Indeed it is a fine day at Arketer Labs in whichever facility you may or may not be, Progress is being made, things are being learned and so far as I am aware absolutely no one is under any sort of attack.
Except perhaps me, but in a trivial sense I am obligated to bear with minimal complaint.
Yes, I have been receiving your comment and suggestion box messages. Where relevant I have replied or arranged for reply. I have not put much on this blog largely because #0 has not deemed much of what has been sent as viable for sharing on this insecure bit of Internet Webbery. I get the impression they feel I've shared entirely too much as it is.
That, and absolutely no one seems to have come up with even one suggestion for an alternative to the C.Z.S.S. acronym. Some people did write in to say, in short, 'I agree, that is stupid.' but no one has in fact put up an alternative. Not that I have, in all honesty, done any better. Yet.
So, moving on. I thought I'd try writing a short story as a creative exercise. In it I wish to inform someone not familiar with Guild Wars 2, what the world of Tyria is like. Specifically, the plight of the world and Humanity.
So, here we go.
Greg was going to do something with his life. He wasn't well placed for it though, growing up poor in Divinity's Reach. In fact, growing up in Divinity's Reach as anything short of a Noble was no cakewalk. Centuries of government all too comparable to the Dark Ages of an Earth he never knew had led to a profound disparity of wealth. A cluster of Nobles lorded over large estates and basically ruled Kryta while the Noble yet not as wealthy hobnobbed for social capital and the poor cannibalized each other in desperate gangs. The Seraph and Ministry ever watchful that the cannibalization should never touch anyone of importance.
Greg was a smart guy though, or so he thought. More accurately, he was an idealist who kept an ear out for news. The world was at risk from giant Dragons and their legions of minions! The Vigil, the Order of Whispers, the Durmand Priory, Warriors, Spies and Scholars were uniting to face this threat.
Greg had known he was no spy and no scholar- given the society he lived in it was a miracle he could read at all- but he was able-bodied. Even if he had been a bit runty from periods of starvation. He could lift a sword and follow orders though, and that was enough for The Vigil. He walked into the recruitment center and froze immediately as he saw the charr.
He'd seen Charr before. Since the signing of the treaty that saved Ebonhawk and brought peace between their peoples charr did turn up in Divinity's Reach now and again. This was not to say it wasn't jarring. Every charr was around nine to ten feet of clawed, fanged, furry muscle shaped something like one might picture a were-bull-lion with a few extra ears thrown in AND they usually walked around in plate armor with enough superflous sharp edges that it was a wonder they didn't get stuck in doorframes.
The appearance of one was alarming enough, but it certainly didn't help that the only reason they weren't still at war with them was because the Charr understood the threat the Dragons posed and entered into a peace treaty with Kryta. There were few sane people who doubted the human city of Ebonhawke would have followed the human country of Ascalon into oblivion otherwise but then sane people were in short supply. Charr were a race dedicated to martial prowess, they had no family structure whatsoever- only Legions and a chain of command. They lived and died for war, and their martial successes confirmed their efficacy. Not that Greg understood this, he just knew they were rather scary.
This one, at least, was in the moderately less spiky plate armor of The Vigil, a tasteful silver and black affair. They had just tapped out a human woman in matching plate who looked to Greg apologetically for some reason as she moved around him and left the office. The Charr focused on Greg.
"What do you want." the charr rumbled. By Charr standards this was high courtesy, She hadn't even snarled at Greg. Greg, for his part, was glad he used a latrine before making his way here.
"I uh.. Here to volunteer for the Vigil, Sir." Greg choked out.
The Charr narrowed her eyes at him.
"What?" Greg asked, confused.
"I'm a Ma'am, Mouse." she growled.
"Huh- Oh. OH. Uhm. Sorry! I'd like to volunteer, Ma'am." He stammered out, visibly sweating already.
The charr heaved an irritable sigh, then waved Greg closer. He obliged hesitantly. She looked him over critically for a moment.
"You have any special talents?" She rumbled after a moment.
"Uh... Like what?" He asked, alarmed.
"You got any magical ability?" She asked, looking him in the eye.
"Nnn.. I don't... think so?" He answered. The charr stared at him an awkward moment, then shrugged.
"Yeah, figured as much. Good answer, at least you know you don't know shit." she grumbled.
