Sunday, September 16, 2012

Hail, All-Powerful Hero! : GW2

Last night my Charr Ranger dinged 80 and one of those wordy, somewhat stilted letters popped into my mailbox. My mysterious Herald spamming me again.

Just who is this guy anyway and where does he get off styling himself "Your Herald"? Did I hire him at some Charr hiring fair one morning after Meatoberfest, when I was so badly hung-over I'd have put my paw-print on anything just to get him to shut up and go away? Is he some petty functionary of the Charr military-industrial complex, locked away in a windowless back-office deep in the Black Citadel, endlessly checking dispatches on field promotions and scribbling details of new deployments?

Whoever he is, he always knows how to find me and boy does he love to gossip. I've long-since screwed up and thrown away most of his missives, but re-reading the most recent ones he seems hell-bent on keeping me informed on the state of mind of a bunch of people I recall meeting just once in Lion's Arch.

Boy, what a day that was! I kept my head down and stared at my claws while they bickered and postured and rehashed old glories or poked each other's old wounds. Metaphorically that is, although come to think of it literally might have been less embarrassing.

This Herald seems to think I have some responsibility for these people, that I should be doing something to help them with their mental health issues, death wishes, personal grudges and plain lack of judgment. He tries every trick in the passive-aggressive, co-dependent book to try to get me to care. He was calling me "Mighty Hero" for a while but now I've hit eighty he's upped that to "All Powerful". He flatters me with references to things I don't recall doing: "Whatever you did at the Citadel of Flame, it seems to have taken". Was I ever even at the Citadel of Flame? Maybe it was that pub in Ebonhawke. That might explain why I can't remember anything about it.

Then he tries to press all my buttons with vague hints that Eir (who I barely know) is going to "do something rash" (She's a Norn! Tell me when she's going to do something reasonable. That would be news!). Not only do I apparently need to be guilt-tripped about this, but he's volunteered me to sort it out. "I said you would catch up with them to help Eir", he writes. Well, thanks! Now I'm going to look like an ass if I don't go.

Yes, well I'll just have to look like an ass, then, won't I? I am not dropping my plans, which include wandering aimlessly all over everywhere taking lots and lots of snapshots and randomly slaughtering everything that doesn't run away fast enough so I can see what it's got in its pockets, just so I can match up to this frankly hysterical image you have of me as some kind of Warrior Psychotherapist.

The Herald, of course, is but the most insistent of my coterie of correspondents. Living in Tyria sometimes feels like waking up inside an eighteenth century epistolary novel. Everyone writes letters all the time. They've all been so well brought-up. Even the roughest frontier guard knows the importance of a "Thank You" note. No good deed must pass unremarked, or unrecorded.

The mail system in Tyria outdoes even Victorian London, where there were up to a dozen deliveries a day. I get my mail anywhere, anytime, immediately and not only does everyone know where I am, some of them even know my name. Here am I, trying to be a cross between the Lone Ranger and The Littlest Hobo, the mysterious stranger bounding into town on all fours with a snout-hankie over his face, righting wrongs and moving on without waiting for a word of thanks, and what do I get? A neatly-written note addressed to me by name, thanking me for my efforts and with a couple of silver pieces slipped inside the envelope by way of a tip! I'd be insulted if it wasn't that I need the money.

So here I am at eighty, a trail of wrongs righted and thanks accepted stretching all the way back to Smokestead. What now? My Herald tells me it's off to Orr. Do I listen to him for once? Well, he mentions airships and I do have a thing for airships. Maybe I will go take a look, this one time. Just don't think I'm making a habit of it.

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