Sozzals
Hi everyone, today I’m joined by the one and only Hertog, our glorious tree druid from Excalibur era of Pyran. Thanks for making the time to talk to me.

Hertog
Heya Sozz, I kinda feel like you should drag a whole lot of other remarkable people in for interviews before me
But I feel honored, haha ^_^

Sozzals
Everyone is remarkable! So for the very few in Pyran that don’t know you, tell us a bit about yourself – where you’re from, where you live now and who you live with (humans and furries).

Hertog
Ahw thanks! Let’s see… I am one of the (many) Dutch representatives in Pyran, living in Rotterdam with Michaka, born in the year 1985 and proud caretaker of 4 ferrets and 2 kitties ^_^

I find it always so hard to introduce myself. There is so much that I want to tell and yet so little that I think is suitable to use in the first ‘hello’

Sozzals
That’s ok, my questions will hopefully help people get to know you.
What do you remember about your Pyran initiation? How did you find us and what was your interview like?

Hertog
I got dragged into Pyran by our bear Bohan. We met via a mutual friend, Anaxagoras, on the VanillaGaming server and were raiding MC, UBRS, Onyxia and BWL several times a week. Bohan was called Atrus back then, I was playing as Moonspell. At one point the guild that we were in had some social issues and after that we didn’t really feel like continueing on the server. So, Bohan and Anaxagoras pitched Excalibur to me, I installed it and we started leveling with the three of us. When hitting 58, Bohan was in Hellsfire instances being epic, and ended up with some of the Pyraneers 

He and Anax (on Excalibur called Arboria) applied and told me to do so as well. Never ever in my life had I filled in a form to join a guild but hey, it worked and here I still am

Pyran Challenge Champions

Sozzals
Nice, glad we bumped into each other!!
Let’s go through your hobbies – because, I know you have quite a few…. :D. Tell us your top 5… not in any particular order.

Hertog
LARP is the biggest for me. Making music is also a large hobby in my life, eventhough the interest in what instruments shifts (and sometimes even singing )

I love bouldering, running, hiking, camping, travelling as a whole, modelling…

Obviously gaming

I wouldn’t call having pets a hobby, more a sadomasochistic trait

Sozzals
Woah ok let’s start off with the LARP. Would you mind sharing a couple of pics from events you’ve attended? What kind of characters do you normally play?

Hertog
Yes, I gladly will Timeline time!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sozzals
These are incredible, and all so incredibly different… I guess you don’t have a usual character “type”?  Is larping something you do as part of a group of friends?
How did you get involved in it? What’s been your favourite character so far?

Hertog
Mostly, yes. I love playing together with others and making concepts work for a lot of people. Creating play for others is what I love to do best.

Sozzals
You enjoy being “the facilitator”, as such?
The enabler. The guide. The entertainer.

Hertog
I got involved via my high school Dungeons and Dragons group in 2003. We had a group of 11 playing at my then boyfriends moms kitchen table. His brother had started LARP’ing via World of Darkness Werewolf and got dragged to a fantasy event, called Vortex Adventures (still active today!). He kinda recruited us as his personal army for this event.

Oh, Ill see if I can dig up my first ever character photo

Yes, I enjoy being the entertainer

or enabler, however you want to call it.

I’ll gladly sacrifice part of my energy and play to get others going, to give them the recognition that they as characters deserve, to have an epic fight with the monster I represent….

2003

Sozzals
Aww baby tog <3
What age were you in this photo?

Hertog
Eeeh.. I think I should’ve been 17 going 18?

Sozzals
Haven’t changed that much, just got sexier over time. What buffs are you running?

Hertog
I even have this character on tape/video. A Dutch newschannel came to visit the event for a short ‘documentary’. I happend to got into that TV production and so did the immensly loud sound of my trumpet

What buffs am I running? As character? This was my ice-elf character Jinno, so.. she was weak against fire (in a faction dedicated to Fire, Phoenix) , but once a day she could ignore fear/terror effects, which was kinda neat. I think I also had +1 hitpoints on torso or something.

Sozzals
I meant what buffs are you running to add sexiness-over-time. Most of us lose sexiness-over-time so, we need to know your secrets.

Hertog
Oooooh! Hahahaa, thanks ^_^ I don’t even know how to answer this Do you want to know my showerroutine or something?

