Do Sylvari Dream of Dragons?


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Earlier today I was thinking about what we know about Guild Wars 2’s new race, the sylvari, compared to the existing ones. Each race so far has had its own strengths, but also its own inner turmoils. For the humans it is the tension between the Ministry Guard, the Shining Blade and the Seraph. For the norn it is their dealing with the Sons of Sanvir and for the charr it is the Flame Legion Shamans stirring up trouble.

For the sylvari the tension is likely to come from their dealing with the Nightmare Court.

On my own blog I mentioned how it’s possible that the Pale Tree has some wider connection to the welfare of the planet, and how it might be imploring the sylvari to deal with the growing threat (no pun intended) which the Elder Dragons pose.

The sylvari have popped up in the 23 years preceding the events of Guild Wars 2. They emerge from the Pale Tree fully grown and are forever linked to it. Whilst they are growing inside the tree they experience dreams through which they learn the knowledge of their race. They also report that they experience nightmares – however, most sylvari attempt to ignore or at least not pursue any further knowledge of them. The sylvari that do embrace these nightmares are called the Nightmare Court.

Guild Wars 2 Sylvari - Concept Art

Just chillin’ wit my peeps.

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Legate Minister Caudecus: Can he be trusted?


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Author’s note: As an author, I enjoy a bit of artistic license and have a great deal of fun writing articles and stories from the point of view of my characters/avatars. While this article is written by Belzan the Talk Tyria (TT) author, it is written in Belzan Furu, the GW character’s voice and from his perspective. I hope you enjoy the change of pace.

Statue of Caudecus in Beetletun (pic courtesy of GW2 Wiki)

Caudecus. Why is it every time I hear that name or see the smug look on that statue’s face I immediately become angry? Maybe it’s because he is so smug, sitting there in his mansion whispering conspiracy into the ears of any who will listen. He thinks he is above the law and treats the Ministry Guard as his own private army. He’s a thorn in the side of the Seraph and many believe him to be an outright political rival to Queen Jennah. I for one don’t trust him, but then I’m a bit biased; I was born in Beetletun and I’ve seen how it has changed since he settled in the area.

To those living in Beetletun now, he’s a bit of a celebrity. He expanded the little farming community, plopped down a mansion, and built a carnival to distract everyone from the problems in Kryta. That’s right, I said “distract.” That should be clue enough right there of his intentions. Elder Hezron would never have tried to distract villagers from the threat of danger, he would have enlisted aid to defend the shire, as he did in 1072 against the Undead Hoardes.

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Caithe of the Firstborn


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It’s tough to talk about the sylvari because there’s still so much we don’t know about them. The newest of the playable races, they’re the only ones we haven’t encountered in Guild Wars and so we lack any hindsight for their existence or basis to really compare to. The state of their design also adds to the enigma; due to their nature as “plant-people”, their physical appearance is very important to understanding how they work in general. Do they use the sun for energy? What effects does seasonal “birth” have, if any? Etc.We won’t know for a while, and until then our primary source of information comes from the sylvari characters we encounter in the two companion novels. Which brings us to Caithe, the most well-known sylvari of them all.

 

Appearance:
Despite the cartoonish original design of the sylvari, Caithe’s looks always seemed much more elegant. Specifically, her current 3D model skin tone is fleshy and short silver pixie hair is..well, not particularly leafy. However, in most of her concept drawings her skin has a greenish tint to it, as we’d expect from her race.

There’s yet to be any official word on her season, but most fans believe she is winter due to her cooler and more subtle features, as well as her darker personality.
Whether or not she’ll get a model re-design as well has yet to be determined. There seems to be no real indication of it so far.

Personality:
Like most of her people, Caithe has an innocent, almost brutal honesty that makes her companions a little uncomfortable at times, especially when she points out those awkward yet obvious things nobody seems to want to bring up. This is especially true when she speaks of Rytlock and Logan’s rather entertaining banter. She’s blunt and doesn’t really care for fickle nuances and sometimes simply cannot grasp metaphorical language.

