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Guild Wars 2 – Halloween Is Over

I really enjoy the Halloween events in Guild Wars 2, but I missed out on it last year due to multiple factors. This year I did manage to get some things done.

I now have a shiny purple book to carry on my back (The Mad Memories: Complete Ignition backpack skin) and a purple candle to follow me around. I managed to get one of the Halloween skins from the Mad King’s Gift.

One of the things that I missed out on was the rivalry between Joko and the Mad King. I hadn’t finished the Living World story yet (and I still don’t), so that’ll have to wait until next year.

I no longer care for the skins since I knew the odds were small to get them. The farming in the labyrinth wasn’t as attractive as it used to be, also because the runs I was in were usually lead by commanders who didn’t had any idea how to lead a run. And I’m still too passive to take on that role myself. I also lack a commander tag.

With all the new and returning achievements, I did manage to get my account to a whooping 12,000 achievement points. The Hellfire Vambraces were my only option now. For someone who’s been playing since the three day headstart, 12,000 AP might be a bit low, but I don’t care. Everyone plays at their own pace, right?

I hope I can earn enough materials to craft the lunatic armor skins to finish the collection and earn some more achievements next year. Maybe I’ll have more roller beetle by that time as well and I can take part in the race like a proper racer.

Guild Wars 2 – The Confessor Is Dead

This isn’t really a spoiler for the players who have kept up with the Living World story, since this happened halfway season 3. If you haven’t played the episodes yet, stop reading since this post will be one big spoiler about my frustration with this one boss fight.

Patch Preview Privilege?

Some time ago, when the patch for The Head of the Snake came out, I was still writing for MMOgames and I was allowed to do the patch preview. I first thought this was marvelous. I was one of the few who could see everything of the new patch before it launched!

I didn’t care that I could only barely make it with my full time job, time zone differences and limited computer time. It was really fun to be able to see everything without risk of spoilers and truly experience the reveals as they came. And, I’ll be honest, I got a slight kick out of knowing something amazing that other players didn’t.

The previews that I wrote had to be as spoiler free as possible and it’s what I still try to do as much as possible when I’m writing about a movie, book or game. The upside of that was I wasn’t forced to complete the whole episode, but I did it anyways. I feel that I can’t comment on a story without experiencing it completely, so I always read/play/watch everything or I won’t write about it.

Spoilers ahead

The Head of the Snake

The Head of the Snake is the fourth episode in the Living World Season 3, which off after the story of Heart of Thorns. I actually remember very little about how the story got there, only the big outline. It doesn’t matter much for this post since I just want to talk about this one man. Minister Caudecus.

It was obvious from the first time that I did the story mode of the Caudecus Manor dungeon, that this wouldn’t be the last time we’d hear from that weasel. After the explosion in the Maguuma Jungle, it is revealed that Caudecus is the confessor of the White Mantle, a group of extremists. He wants to rule Tyria and he needed the bloodstone for its powers.

Long story short: he wants to overthrow Queen Jenna and you, the commander, stop him during this episode.

Now, the writing for this season was incredibly. It has a lot of twists and turns and I really enjoyed the new maps. But. I hated how they did the progression of the story steps. One of the steps in this episodes was simply to do events in the new map.

Well. Eh. I don’t care? I’m coming here for the story. I already run around the map and heard and saw a ton of things without specifically being told to do so. The progression of that bar was slow as hell. It only made me dislike it even more.

Doing events in open world is never really a problem since there are always people around to jump in and help. This is not the case in a patch preview. Players are very limited and most of us were doing our own thing, making cool screenshots, figuring out where all the collectables are, or doing things totally unrelated to the story and/or new map. 

Doing the events was a nightmare. Most of the enemies had some form of CC which made killing them in groups nearly impossible when you’re alone. Especially when you’re a super casual player who doesn’t know the optimal build and how to play the class the best they can. I’m a very average player. Maybe even below average.

