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Interviewing Royalty


by black_skull725

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Neopian Royalty can often add an interesting perspective to a story. Sometimes, it is necessary to send a journalist out to the field to interview royalty in order to gather their perspectives. It can oftentimes be intimidating, especially when one is on their first assignment. Each royal figure holds immense power in their kingdoms and thus, it is important to be respectful, but also assertive. After all, our goal is to get answers to the pressing stories around the world. Here are some tips and notes on each royal figure in Neopia so any journalist can be prepared for these special assignments.

King Skarl - Meridell

Accepts interviews: yes

Things to be aware of: temperament, scheduling

The king is often busy so it is best to schedule an appointment well in advance. One ought to do this immediately after they are notified of their assignment to interview King Skarl. A Neomail to the Meridell Castle well in advance would typically work well. In addition, it might be advantageous to bring some food along, preferably some dish with meat.

Being a proud ruler, King Skarl likes to be greeted with a bow and verbal acknowledgement of his majesty. As mentioned he loves food and may be eating. In these cases, just be patient and let him deliver his full answer while he finishes chewing.

He is also known to give very short telegraphic answers. Thus, it is important to lead him with more yes/no type questions to help arrive at a real answer constructed from all the yes/no responses.

For example, the Neopian Times may want to figure out what his thoughts are about the truce with Lord Darigan. Consider the following set of questions:

Is the truce with the citadel working out well?

Are you satisfied with the terms?

Are both sides abiding by the terms?

Do you see Lord Darigan as a friend or adversary or something else?

Through this line of interrogation, one may get some insight into how he really feels.

Do not press too hard as he will become very grumpy and may decide to throw you out. The guards have to follow orders, but they won't literally throw anyone out unless they become uncooperative. If he instructs his guards to send you away, thank him for his time and allow the guards to walk you out of the palace. Don't fret if you didn't get your answers. The NT will figure something out at a different time.

King Hagan - Brightvale

Accepts interviews: yes

Things to be aware of: long, cryptic responses

Dress appropriately for this one as King Hagan does believe wise individuals also present themselves well. Dress as if one would dress to conduct business.

King Hagan will give long answers so bring plenty of pen and paper, or preferably a typewriter. "Paraphrasing is for the lazy fool," in King Hagan's mind so make sure you get his answer exactly right. Not doing so can earn you an angry letter from him. The Neopian Times has a full cabinet of such letters so you would hardly be the first to incur his wrath. Chances are, he won't want you interviewing him again, though.

Similar, to King Skarl, one should address King Hagan by his title although a quick bow is all that's necessary. Contrary to King Skarl, for King Hagan It's important to bring wise, thoughtful questions as he will not waste time on simple yes/no questions.

Asking him about insightful material that he is reading is always a nice way to break the ice. He is also an avid Neopian Times reader so if you do muster the courage, perhaps he will leave you with thoughts about your past writing. Once you feel you've established a good rapport, Hagan will be more than happy to give complete answers to your pressing questions.

King Hagan also loves to discuss diplomacy and relations with other kingdoms. Typically, the NT sends writers over to him to discuss these topics. On King Skarl though, it is best to just leave that alone. The combination of animosity toward his brother and the tendency to talk for a while can derail the whole interview.

If you do not understand something he says, be sure to ask for clarification. We at the NT do pride ourselves in complete work.

King Kelpbeard - Maraqua

Accepts interviews: yes

Things to be aware of: security arrangements

King Kelpbeard doesn't like to come up to the surface for interviews so we recommend learning how to swim if you don't know already. Due to increased piracy around the kingdom, security is very tight in Maraqua these days so it's best to inform him of your visit well in advance so the guards are aware of your arrival. These guards will very likely be following you around throughout the kingdom to ensure that you aren't a pirate. It is best to go along with these protocols. Making a huge fuss will likely result in immediate expulsion and maybe temporary restrictions from entering Maraqua at all.

Those that fought for Maraqua may address King Kelpbeard as, "Commander." Others should just call him by his royal title. Regardless of support, one should greet him with a salute. Kelpbeard also has a tendency to be a bit forgetful sometimes and it helps to gently remind him to actually answer the question. In the past, the Neopian Times asked questions about his relationship with other ocean kingdoms such as Krawk Island and Mystery Island. Understanding the history of the border disputes between these lands is extremely important to avoid any awkward questions like "How do you feel about Krawk Island ships sailing near your land?"

