Lore

Tamriel unhindered.

It’s been a while since I picked up the proverbial pen and wrote something about the games I’m playing. Well, it’s not that I haven’t been playing, on the contrary, I’ve been playing quite a few. Switching between single player RPGs to MMOs. I have played and still have to finish The Wither 3 and Fallout 4, the ongoing saga of Star Wars: The Old Republic and now back to the Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited. What can I say, I love them all. I want to play them all. The only one I have managed to complete is Dragon Age: Inquisition – but I’m not complaining….it’s like having books, the more I have the happier I feel. Weird!

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I jumped back into ESOTU because a friend and fellow blogger, De la Burro mentioned it in one of his posts. I had previously been a beta play and at the time I had come from playing Skyrim – and it was a bad move. Skyrim was still chugging along through my system and it just clashed with ESOTU. I found it frustrating and I couldn’t immerse myself in the world of Tamriel with so many players running around. They were invading my world of intense dungeon crawling, not to mention the hidden chests that I couldn’t open. My lockpicks kept on breaking, time was running out! That’s it! Enough! I threw down the gauntlet!

Well, a couple of weeks ago I went back and it felt so different – no comparing with Skyrim any more and those players running around in my Tamriel – no problem! I am loving it. For some unaccountable reason I can pick locks now without breaking a pick. How did that happen! My character feels so much better second time around, even the crafting feels different and am earning quite a bit of shinies doing crafting writs. I don’t know if it’s down to the changes to the game or me and the way I’m playing it. Whatever the reason, it’s working.

It is such a beautiful game and I love the day/night cycle and the dynamic weather. Exploring and coming upon a unmarked quest or hidden treasure is the ultimate for me and now with The Thieves Guild DLC I’m becoming quite rich! Suddenly my Bosmer (wood elf) is quite the thief! Combat is fun, switching from bow to dual daggers on the fly comes in very handy when those pesky bandits get too close. Though I do have to remember to dodge and roll AND I finally got my sweet ride – a cute piebald destrier. There is nothing like it! Cantering through the spectacular landscape of Tamriel – let’s go for the full immersion!

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Trusty friend.

…..and I have to admit searching for crafting nodes is alot of fun (can’t believe I’m actually writing that), picking flowers and looking for mushrooms is the bomb – then running off to create my alchemical concoctions is quite exciting. Now with the Dark Brotherhood DLC coming out May 31st I’ll be able to create posions. So now my Bosmer will not only be a thief, but how about dual wielding assassin! Yep, we’re going to rock this!

I have no idea how all this happened. I never thought I’d be back in Tamriel, but once you’re hooked to the elder scrolls lore, you’ll always be hooked and you’ll always end up reading every book you find……now all I need now is a library to put them in!

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The Relics of the Old World!

“There drew he forth the brand Excalibur,

And o’er him, drawing it, the winter moon,

Brightening the skirts of a long cloud, ran forth

And sparkled keen with frost against the hilt:

For all the haft twinkled with diamond sparks,

Myriads of topaz-lights, and jacinth-work

Of subtlest jewellery.”

…….and so said Lord Alfred Tennyson of Excalibur in his poem “Mort d’Arthur”, describing the beauty of King Arthur’s legendary sword, believed to be imbued with magical powers. History is riddled with relics, it’s what makes history so rich……….and you might ask “What does this have to do with Guild Wars 2?” Well, as we know lore in GW2 is what gives it meaning, why we do all that we do – to go out and battle the minions of the Elder Dragons and may be later even face the dragons themselves. GW2 also has its relics which lend themselves to the lore and give it depth.

Ventari, the elder centaur

The Ventari Tablets.

Ventari came onto the scene 250 years ago. He was an elder of the centaurs and lived in the Maguuma Jungle. He abhorred the violence that was overtaking his race and when it threatened to engulf his home he fled south to the Tarnished Coast. There he befriended a man by the name of Roran Ronan, who had found a special seed from which would grow The Pale Tree. Together, Ventari and Ronan, created a sanctuary of peace for all the races. When Ronan died, Venari continued to nurture the tree and here, surrounded by the peace and tranquility of the grove, Ventari wrote his articles of life:

  1. Live life well, and fully, and waste nothing
  2.  Do not fear Difficulty, hard ground makes strong roots.
  3. The only lasting peace is the peace within your soul.
  4. All things have a right to grow. The blossom is brother to the weed.
  5. Never leave a wrong to ripen into evil or sorrow.
  6. Act with wisdom, but act.
  7. From the smallest blade of grass to the largest mountain, where life goes- so too, should you.

These teachings shaped the firstborn Sylvari and would later have great bearing on the development of the race.

Magdaer and Sohothin.