Sozzals
Is it the diet? Cuz I know you’re vegan.
Maybe it’s the wide range of outdoor activities you do that us “less active” nerds tend to shy away from.

Hertog
Vegetarian, but I try to make most of my meal choices vegan, yes. I still eat eggs and dairy at times. But hummus is my bae and I consume it daily

Sozzals
Life without hummus would be like life without oxygen.

Hertog
To be fair, I know very few nerds and geeks that aren’t involved into some form of excercise. Most of the friends I meet in daily life are into some form of activity outside of the computerscreen. May that even be visiting boardgamenights ^_^
And yes, life without hummus ain’t the same!

Sozzals
Anyway, let’s talk a bit about music then – what instruments do you play? Or is it easier to ask which ones you don’t play?

Hertog
I grew up playing flute and brass. My instrument for orchestra is bugle and trumpet. I also play several flutes (soprano, alt, tenor) and accordion. I used to try and teach myself some piano, but that never really took off.

The new season for my orchestra started just a week ago, but being on holiday I haven’t joined in the new rehearsals yet.

Sozzals
You play in an orchestra?? :O that’s pretty awesome – do you guys perform for the masses? I know Michaka’s a drummer, do you ever jam together?

Hertog
That hasn’t been the case yet. Michaka’s drums haven’t been up in the house a lot, because of all the moving that we did over the last year. I hope that he will put them up in our current house, but the time we can stay here is uncertain and I understand it can be demotivating to even start building if you don’t know how long you can play.

And yes, I play in a symphonic orchestra and we perform twice a year. It’s an amateur orchestra, though. Nobody gets paid and we’re all there to enjoy making music.

Sozzals
That’s pretty awesome dude. It must be really satisfying to be part of something like that.

Hertog
It really is, I really get caught up in the pieces we play when it all starts coming together properly.

Sozzals
Yeah that’s fair enough.
Moving onto the outdoor activities, the bouldering, the camping, etc….. – is this something you do together as a couple?

Hertog
Bouldering is something me and Michaka enjoy together. I got enthusiastic for it when I was invited to tag along for a climb with our UK friends, Trollface and Emily, when I was visiting them last year. Luckily, quite a few of my friends are active in the hobby as well, as it is definitely more fun with more involved. Camping, we don’t really do together – yet. It comes with hiking and being in the outdoors, and for some LARPs its also a necessity Since we didn’t get the chance to do the pilgrimage to Rome this year, because of my broken foot, we haven’t enjoyed that together yet.

Sozzals
Well fingers crossed you get to enjoy a trip to Rome when you’re all healed up.
Tell us how you broke your foot?

Hertog
Falling while bouldering. Because, yeah.

Sozzals
That’s the dangers of the sport, I guess!
You also model – what kind of modelling do you do?

Shoot from 2016 for Vampire: the Masquerade – new rule books

Hertog
Mostly artistic and nude. I’ve never done commercial modelling, but images of me have been used as book- and CD covers and several have made it into exhibitions and magazine publications.

Sozzals
What does it feel like, putting yourself out there like that?

Hertog
Natural is the first word that comes to mind. Just having lots of fun with projects that leave me with enough room to bring in my own creativity and creating beautiful images. I love when it ends up in improv and going with the flow that’s given in certain moments. Ofcourse we work with preset ideas, especially when costumes or heavy makeup are involved, but I never not strayed from the original ideas

Sozzals
A lot of people won’t know this about you – but you are poly. Explain what that means to you.

Hertog
Yes, I am polyamorous. It comes down to being able to love more than one person at the same time. It meant and means so much to me that I costed me my marriage after meeting Michaka. My ex really couldn’t see himself in any other form of relationship than purely monogamous and I couldn’t fit into that anymore.

Michaka and I are working on finding the best way to make it work for both of us. It’s been quite a ride so far, but we are on the same page as to how we want to progress with the (new) concept. We are first working on getting our life together sorted out (house, finances) and then explore what works for us after settling down.

It is still a quite insane experience to have someone right next to me that is supportive of me being me

Sozzals
You’re both very lucky to have found each other! I’m glad you met in Pyran, that makes me both happy and proud of the community we’ve built together.

We haven’t even touched on gaming yet. Tell us how you got into gaming and what kept you in it. What are you playing at the moment and who with?

Hertog
I got into gaming because I wasn’t really allowed by my parents to get into gaming. We didn’t have a PC at home until the last years of primary school (I was 10 or 11) and even at that point me and my sister weren’t allowed to be behind the machine for more than 1 hour every sunday afternoon.

