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Will anything happen to make Ascalon great again?

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  • Regarding the duration of conflict and nature of territorial claims, I don't think the charr were constantly fighting the entire 1400 years. There are a handful of lines that suggest that the were constantly charr pulling back between the death of the Khan-Ur and the Flame Legion finding the titans in 870 AE. This is why, despite the Great Wall being built so far south, humans were able to establish settlements as far north as Duke Gaben's Estate, which lies on the northern end of what got seared as we can see during The Flight North.

    It's hard to argue that a continuous cessions of territory over an 800 year period is a continuously fought over border with no cessions made.

    Also, about "pushing other races from your desired territory was accepted practice, as well as slavery" in 100 BE - this would be wrong, because the dwarves and Forgotten had both fought against the charr's push during this time. The Forgotten, in fact, was the first force the charr met that they couldn't overcome, only then followed by humans who pushed them back.

    @Castigator.3470 said:
    I also reject the claim, that the charr were just out for conquest. If that were the case, they could have taken any other territory much easier to conquer. Instead, they committed lives and resources to the land between Shiverpeaks and Blazeridge Mountains. Nor were they all driven out immediately upon human arrival.

    It has been explicitly stated that the charr's goal was conquest. The Ecology of the Charr opens with that very exact premise, that the charr are conquers and dominators.

    They committed to the land of Ascalon because they had lost it and that was a massive slight to their pride. They cared more about beating down those who dared opposed them, than ignoring those and moving elsewhere. Humanity were, as the Ecology article puts it, a threat to charr dominance.

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  • draxynnic.3719draxynnic.3719 Member ✭✭✭✭

    It's also worth noting that we know that the charr made attempts at norn territory. They were focused on humans at the time, so they never committed enough strength to overwhelm the norn (in part because of the charr obsession with Ascalon, in part because when push comes to shove, the fertile Ascalonian basin was probably more attractive to them than the Shiverpeaks), but that does mean that historically, every other culture that we know of that has bordered charr territory has, at some point, been attacked, and in the case of the norn at least, seemingly unprovoked.

    I'd also question the idea that having villages is a prerequisite for having a claim on land. The territory occupied by the grawl before the charr invasion was still territory occupied by the grawl, even if their culture was (and still is) fairly primitive. And the charr don't even have the fig leaf of justification that the colonial powers had that they were "bringing civilisation" - grawl now are little more advanced than the were then.

    Of course, humans didn't treat the grawl with much more respect, although as far as we know humans didn't enslave grawl to pull chariots in victory processions.

  • @Konig Des Todes.2086 said:
    Regarding the duration of conflict and nature of territorial claims, I don't think the charr were constantly fighting the entire 1400 years. There are a handful of lines that suggest that the were constantly charr pulling back between the death of the Khan-Ur and the Flame Legion finding the titans in 870 AE. This is why, despite the Great Wall being built so far south, humans were able to establish settlements as far north as Duke Gaben's Estate, which lies on the northern end of what got seared as we can see during The Flight North.

    So you know the year the Gaban Estate was built? I'd guess it has been constructed some time after 898 AE, when the human kingdom of Ascalon had grown to overpower the charr even to the north of the wall. Do we have data on Duke Gaban's other holdings? As a duke, his domain is likely to include at least one county and his demesne includes at least one fortified castle. His estate was a bold move, but consider how Guild Wars starts. We get told that the area north of the wall is dangerous. Referring to this entry on the Northlands: "The Northlands describes all the land north of the Great Northern Wall, which protects Ascalon from the ravages of the Charr. Despite its peaceful, idyllic appearance, the area north of the Great Northern Wall is a dangerous place, as the Charr reign unchecked as one leaves the relative safety of the Wall behind." You can even see when the golden age of Ascalon ocurred by looking at the northern towns: Surmia was founded in 1020 AE. This indicates that the Gaban Estate was a relatively new construction erected maybe 20, 30 years before Prophecies.

    It's hard to argue that a continuous cessions of territory over an 800 year period is a continuously fought over border with no cessions made.

    That relies on the assumption that the charr never had any successful counterattack prior to 1070 AE, which is false. Otherwise, why build the great northern wall? While the charr were driven back slowly, they remained a problem right until the start of the game. They certainly didn't lead constant offenses in the modern military sense, in a long war like that, there will be assaults, followed by a recovery period, in which the next move is prepared. War is expensive and constant warfare leads to the strange situation where you can't attack because you still need to reorganize. And as far as the charr were concerned, they viewed the land as theirs, regardless of its de facto holder.

    Now if you want to go by the principle that the rightful ownership is not dependent on the consent of the dispossessed, you might have a point there, but that blade cuts both ways, meaning the charr do not have to care about the human's opinion and are rightful owners as soon as they conquer the land. Now in our world international legal provisions against annexiation did not exist prior to 1899/1907. On Tyria the concept might be entirely unknown. And if we say that the human conquest of Ascalon is legitimate because Balthazar said so, yeah, let's not go there.

    Also, about "pushing other races from your desired territory was accepted practice, as well as slavery" in 100 BE - this would be wrong, because the dwarves and Forgotten had both fought against the charr's push during this time. The Forgotten, in fact, was the first force the charr met that they couldn't overcome, only then followed by humans who pushed them back.

    This does not argue against my point. Dwarves living in the area must have been quite used to all manner of creatures attacking them. In fact, the great races of old, Mursaat, Jotun, Forgotten, Seers and Dwarves had not yet recovered from the last dragonrise. Some fell harder than others, with the dwarves coming out of it better than the others, but even then, their population centre was the Shiverpeak Mountains, while their periphery fell to the challenger races, which would come to dominate central Tyria.

    It has been explicitly stated that the charr's goal was conquest. The Ecology of the Charr opens with that very exact premise, that the charr are conquers and dominators.

    They committed to the land of Ascalon because they had lost it and that was a massive slight to their pride. They cared more about beating down those who dared opposed them, than ignoring those and moving elsewhere. Humanity were, as the Ecology article puts it, a threat to charr dominance.

    Maybe, but that's not all of it. Never underestimate charr irridentism. This is a common phenomenon on our world, too. But we haven't yet experienced how much resentment it would generate, if another species occupied land. As with the charr, I guess feline psychology very much applies. Cats can be very possessive, which is why they may scratch you for trying to take their toy away. Intelligent cats have the capacity to make a list of all territories, which should be theirs, allowing them to be even more possessive.
    Then again, had the humans not met the charr, would Ascalon ever have stopped expanding? Or would the charr eventually suffer the same fate as the Tengu?

  • Konig Des Todes.2086Konig Des Todes.2086 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited September 8, 2018

    So regarding the Great Wall and Ascalonian expansion north, it should be noted that Drascir was founded as the sister city of Rin, and they were founded by King Doric. So that's pre-1 BE for the capital of Ascalon to be established.

    So to say it would be unfathomable for the Gaban estate to be established pre-completion of the Great Northern Wall (such a thing could not be completed in 1 year, so 898 is likely when it was finished, not started) is rather unfounded. Especially since Nolani was established in 860, and was similarly north of the wall. At the time of his reign, Drascir was probably at the forefront of Ascalonian settlements.

    About the entry from The Northlands: that is a wiki entry, and was written by a fan. It's obviously incorrect, given the lore of Nolani in Prophecies, let alone other info.

    It does make it curious why they would build the wall so far south of the capital. Despite its name, it was really more of a "Great Central Wall" even in the days of Prophecies' lore alone.

    I can't so I won't say when it was likely the Gaban estate was built, but the fact that they had built catacombs with tombs in it suggests more than a generation, if not several.

    And I never denied that the charr didn't remain a problem, but given that they built the Great "Northern" Wall south of their capital, it was clearly not meant to be a first line of defense even by the time they began construction, let alone finished. If the charr were such a major threat, not only would they have put their capital in less hostile territories, they would have built the wall north of it.

    @Castigator.3470 said:
    This does not argue against my point. Dwarves living in the area must have been quite used to all manner of creatures attacking them. In fact, the great races of old, Mursaat, Jotun, Forgotten, Seers and Dwarves had not yet recovered from the last dragonrise. Some fell harder than others, with the dwarves coming out of it better than the others, but even then, their population centre was the Shiverpeak Mountains, while their periphery fell to the challenger races, which would come to dominate central Tyria.

    Forgotten had 100% recovered by 100 BE as at the time they were spanned across the known globe guiding the races, even in Cantha. Dwarves are suggested to have recovered (Bad Blood suggests 3-2,000 years ago, though that's also the time given for Glint's freedom despite the dragonrise being given the date of 10,000 years ago), and jotuns must have in order for their fall-by-infighting to occur so long ago (yet after the dragonrise since that was their height).

    We also do not know where the dwarves held their center of population. If you think about it, them being in the Shiverpeaks doesn't make much sense if it occurred at the same time as the jotun's height of power as the jotun themselves held domain over the entire Shiverpeak mountain range (source). You can't have two rulers of one land, especially when one of those rulers are so greedy they'd kill their brother for more land and power. We know of not one but two dwarven settlements in Ascalonian and "Blood Legion Homelands" territory (the second being the village that Logan, Rytlock, and Caithe stumble upon in Edge of Destiny). The chances of there being more is not unlikely. As it stands, Bad Blood is the only actual suggestion of pre-Exodus dwarven structures in the Shiverpeaks.