Magdaer was an ancient doubled bladed fiery sword from Orr, and once belonging to the Gods of Tyria. It was wielded by King Adelbern and had immense power. It was the same sword that caused the Foefire, the great spell that destroyed the Charr and devastated the humans, ripping the souls from their bodies, which now still roam restlessly through the ruins of Ascalon City.

Sohothin, the flaming sword, was twin to Magdaer, and wielded by Prince Rurik, son of King Adelbern. According to legend it was believed that if the two swords where united by a descendant of King Doric (the descendant being Queen Jenna) then the souls of the Ascalon Guards would be put to rest. Sohothin is now in the hands of the Tribune Rytlock Brimstone. According to records, Eir Stegalkin ( once leader of Destiny’s Edge) believed that if she could retrieve Magdaer from the catacombs in Ascalon, and give it to Logan Thackery , then may be the rift between the two heroes (Logan and Rytlock) would be healed.

Sohothin, the sword of flame!

The Claw of the Khan Ur is an ancient charr sword lost in the ruins of Ascalon City. It is “an ungue, a four-bladed weapon with a central grip”, set with four gems; red, black, grey and gold each representing the children of the first Khan Ur. It was last seen before the Foefire in the hands of the Imperator of the Flame Legion. The Vigil, lead by the charr leader, Almorra Soulkeeper, believed that if the Claw was returned to the charr then hostilities might cease and human and charr could join forces to defeat the common enemy. So a group was set up and sent to the catacombs in Ascalon City to retrieve the Claw. The Claw was later given to the Imperator Smodur the Unflinching as a peace treaty and can now be found in the Imperator’s Core in the Black Citadel.

The Fang of the Serpant is a huge tooth belonging to Jormag, one of the Eldar Dragons. It was brought south by Asgeir Dragonrender, a great norn hero who was guided by the Spirits of the Wild to lead his people south of the Shiverpeaks. The hero who battled the great Ice Dragon and wrenched the huge fang that now hangs in the Great Lodge of Hoelbrak. As of yet nobody has managed to break it. It is believed that the hero who manages to break the tooth will be the one to destroy the dragon.

Jormag’s tooth, now hanging in Hoelbrak. According to the Norn, any who can break it will defeat Jormag.

The Golem’s Eye.

Little is known of the golem’s eye except that it was a huge ruby infused with arcane magic, created by the golemancer Blimm. It was believed to be buried in the crypts beneath Divinity’s Reach. An asura, Clagg, hired a group of adventurers to seek out the eye as it was capable of creating a huge guardian golem, taller than the tallest norn. Clagg called the eye a “self-replicating ambient thaumaturgic construct”, because even if parts of the golem were destroyed it would continue to reform itself for as long as its energy didn’t run out.  The Eye later fell into the hands of the asura Kranxx, a member of the group who was seeking out the Claw of the Khan Ur.

Will we, the players, manage to find all these relics? That is certainly something exciting to think about and not to forget. Exploring Tyria is going to be one huge adventure with a surprise around every corner. So buckle your shoes because it’s going to be one exotic ride!

Sources:

http://wiki.guildwars2.com/wiki/Main_Page

http://www.arena.net/blog/dream-and-nightmare#more-5682

http://www.arena.net/blog/the-sylvari-soul#more-5533

http://wiki.guildwars2.com/wiki/Ghosts_of_Ascalon

Categories: Articles, Lore | Tags: , , , , , , | 4 Comments

BWE3 Phase One – Sylvari

So the BWE is over and now we can sit back and really count down to the final days when we’ll have the game in its entirety and the excitement will be indeed high, but in the meantime there are a couple of things to keep us occupied, I’m sure.

In my case it’s writing some reviews! *sniggers*….ok, I’m trying to be funny, can’t you give a girl a break!! I was so excited as I sat in front of the GW2 launcher waiting for it to open the ‘door’ for me. This BWE was different from the other two, well, that’s how I felt, anyway!

Literally a dream world!

First off, I promised I wouldn’t, but I did……..I created a Sylvari and I fell in love! The Sylvari starting area is spectacular with oversized trees and plants and everything is so colourful. Well, it took me forever to get to the starting area in the first place, I got stuck on character creation. I know, I know. The character was going to be deleted, but I just couldn’t help myself! I simply enjoyed going through all the different varieties of skin tones, matching face to colour and all the fancy stuff – just to make the perfect sylvari……and the really fun part was when I spotted the ‘light bulb’ icon! I could actually switch off the light in the character screen and……..magic! My Sylvari lights up in the dark! Bioluminescence they call it! This was certainly the cherry on the cake for me!…….and they remind me so much of my loveable elves. I like elves. I think it’s the ears! No, wait……I think it’s because they are so ethereal and the sylvari are like that. Way beyond fun!