I hated this. I also knew that I had limited time to finish the story, write up the article, sleep, eat, get on with my life, and work. I had a deadline and I don’t want to be late for a deadline set by someone else.

After I finally finished this step, I had to go back to Queen Jenna and the final plans were made to kill the head of the snake. I had to go to Caudecus’ Manor to deal with him.

Caudecus, a thing of evil

I hate you, Caudecus, with a passion. Not only for what you did, but also for everything that you’ve thrown my way in your manor. Your White Mantle friends, the bandits and jade constructs.

I hate you for what you did to Demmi. I hate you for sacrificing all those people. And I hate you for killing the parents of my main character.

But most of all, I hate your private dungeon. Covered in bloodstone, feeding your insanity. I hate your carvings on the walls that make it look like you’re staring at me from every direction. I hate the small size of it and you’re giant, flashy SFX for your skills. I hate how you make my camera flip through walls in a manner that gave me a headache. I hate how you summoned more of your minions while I tried to kick your ass. I hate how your jade constructs are tougher than you. I hate how you CC’d me with two skills and killed me. I hate how limited my mobility was in a small room with all your AoE. I hate that you killed me at least ten times before I managed to finish.

From the German GW2 Wiki

It took me over one and a half hour in preview to kill him. Last night I finally dared to do it on my own account and it took me 45 minutes. It was easier. Maybe they adjusted the battle a little so people like me wouldn’t have such a hard time with it.

I can genuinely say that I’m glad he’s dead. Not just because of his role in the story, but also because I know that I will never do this part of the story ever again. I managed to do two achievements and that’s more than enough. Should I ever want/need more achievements in this particular story step, I’ll be sure to bring others.

Not always good

After I finished the patch preview I could never get myself to finish this part of the episode. I knew what was coming and I hated having to do it again. That was one of the biggest downsides of being part of the preview.

A few weeks after I stopped writing for MMOgames and forfeited my right to be part of the previews, I started enjoying Guild Wars 2 again. Just a little, and only by doing certain things. But it was a start. I had my freedom again.

That’s when I learned that some (press) privileges aren’t always good. I do have to say that it depends on the person. I didn’t do well in these circumstances. Even without a full time job, I’d have to think twice before taking up such a writing job again.

I learned from this experience. I really enjoyed doing the previews and the dev team excellent in their support during those busy weekend. It’s just not for me.

This while Caudecus thing the reason why I didn’t play any of the following episode or the Path of Fire expansion with my main character. Not being able to do the story of my main, the character I’m most invested in, has hurt the enjoyment of the game. Now that I’m passed it, I’ll continue with her story, do the other episodes, the expansion story and the new episodes. It’ll take a while and I know that I’m playing through the story again. The big difference is that this progression is for myself.

6 Years Of Guild Wars 2

I know, I’m a few days late, especially since I started playing with the three day head start. But does it matter? Is it bad to celebrate a birthday late? I celebrated my own (thirtieth) birthday at least four times this year, on different days, and only once on my birthday itself. I’m okay with celebrating a little late, preferably multiple times.

Guild Wars 2 - Fractals of the Mists - Cliffside Fractal
Save the Collosus in the Cliffside Fractal. Gain an achievement by bowing to him when he turns around and salutes.

I’ll celebrate Guild Wars 2’s anniversary multiple times if I could. So far, only two of my characters have received their sixth birthday presents and one big present account wide. The account wide box actually allows you to unlock a complete armor set, two weapon skins from the Luminous weapon set and it has a wardrobe unlock ticket. The ticket gave me the Gallant Axe Skin. I’m glad it’s not a generic skin, but actually one that worth something (155 gold? Yes, please). I don’t mind my axes without particle effects. I would definitely use it on my ranger or warrior.

