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personal - GemStone IV interview with Balantine

Interview with Balantine Farhorizon

Interview held on Day of the Huntress, day 22 of the month Lormesta in the year 5110


1: What is your name (required) and training level (not essential)

Lord Balantine Farhorizon the Master Blacksmith
- Citizen of Wehnimer's Landing
- Member of the House of the Rising Phoenix
- Lord Chamberlain of House Daingneach Onoir
- Member of The Order of the Silver Gryphon
- Master in the Order of Voln
- Master-At-Arms of the Warrior Guild
- Follower of Lady Lorminstra

but you can just call me Balantine!
My training is about equal to an Illoke elder.

2: How long have you wandered the lands?

A very long time. One of my earliest memories was of Spike the WarRat, shortly before he was buried in the grasslands south of the Landing. His grave is nae longer there, but used to be in the rolton area where the wildflowers grow. Elanthia was quite a bit smaller in those times, and I have many tales of my adventures over the years...if you meet me in the lands, ask me to relate some of my tales. I have many.

3: What hunting style do you opt for?

Hmmmm, good question. I do not specialize in any one style to keep my foes from predicting how to defeat me. I train in all weapon types, and many different combat techniques. I often hunt alone, especially in dangerous areas but I prefer to hunt in the company of others in groups as well. As for magics, I nae rely on them much, although I do cast a few magics from scrolls and use some magic items, and I also welcome any magics others offer to provide aid to me.

4: What percentage of your time do you spend hunting? How do you spend your other time?.

I am almost always available for a good hunt, but mostly aid others in their hunts, or guild tasks. I do not hunt as much anymore as in the past, my duties have increased in several organizations and so I spend a good deal of time mentoring others or just using my skills to assist others like helping with traps and locks or foraging herbs. I also spend quite a bit of time in the workshop forging blades and other weapons. Oh! And I always appreciate a good tale, and a strong beverage as well, so look for me at the Inns and pubs throughout the lands also.

5: What is and/or was your most enjoyable hunting area and why?

I have hunted in so many areas in the lands through the years, how can I choose? I always prefer swarms of creatures to test my skills, so when I was very young I hunted the fire caves in the Lyserian Hills. I have spent much time hunting undead in the Graveyard, in Castle Anwyn, in Castle Varunar, and in Castle Darkstone. I have also travelled to distant lands, and hunted creatures of all kinds, so I suppose there is nae much in the lands that I haven't faced in combat more than once. I have also participated in both Griffin War campaigns as well as many other campaigns, and lend my skills to defend the weak and rescue the fallen when invasions occur as I am able.

6: What do you enjoy most about your time in the lands?

Variety. There are so many things to do, combat challenging foes, work on guild tasks, spend time with the bards in the taverns exchanging tales and a good brew, working on new skills like crafting blades, teaching the young about Honor and Chivalry, or sitting around the fishing hole with my close friends. All these things keep me coming back, and seeking new adventures to test myself.

7: Is there anyone within the lands that you admire? (Any profession) Who and why?

Easy... Lady Raindove Winterrlyn, which is why I married she is now Lady Raindove Farhorizon! Being a warrior, I have always been partial to healers, and she is the kindest, fairest, and good-hearted person I have met in all of my travels, of any profession. Her beauty shines like a blue diamond, inside and out. And I have known a great deal of admirable folk in my long adventures in the lands. But if ye wish to learn the definition of Honor, ye have only to make her acquaintance.

8: What has been your best moment in the lands so far?

Wooing and winning Raindove to be my bride was an impossible quest, so my best moment by far was our wedding. The ceremony was quite memorable, and having all our close friends there to celebrate with us I shall always cherish.

9: What has been your worst moment in the lands so far?

I really have nae had too many bad times, but I suppose the worst would have been when I lost an 8x enchanted mithril longsword which was given to me as a gift. A combination of poor weather together with virulent disease followed by death prevented me from recovering it after having it fall from my hands to the ground. I returned to the area immediately after I was raised, but it was nowhere to be found. A search of local pawnshops and the amulet thought net did not reveal its fate either, so I have nae idea what happened to it. I have lost several other irreplacable items over the years as well, but none as valuable.

10: What advice would you give to a new warrior?

Patience and persistence. Developing yer skills is a very long road, but if ye are patient and persist in your goals, ye will see them through. Train well with yer armor and chosen weapon, doubling or tripling yer lessons with the trainer in these areas, especially when young. Seek training in other skills also which will aid yer goals, such as First aid, Dodging, combat maneuvers, multi-opponent, etc. As a warrior, do not waste valuable training time on learning spells or lore, ye can rely on others devoted to these specialties to aid ye. Some training in arcane symbols or magic item use may come in handy later, but knowledge of these are luxuries.

A shield is also quite useful if ye plan to hunt alone often, especially when young. But if ye choose a polearm or two-handed weapon, then just train more in armor or dodging instead. Seek out others in the lands, for a variety of skills in a group is much more potent than an individual alone. Learn from more experienced folk as well, for there is much knowledge in the lands that is not easily discovered, and can aid ye greatly. Learn herb lore for when healers are nae to be found.

11: If you had to do it all again, knowing what you now know, would you do anything differently?

Not really. Perhaps if I again faced Lord Morvule Thinevael, high Priest of Luukos, I would not parley giving him the opportunity to gate in his minions and escape. It was that green-scaled slit-eyed coward that blinded Ulstram, Prophet of Lorminstra and caused so much destruction both in Wehnimer's Landing and in Solhaven during the Griffin Wars.

12: Is there anything you want to add to this interview?

I wish to thank thee for the opportunity to share some of my memories of adventures, and I invite ye and all yer friends to join me at the Onoir fortress on the western reaches of the Coastal Cliffs to share more tales of adventures over a good song and stiff drink.

(Balantine gently removes a well-used mandolin from his backpack and begins to strum a soft tune while reciting rather than singing the lyrics)

    musical notes

"I seek to be a humble knight who turned from darkness to the light;
Pledged heart and blade to what is right with all my strength and skill and might;

I've messengered, I've worked the mine, in many Inns I've drank the wine;
And trained in many skills so fine, warcats I've skinned more lives than nine;

I'll pick or bash your box or trunk, I'll free the cursed then see the monk;
Ale and potions have I drunk, come morn in barracks will I bunk;

In battle will I meet my fate, despite the fact my armor's plate;
I'm bit and thumped and clawed in hate, then healed by empaths at the gate;

Until the day our work shall end, and nae more wounds exist to tend;
There be nae broken hearts to mend, as long as I can call ye friend."

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