Blaugust Day 25: Asura Alt Collection – The Rest (GW2)

The other asura in my alt stable are nowhere near as formed as the first three.

I just made them to have them, and start them on the whole birthday gifts process, while filing them on the “to someday level” list.

rest-shoodele

Shood is literally the youngest of the lot.

I made him fairly recently, when I realized I was probably never going to get anywhere further on my human female elementalist (seeing that she is both conveniently at a really good level for opening champion bags for cloth items, and also rapidly running out of clothes options that isn’t just bare skin and boobs.)

Some day I’ll get around to leveling him over level 5.

I could use an experience scroll, but then I’ll have to have level 20 gear prepped for him to get started and all that. So, meh. Another time.

I see him as a bit of a young prodigy, probably the equivalent of a nobleman’s son of some kind. Other than that, backstory is still pretty much open for now.

(And yes, this time the naming is very much on purpose to sound very close to Shodd, and Shud, and Shudd… What? Sue me.)

rest-shuddiengi

Shuddi is probably the first purposefully cute and snub-nosed asura I’ve tried to make.

I’m oldschool and belong to the “ugly-ass Vekk is how most asura ought to look” school of thought, but well, I’m running out of ugly asura styles and need a bit of contrast.

So we get cute, but serious, Shuddi.

I really wanted to name her Shoddi, to play on “shoddy” since she’s an engineer, but someone else has cleverly already thought of that and sniped the name first. So I got the next best thing, and continue my chain of asura names that sound/look all fairly similar.

Right now, she’s mostly just a bank mule. I’m likely going to level and max out my charr engineer first, so her fate is pretty much to sit in Rata Sum and hold my junk for now.

rest-shayddi

Shayddi is the oldest of the spare asura alts, not counting Kujl or Shudd.

I made her very early on when I realized that my norn thief just wasn’t really doing it for me. Despite the fun contrast and backstory of a thug-like runty norn thief, the fact of the matter is that however runty a norn gets, he’s still a goddamn big norn.

That means super-readable combat animations, which means I get pwned on a thief, whose schtick is that they’re supposed to be all stealthy and stuff. So he goes into stealth for a couple seconds… when he comes out, people go “Ah, look, the fat fellow is still over there! Pewpewpew” instead of “dammit, where did the tiny squirt run off to?”

So I said, well, maybe I ought to try it on another race and see if it gets any better, or if it’s just my lack of thiefly skills/mentality or my latency to blame.

Sadly, I never got around to that experiment either. Discovering other classes seemed more fun, after I’d already tried out most of the thief skills and traits on the norn. Maybe someday.

I went for something almost anorexic scrawny on this character. I have the vague idea that she has more of a street rat background. Not so much academically smart, but very very cunning. Probably even murderous, given those eyes. I steered away from Minnie Mouse-cute, and tried to do something almost tomboy-ish, in a vein similar to all the female street rats out there who dress like boys (warning: TV Tropes link!) and are absolutely mistaken as male by 95% of the populace who evidently aren’t using their eyes.

(And yes, her name is a play on “Shady.”)

And that’s all of them for the moment. I am still missing asura necro and asura mesmer. (And revenant, eventually.)

Only a matter of time, I’m sure.

This post was brought to you by the letters B for Belghast and Blaugust, and the number 25.

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Blaugust Day 24: Asura Alt Collection – The Warrior (GW2)

I find it very tedious to run dungeons.

My charr warrior that was originally planned as a dungeon/fractal runner somehow ended up as a Teq and Triple Trouble Wurm killer, hanging out around Sparkfly Fen and Bloodtide Coast.

Between hanging on to PTV soldier gear (for Tequatl before it could be crit) and accumulate a great deal of blues and greens and champion bags and dragonite ore from all those chests being opened, plus a few tonics for in-between waiting fun, plus consumables for the “need emergency dps” moments, his bags are overstuffed.

