Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween! Yes, I know I’m a day early, but I know people usually have plans on the 31st and it’s a saturday. I wrote a small Halloween story with some of my characters appearing. Half of them you’ve already met in other stories, a few you haven’t, yet. I do have stories about them, but I really want to finish young Miira’s story line right now.

Another note on writing. Some of you have already seen me mentioning it on Twitter. I’ll be taking part in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) this year. It’s a global event for anyone who wants to sit down and write a novel. The goal is to write 50.000 words in the 30 days of November. And that’s what I hope to do. Starting this sunday I’ll be writing 1667 words a day. Since I still work full time and have to spend two hours a day commuting, I probably won’t have much time to work on my fanfics.

Miira and her warband will be back the 4th of December, ready to kick butt. Get ready to meet Tarakona Kohimuhimu and Kaibush Treewood (yes, my names are crazy) and enjoy the story!

Continue reading Happy Halloween!

Tyria Times – The Return of the Mad King

Last friday was frustrating. I had to go to work while tons of people were playing Guild Wars 2 with the release of Heart of Thorns. I was dieing to go home and play, but not Heart of Thorns. I wanted to play Halloween. The Mad King returned to Lion’s Arch and make Tyria a slightly scarier place. Between the four Elder Dragons, Mad King Thorne is hardly scary.

Continue reading Tyria Times – The Return of the Mad King

Grawling Preparations

In the morning the warband was visited by their ethereal foes again. Miira took charge of her group again, while the Bane warband manned their usual posts. She adjusted her plans from the night before based on her observations of that battle. And it worked, with the ghost’s morale breaking earlier than the previous attack.

Afterwards, Primus Bayn decided that the cubs should take on one of the smaller tasks of the Bane warband. Grawl were converging on a nearby statue of the human god Balthazar. Although in their usual unintentionally hilarious way,  they called him Badazar.

“Pff, really? Badazar? Are they that stupid? Besides, why would you even worship anything?” laughed Malkov.

“I doubt that what the grawl do is actually worshipping. They believe in something though, and that can be a powerful thing.” Miira said.

“Jeez, look who’s acting all grown up. Talking smart.” Sennen mocked her.

“No, she’s right. I once heard of the norn who joined Jormag, the svanir. Jormag gives them his power, because they believe in him.” Torruhk.

“But he’s a damned dragon. Balthazar is not. He doesn’t even exist.” Sennen raised his voice.

“No, the human gods left Tyria, at least that’s what the humans say. I hope we killed them when we took back Ascalon. Maybe we can find some time to join the Bane warband and go to the crypt. The statue of the goddess Dwayna is in there. Maybe her ghost will be as well.” Primus Bayn explained. He’d heard rumors about a non-hostile ghost appearing there. One who resembled the statue.

“Why did their gods leave? And how? Did they die?” Korina shivered at the thought of death. If even gods couldn’t avoid death, how could she?

“That I don’t know, little one. I’d bet if you asked someone from the Durmand Priory, they would know. Maybe you should visit them someday.” Primus Bayn said.

“For now we have to focus on the grawl and their ‘ritual’.” Miira brought them back to the present. “They’re gathering around this statue of Balthazar, god or not, and we have to stop them. Who knows what happens when they complete this ritual.”

Primus Bayn nodded. He was proud of her willingness to lead, but it also put him in second place. He knew that it wasn’t his warband. He would have to leave them soon. But seeing them growing up so fast, he felt sad. He’d never found a mate, so he saw his fahrars as his children. Even though he knew that he would never have spent as much time with his own cub as he did with the fahrars. It was strange. The love he felt for the cubs would never be the same as the love of a parent for their cub.

Primus Bayn looked at Miira as she talked about possible strategies. She questioned everyone about what they knew about the grawl and how they fought. None of them had fought grawl before. The only thing they knew anything about was the area surrounding the statue. They borrowed a map from Marin and made notes on it.

