Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Interview with Astreya, Rogue Ops

CC:  How did you come up with the name Rogue Ops? Is the guild full of a bunch of Rogues? I don’t need to be worried about my wallet now, do I? <nervous chuckle> I mean to say… I’ve heard of many criminal organizations in Stormreach, but none have been so bold as to call themselves Rogues in public. 

Astreya: Rest at ease, my friend. If your coin purse were in any danger, it would have left the premises by now. <knowing wink>

While “rogue” is often conflated with “thief” these days, Rogue Ops is no thieves’ guild. The name is born of loyalty and friendship – a sort of joint venture between an old friend and I that transcends exploits within Stormreach. While it may seem bold to announce ourselves as rogues, we see it as honest and courageous.

You’ll find no such candor among the Coin Lords as they go about picking an honest man’s pocket. “Who is the more dastardly and roguish?” I say. It is the announcing that first belies the true nature of our chosen title. To wit: we are not roguish in the sense of operating outside the law, but in that we operate outside of society’s norms and expectations. We abide by our own rules, not those thrust upon us. We strive to be resourceful, adaptable, and self-sufficient. When the game – be it life, adventuring, business – turns against us, we change the game.

While greed runs rampant among us adventurers (nothing more than kindly titled mercenaries, I say), Rogue Ops shares freely but in secret – a bit of timely and vital information here, a little coin or some desperately needed magic there – all in the midst of a cutthroat profession full of assassins and swords-for-hire. We prize loyalty in a place where there is none, kindness where it is seldom seen, and we operate with deadly precision and efficiency. I trust that answer is sufficient?

CC: So, while others employ their true greedy  intentions behind the guise of good will, you employ your good will behind a hidden, if not slightly self serving face. I find that truely amazing, and commend you on your efforts. It is through the effort of those who are truly honest about what, and who they are, that goodwill emerges. If you would be so kind as to share a few of your more notable exploits in Stormreach; perhaps something that you are most proud of?

Astreya: With some slight trepidation, I will indeed indulge your curiosity. While we prefer to go about our work behind the scenes, sometimes it becomes necessary to sound the call in order to encourage others that strive for what is right and good.

Easily my proudest moment since arriving in Stormreach was being called "the nicest elite adventurer" a fellow had ever met. While feats of skill and ingenuity are gratifying, subtle feats of charity and facilitation are far more so. Whether it be organizing training expeditions into the dark corners of the Subterrane that lurks beneath the very streets of the Marketplace, escorting less experienced explorers through ogre-infested mines deep in the Restless Isles to seek the life-giving magic of the ancient wildmen, or simply passing along a bit of magic to those just arriving in Stormreach Harbor for the first time, cultivating the ranks of intrepid adventurers in Xen'drik and Cormyr is its own reward.

While villains should rightly tremble before my Rogues' spells and blades, it is our unseen exploits that strike true terror in their hearts. While we few may be snuffed out, the countless flames of opposition we have lit will swell to a roaring conflagration and consume any who threaten Eberron or Faerun.

CC: With all the strife and impending doom going on in the world today, what role do you see Rogue Ops playing? Do you see your guild as playing the part of savior of the world, and all the notoriety that involves, or doing your work behind the scenes? Or, perhaps you see yourselves as picking up the pieces once all has played out…

Astreya: I suppose I see us much like Faerun's Harpers that I have worked with so often. We will go about our work quietly, covertly, and constantly. While the tide of evil will never be stemmed completely, we will undermine it where we can while buttressing the forces of good.

CC: What advice would you give to those who might want to become affiliated with your organization, and what types of people do you think might fit best into your group of Rogues?

Astreya: Anyone who is willing to see the potential in all adventurers, who is willing to lend a helping hand to those that need it, and who can always find a way to enjoy Stormreach on their own terms is welcome to contact me via Orien Post or sending spell. While our ranks have been thinned of late, what with so many explorers returning to Khorvaire or seeking adventure elsewhere, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that we are committed not only to helping others but are fiercely loyal to each other. I keep our airship, the Memory of Cyre, well stocked with supplies, services, and information and am always available to fellow Rogues in need of advice or assistance.

Over the years - some especially lean - I've also found staunch allies in the Order of the Emerald Claw, Noble by Design, and Married With Children - groups that tend to share our ideals and deserve our thanks.

CC: I can’t tell you how much I’ve enjoyed our conversation. I must admit, with the name of your Guild, I had some preconceived notions of what you were all about. I am extremely happy to completely wrong, and I wish you continued luck in your endeavors. You and your group are doing great work, and although overall, not noticed by “many”, it is usually those “many” who benefit the most. 

Note: I must admit that a name, is sometimes… just a name. Astreya and his crew are doing some amazing work, some of which could not be shared during the interview, but some pretty scarey covert stuff. My hat will always come off when I meet a member of Rogue Ops, as they are truly deserving of any respect that can be conceived. With the rift opening, there have been tales of the covert operatives in Coromar called The Harpers, well my friends, we have our own group of Harpers, but they are called Rogue Ops. If you see them in Stormreach, be sure to give them a nod in thanks for all they do.