Dear readers. tonight with me is a master alchemist. She is mentoring another young woman, and is here to tell us about college quest games and telepathic apples.

Tell us a little about where you grew up. What was it like there?

It was terrible. Next question.

Did you have any favourite toys as a child? Any cherished memories?

Cherished memories? The few moments when I wasn’t hiding in fear from my mother’s drunken boyfriend.

What do you do now?

If you ask my husband, he’ll tell you I run a successful tutoring business, but in reality, I’m a full-time alchemist/quester.

You do know what the Quest Board is, right?

Umm, no.

Ugh, fine.

The Quest Board is a message board buried in the bowels of the Internet where people post real-life Quests to complete in exchange for tokens. Get enough tokens, and you level up. The purpose? To dig up and grind out the last traces of magic left in the world for the upper crust. Most Questers spend their entire lives scrounging up enough tokens to earn a couple of bronze tokens, which they pass on to their children so that they can repeat the same thing.

But not me. I discovered the truth early on. So I forged my own path. I learnt the secrets of alchemy and magic, and made coin doing it.

My alchemic buffs range from low-level Adderrall substitutes that I sell to college students to the actual full-strength version that will make you so focused on your task that you’ll probably forget to eat for several days. Or one that will make you feel like you’ve just had the best nap of your life even if you’ve logged three all-nighters in a row.

I’m sorry, but what’s a buff?

It’s what I call my alchemic gummies. They give you a boost when you eat one, depending on what type. There’s strength, vitality, focus, and speed, plus some other ones that I can’t quite reveal just yet.

What can you tell us about your latest adventure?

I’m a seasoned solo Quester but the Council’s Raids require a partner. So far, I’ve had a bad string of luck with my trainees. They either don’t respect me or become obsessed with me or try to kill me. Sometimes all three. It was a stroke of luck that I stumbled upon my newest trainee, Jen Jacobs, after she succeeded in fetching a particular batch of apples that when eaten, allow you to read someone’s mind.

Do you have any of those apples with you?

If I did, then this interview wouldn’t be necessary, would it?

Good point. What did you first think when you met Jen?

She was in over her head. Eager to learn but still new to the Quests. But she grew on me. She’s smart, but not in an obnoxious way. I thought we would have a slower ramping up period, but when I got the call about a once-in-a-year Raid, she got thrown into the fire.

What was the scariest thing in your adventures?

That day all those years ago when I learned the truth about the world. That magic is real. That everything out of myth and legend has some basis in fact. If you stop to think of the implications, you’ll spend the rest of the day huddled on the floor in the fetal position. It took a bit of time, but I accepted reality for what it was.

Or maybe when I used the Medoblad for the first time. I stabbed a guy with it who was trying to steal it from me, and his arm turned to stone. That was the first time I realized the kind of magic that was out there in the world.

What is the worst thing about alchemy?

The lack of good reference material. It’s not like the Council is going around handing out how-to pamphlets. I had to reverse engineer everything from entries in a 300-year old diary. That’s why I’ve been trying to get my hands on the Guild’s Compendium for the longest time.

What is the best thing about it?

Knowing about its existence puts you in a percent of a percent of all people who are currently on this planet and have ever existed. So that’s a high in and of itself. But I took it a step further. I’ve created buffs that no one’s ever seen before. They might only last for a few minutes, but with the right combination, they can make you practically invincible.

Tell us a little about your friends.

Don’t have time for them. I’ve got a toddler at home that I already don’t spend enough time with and then there’s the Quests and my alchemy research and trying to stay one step ahead of the Guild. Did I mention they tried to kill me?

Err, no.

Oh, well they did. Obviously they did a piss-poor job at it. You’d think for a shadowy centuries-old organization that has access to magic that I can’t even begin to imagine, they would have sent someone more competent than an over-roided brute.

Any romantic involvement?

Well I’ve been married to Garrett for several years now, so no. He has his dalliances and I have mine. It’s an unspoken arrangement between us. The last time we had relations with each other, the result was Jack-Jack, so I don’t think that will be happening again anytime soon.

Whom (or what) do you really hate?

The Guild, specifically Gilbert. He’s the one who tried to kill me in the first place. The Guild above all else prizes stability. They play the long game, and I do mean long, and they think I’m a threat to upend all of that.

Well, are you?

Maybe. I’m not under the misapprehension that they’ve forgotten about me since my truce with Gilbert after his failed assassination attempt. So I’ve been making preparations, waiting for the right moment to stri-

What’s your favourite drink, colour, and relaxing pastime?

Hmm? Oh. I’ll answer all three at once. Drinking a full-bodied pinot noir on the roof of my building and trying to push all this business about magic, alchemy, and murderous secret societies out of my head long enough to enjoy the view of Central Park.

What does the future hold for you?

You’ve heard of people who’ve achieved everything they thought they wanted in life, but then find themselves still feeling empty inside? Well, that’s me right now to a T. I finally found the Guild’s Compendium, except the damn thing is blank. And then there’s my former protégé Jen, who lucked into her current situation completely by accident while I’m running for my life.

Can you share a secret with us, which you’ve never told anyone else?

Well, I could tell you where I’m currently hiding, but then you’d go and blab to everyone and the Guild would be on my doorstop tomorrow morning. But I’ll just say that I’ve planned for the day when everything in my life would be taken from me and I’m not about to go quietly into the night.

Jon Auerbach’s love of fantasy began at the tender age of six, when his parents bought him the classic 1977 animated version of The Hobbit (the less said about the recent trilogy, the better). He hopes to pass on his stories to the next generation, including his kids, who have their own copy of The Hobbit that they lovingly call “the Bilbo book.”

You can find Beatrice on the pages of Guild of Tokens.

Keep an eye out for further mid-week SPFBO specials! Join us on Friday to hear from an immortal hero and his interviewer, from a world where science and technology intermingle. Please follow the site by email (bottom-right) to be notified when the next interview is posted.