    While it is hypothetical, it seems likely to me that dwarves were the original inhabitants of Ascalon, and had gone into former jotun territory when pushed out by the charr, which is when the Forgotten intervened in the charr advancement, followed by humanity in 100 BE.

    Whether they were in the Shiverpeaks too at the time though, they certainly had recovered by the time the charr would have invaded west of the Blazeridge Mountains, and had a presence in Ascalon strong enough to build a large and complex tomb for one of their heroic warriors who fought the charr.

    @Castigator.3470 said:
    Then again, had the humans not met the charr, would Ascalon ever have stopped expanding? Or would the charr eventually suffer the same fate as the Tengu?

    If you think about it, Ascalon could only start expanding due to the charr. As far as we know, the charr had conquered everywhere but where Forgotten had been fighting them, which is suggested to be in the mountain range between Ascalon and the now-Crystal Desert (e.g., just north of Desert Highlands/south of Fields of Ruins).

    "Other than internal conflicts, the only real threat to the Charr at this time was the Forgotten, who dwelled within the Crystal Desert far to the south. But, through judicious use of the mountains dividing their lands from those of the Forgotten, the Charr continued to maintain undisputed control over the northern lands."

    The entire nation of Ascalon, from southern tip to northern tip, was taken from charr after the charr had taken it from grawl, dwarf, and possibly other unknown settlers (ogres? Seems weird they were always in the small Blazeridge Mountains until now, so what if they weren't?). Whether this conquest was of human intent, divine orders (Balthazar is said to have believed humans should rule the world originally), or Forgotten request is unclear though.

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  • Aaron Ansari.1604Aaron Ansari.1604 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited September 8, 2018

    @Konig Des Todes.2086 said:

    So regarding the Great Wall and Ascalonian expansion north, it should be noted that Drascir was founded as the sister city of Rin, and they were founded by King Doric. So that's pre-1 BE for the capital of Ascalon to be established.

    I'm not certain that source indicates they were founded at the same time, or even that Drascir was built within Doric's lifetime. The term 'sister cities', as I'm familiar with it, just means cities involved in an official cultural exchange. The one I live in has five, all in different countries. At least two of them predate us by hundreds of years, and another is a hundred years our younger.

    Given how that particular source jumps from ~100 B.E. to 1070 A.E., I can't even get a read on when that cultural exchange was meant to be taking place.

    So to say it would be unfathomable for the Gaban estate to be established pre-completion of the Great Northern Wall (such a thing could not be completed in 1 year, so 898 is likely when it was finished, not started) is rather unfounded. Especially since Nolani was established in 860, and was similarly north of the wall. At the time of his reign, Drascir was probably at the forefront of Ascalonian settlements.

    Curiously, the only source I know of that acknowledges that impracticality puts it the other way around- 898 being when construction started, with original completion coming "nearly one hundred years later," so shortly before 998. Of course, this was very early on, and the franchise has... dispensed with that kind of thinking since. Vigil Keep was built in five years at most, Fort Trinity in a few months at most, even Rata Primus is implied by the Olmakhan to be very recent, perhaps a decade to build a cube the size of a mountain.

    As a sidenote, regardless of whether it was merely started in 898 or completed in less than a year, there is one interesting thing about the date- it's very close to 870, which is the approximate date we're given for the start of the shaman's unification of the charr, turning them against a common foe for the first time in a thousand years. It seems likely to me that the Wall was built in response to that, to the charr suddenly being able to push back much more effectively. If that's the case, the Wall may have been built south of territory that the charr managed to take in that push.

    It does make it curious why they would build the wall so far south of the capital. Despite its name, it was really more of a "Great Central Wall" even in the days of Prophecies' lore alone.

    Do we know when the capital switched over from Rin to Drascir? We know the former was Doric's capital and the later was Adelbern's original one, but any indications as to what point during that gap the switch happened?

    Regardless, though, it makes sense that the humans would have to control the northern side of the Wall while it was being constructed. If they hadn't, I can't imagine that the charr would have ever let it be built in the first place. And if the longer building period is still canon, and they had to hold that territory for nearly a hundred years, then it wouldn't be odd that the encampments would've become permanent settlements long before the Wall was finished. Perhaps the name just stuck because that's what it was when construction began?

    R.I.P., Old Man of Auld Red Wharf. Gone but never forgotten.

  • Construction of the Great Northern Wall began in 898 AE, and was finished before the start of the Third Guild War, which started in 1013 AE. For reference, the Searing and the Charr invasion was 1070 AE.

  • draxynnic.3719draxynnic.3719 Member ✭✭✭✭

    The Great "Northern" Wall always struck me as something of a fallback position rather than the first line of defence: the idea being that as long as the Wall was there, the humans of Ascalon could always retreat behind it. It's possible that there was some stage in history when they were worried about potential invasion from the south as well, so a central location means that it could also provide a fallback position against an attack from the south.

    There may well be geographic considerations of why it was practical to build a wall there and not in a location that might seem more intuitively useful. It might, for instance, be a location where it's not practical for an enemy to bypass the wall by going through the mountains. Being south of the southernmost known pass through the Shiverpeaks at the time is significant, for instance: it means that the Wall could also theoretically serve as a bulwark against an attack from Kryta or some Shiverpeaks enemy (that pass was pretty much controlled by the dwarves in GW1's time, but it might not always have been).

    There's also, of course, the possibility that it was built there because it was land that was sufficiently uncontested at the time that such a building project was viable.

  • Loesh.4697Loesh.4697 Member ✭✭✭
    edited September 9, 2018

    I always felt that, when it came to Guild Wars 2, the line of morality given by the player characters as somewhat disconcerting. Now full disclosure, I hate Charr society as it stands today, I did a lot of studies in history and the Charr kind of come off as an amalgam of some of worst impulses. Various nationalistic industrial societies with the background of the post Genghis Khan Mongol empire and a governing system that, for some insane reason, appears to be rigged like the Roman Empire during the year of Four Emperor's. But let's brush all my cultural issues with what they do themselves as a people aside for a moment, I have, for lack of a better term, always found it kind of kitten up that the Charr revere genocidal monsters like Bonfaaz Burntfur in the same breath as Pyre Fierceshot, demonstrating that they as a society haven't really learned anything beyond the fact that 'gods are bad' and it's led them into this sort of death spiral of nihilism for all intents and purposes.

    The Olmakhan do a wonderful job of pointing this out, and yet the narrative as a whole seems to be 'We all need to work together to stop the dragons!' even though the point where all Tyrians were involved in the process of eliminating them has sort of passed, or at least seems to. Sure the Pact still exists but most of the heavy lifting we've done lately has been at the behest of 'Dragons Watch' for some reason and I can barely remember what the Pact did this season. Something about...Logan Thackery mobilizing the defenses of Tyria? even though if I recall through some Dev thing we are then told that Joko was just kind of bluffing and he was only really after us all along! hooray? So with most of our hopes, absurd as it is, resting on a small handful of individuals. Why doesn't Tyria sort itself out?

    ...Well uh, far as I can tell? cause we kinda lied about things.

    Waaaaay back in the core game, if you go to Ebonhawke on an Order of Whispers character, you can find them pushing and pulling the strings everywhere. Driving the treaty towards coming to fruition. If you ask the gate guard to one of their bases, regardless of order your first question isn't "Uh, dude? isn't this kind of morally ambiguous?" it's more along the lines of "They are totally going to find you out yo!" at which point she reassures you in a rather sinister way that if the Ebon Vanguard gets any idea whats going on she'll do whatever it takes to hide it. Fill in the blanks for yourselves, but I expect murder is on the table.

    And really that's kind of the theme of GW2. if I disconnect myself from any hatred of any particular race or ideology, I find the whole thing to be kind of a mess from a moral standpoint regardless. We are, implied to at least, be violating at least two nations sovereignty without their knowledge, backing a massive global conspiracy, and saying we'll deal with the dragons first and then Tyria will solve it's own problems later!...or maybe not at all, cause who wants a war right? To my personal way of thinking, the Charr are inevitably going to attack humans at some point. Their society revolves around warfare and domination, a radical political shift away from war would likely plunge their society into anarchy for awhile. Mind you, all the Charr we see in game, minus the Flame Legion and the horrific stuff they do(Hello Breeding Farms!), are the nice ones. Blood Legion is supposedly considerably worse. Considering Charr as a society still name their people stuff like 'Darkheart, The Butcher, the Despoiler' etc, it seems inevitable that at some point their society is going to produce a supervillian or twenty and they're going to get a lot of power in the near future.

    And dealing with all of that would be a lot more interesting to me that Abaddon 2.0 or the Dragons again. Joko's speech at the end of the latest episode was fascinating, because frankly I agree with most of his points...and then Aurene eats him. I think that's a suitable metaphor for GW2 as a whole. Hey don't you feel horrible and kind of dirty about all the stuff you've done? Oh my look it's a DARGON! Don't have to think about any of that anymore!

    ....At least it's not Blizzards storytelling? I guess?

  • draxynnic.3719draxynnic.3719 Member ✭✭✭✭

    Pretty sure that the devs have explicitly stated that the whole point of the Joko finale was to give you enough to make you think, but in a situation where you can't get the full story out of the person speaking. Was he telling the truth, or was he just saying what he thought would hurt you the most? If there is any truth in what he's saying, what does he know that might be useful? You don't know and will never get the chance to get it out of him because now he's Palawa Scrumptious Snacko.

