[Like the first of these posts, his 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’m continuing to follow the path of my ancestor and namesake, Merith, across our world. She suffered many hardships and won many victories, and I seek more clues to the drive I share with her that causes me to travel so far from my home in Divinity’s Reach.
After the battle at Rin, near the Nolani Academy, Merith found herself with the Ascalonian refugees moving west across the great mountain range to find new homes in Kryta. Their journey would start in a trading outpost at the edge of the cold lands called Yak’s Bend. This place is the last stop before crossing the harsh and hostile Shiverpeaks on the way to the Gates of Kryta. At Yak’s Bend, guides across the mountains can be hired, travelers can rest and prepare, and some supplies for the trip can be purchased. I imagine Merith would have looked back at her old life from here, wondering if she would ever see Ascalon again. For her sake I am glad she did, and I’m glad she can’t see it as it is now. I grew up with Charr as part of our society but to someone of her time, seeing Charr rebuilding over the ruins of the old human kingdom would be too hard to accept I imagine.
Not much has changed about the outpost of Yak’s Bend. It is harder to get to than the old books say, but it is still an outpost for travelers moving through the Shiverpeaks. The people of the settlement still live simply, in tents and huts, raising their yaks and catering to travelers passing through. The old dwarven stonework south of the settlement is gone, but the old road into the mountains remains, though the change in climate has brought more snow to the area, obscuring the old road. The journal describes a harsh and perilous journey through the mountains with stops at outposts and fortresses along the way, but places like the Frost Gate and Beacon’s Perch are only distant memories, their structures long buried in time and the elements.
Once through the mountains and the Gates of Kryta, Merith found herself at the hub of Tyrian civilization at the time. There were other cities in the world to be sure, but it’s said that every ship that sailed the seas stopped at Lion’s Arch more than any other. According to her journal she spent quite some time here, using this as a base of operations to travel by ship, or simply between missions to earn her place in this new land. Like many of the refugees, Merith felt the need to make her own way instead of simply living off the people who had taken them in. Lion’s Arch had been the seat of the King of Kryta before the last Guild War, but in Merith’s time it was the base of power for the White Mantle, a theocratic military order that ruled Kryta.
Today, Lion’s Arch is still a bustling sea port and hub of activity in Kryta. It is literally a hub of travel as well, being the largest port in the land as well as a hub for the Asuran gates between the capital cities of the five major cultures in the land. The city is now ruled by a council of captains, and while most of the old city is under water with the rising of Orr, the new city has expanded up and out in staggering proportions. Old ships, ruins, and new structures have been used, mixed, and intertwined to create a beautiful chaos that you simply must see. I frequent the city nearly as often as my predecessor did, whether passing through, fighting against the minions of the dragon, or availing myself of the many amenities it has to offer.
On her travels west Merith passed through the small village of Beetletun between Lion’s Arch and Divinity’s Coast. I bring up this location because today it is a large farming community close to the capital of Divinity’s Reach. In my namesake’s time it was speculated that the ruined watchtowers above the village were standing silent vigil against some unknown enemy to the north, perhaps even the island of Janthir north of the Giant’s Basin. I believe this area was the site of many fierce battles on Merith’s adventures in Kryta, which is strange to think about. An area that was so dangerous in the past is but a stone’s throw from the city I grew up in, and a place I have visited regularly.
Today Beetletun is a well-protected and populous town that lies only a short ride from the capital of Kryta. The minister, Caudecus, has expanded the town and its defenses as well as hiring soldiers to protect the people from rampaging centaurs. Outside of Divinity’s Reach it is one of the safest towns in northern Kryta. I visited there many times in my youth, and now frequent the town when my duties bring me close. I will soon follow my namesake’s path south and back into the mountains, but already I seem to feel what she must have felt seeing the people of this land and the trials they face every day.