101 Goals, 1001 Days: Follow on online course

What’s the easiest way to learn something? Through the internet, of course! In my opinion, nothing beats following on online course in your PJs with a pot of tea and cookies to keep those brains active. I’m also a person who learns from people talking to them. I loved following the not-so-interactive classes in university. I would take notes until my hands cramped or class ended.

Over the past years online courses have grown exponentialy. Universities offer Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) for free, or just upload the recordings of real classes. Coursera is probably the most famous one, with classes from Ivy League schools ranging from science to the arts. Earn certificates in your own field or in a new discpline to widen your skill set. Check out MOOC List to find all the MOOCs available, even the ones not on Coursera.

I have a few goals on my list that could benefit from an online course. Learning Python for example. There are tons of ways to learn to program. Codeacademy is another example. I already use Duolingo to learn Japanese. That combined with my interest in anime and Japanese shows (thank you, Netflix, for providing them), and a Japanese sister-in-law, I know I’ll get there.

I have found an online course that I want to follow, even when it has nothing to do with the learning goals on my list, and I want to share it with you. I can’t remember how I found it, but I want to tell you about it, so you can share it with others.

I’m a writer, as you probably know, and I like to learn from other writers. I recently finished On Writing by Stephen King and I have View From The Cheap Seats by Neil Gaiman, Wonderbook by Jeff Vandermeer, and Bird by Bird by Anne Lamotts lined up to read. So when I found the online writing course taught by Brandon Sanderson I knew I had to follow/watch it. It’s free, it’s fun, it’s educational. I hope you’ll enjoy it with me

Here is the full play list. Have Fun!

101 Goals, 1001 Days: Finishing up the house

It’s a little over a year since we moved into the house I had built. Some of you might remember my posts about ‘Real Life Sims‘, where I talked about designing a terrace house with the help of an architect. They finished building it in April last year and we moved in at the end of June. We wanted to move as soon as possible, because we were paying for two houses, and because of that, we left some jobs undone.

We still need shelf space in the guest room, game room (so many figurines!) and in the laundry room. Art is still on the ground instead of on the wall. I’m sure there are at least twenty more boxes that need to be unpacked. Yes, lots to do.

The new IKEA book came in with the new collection. I’m working on a shopping list for the next we have some time to go. I already know that I’ll leave with more than that’s on the list, because it wouldn’t be IKEA if I didn’t.

I’m also making progress on a different goal: reading. I finished my first book of the hundred that I want to read in these 1001 days. It also counts towards my yearly Goodreads Reading Challenge of 30 books. With Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone finished, I’m still three books behind on that goal, but I know that I’ll get those 30.

If you have any books to recommend, please let me know! I still need a few more.

101 Goals, 1001 Days: Reinstall my PC and Journaling

Reinstalling my pc has been on my to-do list for a long time. The past few months the blue screens and crashes became more frequent so it had to be done. After a crash the day before yesterday I thought it was time. I backuped my data and my husband started the reset process. I think that’s one of the biggest improvements of Windows 10. Resetting your pc is so much easier now than it was before.

I went for a full reset, without saving any personal settings. I wanted a clean start again, also because I wanted to know where my problems came from and that is easier with a clean install. I saved the important files to my other hard disk, hoping that it’s not faulty.

After installing the basics, Firefox, Chrome, Steam, Guild Wars 2, I also installed Fortnite again. I’ve been enjoying it every time we play, but we don’t have much time to game together, since our dog isn’t allowed to come up to the game room. Fortnite used to load slowly. It would still be launching while I booted my husband’s pc, logged in, launched the game and collected the daily. Yes, it was that bad. I just test it and it launched in a few seconds! I should’ve done this a long time ago. Hopefully, my other games will run smoothly as well, and no more crashes in League of Legends.

I’m also working on my other goals, like blogging every day and writing in my journal. Of course that’s not something I’ll be sharing with you, but I’ll tell you a little about my journaling habit. I used to write one page a day, as a journal, with no rules except that it had to be one page. It helped me figuring out myself, my life, my dreams, but it also gave me a chance to talk about important events and reflect upon them. I stopped early this year after my health got worse and I wanted to sleep instead of writing my page.

Skipping one day isn’t enough to break a habit, as long as you’re conscious of it and willing to continue. But after not doing that thing for a few days and you’ll forget it’s a habit and it’s becoming something you do instead of something you do every day. I believe this is why people tell aspiring writers to write every day and to never skip a day.I want to get back into that habit of journaling each day, although I’ll probably use the morning to write instead of the evening. My mind will be fresh and that first page can be a good warm up for further writing.