"Uhm. Thanks?" Greg replied uncertainly. His recruiter sighed again, a deep sound that only seemed to stress how much bigger her lungs had to be than his.
"Ok, so you know what you're getting into here... You're going to be Dragon bait. Got it?"
"Dragon bait." She repeated, irritably. "Well, Dragon Minion bait, more like." she amended.
"But I can fight!" Greg exclaimed.
The charr barked a laugh.
"Listen, we train you up- you'll be able to TRY. But yeah, you're pretty much doomed unless we find some sorta hidden potential in you."
"You're just saying that because I'm human aren't you!" Greg retorted, offended.
"No, I'm honest to a fault kid. That's why I'm saying it. But, look, this doesn't mean you won't do some good. You'll probably get stuck somewhere we expect to lose but need to make look important. Things go well, we might even retake it while there's still a corpse to ship back that ain't walking around on it's own."
"That... How is that even helping?" He asked, feeling strangely hurt.
"Well, if we didn't have unmagical human types to do that, we might have to send Warriors who have a chance of winning to their doom. We Charr would do it, of course. We're willing to die to just help save the world for Charr, but I understand if you can't. Really, don't even know why we bother." she ended with a weary sigh.
"I... I could do it. To save the world." He said uncertaintly. She looked at him with what he assumed was a skeptical expression. Greg drew himself up to his full height and did his best to look her in the eyes and tried not to think about how much higher up they were.
"For Humanity, yeah." he amended, with bravado he didn't really feel- and if he wasn't a whirling maelstrom of emotions in his own head probably wouldn't expect her to believe he felt. Still, he continued. Wounded pride demanded it.
"I mean, I gotta. Humanity's got to keep leading the way." he finished. The Charr broke into laughter. Loud laughter, every bit as sincere as his bravado wasn't.
"HEY!" he exclaimed. This was not the reaction he was expecting. He wasn't sure what he had been expecting, but it wasn't this. Humanity was leading the way! He'd always been told as much. Why just a little while ago he'd heard- Yes, he thought, that would shut her up.
"HEY! Where would the Pact be without Humanity, huh? I mean, we contributed a key part to them Airships, didn't we?"
The Charr female wiped her eyes and sucked in a deep breath.
"Yeah... Yeah... Guess Humanity did. But, hey, they ever tell you what it was?" She asked, giggling in jarring contrast to her otherwise menacing appearance.
"I heard it was a key part." Greg repeated, unwilling to note that he hadn't heard precisely what it was.
"They gave the Pact Humanity's chief export!" The charr giggled.
"Can... Can you guess what it was?" she continued.
Greg was not pleased with where this was going.
"It was... It was gold wasn't it." he guessed obligingly. The charr shook her head, still giggling.
"Asura are richer than you all by some times over again now. Just spend it on things that like, DO things as opposed to just glitter and look pretty. And they can afford to. Who DOESN'T use Asura Gates?"
"Uh... We... made the hulls?" he tried again,
"No, Asura and... hehehe. Charr engineers did most of that... Think, uh... Higher. Top export of Kryta!" she elaborated, still giggling and studying Greg.
"We sent the... Wood?"
"NO! Sylvari got them all they might've needed of that. Besides, can pretty much grow wooden things they need out of the earth itself!"
"The, uh, Smiths that forged the metal!" he tried. The charr shook her head.
"Got Norn for that, assuming we Charr couldn't do it better. Higher up..."
Greg wracked his brain. His antagonist finished her giggling and straightened herself.
"Give up?" She asked, not unkindly.
Hesitantly, Greg nodded. The charr nodded slowly, schooling herself to a professional demeanor.
"They gave the pact the balloons." The charr said seriously.
"Ohhh..." Greg exclaimed. He remembered seeing hot air balloons floating around some time ago, a pasttime for people far wealthier than he. He frowned slightly, it felt like it should have been more somehow.
"So you see what Humanity provided, yeah?" The charr asked, he could hear the suppressed mirth.
"They... provided the balloons." he said, trying hard to make it sound important.
"THEY PROVIDED THE HOT AIR!" The charr roared as they then doubled over laughing.
"WHY ARE YOU EVEN HERE?!" Greg screamed at them.
"I'M C... HAHAHA... COVERING A.... HAHAHA... LUNCHBREAK!" She finally choked out, but Greg had already stormed out, finding himself less amused.
Part Two another day, I suspect.