Post Tagged with: "Guild Wars 2"

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 - Grawling Preparations

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.

Night Falls

Night Falls

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Promise Made

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Guild Wars 2 - Fanfic - Tail Tugging

Tail Tugging

“Torruhk, wait for me. You shouldn’t do that.” The white cub chased her red-furred friend. He was using his sword and axe on an unsuspecting drake.

“Pah, he’s no match for me. I’ve killed a dozen before. Their meat is delicious if prepared well.” He said without stopping his attack.

Miira joined him and used her staff to make sure the drake would be dead before it could hurt her friend. The drake was already lashing out at Torruhk with its tail and tried to spray her with acid.

She noticed scratches on her friend’s side. She focused her energy into healing him and stopping the bleeding.

“Thanks, but I didn’t really need it.” Torruhk said.

“Idiot, you don’t even see what’s going on around you. That’s why our missions fail. You don’t listen and strategy isn’t even in your vocabulary.”Miira said as she punched his shoulder.

“That’s why I have you,” he stepped back from the drake and winked at her. “He jumped on the drake and stabbed his sword through its head.” Tonight we’re having drake barbeque. Let’s get this meat to the camp.”

“You should take care of your weapons. The blade of your sword isn’t sharp anymore. You could’ve killed it faster.” Miira said  as she picked up the drake’s tail.

Torruhk picked up its head and threw it over his back so that he carried most of the body on his back and the front legs hung down over his shoulder. He would’ve started running back to camp if it hadn’t been for Miira tugging his tail to slow down. It’s something they had agreed on years ago. Torruhk was always in front of Miira. If she wanted something she would tug his tail, gently. He now knew what Miira wanted most of the time when she tugged. They were almost in sync.

Even within their warband, they were closer together than the others. Miira always felt it necessary to help out when someone was in trouble. Torruhk was said to have a gift for finding trouble. The other three minded their own business. They took care of themselves first, before looking at others. Miira didn’t think they were bad charr because of that. It was part of their culture to be able to save yourself first. Charr were eager, but should know their limits. Pride and arrogance can cost more than one life in war.

That’s what Miira told Torruhk daily, but he didn’t listen. One day he said, ‘If you’re so afraid of me dying, then you stop that threat.’ Miira did her best not to lose sight of him when they were outside of town. She often failed, but then the sounds of screaming, often of an enemy, would guide her to her friend.

They arrived at camp with the drake corpse. The others cheered at the sight, ready to prepare a feast.

“Torruhk, you’re the best!” said Malkov. “Other fahrars are jealous of our dinners. I know, I saw them looking.” His dark brown fur with ginger spots gave him enough camouflage as a ranger to successfully snipe enemies, but he never volunteered to kill an animal for dinner. The young charr took out his dagger to start skinning the drake. He saved some of the drake scales for decorating his armor later.

Sennen worked his expertise at the fire to roast the drake meat. “Sennen, stop it. You’re going to burn the whole camp down!” screamed Korina. She immediately started throwing sand towards the fire that was trying to expand to their tents.

Sennen looked up and shrugged. “What? I can’t help it fire likes me. When I call her, she grows to the size of her love for me. And don’t you love me more than the world?” he said casually.

“Freak.” Whispered Korina. “So stop calling her. And fire isn’t your lady, so stop treating it like your mate. You’re going to make the Searing look like something minor when you set all of Ascalon on fire.”

She was fed up with him. During their training, he’d set the training dummies ablaze and a few hours later, he’d sent up fireballs into the air. Korina wasn’t afraid of the fire itself, but of what it could do. Even as a necromancer, she didn’t like death. The permanence was terrifying. That’s why she wanted to mend whatever death could do. Animating the dead and restoring life made her fear death less. This mastery also gave her the opportunity to make death come quicker to the ones that deserved it.

“Primus Bayn!” Torruhk greeted their educator with a grin.