That usually means I get through 1.5 dungeons before my inventory overloads and I start looking around for salvage kits… and realize that I’ve left the copper salvage kit in my other pants (aka the WvW alt, that also needs to salvage on the fly, or the cloth salvaging alt, etc.)

Which leads to extra stress attempting to sort and clean inventory on the go, while the rest of the group is in “go go go” mode trying to finish the other 1.5 dungeons.

So, maybe, I would be less stressed out if I had a second warrior, with lots of bag space, officially designated as a dungeon-runner and make him fully meta-compliant with the proper (and expensive) runes and consumables an everything?

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Thus was Peacemaker Yolo born.

And yes, I kept encountering the YOLO meme and kept thinking it would make a great asura name. Not to mention, be extremely hilarious to yell it in caps and then charge headlong into a bunch of mobs like Leeroy Jenkins, if entertainment and a combat initator was ever needed.

Naturally, there is no way in hell “Yolo” alone was available as a name, so we had to get roleplayer-creative and give him a title of some kind.

The Peacemakers are an organization that has always intrigued me within the asura culture. They’re like a police force (complete with golems) and defensive army protecting asura territory and patroling Rata Sum and its outskirts.

I’ve always wondered how they ‘fit’ within the general academic asuran culture where it’s all mainly about research labs and krewes working on individual projects and politicking their way to the top. Are they intellectual drop outs that turn to more physical military pursuits? Or are the peacemakers also a well-respected job occupation in asura culture? Then there are shades of military and thought police, I’m not exactly sure how far asura will go,  given their frenetic pursuit of modernity and semi-loose morals, in a way. And then there’s their relationship to the Inquest. I presume they’re somewhat at odds and the Peacemakers tend to jail the troublemakers of that faction, when they get too disruptive.

No concrete canon answers as yet. Just idle speculation. But enough to feel interested in naming a character as ‘belonging’ to that organization.

yolo2

I contrasted Yolo from Kujl and Shudd by making him an older asura.

Here’s a veteran of the wars, of a sort. This guy has been around the block a couple of times. He’s definitely a sergeant or higher in terms of police rank, whatever the asura peacekeepers use.

Is he set in his ways? Yeah. He’s probably a traditionalist of some kind. I see him as the most xenophobic of the lot. This guy is “for asura, by asura.”

Only asura are people. The rest, well, bookah is probably too familiar a term. He probably doesn’t call them anything at all. If he does say bookah, it’s probably with an intonation of “outsiders”/ “other” / “alien.”

He likely spends most of his time in asura territory or Rata Sum, only going out on special assignment to take down troublemakers that require SWAT team-like special forces (*cough dungeons cough*).

yolo4

I see him more as an inadvertently hilarious character.

The guy’s deadly serious, probably doesn’t have much of a sense of humor anywhere in him at all, beyond a dry wit.

He probably has no idea how adorbs he looks when he’s all suited in his get-up.

To him, it’s probably like standard operating procedure. Protective goggles, make sure your face is concealed to protect operative cover and anonymity, leave no witnesses, blah blah, etc.

If anything, I guess he likes that he looks young and spry when he’s all Batman or ninja-masked. “Still got it,” even after all these years.

And boy, does he hit hard with hundred blades.

yolo3

The benefits of being meta-compliant.

Sadly, despite having this guy in my alt stable, clean bags, dungeon waypoints finally ran to and unlocked and all, I’m still procrastinating dungeon-wise, so I guess the issue is just me.

This post was brought to you by the letters B for Belghast and Blaugust, and the number 24.

Blaugust Day 22: Asura Alt Collection – The Guardian (GW2)

Yep, a second guardian.

From very early on, I knew a charr guardian was going to be my main in Guild Wars 2, but coming a very close second was the idea of an asura guardian.