Sennen cut off one side of the valley with fire. Malkov attacked from atop the cliffside, sniping them from above. Korina instilled fear in the grawl. Miira and Torruhk attacked the grawl head on. Only moments after they’d started their assault, the grawl had either fled or were dead. One of the grawl screamed “We’ll be back!” as he skipped away. Malkov had an arrow ready to fire, but Miira stopped him. The grawl’s retreat was all they needed.

The cubs came back to the camp excited. They’d fought new enemies today and won. Sennen, Malkov and Torruhk were making fun of the grawl and their lack of intelligence.

“Tor.” Miira only had to say his name and Torruhk knew what to do. He jumped into a salute and said “Yes, Miss!” before running off.

“Where’s he going?” asked Korina.

“Taking care of dinner.” Miira answered.

Malkov’s eyes opened with surprise. “I want to go too. Maybe I can shoot my own boar.” He grabbed his bow from his shoulder and ran after Torruhk.

“I bet they’ll be fighting to kill the biggest boar.” Korina laughed.

“Boys will be boys.” Giggled Miira.

Sennen lagged behind the rest of the group, the way he usually did . He was in deep thought and didn’t see Korina standing in front of him. He bumped his head against the Quaggan backpack she always carried around with her. “Ouch. What do you keep in that thing? Jeez.”

“Maybe if you just paid attention, you wouldn’t bump into me.” Korina snapped back.

“Aren’t you becoming too old for Quaggan stuff?” Sennen rubbed his snout.

“Why don’t you go play with Miss Hotness instead of bugging me?” Korina cherished her backpack, because it was the last thing her mother had given her. It helped her deal with her anxieties.

Miira let the two fight it out and reported back to Primus Bayn. They evaluated the mission together. At the end Primus Bayn asked “Why did you let the grawl live? Why not let Malkov kill him?”

“Because I don’t kill for sport. The grawl don’t have any idea what they’re doing. Killing something for its lack of intelligence is wrong. If it was the right thing to do, Tyria would be a lot less crowded.” Miira had a serious look in her eyes. She held on to her values firmly, even if others thought her weak because of it.

“Miira, I admire your sense of justice, but sometimes you should show less mercy to your enemies. Not everyone has a good heart and stupidity can be very dangerous. I’m not saying you acted wrong in this case, but think about it. You might be dealing with dragons and dragon minions later. You have to be careful with the calls you make. Sometimes you have to look at the bigger picture.” Primus Bayn said, trying to prepare her for the evil that lurked beyond the outskirts of the Black Citadel. The fight against his branded brothers still haunted his dreams regularly.

Miira nodded. He did have a point. But she was certain that she’d made the right choice this time.

 

Tyria Times – Prep Time

You as regular reader have probably noticed that there wasn’t a fanfic last friday. I’m sorry. I was on a quest to find the sun. (I found it) But don’t worry, this friday another part in young Miira’s adventures will be up. I’m still planning a special Halloween story for the week after that.

I didn’t have much time to prepare for the Heart of Thorns launch friday, nor the return of the Mad King. And since the launch coincides with the return of Halloween, I’ll know what I’ll be doing friday evening. Yes, running the labyrinth. And I’ll probably be doing that for the next two weeks.

I have a level 45 thief that needs to get to level 80. He’ll get there easily with all the boosts from celebration boosters, XP boosters, food and utility buffs. Last year I leveled Miira from 54 to 80 in just a few evenings and I managed to hoard enough Halloween items for The Crossing.

ArenaNet is bringing the old dungeon back with some improvements and there will be new skins and items to farm. Yes, I’m excited. From all the seasonal events Guild Wars 2 has, I like this one best. I’m looking forward to the new achievements and even to completing the jumping puzzle again. The first year it took me about six whole days before I could make it. Last year it took me about three days. I hope I’ll get it even quicker this year.

I have completed one thing of my to do list before Heart of Thorns. I’ve completed The Crossing! I was too lazy to farm for lodestones, so I bought them. I’m poor again, but it’s worth it. My norn necro will proudly wield it until I finish Nevermore.