    Regarding the rest:

    I see the charr as being a society in transition from what they were - which was, honestly, pretty monstrous - into something that can actually play nice with others. Humans and norn both played an important part in this transformation: humans represented a strong enemy that the charr weren't able to simply roll over the way they were used to doing to anybody that got in their way. With the humans occupying most of their attention, they weren't able to spare the forces to roll over the norn... but because the norn, as a race, are forgiving to a fault*, the initial charr assaults on norn land didn't result in a second front, but in an uneasy peace with another race that wasn't worth the effort of conquering right now - those dastardly humans were more important! But by the time those pesky humans were dealt with (which they actually never entirely pulled off), that "they're not important enough to conquer right now" turned into "you know, we've had those big guys on our border for centuries and they've never done any real harm to us and they're good for a party, do we really need to conquer them at all?"

    ...and the charr learned that they could actually coexist with a sapient species that isn't charr without subjugating them first.

    In the period between the games, peaceful contact with the norn lead to peaceful contact with other races, primarily the asura, ultimately leading to a situation where the norn, asura, and even sylvari all regarded both the humans and the charr as their friends on some level, but those friends just kept fighting each other anyway, mostly because of traits that both charr and humans have in common (militaristic tendencies and a determination to never give up) and would respect in one another if they were fighting a common enemy rather than one another. Meanwhile, neutral territory such as Lion's Arch allowed humans and charr to intermingle away from the battlefields and slowly come to realise that there really was nothing inherent that meant that humans and charr had to fight. The peace treaty ultimately comes from that realisation: the allied legions essentially had to choose between making peace with the Flame Legion or making peace with humans, and two of the three Imperators came to the decision that humans were more palatable and trustworthy as neighbours and potentially even as future allies than the Flame Legion.

    The actions of the Order of Whispers point towards this - they may have given the odd push, and "ends justify the means" is certainly part of their makeup, but they're mostly just helping along a trend that's been developing for centuries. While their overt objective might be 'we're stronger against the dragons this way', getting them fighting alongside each other against a common enemy is actually probably one of the most effective ways to get them to start appreciating each other enough as fighting companions and drinking buddies that a resumption of hostilities against one another becomes unthinkable, or at least where a revanchist leader on one side or the other is likely to be dealt with as an internal matter rather than managing to trigger a resumption of hostilities.

    Go back far enough, and it appears that there was a time when the charr were so tribal that charr outside of their own tribe were regarded as 'the enemy'. Then there was the Khan-Ur and the aftermath, during which the charr learned that they could work with charr of other tribes/legions. Now, they've reached a point where they can recognise nations of other races in a similar manner to how they view other charr legions - as potential allies that they can work with, rather than enemies to be subjugated - and the human nations are probably actually the closest fit to that model. (I have a strong suspicion, in fact, that part of Smodur's motives can be summed up as "why would we need the Flame Legion for magical support if we can recruit the people that the Flame Legion were trying to catch up to in the first place, and humans are less likely to try to take over when we're not looking."

    That said, there certainly is a fair degree of moral ambiguity in Tyria. There are a few renown hearts, especially with the asura and charr, where the heart is something that only really makes sense from the viewpoint of that race and some of the other races might well look at what they're being asked to do and respond with an "uhhh, is that really the right thing to do?". Scourgejaw's Vault and the heart about capturing skritt for experimentation come to mind. But if you want map completion, you have to complete those hearts anyway.

    *In the respect that the norn as a group won't hold grudges against another society as a group: norn can be incredibly vengeful against the _specific individuals_ that are responsible for some wrong, but won't regard the societies they came from as being at fault.

  • Loesh.4697Loesh.4697 Member ✭✭✭

    I think that's fair to a degree, and Rox is certainly pointing in that direction. I'v come to like her a lot more then most of the main cast in the recent season, not that it's saying much. But I still get this sort of nagging sensation in the back of my head, you know? When it came to the Gods in PoF Anet did better then I expected, and I had expected nothing. But Balthazar's still an un-nuanced mess, Sirens Landing for some reason seemed to be trying to get us to sympathize with the Lucifer stand in, and the other gods...while better handled then I could of hoped, are still just a pile of vague questions by expansions end with no real clarity to them. And a lot of these changes detract from GW1's presentation of humanity, in the back of my mind I can't help but think that Anets commitment to diversity and seeing 'all perspectives' only leads to seeing one particular perspective of Tyria. That they might bring up these questions and then just unceremoniously slap them down and go "Well, wasn't that deep?"

    Cause if i'm being optimistic I could point to some things in PoF that lead to exactly that. The Olmakhan and Rox's acclimation to them, the Order of Shadows who seem to be a massive critique of using deception to maintain the status quo, and of course Joko's speech. I can't help but notice that the Blood Legion homelands got spruced up on the map recently, maybe in season 5 we'll be heading that way? As it stands right now Charr can definitely co-exist with others. But for Charr to actually change they would need a radical, and most likely very bloody, revolution to occur to get them out of their odd mix of fascism combined with a hereditary dynasty. Even Smodur, progressive as he is, might not be progressive enough as if you walk around the Black Citadel the Charr still say and do some pretty horrific things. Alter the narrative of history to fit their framework, and in general just be not-very-good-people. Who knows? maybe the Olmakhan will be the catalyst for that change, it's be a nice break from fighting DARGONS nonstop.

    It's frustrating, because from my PoV it is obvious that PoF was a significant step up in the storytelling department. But there are little bits of that bad storytelling from the core game that shine through now and again. I can't help but be concerned that Anet might go "HEY, WEREN'T ALL THOSE CONCEPTS INTERESTING TO THINK ABOUT? WELP IT'S BEEN FUN, LET'S GO BACK TO MAKING FRIENDS WITH EVERYBODY TO FIGHT THE DRAGONS AGAIN!"

  • Imba.9451Imba.9451 Member ✭✭✭
    edited September 9, 2018

    To be honest, I only like part of the Olmakhans.
    Generally, their society seems a lot more grounded and, for a lack of better words, "fair" than the Charr in Ascalon. Their moral compass certainly points towards what we, in the real world, would appreciate.
    But the again, that seems too easy. Like, "Look, those are goodCharr! Now everyone should be able to find Charr they like."
    Not gonna say I don't like them. But I dislike, that I like them, because it kinda feels forced. "Oh, look, a secret Charr tribe that is totally civilized and nobody ever heard of them."

    Also, from a really personal point of view, I'd have liked them not to fall into the classic monogamistic role model that is common in the western world, but rather full-on appreciate the tribalistic tendencies they have, being basically one big family in wich everyone takes care of everyone children. That would actually be a difference, and kinda heartwarming. I still hope for a depiction of this in video games. In a human society, this would seem rather "off" for us westeners, but a tribe like the Olmakhan would have been perfect for that. But, like I said, thats just personal opionion. Feel free to disagree.

  • Loesh.4697Loesh.4697 Member ✭✭✭
    edited September 9, 2018

    I mean, if I go completely by heart. I would love if we implemented a Factions esque red line and blue down the middle of Ascalon and duked it out for control of the territory in old Luxon vs Kurzick style. I don't really want to make peace with the kitties, and i'v always admired humanities consistent ability to fight bak and beat the Charr when massively outgunned and outnumbered. One of my favorite parts of GWEN is when Ascalon in no subtle terms basically becomes Phonecia, and Gwen pulls a Hannibal crossing the mountain range to terrorize the Charr on their home turf for a good nine years.

    We need more Gwen Thackery's, humans with that distinctly vicious edge made for compelling characters and would set humanity apart from the other races. Plus we'd get more compelling pvp out of the deal then this vague Mist War nonsense. Also it's funny you should mention that it'd feel off for westerners, as i'm personally Vietnamese. My father was in the ARVN, and we moved to the states after the war, though our actual feelings are mixed on things these days.

    Probably a good deal of why I like Ascalon so much. A gurrelia hit and run force of freedom fighters battling against a numerically superior, more technologically advanced army? and one that has roots in what was essentially the Mongols at the height of their power aesthetically? Gee, I wonder which side I will pick.

  • Imba.9451Imba.9451 Member ✭✭✭

    @Loesh.4697 said:
    Luxon vs Kurzick style.

    I thought exactly the same about this some weeks ago.
    Sadly, the way this story is currently headed to, and the games overall structure, won't allow this. Unless you do it like in Fractals, and get character model for the side you chose while in a match. And even then, the story must allow such a thing to happen.
    I agree, we had so many supernatural enemies, godlike beings and cataclysmic events, that a good old war would actually be refreshing.

    @Loesh.4697 said:
    We need more Gwen Thackery's, humans with that distinctly vicious edge made for compelling characters and would set humanity apart from the other races.

    True. Jennah was portrayed kinda kitten in the living story, but overall, her goals are tame.
    Anise is loyal to her Queen.
    We still have Livia, but there is nothing for her to do, after we killed Lazarus. (And I STILL hope that there are Mursaat left. We always get told that Lazarus was the last Mursaat, but I don't want to believe it. #MakeMursaatPlayableRace)

    @Loesh.4697 said:
    Probably a good deal of why I like Ascalon so much. A gurrelia hit and run force of freedom fighters battling against a numerically superior, more technologically advanced army? and one that has roots in what was essentially the Mongols at the height of their power aesthetically? Gee, I wonder which side I will pick.

