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  1. #1
    Paladin Quaxo9 is offline Quaxo9's Avatar
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    Helping Hands: Welcome to Elona (GW2)

    Helping Hands: Welcome to Elona (GW2)

    Braek Baredfang. Tazula Mindclouder. Forged Maverick. There was no shortage of n’er do wells and ley energy possessed minions here in Elona. Of course, there were also the Forged and the Awakened and a general assortment of troublemakers abounding in the city and surrounding countryside.

    “What are you smiling about?”

    The sylvari glanced at the cavalier staring at her quizzically beside the bounty boards erected outside the main cavalier post.

    “You know these … things are dangerous, right, outlander? I mean, really dangerous.”

    The cavalier looked a bit more nervous than concerned – likely worried that if she went out after a bounty and got into trouble that he’d have to go out after her. If nothing else, to retrieve her body. Sayen’s grin widened, which only made the cavalier look even more uncomfortable.

    “I know you outlanders want to help…perhaps you could lend a hand at the refugee camp? Or maybe go to the casino…and keep a lookout for trouble, that is. Not that I expect you to gamble…”

    He was cut off by a peal of laughter. The sylvari stood casually, hands on hips, head rolled to the side as if to answer his questions simply by her stance.

    “You really are too kind, good sir, and I may indeed help with the refugee camp, or your thievery problems, but today my blood cries for challenge and I shall have it!

    The cavalier looked somewhat dismayed, but shook his head and left her to peruse the boards alone. Well, not totally alone. There were other adventurers standing at the bounty boards – they just looked perhaps a little more serious than Sayen. The sylvari wore not only a huge grin, but the brightest coloured armour as far as the eye could see. Greens and blues splashed with oranges and yellows fairly glowed on the elaborate assemblage of mail, blades and plates that made up her attire. The helmet, though, was the icing on the cake, so to speak. A wind Zephyrite helm with an explosive blue flame erupting from its peak was set upon her head with no shortage of enthusiasm.

    Whether that enthusiasm was due to the fact that she was sylvari or associated with the Vigil or some unknown personal state of being was of little concern to those standing near her. Sayen’s grin grew fierce under the weight of the helmet. Come battle, they would know not to be deceived by her good nature.
    Winner of the dubious Vaarsuvius Award for Verbousness!

    I support altruism.

  2. #2
    Anakita Snakecharm



    Anakita put off the trip to Elona as long as possible.

    That wasn't difficult; there were always skirmishes going on in various corners of Tyria that could legitimately be argued to require her help, so she was able to delay her departure for some time without any outward appearance of avoidance. She was even able to persuade herself - at least for a little while - that she would go as soon as she could, as soon as she wasn't quite so swamped with things urgently needing her attention.

    Stefan wasn't quite so easy to fool, though, and a day came when he asked her point blank, "Why aren't we leaving for Elona?"

    Anakita hadn't thought about it. Hadn't allowed herself to think about it. It wasn't that she didn't like Elona. She had always loved that land, with its stunning vistas and rich cultures. She had prided herself on her work as a Sunspear, and held that allegiance sacred even after all these years. Nor was it that she lacked motivation; Anakita's unwitting part in Palawa Joko's rise to power still rankled her, and she was committed to someday correcting that mistake.

    "It's that it'll be different," Anakita said finally, after a considerable pause to formulate her words. "I've already seen two homelands irreparably changed. Ascalon by the Searing and the Charr. Then Kryta by the Elder Dragons. I just... don't want to do that again. I don't want to see it. Elona was a sort of second home for us, and I'm afraid... I'm afraid it won't feel like home anymore. I'm afraid I won't even recognize it."

    Stefan said nothing, just hugged her. It was better that way. An attempt to persuade her could easily have tripped the trap of her stubbornness and prompted her to dig in her heels. Instead, she just thought about it for herself, turning the matter over and over in her mind. Eventually she came to the conclusion that there was no way around it. It simply had to be done.

