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Writer Erik Mona talks about Pathfinder: Hollow Mountain #3

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  • Writer Erik Mona talks about Pathfinder: Hollow Mountain #3

    Writer Erik Mona talks about Pathfinder: Hollow Mountain #3, on sale now from Dynamite.

    BYRON BREWER: Erik, how have you been enjoying creating this latest Pathfinder adventure, Hollow Mountain?

    ERIK MONA: It’s been great! Hollow Mountain tosses the Pathfinders into their natural environment—the dungeon! In this case, a millennia-old ruined fortress filled with deathtraps, warring factions and ancient arcane evils. The current issue depicts the critical point when everything goes wrong for the adventurers, and their defeat seems all but certain. If you were playing a game of the Pathfinder RPG, this is the point at which the players start having a serious discussion about fleeing the dungeon for safety, even if it means leaving a companion (or, in this case, several companions) behind.

    BB: With the current issue, #3, what would you say is the most significant thing to occur in the miniseries?

    EM: As we pick up issue #3, Merisiel, Valeros and Kyra have just seen four of their fellow adventurers apparently disintegrated before their eyes by the dungeon’s Castellan, a boastful demon who has a magic key that gives him total control over Hollow Mountain and its wicked denizens. With their numbers cut in half, the survivors soon run into their own trouble, all the while bickering with newcomers Damiel the alchemist and Oloch the warpriest of Gorum, god of war and battle. I love the way these new characters—villains the heroes must now join forces with if they hope to escape the dungeon—change up the dynamic within the core group of Pathfinders. Oloch’s half-orc bloodlust means Valeros is no longer the most impulsive fighter in the group, for example, making him an unlikely voice for caution (or at least a little caution). Issue #3 is where we really get to see the “good” Pathfinders mix with their less scrupulous counterparts, and sets the tone for how these former enemies begin to find a way to work with one another.

    BB: How was it working with Sean Izaakse?

    EM: Like regular series penciler Tom Garcia, Sean is great at capturing the detailed costumes and equipment of the Pathfinder adventurers while at the same time infusing their expressions with a natural grace that makes them feel like living characters. I love Sean’s sense of dynamic action and creative

    panel constructions. It’s obvious that he’s having a blast drawing these scenes. Looking at his treatment of the half-orc Oloch, who has some of the most fun (and violent) scenes in the issue, I can just imagine Sean grinning as he laid down every line. I predict Oloch’s stock goes up after this issue, and Sean deserves 93% of the credit!

    BB: Wow! Just how powerful IS the demonic Castellan?

    EM: Extremely! Not only does the demon control vast arcane power, but the Castellan’s Key that he bears in the name of Hollow Mountain’s long-absent archmage creator, the Runelord Alaznist, gives him absolute control over the dungeon’s monsters, traps, doors—everything. If he wants a statue to come alive, it comes alive. The walls and floors of the dungeon topple at his command. From their almost immediate defeat upon first meeting him, the Pathfinders have known that they’re completely overpowered by the Castellan, even at twice their usual number. Beating an opponent like him will take the most clever plan the Pathfinders have ever concocted. Here, in issue #3, when the heroes must face the depths of that initial defeat, is where that plan begins to take shape.

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