101 Goals, 1001 Days: Finish one game

I was looking through my Steam list to find games for my two goals, finish one game and play five games I’ve never played before. I have about 460 games in my Steam library and I only have one game 100%, which means I have all the achievements. I’ve only finished about a dozen, not getting all the achievements, but finishing the story line or all the puzzles.

For these two achievements I was looking for games with zero hours played on them. Otherwise it wouldn’t be fair. I also ruled out games of which I knew have about 100 hours of game time. That’s just not realistic. Any games that don’t have a real ‘finish’ status are also ruled out, so no Age of Empires, Civilization or Tropico. I love them and I know some of them have story lines, it’s not what I wanted.

I’ve had Brothers: A Tale Of Two Sons in my library for a long while, but never played it. I’ve heard and seen that it’s an amazing game and not too long. The true challenge for me is to control the two brothers at the same time. My hand and eye coördination is terrible and has gotten worse since my hands started hurting. That means it’ll take me longer than the average player, and that’s ok. I’m sure I’ll enjoy it just as much.

I’ll post a report and screenshots when I start playing or when I’ve finished the game. I haven’t planned time for it yet, and I doubt it’ll be soon with everything going on now, but I’m glad I found a game I’m looking forward to playing.

Another option would have been Transistor, which I might play for me other goal. I still haven’t decided on any other games. And I haven’t even bought that many the past few years. I blame Humble Bundle.

101 Goals, 1001 Days: Complete a season of Diablo 3

Gaming goals, why not? I still like to game and I have an amazing backlog, but that doesn’t keep me from playing games I love. I couldn’t think of a good goal for League of Legends since I have no intentions to play ranked and ARAM is about the only thing I’ll play. I have a million goals in Guild Wars 2, especially with the new expansion coming in September, but meh. So Diablo 3 it is.

I’ve participated about half a dozen times in the Diablo 3 season with various classes. This is the first season with the new necromancer class. Of course I wanted to try it out and the seasons are always a good excuse for me to create a new character. (Yes, even when there is no character customization, I still like creating characters.) Seasons are ladders that reset after three months. People usually try to level characters as fast as possible, but to make things more interesting Blizzard has added achievements. You first start with four chapters needed to unlock a full item set for your class and two cosmetic rewards. Be careful which class you pick to open the item set bags, you can only acquire one set per season and each season the sets are different.

I’ve picked this goal because I always seem to fail the last few achievements needed to complete the four chapters. This is mostly due to time spend elsewhere and not lacking skills. The first chapters are much easier than the later achievements that give out bigger and better rewards. More stash tabs anyone? This time I actually want to complete a full season. Also, the reward is ghostly pet dragon. Adorable.

With my female necro Larysa, I’ve been walking around a damned place, killing skeletons with my own skeletons. I’m glad mine are better. So far I’ve hit level 62 and completed one chapter already. I’m halfway through my second chapter with some achievements of the third already complete. I’m glad you only have to complete them once even if it’s not your current chapter. Check out the gallery below for a few screenshots of my journey and click here to see the rest of my goals.

101 Goals, 1001 Days: Cook all recipes from one cookbook

I’ll take my time explaining some goals and update on my progress for now and we start with cooking. The goal ‘cook all recipes from one cookbook’ has been on my list since I saw the movie of Julie and Julia and the book inspired me even more. I won’t go for Julia Child’s book, nor will I pick the French cuisine. If I go for a foreign kitchen, it’ll be either Italian or Indonesian.

Cooking is one of my favourite things to do and this will be an education for me as well.  The only down side is that I can’t spend much time in the kitchen standing. My back tells me that spending three hours in the kitchen cooking or baking is too much. This will influence the speed at which I’ll make the recipes mostly. While it’s perfectly possible to make the perfect beef Wellington (another goal), it’s probably the only thing I’ll do that day. But making a sauce is easy to prepare in advance, say in the afternoon, and cook the rest of the meal later after some rest.

I haven’t decided which one it’ll be, I still have time, but I do know I have to set some rules. Since there’s no fish or other sea things coming into this house, I’ll take the liberty to either skip that recipe or recreate it as a vegetarian dish or find a substitute, like chicken.

Hopefully, I will remember to take a photo of each dish, so I can post it here as well and make you drool.

On A New Journey: Taking On 101 Goals In 1001 Days

I’ve decided to take on a new challenge, and not an easy one either. I’ve set 101 goals to complete in 1001 days, starting today. My deadline is May 9th 2020, which seems like for away, but I’m sure it’ll come faster than I want it to.

The goals are separated into five categories: activities, personal, professional, reading, and education. The goals are a variety of long and short term goals. Some of which can be done in a day, some that need more dedication. I’ve also picked some goals that I’ve previously done before, like ‘write a short story’, and some that I can combine, like ‘read 100 books’ and ‘read a biography’.