    You mean GW1 or GW2 Ascalon?
    Because I never saw humanity as "inferior". They have less tech, but they have magic. Look at the Amala bossfight to see what a human is capable off. They are beasts, and it suprises me not that Charr needed an preemptive nuke and alot of soldiers to push through Ascalon and advance towards Orr and Kryta. I don't really know about the lore, but are all races, aside from gameplay, equal in terms of magic affinity? I may be wrong, but I think not.

  • Loesh.4697Loesh.4697 Member ✭✭✭

    @Imba.9451 said:
    You mean GW1 or GW2 Ascalon?
    Because I never saw humanity as "inferior". They have less tech, but they have magic. Look at the Amala bossfight to see what a human is capable off. They are beasts, and it suprises me not that Charr needed an preemptive nuke and alot of soldiers to push through Ascalon and advance towards Orr and Kryta. I don't really know about the lore, but are all races, aside from gameplay, equal in terms of magic affinity? I may be wrong, but I think not.

    Both. At first humans are fighting a larger mongol style army and they harry them by tying up their forces and making decisive strikes at their encampments, then in GW2 it progresses to more pitched battles and conventional warfare. Also technologically and numerically superior does not =/= superior as a whole per say. It does however equate to them being disadvantaged, and having to use unconventional tactics that culminate in lopsided conventional battles to make up for limited resources and numbers.

  • draxynnic.3719draxynnic.3719 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Loesh.4697 said:
    And a lot of these changes detract from GW1's presentation of humanity, in the back of my mind I can't help but think that Anets commitment to diversity and seeing 'all perspectives' only leads to seeing one particular perspective of Tyria.

    Honestly, there's a degree of that. What could have been a nuanced picture where every race's viewpoints form some part of the bigger picture has instead been largely a stream of the asura and occasionally the charr being right every time, with the sylvari being the star of the story up until the end of HoT. Humans have been getting the spotlight largely because they are so established in the lore that they can't really be ignored without it being obvious that ArenaNet is bending over backwards to ignore them - even now, it does feel a bit like ArenaNet is overcompensating for humans being central to GW1. And as for the norn... well. Poor norn.

  • Loesh.4697Loesh.4697 Member ✭✭✭

    @Konig Des Todes.2086 said:
    As for the whole regrowth in 250 years being impossible naturally... I'll just point out that ArenaNet has a constant issue with sense of time passage. They constantly treat 200 years as "ancient" and "archaic" in dialogue, and nature has unrealistically changed (for that scope of time) by itself elsewhere between the two games. This no doubt derives from an issue many Americans seem to have with this problem of sense of time and how long it is until something is "old" - probably because of how young the nation is overall. As an American, I can only say that I've met many who fall to this, even family. So I wouldn't put much weight on the drastic changes between games being a sure sign of artificial alteration.

    Oh yes! I also wanted to add on to Konig's point while I was here, now I remember. Um, when it comes to forest recovery, Ascalon's current state is not as unbelievable as some people think. Speaking of my heritage, Vietnam's forests have gone through a lot of abuse over the last couple millennia, including enormous slash and burn operations both from and against the natives as a means of gaining a tactical advantage over someone. When a fire burns hot enough, producing something like the Searing, it can often burn so much that it actually prevents regrowth for several years at a time. This however, not forever and all the ash and what have you in the area can produce some nutritional basis for plants in the future. Ash makes things grow, as Eve had said back when we were playing GW:EN. Even after the Vietnam War, a War mind you that coated the land with not just napalm but tons of herbicides, much of the forest is starting to return. To the point, in fact, that people are still discovering species of animal in the jungle that we thought didn't exist before.

    So if you gave the place a whole two hundred years to regrow on it's own, it's probable that Ascalon might look something like what we have today. The forests aren't thick, but they are there in some capacity. Even after being blasted into what was essentially an arid desert for several years. I know for a fact the Flame Legion wouldn't encourage any growth during their rule, since judging by the Flame Citadel they appear to be Ferngully antagonists, minus Tim Curry giving them any redeemable aspects. So in that vein I actually really appreciate GW2's depiction of Ascalon as being pretty accurate without theorizing how the Charr might of put together some kind of regrowth plan or something.

    Rather the really big issue, and the one Konig addressed, is all that scrap metal. You talk to Wade Samuelson about his farming and he mentions that he's been finding Charr skulls and bits of armor in the land two hundred and fifty years later. Debris, especially from the industrial weapons the Charr used takes forever to pick up. Ascalon as a whole will be picking out landmines, unexploded bombs, sharp pieces of scrap metal, and removing massive structures like Sappers Delve or that Outpost along the Brand for centuries in all likelihood. you don't have to go much farther then Halkor's Meadows to see the after effects of all that. What appears to be a portion of a Charr base has sunk into the lake and killed all the skelks, contaminating the water to the point that it'll likely have to be completely flushed and refilled before any kind of life inhabits it again.

    That said yes, calling 200 years 'ancient' is absolutely absurd.

  • Imba.9451Imba.9451 Member ✭✭✭

    @draxynnic.3719 said:

    And as for the norn... well. Poor norn.

    They have Beer and like to party. Despite not liking Norn aesthetics, I think of all races they have the best lifestyle.

  • Loesh.4697Loesh.4697 Member ✭✭✭

    @draxynnic.3719 said:

    @Loesh.4697 said:
    And a lot of these changes detract from GW1's presentation of humanity, in the back of my mind I can't help but think that Anets commitment to diversity and seeing 'all perspectives' only leads to seeing one particular perspective of Tyria.

    Honestly, there's a degree of that. What could have been a nuanced picture where every race's viewpoints form some part of the bigger picture has instead been largely a stream of the asura and occasionally the charr being right every time, with the sylvari being the star of the story up until the end of HoT. Humans have been getting the spotlight largely because they are so established in the lore that they can't really be ignored without it being obvious that ArenaNet is bending over backwards to ignore them - even now, it does feel a bit like ArenaNet is overcompensating for humans being central to GW1. And as for the norn... well. Poor norn.

    What's a paladin?

    I mean, what's a Norn?

  • draxynnic.3719draxynnic.3719 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Loesh.4697 said:
    Rather the really big issue, and the one Konig addressed, is all that scrap metal. You talk to Wade Samuelson about his farming and he mentions that he's been finding Charr skulls and bits of armor in the land two hundred and fifty years later. Debris, especially from the industrial weapons the Charr used takes forever to pick up. Ascalon as a whole will be picking out landmines, unexploded bombs, sharp pieces of scrap metal, and removing massive structures like Sappers Delve or that Outpost along the Brand for centuries in all likelihood. you don't have to go much farther then Halkor's Meadows to see the after effects of all that. What appears to be a portion of a Charr base has sunk into the lake and killed all the skelks, contaminating the water to the point that it'll likely have to be completely flushed and refilled before any kind of life inhabits it again.

    As I recall, the skale of Gillscale Pond only died off when the rifts started appearing in the area, so that one doesn't appear to be on the charr.

  • Loesh.4697Loesh.4697 Member ✭✭✭
    edited September 9, 2018

    @draxynnic.3719 said:

    @Loesh.4697 said:
    Rather the really big issue, and the one Konig addressed, is all that scrap metal. You talk to Wade Samuelson about his farming and he mentions that he's been finding Charr skulls and bits of armor in the land two hundred and fifty years later. Debris, especially from the industrial weapons the Charr used takes forever to pick up. Ascalon as a whole will be picking out landmines, unexploded bombs, sharp pieces of scrap metal, and removing massive structures like Sappers Delve or that Outpost along the Brand for centuries in all likelihood. you don't have to go much farther then Halkor's Meadows to see the after effects of all that. What appears to be a portion of a Charr base has sunk into the lake and killed all the skelks, contaminating the water to the point that it'll likely have to be completely flushed and refilled before any kind of life inhabits it again.

    As I recall, the skale of Gillscale Pond only died off when the rifts started appearing in the area, so that one doesn't appear to be on the charr.

    Point taken. I always wondered what that weird Charr teleporting around the water is doing exactly.

    ...Really the whole bloodstone event, rift thing, is really confusing to people relatively recent to the game. If this thing lasts another eight years I hope they give more context to future events.

  • Castigator.3470Castigator.3470 Member ✭✭✭
    edited September 9, 2018

    To be fair, the Elder Dragons actually have the capacity to wipe out civilizations and devastate entire regions. So any political event between the tyrian governments can be voided by Kralkatorrik or Steve Bubbles causing the death of everybody involved.

    And as you might know, trying times make for strange alliances. This is not bad storytelling. Otherwise you might dislike the reign of Carol II of Romania (von Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen). The king had to juggle the political factions within Romania, attempted to appease both Germany and France in order to ensure Romanian independence, no matter who'd win the war, had to bridge the gap between his image of a populist leader and the unpleasant image of his mistress Magda Lupescu, who's expensive gifts earned her the ire of the romanian workers. And that was just a game of major human powers and their allies.
    The tyrian politics definitely take the backseat, when an entity is powerful enough to wipe all players from the board. Meanwhile, Balthazar attempted to break the board itself to gain more power. Now Kralky may be going out of control. The human charr alliance has been made because both humans and charr want to continue living in Ascalon, and both can tolerate each other more than the thought of Ascalon becoming, as stated earlier, a vast nothingness of Dragonbrand.
    We see this in eastern Vaabi: Cristalline monsters, lightning strikes, the annoying background ambience of Kralkatorrik's resonance. After thousands of years, the land may recover, but humans and charr would be both extinct. In Vaabi, we support Joko's brand patrols not out of love for Joko, but because failure to contain the Brand means the end of Elona.