“Torruhk, I see you outdid yourself again. I must say, in all my years of training cubs, I’ve never eaten as well as when I started to train you cubs. I’m proud of you.” Bayn Razorclaw sat down next to the fire and started roasting a piece of drake leg.

Dinner passed without anything or anyone set on fire. There was still enough of the drake left for a good breakfast. Korina volunteered to look for moa eggs to go with drake bacon and Miira would gather herbs for seasoning. The others would pack up camp so they would be ready to leave. The primus would take them further into Ascalon for more challenging enemies.

“I think you’re almost ready for the final mission. The one that will earn the warband its name. I can’t tell you anything about the mission itself yet, but it’s going to be an exciting one. It’s the best one I’ve planned in years. But first I want to give you all some time to prepare. That’s why we’re heading to Agnos Gorge. You might even see your first ascalonian ghost.” Bayn grinned with excitement.

He had high hopes for these cubs. They were the best group he had seen in years. They displayed impeccable teamwork and strong individual skills. The only downside was their personalities. All five of them had strong personalities that often clashed. If they didn’t overcome that problem, their pride, they would fail the mission. Another year as an unnamed warband would be just as bad as being gladium.

They could earn their name and the honour of best warband of their year. This mission could make or break them. He needed them to finish this. To show everyone he wasn’t too old. As long as he could be a primus, he wouldn’t be a scrapper. He’d received a warning to control these cubs before they hurt someone. They thought he was inadequate, too old. His last group didn’t do well. They said it was his last chance. If these kids succeeded, he might still be given the honour to die in battle.

Bayn did his best to hide his insecurities, but Miira picked up on them. She saw concern in his eyes, but didn’t know why. Miira didn’t ask about it. It wouldn’t be wise with everyone around. She would ask him when they were alone. One mistake in the final mission could mean the end of her warband and she wanted to protect all of them. She had to know what was on Bayn’s mind.

Guild Wars 2 - The Quiet Before The Storm - Fanfic

Quiet Before The Storm

Miira walked through the asura gate into the Black Citadel. She’d been visiting more frequently lately and the gate operator nodded to her in recognition. Most people had heard of her vanquishing Zhaitan and of her friendship with Destiny’s Edge. The charr in the Black Citadel needed hope in order to face new and unfamiliar threats. She felt that she had to live up to her name, Lightbringer. Most charr were happy to see her walking about in the city. It meant things weren’t as dire now.

Throughout her adventures she’d made new friends and she visited most of them when she was in town. But she always went to Torruhk first. She was excited to see him today. Things were still dire and they didn’t have a plan yet to fight Scarlet’s army, but today felt like a good day. She was only a  day away from the battlefield and she was confident that the lines would hold out until she’d get back. Later that afternoon she’d have people to see and errands to run, but breakfast came first. She’d left Lion’s Arch early because she craved blueberry pancakes. In the field they’d usually eat whatever they could catch. To eat something sweet was a luxury.

The white furred charr entered the inn. The usual patrons waved, shouted and even whistled. Torruhk turned around behind the bar and grinned.

“Well, Ma’am. What can I do for you?” He said as she sat down.

“Blueberry pancakes. And a hot cocoa. I need something sweet.” She said.

“Gotcha.” He walked into the pantry to get all the ingredients and started cooking. His limp looked worse today.

Miira made some small talk and shared the latest news from Lion’s Arch with the patrons. These charr hadn’t left the capital for ages, but were curious about the modern world. When Scarlet first started causing trouble, they’d ask Miira to tell stories of her battles.

“Breakfast is served.” Torruhk shouted. The patrons took that as their cue to leave Miira and Torruhk alone.

“So, how’ve you been?” he asked. He leaned on the counter so that he’d be on eye level with her.

“Oh, you know…” she sighed and looked down at the pancakes, slicing off a bite.