On a final note, be aware that he may cut the interview short if his army discovers pirates nearby so one may not get all the answers in one sitting.

King Altador - City of Altador

Accepts interviews: yes

Things to be aware of: avoiding sensitive topics (e.g. The Darkest Faerie)

A city full of rich history, Altador is a wonderful place to visit without any formal assignments. If you have not been to Altador before, this is definitely a sight to see.

Altador is unique in that you typically do not have to meet with the king. A good leader also knows how to delegate tasks and oftentimes, a council-member would know more about the city's affairs. Here are the council-members and their specialties:

The Dreamer - Psellia: Foreign policy

The First to Rise - Siyana: City management

The Dancer - Sasha: Arts

The Farmer - Florin: Agriculture

The Wave - Marak: Trade

The Gladiator - Torakor: Defense

The Collector - Gordos: Economics

The Thief - Kelland: Intelligence

The Gatherer - Fauna: Conservation and environment

The Protecter - Jerdana: Health and sorcery

If you don't get your answers from any of the council-members, you can ask for a meeting with the king. King Altador is very occupied these days, searching for the Darkest Faerie statue so he prefers answering questions in writing, but he will always give you an audience if you ask politely.

You may not want to ask anything about his opinion on the Darkest Faerie however. Such a question is often raised and the king is rather tired of repeating himself. He views the Darkest Faerie as a traitor and continues to harbor bitterness about that situation.

A reporter once asked him "Did you ever notice anything strange about the Darkest Faerie prior to her betrayal?" and earned an earful. Basically, the king told them that she was pure evil and he is not about to relive those moments again. The reporter then noted that he got up and left the interview without another word. Other questions are fair game, but just don't bring up the Darkest Faerie and it will all go smoothly.

Lord Darigan - Darigan Citadel

Accepts interviews: rarely

Lord Darigan did several interviews after his return from insanity. They were quite scripted though and he would only answer questions about the future of his Citadel. It's suspected that he used them to assure his people, and perhaps the rest of Neopia, that Darigan Citadel was in stable hands, and that he could be trusted.

Gradually, he opened up more to the world and today, he's mostly fine with interviews as long as they don't involve discussion of his sanity or the Three. If you wish to raise his spirits, questions about his military always seem to excite him. Despite the commitment to peace, Lord Darigan is still proud of the Citadel's military roots and always keeps a force around for defense.

Just remember to schedule an interview, Darigan does not like unplanned, surprise appearances of the press.

Queen Fyora - Faerieland

Accepts interviews: yes

Things to be aware of: Xandra questions may cause her to be emotional but are alright

Queen Fyora is usually very nice and often likes to be called "Fyora" without any titles. She gets a lot of visitors so do make sure to book time on her schedule. She's well regarded by all of Neopia and is often tapped for advice from other royalty, such as King Hagan when Meridell and Brightvale had border disputes.

Given her long experience as a ruler, she typically resorts to personal anecdotes to provide insight. Her interviews tend to run long because of this. She also very insistent on being hospitable so she'll offer tea, snacks, or even a full tour of her garden. No is typically not an answer she accepts. You can take this opportunity to establish a good rapport with the Faerie Queen. After all, she remembers everyone she meets.

Avoid questions related to age because that's the one thing that might cause her to turn you into a Slorg or Mortog for a day. (She won't actually do that.) Also, don't inquire where the Hidden Tower is located. Her lips are sealed on that one.

She also isn't particularly fond of questions about looks either, as she is not big on fashion. However, she does like to answer questions about her kingdom, particularly how she's able to take care of everyone, regardless of species or status. Her pride is the Employment Agency and any questions about it make her very happy.

It's common for individuals to be in total awe of Queen Fyora, whether it's her wisdom or her beauty or both. Take a few deep breaths and try not to let her presence rattle you. She's the Faerie Queen. She's not perfect. She's not easily offended. Be straight with her and genuine. Tough questions won't faze her. Questions like "Did Xandra have a right to be angry?" or "Are you a Dark Faerie?" are even fair game. Just make sure you ask in a respectful tone, obviously.

