Member Spotlight: Venric Methalion
For our January Member Spotlight, we decided to continue on the MDD theme and interviewed their new-ish Company Commander, Venric Methalion. Venric was raised to Gaidin in August 2012, and took on the leadership role for Mahdi'in d'ma Dieb (MDD) in November 2020.
If you missed the TVT Takeover article, one of Venric’s many talents is glass blowing. He created the current Oath Rod that we use for live raisings.
I asked Venric if he had a favorite project that he’s created so far, and in his own words:
“I’d say the most rewarding experience I’ve had from making a piece was during college, on a suit of glass armor that I made with the help of a crew of about eight or nine people. That project was one of the most focused weeks of my life because I only had enough time to take one shot at it, and my graduation hinged on finishing it without breaking it halfway through. The thing I really enjoyed about glass blowing was the collaboration, since to make anything particularly elaborate you really need some extra hands to help.”
Venric began reading The Wheel of Time at the suggestion of Alextrasz Sedai; and was introduced to TarValon.Net through JordanCon, which he has attended for the past several years. He tends to think of it as “MDDCon,” because it’s the live event that brings out the largest amount of their group members.
Speaking of MDD, I asked Venric to talk about his membership group. He said that it’s hard to define Mahdi'in d'ma Dieb as a group in a traditional sense by our forum definitions. He added:
“To me the biggest unifying factors in our group are our sense of humor, that we don’t take the srs bsns of the internet too seriously, and that we’re constantly pushing to reexamine and adapt things when we feel it’s needed. We don’t try to change things for the sake of change, but if we do find a way to improve or expand something we push for it, and we’re willing to dig in and take a lot of flak if we think it will make things better in the long run.”
One thing you might notice when reading threads or conversations with Mahdi'in d'ma Dieb, is that they own the art of “Gifersation” — communicating in GIF format. Admittedly not something I’m skilled at, I asked Venric to explain this conversational style:
“Proper use of gifs as conversation responses is a complicated endeavor, requiring a lot of thought and effort, and what people might perceive as a flippant response or lazy troll is actually a carefully calculated statement that conveys something difficult to otherwise express. If a picture is worth a thousand words, we can be terse but still expressive.”
As mentioned above, Venric took on the role of CC in November. I asked him what interested him in the job. He said that it came up when he finished Guesting — “we felt like it would be pretty on-brand to let an aspirant take the helm and see what happened;” but it didn’t go through. When it came open last fall, he decided that it was the right time to put his energy into the position. The members of MDD have served our community in a lot of different ways, many behind the scenes. Venric is hoping to encourage the Company to be more active and visible during his term of office.
Sounds like we’re in for some great Gifersations in the near future!
Congratulations to Venric Methalion and Zashara Sho’am, Aes Sedai of the Brown Ajah, on their new bond! If you want to read an epic Gifersation, their application is a fantastic example!