……and when I switched off the light!

So I drifted in (keeping the ethereal thing going here) as a Sylvari Necro and she was perfect! She fit the bill alright!…….and my explorations took me to The Grove! Oh, Oh…..look, look….Pale Tree! I just sat there panning my camera…..and for some reason it reminded me of another city close to my heart…….Caras Galadhon. If you’ve played LOTRO and read the book, you know what I’m talking about. If not, just imagine a city of sparkling flowers, silvery moon and twinkling faery lights everywhere……and meeting Pale Tree herself, as exhilarating as meeting Lady Galadriel! Everything about The Grove was so much fun and I wasn’t happy until I had discovered every point of interest and vistas (something I’ll talk about soon) that I could – I’m a completionist! So there I was jogging around The Grove, listening to the conversations going on and greeting an NPC here and there and most of the replies were the illuminating words “Seize the moment!” One of these jogs took me to The Nightshade Garden, the Grove prison and what a prison it is! If you’re caught doing something bad you’re locked up in a HUGE flycatcher-looking plant so watch out! Anyway, there I was zooming in to get a closer look and I automatically greeted one of the jailors and an exasperated voice replied, “Seize the bloody moment!” I mean, honestly, you’ve got to love ‘em!

Then there were the dynamic events…….and those were fun! I can never get enough of them, so exciting to do. One of them was real fun. We had to defeat spiders and pick mushrooms. Those mushrooms made you grow big, you were turned into a sylvari-norn. Reminded me of Alice and her potions……Drink Me and shrink, Eat Me and grow big!……and the hearts, we can’t forget the hearts. One turned me into a sylvan hound and the other turned me into one of the those moss-covered-tree-giants (am not going to say why, don’t want to spoil the fun for anybody, have said enough already).

Moss-covered-tree giant!

Fun, fun and fun! Truly, that’s what it is to play as a sylvari! They are a really fascinating race and I have a dilemma on my hands…….Norn or Sylvari! Let me meditate a while on this!

Categories: Lore | Tags: , , , , | 7 Comments

Take the Order!

Sitting back and enjoying my coffee…….alright, so it’s hot and I’m mad to be drinking coffee in this heat! Hello! I’m drinking it in front of the fan!!…….and it suddenly dawned on me that GW2 is not just about dynamic events and WvWvW and heart deeds, but it’s also about the characters themselves. As there is so much to do in GW2 I think we tend to forget that it’s really all about the ‘people‘ . We, the players, have quite a job on our hands.

An aspect that quite intrigues me is when I think about the 3 orders and their role in GW2. The Durmand Priory, the Vigil and the Order of Whispers. Now according to sources:

The Durmand Priory

The Durmand Priory was established in 1105AE by scholars dedicated to protecting the knowledge and lore. They hoped that  they would find some hidden text that would help them uncover the secret of the Elder Dragons and how they could defeat them. The scholars also contributed to the New Krytan alphabet. A language that all races could communicate with.

The Order of Whispers. This was a secret and ancient Elonian society. It’s members were thieves, spies and agents working along an extensive network throughout Tyria in the hope that one day they could defeat the Elder Dragons.

The Vigil was founded in 1320AE after the Dragonbrand. The Vigil’s founder and leader was the charr Almorra Soulkeeper. She survived the Dragonbrand, the deep scar in the charr homelands caused by Kralkatorrik.  This order was a military one dedicated to defeating the Elder Dragons through force of arms. They believed that the only way to defeat the Elder Dragons was if all the races of Tyria were united.

So I wonder. How do these orders play out in the personal stories? I know that eventually we have to choose which order we’re going to belong to as we progress along our personal storyline, but I am extremely curious to see how it’s all going to develop.

Yet again I am knocked over by the depth of lore in GW2. Turn a corner and the lore just leaps out. It’s interesting to see how all these strings tie up together to form one cohesive history……….and now I sound like a university professor!!

Well, I think I know which order I’m going to join. Are you ready to take the order?

Vigil Castle in the Shiverpeak Mountains

 

sources:     http://wiki.guildwars2.com/wiki/Main_Page

http://www.arena.net/blog/

Categories: Lore | Tags: , , , , , , | 4 Comments

The Dragon’s Roar!

“I desired dragons with a profound desire. Of course, I in my timid body did not wish to have them in the neighbourhood . . . .But the world that contained even the imagination of Fáfnir was richer and more beautiful, at whatever the cost of peril.”

― J.R.R. Tolkien

I can’t help but agree with Tolkien. I mean what would our fantasies be without a dragon or two? So I pose the question; Why do we like/love dragons? What’s so fascinating about them? Is it because they’re big and bossy or because they are powerful and wield magical spells? Well, I’ve always wanted to transform myself into one. I can see myself late at night – obviously don’t want anybody to see me, imagine that…..the panic –metamorphosing into this extraordinarily large and magnificent golden dragon with glowing green eyes and soaring all over the country. Take that for a fantasy! Ok, cliché! Do I care? Nope!