For some of my goals I need some input from you, my friends. Please give me your recommendations for books and movies. I need at least twenty of each. Riina has already been kind enough to recommend It by Stephen King, so that’s already on my list. You can leave the recommendations in the comments below or @ me on Twitter. Thank you!

This journey will also breathe some life into this site again. As you can see, I’ve updated it with a new theme and I will continue to update it with little things to make it look even better.

Check out the full list over here.

Two Games That I Wouldn’t Delete

…Or wouldn’t reinstall after I’ve formated my pc.

There are probably more games that I would reinstall after a full cleaning job, but these games are special. You’ll think I’m nuts for picking these games. And I know there’s a ton of you out there that wouldn’t pick these games if you could only pick two to have, always.

Ok. Are you ready? First game:

Diablo II: Lord of destruction

It’s one of the best action RPGs of the century. I love that game. I’ve played it so much that my grades went down. I met several great people via Diablo (also some not so great people, but yeah). This is pure nostalgia. I won’t play this all the time, just once in a half year or something.

It was the first game that I played online. I believe I was twelve years old and I was a girl on the internet. You know what happened. The same things that happen now, only then I didn’t knew how to handle it. Hell, I didn’t even know how to handle boys in general. I joined a Dutch clan, Voices of Chaos. They helped me get to max level, kill all the bosses and provided me with some awesome gear.

I found a Buriza (Buriza-do Kyanon) in a chest in Act 3 on Normal. Of course it wasn’t the greatest of Burizas, but it was good enough for my first bowazon. I’ve played my burizon so much. I really wish I still had her. I used her often to boost other people. Baal-runs were one of the things that I often did on my own. Just like Meph-runs (didn’t give me good loot often), or Diablo-runs (I just liked to kill the dog). I could keep going all night.

It was the first game that introduced me to lan parties. I found a bunch of nerds at my school who also played and we played together. We didn’t use voice chat, since I didn’t want to use a mic when my parents were reading the paper behind me. It was still a lot of fun. Playing together. Talking over chat. I really enjoyed playing together with friends.

What I didn’t like was people (often newbies) that didn’t listen to my advice. When I say, stay behind me, in a Baal-run I expect you to stay behind me. Don’t run in like an idiot, get killed, and then blame me for not saving your ass. That’s what pushed me away from playing with people I didn’t know.

Back then I still had to share the pc with my brother. The pc was in the kitchen and we both had to negotiate time. That also made the time you had more valuable. I ran like a crazy person to get what I wanted. It was often that as soon as I had my time on the pc that I only hunted for loot. No, this wasn’t good. The policy my parents gave me was. I learned to negotiate, I learned how to share, I learned to value something of limited resource. My sister, six years younger, didn’t have to share the pc with anyone besides my parents. My brother and I already pcs in our rooms when she was old enough to care enough about the pc. She didn’t learn these things.

Diablo II will always be my number one nostalgia game. My comfort game. The game I know by heart.

Game number two. This one will raise some hairs, I’m sure. Don’t judge until you’ve read my arguments about why I wouldn’t want to delete this game. I’m sure you’ll find you have the same reasons for not wanting to uninstall a game you like. Think about that. Not the game I picked. Read it. See my side of the story. Not just what the internet tells you.

League of Legends

Yes. There it is. It’s no secret that I play this game. It’s also not a secret that I don’t play it often. I won’t hide the fact that I, definitely, aren’t very good at this game. So why is it a game that I wouldn’t delete?

I started playing League of Legends a few years after it came it out. I think Irelia was one of the newest champions. Yes, that long ago. Sivir was the first champion I bought. She fitted with my playstyle in every way. I played mostly ranged classes in other games and my internet connection was fairly unreliable so, ranged was good. Melee champions would get me killed if I was standing in a team fight and lagged out. It didn’t help me, it didn’t help my team, it annoyed the hell out of me.

League of Legends - Sivir

I leveled my way up to thirty by playing against AI. Most people immediately jumped into normal games as soon as possible. I was still suffering from the annoyance that people didn’t cooperated with me. Vs AI was easy enough to win, even when there was no team play at all. As Sivir I was the AD Carry and was supposed to do the most damage. Sivir is a great pusher. Back then the meta was that the AD carry was alone on top. She could far easily and if you had enough range and/or skill, it was easy to win of the bot. These bots only laned, no roaming. You were sure there wasn’t going to be a gank, ever.

So when my friends invited me to play normals with them, I felt weak. I knew my champion and I knew the items. But people play very differently from bots. One of my friends said that people are more predictable than bots. Mostly because they follow a meta, they follow the play of someone else. Anticipation is one of the skills that you need for League of Legends, and that was something I severely lacked.

