Posts Tagged With: dragon

Games, books and summer shades.

Summertime and the living is easy,” the words ring through my mind as I sip my chilled Chardonnay. The best time of year, well, one of them, as I greatly appreciate mulled wind and mince pies too.

Well, what does one do during the long, lazy summer holidays? Well, one can obviously swim, sunbathe and end up sporting a gorgeous tan, naturally, after having administered the highest sun protecting lotion on the market and then forgetting to reapply the product on venturing back up the beach.  One can also indulge in afternoon siestas, the heat acting like a natural tranquiliser, unless there’s an air conditioner in the room, but that would spoil the romantic image of a light breeze creeping through the partially opened balcony doors causing the white lace curtains to gently sway apart.  Then, of course, there’s those summer evening greatly enjoyed by many. I enjoy mine sitting by the sea indulging my taste buds on a typical Mediterranean platter of freshly baked bread, olive oil and tomatoes, not forgetting my wine. Perfection.

       Summer indulgence!

Summer indulgence!

Or one can couple all the above with a good book or eBook.  I prefer the traditional age-old-page-turning, musty smell of a good book, but then again an eBook is a welcome addition to any handbag. So let’s choose both.

There are those who might take up archery or cross stitch. I love archery, always wanted to be a “Legolas”, standing strong with bow in hand, hunting orcs……..and cross stitch is a favourite of mine. I actually have a number of designs to my name. Think I’ll pat myself on the back for that one. Very proud. Yes, I am.

Then there’s gaming.  I would call that my secret love. I don’t really talk about it to anybody. My friends wouldn’t really care and they’d probably think it stupid anyway. A grown woman playing games. Really! Come on, are you serious! Shouldn’t I be doing something more productive like baking – no, that would make the kitchen too hot and it’s summer, hot enough as it is – no thank you.  May be cleaning the house, washing the floor, dusting the furniture. Done that.  Writing a story. In progress……Now it’s just time to relax. It’s game time. It’s time to unbutton the cloak of reality and slip into something more virtual……and there is an entire wardrobe I can slip into; Dragonborn, rogue- archery-Inquisitor, stealth assassin, wasteland explorer, hunter of witches and ghouls and that’s just selecting a few.  I could wear all, but for the sake of this venture I’ll wear my favourite two; Dragonborn – Skyrim and Inquisitor – Dragon Age. Dragon in the name, therefore they equate to something awesome.

There is nothing quite like being the hero of a realm, the one to bring peace, to heal the wounds of the people and give them shelter from the malevolent beings who are hell-bent on destroying their world.  Striding into a captured keep and being hailed; “Welcome Inquisitor”, “You are the Dragonborn.”  Now that deserves a toast.

Where there be dragons, there be Dragonborn!

Where there be dragons, there be Dragonborn!

Just like books, games transport you to other worldly dimensions where the mundane becomes relevant.  Through books I see worlds in my mind’s eye, whereas games translate those same worlds into graphic images.  You can lose yourself in both, become that person you would have liked to become, may be, in real life if only it were possible.  I consider bother genres art forms, both involve a degree of creativity and imagination, both have the capability of transforming the creative spirit into something tangible.  The difference between the game and the book though, is through one you become the protagonist while through the other you are the observer.  In Skyrim I become the Dragonborn. The hero who speaks in the dragon tongue, who uses this newfound strength to defeat Alduin, the devourer of worlds (Alduin being a big, black, mean dragon).  In Dragon Age: Inquisition I become the Inquisitor branded with the key to seal rifts into the Fade, the one who ultimately destroys the creator of the Breach – Corypheus (a very unpleasant guy) and his Red Templars.  Oh the glory and satisfaction, I being the one to heal the world.  Something, I guess, some of us might aspire to.  Heal the world of all rifts and make it a better place.

Inquisitor in command!

Inquisitor in command!

Books, on the other hand, are windows on the past. They mirror the present, they are prisms reflecting the life to come.  Without them we float on stormy seas.  Books are boxes containing priceless artefacts and just like a magic carpet they transport us to unknown lands. We learn to fly among the planets, recognizing the beauty lying on the pages of black print…….and you can become so wrapped up in the story, so emotionally involved with the characters that reality just seems to dwindle away.  I remember the first time I read The Lord of the Rings.  I was still in 6th Form studying for my A Levels and I had nothing else to do during my summer holidays except read.  There I was sitting on the roof under a canopy when Frodo said, “Get off the road” and I held my breath. I literally felt I wasn’t breathing as the Nazgul leaned in to where the hobbits were hiding. I felt so scared. It was so cool! Come on! It’s like watching a movie in your head, suffice to say I felt the same thing at the same point in the actual movie. The printed word bridges the gap between the thoughts and the paper. They paint pictures in a multitude of colours. Words are ultimately the offspring of thoughts and as Lord Byron once said “A drop of ink may make a million think.”

Summer is definitely a good time. Sit back, chillax and enjoy the summer glow.  Well, that’s what I’m going to be doing.

Categories: General | Tags: , , , , | 3 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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