Selerik Interviews Fazahd

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Selerik has opted to do this interview while adventuring. A log of the scene, with questions for the interview highlighted in green, to follow.

An altogether standard bit of business from the guild, something that would be a real challenge for a green adventurer. Veteran adverturers need to eat too, though, so sometimes they stoop to doing these tasks as well. Clear out a giant spider's nest that is believe to have a messenger's satchel in it. The goal is a cookbook, of all things, which when returned will garner the favor of one of the chefs in the castle. It might not win over anyone important, but you'll eat well for a while at least.

Selerik, who very well may have convinced Faz to even take on the task, is coming along with him. Book out, taking a few notes on things he sees as they get closer to the suspected den. "The descriptions don't suggest they're highly poisonous, but they might have an Ettercap in the den. Nasty things, very fond of setting traps."

"And yet it shall die all the same." Fazahd, for his part, is...well. 'Murderously implacable' might be a good way to describe him. Dressed in the uniform that marks him as an Enginebreaker - an Inquisitor of Reos - the young human with the khazad name approaches the nest with an expression carved from stone. Well, you know how he is. Cut him to pieces, set him on fire, he never seems to learn.

The area is at the base of a dead tree, the branches above thick enough with webs and smaller spiders to offer shade despite that. The hollow going into the ground is shallow, requiring a person to crawl through.

Selerik eyes the hollow, and pulls an unlit torch off his back. "Looks dark." He shifts the torch one way, then the other, looking thoughtful. "If we set the place on fire we probably arn't saving any books." The classic adventurer's dilemma; Do it the easy way, or get the loot.

"We don't need to set it on fire." Fazahd's uniform blurs into a full suit of lacquered crimson machine-armor, a Titan Suit that bears sigils of Reos on its breast and shoulder pauldrons. Not that you haven't seen it before, of course, though it's not dented into junk this time around. He draws that mammoth acid blaster of his, its barrel the size of a man's thigh, and the lenses that cluster around his helmet's visor begin to glow with a dull purple light.

"Right, then," he says. "Let us see what we can see."

To darkvision enhanced eyes, it is still a hole. A mostly smooth one, clearly burrowed by something for a lair. Spider seems likely given the silky residue that streaks the dirt in strands.

Selerik works on lighting the torch after some thought anyway. "Well, keep your eyes open. I guess I'll make sure nothing sneaks in behind you." Once the torch is lit, he digs a little divot in the dirt with a tent spike from his pack and jams the torch in. Stationary light source, whee. "So if we save this book, what is the first thing you're going to ask him to make? I mean, save me the pious no reward needed speech. What's your favorite food?"

"I'll ask him to make a large batch of soup for the poor," Fazahd says through hidden outlets in his helmet. "Or provide me the recipe to make the most nourishing soup possible. Winter's here, and people need to eat." A beat. "My favorite food is...aghzam. It's a Khazad food, baked meat and fungus pie. The meat is usually fish, but I prefer ironeaters." You know. Rust monsters. "Yours?" That said, he slowly approaches the barrow, covering the entrance with the gun.

"There was this little bakery in rune, it made these little puffs that had the most fantastic flavors." Selerik bends down peeking into the barrow a moment before looking at the nearby trees. "The bakery used magic in all sorts of ways, but the flavor of the puffs was entirely genuine, and entirely unique. Taken from the essence of tree roots I was told. Niblets they called the addictive things. I doubt he can recreate it, but I'd be curious to see how he tries."

GAME: Fazahd rolls perception+2: (14)+8+2: 24

"That might be interesting to try," Fazahd muses as the two o fyou reach the mouth of the barrow - and then he lifts his hand. "Wait. See these strands? Deadfall trigger." He gestures to said strands with a mailed finger. "Follow me." That said, the Enginebreaker steps carefully through the silk, dodging each of the trapped strands slowly and obviously so that you can follow.

Selerik is a little hesitant at first, but eventually goes on to follow Fazahd in. "So what put you on the path to becoming an adventurer?" Yes, stealth. He is clearly using it.

