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E-Samurai Interview: Talisin
[06/07/2005] [The Interviewer]

What is your full Amtgard name?

Talisin Silverwolf-Darkjester.

What's the "Silverwolf" mean and where did that come from?

It was actually an accident. I went through something like four name changes and couldn't ever make up my mind. An ex got frustrated and pulled "Silverhawk" out of the air and informed me that that would be my name and was the end of it. Except I then found out that Auromax (who was my knight at the time) had tacked the same thing onto his name, and that would've been silly. Or weird and stalker-like, depending on your point of view. So it mutated into Silverwolf and turned into a belted line thing- we dubbed Kuno "Silverheart" and Lief "Silverpenis". For some strange reason, Lief was the only one who didn't start using his.

Any titles?

Grand Duchess. And a few others before that, but I think this weird practice of tacking every title you've ever gotten onto your name is beyond silly. Knight of the Flame, and yeah, I prefer Sir because to me, Dame sounds like some little old gray-haired grandmother with a huge purse.

What's your fondest Amtgard memory?

Setting Killraven up at Rakis years ago. If you weren't there, it really can't be explained. We double-crossed that poor guy eight different ways and embarrassed him in front of the entire court. Forest turned in a brilliant performance and brought the house down. It was a thing of beauty.

Why does Cedric need to be kicked in the shin?

I don't know what it is about him that makes me want to pick on him so much. Maybe it's because he's so darn cute. Cedric's like a fluffy bunny that's so adorable that you can barely resist the urge to do mean things to it. I just can't help myself.

What does being a member of the Phoenix Guard mean to you?

Short version would be that I've gone through more companies - as both a member and a pledge - than most people have pairs of socks. I spent a long time trying to figure out whether I wanted one, what I wanted if I did want it, etc. etc. What it came down to was where I felt at home.

Are there too many knights in Amtgard?

Yes, and no. Numbers-wise, I don't think there are too many, but too many of them are the wrong people. It seems like more knightings are by the numbers these days. If so-and-so has to sit and be happy with his or her masterhood for ten years before getting their belt, so be it if it takes that long for them to rise to that level. The real problem is that few people seem to agree on what that level should be. We need to get away from the "I have this, now I get this" entitlement attitude. Masterhood and Knighthood are not the same thing, but the difference is intangible and that makes it a hard battle for those who feel standards are slipping.

What are the three most important things a knight should be, or ideals a knight should strive for?

Leadership, effort, and ability. I want to see ongoing effort. That doesn't mean a person can't take breaks, but there is nothing I hate more than seeing someone get their masterhood and then just stop - except maybe seeing someone get a belt and then stop. I want to see that people rely on that person to pitch in when things get crazy. Leadership encompasses a ton of positive things I like to see - setting an example, lending advice or a hand when needed, being the first person to volunteer instead of having to be coerced into helping. Ability is a given - if you don't have stick, or suck as an artisan, or run your group into the ground every time you hold office, obviously you have no business being held up as an example to others.

What in your opinion is Amtgard's single greatest purpose?

I think its single greatest purpose is that its single greatest purpose can be whatever you want it to be. If you want a weekend hobby, a life-consuming obsession, a place to swing stick or a place to just hang out and socialize, it will be that for you.

What changes do you expect will happen in Amtgard within the next three years?

I think we'll see another kingdom, possibly two, in the next three to five years. I think there will be a new level of kingdom interaction with events like SKBC really getting big and hopefully Clan making a comeback. I think more people who have been very focused on their own groups will start looking outside of their borders for competition.

What is the greatest thing about living in the Iron Mountains?

Not having to drive a long way to get to Rakis. Our stick doesn't suck. When we travel to Texas to fight, we only have to breathe once every ten minutes. We have Lief. We're also just way cooler than everyone else. What's not to like?

What's one thing you would change about the Iron Mountains?

The floating crown. It's not like it's a secret - everyone here knows I hate it. It's what the Iron Mountains at large wanted, and I'm resigned to it for as long as that is true, but I think it hasn't done anything positive that couldn't have been done as a centralized kingdom. The only real effect it has had was to divide the subgroups and completely fracture the image of the Iron Mountains as a whole kingdom. It may work great in other groups, but I don't think that our core membership is large or widespread enough to warrant it. But enough people seem happy with it that I'm trying to stay off that soapbox. Mostly.

If you could visit three other kingdoms in Amtgard where would you go and why?

I'd start with the Celestial Kingdom and Emerald Hills, just 'cause there are cool people down there I hardly ever get to see. After that, I'd say Mystic Seas / VSR / Bloody-whatever they are. I'd like to go up there just to absorb and observe for a while.

What was your gateway into Amtgard?

I was dragged to a Burning Lands court when I was 16 by an ex who shall remain nameless (because I'll get laughed at). It really wasn't my thing at that point, I went because my friends sometimes went. When I moved to Denver a few years later, we ran across one of Rift's posters in a gaming store. After about three months of swearing that I was NOT getting involved in that crap again, I sort of fell into it head first.

Anything you want to say to the readers of e-Samurai?

Come to Rakis! This year we plan on tons of fun, and lots more oxygen!

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