Consoles weren’t bought for us either, so I entered competitions from shops and newspapers to try and win one. And I succeeded! I won a PS1 when they had just released it in Europe.

Sozzals
Were they very religious or something?

Hertog
No, not at all. But they didn’t (and still don’t ) understand what a PC was/is or did/does. So, since they had no need for it, neither did me and my sister apparently

I think they also thought it would make us less social. As in, the few times they had seen us play games during holidays or when visiting cousins, we were ‘just sitting in a room’ ‘doing nothing’.

Not that it could’ve done any bad for me, I didn’t have friends to start with

Sozzals
Did you find it hard to make friends, as a kid?
I know this question will resonate with a lot people in our community.

Hertog
Heh. Just never got the chance really? We moved villages when I was 4 or 5. And for some reason, I never got into the group of kids my age that was already formed at the only school available. Didn’t succeed for a full 8 years of primary school to even call one of them my friend.

Some of them bullied me quite severely, but it wasn’t a constant thing all through the years luckily.

Sozzals
It’s hard work. I didn’t move school at all and didn’t make my first “friend” until 11!! Being a kid is like being thrown into a yard full of savages. Kids are savages. Kids can be savage.

Skool Dance!1

Hertog
High school really didn’t come with better news. The same kids I had spent my first years of school with, transferred to the same larger community and soon my old reputation had caught up with everyone of the first year. Rinse and repeat primary school. Lost my bike a couple of times due to bullying, same with books and other loose things you carry to school.

Somehow I managed to make one friend when I was in the second year. I was 13 then, she is still one of my best friends today.

And she stayed my only friend for another couple of years. After that, I met the guys from the D&D group and even got previously mentioned boyfriend out of it (high school was 6 years of education for me).

Sozzals
Nice, I’m glad everything worked out. I feel sorry for anyone who feels like they have to make someone else’s life miserable – it’s generally because their own lives are.

Hertog
Yeah. LARP honestly made my life. I met so many like-minded people, it was like a warm bath times a thousand. I almost cried when that first event came to an end, because I had to go back to my normal life. Almost a legal adult, and for the first time in my life I was welcomed into a community. It was and still is a blessing.

Sozzals
I have to ask the obligatory “what colour is your underwear” question.

Hertog
Black with rainbow borders.
I lost the bra to this set ages ago.
So that one is just plain black and not matching at all.

Sozzals
I don’t think any of my sets match anymore ahaha.
Describe yourself using only three words.

Hertog
I asked Michaka for input here – he said: ‘I’d describe you as: “she’s so fucked up, you have to meet her. In a good way!”
But three words for myself – Never gives up
Because I can’t think of the single word that describes a person who tries to see the positive or at least tries to work on a solution in the suckiests of situations.

Sozzals
If you were forced to flee your country – which Pyran member’s house would you hide out at?

Hertog
I’d come live with you and Jim, for sure! Caramalised onion hummus FTW!
Or maybe Avenar, because he lives on the beautiful countryside of Denmark ^_^

Sozzals
What is(are) your pet name(s) for Michaka?

Hertog
He is foremost my Puppy . Then my beautiful from the Swelands, my angel (have you seen his hair? His face? HIS BODY? Mpff..), my baby landviking, Michakalaka, Blondie, Master of the Floof….

Sozzals
Where is the farthest you’ve been from home?

Hertog
I guess that would be my holidays in Turkey (Istanbul, Kusadasi). One was to visit Efeze, and the other was part of a cruise that sailed from Istanbul, all the way down the Turkish coastline and visiting some of the Greek islands.

Sozzals
Who is your favourite musical artist or band?

Hertog
They come and go, although I still love all the music I once loved ^_^ at the moment I’m quite big on electronic music, from synthwave (Dance with the Dead, Perturbator) to hardcore (AI Storm) to trance (Ben Gold) to industrial (Amduscia, Grendel) and EBM (VNV Nation, Apoptygma Berzerk) . But I will always love metal, mostly power and black and some doom (Avantasia, Kamelot, Rhapsody, Blind Guardian, Iced Earth, Wintersun, Insomnium, Behemoth). Furthermore I like (Irish) folkmusic (Clansey Brothers, Laboratorium Piesni), classical (mostly romantic – not to be confused with romantic as emotion, but romantic as in era in time), garage rock, rockabilly (Wanda Jackson, Volbeat), random songs from movies or tv, … The only things that do not amuse me on the musical front are (gangster)rap and most hiphop and R&B. I just can’t relate.