    You may have reason to rejoice, though, the Elder Dragon plot is nearing its conclusion: With Zhaitan and Mordremoth gone, Primordus and Jormag asleep, we have to sort out Kralkatorrik and Steve. Depending on the tools the Forgotten and the Seers have left us, this may be faster than we'd think. For instance, converting Kralkatorrik failed, but it may succeed on Steve, which would shorten that plot dramatically, leaving more time for other things, like moving to cantha, to see what they have been up to, or moving east into the lands of Blood and Ash Legion, or into the Deldrimor Front, and the underbelly of Tyria (Calling it now: "Center of Tyria" will be a thing!).

    As for your hatred of Legion society, give it time. In 250 years the charr went from a tribal empire to a military dictatorship. In order for their government to change, their society has to evolve further. Don't forget that the societal and cultural development in central Tyria is still somewhere along the lines of the 17th century, which is funny because in Kryta absolute monarchy seems to be the new thing, after the queen was basically a figurehead of the Ministry (Will Kryta become "La grande nation" of Tyria?). Dayol Stormwatcher is making advances into the field of electricity. (Will the Black Citadel have electrical light before other cities?)
    As for the charr, there's people like Jobral Hackfoe, who mourn the loss of cultural pursuits in charr society, so it's not like all charr are warhungry monsters. (Will the charr (re)discover their artistic creativity?)
    The Olmakhan may have a positive influence on the spiritual life within Legion society, which still has to recover from the flame experience. (Since Revenants are a thing, maybe ancestor worship? I mean they already practice hero worship. (Don't tell them that, though.))

    As for the Olmakhan themselves, you dislike them because they have families? Even in a tribe, and the Olmakhan cubs do have a lot of time to roam freely, the people put a great deal of importance in their parents and grandparents. In fact, this is a part of the old charr culture the Olmakhan preserved. Old legion soldiers will often tell younger charr to respect their elders.
    It's not unlikely that the Olmakhan don't use the Fahrar, because they remember it as the place where young charr were turned into soldiers.
    As for the "western model" hate, I don't get it. Particularly on this topic. There were many tribes in history. The Hellenes started out tribal, the celts, germanics, slavs, all of these consisted of tribes and had families. In fact, the clan or large family model is not confined to the west. India, China, Japan and Vietnam developed marriage rites independently of the west and to a degree independently of each other.
    So I'm not upset that the Olmakhan develop this simple straightforward model. It makes sense in universe, especially as a reaction to a shaman claiming all the cubs and teaching them how to murder things.

  • Loesh.4697Loesh.4697 Member ✭✭✭

    I disagree on the bad storytelling premise Castigator, not because you're wrong per say. You aren't as the Dev's have told us time and time again, the Dragons will wipe out everyone and everything if they are allowed to continue, including Mordromoth and Zhaitan. Leaving them was simply not an option. However part of getting invested in a setting is the analysis of those politics and of their dynamic within the world, the most interesting things in Tyria are as much it's political and cultural dynamic as well as the threats it faces. Anet did not have to write the dragons this way, but they choose to do so. This has caused a number of unfortunate things, not even just confined to Ascalon. Joko, who was far and beyond a much more interesting change of pace from Kralk, was essentially a casualty of the Elder Dragon centric storytelling.

    Good or bad storytelling isn't just adhering to the framework that you have created. It's also pacing your story and playing to your strengths, which i'd argue Anet has done a terrible job of so far. We've been given these dragons without a break or a breather in between them and the constant drive to deal with them has sidelined more unique or entertaining projects. We shouldn't have to deal with all the dragons simultaneously in this fashion because it hurts the diversity of the lore. I also don't think we're anywhere near the end of the Elder Dragons, not unless Kralk dies in this season finale. If he doesn't, we're looking forward to at LEAST another year chasing after the branded with LW season 5 with no end in sight, and Dwayna save me if that just turns into us going after bubbles next, and then Jormagg and Primordius.

  • kasoki.5180kasoki.5180 Member ✭✭✭

    Going a bit offtopic here. But I have a question that bothered me always. I have played GW1 only a little so never really experienced story of Charr invasion. My question is, why was Ascalon given to Iron Legion? Is this ever explained? If i understood correctly, back when humans took Ascalon, Charr were ruled by Khan- Ur, and only later fragmented into High Legions. This means that Ascalon cant be really taken as "historic" Iron Legion territory.

    Also, since Capital of Iron Legion was erected only after Ascalon fell, do we know status of Iron Legion in land of other Charr? Like is there some historic iron Legion capital city outside of present Ascalon?

  • Imba.9451Imba.9451 Member ✭✭✭
    edited September 9, 2018

    @Castigator.3470 said:

    As for the Olmakhan themselves, you dislike them because they have families? Even in a tribe, and the Olmakhan cubs do have a lot of time to roam freely, the people put a great deal of importance in their parents and grandparents. In fact, this is a part of the old charr culture the Olmakhan preserved. Old legion soldiers will often tell younger charr to respect their elders.
    It's not unlikely that the Olmakhan don't use the Fahrar, because they remember it as the place where young charr were turned into soldiers.
    As for the "western model" hate, I don't get it. Particularly on this topic. There were many tribes in history. The Hellenes started out tribal, the celts, germanics, slavs, all of these consisted of tribes and had families. In fact, the clan or large family model is not confined to the west. India, China, Japan and Vietnam developed marriage rites independently of the west and to a degree independently of each other.
    So I'm not upset that the Olmakhan develop this simple straightforward model. It makes sense in universe, especially as a reaction to a shaman claiming all the cubs and teaching them how to murder things.

    What I don't like is the classic monogamistic family model the Olmakhan have. It just seems "too convenient" to give us charr, that we can so easly identify with. Like I said, this is a rather personal issue I have, and you can of course disagree, but I would have loved to see a polygamistic society, in wich everyone takes care of all the cubs. This would make the Olmakhan seem to have a much stronger bond, instead of this classic "father, mother cub" model.
    But to be honest, I didn't dig too deep into their lore yet. I kinda like them, they are different to Ascalon Charr, I simply think that a slightly different approach would have been better.

    But then again, implementic it this way would also cause some people to scream "kitten-PANDERING!", because nothing you do will ever be correct.

  • Loesh.4697Loesh.4697 Member ✭✭✭

    @kasoki.5180 said:
    Going a bit offtopic here. But I have a question that bothered me always. I have played GW1 only a little so never really experienced story of Charr invasion. My question is, why was Ascalon given to Iron Legion? Is this ever explained? If i understood correctly, back when humans took Ascalon, Charr were ruled by Khan- Ur, and only later fragmented into High Legions. This means that Ascalon cant be really taken as "historic" Iron Legion territory.

    Also, since Capital of Iron Legion was erected only after Ascalon fell, do we know status of Iron Legion in land of other Charr? Like is there some historic iron Legion capital city outside of present Ascalon?

    The Iron Legion claim it by right of perseverance more then anything else, when the Charr started pushing south towards Ebonhawke the other two Legions started having second thoughts in the face of mounting casualties. They figured it wasn't really worth it, and so they backed out of the war. The Iron Legion remained, in no small part due to the fact they wanted to prove they could break anything as the local siegemasters.

    In context this makes the Blood Legions warmongering slightly hilarious. Ash and Blood warbands remained behind, but by and large they were only a fraction of the force trying to take Ebonhawke. So Ruinbringers essentially trying to resume a war that he had, relatively, little to do with.

  • @Loesh.4697 said:
    The Iron Legion claim it by right of perseverance more then anything else, when the Charr started pushing south towards Ebonhawke the other two Legions started having second thoughts in the face of mounting casualties. They figured it wasn't really worth it, and so they backed out of the war. The Iron Legion remained, in no small part due to the fact they wanted to prove they could break anything as the local siegemasters.

    I don't recall this at all, got a source?

    As far as I remember, no reason was ever given for why Iron took over Ascalon, or where their lands were prior to. Though, hypothetically, considering that the conquest of Ascalon happened almost simultaneously with the fall of the Flame Legion it is possible that there was no "territory specifically for X Legion" before the conquest of Ascalon, and Iron simply got dibs on it while Ash and Blood got dibs on older territory.

    All these squares make a circle.
    All these squares make a circle.
    All these squares make a circle.

  • draxynnic.3719draxynnic.3719 Member ✭✭✭✭

    Another possibility is that the Khan-Ur assigned territories to the Imperators before his death, and Ascalon was assigned to the Iron Imperator.

  • Loesh.4697Loesh.4697 Member ✭✭✭
    edited September 9, 2018

    @Konig Des Todes.2086 said:

    @Loesh.4697 said:
    The Iron Legion claim it by right of perseverance more then anything else, when the Charr started pushing south towards Ebonhawke the other two Legions started having second thoughts in the face of mounting casualties. They figured it wasn't really worth it, and so they backed out of the war. The Iron Legion remained, in no small part due to the fact they wanted to prove they could break anything as the local siegemasters.

    I don't recall this at all, got a source?

    As far as I remember, no reason was ever given for why Iron took over Ascalon, or where their lands were prior to. Though, hypothetically, considering that the conquest of Ascalon happened almost simultaneously with the fall of the Flame Legion it is possible that there was no "territory specifically for X Legion" before the conquest of Ascalon, and Iron simply got dibs on it while Ash and Blood got dibs on older territory.