“No, I don’t. I have no idea who or what you’re facing. I worry about you. I know I shouldn’t, but I do. Can’t help it.” The look in his eyes pierced through her skull. She could feel his agitation. He was right. Scarlet’s attacks were some of the worst she’d seen. She’d lost many of her friends, because of the Molten Alliance. The fire legion had worked together with the dredge and created something horrible. They’d even come close to the Black Citadel and it had been up to Miira and her friends to stop the threat. That had been when stories had started to spread and Torruhk started to worry.

“I’m sorry. You know how the battlefield can be. I don’t like saying it, and maybe it isn’t entirely true, but it does feel like war. The Toxic Alliance, the aether pirates. Scarlet’s army is united, we’re not. Rox is here as well. We’re talking with the higher-ups later.” Miira explained.

“That I’m unscathed is mostly due to the warband working together. Of course only Rox and I see it as a warband, but we all know we share a bond.” She felt a moment of pride talking about her friends. Torruhk looked confused.

“I’ll never feel that strong a bond with humans. Nor the asura, pesky little ones. I still value what we had, our group, before it fell apart.” Torruhk said with a pang of nostalgia in his voice.

“Tor, what we had, nothing beats that. But these people are my friends and I know that they have my back. I know they would do anything for me and I for them. I can trust them. That’s what a warband is. A family away from home.” Miira’s voice softened as she spoke. She took a sip of the hot cocoa and felt the warmth spread through her body. A smile appeared on her face.

Torruhk looked at her while she enjoyed his cooking. The frown disappeared from his face. “I can’t help but soften up when you smile like that. I’m glad that smile hasn’t disappeared.” He said with a grin.

“I know you’re worried and I’d give anything to have you on the battlefield with me. But it’s not a good idea. Your training was years ago and your injury makes you a liability. I don’t want to risk it. Especially because it’s you.” Miira explained.

“I could defend.”

“No, you couldn’t. You want to be at the front line, preferably in enemy camp. If I take you, even as a defender, you’ll be out there. That’s just who you are.”

“I hate it that you know me so well, Mi. I also feel flattered. You’re the most confusing woman I’ve met. Besides my mom. ”

“You’ve seen her lately?”

“Nah, she used to come for pancakes once a month. But she turned in a bitter old cat. Says I’m not worthy, that my father would be ashamed to find out that I was a cook instead of having died in battle.”

Miira shook her head. “That’s sad. Please don’t let her get you down. You’re the best damn cook there is in all of Ascalon and beyond. She should be proud.”

“I have to go. They’re expecting me.” She said while she got up. She didn’t want to go. Leaving Torruhk became harder every time. But it was her duty. She couldn’t abandon Tyria. This meeting was vital for uniting the powers of the charr with the others.

“Take care, Lightbringer. I hope to see you again soon.” Torruhk’s eyes betrayed his sadness. He gave her a bag with lunch. He always made sure she had enough. That was his way of taking care of her. There was nothing more he could do.

Miira paid and left the inn. She knew Torruhk didn’t want her money, but she insisted. She had earned it and it was no good to keep all the money for herself. Especially in times like these, money needed to change hands. That’s the only way other people could make a profit.

She headed to the crafting area to find the master blacksmith. Her enemies were getting stronger and she needed better armor to defend herself with. The master blacksmith would help her out. She didn’t know which materials to use, although she had plenty of everything.

When she reached the blacksmith, she asked for the recipes and handed over the gold. It was expensive though. But it was worth it. It wasn’t perfect. Attacks could still injure her, but it would be more difficult to land a lethal blow.

A few hours later Miira finished her armor and walked over to the vault to stash her old armor. She might need it in the future. She found a bench close to the vault to eat her lunch. She opened the bag and the smell of raspberry cookies found its way to her nose. Beneath the cookies were a few cinnamon buns and wraps made with grilled moa. Her new armor would soon be too small if she ate it all. She saved the cookies for the journey back to camp. Maybe she’d share them with her friends.