Sozzals
I don’t “get” gangster rap either – i guess it’s not really marketed to us though 😀 What is your favourite beverage?

Hertog
Water. Sparkling water. Hot water (aka tea).

Sozzals
If you had to choose one problem to solve in the world, what would it be and why?

Hertog
Oooh, so many though! Basic income for everyone, so no one would ever have to worry how to come by for food, a house.. Equity among all humans – that doesn’t mean everyone has to get the same to be on the same level, but everyone should get that possibility to be at the same level.

Sozzals
What item or possession holds the most value to you and why?

Hertog
The catholic crosses I got from my grandmother when she passed away. Just knowing that I won’t ever get to see her again, makes me want to hug these trinkets, even though I know she is not in them

Sozzals
Who is your personal hero?

Hertog
I’d say my grandmother. I really don’t have a personal hero, someone I look up to in such a manner. I value everyone and I can recognise brilliance or strength or wisdom were it is displayed, but somehow that never translated to one person being special to me as a whole.

My grandmother has one characteristic that I wish I had, and that is an open mind and heart. She welcomed everyone (even in the second world war, German and English alike) and was always genuinely interested in her guests, even though she wasn’t in the know about many subjects. She wanted to learn always, and people seemed to be her favourite subject. I hope to be such a welcome and open spirit myself, but at this point in time I’m still far from it, it seems.

Sozzals
Sounds like she was a badass.  Will you be playing with us on retail vanilla when it comes out? If so, what will you roll?

Hertog
Heck yes! And I will probably roll undead frost mage or undead warlock. Or orc prot warrior. Never played a healer in Vanilla, that only got triggered after TBC and the introduction of the tree

Sozzals
*cough* And now… for the community questions

Grouse would like to know…. whose tog is she? and what’s a tog?

Hertog
I am my own Tog, thank you – A Tog is like a spork, quite versatile but no one ever seems to make good use of them.

 

Sozzals

“has she seen the movie Her? is that whose tog she is?” 

Hertog

No, I have not. And that cancels the second questions answer.

Sozzals
Grouses next question is “we also need to know who her spirit pokemon is”

Hertog
My spirit pokemon would be Slowpoke. Or the other end of the spectrum: Scyther. But I loved most water/grass type pokemon. Maybe Venusaur. Or Gloom. Can I still choose Victreebel?

Sozzals
Grouse asks “What is your earliest memory of gaming?”

Hertog
My earliest memory of gaming is me, sitting behind an Atari ??? at a friends place and playing a variant of Snake. An other one is me behind a C64 playing Duck Hunt at my cousins house, with the gun stuck to the TV screen. The very first game I played on ‘my’ own PC was Alley Cat and Commander Keen.

Sozzals
I apologise for these. Chris wants to know “Are you a moltres articuno or zapdos person?”

Hertog
ARTICUNO

Sozzals
Strider asks “I want to know how Hertog got into healing specifically and her thoughts on why trees are so great, as well as her thoughts about the great Pyran forest of TBC”

Hertog
I got into healing because I didn’t know I was getting myself into healing, basically. I loved the treeform that came with TBC and I wanted to be one! Turned out you had to be a healer to be that specific form. I rolled with it and it turned out my guild was pretty pleased with me having that role, putting my (off)tank on low for raids. Also, dat tree dance . I miss the days of the Pyran Forest (the first and second forest) and owning at raid overhealing ^_^

Sozzals
Crashie asks “i want her opinion on rshams but only if its negative”

Hertog
I hate that the kill my output in HoTs with their Jesus beams. Cursed be their bouncing rays of stealing recount ratings.

Sozzals
The resident perverts, Pidge and Grighton ask “I want to learn more about naked Hertog”

Hertog
Fair enough! A lot of naked Hertog can be found on my (NSFW) Deviant Art profile  (NSFW) –  Other perspective: naked Hertog is a lot more self-confident than a dressed one. Because clothes make for a certain profile and that, most of the times, is just not what I want to show as me, but I have to settle with it anyways. Also, I’m apparently quite soft and squishy while naked, but with a fit core of muscle underneath. Do with that information whatever you want.

Sozzals
That’s a bad suggestion.

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