berries (marked)
  an opalescent glass jar containing fire opals
  a large herb-painted packet of seeds
  a large floral-painted packet of seeds
  a rune-etched amethyst earring
  an ethereal armor waiver for defensive strength flares (marked)
  a darkly stained bone stylus
  a bundle of crystalline arrows
  a cross-woven pale sea grass thigh-quiver
  an Eye-of-Koar emerald
  an ethereal armor waiver for defensive strength flares
  a lopsided golden moonstone sphere
  a golden emblem decorated with thyme flower-etched sunstones
  a square magenta bloodrune
  a four-ringed metal pendant (marked)
  an ethereal armor waiver for defensive strength flares
  a bundle of griffin talons
  a soil-filled terracotta pot with an amber-inlaid rim (marked)
  an opalescent glass jar containing drakeferns
  a domed mithril-barred cage
  an opalescent glass jar containing sylvarraend rubies
  an opalescent glass jar containing dragon's-tear rubies
  an opalescent glass jar containing dragonseye sapphires
  an opalescent glass jar containing dragon's-tear emeralds
  an opalescent glass jar containing golden blazestars
  an opalescent glass jar containing uncut maernstrike diamonds
  an opalescent glass jar containing periwinkle feystones
  an opalescent glass jar containing dragon's-tear diamonds
  an opalescent glass jar containing white opals
  an opalescent glass jar containing blue sapphires
  a tall gold-streaked bottle containing uncut diamonds
  a vaalin-rimmed glass bottle containing emerald blazestars

In a clothing wardrobe:
  a veniom falcon stickpin (marked)
  some bronze-toed brown leather boots turned down at the knee (marked)
  a pair of dark morduska hide boots with pale bone buckles
  some cross-buckled chestnut leather pants reinforced with bronze bands (marked)
  a soft leather scrip pouch
  a pair of indigo chainsil pants with thin veniom threading (marked)
  an oft-mended leather baldric lined with straps and pouches (marked)
  a dark grey leather scroll case with an onyx clasp
    a scorched scroll
    a faded palimpsest
    a glittering scroll
    a burnt scroll
    a smeared parchment
    a light scroll
    a sheaf of faded paper
    a faded scroll
    an aged scroll
  a small shadowy black velvet pouch
    a gold wind-up key
    a gold wind-up key
    a brass wind-up key
    a brass wind-up key
    a brass wind-up key
    a brass wind-up key
    a brass wind-up key
    a brass wind-up key
    a brass wind-up key
    a brass wind-up key
    a brass wind-up key
    a brass wind-up key
    a brass wind-up key
    a brass wind-up key
    a brass wind-up key
    a brass wind-up key
    a brass wind-up key
    a brass wind-up key
    a brass wind-up key
    a brass wind-up key
    a brass wind-up key
    a brass wind-up key
    a brass wind-up key
    a brass wind-up key
    a brass wind-up key

On a weapon rack:
  a vaalorn-edged vultite katana
  an exquisite illthorn runestaff
  an elegant lor runestaff
  an oak brown illthorn runestaff
  an engraved orase runestaff
  a villswood composite bow
  an ipantor composite bow
  a lily white imflass halberd

On an armor stand:
  some eahnor-washed mail riveted to thick layers of raw silk padding (marked)
  some gleaming vultite studded leather
  some vultite double chain (marked)
  a matte black bucket helm inlaid with golvern lightning bolts (marked)
  some segmented dusky eahnor vambraces inset with a pattern of sunburst rubies (marked)
  some electrum-edged plate (marked)
  some bone-plated dark leather brigandine
  a set of ora-scaled full plate
  some polished spiked ora arm greaves (marked)
  a polished eahnor chain hauberk (marked)
  an embossed glaes aventail (marked)

Obvious items:  100

You nod appreciatively.
  
Nuadjha says, "There's my Mist Harbor locker."

You exclaim, "Thank you very much for that, as well!"
  
Nuadjha adopts an agreeable expression.

You ask, "That's the end of my 'official' list.  Is there any subject you'd like to add, for the record?"
  
Nuadjha rubs his chin thoughtfully.
  
Nuadjha says, "Not that I can think of at the moment."
  
Nuadjha chuckles.
  
Nuadjha picks up a cup of sweet dark tea.
  
Nuadjha takes a drink from his sweet dark tea.

You grin impishly.

You ask, "In that case, I believe we're all set.  I'll be writing out this interview for the Crier, and will be sending you a copy before it goes for publication, if that works for you?"
  
Nuadjha says, "Aye, that sounds fine to me."
  
Nuadjha adopts an agreeable expression.
  
Nuadjha says, "Now, about that docking fee ..."
  
Nuadjha stares at you.

You carefully say, "I believe you may need to speak with Newsby about that."

You duck your head.
  
Nuadjha raises an eyebrow in your direction.
  
Nuadjha says, "I will ... take it up with her."
  
Nuadjha stands up.

You stand back up.

You bow to Nuadjha.

Nuadjha chuckles.
 
