For my next interview, I wanted to get the thoughts of an experienced crafter, and there are few better qualified in that regard than Victim. I joined him at his bar in Luna to hear his views.
The Dead Horse Saloon is located in north-east Luna and serves a good selection of traditional food and beverages. Its rustic interior is somewhat at odds with the stone metropolis that surrounds it, but the wooden furnishings can be easily replaced when damaged in the all-to-frequent disturbances associated with the neighbourhood. The location means it’s not the sort of bar many folk would consider visiting and its clientele tends to be a hard-nosed bunch who are not afraid to swing a fist or throw a vas flam when called upon.
My host is waiting for me when I arrive. His appearance is…well, he’s a gargoyle, and I have too little experience with the denizens of Ter Mur to really differentiate one from another except to say that he has crimson horns and violet skin and wings. He could be sixteen or sixty for all I can tell, although I am reliably informed that he will shortly be celebrating his fiftieth birthday. He is wearing a robe of some strange cloth or pigment which seems to vary between a cream colour and a sort of sickly green depending on how the light catches it, and in his right hand he holds a Scrapper’s spellbook.
As he motions me to take the seat opposite him, Jordon the barkeep approaches to take my drinks order. To my discomfort, I am seated with my back to the entrance. But perhaps this is for the best, as I would no doubt be unable to maintain my focus if I had full view of every shady character passing by the doors. We spend the first couple of minutes with general small talk, but Victim does not seem to be very forthcoming, so as soon as my mug of ale arrives I elect to start the formal interview.
How long have you lived in Sosaria?
I came here in early 2000.
Where did you live before that?
How long have you been on Siege?
Since I first came here. I have travelled to many of the lands, but my first real homes were on Origin and Siege.
Do you live exclusively on Siege these days?
Mostly, yes, but I will occasionally travel back to Origin to check on old friends.
What particularly appeals to you about Siege as opposed to the other lands?
I think that besides not having the Trammel lifestyle anywhere, it’s the community that appeals to me most.
How would you sum up the difference between the Siege community and that elsewhere?
Siege seems more like a family to me.
Is there anything in the other lands that you wish Siege had?
I wish we had a Felucca Haven for the accelerated early skill gains.
What are the most dramatic changes you have noticed on Siege in your time here?
Other than the population decline, I would have to say how spread out things feels with all the additionally discovered landmasses.
Is there one memory that stands out for you in your time on Siege?
[ooc] Back many years ago, there was a time that, for one hour, you could get a gain every time you crossed a server line. It was funny to see the creative ways people came up with to squeeze as many gains into that hour.
What one event have you enjoyed more than any other?
I would say probably the destruction of Magincia.
What did you mostly do during that – artifacts or rubble?
I did artifacts but I got some rubble as well, although nothing fancy or special.
What do you think could be done to bring more people to Siege?
I really think, and this is my opinion only, that nothing else could, or should, be done. There have been many things changed over the years to try to draw folks in, and if too much more is changed or added, then we will lose Siege’s identity.
You are best known as a crafter. Do your abilities extend to all forms of crafting?
I have all crafting skills except poisoning, if you consider that a crafting skill.
Do you have a personal favourite craft?
I really enjoy crafting furniture and suits, actually.
Do you have any vendors at present?
I do, although they are woefully under-stocked.
Why is that?
Time. I recently got promoted in the spirit world and I am supervising thirteen employees now. Time is very scarce.
Where are your vendors located?
They are at my house in south Zento, plus the one here at the saloon.
What sort of items do you sell on them?
I usually try to sell a little of everything.
What are your best sellers?
Cannon, dyes, and spellbooks.
Do you gather your own resources for crafting, or do you buy them in?
I usually gather my own, but if I get large orders then I will buy in bulk.
Do you think it is possible to make good money running vendors, or is it mainly a labour of love?
You can get rich running a vendor, but I see it as a labour of love because I simply enjoy crafting things.
Do you think that crafters generally sell their goods for too low a price?
I think that if a person is happy with what they receive, then it is a good price.
What are the main problems, if any, that crafters face on Siege?
Staying ahead of the game. It can be hard keeping up with demand.
Is there anything that the gods could do improve crafting?
Not in my opinion.
Have you any ambition to own a New Magincia home, or one of the Luna/Zento vendor houses in a prime location?
I have a Zento home that is available from the guard zone, but I do not aspire to have the best, I just make the best of what I have.
What is your opinion of brokers?
I love them. I used to have two, one to buy/sell resources and the other to sell pets. I am down to the pet broker now due to lack of time and losing the spot.
Many find the broker fees too high. Is that your opinion, too?
Not in my opinion. The fees are a part of it, and if you have a good product to sell, you will make money.
Do you fish?
Yes, but I am not a legendary fisherman.
Do you do fishing quests?
Not any more. At one time though I was very dedicated to doing them.
Most people seem fairly critical of the fishing quests. What is your opinion?
I don’t have any real issues with the quests, except that they seem too grindy.
Do you hunt monsters?
I’m mostly down to hunting the new dungeons these days (Shame, Wrong, Covetous).
