The day started like any other. Your usual motley collection of ne’er-do-wells had gathered in the Lion’s Court to listen to their pirate kings blather on about something regarding dragons.
I normally wouldn’t be caught dead in a place like this, but the “artistic” horror of the twisted wood piles held my gaze like a ten golem pileup. I stopped a citizen to inquire about their provenance, and he said they were supposed to be dragons.
Right… Even the charr make better effigies, and we’re talking about the legion that likes to run around in a loincloth.
Then he added that they were going to burn them.
Ah! Now, the destruction of these aesthetic freaks of nature, I could get behind.
The bookahs, though, had arranged their primitive ceremony in clear violation of various safety statutes for the handling of hazardous materials and clear traffic flow for pedestrians.
Having fenced off the stage area and wisely prevented the crowds from approaching a mountain of flammable materials, they proceeded to stand right in between the two ugly monstrosities (which were presumably going to be very hot in a short while) like a line of skewered meat.
I noted that the one asura had at least sufficient sense to remain the furthest distance, despite the brainpower-corrupting influence that occurs after associating with too many bookahs.
They had representatives from nearly all the races, even the lesser ones, and even a, ugh, skritt, place substances of unknown and unexamined origin to be burned up alongside the giant piles of wood. For sentimental reasons, apparently.
Any fifth-year progeny whose eyebrows are still smoking from an alchemical lab table mishap would be able to tell you why that idea wins no awards in the genius category.
(In properly maintained asuran labs with accurate labeling, we would at least be able to name exactly what initiated the reaction and which components produced the various colors too.)
Instead, we had to work backwards after the runaway thaumaturgic reaction had already consumed most of its ingredients, and released an energy discharge which illustrated exactly why standard operating procedures for lab safety should not just be penned by administrators, pinned neatly on walls and filed away without reading.
A strange human woman shoved her way past the screaming and fleeing crowds -towards- the scene of an uncontrolled arcane energy cascade to get to the fallen charr as quickly as she could.
Now, I’m no professor of bookah behavior or human psychology, but I smelled a rat from the get go. Could have just been the skritt.
Doubted it though. She wasn’t much a healer if she failed to save one charr and failed to offer her services to help anyone else. The Lionguard grabbed her pretty quick as a suspect, along with nearly everyone else in the vicinity.
Me included. Gotta give them points for enthusiasm, I suppose.
Some rational discourse later, pointing out via witnesses exactly where I was standing and the logical impossibility of taking large enough asura strides to throw suspect materials into a bonfire to be there and back again without anyone seeing, and calling on Ellen Kiel to attest to my good character and standing after having helped them get their wounded councillor to safety through a thicket of sky pirates, I was… if not exonerated, at least free to walk away from the crime scene.
Whoever later put a note in my pocket was good. It’s not easy to reverse pickpocket an asura, except for maybe another asura.
The note writer termed himself or herself “E.” If it was Ellen Kiel, she needed more lessons in subtlety. If it wasn’t, well, it could be anyone.
The name’s Shudd, but I can call myself “E” if I wanted to.
The note writer gave me a name. A private investigator calling herself Marjory Delaqua. One of the best, they said. For a bookah, perhaps.
Still, as an asura, you learn that bookahs come in handy at various times. Golems can do heavy lifting, but bookahs attract attention. Enough attention that no one pays any focus to the lil asura looking innocuous and keeping eyes and ears open.
And I’d never been to Divinity’s Reach. Time to be a small asura in a big city.
The streets were packed. With bookahs. The only other asura I passed was a small specimen, runty even for an asura.
He was doing a good job of mesmerizing passers-by with his horn playing. Had the street urchin look down pat too.
I went up one grimy alley and down another and finally reached a dead end.
The Dead End.
A smoky run-down bar in the middle of nowhere good. Even asuran eyes needed a moment to adjust from the light outside to the more comfortable subterranean gloom within. I paused for a few seconds to do so, and a big bookah shouldered in past me.
A distinctly silhouetted big bookah, I must add. For someone hoping to be incognito, the armor was a dead giveaway.
The conversation after, as well. We’re good at that.
Then I went up and made my introductions.
The rest, as they say, went into the history books.
❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤
At last, we’re seeing more good stuff coming out placing the GW1 universe 200 years into the future and into a renaissance fantasy era.
Cannot wait for digging up those Aetherblade caches and a reason to revisit some jumping puzzles!
(*crosses fingers that the dungeon is not too horrible, and does not induce as horrific an inclination to grind obsessively or speedrun like the last one*)