What does this have to do with GW2? Let me do a little jig here. Ok, done! Well, if you’re not into the lore you wouldn’t care, would you? Do you have to know the lore to play GW2? Not really, but if you did then you wouldn’t just play it, but you might enjoy it even more! There is no rule which states that players need to know the story to have fun in Tyria, but if they did they would understand the details of what they see around them. That the submerged ruin is old Lion’s Arch or the tower that appears to be floating above Kessex Hills is the Wizard’s Tower……that the beauty of Tyria has come a long way, basically 250 years’ worth of history.

Lion’s Arch Before and After

The open world of GW2 is different from other MMORPGs because players are encouraged to work together and not oppose each other.  The history of Tyria is so diverse and multi-layered that to see Charr and Humans work together is like seeing oil and water performing a tango in a glass. That these two races come together to try to defeat the great evil that has befallen the world.  The Elder Dragons.

The Dragon Primordus

The dragon saga begins with Primordus, 1120AE. He was supposed to have woken in 1078AE, but his champion , The Great Destroyer was defeated by The Great Dwarf, so his awakening was   delayed until the Asura, thinking that he was just a huge entity of power, tapped into that power  and decided to build their Central Transfer Chamber, and this led to their hasty retreat  to the surface. Ah the Asura  – so it was their fault! Blundering little geniuses!

…..and the saga continues with Jormag. The curse of the Norn! Now he began wiggling his whiskers in 1078AE.  He promised power to a Norn warrior, Svanir. The fellow enjoyed that power and became the first champion though he wasn’t really very attractive, half-norn, half-bear and covered in ice – the first of the Icebrood. He was given the name of the Nornbear and GW players get to meet the bugger when they help his sister, Jora to defeat him. Now she was a tough cookie – by killing him she would regain her honour and that of her family and delay the rise of the dragon by 50 years. Not bad! Not bad at all! Unfortunately, Svanir left a legacy, attracting warriors who thought Jormag’s power really cool and they became the Sons of Svanir – who we get to kick around in GW2. An ounce of satisfaction, I must say.

Jormag’s tooth, now hanging in Hoelbrak. According to the Norn, any who can break it will defeat Jormag.

…..but there is no rest for the wicked. Jormag finally emerges in 1165AE, causing the Kodan (intelligent polar-bear like beings)to flee and the Norn to retreat to the south of the Shiverpeak Mountains.

Did I say I like dragons?!

1219AE  the world shakes as Zhaitan, the boss of bosses awakens. Now his humble abode lay beneath the sunken city of Orr. So he decided to see the light of day and in so doing caused a huge wave – wonder if it resembled a tsunami! – which destroyed Lion’s Arch and the Battle Isles and being a dragon of his stature he needed followers, so he decided to control the wandering dead of Orr who became his most obedient and ‘loving’ servants. Now who doesn’t enjoy a good love-story! So big boy Zhaitan has decided to take up residence in the ruins of the holy city of Arah, the ancient city of the gods………and who said dragons weren’t snobs!

Sit back, grab a beer. It’s not over yet! Now there’s not much written about the next dragon. The Deep Sea Dragon. All we know is that he can create tentacle creatures from the water. Got to remember that the next time I go snorkelling!

Could that be Kralkatorrik, still dormant?!

……and last but not least the mean and terrifiying Kralkartorrik. Wow, he’s one mean, bad lizard! He decided to shake the rocks in 1320AE.  He rose in the Charr homelands and flew south over Ascalon and settled in the Crystal Desert. Of course, he wouldn’t have been such a bad dragon if he hadn’t caused the Dragonbrand. As he flew over he destroyed everything, from plants to creatures transforming them into crystal monsters. These were considered to be the branded and in the Finale of the last BWE I got to be one of them. I was branded and my ‘job’ was to try and convert as many players as I could. I bow my head meekly here as I snigger to myself……it was fun! I was transformed into this crystalline ‘monster’ – I didn’t look like a monster to me! – and ran around the Ascalon Plains branding others! Ok! So Kralkatorrik can organise one amazing party, dude!

……and that is the saga of the dragons in GW2. Do you still love them? *whispers* I do! The greatest finale of all will be when we all finally get to meet the big lizard himself, Zhaitan. I often wonder what he looks like.

……so put on your armour, grab your weapons and let’s go and hear the dragon roar!

Zhaitan

sources: http://wiki.guildwars2.com/wiki/Main_Page

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page

http://www.arena.net/

Categories: Lore | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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