Is anybody else wondering about that new tail feather torch skin? I know, I know, it's BLTC and you should never look too deep into that stuff. But the lore for the vast majority of gemstore items is "The Black Lion Trading Company made this", with the possible exception of mounts? Unless they have stables somewhere and are allowed to experiment on living beings to create monstrosities like an 8-bit raptor or a horse-griffon. So, the "Vermilion Tail Feather" torch skin is probably the same - made by the BLTC from a Vermilion's tail feather. Enchanted to burn forever for your convenience, and only slightly more expensive for it! Right, but... what is a Vermilion? Where did they get these tail feathers? Does anyone else see what I'm getting at? Most of the gemstore products are made by the BLTC, but they've never named them such a thing as to imply they crafted these products from nonexistent creatures. By all rights besides the name, that torch is a phoenix feather. So why call it Vermilion? I looked it up and there's no such creature in GW1 or 2. And just googling the word in general told me what I already know, it's a color, a vivid red-orange. Okay, it doesn't previously exist in Guild Wars, and the most common definition is not any manner of mythical creature or urban legend that could be a reference. I guess maybe it's a reference to something more obscure? Here's most of Wikipedia's list on what else the word "vermilion" is used for:
~ The Shaolin temple, where the Buddhist monk Bodhidharma is reputed to have established the new sect of Chan Buddhism (Zen Buddhism), is colored a bright tone of vermilion. This temple was featured in the West by the 1972–1975 TV series Kung Fu.
~ In the Bible, vermilion is listed as a pigment that was in use for painting buildings during the reign of Shallum the son of Josiah king of Judah and is named in the book of the prophet Ezekiel as a pigment used in art that portrayed Chaldean men. (Jeremiah 22:11–14, Ezekiel 23:14–17)
~ The Vermilion rose is a symbol of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
~ In Han China's Five Elements cosmology (cf. Chinese mythology), one of the four symbols of the four directions is a bird called Vermilion Bird, which represents the direction of south. The color red (particularly as exemplified by cinnabar/vermilion) was also symbolically associated with summer, fire, a certain note on the musical scale, a certain day of the calendar, and so on.
~ Vermilion Sands is a collection of science fiction short stories by J. G. Ballard published in 1971 about an imaginary future resort that pleases its guests by using various kinds of futuristic technology.
~ The color orange red has a special significance in hacker culture. The documentation for Digital Equipment Corporation's VMS version 4 came in memorable, distinctively colored orangish-reddish ring binders, and "China red" was Digital's official name for this color. Mark Crispin seems to claim Digital's name for the color was Terracotta, at least in the context of PDP-10 machines running TOPS-20.
~ Vermilion City is one of the locations used in the English translated versions of the Pokémon video games and anime. It is a port town in the Kanto area and the name is derived from the original Japanese name クチバシティ (Kuchiba City). Kuchiba is an orange-red color associated with sunsets and autumnal leaves and "Vermilion" was used as an approximate translation.
With all this in mind, I think if it were a reference to anything, it would be the Five Elements cosmology, since that's a mystical, mythological tale with four symbols and directions. It's also the only thing to reference a Vermilion Bird, and this is a tail feather skin we're talking about. Lastly, of course there's the fact it represents the direction of south - we know we're headed to Cantha, which is the southernmost continent of the world (not the part we got in GW1 but the continent as a whole). I'm not saying this is a hint or tease that a new type of creature in Cantha will be Vermilion, but I could see that happening regardless of this. And even if nothing more ever references "Vermilion", it could simply be where they got the inspiration for the skin, and they never intended to do more - despite the confusion, especially considering there are already references to the phoenix in game yet they chose this instead. I wouldn't expect anything else to tie into this skin, but now that I've learned more I do think it would be fitting and very cool to see Vermilion birds in Cantha. it's also associated with fire and a note of music, so it could have something to do with a Bard specialization or a fire-oriented Elementalist spec. Anyway, is there anything there? I know I'm crazy and looking into this too much, but if it's not at least inspired by the Five Elements, then that's a pretty wild and cool coincidence.
HARRY! DIDYA PUT YER NAME IN DA GOBLET OF FIYAH?!