She also differs from general conceptions of her race in a few ways. Most notably, it’s been stated that Caithe has a more fearless nature, willingly “seeking the shadows” to find truths that most others shy away from.

It has only been a score of years since the first twelve sylvari awakened from the branches of the Pale Tree; a handful of lives scattered into the world like petals on the wind. These Firstborn were quickly followed by others, more and then more, until the Grove was born in the heart of the Caledon Forest. Caithe was among those first to step upon the earth of Tyria, but where the others turned toward the sun, she sought shadow. While her fellows revel in the beauty and joy the world has to offer, Caithe has never been afraid to gaze into darkness–or to seek truths that others fear.

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Magnus the Bloody Handed: A Norn in a Changed World


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A slow grin began to appear on Magnus’s face, extending into his eyes. “The people of Lion’s Arch are my people. I have chosen my battles. ” Magnus shook his head and laughed ruefully. “The world is changing, Eir Stegalkin. You must change with it. Perhaps I should ask you to join me. Get some sun on that lily skin.

The pirate city of Lion’s Arch is a place of great contradictions; mortal enemies walk side-by-side in relative peace, it is built upon the combined ruins of the former great and righteous Krytan capitol city and the lowly and broken debris of wrecked pirate ships –it is a city of heroes and a city of villains. It follows that the big cheese of such a place would be rife with contradictions of his own; Magnus the Bloody Handed is such a norn.

Norn Pirate

Thought to be Magnus (although, Magnus has 2 eyes, so possibly not!)

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Logan Thackeray: brother, rebel, guardian, human, legend.


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Spoiler Warning: This article contains significant spoilers for Edge of Destiny, and minor spoilers for Ghosts of Ascalon. 

Writing about Logan is like writing about two or three different personalities that evolve during a story following what seems to be the engine that runs Logan’s life: his emotions.

Let’s start from the beginning.

Logan Thackeray, descendent of Gwen & Keiran Thackeray, is, first of all, a little brother. And like every little brother in the world (Tyria included) he looks up to his older one in awe. Dylan Thackeray sure is a good role-model: a strong fighter, passionate about his kingdom, and sure about his place. He is a Seraph, and we may very well say he is The Seraph. Dylan is the stereotype of the soldier, his strongest desire being only to protect his queen and fight for her as her champion, something he never had the chance to do. Because of that, he has his first reason for annoyance towards Logan when he becomes Jennah’s champion. Being the younger brother of someone that seems so perfect and sure about his way is just too much for young Logan, who at first chooses to play the role of the rebel. Instead of joining the ranks of the Seraph (where Dylan always thought his true place was) he becomes a mere scout-for-hire who works for caravans near Ebonhawk, almost a mercenary in the eyes of Dylan who always looks down on him, denying Logan that big brother relationship he always looked for, and that he will finally find with Rytlock.

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I Want a Norn Girlfriend…


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Where you lead, I shall follow my lady...

Does this shock you yet? Or are you simply rolling your eyes and saying- here we go again. The real life irony is the woman I was married to, her maiden name was Noernberg.  One would think that would remind me of her, but hardly. It is merely an interesting bit of trivia…

At any rate, I want a norn girlfriend.

Throughout my research I have actually come to embrace the norn, to the point where I am seriously thinking the norn character I end up making may well be my main. This will be a grand departure for me, since I ALWAYS play the “human” in MMORPGs. The norn are close enough, however, that they count as human to me, if not larger than life.  Now one thing that is noticeable in ArenaNet’s canon of Guild Wars 2, is the dearth of information about the norn origins.  I am certain ArenaNet will fill in the blanks when the time comes… But where as a race did they evolve from? Are they, as some speculate, descended from the Kodan (giant polar bears), or a mutation of human over the years, adapting the strongest of their genomes to survive in their hardy climate? Were they magically created like the Sylvari? Thus far little is known about how they came into being, only that their civilization has been around for a while, and they are a very proud folk whose tales are about as epic as their daily lives aspire to be.