I didn’t like normals as AD Carry. There was too much responsibility on my shoulders and I thought I was one of the weakest people on the team. So I switched roles to support, with Sona as main. She was perfect. Face roll Sona. She did damage, she healed, she had utility. What’s not to like about her. I was still mic-less, while the others were on TeamSpeak. I was the silent one. Just like Sona.

Sona was a reflection of me, while Sivir was the image of who I wanted to be. Bad ass, confident, deadly and beautiful. These two are still the characters that I can relate to the best. In most rpgs you get to pick your own character. You can customize them and your choices will affect their development. League of Legends isn’t an RPG, but its characters were more relatable for me than most of the characters I created in RPGs.

League of Legends - DJ Sona

When I started to play Sona for my team, I became known as a deadly Sona. I wasn’t the one who let the low HP enemy escape. I was the Sona who sought out the kills. I built ability power next to the normal utility items for support. Once I played AD Sona and kicked more ass than the AD Carry. We had fun. That’s the kind of thing you can do in Normals, not in ranked.

I refused to play ranked. I don’t have a competitive bone in my body. I’m the one that avoids conflict rather than look for it. I didn’t care much if we won or lost. I still don’t. I was playing for fun. What’s the most fun game mode in LoL? ARAM. All random, all mid. You have no idea what you’re going to play. You just have to make the best of it. To this date, it’s still the only game mode that I play, especially when I’m playing solo. It’s quick, it’s fun, it’s unpredictable. It’s still capable of raising my adrenaline level.

Over the years the game has changed a lot. Not only does it have a lot more champions, items changed, the map changed, the meta changed. There was something else that changed as well. Something that you don’t see in-game. Not immediately at least. The universe of the game changed. Riot Games has spend a lot of time, money and manpower in creating a believable universe. This includes lore stories, short animation videos, subdomains for certain events, music videos, mobile games, merchandise.

The foundation for this universe is getting stronger every month with new releases of non-game content. I applaud Riot Games for this. Thank you so much for making League of Legends so much more than a battle arena. I’m writing this blog while listening to the songs they have created. The Warsongs, Pentakill’s album and the first volume of League of Legends music. I’ve watched the documentary Frequency a few times and I often sing along with them.

Once I dreamed about a game. It had five points, all over the map, with one in the middle. There was a windmill, and I was chasing my enemies with Tristana through the bushes. Now, this wasn’t not the map of Summoner’s Rift. I had to kill the enemy team and try to capture the points. Purple auras lit up around the giant circles in the ground. Jarvan then jumped me and killed me. This was something I dreamed before the game mode of Dominion was announced, which was the next day. Is it a sign? Probably not. But it’s awesome. I was so invested with League of Legends that I regularly dreamed about it.

The reasons why I can’t delete the game is this. I can relate to the character in deeper way than I can with other characters. Why? I can’t really say. It’s a gut feeling. I have a connection with this game that I can’t explain. It’s in my mind and I can’t forget it. It’s a game that I love and which doesn’t betray me. I know what I can expect when I play LoL. I love the universe of League of Legends. I love how Riot Games is expanding it. I want to support them. I’m loyal to them. They may not know me and that’s ok. I know my support will reach them (monetary or otherwise).

Ok, so hate me now. I won’t burn down a game based on its community. Of course there are moments when I curse my teammates for playing a sucky game. Then again, I don’t always play the best games myself. Especially when I haven’t been playing for awhile. There will always be people on the internet who aren’t nice, who are mean, who are angry, who blame others for their mistakes, who blame you for the mistakes you make, even when you make up for it later. Those people will always be there. Even in real life. I just choose not to let them get to me. They don’t define the game which I’m playing. I choose to see the positive side.

Time for change

Yes, this is the first real post here in a long time. The arc of young Miira has finished. I’ll upload a pdf version of the complete story soon so you can read it all at once whenever you want.

If you follow me on Twitter, you’ve already seen me mention some recent changes. Like my new gig at MMOgames.com. I’m doing a weekly Guild Wars 2 column there and some other articles when I can.

I moved last month and we’re still cleaning up and trying to make it look like a home. We’ll get there, just not as soon as we’d hoped. Besides all the normal household chores, our full time jobs, my new side job, commute hours and chronic pains, it just takes a bit longer. I hope you’ll forgive me for taking a break from blogging.

In the off moments I need to play Guild Wars 2 and I’m still working on a new lay out for the site and hopefully make it a bit more fresh. That, and all the other sites I’m working on. I have five in my portfolio now and I want all of them up and running by the end of the year.

At my day job I secretly write my short stories, outlines for novels and do some research for this year’s NaNoWriMo. I still have some bigger news, but that’s for next year, if everything works out :)

Graduation

When the cubs woke up a few days later, Primus Bayn wasn’t in the camp. They went ahead with their chores. It was Sennen’s turn to gather wood and Torruhk hunted some small animals. The others stayed in camp and helped the Bane Warband. Torruhk came back with his kill after an hour.