Miira finished her lunch and headed for the gladium quarter. The armies needed more power on the battlefront. Maybe some of the gladium could be persuaded to fight with them and regain some of their honor. Anyone was welcome to join, as long as they weren’t a liability. Even when they couldn’t fight, they could help out strengthening the fortifications or sorting out the facilities and logistics. Charr engineering and knowledge was needed. She hoped that some of them were willing to work together with asuran scientists to fuse their technologies. That might be their only hope against their new enemies.

Scarlet’s armies had spread throughout Tyria and they needed legions in the more remote locations. Their troops couldn’t react fast enough to reach new places under threat whenever Scarlet changed strategies. Miira did see a pattern. All recent attacks were getting closer to the cities, including Lion’s Arch. She feared the worst would come sooner than they could prepare for. At least she had her new armor to back her up.

A long afternoon passed. Miira had recruited a few more soldiers and proposed that they would form a warband. Afterwards she returned to Lion’s Arch for another meeting. On her way to the lionguard headquarters, she opened her backpack and took one of the cookies. Just as she bit down on it, she felt the earth tremble…

Miira Lightbringer in Fried Moa Steak, a Guild Wars 2 fanfic

Fried Moa Steak

“Hey Miira, wait up!” Miira turned around and saw Torruhk running towards her. Miira noticed his injury was still as bad as before.

“It’s been a while since you came by and people told me you had left already,” he said, still catching his breath.

“Yeah, I left and now I’m back. Although not for long, Crusader Towerbreaker was looking for me. You know you shouldn’t be running,” Miira said and wanted to walk away again, shaking her head.

Torruhk grabbed her paw and looked her in the eye. “Please come by later. Let me cook for you and you can tell me what happened since I last saw you, for old time’s sake? I know our last meeting didn’t end well, but let’s forget that for now and meet as friends. Don’t make me run after you again.” Torruhk pleaded.

Miira thought back to this last meeting, before she left for Lion’s Arch. Torruhk had asked the impossible of her. How could she stay while Tyria needed her? She wasn’t even sure of her feelings for him. She’d always thought of him as a brother in her warband. Now he wasn’t even in her legion or warband. It would’ve ended badly. The look in his eyes betrayed his feelings. He still loved her. His loyalty was one of the things she liked about him.

“Fine, I’ll come by later, but I really have to go back to Lion’s Arch. And if what I fear is true, I’ll be even further from home by next week. I could do with a friendly evening.” She sighed and gave Torruhk a faint smile.

“I’ll make your favorite dinner. And know that you’ll always have a home to return to. I’ll be waiting.” A grin appeared on Torruhk’s face and he winked. He made a small leap of joy when he ran back to the inn’s kitchen.

Miira smiled and shook her head. He was still easily pleased, his words still lingered in her head.

“… You’ll always have a home to return to. I’ll be waiting…” This gave her a warm feeling in her gut. She was grateful. After everything that happened, home was an abstract thing. She didn’t know what it was. Torruhk reminded her that the Black Citadel was her home, the place where people knew her and some even loved her. After everything was over, she would return here.

“Miira, you’re finally here. I almost thought you left without saying goodbye.” Torruhk waved at her and urged her to sit at the bar. He grabbed a bowl and filled it with fried moa steak. “Nowhere crunchier, not even in Lion’s Arch.” He winked at her as he sat the bowl down in front of her and turned to pass her a glass of ale. “And the finest ale in all of Ascalon.”

“You’re the best, Torruhk. I really missed your cooking.” Miira grabbed the moa bone and ate the juicy meat from the bone. “No one can fry these as good as you, thanks.”

“You’re very welcome. I’m guessing it was a tough meeting with Towerbreaker? Since you only just got here.” Torruhk sat down at the other side of the bar, opposite of Miira, waving to a few patrons leaving.

“Rytlock was there too, but I’m not supposed to talk about it.” Miira’s voice lost its volume.