So why WOULD I want a norn girlfriend anyway? Well, perhaps this sampling of what I have learned about the race might clue you in as to why I have taken a liking to them. Thirteen seems like a good number, since there are 13 cycles of the moon (often tied to women). Here we go then, 13 reasons why I want a norn girlfriend:
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An Interview With a Keg Brawl Star


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Talk Tyria recently got a unique opportunity to interview one of Keg Brawl’s rising stars: Jegg “Legs” Edgarson. Few can match the ferocity this norn shows on the ice. We caught up with him after the Leopard’s Spots thrilling 5 kegs to 4 victory over Pour Haus.

_______________________________________

Jegg "Legs" Edgarson

Talk Tyria: Legs! What a fantastic game!

Legs: Keg Brawl is not a game. Keg Brawl is life! Every norn knows that!

TT: Well, at any rate you were very ferocious out on the ice today.

Legs: Snow Leopard gives me speed.

TT: Tell us what happened in the final moments when you led your team to victory.

Legs: Grunn and Algar ran interference for me while I ran zag pattern. Taggart broke past our defense and I cracked him over the head with the keg.

TT: Ouch!

Legs: He went down like raven in a stiff wind!

TT: What happened next?

Legs: I tossed the keg to Volf and broke the ice with a heavy stomp. The defenders went under and I dove over the hole. Volf tossed the keg back and I poured ale to trip up the last defender. With a clear shot to the brewer, I ran the keg in to break the tie.

TT: What a play! I hear your team is leading the tournament. Only two more Brawls to go for the cup.

Legs: That’s right. Bear’s Paws next week and then the winner of Keg for All and Quote the Raven.

TT: What do you think of Leopard’s Spot’s chances?

Legs: We’re going to take the cup. The real question is how many kegs can we get?

TT: In the games ahead or in the celebration after?

Legs: I told you, Keg Brawl is life! Leopard’s Spots will have more kegs than any other team, on the ice and around the fire. You can quote me on that!

TT: Truly spoken. Switching gears, what do you think about the special visitor at tonight’s game?

Legs: Special visitor? I didn’t notice. I was too busy winning.

TT: Why, no other than Rubi from Guildcast, of course! She came to get firsthand experience with Keg Brawl.

Legs: Yes, I remember seeing her now. She was here before the match talking to the brewer. He let her toss the keg around a bit. I’m not sure she’ll make a good keg brawler, but she has definitely brought attention to the sport.

TT: What makes you say that? Does she toss a keg like a woman?

Legs: No. That’s not it. Norn women are some of the most fierce keg brawlers. I have the scars to prove it!

Rubi trying out Keg Brawl

 

TT: I can imagine! One final question: What advice can you offer our readers who might want to try out Keg Brawl?

Legs: Keg Brawl is a norn sport. We invented it. It’s rigorous, fast paced, and played on the ice. Anyone can play the sport, but you have to be tough. Kegs are heavy and your opponents are mean. You don’t see too many asura playing the sport for a reason. To play keg brawl, you must have the heart of a norn.

TT: Thank you Legs. And good luck to you in the tournament.

Legs: Norn do not need luck, we are norn!

TT: Indeed! If you are interested in learning more about Keg Brawl, check out Rubi’s article and photo gallery. And keep reading here at Talk Tyria. We have many interesting articles coming soon!

 

About the author: Belzan enjoys playing and writing about Guild Wars and Guild Wars 2 in his free time, when he’s not working on his dissertation and trying to make a living in the field of psychology. His articles range from humor to analysis to observation and he enjoys writing fan fiction about his longtime character Belzan. He also writes a character blog entitled Blog of the Vagabond.