“Where’s my fire?” Torruhk shouted.

“Sennen isn’t back yet. Didn’t you see him?” Korina helped Torruhk to skin the animals.

“No, he went in another direction. He’s taking to long. I’ll stomp his tail when he get back.” He growled.

Korina punched his shoulder. “Don’t be mean. I’m sure he has his reasons.”

“I’ll go take a look. My stomach is growling as well.” Malkov ran off to find a high enough tree. He came back down soon. “He’s preoccupied with a lady. Seems a bit old, but eyes can deceive. Especially from this distance. He’ll be back soon.”

Torruhk growled again.

“Hi, sorry I’m late. I’ve got enough wood here.” Sennen panted as he dropped the firewood.

“So, when’s the wedding?” Malkov grinned.

“What?” Sennen looked up startled.

“I saw you with your lady friend. You can’t escape my eyes.” Malkov winked.

Sennen kept his silence. Torruhk was still annoyed and stomped on his tail.

“Ouch! Why did you do that?” Sennen rubbed his tail.

“You know why. We’re all hungry because of you. Do your duty.”

“Guys. Quit it. No need to go tail stomping. Let’s finish breakfast before Primus Bayn comes back. I suspect he is preparing for our graduation assignment. We have to be ready.” Miira came between them.

It wasn’t until well after noon that Primus Bayn came back.

“Ok, cubs. Last one.” Primus Bayn grinned. “I’ve been following the flame legion in the area for a while. And tonight we’re going to disrupt a meeting of theirs.”

Sennen froze for a moment.

“Now, no need to be scared. There is only a few of them and they’re not high ranked. They’re meeting a charr from the iron legion and hope to recruit him. They don’t know he was undercover for me. He won’t come, but you will. The flame legion usually sends three charr for a recruitment meeting. One spokesperson and two guards. We’re meeting in front of an old guard tower. Besides the ruins, it’s an open field. And one tree for Malkov. The guards are weaker than the spokesperson. I honestly don’t get why they bring guards, since the spokesperson has far more power. But hey, Flame Legion is a special kind of special.”

The cubs snickered.

“We’re going to have an early dinner and leave before the sun starts setting. You have until then to figure out a strategy.” Primus Bayn saluted and walked away. This was something the cubs had to do themselves. He wasn’t supposed to be involved any longer.

“Alright. Open field, tree, ruins. Malkov, like Primus Bayn said, the tree is yours. I want you to shoot the guards in the knees to cripple them. Sennen and Torruhk will kill the guard you hit first. Korina, you will terror the other two as a distraction. In those two seconds, you and I will take care of the other guard. If you notice the other charr comes to his senses, distract him again, until all five of us can focus on the spokesperson.”

“Hey, why do you get to kill one alone?” Torruhk asked Miira.

“I’m not. Korina and I will.”

“But she also has to keep the main kitten preoccupied.”

“Those are big words from you. Do you think I can’t do it?” Korina was agitated.

“It just don’t seem fair.” Torruhk was pouting.

“Tor, her spells can affect multiple targets. If they stand close together, she can hit both with one spell. If Primus Bayn is right, we can have them both down in seconds. Then you can charge the spokesperson.” Miira assured him.

“You know this isn’t a matter of fairness. This is a real battle. We have to complete our objective. As a warband. There is no unfairness between the warband members. No jealousy. Victory is ours, not just one person’s.” She continued.

Torruhk sighed and gave up. He couldn’t win when Miira started using reason.

“How are we going to approach this? I mean, if it’s one big open field, they’ll see us coming.” Sennen asked.

“Malkov will be in the tree. Torruhk and I will be at the meeting place. You and Korina can hide behind the tree and initiate a ranged attack after Malkov’s first arrow. I suspect they’ll be coming from the ruins, so just keep out of sight from there.”

Miira didn’t like that she didn’t know the place. It meant they had to improvise. Not Sennen’s strongest point. She knew Korina would follow her. Malkov just shot whoever was not on their side. Torruhk just hit what was in front of him. She had to be ready and quick with any decisions. There wasn’t anything more she could do now.

The cubs prepared their weapons, ate, and headed off to the ruins.

Primus Bayn walked with them until the edge of the hill. The ruins were visible at the top of the hill.

“This is it, cubs. This will be my last act as your Primus. You either fail and become gladium, or succeed and become the best warband of your generation. I’ve taught you everything you need to know. You’ve done great and made me proud every step of the way. I’ll still be proud of you no matter what happens.” Primus Bayn wanted to inspire them.

