One of the really nice things about the asuran race is the way that they have not fallen back on “intelligence” meaning “modernist”. Being so blessed with intellect, the asura could have easily fallen prey to the overtly functional style of design and only been concerned with creating structures which served a purpose and nothing more. Rata Sum could so easily have been a city of blank grey cubes; flat and faceless entities which, whilst perfectly serving their purpose, offered up no example of imagination or life.
In fact, the asuran architecture has a real sense of playfulness and gayety to it. Instead of great functional blocks to house their krewes and council, the asura have phantasmagorical floating cubes suspended by powerful levitation magic which spin and oscillate in time with the ebb and flow of the Eternal Alchemy. Instead of run of mill walkways to traverse the ravines and crevices of the Tarnished Coast, the asura build great vine-twisted bridges, studded with gems and bursting with isometric energy. The whole city is bedecked in gigantic flowers, leaves and thick vines which live side by side with whirring info panels and buzzing electronic cuboid structures suspended on ethereal strands of synergistic energies. The city of Rata Sum pulses with energy, life and va-va-voom!
Rata Sum is a perfect embodiment of the asuran fervor for displaying their vastly superior minds. It is an all too tempting trap to make an intellectual race into cold and calculating dullards; but the asura aren’t all about making a structure which is the most efficient; they want the most impressive, the biggest and most glittering testament to their fantastically immense intelligence.
To the readers: Do you like what they’ve done with the asuran capital city? Does the city match your expectations?
About the author: Distilled (Will) has been playing Guild Wars for almost 6 years, he works as a clinical researcher in the UK but has aspirations of getting into social research. In his spare time he enjoys a being a secret agent, crawling through air vents and tazing unsuspecting security guards . He writes regularly on Guild Wars and gaming over at Distilled Willpower. You can also follow him on Twitter at @Distilledwill!