He wasn't exactly expecting his life story to be questioned, but Fazahd feels that he owes Selerik a bit, what with the incident with the ogres. "I was a priest, as you know," he says as the two of you begin down the barrow. "A Forge of Mighty Reos. It is paramount for every priest to see to the people, whomever they might be, and protect them from evil. That requires that one step out of the temple and take up arms whenever one can." Fazahd adds, "If one wants to be a proper servant, at least."

As you advance deeper, the narrow crawling tunnel soon gives way to a chamber large enough to stand in. For a change, the monster happens to not be home. There are some egg sacks, coiled silk and branches for unfinished traps, and a small collection of drained bodies with the best bits of loot already taken and stowed somewhere else. The messenger and the satchel described are amongst them.

Selerik can't really see any of that, squinting from the entrance in the dim light from the torch anchored outside. "A life long calling. A good life, to be so sure of yourself. I've traveled with a great number of people still lacking that certainty far into their lives."

"There' snothing certain about it," Fazahd says; his shoulder pauldrons open in the front, extending from small hatches a battery of metal rods tipped with red crystals. "You always have to be vigilant, lest you betray your faith - can you imagine the arrogance and pridefulness one risks, knowing that one wields the favor of a god? That a special relationship you hold is singular among any number of the population? It is...weighing." As he says this, the crystals glow, pouring cones of what look like heat shimmer into the clusters of egg sacs; instantly they erupt into flame, just as Fazahd puts away his rifle to draw from his waist the gleaming black razor of a dwarven bastard sword. The weapon's blade looks like an elongated hexagon, not the tapered triangle of most swords, and its black surface is etched with Khazad sigils. Its cutting edges, themselves also black, are covered with what looks almost like the rainbow finish of oil. "Get ready," he calls over the hissing and pops of the superheated eggs popping from within. "She'll be coming now!"

"She's be.. What?" Selerik advances in, now that Faz has so kindly illuminated the place. He squints a bit at what is burning, taking a moment to realize they're egg sacs. "Of course you did." He looks around the room and dashes over to search the satchel. "It is here! Well, mostly here." He doesn't really have the time to elaborate, as a giant spider rushes into the room through the sole entrance.

GAME: Fazahd rolls 1d20+9: (19)+9: 28

GAME: Fazahd rolls 1d20+9: (18)+9: 27

GAME: Fazahd rolls 2d10+8: (14)+8: 22

As the spider scrambles in through the entryway, Fazahd is ready to meet it. Sword in hand, he runs toward the monstrosity while blue-gray vapor gushes out of the stacks on his back, which somehow causes him to run just a little faster on his way to meeting with danger. "May the mountain crush you," he roars through his amplified helmet as he leaps into a flying slash - one that appears to be incredibly successful, as his black sword slashes off three legs on its right side as well as opening up its torso. The Enginebreaker is showered in yellow-green ichor as the enormous arachnid's innards are spilled upon the floor, and comes to a stop on the other side of its shrieking, expiring corpse.

Oh, so THAT'S what it looks like when he doesn't Leeroy Jenkins himself into certain doom.

Selerik recovers the salvaged book, plus a few salvaged letters that were in the satchel still. He looks around the room, then over to Fazahd. "Can we get out of the fire filled pit under an old dead tree? Please, lead the way."

"Yes," says Fazahd, who - as you start to leave, looses another blast of heat into the tree itself. A nice little pyre for the dead and their murderer.

Once outside, the Enginebreaker begins to quietly pray.

Selerik looks between the burning tree and Fazahd, then glances around. He tucks the items he carried out into his own satchel. "You... Do realize we're sitting outside a burning beacon in the middle of a forest full of evil things, plus the druids will be thrilled with us. May I suggest praying after a strategic relocation?"

"No," says Fazahd after a moment of further prayer. "We stay until the tree burns. I'll extinguish it then." Then he turns to you. "Do you have more questions?"

That causes Selerik to blink a few times, and he thinks about it. "I hadn't. That said, there is a fellow at the Tribune who has been asking me to help him. It occurs to me you might be inspirational, if you're alright with carrying the burden of some public scrutiny?"

"I am used to being a source of public scrutiny." He gestures to the tree, the top of which now begins to actively smoke like a chimney. "You ask, I'll keep an eye on the blaze."