“Jeez, ‘no matter what happens’? Have a little faith in us, old man. We’re going to kick their ass. I’m going to be the greatest! I mean, we, of course.” smirked Sennen.

Korina elbowed him in the ribs. “Get off your high horse. We haven’t won yet. I wish you’d save that energy for the fight.” Her voice trembled.

“Nervous, are we?” Sennen still had a big grin on his face.

“Sennen, stop it. You’re being a jerk.” Miira came between them.

“What? She’s being a pussy. If she’s afraid of the Flame Legion, she should just be gladium.” Sennen crossed his arms.

Torruhk’s fist flew towards Sennen’s snout and connected before anyone saw it coming.

“Ouch!” Sennen stepped back and covered his nose.

“Torruhk! Please! Guys, seriously. Stop it or I’ll have this mission cancelled. Sennen, shut up. Torruhk, save your strength. We need it, but not now and certainly not against our own warband.”

“Don’t worry. I didn’t use my strength.” Torruhk said with a hint of arrogance.

Miira glared at him and saw him shrink. Sennen wisely kept his mouth shut, still rubbing his nose.

“Do your thing and make sure you’re back before dinner. I want you to prepare for this battle. Sharpen your weapons, clear your mind, be prepared.” Miira was steadfast. She didn’t blink. She looked everyone in the eye to make sure they took her seriously. Her voice sounded resolute. At that moment she felt the respect the others have for her, as did Primus Bayn.

Prmius Bayn sat down next to her as she was sharpening the blade of her greatsword.

“You did good, kid. You’re the reason why the five of you work so well together. They know that. Do you?” He asked.

Miira hesitated for a second. “Yes. I think I did. Before we split up, I felt their eyes on me, like they were waiting. I know Korina is scared, but so is Sennen. His eyes betrayed him. He tried to hide it by keeping his paw over his nose. I still felt it, though.”

“You have a gift for this, Miira. You feel what your warband brothers and sister feel. You don’t copy their feelings, but you know how to read them and how to use it. I honestly wish we had someone like that when I was younger.”

The camp was quiet. The other cubs had left to prepare and Miira was the only one to behind. The sound of her sharpening stone sliding of the blade was the only sound to be heard. Primus Bayn sat there quietly thinking. Miira felt something was off. She was waiting for him to speak, but he didnt.

“Tell me.” she said.

Primus Bayn looked up surprised. “What?”

“Whatever it is your thinking about. Your thinking is giving me a headache. Just tell me. I know you want to.”

“You’re sharp.” Primus Bayn sighed. “I really hope I made the right choice. This is a hard mission. Harder than most graduation missions, but we needed someone to intervene and I know you can do it. You’re the best warband I’ve seen in all my years as Primus. Maybe there are still some internal struggles, but you can handle them.”

Primus Bayn started fidgeting with his dagger. Miira stopped sharpening and looked at them.

“Miira, I’m not supposed to tell you this. And they’ll probably banish me just for saying it. I don’t care anymore. Your name will be Miira Lightbringer when this mission is over. This may sound like the cheesiest thing ever, but you brought me light. The light of your staff does, but your personality as well. I’m sure you’ll bring back the light for many people. Especially since the dragons are stirring. Tyria needs someone like you. Many of them.”

“Primus Bayn, you’re depressing. You talk as if this is the last time we’ll see each other. That’s not true, right?” Miira looked at him expectantly.

“It just might be the last time. I don’t know. All of your names are with the Bane Warband, so even if I’m gone, they can do your naming ceremony.” Primus Bayn made an attempt to leave.

“Wait! You will see us off, won’t you?” Miira jumped on her paws and grabbed his arm.

“Yes, I’ll escort you to the meeting place. After that I’m not allowed to assist you any longer.” He couldn’t bear to look at her.

Miira dropped her sword and hugged him. “Thank you, Primus, for everything you’ve done for us. I wish you were my sire. I’d be proud to have you as my sire.”

Primus Bayn held her for a second. “Thank you. Hearing that means a lot to me. I’ve to go now. I’ll meet you all later.”

Dinner passed by quietly. The cubs were tense and Torruhk and Sennen still wanted each other’s throats. There wasn’t much Miira could do about that. Stubborn men. They cleaned up their camp and stored it in the Bane main camp. All they needed tonight were their weapons and luck.

The sun was already setting when they left camp. The meeting place wasn’t very far from the camp. Just half an hour walk. Malkov climbed the tree with ease and looked to see if he saw the Flame Legion yet. No sign. Primus Bayn left the cubs alone and walked back towards the camp.

Miira sighed as she looked at his back. She had decided that she would visit him after their victory, wherever he was. Miira nodded towards Torruhk and they walked up the hill together. Sennen and Korina stayed behind the tree trunk.

