Transcript of an interview with Conclave superfan Emily Wink
In his coverage of the 57th Conclave of Bards, journalist Logen Vonwell stumbled upon Conclave superfan Emily Wink, who kindly agreed to an interview.
Logen Vonwell: Thank you for agreeing to sit down with me, Miss Wink.
Emily Wink: “Miss Wink”? That’s too fancy. You can just call me Emily.
LV: Emily, sure. Would you call yourself a “superfan”?
EW: Maybe? I don’t know. I’m just happy to be here.
LV: As you know, this year’s Conclave has been filled with tales—
EW: I know! I’ve listened to every single one. They’ve been so inspirational.
LV: The word I’m thinking of is “adventurous.” What brought you here?
EW: I grew up a small-village girl from the Sindar Mountains, and followed my mom here to help her sell her spices. You can make big bucks from Salavaster spices these days. Rich out-of-towners are willing to pay almost anything if you claim it’s exotic enough.
LV: A truly afflating vocation. And your interest in the Conclave?
EW: I’ve always loved it! Almost every night as a kid I dreamed of one day being up there sharing my own stories with the world.
The interviewer scoffs, but covers it up with a cough.
LV: I’ve critiqued Conclaves a long time, little lady. Since even before Rorei banned them in 731 AE. I’ve heard many starry-eyed lads and lasses tell me the same. What makes you think you can make it when they haven’t?
EW: Because when I have a dream, I go for it. My parents raised me to work hard for what I want. No one in my family is a bard, but they gave me the confidence to try. Honestly, now that I’m here, I can’t believe it. I’ve actually just returned from my journey to find my perfect story and turn my dreams into a reality.
LV: What do you mean “find it”?
EW: The thing they don’t tell you about bards is you can’t just say anything on that rostrum. Your stories are a reflection of yourself. What do you want people to feel? To learn? I couldn’t just tell any old story; I had to find my own.
LV: That’s insightful, albeit optimistic—
EW: It all began when I woke up that first morning, ready to travel down the Boern River with my parents–
LV: Maybe just tell us about your favorite part of your trip.
EW: Easy. The Cape of False Promise.
LV: How promising…
EW: I left no rock unturned across the Distant Reaches and I was so exhausted. In fact, when I finally got to the Cape, it was so rainy and gray I couldn’t see the town that would eventually save me.
LV: Yet another dreamer finds her dreams dashed. A tale as old as—
EW: Honestly, I wanted to go home. It all felt too much, you know? I had traveled the world in search of something very special, and suddenly that didn’t seem possible anymore. What else could I do except drown my sorrows in greasy tavern food?
LV: And yet you stayed afloat. Pray tell.
EW: It was thanks to a miracle and some curly fries. I tucked myself away in a dim corner of The Lucky Mug — they serve everything in a mug — ready to eat my weight in fries and beer,only to find a crumpled old napkin covered in the tiniest ink scribbles. It took me all night to make them out.
LV: What did it say?
Emily shrugs and mimes zipping together her lips.
EW: The final piece of my story. But I do have my travelogue with me. I documented every detail of each stop on my journey—
LV: That’s all the time we have. Thank you for joining me today, Miss Wink. It’s sure been… enlightening.
EW: Wait! Can I say a quick thank you?
LV: I suppose.
EW: While it was a long journey to get here, I truly could not have done it without the help of my friends and family. To my parents: Thank you for always believing in me. From helping me pack my bags to literally pushing the Scabby Dagger into the lake in which I started my journey, your love and support has always been unconditional. To Freddy: My tentacled friend, my companion! Thank you for being by my side during my journey. You were there through the ups and downs as my biggest cheerleader.
LV: Miss Wink, I really have to go.
EW: Wait, wait, wait, one last one! To the napkin in the tavern: You are my lucky charm! When things were taking a negative turn, you were the missing piece to complete my journey. Thank you for being there at the right time. Okay, I think that’s it. Thank you so much for having me. Wanna go get dyfwrych fries?
Logen Vonwelldeclined the fries. If you would like to learn more about Emily’s journey, you can find a copy of her travelogue here.