For this Halloween I hope I’ll find some more recipes for the other craftable Halloween skins. I like them very much and want all of them. Yes, I’ll work my butt off again to craft them. Yes, even if that means it’ll take longer to complete a legendary.

Night Falls

Night fell. Miira looked up at the clear sky. There was no light except for their campfire. Her friends were already asleep and Primus Bayn was talking to Latres. Miira suspected she was the leader in the warband. Miira rarely saw the stars. It was either cloudy or the light from the Black Citadel obscured her view.

“Hey kid, can’t sleep?” Primus Bayn asked Miira. He sat down besides her.

“I probably could, but I wanted to look at the stars. They’re beautiful and I don’t get to see them often back home,” she said. The two sat silently watching the stars. Then Miira looked at him. “Primus Bayn, what’s our final mission? I know you’re not supposed to tell us yet, but I have a bad feeling. You’re not leading us into danger, are you?”

Bayn looked down at the white furred cub. “Your mane is getting long. Not just that, you’re all growing up so fast.” He’d always favored her. She was smart, maybe even the smartest cub he’d mentored. He wasn’t surprised that she’d noticed something. Her eyes narrowed.

“I’m sorry, Miira. There’s something I have to do and I need your help. You probably haven’t heard, but the tribune doesn’t like me very much. This is probably my last year as acting Primus. I’ve heard they want me to be a scrapper. Unless… Unless I prove I’m worthy. Worthy and capable of mentoring great warbands, like yours. You lot are the best group I’ve had and the others have seen in years. We just have to prove that you truly are the best.” Primus Bayn had a serious look in his eyes and hunched over towards her.

Miira hadn’t expected this. She liked Primus Bayn very much. Why anyone would hate him that much, she couldn’t understand. Enough to make him a scrapper, of all things. “We’ll help you. I know the others would agree as well. I think it’s a small favor compared to what you’ve done for us.” She didn’t know how much she could do, but she would try. She didn’t want to let him down.

“Really?” He looked up at her with gleaming eyes. “Thank you. I’ll train you the best I can. I’m prepared to do anything to save my life from scrapping. Even death sounds more attractive to me. If they made me a gladium, maybe I could go out into the world and join the Vigil.”

She thought the vigil would fit the Primus very well. “Thank you, Primus. I promise I’ll do my best for you to keep your position as Primus. You taught us a lot and you’d also teach the next generation more than any other Primus I know. I think the vigil would accept you if you applied, even if you’re not gladium. Figure out what it is that you really want and go for it. Even if you have to defy the Tribune.” Miira punched his shoulder softly as encouragement. Primus Bayn laughed and nodded.

“What’s that?” Miira stood up and pointed towards a blue shimmer appearing at the edge of the camp.

“Grr. Miira, get the others and grab your weapons. We’ve got company.” Primus Bayn growled.

Miira ran towards the tents and grabbed her staff. On the way out she poked her friends and told them to get ready for an incoming attack. Torruhk and Sennen were up as soon as they realized they could kill something. Korina and Malkov preferred to stay behind. Miira had to kick them out of bed.

“No, this is not a drill. This is for real. I saw the ghost appear and from what I gathered from Varian, they rarely come alone. We have to defend ourselves.” Miira said with confidence. “Torruhk, Sennen, I don’t want you near the tents. You’d probably destroy our camp. Go with Loculus and kill the ghosts before they can reach the camp. I’m sure the ghosts will appear in different places, so we have to be prepared. Malkov, see if you can climb that tree. You can warn us about incoming ghosts. Snipe everything hostile coming our way. Korina, stay close to me.”

The cubs took their places. Loculus didn’t want the two cubs to join them, but Primus Bayn assured him that they could look after themselves. Malkov took out his longbow and positioned himself in the highest tree in camp. He shouted out the number of ghosts and the wind direction so Miira and Korina knew where to go. Varian and Maris joined them as soon as Varian had calmed down. Latres stayed behind to guard the weapons.

