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    BYRON BREWER: In September, issue #5 brings the stunning conclusion to this series! Without spoilers, what would you say is the biggest challenge that has faced Seoni and her team of adventurers?

    JAMES L. SUTTER: Ennui stemming from the realization that adventurers have a statistically short lifespan, and their constant traveling interferes with putting down roots, meaning few people will miss them when they’re gone.

    Oh, and devils. Devils are a challenge.

    F. WESLEY SCHNEIDER: There's an army of the ancient undead, too. Legions of the damned so often get overlooked.

    BB: It’s quite a while before we reach #5, but are there any characters you wished you could have given more of a spotlight to in the Runescars saga? Might this lead into the next Pathfinder book from Dynamite?

    WES: I'm probably not surprising anyone by being villain's advocate, but I would have loved to give Signifer Lazku more screen time. Sutter and I have a pretty rich background worked out for her, but we only had time to highlight a fraction. While the main beats are there and I think the character played out well, Lazku's meant to be sort of the "anti-Seoni." With a bit more time I think we could have really played up not just the contrast between the two sorcerers, but the similarities that show how easily Seoni could have been a baddie.

    JAMES: I always want to spend more time with Quinn! But this series is definitely laying some Easter eggs for important future developments (in the comics and out of them).

    BB: A lot of times writing adventure (or any fiction really), characters take over. Was there any hero or villain who surprised you and actually attained more of a status than originally planned herein?

    JAMES: For me, the characters are 95% of what appeals about the Pathfinder comics. I adore writing the way they lovingly bicker with each other, worry about each other, make fun of each other—I’m a firm believer that it’s the little details that humanize your characters. Even when I’m writing some epic fight scene against a devil or something, I spend most of my time asking “Yeah, but what would they say?”

    WES: Lictor DiViri was a ton of fun, not just because he's this vicious killer in charge of a legion of merciless lawbringers, but because he's so good at it that he's become an overworked manager. He's in charge of the entire Order of the Nail, including all the logistics and organization. He's also an older guy, and tired, and sort of bored with his situation. The heroes' high jinks give him this chance to stretch his legs a bit, spurring him from being uninterested in their distractions to having a vested interest in stymieing them. We didn't really foresee that development, but I loved how it shaped up.

    JAMES: In this series, I think Valeros really stole the show for me. He’s a hard-charging, rough-and-tumble guy in the middle of an emotional crisis, and nobody in the party knows how to deal with his suddenly thoughtful side. It made for both great humor and a chance to take things deeper.

    WES: I think a lot of times folks look at the characters in fantasy stories and think they're not as neurotic as the rest of us. There's this great sweeping away of mundane exercises—like how you rarely see your favorite characters interrupting a scene to hit the restroom. Along with that often goes very basic worries, like, "why am I doing this?" and "where will I be in 20 years?" What are Valeros’ career goals? What does he have to look forward to? Can he honestly expect to be fighting devils in fifty years? For readers, we're all ready to scream "Yeah! Blood and glory!" but for him, he really has to wonder "who's blood" and "what glory?" It sounds quirky for a fantasy hero, but I can't think of trains of thought more real and relatable than those.

    BB: Favorite scene and/or set piece from the first couple of issues of this series?

    JAMES: In Issue 2, Seoni and Merisiel are examining this weird rune, and they know it’s full of unknown magic—potentially a giant trap—but their response is “But we’re going to touch it anyway?” “You know it!” That’s me in every RPG I’ve ever played.

    BB: Has the art from Ediano Silva lived up to your mental visualization of the script? (Personally, I think the artist has been knocking the cover off the ball!)

    JAMES: Yes! I was just telling Anthony Marques, our editor, that I love how Ediano can capture so much emotion (and especially humor) through body language alone. I can look at his roughest, wordless layout sketches and the story still comes through!

    WES: Ediano's done a fantastic job. After the first issue we were seriously wondering if (and hoping that!) he could maintain its incredible quality throughout the whole series and dang if he didn't!

    BB: Guys, as co-creators of Pathfinder, what is the larger picture and/or subtext message you hope Runescars has brought to fans of the franchise?

    JAMES: Well, the subtext is one of those Easter eggs we mentioned, so I’ll leave that aside for now. But I really hope that fans of the game enjoyed a chance to go back and visit so many of the people and places—Korvosa, the Gray Maidens, Hellknights, etc.—that made it popular in the first place. There’s always a temptation as a creator to constantly be chasing the new shiny thing, but with something like Runescars, it can also be really satisfying to come back and revisit your roots.

    WES: Pathfinder has this gigantic, lush world, but at the end of the day, the stories are about the heroes being people. Scary monsters and nefarious groups are interesting, but at the heart of this story is Seoni wanting to help her family (and reconcile something within herself) and Valeros teetering amid personal uncertainty. Sure, epic things are going on around them, but despite that they've also got to hold things together for themselves and the people they care about.

    BB: Every Pathfinder comic has something special for its readers. Can you clue us in as to what’s coming up in the finale comic, #5?

    WES: More ready-to-use tabletop adventure from Paizo Developer Jason Keeley! Jason's carried the gaming back matter of the series all the way through with tons of new content for gamers. We can't thank him enough for all his effort and the great adventure ideas! His work has made sure that, every issue, readers walk away with something core to Pathfinder: a world you can actually experience and explore.

    JAMES: In terms of specifics, it’s an exploration of Thassilonian ruins, plus an encounter in an undead-filled tomb, complete with a poster map that’s got the encounter area on one side and rad Pathfinder art on the other!