I was in love with the amusing contrast of really tiny yet really tanky, plus the fantastic asura combat animations, spinning around on a staff to empower, leaping and spinning everywhere like little dervishes with weapons way too large for them that pull them every which way with inertia.

shudd1

Shudd was my answer to that desire. (And we have seen him before, showing off various armor styles nearer the beginning of his career.)

Funny story about his naming – I knew he needed a proper asura name. One syllable, short and sweet, with two double letters in there somewhere.

You know, it’s a lot easier said than done.

I sat there for a good fifteen minutes, stuck at the naming portion of character creation, typing in any short, nonsensical but asura-sounding words I could think of, and coming to the conclusion that with the number of people playing GW2 that also care about naming conventions, a LOT of the possible one syllable word combinations were getting taken up… there are only so many vowels to go around and possible consonants to be arranged around them, right?

Somehow, the word “should” popped into my mind. (Maybe because the sequence of events went something like “There -should- be SOME names left, dammit.”)

There aren’t any repeated letters in that though…

So I tried, “Shodd.”

Nope. No go.

Erm, “Shadd?” Nothing.

“Shedd?” (Though it sounds silly) Nada.

Let us not try Shidd. (‘Tis a silly name.)

Eventually I went down the vowel chain, and badabing, Shudd got through. And hrm, sounds presentable to my ear. Works.

The great irony was when I played through the asura infinity ball personal story arc and realized that I had an NPC assistant named Shodd. Totally unintentional, but I suddenly had a pairing worthy of a law firm: Shudd & Shodd, World Domination Inc.

Then I got to Lion’s Arch, and realized there was another asura NPC, Captain Shud, in charge of the portals and on the captain’s council.

This was a perfect, if completely unintentional, demonstration of additional lore – aka how confusing asura names are to humans, yet utterly distinctive to the diminutive asura.

In my head, I could just hear it being patiently explained to a bookah, “No, no, you’ve got it wrong. It’s Shudd, as opposed to Shud… or Shodd,” each word carefully pronounced and articulated…

A giant question mark appearing over said bookah’s head…

…and the lil asura throwing up his hands and going, “Oh, forget it. Why am I even bothering?”

shudd2

Why -two- guardians, some would ask, when the one guardian could switch traits any time to be any build whatsoever?

Well, the idea was that my charr guardian was going to be built for solo wandering, to be mostly a one-handed weapon user, to be all hard-hitting berserker and stuff. The asura, on the other hand, was going to cleave a bit more towards meta, to do my group dungeons, to be a little tankier, to be used in WvW and we could achieve gear and build differentiation that way.

Best laid plans and all that.

It worked for a time. The meta of the day was the anchor guardian, so I faithfully picked up Knight’s gear, a hammer, a two-handed sword and so on. I did a considerable amount of dungeoning with Shudd, and couldn’t help but notice that I was picking up 95%-100% of the aggro of every fight and struggling to stay alive through self-healing, altruistic healing, renewed focus and pretty much every other trick in the book, while my group compatriots did nothing but dps (probably poorly too) and after that go, “Jeez, that was super easy. Piece of cake. Need harder difficulties!”

What? I was barely clinging on to life and it was so touch and go at certain points… And you want it, harder?!

Some time around the point between the Molten facility and the Aetherblade one, I realized I had finally had it with attempting to tank (or rather, anchor) for groups that couldn’t appreciate or see what was happening. Far better to split the aggro, let the ungrateful ones take a few hits of their own, and -feel- it, and all the stupid remarks about “easy peasy, need it harder” went away. I swapped to warrior for dungeoneering then, and retired the guardian.

He did, however, still see me through lots and lots of WvW. I swapped around cleric, soldier, zerker, zealot stats every which way, trying to figure out the best combinations, changing between tanky/bunker healbots, tanky frontline spearheads, not-so-tanky midline staff (lootstick) spam and basically played a ton of melee frontline in a zerg, during the best of times with superb commanders.