“Destiny’s Edge is involved? Then I can guess.” Torruhk frowned.

”I don’t have a good feeling about this mission, but I have no choice. If I don’t go, who will? I don’t know anyone who I would entrust with this mission.” Miira looked down at her ale.

“Ouch, that hurt.” Torruhk cringed, but he knew she didn’t mean it like that. Her eyes showed concern. She was always the one who looked at things rationally. If she said the mission was a dangerous one, it was. He felt regret that he couldn’t be with her during the mission.

“Nothing personal, but you’ve been away from the battlefield too long. Your injury won’t help you either. And you always made the wrong decisions when we were talking strategies.” Miira was surprised by his response. She didn’t mean to hurt her friend. When she looked up and saw a smile appearing on his face, she knew he was just messing around with her.

“Strategies, pah! I’d rather just bash someone’s skull in. Too bad you can’t do that with the ghosts around here.”

“Don’t tell me that’s the reason you became a cook.”

“Of course. Now I can chop all kinds of things, without getting weird looks. Plus I always get the flavour just right. The flavouring is my talent, the chopping bit is extra.” He grinned, revealing his sharp fangs.

“Why not go to Lion’s Arch? You’ll make more money there.”

“What’s this? Are you asking me to come with you? Haha, I couldn’t. The best moa meat is homegrown and I doubt those pesky humans can appreciate my dishes. They are made for charr tongues. If they want to try my food, they come here. What’s the use of the damn asura gate if you don’t use it?”

“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean it like that.” Miira looked down at her ale.

“Come on, Mi. No sad faces, not tonight. You know my place is here. This is my home and I really hope my cubs will call this their home too.” He put his paw on hers. “I hope you will call this home again someday.”

Miira looked up. “Thanks. I… I probably will.”

They stayed like that for a few moments without saying anything.

“I should probably go. They’re expecting me back.”Miira said, barely audibly.

“You know you don’t have to go, right? Even if your bed isn’t in the Black Citadel anymore that doesn’t mean there is no bed at all.”

“What are you suggesting? I thought it was a friendly dinner.” Miira pulled her paw back and narrowed her eyes.

“No, wait. What I meant was that you could use one of the rooms upstairs. I always try to keep one free, just in case. No one wants to rent it anyways because it’s quite expensive. But you can stay there for free. I know what you did for all of us and it feels wrong to charge a hero.” He put a key on the bar and took away the empty bowl and glass. He turned around to wash them when Miira picked up the key and looked at it.

“Will you make me breakfast tomorrow?”

“Of course, Mi. Who else makes the most delicious pancakes in all of Tyria?” he said.

“I’ll see you tomorrow then. Goodnight.”

“Rest well, Miira Lightbringer. Bring the light back to these dark parts. If you hear anything, I’m never far away.” Torruhk kept his back to her, to conceal the tears in his eyes. He loved her and he knew he would have to let her go again. For him it was already a small victory that she stayed another night.

After a short night, Miira walked down to the dining area. Torruhk was already preparing breakfast. She walked over to the bar and sat down on the same stool as the evening before. “Good morning” she said.

He turned around with a smile and a frying pan filled with scrambled eggs. “Hi. Did you sleep well? The other tenants weren’t too noisy? As promised. Your breakfast, miss.”

“You promised me pancakes. Now I’m having eggs? Not that I’m complaining, becauseeverything you make is delicious.” Miira looked up from her plate to her friend.

“Who says I’m done?” He grinned and stepped aside. Behind him on the prep table were pancakes, cookies and sandwiches.

“I may be charr, but I can’t eat that much.”

“That’s also your lunch. I know you have things to do, people to see. It’ll save you some time if you don’t have to stop for lunch. Eat all you want and I’ll wrap up the rest.”

“Thanks.” She said and finished the eggs and the pancakes.

