Looking over Elon River

Advance

posted in: Solo Writing | 0

This is a Guild Wars 2 fanfiction I have written for the competition run by the YouTuber WoodenPotatoes. The topic was “Living World Season 3”. In light of the recent Heart of Thorns expansion, we had to create art related to possible happenings in Living World Season 3. You can find the Reddit thread with all the entries here.

Warning: There are obviously spoilers for the Heart of Thorns expansion and all previous story.

Please note that all images are merely screenshots I took in-game in Guild Wars 2.

This is my second piece for the competition, which I have been working on bit by bit over the past few days. This text takes place a few months after the defeat of Mordremoth, the Elder Dragon of Plants and the Mind, and the events of my first piece, “Mindscape”. It concerns the Pact, now under the player character’s control, moving their forces into the Crystal Desert to search for whether Glint left any knowledge for them and to also destroy Kralkatorrik, the Crystal Elder Dragon.

Thank you for your time reading this. Please leave a comment. I’m always looking to improve my writing.

Mindscape

Marching into the command tent at Gallant’s Folly, I greeted the local commanding officer, “Salutations, Warmaster Gurnn. How fares the fort?”

“Excelsior, Marshal.” The Vigil officer saluted me. “We fare far better now that the Inquest has been purged from the area and our garrison has been enlarged.”

“Good. You are now to keep the region of Mount Maelstrom under the Orders’ control. You are in charge of maintaining the supply lines to our front lines, who are pushing into the Crystal Desert.”

“I had heard that you were mustering for a push across the Elon River and into the Crystal Desert, but I’m surprised how many troops you actually brought. I surmise that is why you took so long.”

“We may have defeated two Elder Dragons, Warmaster,” I said with a warning tone in my voice, “but that does not mean that we can underestimate any of the others. The Risen have finally begun to dwindle, thus I have gathered as many troops as possible – while still leaving enough to keep Orr safe – to join in this advance. A number of Exalted, Itzel and Nuhoch volunteered to join us too. After our defeating Mordremoth, Tyria has gained courage again. The orders are regaining strength.”

“Indubitably. What is your plan ahead? Destiny’s Edge – or what’s left of them – came through about a month ago, stopping for supplies before heading to the desert.”

“As you said, my forces have removed Inquest from this area. It needs to stay that way. We need a safe secondary base. You will be provided with ships and submarines from the Orr campaign for use in the supply lines over the ocean. Our new airships will help towards the start, but we will bring them into the desert as we need them. Destiny’s Edge insisted on scouting ahead once they recovered, so I wasn’t going to stop them. Similar to Fort Trinity, we will renovate a fortress nearer the edge of the Crystal Desert. If Destiny’s Edge did not manage to find one, we shall build our own fortress. We will later bring a Dragon orb to protect the fort from being corrupted. We have no idea how far Kralkatorrik’s corruption has spread since Destiny’s Edge were last there; when they and Glint were defeated. We are going to be far more cautious this time, instead of charging straight in – which is how the Pact almost got demolished in the Maguuma.”

“Pardon me Marshal, but what is a Dragon Orb?”

“You have heard of the blue orb at Fort Trinity? And you have heard of Glint’s Legacy, Glimmer?”

“Yes, I’ve seen the blue orb, and news of the new dragon travelled fast.”

“When Glimmer had finished hatching, his egg turned into a glowing white orb. A Durmand Priory scholar observed that it was similar to the blue one located at Fort Trinity. Currently, the Priory is busy studying Glimmer’s orb, and now that they figure these orbs relate to Dragons – titled Dragon Orbs by the scholars – they have renewed their efforts to study the blue orb. The majority suspect it to be Jormag’s, but a few members of the Priory have mentioned a possible Elder Dragon in the sea. In any case, the blue orb hasn’t interacted in a spectacular way with the ice that they brought near it – though the Priory is unsure of the manner and extent with which the orbs represent the dragons.”