These days, I’ve been changing it up and playing more ranged backline (it’s also lazier and less stressful and easier to drop in and out unmissed) so poor old Shudd is sitting around unused, with bags still mostly bursting and untended to. Probably just a matter of time before things change again, I suppose.

shudd3

Personality-wise, Shudd is a lot more gregarious than Kujl.

His oddity, I suppose, is his adventuresome nature. He’s also off exploring the wilderness and interacting with all races of Tyria in a manner similar to the old GW1 hero, Vekk.

Yes, he is snide and snarky, like nearly all asura out there; he’ll cheerfully call you a bookah without thinking twice, but he’s not xenophobic about it. He’s in fact quite happy traveling and communicating with all races because to him, everything’s part of one giant lab experiment – his lab experiment.

Graduating from the College of Synergistics, he studies relationships and connections. You might call him a sort of sociologist or anthropologist, practising observational science. He studies various cultures, how they get along, relate to and interact with one another. He’s interested in psychology, history, economics and basically anything and everything that might suggest how it all synergizes into the Eternal Alchemy.

Because well, if he can understand that, then that’s it right there. The secret to life, universe and everything. Godhood, world domination, your heart’s desire, the fount of eternal life, the source of all magic, whatever, it all pales in comparison to the origin of knowledge, to understanding how it all ties together.

If the network of the Eternal Alchemy can be determined, mapped and understood, everything else would naturally fall into place like dominos following a chain reaction.

It’s going to take a life’s work. It’ll be a magnum opus, and possibly a swan song. It may mean slaying the Elder Dragons, if need be. So Shudd’s out there, observing, cataloging, fighting, searching for true facts and truth itself.

(And occasionally looking cute, in a gremlin-sort of way.)
(And occasionally looking cute, in a gremlin-sort of way.)

Everything else, well, it’s just stuff made in passing, inventions to kill time or serve a purpose.

The infinity ball? A toy.

The alchemagical devices that generate holograms like shattered dragon wings and his sword? Just utility tools.

His powered armor? #normalgeniusasurathings. Doesn’t everybody do that?

Whatever. The answer is out there. Somewhere.

shudd4

This post was brought to you by the letters B for Belghast and Blaugust, and the number 22, and 42.

Blaugust Day 20: Asura Alt Collection – The Ranger (GW2)

I need another one of those quick posts again, because I’m seriously starved on time lately.

It’s all I can do to knock out one set of GW2 dailies (hit the three easiest – < 30 minutes), and then go on to one set of Trove dailies (fill the star bar – also < 30 minutes.)

I think Paeroka is on to something, showing off all her MMO mini-mes

Ditto Rowan Blaze, with his SWTOR character biographies.

kujl1

So, this is Kujl.

Pronounced “Cudgel,” as he will tell you sourly, if he deigns to tell you at all.

He shares the typical asura trait of assuming all bookahs fairly stupid and not worth conversing with, plus a little extra helping of bitterness for being teased mercilessly through progeny-hood for his un-asura-like name.

(No double-vowels, not even a double-consonant, not the usual short sharp exhalation of a one syllable male name, but a double syllable one slightly more typical of female asura names… the only thing vaguely respectably masculine is ending in a consonant… and the sexy ears, of course.)

Personally, I sometimes slip fondly into something more vaguely resembling “Cujo” or “Cujill” when I’m thinking of bringing him out for an sPvP spin, but it’s ok, we’ll whisper it and he already thinks we’re all a bunch of bookahs anyway.

He’s been level 39 for a very long time, having officially replaced my necromancer as my sPvP ol’ reliable some time back.

And he’s one of the rarer combinations of race and class – something I love my characters to be, so that they’re a little bit atypical and I can infuse a little more backstory into them.

Why asura ranger? Well, mostly because I thought the idea of a pet being as big or bigger than his ranger master would be hilariously awesome to play.

In my head though, Kujl is an extremely antisocial (probably even asocial) asura who doesn’t even want to mix with his own kind, due to said horrible childhood teasing making lab and school life a living hell.