Princess Amira - Sakhmet

Accepts interviews: occasionally

Things to be aware of: easily annoyed and bored

Princess Amira has a lot of visitors, except that a majority of them are suitors. Therefore, she's always suspicious of anyone that goes to see her, and she isn't particularly flattered by material gifts. She doesn't really take interest in interviews either, but sees them as necessary to gain publicity and connect with her citizens.

On occasion, you'll find Princess Amira and Princess Vyssa in a heated quarrel. These quarrels can grow rather intense since each princess believes themselves to be a legitimate ruler in the city. Because of the volatile situation with factions on both sides each supporting a different princess, the Neopian Times is constantly monitoring the situation.

Chances are, you will be tasked to ask questions about how Vyssa and Amira are able to keep a somewhat divided citizenry and their differences from destabilizing Sakhmet. It's important to objectively cover both sides of the argument so that neither side can view the Neopian Times as a biased newspaper. There have been tense moments when one side refused to speak to the Neopian Times. Recently, the factions aren't as fervent and it seems that Sakhmet is in a state of relative peace. Still, the situation is tricky and we'd want to avoid angering either side.

King Jazan/Queen Nabile - Qasala

Accepts interviews: Jazan: rarely, Nabile: yes

Things to be aware of: Jazan: temperament, Nabile: speaks very quickly

King Jazan requires all guests bring a gift for Nabile. Jewelry is often the preferred choice. He's almost as moody as King Skarl and given his past, nobody could really blame him. It's best to breeze through questions as quickly as one can since King Jazan is very impatient and short-tempered. He will often blast interviews as "a waste of his time."

For that reason, it's best to just interview Queen Nabile instead. She's known as the voice of reason in Qasala and she's much more patient. Just make sure anything valuable isn't in your pocket at the time. She might see it and decide to make it her own.

Queen Nabile is often attacked by certain politicians in the courts because of her past connection to the Desert Scarabs, and her policies that are compassionate toward the poor are often attacked as "benefitting thieves." Despite this, she is adamant that King Jazan doesn't use his heavy hand to go after Queen Nabile's adversaries. Of course, those opposed to Nabile are going to try to continuously frame her as a criminal and she will defend herself vigorously against all allegations. This, of course, makes interviews interesting as there will always be some rumors swirling about Jazan, Nabile, or the Desert Scarabs.

We suggest getting on her good side though. Perhaps ask her about Tomos. She loves talking about her old adventures as an...uhhh...acquisition specialist. The one thing that angers Nabile the most is insinuating that because of her past, she should not be trusted to govern. Some have made this mistake and the Neopian Times editor had to calm her down so she would continue working with us. Remember, she's royalty and deserves all your respect.

Governor Gavril McGill - Krawk Island

Accepts interviews: no

Krawk Island's Governor McGill is responsible for the full revitalization of the island although there is little known about him. He likes to answer questions with old pirate riddles. However, he's been known to be unstable. In fact, he won't allow anybody in the Neopian Times into his mansion anymore after his last dust up with us: http://www.neopets.com/ntimes/index.phtml?section=551324&week=595. All assignments have been suspended indefinitely and there's absolutely no chance to obtain any interview with him. Neomails to his mansion have never been answered. We even offered a completely different crew but Mr. McGill has not wavered on his animosity toward us.

When asked why he wouldn't grant the Neopian Times access, his staff members simply replied that "Krawk Island doesn't need other Neopians meddling in her affairs." They have also refused to cooperate with the Neopian Times. To this day, we continue to wonder what Mr. McGill is hiding and why the Krawk Islanders still trust him.

The Emperor of Shenkuu

Accepts interviews: no

Little is known about this mysterious Emperor besides his overprotectiveness of Princess Lunara. There hasn't been an opportunity to interview him face to face and only his subordinates answer Neomail, typically with a standard response that all things are going well. Only a handful of officials are allowed direct contact with the Emperor and none are permitted to speak publicly to the Neopian Times. Nobody knows the reason for this secrecy, but since Shenkuu remained isolated from Neopia for a long period of time, it's presumably that they aren't used to so much public attention.

One could also get an interview with Princess Lunara but chances are, she'll be the one asking all sorts of questions about Neopia given that her life has been so sheltered. Her dream has always been to travel Neopia and the place she really wishes to visit is Faerieland.