Nuadjha says, "Come, let's get you off the ship."
 
Nuadjha says, "It's tricky if you're not familiar."

You say, "Thank you so very much for your time tonight.  It's greatly appreciated."

You grin.
 
Nuadjha says, "Well, my thanks for the questions."
 
Nuadjha says, "You've flattered my ego, not that it needed it."
 
Nuadjha rolls his eyes.
 
Nuadjha points at a solid silver orb on a brass and gold-rimmed pedestal.

Nuadjha says, "Touch the orb."

You adopt an agreeable expression.
 
Faint sounds like glass shattering whisper through the air around the crystal.

You say, "Thank you again, and have a pleasant rest of the evening."

You bow to Nuadjha.
 
Nuadjha touches one hand to the ground and chants a respectful bird-like trill.

Nuadjha's fingernails flash briefly with a tinge of green coloring.

You rest a hand on a solid silver orb, and suddenly the world begins to spin around you.  After a nauseating moment of dizziness, the wild carousel of color glides to a halt, leaving you standing somewhere completely different!

The Out-of-Character Interview

What’s your real name? (First name only please)

Ryan

Where are you located, geographically?

Boston, MA

What do you do for a living?

I own a small business in the education industry.

How long have you played Gemstone?

I started in 1997, after two middle-school friends of mine talked it up during lunch. I was so impressed by the thought of lockers to store your items and disks that followed you around and carried your things.

Have you taken any breaks, or played straight through?

As with many of us, I've taken a few breaks and have had waves of interest. I took a break between 2001 and 2003 during my first couple of years of college, and then I took a fairly long break between 2012 and 2016 where I only signed in to pay rent on my airship property (which I won as the grand prize at the 2011 Droughtman's Maze).

Can you elaborate on the experience of winning the airship, from your own point of view (not the character’s)? '

I bought about 40 runs total, but I had absolutely terrible luck with treasure pulls. One of thebest things I won was a 5x scripted ice-flaring maul! However, some friends and I had figured out that the key principle in Droughtman's Maze was speed. There was no point in fighting the blockers or trying to heal down from the traps; instead, you needed to pull as many ropes as possible to find keys and get through the doors. So, I fixskilled my characters to have the minimum HPs so they'd die from every trap and hit and then ran them through the event as quickly as possible. I won enough runs to make it into the semi-finals, then the finals, and then got lucky enough to find the golden key and the white door first in the final -- and for that I won the airship (technically on an alt, but the GMs allowed me to pass the win to my main) and some other fantastic items. Ironically, the final was actually held on my birthday, so the airship was an absolutely amazing present. I was up almost all night because the adrenaline from the win wouldn't let me fall asleep!

How many different 'main' characters have you had over the years?

My first character was a dwarven ranger named Asthalan Aspenfire. I played him from 1997 to 2001, but he never got above level 23. I spent the vast majority of my time buying low and selling high on the amulet. I started Nuadjha when I came back to Gemstone in 2003 and eventually capped him in 2011. I have no other major characters except for a wizard that I've hunted up to level 90.

Do you have multiple accounts that you play at the same time?

I have typically only had one account, though I recently switched my wizard to an alternate account so I could hunt one character while the other one was absorbing experience.

Do you have a Premium subscription?

At the moment, yes. I've been premium for about 4.5 years of the 20 years that I've played.

What front-end do you use? (Stormfront, Wizard, Profanity, other)?

Stormfront

Why?

I find the aesthetics to be much cleaner than the Wizard's and the XML links to be a huge help.

Do you use Lich?

Yes.

Why or why not?

Lich ensures that there's a world-wide chat channel that helps the player base feel connected. It's a large world and one can feel isolated even with 500 players around. Lich helps ameliorate that. Also, it automates some of the tedious tasks, like running to the bank or spelling yourself up.

What are your ‘must-have’ scripts?

  • waggle
  • keepalive
  • go2
  • bestiary
  • isigns/isigils
  • narost
  • sloot
  • and voodoo

Do you now, or have you ever roleplayed a character that was very different from your real personality?

Yes, I've tried out various alts, from an elven rogue who views everything in life by its monetary value to a rather slow-witted giantman paladin. My wizard is an ancient sylvan who compares everyone he meets to one of his countless great-something grandchildren. None of them have ever held my attention for long, though. I always come back to Nuadjha, whom I roleplay as mischievous, sharp-witted, and impulsive, and that's just a distilled version of how I see myself.

What would you say is your most memorable Gemstone ‘moment’ (as a player), and why?

My most memorable moment would be either winning Doughtman's Maze and my airship or leading the Crossbone Vanguard against the Clan of Marlu in Gemstone: Shattered the summer after it opened. It was an intense summer with some massive back-end coding (we had an SQL database automatically logging info about our opponents, for instance) and a lot of intrigue. In the end, we infiltrated a spy (played by Tisket) into their command group and eventually took them down.

Would you be willing to give a rundown from your perspective of the Vanguard/Marlu events in Shattered?

