James: “So, Drake. Can I call you, Drake?”
Drake: “Yeah, everyone does, sure.”
James: “My research revealed to me that you are a thief by trade? Is that correct?
Drake: “Yes. My father was a thief, he taught me at first and got me started. You might say it’s been the family business for some time. His father was a thief also, although I never met him.”
James: “So you pick pockets for a living?”
Drake: “Don’t be insulting! I could do that, but that would make me a petty thief. I strive to someday be a master thief.”
James: “Sorry, I’m just trying to understand what a thief does. I heard that thieves can hide. What does that entail?”
Drake: “Hiding is kind of a misnomer. What we really do is engage the shadows with magic. We wrap shadow around ourselves and become hard to see. The deeper we go into the shadow, the harder we are to see.”
James: “I see.”
Drake: “Not if I’m doing it right!” <Laughs>
James: “Okay, okay. So how do you keep from running into people who cannot see you when you are wrapped in shadow?”
Drake: “That’s where the magic really kicks in. The deeper into the shadow you go, the more ethereal you become. Go into the shadow deep enough, and people will pass right through you as if you were a ghost.”
James: “Scary. So how do you interact with others if you are that deep in the shadows?”
Drake: “Think of the shadows as having layers. As long as I am within several layers of someone else that is in the shadows, I can interact, physically with them. If I attack, or interact with someone who is not in the shadows, I have to come closer to the surface during the attack, but I do not have to exit the shadows. Under-trained rookies will often believe they have to fully exit the shadows during an attack; it’s not necessary.”
James: "Where do you go for training?"
Drake: "There is no one to train me now. I have surpassed my master."
James: "You said you wanted to be a master thief earlier. If you are more skilled than your master, doesn't that make you a master?"
Drake: "I can see why you would say that. I am still training though. I push myself to get better, to understand why some actions work and others do not."
James: “Do you train others?”
Drake: “Occasionally, but usually just for fun and just to hide.”
James: “What is your most devastating attack?”
Drake: “You’re getting into trade secrets here, I cannot answer that question, and again I only teach people how to hide.”
James: “Fair enough. There are stories floating around that you fought several assassins in Sinner Town recently. Is there any truth to the rumors?”
Drake: <Cringed> I can not confirm rumors. Whatever you heard is probably just a story. <Fidgets> Are we almost done?
James: “You look uncomfortable. Thank you for sitting with me today. I think I have enough for my article.”
Drake: “Article? What article. You’re not going to print this, are you? Please say you’re joking. This is exactly how rumors start!” <Hides and fades from sight>
James: "Drake? Where did you go?"
James: “Hi, Shirrah.”
Shirrah: “Hello, James.” <smiles politely>
James: “You chose to be a healer at an early age. What age did you start, and how did you convince a trainer to accept your dedication?”
Shirrah: <Laughs> “I was eleven, it’s not that young. Convincing a trainer was not difficult, I had saved my earnings and had the fee required to dedicate.”
James: “He charged you to dedicate?” <asks cautiously>
Shirrah: “Yes. I paid the dedication fee, and he explained the training regimen and fee structure. Why do you ask?”
James: “I’ve never heard of a trainer charging to dedicate.”
Shirrah: <Frowns>“I’ll talk to him next time I see him. I have a different trainer now, I surpassed my first trainer by the time I was eighteen and had to move on.”
James: “So, you are a fast learner?”
Shirrah: “No, I don’t think so. I have been fortunate enough to travel and use my skills freely. The more you use your skills, the more efficient you get with them. <Laughs> I remember the first healing spell I learned; mend. I had to use my fingers and say the words to the spell to make it work.”
James: “That sounds complex.”
Shirrah: “It is, and it isn’t. It is the normal progression. Spellcasters are taught to cast this way at first. As my skill increased, I realized I did not have to use my hands anymore, I just had to say the words. <getting excited> Lately, I’ve had new revelations; it might be possible to cast spells without chanting the words.”
James: “That would be something! Have you heard of others doing that?”
Shirrah: “No, but Raistlin and I have been practicing it with some success!”
James: “You shared your insight with Raistlin? He’s the mage in your group, right?”
Shirrah: “Yeah, he’s pretty powerful.”
James: “Gossip is that you were seen getting drunk at Nanna’s not too long ago. You were upset with Lonewolf about something?”
Shirrah: <Grins> “You have good sources! Yeah, I was saddened that he was showing Roselion his halberd.”
James: “Metaphorically speaking?” <Confused>
Shirrah: <Laughs> “And people call you slow. I’m over it now. She may be younger than I am, but I have experience.”
James: <Still confused> “People call me slow?”
Shirrah: <Laughs and ignores> “He’s an animal, no one woman will tame him.”
James: <Coughs> “I see. Changing the subject, what do you think of Drake?”
Shirrah: “He’s borderline insane, but a lot of fun to be around because of it.”
James: “What do you find insane about him?”
Shirrah: “Well, he’s not always insane. He’s actually normal most of the time, but when he gets mad, look out. You do not want to be on the receiving end of his rage.” <Shakes her head and shudders>
James: “Can you tell us about one of his rages?”
Shirrah: “I’d rather not. I’m still not sure how I feel about torture.”
James: “Drake tortured someone?”
Shirrah: <Expression darkens at the memory> “One time he had me heal a pair of prisoners we were questioning.”
James: “That would seem, counterproductive.”
Shirrah: “Not the way he does it. His method is very efficient. It’s not the pain, it’s the permanency of his torture makes the prisoner want to make him stop.”
James: “I don’t follow.”
Shirrah: <Blurts out quickly> “He removes a body part, and I heal the wound to make it stop bleeding.”
James: <Shocked> “That would get answers fast.”
Shirrah: <Shaking> “Can we talk about something else?”
James: <Coughs> “Sure. Um, your aid spell, what can you tell me about that?”
Shirrah: “That’s a great spell!<Smiles> “That spell makes the recipient smarter, stronger, tougher. It increases their general wellness and perception.”
James: “So, if I understand, when you cast it on a Paladin, they can hit harder and are tougher. When you cast it on a thief, they can hide better?”
Shirrah: “You have the right idea. If I cast it on a spellcaster, their spells last longer along with all the physical increases.”
James: “That is a very useful spell, indeed. Thank you for sitting with me, Shirrah. This has been very enlightening. Do you have any suggestions who I should interview next from Sin?”
Shirrah: <Grins evilly > “Relic. I’ve got some questions you can ask that deviant.”
As an author, I want my readers to enjoy the fantasy books I write for them. As a writer, I want recognition for my work. Villainy is available to read for free online, and if you like it, I will have succeeded in my first goal. If you take a moment to tell me you like it, via email or my blog, we will have accomplished my second goal.
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