King Roo - Roo Island

Accepts interviews: yes, only if you play Dice-A-Roo or Roodoku with him

Things to be aware of: short attention span

King Roo is surely the King of fun. All visitors must entertain him by playing games. King Roo must always win in order for him to be in a mood to answer questions. However, one must not lose on purpose. King Roo requires all opponents to be challenging and to give their best effort, even in Dice-A-Roo, he insists one cast their dice "the right way."

Also, it is best to ask questions and record responses quickly. Once King Roo gets bored, and he will get bored after five minutes, one will have to play more games before he'll answer more questions. Be aware that this process will likely take an entire day.

The Mayor of Moltara

Accepts interviews: yes

Things to be aware of: usually found fixing a machine

The Mayor of Moltara is a Chomby that spends most of his time as a mechanic on all of the complex machines that keep the industrial aspects of Moltara working smoothly. He also oversees other engineers that also work the machines. Still, he does like to spare some time for a little chat.

He's usually available and free to have a conversation at any time during the day. Because the mayor is elected, his public image is very important to him. It's very crucial that his supporters see that their mayor is someone that cares about all people of Moltara. Thus, he enjoys doing interviews and often meets with the Moltaran population in order to strengthen the case for him and present himself as accessible to his constituents. His openness makes it pretty easy to get answers. Nearly all his responses are somehow connected back to the industrial complex of Moltara – his lifelong passion. The giant machines that mine resources, he talks about them as if they are sentient. Do not be alarmed though, he's not actually building a secret army of sentient robots. *shifty eyes*

Mayor Thumburt - Neovia

Updated Status: turned into a moquot

Information retained for historical purposes

Accepts interviews: occasionally

Things to be aware of: temperament

Mayor Thumburt was the leader of Neovia. He was well known for his bad temperament, yet the population saw him as a figure that kept the city stable, making sure the economy was churning out enough money. Much of Neovia's income comes from the many tourists with Thumburt's leadership, the Deserted Fairground isn't so deserted these days. This elevated his approval rating, despite his temperament issues.

He dislikes doing interviews, but sees them as a necessity for a publicly elected official to appear to his citizens. Thus, he will occasionally grant the Neopian Times access to him. He is very selective about the types of questions he will answer and often asks for the Times to send him questions well in advance and he will only answer the ones he wishes to answer. Thumburt is known to become very difficult and angry so it's best not to press too hard on interview questions.

Council of Elders - Tyrannia

Accepts interviews: yes

Things to be aware of: Tyrannian interpreter required

The Council of Elders rules over Tyrannia. However, they only speak Tyrannian. Therefore, one should request a Tyrannian interpreter. There are several here at the Neopian Times.

The Elders usually prefer that one speaks to Kyruggi who is the Grand Elder. He is authorized to speak on behalf of the entire council. Give plenty of time since all questions and answers will need to be translated. The Elders are indeed very intelligent and can answer questions about anything from the History of Tyrannia to the latest popular bands that play at the Concert Hall.

Tyrannia is teeming with wildlife, and the Elders love telling tall tales about it, especially if it's about The Tyrannia Beast. If you are wondering, The Elders do know plenty about the world around them, having listened to band concerts describing the rest of Neopia, thus even questions about Neopia are fair game.

Taelia, the Snow Faerie - Terror Mountain

Accepts interviews: yes

Things to be aware of: often busy rescuing stranded Neopians

Terror Mountain does not have a formal leadership structure although many look to Taelia as a de facto leader. She is usually rescuing Neopians or mixing a magical potion from the quest items she collects. She is very welcoming though.

It's probably best to wait for her at her igloo. It's usually open regardless if she's there as any would be thieves would likely end up stranded in the rough weather of the mountain summit. One could help themselves to hot cocoa while they wait.

Taelia is usually carefree, rarely rattled by anything. She gets this from all the courageous rescues she's performed on the summit. However, she will get irritated if you ask her why she left Faerieland. The reasons are likely that she could no longer stand the gossip and asked Fyora to allow her to resettle in Terror Mountain. She does not wish to relive those memories. Talking about her rescue missions will make her rather excited though and can help keep a conversation going. Perhaps you could ask her how she is able to handle the cold weather.

The leaders of Neopia all have their own style and quirks. Hopefully this guide will instill confidence in all Neopian Times writers so that they can approach any Neopian leader and obtain answers for pressing issues around Neopia. Thank you, writers, for the hard work and dedication to the Neopian Times.

 
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