The four male charr hacked and blasted away at the ghosts and made a game out of it. These ascalonian ghosts weren’t the brightest. They were blinded by hatred towards the charr. Meanwhile Malkov saw small groups spawn at the back of the camp. He shouted that there were three coming at the north side. Miira lit up her staff and sent light energy towards the ghosts, while Korina summoned a poisonous cloud around them. It was enough to make the ghosts dissolve. They would be back later, probably even angrier than before.

After an hour, the ghosts stopped spawning. Latres managed to keep her stock safe and the others were mostly unhurt. Only Torruhk had a cut in his paw. Miira immediately tended to his wound and patted it after she wrapped it. “You idiot,” she whispered. Torruhk winced as he felt the pressure on the wound. He apologized when the others couldn’t hear them.

Loculus stood at the center of the circle of charr. “You see why they call this Spirit Watch camp? They came at night now, so they’re easy to see. But they can attack at any time. They don’t sleep and don’t care how much time has passed.”

“Why do they attack us here? And why do you have to defend this place?” asked Miira.

“That’s a very good question, cub. Why do they attack us here? I don’t know. I doubt our superiors knew there were ghosts here. They heard about the grawl camp nearby and they wanted a camp near the crystal shard. Something about the Durmand Priory wanting to research it.” Loculus shrugged.

Latres sighed. “No, we were sent here to clear the Abbey Ruins. But these damned ghosts won’t stay away. It’s not surprising with a statue of one of their gods there. We should just break it. They won’t let us though, because it might endanger the treaty with the humans.”

“Ok, cubs. Back to bed now,” said Maris. “Enough excitement for tonight. Get some sleep while you can. You never know when they might return.”

A Promise Made

The following morning Miira was up before the others. She left camp shortly to gather some necessary herbs and prepared the seasoning for the meat. She hoped Primus Bayn would wake up before the others, but Torruhk was the first to join her. He sliced some steaks and seasoned them well.

Miira always admired Torruhk’s cooking skills. She knew how to prepare food well enough to survive, but most members of her warband would rather eat something else . Torruhk was making sure the fire had the right temperature before roasting the steaks. She just stared at him while he worked his magic.

“Tor, for the next mission, our last one before we’re a real warband, can I ask you something?” she spoke softly so as to not wake the others.

“Sure, what’s up?” He looked at her for a second before focusing on the fire again.

“I don’t have a good feeling about this. Bayn is hiding something. I saw it in his eyes. This mission is going to be more dangerous than he’s said and I want you to be ready.” Miira said.

“Mi, I’m always ready. But I’ll sharpen my sword before the battle, just to be sure.” Torruhk replied with a grin.

Miira’s eyes pierced Torruhk’s as she said, “that’s not what I’m talking about. I want you to listen to my orders. I want you to stay with me instead of jumping in head first. I need you to back off when I tell you to and run when we need to.”

That look was all Torruhk needed to understand what she meant. Their lives meant more than this mission. Even if they failed to complete the objective, only Primus Bayn would be punished. All they needed to do was enough to prove themselves worthy for the naming ceremony.

Miira was the strategist of the group. She was well known for her insight in battles and patterns. Ignoring a call from her often meant defeat as had become obvious during earlier missions and training. Malkov was a good scout. He often climbed into trees or on top of buildings to gain a better view of the situation. His information ensured that Miira could create suitable strategies and adapt to the situation . Korina, despite fearing death, always knew which fighting style was most effective for the enemies they were fighting. Torruhk and Sennen usually formed the front line together with Miira. Sennen would work his fire magic on the terrain to block off paths or ‘herd’ foes while giving Miira and Torruhk extra elemental damage.

They were a good team. They had proven so before  whenever they’d followed Miira’s plans. Improvisation was highly discouraged, especially from Torruhk and Sennen. Any call they made only resulted in more trouble.

Torruhk knew he was often too reckless and nodded. The look in her eyes frightened him slightly. It didn’t show her usual confidence. It wasn’t like her. This thing with Bayn was bothering her more than she’d let on. He felt a strong urge to give her a hug, just for comfort, but it didn’t seem right. Although they were close, a hug seemed too intimate. He expected a rejection if he initiated one, because he knew he  liked her more than she liked him.