Malkov whistled when he saw the Flame Legion coming. Miira and Torruhk were ready. Malkov drew back an arrow and Korina and Sennen held their staves tightly.

The Flame Legion looked surprised to see Miira and Torruhk.

“I wasn’t expecting a bunch of kids.” the spokesperson said. “Let’s go. They’re a waste of time.”

“Wait. We want to join the Flame Legion. We’re serious.” Miira called out.

“We don’t recruit kids. Come back when you are strong and ready to fight.” The shaman growled. “I have no time for this.”

“Sir, we are the strongest cubs in the Citadel. The council knows who we are and they’re ready to send us out on missions we don’t agree with. My… My sire is also with the Flame Legion. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed when you see us fight.” Miira bluffed her way through it. What she said was a half truth. She had heard rumours that her sire was with the Flame Legion, but she never knew for sure. It was also true that the council heard of them and she was sure they already had a mission ready for them. It wasn’t true that they disagreed with the council.

“Fine. If you’re so desperate to convince me, then show me your strength.” The charr crossed his arms and waited. The two guards he brought hadn’t said a thing and just stood besides him.

Miira and Torruhk looked at each other, unsure what to do.

“What are you waiting for? Attack each other! I came to recruit one charr, not two. The one who lives comes with me. If you can’t kill the other, I’ll make sure both of you are dead.” He kept a straight face and waited.

Miira grabbed her greatsword and stepped back to give Torruhk some space. She looked at Torruhk to see what was happening behind her. He could see Malkov in the tree. He blinked the second Malkov’s arrow left the string. He roared to covered up the sound. Miira was impressed and surprised. Torruhk was moving towards her as if he wanted to engage in a swordfight.

Not sure what he was planning, she called up her defense and held the sword in front her to block him if necessary. She then heard one of the guards crying out. Torruhk immediately changed his route and jumped towards the guard, stabbing him in his other knee.

Korina appeared and cursed the two other charr into terror. Miira jumped on the second guard and hit him on his helmet. Malkov shot his knee. Sennen also appeared used water magic to help Torruhk. He tried to stay out of range of the Flame Legion and walked towards the ruins.

Suddenly a fireball flew through the air. It hit Torruhk and Sennen as they prepared for a combined attack. Both charr flew backwards. Korina quickly summoned a well of corruption on the first guard. Malkov sent down a rain of arrows, enough to leave the charr crippled and near dead. The poison and bleeding wounds were enough to kill him.

Miira swung her sword around her and tried to hit both charrs at once. A few of her swings hit. It wasn’t enough to seriously damage either of them. She summoned a symbol of wrath on the ground. It wasn’t much, but it would retaliate some of the damage.

She saw mark appear beneath her. Korina placed a mark to help her as well. It would help her heal if she needed it. Malkov was focusing on bringing down the other guard. She saw the shaman turning around and about to throw another fireball, but this time she aimed for the tree. The shaman had found Malkov.

Miira jumped towards the shaman and distracted him for a second. The fireball missed Malkov, but the tree was lit. Malkov had to get out of the tree and jumped down into the bushes. Korina summoned more marks around Miira. She was Miira’s support in this fight. They had to kill the shaman before he could do more damage to them. In close range, Miira had the advantage. The shaman’s attacks took longer to charge than she needed to get out of the way. She slashed his legs and arms through his cloth robe. Her symbol of wrath and Korina’s marks protected her enough to kill him.

The guard was pulling out the arrows, took off his helmet and threw it aside.

“You dumb kids don’t know who you’re dealing with!” he roared.

Miira was still swinging her blade as the fireball flew past her. She didn’t see it coming and was shocked. She hadn’t expected the guard to still be alive.

“Korina! Quick!” she shouted.

Korina called up another mark to induce fear, but she wasn’t quick enough. Another fireball released before he was feared. This one did hit Miira.

She fell back, glad that she had enough protection. Her armor was hot, but she couldn’t give up. It took her a few second before she was up again.

The fire shaman summoned another fireball. He aimed at Torruhk lying a few meters away.

“No!” screamed Miira. She ran towards the shaman with her greatsword and launched an attack when she saw a flash out of the corner of her eye. The fireball left its summoner’s hands. Miira feared the worst. The blade of her sword cleaved the shaman in his side. He backed down, but it was already too late. The fireball had hit its target.

Screams of agony filled the meadow. Something snapped in Miira’s brain. Her friend was dead. The shaman had to pay the same price. She raised her greatsword again and blindly started slashing in his direction. The shaman was still bleeding from one of Malkov’s arrows. A few seconds later another arrow hit the shaman in the arm. This gave her some hope that not all of her friends were dead. She jumped on the shaman and drove her greatsword through his neck, killing him. She stepped off the body after she made sure he was dead.