The first four years were the good years, the years I played the most. And while I really like the areas of Path of Fire I haven’t spend as much time there. I should. I want to explore them some more. My characters also need the hero points for unlocking their elite specializations. But I’ll be honest. I haven’t played much of the last Living World update. I think I’m halfway through the story and I don’t feel the need to continue the story. Not yet anyways. I’ll go for mastery of the older areas first. I’m not done with it yet and won’t be for a long time.

Happy birthday Guild Wars 2, happy anniversary ArenaNet. To another six years. Cheers!

Returning to Guild Wars 2

This post is part of the Blaugust Appreciation Week.

I took a break from my favourite MMO earlier this year. It felt a chore and couldn’t keep up with the new content in addition to the new expansion with the limited gaming time I had. My hands didn’t always do what I wanted either.

The new areas are stunning. Don’t forget to look up.

A few weeks ago I wanted to go back to Tyria. I played on one of my alts in the beginner zones, my favourite zones. They’re not overwhelming like the Path of Fire or Heart of Thorns maps. I know these regions and what I have to do to get the 100% completion. It’s nice for an hour of gaming.

Doing the starter zones with mounts is a completely different experience. I said completion takes an hour, but with mounts, you might be able to do it in less. Traveling through Central Tyria on a mount is a whole new experience in itself. Especially on a skimmer in water rich areas.

With the Festival of the Four winds, old content came back. It’s a festival I loved before the events of Living World Season 2. They changed a few things to commemorate the events. The flavor text and npc chats have changed as well. A few new events have been added for fun.

I spent most of my time in Divinity’s Reach where the Queen’s Gauntlet and The Crown’s Pavilion have opened up as well. Doing the Boss Blitz is fun, mostly because of all the different dynamics and I like the loot (that’s why my inventory is always full). I have a ticket to claim one of the skins, but I’m not sure which one I want. My alts still need better weapons, but who needs that skin and which weapon?

I’m still having fun now and I hope that I can slowly go back to the new content at my own pace. Maybe I’ll even try to go for the griffon mount. Flying will be a whole new experience in itself. I’ll be taking a ton of screenshots then.

If you’re on a EU server and want to do dungeons or fractals together, hit me up. I’m still looking for a new group.

Guild Wars 2 – Inventory Full

The nightmare of every RPG player, seeing the text “Inventory Full” appear on screen when you just killed a monster, loot is scattered and there’s a rare or unique item laying around. This happens to me quite often, especially in Guild Wars 2. My main’s inventory is filled with event and quest items. Things that I still have to turn in, but I don’t find the time. Every time I log in there’s a new event with tokens or new buff items (which I also rarely use). During a dungeon run or fractal I need to clear my inventory a few times, salvage all the rare items and of lower rarity.

Now, you have to know that I have about a dozen alts on who I can store everything, but they’re also full. My bank? Also full. I have too much crap laying around and I save everything ‘just in case I need it’. I have so many transformation potions which I don’t use. Tons of the best salvage kits which I don’t use since I have Salvage-O-Matic for my daily needs. Why do I save everything? Why do I not finish my quests?

I’ve taken a break from Guild Wars 2 since the beginning of the year and only recently started playing again, but I made one big change. I’ll leave the new stuff on the side while I focus on the old stuff. Finish a legendary, get my crafting to level 500, do some achievements for the old maps. Maybe finally do world completion for the Heart of Thorns areas. Who knows. I have mounts now so I know I’ll experience everything differently. Maybe I should try to get my griffon mount first. Since that will make things even easier. I can just fly to the top of canopy. I want to try to clear my inventory, even if it’s for a bit. I want to use my buff items. By the time it’s Halloween, I’ll have enough inventory space to farm the labyrinth again.

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.

Guild Wars 2 - The Clock Tower

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!

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Nightfury Recipe Update

Just a small update on Nightfury. Dulfy has posted a crafting guide since the recipe has been discovered. Good luck hunting all the ingredients!

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.

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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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Diablo 3 Battle Tag: Endalia#1709
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