It's a bit of a long story, but I'll try to give you the short version. Right after Shattered opened in 2010, an influx of players found themselves in a lawless environment. Within the first couple of weeks, a group of players had banded together to try to grief and extort other players. They were camping the Landing gates and running lockdown scripts to catch anyone running by at first, and then it evolved into methodically running through each hunting ground in an area and imploding anyone who wasn't on their protection list, to leaving cursed boxes on the locksmith counter to interfere with people running locksmith scripts, and to dragging people who had left their groups open out of town and killing them repeatedly to incur massive death's sting, among other lovely activities.
I wasn't looking to lead a group. I just wanted to work on leveling my empath, Necen, and explore an evil-character RP in an environment that would allow it (the basic idea was to create an evil empath who would hurt people and then learn from healing them). Instead, I found myself isolated versus this group of people out to ruin the game experience for anyone not paying them protection money. So, I gathered together some like-minded players and we formed the Crossbones Vanguard. Shutting the other group down took us about four months, and it meant developing some very specific tactics. No one in Shattered cared in particular about an individual death, for instance, and just killing the other players was pointless. We had to take a two-pronged approach: 1) We needed to remove all the fun from their griefing, and 2) We needed to create a mechanical advantage to achieve goal 1. So, we made it a point to not just kill the other players but to make it impossible for them to leave town without dying. We made a points game with prizes out of it, in fact. As they died and logged out, they began to fall behind in the experience race (it takes about 6 months of 24/7 scripting to cap a character), which meant that we were able to achieve our goals the more easily the more able we were to kill them, and that led to achieving goal 2.
Those two goals by themselves weren't sufficient to put an end to the griefing by the Clan of Marlu, though. To do that, we needed to destroy their group cohesiveness. To achieve that, we infiltrated a spy into their midst (Tisket, playing the character Mooch), who relayed all of their private chats to our "Spy" chat channel to give us intelligence, and then began attacking their camaraderie. We manipulated some scripts we stole from them to make it seem like one of their members had betrayed them, for instance, then recruited that member when he had no other options and used his BEFRIEND status to raid their group table. We also played on the kinder side of one of their two coders to guilt him into regretting griefing the server and made him break off from the group. With tactics like those, we turned them against each other until they felt that they couldn't trust the other members of their group.
Once we had achieved those goals, and with the increasing pressure of killing them, we eventually reached a point where the members of Marlu were no longer bothering to log in to even try to hunt. When their leader stopped logging in and disappeared from the boards, we knew we had won -- and that ended the Vanguard-Marlu War.
One of the major takeaways for me from the Vanguard-Marlu war was that as members of a modern society, we're deeply accultured to rely on the justice system to protect us. In a lawless environment where there are no police, no courts, no army to step in and protect you, your only choice is to step up and protect yourself. The key point here is that this situation is not actually all that different than the modern world; we only think it is because of how we've been raised. As Churchill said, we sleep soundly in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to deliver harm unto those who would do us wrong. It's important to remember that justice cannot be taken for granted.

What, in your mind, is the best thing about Gemstone?

Because it's a text-based game, it can be more versatile than other, much more technically advanced, games. All it takes is a few words and perhaps an alteration or two and you've established a new character.

Imagine you're Wyrom for a day and can 'do' one thing. What are you changing/removing/adding/replacing, and why?

I think Wyrom's been a godsend for Gemstone, from his responsiveness and interaction with players to his more flexible take on game balance. If there were one thing I could do, though, it would be to crack down on third-party scripting. I realize how much that move would annoy current players, but it would improve the game environment massively and make players much more engaged the game.

Can you elaborate on that a bit, please?

I'd increase penalties for AFK scripting after the first warning and institute an in-game version of selling everything from your hunt to encourage people to use something other than the incredibly obnoxious ;sloot sell (which sells gems one by one for instance and spams the heck out of the gemshop).

What do you feel is the biggest mistake that most GS players make?

Two things, actually. 1) Don't let your scripts take over. If they do, you're not really playing the game any more. 2) Don't love your character so much that you get caught up *in* your character. Keep your character-self separate from your real self. Play your character like putting on a suit of clothes -- and then take them off again when you're done.

What's something that you feel every GS player should do at least once?

Two things again: 1) If you've been playing the same character for a long time, roll up a new one and hunt that character without any help up to level 10. It really brings back the thrill of the early levels and makes you appreciate that ora broadsword. 2) Write up a journal entry for your character, perhaps on his/her origin story or a defining moment.

What advice would you offer to a new player?

The key to the game is roleplaying, so give careful thought to your character. Outline what your character's attitude is and how s/he will respond to a few given situations. Think of some good or bad habits your character will have, or perhaps of a unique way of saying hello or goodbye. Remember that roleplaying in a game like this can't be in your head, so you have to do something physically/externally that establishes your roleplay for the other people. Think about how you can do that quickly and simply (Nuadjha, for instance, always says hello and goodbye with "Fair light of the morning/afternoon/evening" and "Dance lightly among the thorns." These often raise eyebrows, which is then a good chance to talk a bit.)