Miira needed a moment to realise what had happened. She turned around to see what was left of Torruhk and saw the body still burning. She ran towards him and started to cry. Her grief pulled her down as she covered her face with her hands. She couldn’t believe it. Her friend was dead because of her. She made the wrong call.

A paw squeezed Miira’s shoulder. “Mi, look up. You’re wrong.” It was Korina. “Trust me.” Her voice was barely audible.

The white charr raised her head and let her hands fall along her body. The flames were dying and the body was visible. The charred remains lay before her clear as day. What did Korina mean? Why was she wrong? All Korina did was nod towards the body. She looked again. The smoke cleared and that’s when she saw red fur. Torruhk wasn’t the one who got hit. Someone had jumped to shield him.

She jumped on all four and ran towards her friend who lay a few meters behind the burning corpse. Torruhk was still alive, but only barely. She immediately started calling on her spells to help him heal enough to get away from this place. He could fully recover later.

Korina’s arm was wrapped around Malkov for support. Her side was burned. Malkov didn’t show any sign of injuries, but he looked exhausted. “I’m sorry, I couldn’t do anything. I was too far away to be of any good use.” he apologized.

Miira shook her head. “You did well. Your arrows landed and they definitely hurt them.” she said, still focussing on Torruhk.

“Korina, who is… Where is Sennen?” Miira asked.

“Guys! Don’t forget me!” Sennen’s voice came from behind the ruins.

The three charr turned around to see the fifth member of their Warband lumping towards them.

“Sennen! You’re alright! Well, more or less. You’re not dead.” Malkov said impressed. “I thought you were a goner when I couldn’t see you anymore.”

Sennen grinned and joined his friends. He looked at the remains. “Who is that? What happened?”

“I don’t know who it is, but I have a bad feeling,” stumbled Miira.

Torruhk groaned and slowly opened his eyes. Miira was the first one he recognized. “I like you better with a smile.” he said.

Miira had her eyes closed for a better focus and didn’t notice her friend waking up until he said something. The relief was visible on her face and she hugged him.

“Ouch. Be careful with the patient, please. I think my ribs are either bruised or broken. And my leg feels dead,” Torruhk laughed. “What happened? The last thing I can remember is this huge fireball coming towards me.”

Miira told everyone what happened. After she finished her story, she walked over to the corpse. The fire had died out and she could see parts of the charr’s armor and weapons.

Malkov immediately recognized the sword. “It’s Primus Bayn!” he said. “He jumped in front of the fireball to save you. I knew he was around but never in my life did I expect him to give his life for us.”

“What do you mean? He was a great charr and good educator.” Korina looked at Malkov with surprise and punched him softly. She had liked him very much. “If you thought anything less of him, you suck and I hate you.”

“He died in battle, just like he wanted.” Miira looked down at the remains of their Primus. “He was a good educator. He allowed us to come this far and we have to go further. He is the reason that we were able to find our talents and bring them together. Without it, we all would have died today. His sacrifice won’t be in vain. Our Warband will be the greatest there ever was. And maybe we can prevent other charr from being burned alive by the Flame Legion.”

“How did you know what he wanted?” Korina asked.

“I spoke to him before we left. Something didn’t feel right and I wanted to know if my gut feeling was right. I would never have agreed to do the mission if it was too dangerous.” Miira explained. She looked up at her friends while still kneeling down. “This was important to him. Maybe his death was planned, I’m not sure. He was afraid what the council would do to him. Death in battle was what he wanted most out of the alternatives.”

Malkov nodded. He heard sniffling and looked to his right to see tears welling up in Korina’s eyes. He gave her his handkerchief.

Sennen was still standing close to Torruhk, using one of his healing spells. He prefered to be attuned with fire, but his friend needed the power of water. Torruhk was conscious, but he still wasn’t able to get up. Sennen shifted on his feet, looking around nervously. He felt more uncomfortable each minute they stayed in the area.

“Miira, can you help out? Maybe we can get away from this place soon. I don’t like it here.” Sennen called over.

Miira sent more of her healing power to Torruhk and Malkov wrapped his wounds. It took awhile before Torruhk to be able to stand again. Sennen and Malkov supported Torruhk, while Miira supported Korina as they headed back to the Black Citadel.

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Guild Wars 2 Fiction

Miira Lightbringer:
Fried Moa Steak
Quiet Before the Storm

Young Miira:
Tail Tugging Part 1
A Promise Made Part 2
Night Falls Part 3
Grawling Preparations Part 4
Badazar Incarnated Part 5
Graduation Part 6 - Final

Savyrius Belain:
We Meet Again...

Naella Ysangwan:
Dogs and Ogres

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