Miira was relieved that  Torruhk had understood the need for caution. Now she needed to figure out how she could talk to Primus Bayn without having any of the others around. Korina woke up next and went about to do her duties. Malkov immediately started packing up camp after he woke up, all while Miira and Torruhk prepared breakfast. Sennen woke up last. He didn’t have any morning duties. They stopped assigning him any after he’d torched their entire camp. It had taken them more than a month to earn enough silver to replace their equipment.

After breakfast they waited for Primus Bayn to lead them to their new camp. Miira hadn’t been to Agnos Gorge yet, but she’d heard about it. Earth elementals haunted the place and one of the last big crystal remnants of the Searing was there.

Primus Bayn had led them to the Spirit Hunter camp. “This will be our base camp for the next week. We’ll help the Bane warband with their duties. They just relocated to this place. Of course, you will be responsible for most of the cooking and cleaning for as long as we’re here. Torruhk, we’re counting on you for some delicious boar meat.”

“Boars? Awesome! They’re fast, so it will be challenge to catch them, but you can count on me.” Torruhk’s eyes lit up. He grabbed his sword and ran to the edge of camp.

“Not so fast, cub. We’ve got a camp to set up first.” Primus Bayn threw a rolled up tent towards Torruhk. Malkov snickered behind his paw. Primus Bayn threw him the other tent, wiping the smile from his face.

The members of the Bane Warband looked on from a distance as the cubs set up their own tents. Varian Ironbane was impressed with their swiftness as the cubs set up their tents. “They’re going to need this skill if they’re staying here. Should we tell them?” he whispered to Maris Spiritbane. Varian shivered at the thought of the ghostly visitors.

“Nah, they’ll find out soon enough. And then we’ll have a laugh.” Maris replied with a wink. “It’s bad enough we have to stay here. These cubs will lighten up the mood while they’re here.”

“As long as they’re not giant pussies like Varian, they’ll be fine.” Loculus laughed. Varian glared at him and let out a low growl.

“Save your growling for someone who is actually impressed by it.” Loculus retorted smugly as he leaned against the rock wall.

Torruhk had somehow found the biggest boar in the entire  forest and presented it well-seasoned to his warband and their hosts. Loculus started telling a tale of old Ascalon, teaching the cubs a little about the history of the place.

“Have you seen any Ascalonian ghosts yet?” Loculus asked the cubs. Korina and Malkov shook their head. “You’ll see them soon enough. But you needn’t be frightened. You can kill them. If you’re brave enough. ” He paused and then started laughing. “Unless you’re like Varian, haha. You’ll find out why this place is called the Spirit Hunter camp.”

Varian winced. He had expected a comment sooner or later. He disliked Loculus’ teasing. His comments were sharp like daggers, but he did help out whenever the ghosts outnumbered Varian.

The young charrs were huddled up together talking about ghosts when the fifth member of the Bane Warband returned. Latres Bladebane had been to the Black Citadel to stock up on merchandise. She sold weapons to anyone who passed through Spirit Hunter camp. It was vital to keep a large supply because  ghosts sometimes stole the weapons if they got the chance. “Heya, I’m Latres Bladebane, the first member of the Bane warband. I hope my friends treated you well. I know they like to tease, but they’re good guys, really. They’re just not very used to other charr. Their manners aren’t very inviting.” She winked.

 

Tyria Times – Efficiency in Guild Wars

Maybe you’ve already heard about it. ArenaNet hosted a contest for new community apps using its Guild Wars 2 API. GW2efficiency is such a creation by David Reeß (queicherius.2563).

It’s possible to share a list of all your characters, their builds and inventory with your friends. Check out my awesome heroes of Tyria. You’ll see that my characters’ inventories are a mess. I’m not good at organizing things, especially when I get a lot of loot that this character can’t use, but another can. I’m lazy with sorting items out. This will make it easier for me to clean up my whole account.

Read on for more about GW2efficiency and a small update on my to-do list

Continue reading Tyria Times – Efficiency in Guild Wars

Your princess is in another castle