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.

Badazar incarnated

The next morning a charr came running towards the camp.

“The grawl are back and they almost finished their ritual!” He shouted.

Miira grabbed her staff and asked the others to come with her. Since she couldn’t plan anything new, they had to use the strategy of the day before, but by the time they reached the statue it was already too late.

“Damn, they finished.” Growled the charr.

“Legionnaire, may I ask for your name? We’re just a fahrar, but we’ll do our best to help you fight whatever is coming.” Miira asked.

“Legionnaire Zagan Bendsteel. I was patrolling the area when I heard the grawl chanting. Isn’t it up to the Bane Warband to make sure the grawl stay quiet?” The charr answered.

“Yes, we chased the grawl away yesterday, even killed a few. One of them said that they’ll be back. I didn’t expect them back so soon.” Miira explained while they waited for the horror coming.

“You’re just a bunch of cubs. The Bane should’ve been there, not you.” Legionnaire Bendsteel didn’t even look at her.

Torruhk and Sennen were standing next to the bodies of the grawl involved in the ritual. They had rushed in immediately blasting and slashing at the grawl cheering for the successful ceremony, while Korina and Miira stayed back with Legionnaire Bendsteel at the edge of the valley.

Malkov had taken up the same sniper spot as the day before, looking towards the far end of the valley. He shot every grawl coming into view. If they didn’t die, Korina would be close by to scare them off, or kill them.

Suddenly, they heard a roar. Not the small ones the grawl unleashed occasionally, but much lower, ground trembling roar. Malkov saw a large silhouette approaching and readied his bow. He gave Miira a sign that something was coming. Something bigger than a grawl.

“Malkov! Cripple it! Shoot it in the knee!” Miira shouted. Malkov drew back his bow and aimed for the knee. He released the arrow and it founds its way into the side of the knee of the beast. He launched a series of arrows against it. Its skin was sturdy but they did damage.

Miira noticed it was still a grawl, but bigger. It looked different than the others. Its aura felt feral. A small group of regular grawl followed it and chanted to Badazar.

“Malkov, focus on the big one. Korina, keep the small ones occupied. We’ll finish them off together. Sennen, Torruhk, I want you to kill the big one. Let’s go!” Miira gave her orders, reached for her greatsword and jumped into the group of grawl.

Legionnaire Bendsteel looked at the fahrar as they took out the grawl. Even the champion of Badazar didn’t last long. It was crippled, bleeding and set ablaze in seconds after it showed its face. The other grawl were so focused on their new champion that they forgot to protect themselves. Miira and Korina had killed them quickly.

The five cubs came together to celebrate their victory, high pawed each other and laughed. Sennen and Torruhk gave the girls a vivid description how their battle went. Legionnaire Bendsteel approached them.

“You did well, young one. I was wrong to think of you as ‘just a fahrar’. What’s your name?” He asked Miira.

“I’m Miira and these are Korina, Sennen, Malkov and Torruhk. We have yet to earn our Warband names.” Miira answered.

“Good to meet you, Miira. You have potential. You can be sure that your victory will be reported. Good work, soldier.” Legionnaire Bendsteel saluted and headed back to the Black Citadel.

They beamed “at the praise”. This victory also meant that their graduation would come much sooner if the news reached the council. Primus Bayn had to be proud. Miira thought back to their conversation. Their graduation would also mean his retirement. Miira felt conflicted. The others didn’t know and she wouldn’t tell them. It wasn’t her place. She hoped she could save him from disgrace somehow.

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.”

Your princess is in another castle