The spiders from the smaller webs in the top of the tree are scattering to safety. It is the destruction of a tiny, creepy civilization. Selerik shakes one off his shoe, watching them run off. "Ah, right. Questions." He shudders a little, dipping a hand into his satchel to shuffle around and find another book. His journal. "Well, let's see. What advice would you give someone seeking their purpose in life?"

Oh no they don't. Fazahd, having drawn his weapon anew, begins firing rays of smoky green light into the upper reaches of the tree, rendering the wood into sheets of black, smoking tar through some horrible arcane process. Spiders dissolve with it, to a chorus of tiny screeches per shot as gouts of the stuff fall over the smoldering tree. Really, it's a terrible holocaust.

"My advice would be to live despite the challenges this world gives us, to strive to make one's world better as much as one's life, and to look after those around you. The one who lives for only oneself lives as they will ultimately die: alone."

Selerik steps further away from the carnage. Mostly to stay out of the smoke. "Sound advice from the bane of spiders of all sizes." He taps his nose thoughtfully. "Not really done an interview before, so let me ask you want you'd want to answer? The question you think should be asked? And the answer."

"Just ask," Fazahd says with a wave of his hand. He extends said hand toward the tree, and a gout of water arcs from his palm to snuff out a small fire that starts a few feet from the trunk. "I will tell you if I choose not to answer - but I shall try my best to be transparent."

Selerik nods slowly. "Uh, well." He furrows his brow a moment. "Okay then. How about a tip for someone in your profession? Something a hopeful following your exact path might need to know, to keep their head on."

Fazahd considers that for a moment. "Judge, but do not condemn without evidence. Down that road leads hubris and poisoning of the soul."

Selerik shrugs and tucks his notes away. "Good enough." Seems that is wrapped up. Selerik looks around at the forest, then back to Fazahd. "Well, this has been an delightfully uneventful outing."

"I'm glad we were able to succeed." He lets out a deep breath, watching as the tree burns, silent for a long moment. "This world is hard. Can you imagine what it might have been without these...beasts?"

Oh, that gets Selerik talking. "The spiders we've just killed prey on many things, some beasts great and some small. People, and monsters. They're hardly a danger to anyone but the careless. These varieties, anyway." Selerik squints at the nearby woods. "And as the Ettercap wasn't there, they'll still be causing havok elsewhere. That is the evil at work here, and it didn't even have the decency to show. But the spiders? No more vile than a bear or a wolf, simply different."

"I more mean..." Fazahd is silent a moment further, reflecting. The tree is burning brightly now, wreathing his crimson armor in the glow of its flames. "Heth. Demons. All of it. What if the world were simply...without any of those forces?"

Selerik clears his throat. "I assure you, people are monsters enough without the influence of other beings. The Rune war illustrated that. People will find a reason to fight, we should all be fortunate to have something worthy of our enmity."

"True enough. I suppose it doesn't matter if there are giant corpse-raising dragons or not. People would find a way to destroy themselves on their own." He heaves a sigh as the tree begins to collapse in upon itself, and he begins to liberally hose the ruin of the spider-home down with a constant stream of water.

Questions were asked while the Enginebraker was in the midst of clearing out a den of evil in the Felwood.

Fazahd also replied to a questionnaire:

Ice Breaker: What is your favorite food?

"Winter is here, and I would like to be able to make a recipe to feed many. My favorite food is Aghzam, a Khazad food, baked meat and fungus pie."

Question: Why did you become an adventurer?

"I was a priest. A Forge of Mighty Reos. It is paramount for every priest to see to the people, whomever they might be, and protect them from evil. That requires that one step out of the temple and take up arms whenever one can. If one wants to be a proper servant, at least."

Question: What advice would you give someone seeking their purpose in life?

"My advice would be to live despite the challenges this world gives us, to strive to make one's world better as much as one's life, and to look after those around you. The one who lives for only oneself lives as they will ultimately die: alone."

Question: How about a tip for someone in your profession?

"Judge, but do not condemn without evidence. Down that road leads hubris and poisoning of the soul."