Torruhk told stories of their old friends, the cubs playing pranks on him and the tavern brawls over women. He always had a knack for telling stories, using his whole body to illustrate what happened.

“Thanks for everything, Tor. I’ll be back soon for some more pancakes.” She got up and turned around to go to her room and pack her stuff.

“You’d better. And bring me some war stories. Things get a little dull around here. And remember, there’s always a bed for you here.” Torruhk said while Miira walked away. She put up a paw to show she heard him, just as she used to do when they were kids and he shouted things at her.

When she came back downstairs, her lunch was packed and the dishes were clean. Torruhk looked at her, slightly troubled. “Can you do something for me, Mi? If you find ghost peppers, bring me back some. Varian is trying to rip me off, by creating scarcity. I know it has nothing to do with scarcity, but with a lack of balls.”

“Sure. I’ll keep my eye out.” She knew ghost peppers only grew in dangerous places. She’d seen them in Orr once. She was on her way there anyway, so bringing back some ghost peppers was the least she could do.

“You’re the best, Mi.” Torruhk winked at her.

“I’ll be off then. See you soon, Tor.” Miira picked up her lunch and her bags.

Torruhk nodded to her, but didn’t say anything. He knew she would be back soon. She had too. When ghost peppers are harvested, they have to be processed soon. If he was lucky, he’d see her again within a fortnight. Miira walked towards the door and turned around one last time. He saw her smile, the one he fell in love with years ago, just before she disappeared from view.

Warcraft 3: Frozen Throne

The PlayList – Going back to the beginning

I didn’t play much, because my body is still recovering from bruises and sitting hurts my butt. But I did play some. My friends invited me to play Warcraft 3: Frozen Throne with them. I never really played before and was unfamiliar with the Tower Defense mechanisms that are in custom maps. I really sucked in the beginning. Also because no one told me what to do, but after five matches, I had the top score.

This wasn’t the first time I played Warcraft 3. I played it almost half a lifetime ago (about 12 years ago). That was the first time I actually met my boyfriend outside of school or the school forum. He let me play Warcraft 3 on his pc while he explained it to me. I don’t remember much of it, to be honest, besides the butterflies in my stomach.

I should probably play a bit more, or maybe just the campaign, because Warcraft 3 is an awesome game. No, I’ll never play World of Warcraft, but I’ll play this. I’m guessing that we’ll be playing this again on the lanparty which is scheduled for April. I’ll add this to my list of awesome classics to play with friends, together with Settlers 3.

The other game I played is Guild Wars 2, of course. It’s always my main game. We played some PvP with guildies. Some were new to PvP, so we didn’t win everything, but we had a lot of fun. I even managed to complete my first reward track. I started with the Ascalonian Catacombs track, because I really like the skins. It’s a repeatable track so you can unlock all the dungeon skins and finish the dungeon collection. The next track I’m going to do is the Crucible of Eternity reward track. I need the dungeon tokens for The Crossing. That’ll take me a while before I have enough tokens.

This week was also the Chinese new year, something the original Guild Wars celebrates as the Canthan new year. Yes, these events are still going on. The Canthan new year is one of the few moments the Shing Jae boardwalk opens up and you can play the Nine Rings game. You buy festival tickets, stand on one of the nine rings in a three by three grid and let luck be your mistress. The system will choose on the rings as a winner. Any adjacent ring will win slightly less tickets. It costs 10 tickets to play. The center ring will be awarded 25 tickets and the corner rings 55 tickets when it wins. Adjacent rings will win 15 tickets. The biggest reason people are playing this game is to max out the Lucky and Unlucky title tracks. If you’re unfamiliar with the original Guild Wars’ title tracks, most take several years to max out. I’m only at tier 1 of both titles which is maybe 10% at most of the complete track.

I started the game, bought the tickets and AFK’ed in the rings and turned it off again when I went to bed.

Character Creation Sylvari Female – Guild Wars 2

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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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