    When Anakita and Stefan stepped off the airship, Anakita closed her eyes for a moment and drank the air deep into her lungs. Well, she thought, it's still hot here - at least one thing hasn't changed.
    "Sleep to dream, and we dream to live..." -Great Big Sea

  3. #3
    Paladin Quaxo9 is offline Quaxo9's Avatar
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    "Ahai, strangers!" The young man spoke to Anakita and Stefan from atop a raptor. He was dressed as a cavalier, though he had the bearing - and weaponry - of a newly minted officer. The youth was clearly at ease with the animal as he leaned dangerously off-centre to get a good look at the two travellers.

    "Please, allow me to escort you to Amnoon. It is a free city-state and where most outlanders make their first stop."

    His grin was wide and white-toothed as he added, "Will you be needing supplies? I have a cousin who may be able to help you out. Please, do come with me. I am Cavalier Hassim at your service outlanders."

    The raptor snorted in a manner that seemed to indicate that it didn't particularly believe the last statement.

  4. #4
    Anakita Snakecharm



    When they arrived in Elona, Anakita was wearing her Sunspear uniform. She had carefully preserved it, keeping the leather oiled but otherwise locking it away in a chest to prevent decay or wear and tear. She had always known that one day she would be back. A light caftan worn over the uniform protected her skin from the sun while she readjusted to the hotter environment.

    "We've been here before," Anakita told the cavalier, but didn't press the point. Everything was so different now. Before, Amnoon had been a fortified desert outpost, basically a rough camp carved out as a niche of safety in a sea of rock and sand. It was hard to imagine the city that had grown from such humble beginnings.

    "We'll need to buy raptors," she decided. She'd heard they had those, trained as mounts to traverse the desert expanses. That was new - in her day, they had simply walked, even if that meant wading through sand - but they might as well take advantage of the opportunity.

    "Oh, and coffee!" the Ranger added confidently. "Lots of coffee."
    Last edited by Monkey Kitty; 11-29-2017 at 05:15 PM.

  5. #5
    Maida

    Another ranger? Maida tried not to perk up when she noticed the cavalier approaching another ranger. Instead she slowed her pace, letting them pass, then simply followed behind, stopping to look at enough things that her following shouldn't be too obvious. At least not to the cavalier, or the crowd around them. To the other ranger, it might be much more obvious. And coffee? Well, if the cavalier didn't get her any, Maida could introduce her to a couple of merchants who didn't overprice their coffee too much. Even here it was possible to find an honest merchant; you just had to look around a while.
    Last edited by Anne Elizabeth Baldwin; 12-04-2017 at 10:44 PM.

  6. #6
    Paladin Quaxo9 is offline Quaxo9's Avatar
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    "Ah yes, outlander! They are magnificent creatures, are they not? You can certainly purchase some fine raptors in the city!"

    Hassim left out the fact that there was a raptor farm just outside the city where Anakita might be able to trade work or significantly less money for said raptors. The raptor the cavalier was seated on seemed barely able to control its energy - or it's inquisitiveness about the stranger it was walking beside. It swung its huge head around and took a deep sniff of Anakita's, then Stefan's, scents. The raptor was clearly more interested in the ranger, though, and gave her another sniff before letting out a huff of air over her head. Hassim pulled the reins to make his mount's head swing back in front, but the animal kept a close eye on Anakita.

    Suddenly, the raptor lifted its head and hissed. It was a second-long warning before explosions ripped through the field they were walking alongside. Flames burned in the paddy fields, seemingly ignorant of the water standing in the swaths. Farmers cried out in fear as a Forged Warmage blocked them in with a ring of fire and some hellish-looking dogs with grappling hooks on their heads. More Forged soldiers flooded onto the scene, daring the passing refugees and outlanders to stand in the way of destruction.

    Hassim's raptor was moving forward, even as its rider was hauling back on the reins.

    "No, you stupid beast! We can't take them alone - we need reinforcements! Back! Hurry outlanders, to the city - it is too late for them!"

    The man dug his heels into the sides of the reptile, but not with the meted urgency of his supposed task. It was clear that Hassim had no intent of getting more soldiers to come back and save the farmers - he was only concerned with getting himself (and possibly his outlander payload) away alive. The raptor screeched its opposition to the plan and shook violently, nearly flinging Hassim from the saddle. The cavalier laid into the raptor, hitting it with his heels, yanking on the reins and cursing loudly. He drew his sword, and the raptor lurched forward, prepared by the action to enter into battle, but found the blade biting into its own hide instead. The reptile let out a wild cry and shot out from under its rider and directly into the ring of fire, Hassim dangling from his saddle.