Obviously, animals don’t judge in that fashion.

Since nature and the outdoors are where most normal and ambitious asura only venture to when their labs suffer an unfortunate accid- “learning experience” and require some ventilation time… or when they need test subjects… Kujl has probably discovered or decided that this giant free-from-rent-and-research-grant-requiring-(aka-political-schmoozing-needed) venue is where -he- will set up lab instead.

Being also a typical “I’ll show them… I’m a genius” asura, Kujl is busy pioneering work in “living” golems.

Yep, his pets are implanted with all manner of technomagical control devices for “guaranteed reliability” (fine print: beta version, some testing still required.)

It’s a curious thing, but I’ve always thought of Kujl as being fairly young, and his levels tend to match, I haven’t moved him beyond level 39, and not really sure I want to, even if I do want a level 80 ranger at -some- point.

Yet, he has a very old, serious, bitter soul.

He was one of the earliest characters I made, probably in one of the original five slots.

kujl5

I found a portrait of him at level 9, some time in Dec 2012, and I suspect he was made earlier than that.

At the time, I knew he was young, I tried to color him flamboyantly, yellow and purple “rich” colors, mostly because I was sick of dyeing all my alts some version of ebony, grey or brown for natural metal/leather colors.

It just didn’t quite click. He was kind of saying, this is not who I am.

I suppose we can assume he was still schooling at this point, dressing up in a more civilian style, if only to blend in, but just not comfortable with city life.

kujl4

Around 2013, I start attempting to level the ranger alt again, and give him a bit more of a makeover. He still has the purple intensity, that reflects the deep blue intenseness of his eyes. The yellow has been dialed back to something more cream-leathery, and more natural dark leather armor is protecting him on his ventures afar.

He stalls somewhere around lvl 20ish.

When I next revisit him, probably at least a year later, I have a free makeover kit lying around, and I decide to check out the exclusive asura hairstyles.

I have no idea how to describe it. A mohawk? A ponytail? Something vaguely Aztec-inspired? But somehow, I know it fits. He’s grown up.

He doesn’t need that kid hairstyle with the purple hairband anymore.

He’s moved from kid to teenager to young adult, at least.

I take him PvPing. I’m relying on his totally nondescript lowbie leather armor to signal that I’m a nobody, not at all prestigious, I can be overlooked, I probably suck, maybe we’re small and sneaky, but that’s about it for the fear factor…

… We do suck. For quite a while, as I throw myself gleefully into build-testing the hard way, under fire.

But slowly, surely, one experimental tweak after another, as I and he grow more comfortable with his weapons and what he is capable of, I start winning matches. Not a whole lot, but enough to tilt me back to a 50% win/loss kind of ratio.

Several months later, GW2 opens its very first sneak peek of Heart of Thorns, and somehow in the closing of that, something funky happens to the old pre-launch early start accounts and Anet says that our particular version of game doesn’t quite exist anymore. They’ve given us the heroic edition of the game instead, and the heroic edition comes with an extra bonus GW1 heritage/legacy armor skin from the gem store… Take your pick, heavy, medium or light?

The medium Krytan armor looks to my eye like the best of the lot, and it really reminds me of my GW1 ranger, who spent quite a while wearing a style like that.

But do I even -have- a medium armor class who can wear it?

Oh wait, yes, I do.

Somebody’s come of age.

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Some months after that, I was on my scientific skins collection kick.

When it was done, I was struggling to figure out who else could use green skins besides my necro (who already sports Tequatl sunless styles and a rare dreamthistle skin or two.)

And then I knew who it was absolutely perfect for.

Scientific and steampunky, as in asura-like technology?

Green and acidy, as in condi damage?

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Thank you, Kujl. Take a bow.

(Just don’t take over the world while I’m not looking.)

This post was brought to you by the letters B for Belghast and Blaugust, and the number 20.

