Do Sylvari Dream of Dragons?

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?

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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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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I Want a Norn Girlfriend…

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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To Err is human… But That’s Why We Love ’em.

A little late on the train, but here goes!

Ah, humans. It’s hard to imagine them being interesting; people are people. We are human, after all, and we’ve been playing humans in Guild Wars and other games for decades.

But with the information handed to us this week, we’ve been given a little more insight to what will make people tick in Guild Wars 2. They are considered the elder race of Tyria, and the one that is in danger of dying out ; a lore twist that breaks a lot of fantasy conventions.

What has changed (or hasn’t changed?) about the humans? How are they adapting to being dethroned as the king of the hill of races? What are they focusing on?

Well, let’s take a look. Continue reading