    I should of said that I was inferring that the Iron Legion got it for that reason, my bad. For the source on the Iron Legion being principally responsible for the sieges I read it on the 'Stronghold of Ebonhawke' page of the GW2 wiki. However I saw no citation for this, so i'm not sure if there's any text within the game to back that up or if this is the same sort of situation as the Dervish 'lore' in the GW1 wiki.

    In general I should be wary of what I pick up from the Wiki's these days, i'm starting to realize they are actually pretty poorly maintained.

  • draxynnic.3719draxynnic.3719 Member ✭✭✭✭

    The dervish lore is from Nightfall prerelease information. It's not practical for me to do so right at the moment, but I'm pretty sure I can put my hands on the source, so I might be able to verify it as requested on the wiki.

  • @draxynnic.3719 said:
    Another possibility is that the Khan-Ur assigned territories to the Imperators before his death, and Ascalon was assigned to the Iron Imperator.

    Now I imagine the Khan-Ur as a mixture of Genghis Khan and Charlemagne.
    Maybe we'll get a glimpse of the Khan-Ur and his sons in a fractal, where human assassins sow discord between he imperators and finally kill the ruler over charrkind. I wonder how the visual design would be.
    I mean, the Khan-Ur is to the charr, what King Doric is to humanity. They even were contemporaries. Doric ascending to the Kingdom of Orr in 100 BE, some time after the Khan-Ur unified the charr tribes.
    I imagine the Gold Imperator to be the archetypical shaman, wearing more jewelry than actual armor.
    The Iron Impetator would be quite the opposite, being the master of the forge, he'd wear what the charr in 100 BE considered state of the art weapons and armor.
    The Imperator of Blood might be the burliest and most menacing warrior around.
    Meanwhile, the Ash Imperator being master of scouting tracking and sneaking would be hard to percieve, if you don't expect him.
    Finally the Khan-Ur himself. His signature weapon being the Claw, shows, that he must have been fond of his four sons, or at least intended for them to rule after his passing. Like Charlemagne, he died before he could organize his succession, leading to a charr succession crisis/civil war, which allowed the humans to establish the Kingdom of Ascalon.

  • Genesis.8572Genesis.8572 Member ✭✭✭
    edited September 10, 2018

    @Castigator.3470 said:
    As for your hatred of Legion society, give it time. In 250 years the charr went from a tribal empire to a military dictatorship. In order for their government to change, their society has to evolve further. Don't forget that the societal and cultural development in central Tyria is still somewhere along the lines of the 17th century, which is funny because in Kryta absolute monarchy seems to be the new thing, after the queen was basically a figurehead of the Ministry (Will Kryta become "La grande nation" of Tyria?).

    Several things here. The current political situation of Kryta cannot be regarded as the norm. We can't say that it is becoming an absolute monarchy either. We know that the Krytan crown exercised more power in comparison with Queen Jennah up til now. She inherited the throne before she was of age to ascend and exercise its authority which required the Ministry to act in capacity as a Regent Court until that time. There were also ministers, particularly under the leadership of Beetlestone, who were reluctant to give up that regency. Many of these same ministers have been later linked with (White Mantle) efforts to undermine the authority of the crown, which sowed tremendous distrust between the Ministry, the Seraph, and the Crown and the Shining Blade. But this is a relatively small window of time of Queen Jennah as a figurehead, basically just six years. So in some regards, Kryta's rulership under Queen Jennah represents a restoration of what it was rather than a "new thing." But the White Mantle infiltration and siege also necessitated Queen Jennah to declare martial law and lock down the Ministry until there was time to sort "friend and foe" amidst the crisis. We have not received much follow-up on that plotline, much as it took awhile before returning back to the Pale Tree threat. Given the Queen's Jubilee that some state of normalcy has returned, but the details remain undisclosed. I suspect that Queen Jennah would actually favor the establishment of a House of Commons meant to counterbalance the Ministry (aka House of Lords) but I doubt that ArenaNet will ever delve into any major shake-up of how Kryta's government is structured.

    Dayol Stormwatcher is making advances into the field of electricity. (Will the Black Citadel have electrical light before other cities?)

    Asuran magitech and sylvari biotech mostly serve the same function though. So that's a charr "innovation" meant to mostly solve an already solvable problem through a non-magical way that is more palpable for charr culture.

    @Castigator.3470 said:
    Like Charlemagne, he died before he could organize his succession, leading to a charr succession crisis/civil war, which allowed the humans to establish the Kingdom of Ascalon.

    Charlemagne did mostly organize his succession, and he did it in typical Frankish fashion: he divided it (fairly) evenly among his sons, with Louis the Pious receiving the lion's share. The problem is that this Frankish inheritance practice is not sustainable when it comes to maintaining empires and kingdoms, which comes to a head with Charlemagne's three grandsons, the sons of Louis the Pious, which is more applicable to what you describe.

  • @Genesis.8572 said:
    Charlemagne did mostly organize his succession, and he did it in typical Frankish fashion: he divided it (fairly) evenly among his sons, with Louis the Pious receiving the lion's share. The problem is that this Frankish inheritance practice is not sustainable when it comes to maintaining empires and kingdoms, which comes to a head with Charlemagne's three grandsons, the sons of Louis the Pious, which is more applicable to what you describe.

    Yeah, Karl did a better job at organizing succession than the Khan-Ur, who likely didn't anticipate his death.
    Frankish succession is worse than the later ottonian elective empire. Which leads to the question how the Legions handle succession.

    It is established that only a descendant of the Khan-Ur can become imperator, but if the Khan-Ur had a comparable amount of concubines to Genghis Khan, and if his sons continued that practise, we know Flame Legion continues this until present day, that figure is likely to include a lot of cubs, maybe even a significant percentage of all modern charr. Especially if just being loosely related counts, which would reduce this requirement to a mere formality, provided you're not a cub of unknown parentage.
    The other requirement seems to be, that a prospective Imperator should be a Tribune. And from Ulma Ripleather we hear, that there's already contenders for the next Iron Imperator.

  • Loesh.4697Loesh.4697 Member ✭✭✭
    edited September 10, 2018

    I think my primary problem with Charr society when it comes to all that is that yes, it is possible for Charr society to advance to something that exists in camaraderie with the other races but realistically I don't think that would occur. Now that's not to say it won't happen without a drop of blood spilled, because much like the Dragons Anet are the writers and they ultimately decide how things play out. But I would imagine that, expanding on the historical examples you just gave, it would probably rip Charr society apart to do something like that. Let's not mince words, the Charr leadership is largely composed of fascists, They don't fit every checkmark of fascism, but their highly millitent, indoctrinated, and controlled society ticks most of the checkboxes for all intents and purposes.

    That includes Smodur, and he's the progressive one. But if you go through the Black Citadel, see how people have been separated in the Gladiums Canton, talk to folks about deserter executions, how humans must always be regarded as the enemy, and the heavy historical revisionism, it's hard not to make the comparison. The propaganda is all over the place, humans are at once pathetic weaklings incapable of defending themselves but also violent oppressors and savages that Charr society is struggling for freedom from. It's replaced religion for all intents and purposes with a faith in the state, the legions, and whatever they happen to decide they want to do at the moment because they're on the good side of history. Genocide is celebrated, but also played down as to not elicit too much revulsion but to still show how the Charr Legions are conquering heroes. It's not actually religious and much like I said in another thread, behaving like a religion and actually being a religion are very different things, and it kind of shows in the comedic levels of sociopathy present within this society. Everyone above you is just an obstacle, a stepping stone to greatness, it's done in service to the state but in large part it's also done in service to oneself and that creates a massive disconnect within that society.

    That kind of nation can't have a peaceful transition.

    The level of devotion hammered into the Charr towards their leaders and ancestors, the emphasis on their innate superiority to other races, and the interchangeability of leaders basically means they live in a tyranny by majority. The problem is that this mentality is no longer just in the head of the state, it's not just an issue with Charr visionaries, it's ingrained in the populace. Sure you will have dissenters but they would be few and far between, they might try and form some kind of resistance but the nation is so saturated at this point that the only way to shift their society to a positive outcome is to basically cause so much widespread devastation that the society as a whole would collapse in on itself. Someone who, in this situation, would be working towards a Charr society compatible with the rest of Tyria would be decried as a traitor by his peers aiming for the downfall of the Charr empire because honestly he probably would be.

    I imagine if Anet ever tackled the subject it would be handled with considerably less drama then all that, it would most likely just handwave the massive social change it would cause.

  • Genesis.8572Genesis.8572 Member ✭✭✭

    What I do find interesting, relating to some of the points that you raise in this post, is that the charr legions seem to acknowledge, even if reluctantly, that the idea of the Charr Khanate is fundamentally dead. The three playable legions remain at war with one of their sibling legions, so the idea that the four legions could be united under the Khan-Ur is far-fetched at this point. It's certainly possible that an heir for the Flame Imperator could be found among the Olmakhan, but cultural association with the Flame Legion is taboo.