GW2: Thaumanova and the Mists

"Time stabilizer damaged. He's unstuck in time. Zathras warned, but no one listen to Zathras, no."

I’m going further and further down the rabbit hole here. The more I read up on stuff and poke around things in-game, the more bits and pieces are starting to suspiciously come together.

Still groping for the most part, but some things that sounded odd and were initially dismissed seem to have a deeper second meaning.

It’s hard to know where to start and how to situate you all in this bizarre layer of theories, but I’ll try to begin where I did this time around.

It begins with Dessa.

She says she is the krewe chief of the fractals project. And there’s a lot about her that seems “off.”

First of all, she assumes you’re here as volunteers and she’ll be your experiment manager. She makes reference to something she calls “Mistlock” which seems to be some kind of process to stabilize bits of the Mists. In fact, that seems to be her dream and ambition:

“I can’t believe I made explorable chunks of reality from the Mists. I’ve dreamed of doing it for so long. Now, it’s real.”

“We can now lock down and enter any point in the Mists. The legacy code of Tyria is ours to explore, assuming it doesn’t collapse.”

Hang on, let’s backtrack a bit. What the hell are the Mists to begin with?

themists

Well, in the lore of Guild Wars (1 and 2), the Mists appear to be the fabric of space/time themselves.

Jeff Grub from a Guild Mag interview describes them as:

“The Mists are the building blocks of reality, the proto-reality that exists between the worlds. It is where we find afterlifes and the homes of the various gods and other powerful entities. The Mists also resonate from the worlds around them, such that they form bits of their own reality – islands of existence that reflect the histories of their worlds.”

According to the wiki, the Mists are further described as only being accessible via portals.

Previously these portals seem to be created by vast expenditures of magic and link to only one place (see history as described by wiki) but Dessa seems to have the magi-technology to target different parts of the Mists.

(But so far, besides the uncategorized fractal which is…as yet uncategorized, only the past. Discrete sections of the past. No futures in there, says Scott McGough.)

But hang on again, WHOSE past are we talking about?

dessa

My google-fu isn’t strong enough to locate any other links, but surely someone has commented on the futuristic style of clothing that Dessa is wearing?

littlestormtroopers

Even the rest of her krewe look like miniature stormtroopers.

I leave this as an exercise for my readers (mostly because I haven’t taken screenshots yet) but we may want to compare these guys’ helmets to the Steam mechataur creatures. To me, they look suspiciously similar in style.

Are there any other asura in our present day Tyria that look like these guys?

Where the hell do they really come from? Or WHEN?

Could they be from that alternate future reality that we are positing exists? The one that has magi-tech and steampunk styles all over the place, is probably full of Aetherblade pirates and Steam creatures, likely contains a money-grubbing group known as the Consortium, and very possibly contains a Conclave and a Grand High Sovereign?

Dessa certainly recognizes the name Consortium. “Those money-grubbing connivers? It’s bad enough I lost my boyfriend to those shady “businessmen.” Take my advice: reject their advances. Nothing good will come of their machinations.”

In our reality, they still seem pretty harmless, just creating gift shops and tourist attractions. They don’t seem to have gotten that sort of “corporate evil” vibe that I may be reading too much into what Dessa says.

And she says one more thing. When asked about how they got connected to the gate in Lion’s Arch, where we entered from, she exhibits confusion. “Lion’s Arch? No, there must be a misunderstanding. We’d never launch this lab from that pirate haven.”

Well, yes, our Lion’s Arch is a united gathering of pirate captains forming a peaceful haven of trade and diplomacy to go fight dragons.

But could LA be an Aetherblade pirate haven in Dessa’s reality?

Let’s go look at the portal gates in Lion’s Arch.

normalgate

Normal tame asura gates look like this. They shimmer with magical energy and transport us from place to place.

fractalgate

The fractals gate looks like this.

Seriously, go -look- at it yourself. There’s VIOLENT lightning strikes crackling across its surface every couple of seconds. (And I’ve been jumping into this thing all the while with nary a care. Aieeee.)