“Hmm, intriguing… If Glimmer has an orb like the Elder Dragons, what do you figure his sphere of infl-”

“I found a new pet! A plant dog! It’s much friendlier than those ones that you told me about in the jungle. Can I keep it?” A voice burst into my mind, causing me to miss the rest of what the Asuran Warmaster was saying.

I concentrated on the presence in my mind and responded, “Not… now…”

“Marshal? Did you hear me?”

“Sorry, what?”

“Your expression suddenly changed and you didn’t respond to my question.”

“Apologies, Glimmer discovered the Sylvan hounds at the Warden Camp South East of here and felt he needed to inform me.”

“The Dragon can speak with you from that far away?”

“Yes, magics wrought by The Forgotten bound us together – intending for me to keep Glimmer from being corrupted by power. The dragon has discovered that he can communicate telepathically with me when we are within reasonable distance of one another – though it still requires some effort on my part to respond to him. I should get more proficient in time.”

“That is fascinating. Then you are far braver than I. Do you not fear he may corrupt you if he becomes evil?”

“To an extent, but I have my most loyal and trusted friends watching me and the dragon. Right now he’s somewhat like a very young Asuran prodigy, not a power hungry Elder Dragon. He has an immense amount of power and a certain hunger for more but is still unexperienced – possibly naïve. Sometimes he can act-”

“Hey! I am aware of what you’re saying, you know!”

“But you… don’t need to… hear what I… am saying… to know… my opinion of you.”

“Marshal?”

“He took offense to that. But, to be fair, he is still a hatchling – not even half a year old. The majority of his world experience comes from my memories, not his own. And he can be serious when it is required.”

“Hah,” the officer shot off what could pass as a laugh, “I would take offense to the Asuran prodigy comment, but I know it is true. I wish you luck, Marshal. Commanding Tyria’s most elite fighting force and managing a powerful dragon hatchling at the same time is not a position I envy. I shall keep Mount Maelstrom under Pact control for you.”

“Thank you, Warmaster. Thank goodness I have loyal and capable officers serving me. I shall now take my leave and join my forces as we cross the Elon River into the Crystal Desert.”

“Farewell Marshal. May the Eternal Alchemy be with you.”

I saluted the officer and then left the tent. I looked at the fort that would now be handling our supply line and nodded – confident that they could manage the task.

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“Could you please… let Commander Laranthir know… to get… the troops moving? I will… catch up. ”

“Okay. Then I’m going to fetch you. You land-bound creatures travel so slowly.”

“Impatient… are we? No… acrobatics this time.”

“Yes, I want to avenge my mother and discover her plans for our future. Fine, I won’t do them… much.”

I sighed, and then began walking. I might as well shorten the distance that I had to ride the excited hatchling.

Soon enough, a white crystal dragon – about as tall at shoulder height as the tallest Charr or an average Norn – dove from the sky, extending  his wings at the last moment to slow his descent and landing on his feet with a solid thud. Some yells of awe emanated from the Pact camp.

“Showoff…” I mentally teased the dragon as he leant down, extending his foreleg for me to climb onto his back. Once I was firmly seated on his back, Glimmer shot off into the sky.

“Seeing as you’re here, you might as well.”

I lay down flat on his neck and hugged it, closing my eyes. I then concentrated on the presence in my mind. I felt the air beneath the dragon’s wings, felt how he used his tail for stability, saw the world below from his eyes and shared in his enjoyment of the flight. I had to admit to myself, and thus Glimmer, that I did enjoy flying. Even if his stunts would upset my stomach if it was full. I had got a mere taste of it with my glider and the updrafts in the jungle, but that was nothing compared to actually soaring through the air – feeling the air beneath the mighty flaps of your wings. Glimmer and I had discovered that we could do things such as this when we were first experimenting with our mental connection back in the jungle. In fact, drawing my mind into his own was how Glimmer learnt from my memories.