    Smodur has possession of the Claw of the Khan-Ur, and he could potentially make a claim of Khan-Ur over Blood and Ash, but he has not claimed the mantle. Instead, it seems more symbolic of Iron Legion's future prospects under Smodur. Smodur is regarded as one of the most progressive charr, but what I suspect is behind this sentiment is that Smodur is regarded as the most "human" of the charr in that he wants to position himself as the legitimate "king" of Ascalon. He wants to be perceived by non-charr as an equal and legitimate successor to the human kingdom of Ascalon that previously stood there. By establishing a treaty with humanity that acknowledges his claim over Ascalon and possessing the Claw of the Khan-Ur, Smodur is basically creating an Iron Legion that could potentially stand on its own without relying on either Blood or Ash. Imagine the possibility, for example, of the Iron Legion looking to a military alliance with the humans of Kryta rather than a volatile Blood Legion. In this respect, Smodur appears to be contemplating what Iron Legion-held Ascalon would look like in a modern post-Khan-Ur world.

  • I see your issue, but I don't see it that way precisely because the charr state is organized the way it is.
    People in our world are taught by their own teachers, who have their own biases, that bottom up revolutions are the only way for society to change, that all reforms are doomed from the outset and the only lasting change is radical change.
    Which is untrue. There are ample examples of societies being changed by their leaders, not through violent radical change, but gradual reform. The Human-Charr peace treaty didn't exactly have what you call public approval. But the Legions are not a democracy.
    If you want change and you're at the bottom of the chain of command, there is nothing you can do.
    If you want something to change and you're a Legionnaire, you can tell your warband to clean their act.
    If you're a Centurion, tell your Legionnaires you have a standing order.
    Tribunes can do the same to Centurions.
    And finally, an Imperator has the authority to make laws.
    Smodur is the progressive today, and I bet he is preparing Tribune Kindleshot to take his place, thus ensuring consistency even after he dies.
    In german schools our teachers call this "revolution from above" usually scoffing at the concept, but in the framework of legion society, the rulers hold societal initiative. Which is also true for real world monarchies, where rulers set the societal standards. See the introduction of the Potato into Brandenburg by Frederick II.
    As for telling the charr they are not allowed to be proud of their history? A people that is not proud in its heritage dies, simple as that.

  • Loesh.4697Loesh.4697 Member ✭✭✭

    @Castigator.3470 said:
    I see your issue, but I don't see it that way precisely because the charr state is organized the way it is.
    People in our world are taught by their own teachers, who have their own biases, that bottom up revolutions are the only way for society to change, that all reforms are doomed from the outset and the only lasting change is radical change.
    Which is untrue. There are ample examples of societies being changed by their leaders, not through violent radical change, but gradual reform. The Human-Charr peace treaty didn't exactly have what you call public approval. But the Legions are not a democracy.
    If you want change and you're at the bottom of the chain of command, there is nothing you can do.
    If you want something to change and you're a Legionnaire, you can tell your warband to clean their act.
    If you're a Centurion, tell your Legionnaires you have a standing order.
    Tribunes can do the same to Centurions.
    And finally, an Imperator has the authority to make laws.
    Smodur is the progressive today, and I bet he is preparing Tribune Kindleshot to take his place, thus ensuring consistency even after he dies.
    In german schools our teachers call this "revolution from above" usually scoffing at the concept, but in the framework of legion society, the rulers hold societal initiative. Which is also true for real world monarchies, where rulers set the societal standards. See the introduction of the Potato into Brandenburg by Frederick II.
    As for telling the charr they are not allowed to be proud of their history? A people that is not proud in its heritage dies, simple as that.

    The reason why is, ironically for something you pointed out earlier. Charr are a modernizing society, but they are going down one particular mode of modernization. It's a fascist society, and fascism is something that is relatively new to our world. Some people will throw out names like Napoleon as a Fascist without really appreciating the difference between what a fascist is and what is merely a very narcissistic autocrat. Now our world is plagued with all sorts of horrors and i'm not going to sit here and tell anyone that Fascism is uniquely evil, but it is uniquely self destructive. We don't have a lot of samplings for this sort of thing because the system is that new, but it's effects are drastic.

    Taking your society in this direction, which is to restructure your economy, your military, your traditions, and to even destroy your family unit in order to support a state of perpetual war has drastic consequences on a nation.Your country becomes like a junkie, it needs a constant high of war, and it needs a continuous supply of wins to support it's rapid growth. Worse revolution from above is even more impossible in Charr society because it's fascism is inverted. It goes from the top and all the way down, even someone like Smodur is likely...well not likely, the Ash Legion states it outright...doing this for a power play, there's no real commitment to cultural change or a society that seeks to actually understand others except in the most surface level possible. It is as I said, a Tyranny by Majority, you actually have to dismantle the Charr warmachine for their to be tangible change and that's not gonna happen without blood.

    If Smodur wants consistency, it's just for another wave of pragmatists. This goes beyond being proud of ones heritage, it transfers into a state of idolizing everyone who came before as doing no wrong, it's state sanctioned and endorsed madness.

  • @kasoki.5180 said:
    Going a bit offtopic here. But I have a question that bothered me always. I have played GW1 only a little so never really experienced story of Charr invasion. My question is, why was Ascalon given to Iron Legion? Is this ever explained? If i understood correctly, back when humans took Ascalon, Charr were ruled by Khan- Ur, and only later fragmented into High Legions. This means that Ascalon cant be really taken as "historic" Iron Legion territory.

    It has been! Iron got Ascalon for the part they played in the revolution. Why, exactly, their contributions were more important than the others isn't entirely clear, but there are a couple of points where Iron's backing seems to have been pivotal in ways that Blood's wasn't, and some sources seem to suggest that Iron's imperator was the secondary leader of the revolution, behind Kalla.

    R.I.P., Old Man of Auld Red Wharf. Gone but never forgotten.

  • draxynnic.3719draxynnic.3719 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Loesh.4697 said:
    That kind of nation can't have a peaceful transition.

    Spain managed it in the transition away from Francoism. That was pretty much a case of the 'change from the top' that Castigator was talking about.

    A lot depends on motivation. Smodur wanted the Claw to solidify his power base, but there are two basic motivations to want power within a nation: to strengthen yourself, or to strengthen the nation. If Smodur's motivation is more towards the latter, it's entirely possible that he's recognised that the historical charr way of living is unsustainable and he's gathering power so that he can push the Iron Legion through such a transition. (While what he gets out of doing so is essentially recognition from the historians of the future.)

    It's worth noting that the Iron Legion's industry means that they have a clear alternative way of sustaining themselves that not only benefits from, but requires maintaining good relations with their neighbours: namely, exporting the products of their industry. The Ash Legion, in turn, seems to have decent potential to turn to mercantile arrangements (Evon Gnashblade is Ash Legion, for instance). Blood seems to be the legion that has the least potential to transition into a less militaristic outlook on life, which possibly goes some way to expanding why Smodur and Malice were in favour of the treaty, while Bangar is against it.

    @Genesis.8572 said:
    Imagine the possibility, for example, of the Iron Legion looking to a military alliance with the humans of Kryta rather than a volatile Blood Legion. In this respect, Smodur appears to be contemplating what Iron Legion-held Ascalon would look like in a modern post-Khan-Ur world.

    Honestly, I think this is what Smodur is going for. The negotiations have been going on for a while now despite Smodur having already made significant territorial concessions pretty early on in the negotiation process, so it's likely that the ongoing negotiations are for something a bit deeper than agreeing on borders and to stop fighting.

  • @draxynnic.3719 said:

    Honestly, I think this is what Smodur is going for. The negotiations have been going on for a while now despite Smodur having already made significant territorial concessions pretty early on in the negotiation process, so it's likely that the ongoing negotiations are for something a bit deeper than agreeing on borders and to stop fighting.

    It's a minor thing, but according to the recent weapon current event/quest chain, they've finally gotten around to signing the 'Treaty of Ebonhawke'. Not as much fanfare as I would've liked, but... not the first time they've realized they've left a thread hanging too long and cleared it out of the way, and it is about time we got out of negotiation limbo.

    R.I.P., Old Man of Auld Red Wharf. Gone but never forgotten.

  • @Aaron Ansari.1604 said:

    @draxynnic.3719 said:

    Honestly, I think this is what Smodur is going for. The negotiations have been going on for a while now despite Smodur having already made significant territorial concessions pretty early on in the negotiation process, so it's likely that the ongoing negotiations are for something a bit deeper than agreeing on borders and to stop fighting.

    It's a minor thing, but according to the recent weapon current event/quest chain, they've finally gotten around to signing the 'Treaty of Ebonhawke'. Not as much fanfare as I would've liked, but... not the first time they've realized they've left a thread hanging too long and cleared it out of the way, and it is about time we got out of negotiation limbo.

    That's both disappointing and interesting at the same time. Reading that line never triggered that realization for me; guess my mind kept thinking it meant the cease fire for treaty negotiations.

    It is quite a shame they seem incapable or unwilling of handling multiple plots at once, though. I feel that something as politically major as treaty signing should have been mentioned, such as during The Head of the Snake.

    I guess Nylia Steelpaw's presence at Lake Doric (along with other Sentinels - though why Sentinels I still dunno) would be a heavy handed hint to this, especially with the line "The White Mantle can't be allowed to ruin everything our races have built together. This is our fight too." Which suggests that there's an official agreement for the two races and cooperative development has become a thing. But afaik, it never got mentioned that the treaty was actually signed, and that only hints at cooperative development, and might not even mean such.

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  • draxynnic.3719draxynnic.3719 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Aaron Ansari.1604 said:

    @draxynnic.3719 said:

    Honestly, I think this is what Smodur is going for. The negotiations have been going on for a while now despite Smodur having already made significant territorial concessions pretty early on in the negotiation process, so it's likely that the ongoing negotiations are for something a bit deeper than agreeing on borders and to stop fighting.