If you talk to the Lionguard guarding the gate, he tells you that this… doorway appeared instead when some asura tried to open a gate to an island. (Presumably a reference to Consortium/Southsun, but I’m not chasing down that rabbit tunnel just yet.)

When we go through, we end up in the Fractals of the Mists. OF THE MISTS.

The crackly lightning gate appears to symbolize getting access to The Mists, where little pockets of various realities/pasts/reflections of worlds are floating like islands, unstuck in time.

Let’s take a trip to Metrica Province and go look at the Thaumanova Reactor.

thaumanova

We’ve all seen it before. It’s a gigantic sprawling dark stone structure that is suspiciously (to me anyway) open to the elements.

Full of asuran architecture and Inquest-y technological trappings, sections of it echo the Elder Dragons’ elemental magic, though it’s unclear if these existed pre or post explosion. Chaos magic is raging all around, displaced monsters are popping in unstuck in space or time, and most importantly for this post, there is also a honking big portal if you amble over to the center and look up.

thaumaportal

No, I mean it. Go there yourself and look up. The camera angle is really tough to screenshot, and those animated lightning flashes are tricky to capture in a still image, but there is as much violent lightning energy crackling across the surface of the portal over Thaumanova as the… doorway in Lion’s Arch.

Probably more because this portal is fucking huge.

How huge? Well, it’s like covering the roof of where a second floor might have once been…

…Could the Thaumanova Reactor have been a LOT bigger than it is now?

Could a chunk of it have actually been broken and hurled through the… doorway now hovering above the reactor and ended up in The Mists?

File:Uncategorized Fractal 2.jpg
Credit: Pic from GW2 wiki, I ran out of energy trying to solo the last fight just to get to this cutscene.

We know what the Raving Asura says, right?

Raving Asura: “Breach! Broken! Falling! Screaming! Dying!”
Raving Asura: “I couldn’t save them. I heard them all. Pleading. All gone. All on my watch!”

Could something have breached the security of the reactor?

Could something (or someones) have broken an important part of the reactor?

There would naturally be a lot of falling, screaming and dying as a result.

I wish I could tell you I sacrificed myself to get you this screenie, but it's just me sucking and failing to figure out how to manage the damage from this fight.
I wish I could tell you I sacrificed myself to get you this screenie, but it’s just me sucking and failing to figure out how to manage the damage from this fight.

The clothing style of the raving asura unfortunately doesn’t give anything away. He’s using a standard for our time asura style staff, he’s in what seems like dark brown medium armor and has a monocle/eyepatch thingy, and has poofy grey hair – which might be his usual hairstyle, or just overall meant to simulate a Rip Van Winkle hermit look.

Another possible link:

holdingcell2

There are holding cells in the Uncategorized fractal – containing a Flame Shaman charr, a human bandit saboteur, an ettin and a rabbit. Holding cells, we know, are the main purview of the Inquest.

And we know the Thaumanova Reactor was an Inquest facility, where they were researching on a Thaumacore Energy Source (which they later moved to the Thaumacore Inquiry Center after the exposion) and Elder Dragon magic (which they later rebuilt as the Infinite Coil Reactor and Crucible of Eternity to continue their research.)

uncategorizedtop

Dessa, too, has some kind of reaction on seeing this fractal. It’s just not very clear what because she doesn’t reveal much of any emotion over the line she’s using. She just needed to leave for a while, and then comes back later and apologizes for her absence.

It’s possible that’s an indication she recognizes it, but possibly not in this configuration and can’t quite put two and two together as to what happened.

The name for this fractal is Uncategorized, after all.

Maybe in her reality, the Thaumanova Reactor never blew up.

Seeing it in pieces in what is supposed to be Tyria’s past is perhaps a paradox that floors her for long enough to shut off communication with her lab rats and try to puzzle it out.

