[This is a fiction sort of tale, told from the first person perspective of one of my GW2 characters. I thought it would be fun to go back and take screenshot of the first game, and show how those same spots look now. That led to the idea of telling it through the words of one of my characters. So here goes. The screenshots are taken from relatively the same place in each era of the game.]
I am Merith Naprein, descendant of a famous explorer in Tyria some two hundred fifty years ago. We bear the same name, and the same aptitude for the dark arts. I can only hope to attain the kind of power over death she is storied to have possessed, but for now I am satisfied to walk in her footsteps.
My namesake was born in Ascalon City, before the searing of the human lands east of the Shiverpeaks. She was born of common stock, but uncommon skill. As the stories go she was an adept necromancer early in her life and only grew stronger as she traveled the lands of Tyria. She did not remain in the city for long, but she did return many times over her life. It is said she even returned there at the end of her life to join her ancestors in the eternal sleep.
The city changed dramatically after the war with the Charr and the searing of the land. It was no longer a place for the common folk to live, hostile and dead. Nothing would grow, few wildlife remained that was edible, and even the settlements were prone to attack by the denizens of the new wasteland. Some brave souls, merchants, adventurers and soldiers remained, but it would be generations before the land returned to normal. Eventually the Charr would take over the land, building their fortresses and machines, taming the land and returning some semblance of life to the area.
Today, the former fortress city is nothing but haunted ruins, though the land is vibrant and full of life again. It is also full of death. The Charr’s final battle with the humans drove my ancestors to the use of a powerful weapon that swept the land and killed everything in its path. The humans that were caught in the magic remain in the land today as specters, attacking anything that comes within sight, even their own descendants. All that remains are the remnants of the Great North Wall, and a few ruins in a lake that was once the center of the city.
Merith’s career began to take shape with her first adventure in the catacombs beneath Ashford Abbey. The place would foreshadow the fate of Ascalon as it was full of undead, disturbed from their eternal slumber. During the time before the Searing, the Abbey was a place of relative peace despite the undead below, and many came to trade with the community there and the village of Ashford outside the Abbey gates. The place would change dramatically with the searing.
The Abbey became a place of refuge for many who could not deal with the mental shock of the Searing. What was once a peaceful Abbey dedicated to Dwayna, and housing the respected dead of the area, became a house for the insane. Many of the heroes of the time before the Searing helped take care of the residents, braving the dangers of the land to care for those who were unable to travel west as many did. Merith visited this place often it is said, to remind her of the earlier times, and of how the world had changed. No other place in the world is said to have shown the effect of the Searing more than the Sanitarium. A place of peace and tranquility literally turned into a nightmare of screams and torment.
Today I come here and look up at the ruins of the old tomb, wondering what it would have been like to be here when others called it home. Much has changed in the two hundred fifty years since my ancestor helped Ascalon, and later Tyria. It appears that some attempt was made to rebuild in the past, but the Charr have little care for human monuments unless they are trophies. It is up to us to remember our past, to cherish what we have lost and to let that inspire us to fight the great dragons and reclaim our world. I hope I live up to the woman who bore my name before me, and make her proud, wherever she is. I will walk in her footsteps for a time, and be inspired by all that she must have experienced.