Is that because of time?
Yes, that is correct.
Did you used to enjoy thing like champion spawns and peerless?
I do enjoy those, yes.
Do you fight other people?
When I can.
What sort of style of fighting do you employ for this?
I really enjoy being a dexxer.
Care to elaborate?
Just a basic dexxer, nothing fancy. Gear is whatever I can find/make quickly. And my style is to have fun and try hard.
From the sound of it, you rarely wear top equipment for fighting people. Some say that you need to do so to be able to compete. What is your thinking on that?
I have competed naked. You need top gear to be the top-end competitor, but to have fun, naked with a butcher knife can work.
Are you a PK?
No, although I have killed a few “preoccupied” individuals.
Although you fight monsters and people, would if be fair to say crafting is your first love?
Do you collect anything here on Siege?
And who do you consider your best friends to be?
That’s a really tough question. I consider any friend as my best friend, but I spend most of my time with Liandra these days.
Why have you never joined a regular guild?
I was always a loner in the past, and Victim is a tribute to that past.
You seem to work closely with Arrr. Are you actually allied with them?
My associates, Suleiman and Xanzu, are members of Arrr.
Have they been members of any other well-known guilds in the past?
No, just my personal guild before Arrr.
So what brought them out of their shell to join a major guild?
Great bunch of people in Arrr. They are misunderstood sometimes, and a little rough around the edges, but they are great folks and we enjoy working with them.
Do they spend much time pirating at sea?
As much as they can.
As a crafter, do you consider the cost of making ship ammunition to be excessive?
Not really, you can technically farm everything you need, but the saltpetre is a bit on the slow side.
The noise of some explosion nearby interrupts my writing and I am alarmed to hear shouts and the thunder of hooves growing louder. There is the sound of metal clashing on metal just outside, but to my relief, the fight appears to pass by the tavern and the clamour gradually disappears into the distance. Turning back toward Victim, he appears to have a smirk on his face, but I cannot be sure. Regaining my composure, I continue with the interview.
What do you consider to be your primary residence here on Siege?
My Safe Haven keep.
Why your keep and not your castle?
I spent a lot of time getting it set up the way I want it, and I just like it better.
What is your opinion of castles?
Great homes if you have plenty of teleporter tiles.
And if you don’t?
Still a good home, just a little awkward to navigate.
Would you like to see Safe Haven become an officially recognised town?
Do you consider Safe Haven to be rather uninviting given all the keeps and castles there now?
No, there are smaller homes here and there, and I find it quite welcoming to people as we all try to be friendly and make anyone feel at home.
You and your associates ran for the governorships of Vesper and Minoc in both elections so far. Why those two cities?
Minoc was the first city I arrived at when I came to Sosaria in 2000. I was training mining, smithing and tinkering and there was an orc invasion at the time. It was a challenge to get that done and it made me have deep feelings for Minoc. When they started the governorship for the town, running Possum for governor there was a natural choice. As for Victim running in Vesper, Victim’s first home was in Vesper and it is the closest city to where I live now. Simply put, it is home.
Now that you have actually become a governor, how are you liking it?
I would like it better if there were more citizens to govern, but it gives me great pleasure to watch the minions working hard to keep the town clean, in between their duties as Luka’s groundskeepers of course.
Luka Melehan? Are you saying that you are using public employees to do private work for a friend?
No, I am using private minions for cheap (free) public labour.
You have not set a trade deal in Vesper. I assume you don’t have any financial support from the population for this?
I put in 400k of my money, and have only talked to one other citizen of Vesper (and that was via the bulletin board) and as of now, there is still only 400k in the funds. So I will assume there aren’t that many citizens, and the ones that there are do not want a trade deal.
Do you plan to run again next term?
In Vesper maybe, but there does not seem to be any citizens there as all of the ballot boxes I put up were never touched (well the first one got a single vote).
Do you have any long-term plans for Vesper?
I would like to see it grow and become a place that everyone enjoys going to.
Have you done anything to help repel the invasion when it has been in Vesper?
I have fought twice to repel the invaders, but was unable to finish them off, although Kelmo, Luka, and myself took care of a rogue mage that made it all the way to my keep in Safe haven.
Your campaign manifesto seemed somewhat disparaging of King Blackthorn. Do you have a general dislike of authority?
Yes, that and a great dislike of zombies!
What is it with you and zombies?
A zombie ate my childhood dog. *shakes fist* That and they are an unnatural creature that deserves to die!!
If you had more time to spare, what would you be doing more of?
Are there any goals that you have yet to achieve?
Not really, but maybe finally master Forensic Evaluation and Taste ID so I can feel like a real Sosarian.
The sudden sound of another altercation on the streets makes me lose the grip on my quill and it falls to the floor. Although I still have a few areas left to cover, including his gargoyle heritage and how he came to own the saloon, I decide that such matters can be left to a more courageous reporter. I extend thanks to my host and can’t help but notice him exchanging grins with Jordan as I hastily stuff my equipment into my satchel. Then, after nervously checking the roadway in either direction, I hurry off in the direction of the moongate.