"I don't wanna be a lab rat. Can I go home now?"
“I don’t wanna be a lab rat. Can I go home now?”

We leave now the shores of plausible theory to venture further into speculation.

I started scouring the Guild Wars timeline because I suddenly realized there are actually documented yearly dates attached to some of these historical events.

Unfortunately, I can’t find any documented source on when exactly the Thaumanova Reactor blew up. We know it’s pretty recent an event, but not exactly how recent.

It’s recent enough that they’re still dealing with the fallout in the present day, but far back in the past for the Inquest to have built replacement facilities.

Stay with me here, it’s a bumpy ride…

Now I’m going to build on my hunch that we ourselves are going to enter the Thaumanova Reactor in the to-be-built fractal and blow shit up, because if we don’t, we face an alternate reality of magitech horror and villainy.

I’m going to assume the explosion caused realities to diverge somehow – in one reality, the reactor never blew and we enter our future world  of magitech steampunk villainy, in another reality – ours – the tragedy happened but yielded our present-day racially united renaissance fantasy heroic world.

Dessa recognizes the name Lion’s Arch. Now LA has existed since GW1, so that doesn’t tell us very much, but it’s a pirate haven for her.

She doesn’t go, oh the capital of Kryta (GW1), oh that flooded ruins? (circa 1219 AE)

Lion’s Arch slowly became a haven for pirates and the LA we know today was founded by Cobiah Marriner somewhen around 1230-1231 AE… I think. I haven’t read the Sea of Sorrows novel yet. That is probably our lowest bounds for when Thaumanova blew up in our day, and my personal guess is that it’s a lot more recent than that.

This rather nixes the part of my theory that the explosion could have released/formed the Elder Dragons themselves because those bad boys were operating way before that. In hindsight, they had servants dating back to GW1 and were perplexing the ancient races like mursaat and what not, so yeah, the Elder Dragons long existed, they’re forces of nature/magic and that bit of speculation is all hogwash, forget it.

But we need another piece of baseless speculation to replace it now, don’t we?

Let’s look at the timeline at very recent historical events. Two events stand out rather prominently to me:

1325 AE Guild Wars 2 story begins.

1320 AE Kralkatorrik, the Elder Crystal Dragon, awakens. Creation of the Dragonbrand. Breaking of Destiny’s Edge. Founding of the Vigil. Glint is killed by Kralkatorrik.

1302 AE The sylvari first appear along the Tarnished Coast, sprouting from the Pale Tree.

If the Thaumanova Reactor blew up five years ago, could it be tied somehow with the waking of the Crystal Dragon? There are linkages of chaos magic / Thaumanova Reactor lore with the Chaos Crystal Caverns – the Injured Inquest Researcher talks about the twinning effect of the crystals they were using at the reactor affecting the ones in the cavern.

That’s the more logical, has links in-game, speculation.

Of course, I like the wild and crazy theories the best.

According to the wiki, golden fruit appeared on the branches on the Pale Tree over one hundred years later after Ventari passed away in 1180AE, leaving his tablet behind. In 1302 AE, the fruit opened to reveal the first Sylvari.

If the Thaumanova Reactor blew up anywhere from 23-45 years ago, could the wave of chaotic magical energy have fueled the possibly premature rousing of what are speculated to be the jungle dragon Mordremoth’s minions? Except with him still snoozing, they have no guidance except to turn to this convenient guidebook lying at the foot of their tree, producing Tyria’s youngest and most recent race.

In Dessa’s reality, this would not have happened. Sylvari might still be evil servants of the jungle dragon. And of course, we’re now dealing with a lunatic sylvari by name of Scarlet Briar that exhibits some very strange abilities and seems to have some familiarity with alternate realities/portals/stuff.

I’d talk about Mad King Thorn and all the jungle-bramble-plant-death theme that seems to be happening here, but that’s just reaching now, even for me.

Over to you all. Believable or no?