    It's a minor thing, but according to the recent weapon current event/quest chain, they've finally gotten around to signing the 'Treaty of Ebonhawke'. Not as much fanfare as I would've liked, but... not the first time they've realized they've left a thread hanging too long and cleared it out of the way, and it is about time we got out of negotiation limbo.

    Ah, yes. I saw that, now that you mention it, but I think I brushed it off as being from the PC's perspective (who cares that the ceasefire treaty was signed, and negotiations beyond that are Somebody Else's Problem) rather than being a strong indication that the negotiations have concluded.

  • Imba.9451Imba.9451 Member ✭✭✭

    So basically, the way it looks now, the only way this whole Ascalon-Situation can be solved without some magical ghost-extermination-device, ist to let the Ascalonian ghosts gain conscience, as I doubt story will drift towards political issues.
    Personally, I find that regrettable. There are only so many all-mighty being to be slain before you get used to it.

  • Genesis.8572Genesis.8572 Member ✭✭✭

    Unfortunately we also still have a fairly large dangling plot line regarding the ghosts that has never been addressed: Magdaer. Eir retrieved it, intending to gift it for Logan Thackeray, but this plot thread has been MIA.

  • kasoki.5180kasoki.5180 Member ✭✭✭

    @Aaron Ansari.1604 said:

    It's a minor thing, but according to the recent weapon current event/quest chain, they've finally gotten around to signing the 'Treaty of Ebonhawke'. Not as much fanfare as I would've liked, but... not the first time they've realized they've left a thread hanging too long and cleared it out of the way, and it is about time we got out of negotiation limbo.

    But the term treaty of ebonhawke was always used for ceasefire agreement. I don't really see which part of the dialogue suggests its the peace treaty.

    But yeah, in all honestly, we can most likely assume that Treaty was signed somewhere in the last 6 years as it is getting ridiculous by this point now

  • Loesh.4697Loesh.4697 Member ✭✭✭

    @kasoki.5180 said:

    @Aaron Ansari.1604 said:

    It's a minor thing, but according to the recent weapon current event/quest chain, they've finally gotten around to signing the 'Treaty of Ebonhawke'. Not as much fanfare as I would've liked, but... not the first time they've realized they've left a thread hanging too long and cleared it out of the way, and it is about time we got out of negotiation limbo.


    But the term treaty of ebonhawke was always used for ceasefire agreement. I don't really see which part of the dialogue suggests its the peace treaty.

    But yeah, in all honestly, we can most likely assume that Treaty was signed somewhere in the last 6 years as it is getting ridiculous by this point now

    I get your point, but we've had some really absurdly long talks for treaty's with less hostile nations then the Charr and Humans.

    But in the terms of a MMO, yes it's been awhile time wise.

  • Aaron Ansari.1604Aaron Ansari.1604 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited September 11, 2018

    @kasoki.5180 said:

    @Aaron Ansari.1604 said:

    It's a minor thing, but according to the recent weapon current event/quest chain, they've finally gotten around to signing the 'Treaty of Ebonhawke'. Not as much fanfare as I would've liked, but... not the first time they've realized they've left a thread hanging too long and cleared it out of the way, and it is about time we got out of negotiation limbo.


    But the term treaty of ebonhawke was always used for ceasefire agreement. I don't really see which part of the dialogue suggests its the peace treaty.

    But yeah, in all honestly, we can most likely assume that Treaty was signed somewhere in the last 6 years as it is getting ridiculous by this point now

    To the contrary, the term "treaty of Ebonhawke" has never been used before that NPC. I searched the wiki for it before I posted.

    EDIT: There was one occurrence of 'Ebonhawke treaty' before this, and the wiki took that term for the article concerning the ceasefire, but if you look at what was actually said you can see that was a mistake on the part of the wiki editors. Elidor clearly states that the treaty she's talking about is still being negotiated at that point.

    R.I.P., Old Man of Auld Red Wharf. Gone but never forgotten.

  • alcopaul.2156alcopaul.2156 Member ✭✭✭
    edited September 11, 2018

    perhaps when a wall is built and was paid, not by kryta, but by elona.

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  • draxynnic.3719draxynnic.3719 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @alcopaul.2156 said:
    perhaps when a wall is built and was paid, not by kryta, but by elona.

    So, if Ascalon was to take over the Crystal Desert down to, and including, the Elon Riverlands?

  • Dante.1763Dante.1763 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @kasoki.5180 said:

    @Aaron Ansari.1604 said:

    It's a minor thing, but according to the recent weapon current event/quest chain, they've finally gotten around to signing the 'Treaty of Ebonhawke'. Not as much fanfare as I would've liked, but... not the first time they've realized they've left a thread hanging too long and cleared it out of the way, and it is about time we got out of negotiation limbo.


    But the term treaty of ebonhawke was always used for ceasefire agreement. I don't really see which part of the dialogue suggests its the peace treaty.

    But yeah, in all honestly, we can most likely assume that Treaty was signed somewhere in the last 6 years as it is getting ridiculous by this point now

    Id say an indefinite cease fire is as close to a peace treaty as you can get without further exploring a diplomatic story in game which would turn alot of players off from the story.

    @Loesh.4697 said:

    @kasoki.5180 said:

    @Aaron Ansari.1604 said:

    It's a minor thing, but according to the recent weapon current event/quest chain, they've finally gotten around to signing the 'Treaty of Ebonhawke'. Not as much fanfare as I would've liked, but... not the first time they've realized they've left a thread hanging too long and cleared it out of the way, and it is about time we got out of negotiation limbo.


    But the term treaty of ebonhawke was always used for ceasefire agreement. I don't really see which part of the dialogue suggests its the peace treaty.

    But yeah, in all honestly, we can most likely assume that Treaty was signed somewhere in the last 6 years as it is getting ridiculous by this point now

    I get your point, but we've had some really absurdly long talks for treaty's with less hostile nations then the Charr and Humans.

    But in the terms of a MMO, yes it's been awhile time wise.

    For all we know nowadays, Ebonhawke and the Citadel have a full blown peace treaty in the current story year among other things. Due to the maps all being froze in the year of the original story, outside of the few maps that saw updates during season 1.

    the black citadel would have been expanded upon, and probably finished at leas the core, the outside towns would have expanded quite a bit since the games launch.
    the towns outside of divinites reach would be a fair bit larger than they are now, all the Asura labs that exist outside of Rata Sum would be more expanded and updated, the smaller "groves" outside of The Grove would be much more grown now.

    That is my issue, we cant say anything at all about "what they will look in the future" because we have no examples of them growing in any way on the older maps, which is something i would love to see personally, across the entirety of Tyria.

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  • draxynnic.3719draxynnic.3719 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Dante.1763 said:

    @kasoki.5180 said:

    @Aaron Ansari.1604 said:

    It's a minor thing, but according to the recent weapon current event/quest chain, they've finally gotten around to signing the 'Treaty of Ebonhawke'. Not as much fanfare as I would've liked, but... not the first time they've realized they've left a thread hanging too long and cleared it out of the way, and it is about time we got out of negotiation limbo.


    But the term treaty of ebonhawke was always used for ceasefire agreement. I don't really see which part of the dialogue suggests its the peace treaty.

    But yeah, in all honestly, we can most likely assume that Treaty was signed somewhere in the last 6 years as it is getting ridiculous by this point now

    Id say an indefinite cease fire is as close to a peace treaty as you can get without further exploring a diplomatic story in game which would turn alot of players off from the story.

    @Loesh.4697 said:

    @kasoki.5180 said:

    @Aaron Ansari.1604 said:

    It's a minor thing, but according to the recent weapon current event/quest chain, they've finally gotten around to signing the 'Treaty of Ebonhawke'. Not as much fanfare as I would've liked, but... not the first time they've realized they've left a thread hanging too long and cleared it out of the way, and it is about time we got out of negotiation limbo.


    But the term treaty of ebonhawke was always used for ceasefire agreement. I don't really see which part of the dialogue suggests its the peace treaty.

    But yeah, in all honestly, we can most likely assume that Treaty was signed somewhere in the last 6 years as it is getting ridiculous by this point now

    I get your point, but we've had some really absurdly long talks for treaty's with less hostile nations then the Charr and Humans.

    But in the terms of a MMO, yes it's been awhile time wise.

    For all we know nowadays, Ebonhawke and the Citadel have a full blown peace treaty in the current story year among other things. Due to the maps all being froze in the year of the original story, outside of the few maps that saw updates during season 1.

    the black citadel would have been expanded upon, and probably finished at leas the core, the outside towns would have expanded quite a bit since the games launch.
    the towns outside of divinites reach would be a fair bit larger than they are now, all the Asura labs that exist outside of Rata Sum would be more expanded and updated, the smaller "groves" outside of The Grove would be much more grown now.

    That is my issue, we cant say anything at all about "what they will look in the future" because we have no examples of them growing in any way on the older maps, which is something i would love to see personally, across the entirety of Tyria.

    Honestly, a lot of people were surprised in S2 when it was revealed that the negotiations were still ongoing. Maps frozen in time is something that's largely accepted as fact.

    (Mind you, I don't think that the charr, asura, and human areas are likely to have expanded much. Stuff that's been there for decades or centuries probably isn't going to grow much over the course of a handful of years without some impetus for that. Sylvari stuff, maybe, since they're still in an early expansion phase.)