Legate Minister Caudecus: Can he be trusted?

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

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

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.

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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Predicting the Next Guild Wars 2 Novel

Since the release of their second novel, “Edge of Destiny,” ArenaNet has been very tightly lipped about what the third, and last, installment of their series will appertain to. Many of us have to wonder at this point on what this final novel’s plot is going to be about, as it could be about anything. Will it have to do with the sylvari first born and what they did when first setting foot upon Tyria? What if it’s about the rising of Orr, which resulted in the flooding of the Tyrian coastline and the sinking of the old Krytan capital of Lion’s Arch? How about a romance novel about two young asuran teens who meet at an academy for more than obviously highly gifted asura? Heck if it is any of those three things, how the novel will go about telling the story of these events is still an important question.

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Seraph : The Second Soldier Profession of Guild Wars 2?

Warning: Minor spoilers for the two novels ensue.
Disclaimer: This was written literally a few days before the Guardian release. That said, I still think the political implications still hold merit. So have fun with it. :)

I think we all figure at this point that the 2nd solider class is a paladin-like buff / defensive profession. And that Logan has become one. Agreed? Agreed.

So many moons ago in my re-hashed Guild Wars 2 profession speculation post, I stated that I thought the Seraph was going to be the 2nd solider class. I reiterated the theory on the forums and was generally met with disagreement. I had just finished reading Ghosts of Ascalon which is how the idea solidified in my mind, although I think I had come to the conclusion earlier when I saw repeated screenshots and artwork of winged armor, a motif that’s been attached to the Seraph. I wasn’t the first one to come up with the idea, certainly, but in both cases most people shrugged it off as improbable.

The biggest argument against the Seraph as a profession is the need for it to be multi-racial. From the lore we know that the Seraph were founded by Queen Salma to defend Divinity’s Reach and the new Krytan order. In Guild Wars 2, they are charged with protecting the endangered human race, the remnants of whom as far as they know mostly live in Kryta (although we as players can assume there are survivors in Cantha and Elona, they don’t know that…yet.)

With these facts, I can see why it feels hard to believe the Seraph would open their doors to non-humans. But if we take hints from Guild Wars Beyond, bits and pieces from the novels, and even some artwork from trailers, we gather enough clues to point to clear progression leading up to a sound possibility of Seraph as the 2nd soldier class. And the kicker here is that the entire possibility centers around none other than our elusive Queen Jennah. So humor me for a few minutes as I explain why this can very much happen.

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Edge of Destiny Review & Character Analysis

Spoiler Warning: This article is spoiler-free up until the indicated point. 

So I -finally- got around to finishing EoD. I know a few people were nervous since I gave Ghosts of Ascalon a pretty harsh assessment, but I’m happy to say that I very much enjoyed this book. It really blew GoA out of the water in terms of characters and action.

The characters had much more depth this time around and went beyond their stereotypical roles. Unlike in GoA where each person seemed to be more or less the personification of their race, here they were individuals with quirks, talents, and habits that pushed them into the realm of having substance. Their interactions with one another was also satisfying and believable. Although the dynamic between Logan and Rytlock sometimes teetered on a little ridiculous, it was also the primary source of humor and so it served a purpose making it acceptable and welcome.
There wasn’t much individual growth other than from Caithe,  and everybody’s ultimate reactions at the end, but I think that’s because the focus wasn’t on them separately but rather as a team. It wasn’t about individuals so much but rather Destiny’s Edge: How they came to be, what they meant to the world, and how it ended up. It was important to set that up to make the conclusion that much more significant, so there wasn’t much time, really, to focus on them seperately. So they started out pretty solidified already, which isn’t a bad thing here.

Edge of Destiny Review - Logan Thackeray

The overall story was entertaining because it was a good mixture of telling the tale of the rise and fall of a band of heroes while also setting the stage for GW2. It fulfilled the later much better than GoA did, in my opinion, as the main antagonists were the very dragons we’re expected to challenge in the game. There were a few twists and a few frustrations. But the ending definitely had a bit of a wow-factor to it.

The greatest part was the action. It was relatively non-stop, but done in a way that isn’t overwhelming. We get a lot of build-up for the first big victory which allows us to get to know the characters and exactly what they are capable of, paving the way for the subsequent battles to be told in an increasingly swifter manner without feeling like you missed anything.

All in all, I definitely enjoyed it. Once again we have to keep in mind the purpose of these books: they are to fill us in on the story of the game. As such, we can’t expect Tolkien-level writing since it needs to be accessible to people who may not be regular readers. But for what it is, EoD provided an easy to read, enjoyable adventure that was well-written and dramatic. It gave us a ton of answers and even more questions, and really allowed us to see what challenges we are faced with once it’s our turn to step up to the hero plate in Guild Wars 2.

To The Readers: What did you guys think? Better or worse than GoA?  Favorite characters / parts? How do you think this will affect the stories in GW2? Any other forum discussions / reviews I missed, let me know!
Discussions: GW2G | Quaggan | GW2 Forums | IncGamers
Reviews: Hunter’s Insight | MMO Gamer Chick | JohnnyV

So now for the spoiler-ridden in-depth part, follow the jump
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