  7. #7
    Anakita Snakecharm



    Anakita wondered why there was a woman following them, but decided to let it go for the time being. She and Stefan tended to attract curiosity when they were recognized - and Stefan's height and distinctive burn scars increased the odds of that - so she had no reason to think any danger was posed. If that should change, she and Stefan could shift into combat mode quickly, but there was no need to assume the worst. Not yet, anyway.

    She was impressed with the bravery of the raptor... but not so much the cavalier. Her eyes narrowed as he attempted to ride away from danger and save himself. What exactly was the point of his rank and position if he didn't intend to defend those he was sworn to protect?

    That would be addressed later. For now, they had a village to save. Anakita and Stefan ignored Hasim as they prepared for battle - no need for discussion, they knew what to do. The Ranger hastily constructed a trap across the path of incoming enemies, then drew back a few steps and fitted the first arrow into her bow, while Stefan charged into the fray with his sword and shield. She whistled, and her two jungle cats followed the warrior's charge and fought at his side.

    Anakita smiled faintly. Elona might be much different than what she remembered, but at least this was something she knew how to do...
    Last edited by Monkey Kitty; 12-04-2017 at 08:06 PM.

  8. #8
    Maida

    Maida frowned at the cavalier. That was no way to treat a mount. However, that would have to wait until they'd fought the Forged mage and warriors. When the other ranger pulled her bow, Maida pulled hers, too, and sent her jaguar in, with strict orders to follow the jungle cats exactly. Then she went forward, and stopped not to far from the other ranger, hoping to catch her eye, so they could at least acknowledge each other, and hopefully coordinate efforts, too.
    Last edited by Anne Elizabeth Baldwin; 12-04-2017 at 11:07 PM.

  9. #9
    Paladin Quaxo9 is offline Quaxo9's Avatar
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    Hassim had enough of being dragged around by a stupid animal and finally dismounted, the raptor seeming to dissipate into the heat waves emanating from the foe. The young cavalier tucked the saddle into his belt, cursing under his breath. The reason for his reluctance to enter the fray was soon apparent - he was a lousy swordsman. It was all he could do to simply hold his sword out in front of him cross-wise as the forged weapons master beat on it.

    Clearly, the Forged were intelligent creatures. Intelligent and powerful. The Warmage immediately raised a wall of fire between it and Stefan, even as it cast rings of fire farther afield. Luckily the Rangers would be out of range, but others caught in the awkward in-between area would have to dodge well to keep their skin. A pair of hookhounds rushed toward the cats, tossing their hooks and leaving a burning path in their wake even as the hook brought them face to face with their adversaries. A Forged sharpshooter took a knee, preparing a shot for one of the rangers even as the remaining sword-bound Forged continued to harass the farmers and set their goods ablaze. It was almost as though the Forged had an ulterior purpose, or they would have turned toward the greater threat...

  10. #10
    Anakita Snakecharm



    Did they let just anyone be a cavalier these days? Anakita wondered. Probably so. Back in her day it had been a title of prestige, but nowadays with Elona beset with problems from all sides, they probably needed all the warm, breathing bodies they could get, questionable skills or not.

    She would find the raptor after the fight, she decided, and buy it from Hassim. It deserved a better caretaker.

    It didn't escape her notice that the Forged were more interested in the civilians than the combatants, which was odd. Anakita could see no purpose in it. Whatever they were doing, though, they needed to be stopped. Stefan grunted when he didn't quite dodge a fire ring and singed his arm slightly; it was painful, but not enough to slow him down. He closed to attack the sharpshooter who was aiming at his wife and the other Ranger, while Anakita started lobbing a quick succession of arrows to interrupt and pin down the Forged going after the farmers, and the cats harried the enemy hounds, who might be larger and more fearsome but were undeniably less agile than the lithe felines.

    At least Elona hadn't become boring in her absence, Anakita mused. The fight was proving grueling, but gradually they were whittling the enemy numbers down.
    Last edited by Monkey Kitty; 12-13-2017 at 06:02 PM.

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