Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Animal Companion Competition: Malcom Mallard Interview

 Best in Show Interview

This is Malcom Mallard: the Best in Show Animal Companion at this year’s Animal Companion Competition! Get to know this fabulous waterfowl a little better this week as we dive into his background and his goals for the future. 

  1. How did you meet your human companion Bogen?

How we met was a rather unusual affair. These two fellows were wandering around the woods. They didn't look like hunters, so I just waddled past, at which point they called out to me. They said they were looking for interesting animals to pair with adventurers. I was very skeptical of this at first as ducks are hunted animals, and said no thank you and started to walk away. And normally, humanoids just hear a quack and nothing more, but they seemed to understand. After a while of talking, they convinced me that adopting an adventurer would not be a complete waste of time, so I followed along. At which point, the Realm's Outfitters Shop hosted me and brought me around to meet adventurers. At one event, about a year and a half ago, this person named Cressida was introducing me to adventurers at one of these gatherings, and she introduced me to Bogen. I could see that this one was a particularly hopeless case that needed some care, so I agreed to adopt him. Bogen then paid off my debt to Realm's Outfitters (bread and lodging aren't free) and I went off with him. I have been his animal companion ever since.

  1. What is your best personal questing story?

Once Bogen and I were on a scouting mission to find a missing rank and file militia group, and instead of finding what ended up being a pair of trolls, they found us first. Or rather, They found Bogen. They didn't notice me in his pouch. I keep a vigilant watch on the situation as they killed Bogen and dragged him to their cave. I wasn’t overly concerned because at the time I knew he had regeneration, and when he was better, I subtly informed him of the situation and he then played dead. Trolls are not renowned for their intelligence, and these fit that bill, so our ruse worked. And when they dumped Bogen in a pile of bodies and set out to look for more people to kill, Bogen quietly got up and was able to dispatch the Trolls before either could raise the other. 

It turns out they were gathering people for a ransom, but Bogen was able to get everyone back to safety. 

I fear to think of what would have happened to him if I wasn't there. If I didn't prevent him from immediately berserking upon waking up, he would have most likely died again, which depending on the time frame of the ransom and rescue, could have easily left him to his true death.

  1. What do you like best about adventuring?

Honestly, I enjoy watching the events that later become stories firsthand. Seeing the defeat of the OOP1 (or the wretched conga line as Bogen calls it) and the live tournaments Bogen has gone to are very fun and much better than hearing about it afterward.

  1. Do you have any personal adventuring goals?

I want one day, there to be a key in a high-up hole too small for the humanoids to reach. Because I can fly and am small so therefore I could get it. Being an integral part of a quest would be quite a mark of prestige. Imagine all the bread I could get.

  1. What are some of your favorite things? (Food? Color? Bardic Style? Etc.)

For food, it is definitely a good Hawaiian bread with a honey butter spread. I am partial to the color blue, but as Bogen is a green person, Anything in the grue color range suffices. Other than that, I appreciate clever stories especially when they include good wordplay.

  1. What is something (or things) you have always wanted to do or try?

I would like to accompany Bogen on a mountain climb. As I am smaller than some other ducks, I cannot reach the same altitude as them, but it would be good fun to get up that high and glide around.

  1. Why did you enter the Animal Companion Competition?

Bogen was doing farm work in the Chimerion Militia Farming Commune and I frankly was bored. This did turn out to be great fun.

  1. What have you learned about yourself and Bogen while competing? 

I learned that while I prefer not to get dirty in combat and fighting, I do enjoy the adrenaline of these sorts of things. I learned that Bogen while having a relatively small skill set focused on survival and combat, along with some academia, but has friends that can do all sorts of things, which is very useful. His stitching is functional but awful. But he was able to work with Ypnn to get something nice.

  1. What advice do you have for other animal companions who are looking to follow in your footsteps?

Don't let your humanoid be an absolute master, instead work as partners. There are things Bogen is good at like combat and puzzles. And there are things I am good at like having a healthy amount of common sense and situational awareness. If I didn't shut him down occasionally, we both would be worse for wear.

  1.   Is there anything else you would like to say while you have the chance?

Always use the oxford comma when writing in the common tongue, Cake is too dense to be bread but is still tasty, and rolls should be soft, not hard. Thank you to all who cheered me on, and to all of my competitors, you were amazing, and truly any of us could have won.