Yacks: It’s been compared to the greatest bromances of all time: Sam and Frodo, Jay and Silent Bob. Professor X and Magneto, Han and Lando, and perhaps most accurately... JD and Turk. The long and strange relationship that has been the Benevolent/Shadow one, has been something few can understand, and even fewer could figure out… When did you two realize you were so bromantically attached to one another?
Shadow: Unlike some bromances, I’m not sure ours was love at first sight. I had just had my heart broken when SwipeR started becoming less active (and eventually left me). Ben filled that gaping hole (no, not that one). Ben joined the DB because a friend (CG!) got him involved. We played JO and hung out on IRC and stuff, but I don’t think things kicked off for us until my second term as Quaestor, when I hired Ben as my Aedile. Ben was good at the things I wasn’t good at, and we found we complimented each others’ leadership styles. When I moved up to Proconsul, Ben took over as Quaestor. Then, he joined me as Clan Summit when I became Consul. We worked together for a long time.
We also bonded over our deep love of JO Bryars and CTF. I knew he was the one when he was able to take my insane ramblings about stuff I wanted for the Dinaari/Taldryan websites and understand them and make them work. Our relationship was cemented by then, but we still had some great highlights. Years and years later, when the DB first got its wiki, Ben and I joined forces to take down the brutal wiki administration (and won), now he runs the thing and I work on staff. He’s also been BTL of the Old Folks’ Home for… years. Recently, I was made Battle Team Sergeant (whatever that is), so we’re technically working together once again.
Benevolent: Well that’s pretty extensive. It even includes things that I had forgotten (I was recruited by an actual human being? Gross). I’m not allowed to just say “Ditto”, am I?
B: Well alright. I’ll elaborate on the JO thing then. Sick of JO mods that changed the saber damage and other such weirdness, a grand plan was hatched to make our own. I had a copy of Visual Studio from school, Shad had ideas and plans...and an internet connection “close” enough that if I hosted the server on my shitty old computer we could still play without too much lag. Well, you know what they say about best laid plans. Instead of doing real work, we’d test one little thing then have a “first to 50” bryars match. You people who thought a regular 5 kill match was draining haven’t seen anything. So, at the end of the day, the mod changed like 1 or 2 small things because we never got to the other plans. Too many bryar matches.
S: That, by the way, is how the DB Mod for the JO server came to life. And it made JOing awesome. Which also led to the creation of the BRYAR BOWL!
B: I’m done typing now.
S: Well done, Ben
Y: OK, thats enough creepy talk. Now, onto the hard hitting questions… namely, how much do you love writing fiction in the DB? (Or in Ben’s case, how much do you love Shad bugging you to write fiction in the DB?)
B: I could hear the rain outside splashing against the thin pane of glass keeping the freezing cold of outside from interfering with the only moderate cold of my smoky office. Bills were piling up again, so that amounted to another long night burning the midnight oil. Not too much, mind you… not with the price of oil being what it was these days. I wouldn’t be in this position if I could get my head on straight with the dames, of course. Little red dress, a frightened look, and I’d be all over those goons after her. Of course, most of the time it seemed that, in the end, the goons were the cops and she was just a no good cat burglar who managed to steal my heart (as well as the 2500-carat diamond from the museum down the street).
As I wrote out my witness statement, I briefly pondered why I bothered doing this at all. The paperwork is crushing, the pay is mediocre at best, and you can only be beaten around the head so many times by ape-like goons before something inside breaks and you’re out of the game permanently—and workers’ compensation didn’t answer to people in my line of work. Maybe it was the “helping your fellow man” that did it for me. Maybe it was for the dames, and the hope of finding that special one. The idea that, despite the pain and anguish it put me through, time and time again, somebody out there was made better through my actions.
Still fucking hate doing it.
S: I have more of a love/hate thing going on with fiction. It can be a real pain to get started… and I tend to procrastinate and bitch on IRC until the deadline is minutes away. I also force random people to provide links to porn for incentive... I think my last Crusade fiction was submitted 2 minutes before deadline as I rushed to get it proofread. But it is fun to write stuff… it’s just a shame I can’t seem to not write insanely long fictions anymore. If anything, the stories are just getting longer, and Howie calls me a Krath. (PS: Ben fiction is amazing. Seriously, everyone needs to read his pulpy detective stories)
Y: Apparently, Shadow is now dead, character wise, and there’s this weird dude named Aidan Kincaid where he used to be. Shadow, what’s that all about, and Ben, how do you feel about Shadow being not-Shad anymore?