Unfortunately, it did not take us long to catch up to the Pact armada. When Glimmer spotted them, I stopped drawing on his senses, opened my eyes and sat up. I mustn’t appear to be clinging on to Glimmer for dear life to my soldiers.

Glimmer caught up with our new flagship, The Remembrance – a mighty ship even without the massive cannon which The Glory of Tyria had had. He then slowed his pace to stay in line with its starboard side. I looked to the side and saluted Laranthir of the Wild and my team, then faced forward again and watched the horizon. We would destroy Kralkatorrik and take his power. One by one, we would destroy the Elder Dragons. We would bring peace to Tyria at long last.

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~~~~~~~~~

Destiny’s Edge must have spotted us coming, as a signal fire releasing a plume of smoke in the desert was clearly visible. The group had set up their camp outside a half-destroyed fortress from another era. Without my needing to prompt him, Glimmer flew higher than the airships – giving us a good view of the lands below. Beyond the signal fire, in an Easterly South East direction, I could see green hills extending for a large distance, followed by a short golden-white strip and then purple stretching off into the horizon.

I clung to Glimmer’s neck and entered his mind again. Depending on how things went, it might be some time before I got to do this again. The dragon, knowing what to do, tucked in his wings and dived for the ground – our hearts pumping.

We landed right next to the Edge of Destiny’s camp, our tail almost hitting a tent. Luckily nothing was damaged – if you didn’t count our rather deep paw prints in the ground.

“Hello Glimmer,” Rytlock approached from the safe distance he and the others had been standing at, “Where’s the Marshal? On one of the airships?”

I returned to my body and hopped of Glimmer’s back. “No, I’m right here Rytlock. Glimmer and I have been strengthening our connection even more in the time you have been gone.”

“Strange… Your aura must have been hidden behind the dragon’s large one. But normally I could still sense you as you are a separate entity.”

“No matter. What have you discovered in your time here?”

“Well, you can see the fort.” Logan spoke, “By rather convenient coincidence, there are some-”

“Glint planned well ahead, it seems,” Zojja interrupted. “We discovered what appear to be structures built by the Forgotten, due east of this fortress. We have not managed to open the door, as we did not have the requirements of the inscription nor the available resources to blow it open. Glint, when Rytlock communed with her, said we should await your arrival and continue to scout the area. We should go straight there.”

“Pardon me Zojja,” Caithe objected, “but let us first focus on this fortress.”

“I agree, but thanks, Zojja. Let us wait for Commander Laranthir and my other officers to disembark their airships. We shall talk to them, and then you four can lead me to these ruins.”

“As you wish, Marshal.”

Soon enough, all of my team and my Pact officers had joined me on the ground. I started the conversation off by asking Destiny’s Edge to present their findings.

These ruins were in far worse a state than Fort Trinity was. We decided that we might as well knock the walls down; they were beyond repair. However, this decayed fortress was still better than starting from scratch. The foundations were solid. We were going to use them for our new fortress.

After deciding what needed to be done, I asked Zojja to tell the officers of the Forgotten ruins. We settled that Glimmer, Destiny’s Edge and I would go to these ruins. Destiny’s Edge would guard the entrance as Zojja said that only Glimmer and I were allowed to enter. My team would help out at the fort.

When we arrived, Zojja showed us to two immense stone doors; big enough to fit Glimmer. On one door was the rough shape of a hand, while the other had the shape of a dragon’s foot. Zojja read the inscription aloud.

“Only the two that are one may pass;
Champion and Legacy of Glint.
Challenges they must surpass.
This is no mere hint.
Only through their connection,
can wrongs be brought to correction.
Tested, shall be their resolve.
Incorruptible they must be.
For her plans not to dissolve,
this is the key.”

Glimmer and I silently looked at one another, then to the door. Zojja stepped aside. We walked up to the doors and each touched the door with our respective marking. The symbols lit up, soon followed by the grinding of stone as the doors opened before us. Together, we entered the darkness.

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