S: That answer is two-fold. First of all, Shadow was getting boring to write. He had a lot of allies, a lot of powers, and because he was designed based on a 12-year DB history, he was basically able to do anything and everything. I wanted a character with more specific characteristics, and one that was more of an outsider in the DB.
The second part would be that the name “Shadow” is not a name… I signed up as Shadow 12+ years ago when I just interested in playing Jedi Knight. Didn’t give much forethought to that one, so when I became more fiction-focused than gaming, I wanted to have a “real” character name. The rest of the story is summarized in the Shadow Taldrya biography on the wiki.
B: Role playing breaks my head. Stop it.
Y: Standardized Question time... What is it about the DB that keeps you coming back and being awesome, time after time?
B: The damnable IRC. Honestly, if that thing broke (knock on wood), I probably would’ve given up in like a week.
S: Probably the friendly and competent leadership… *cough*. Mostly it’s because I’ve been friends with some of these people for over a decade and can’t seem to break this co-dependent relationship. It’s both abusive and sexual. The being awesome part? Well, said special relationships involve a lot of guilt and pestering come vendetta time and that results in painful amounts of activity. (Until I inevitably bail because of general DB assholery)
Y: Any notable achievements of awesome in the DB you want to talk about? Any miserable failures? Let us know!
B: Who has two thumbs and a golden bryar on his dossier? This guy. (S: damn you!) Failures? Well...I’ve been in one leadership role after another in this crazy place, but after all these years I’ve never once run a successful competition. Participated? Yes. Helped organize and judge? Totally. Considered running fake competitions for embezzling awards out of the MAA office? No comment. But actually run one? Never.
S: Achievements? OFH wiki page! Aside from that, I don’t know. Lot’s of stuff were highlights over the years. Vendettas won and loss, positions and new ideas to improve things. Too much to really go into in this interview. As for miserable failures, I can instantly recall one: becoming Bryar Bitch in BB 3 against Sharad Hett. Big disappointment.
Y: Jac Cotelin: Great Grand Master, or Greatest Grand Master?
B: Big Poppa Jac once found a scooter in the alley, but he knew the disco party was on the other side of the tracks. Quickly deciding to go, he rode that scooter hard, but there was a puddle on the road. The puddle reflected his radiant smile, and dazzled the crowd better than any disco ball.
What I’m getting at here is that I don’t recall any other GM coming up with something like the JRDC. Need I say more?
S: Hard to say. I’ve been here under a lot of amazing GMs. Zorran… Chi-Long… Firefox… well, there’s a lot of greatness in that talent pool. But, I’d have to say that to me, personally, Jac made for the greatest Consul, more than the greatest GM. He was CON of Taldryan when I joined and gave me my first shot at leadership as Quaestor of Dinaari. He also had some hilarious stories to tell over IRC when we were hanging out at 3am. Buffalo Hunter! (As GM, he tended to cave a lot to horrible idiots and their even horrible-er ideas, which we still make him regret to this day)
Y: There’s apparently a story behind the infamous Shad “table”, are you willing to share?
S: Well. The thing is, things didn’t start with the table. I can’t recall how it started, but old, old IRC logs prove the bending began in November 03. My first instrument of bendage was actually a chair. It served me well for months until… Ben?
B: I thought the chair-bending was something special we both shared, but Shad’s… err… “love” cannot be controlled. In a fit of rage, I chopped it down into a pile of toothpicks.
S: Shortly after that terrible event, Ben presented me with a new bending tool—a special, indestructible (and stain-proof) table. It’s been with me ever since.
B: I mostly got over the whole jealousy thing. One day though, when he least expects it, I’ll break his heart.
S: He already has/is going to break my heart. But I’ll be there… when he least expects it… Hitting on hot (and drunk) bridesmaids.
B: What better topping goes with a table-bending? I bet you can’t name one. In fact, someone should run a competition on that topic.
S: Scruffy is my hero.
Y: In honour of the season, you may now share whatever seasons greetings for Taldryan that you wish.
B: I’m going to have one Xmas light for each of you. Now, don’t get too excited… I love the shiny lights and would be doing this anyway, but enjoy the brief warmth only a tiny LED on a fake tree can give.
S: Bah Humbug?
I have several
Gonna suggest Ziggy, if he hasn't already been done. Should be an... amusing interview.
I re-nominate Ben! Also, you should have a list of people who have been interviewed in the past