Wednesday, January 22, 2014

An Open Letter To Scarlet Briar : GW2

Welcome back Scarlet. Oh, how we've missed you. Yes, I know you've been out there all this time, invading backwater maps where no-one ever goes but, well, no-one ever does go, do they? Not any more. Last time I turned up in Timberline Falls or Blazeridge Steppes or wherever it was, there we were, just you and me. And your faceless hordes, of course. I did enjoy having your full attention for a while but it can be a little...shall we say, overwhelming?

No, much better to meet you with a faceless horde of my own at my back. Call me paranoid but I just feel safer that way. So there we were, out in the back of beyond once more, you, with another incomprehensible nefarious plan, us, determined to stop you or die trying. This time you arrived in a giant UFO dangling a hundred-metre high metal mannequin. Where do you get this stuff?

There's something strange about you, Scarlet. Besides the obvious sociopathy, that is. You seem to have infinite resources, unlimited capacity. You can build elaborate drilling rigs across every part of Tyria overnight, even in The Mists, and no-one sees you do it. You have technology far beyond anything The Pact can throw at you. You're up there in your spaceship and we're down on the ground firing arrow-carts. Where does it all come from? How are you doing it?

And yet, even though it seems like you can already do just about anything you want, what is that? What do you want? Sometimes dealing with you feels like dealing with a child. "Look at me, Mummy! Look at me!". Is that all you want? Our attention?

And now it seems you just want to play a game. Well, don't you always? This one even has rules of a kind. Your armies charge down the five lanes that lead to your...what is  that thing, a landing pad? We try to stop them. You let us in by turns and your giant puppet kicks her high-heels and slashes her sword as we try to cut her strings. 

If you win, we all die. If we win...well, if we win I don't know what comes next because that hasn't happened yet. But then, I've only played your game twice. The first time my team failed and so did most of the others. We all wound up dead. The second, my team trounced your defences and hamstrung your puppet but this time we were the only ones to succeed and it barely slowed you down. Everyone ended up dead. Again.

We know you too well, though, Scarlet. You say you know everything yet you never seem to learn. For too long you'll dangle that doll, every even hour, until we take in each and every one of your tricks. We learn so much faster than you.

Soon we'll bring it crashing down, over and over, whenever we like, yet you'll never stop. Until suddenly one day you do and we all move on to your next fiendish plan. Is that rational, Scarlet? Don't you ever sense some guiding hand in all this? Some outside force, a greater power, playing you and us both just the way you play that puppet?

That's our lot, though, isn't it? Destined to play out our roles without context or meaning. You with your mysteries, we with our compulsions. Because, after all, just what would happen if we ignored you? Does it really matter to us what you're doing out there in Lornar's Pass, any more than it mattered what you've been doing all over the back of beyond these last few weeks, while we've all been playing with toys and building snowmen in festive Lion's Arch?

There are dragons at the gate, Scarlet. There have been dragons at the gate all our lives. Jormag and The Shatterer in the north, Tequatl and Zhaitan in the south. A great evil bears down on us yet life goes on much the same. The dragons get stronger but they get no nearer. There are those who might say, if they want the swamps and the snows and the wilderness lands then let them have them. Orr is far away and no-one remembers when it was other than it is. Whatever it is that you seek in these wild lands, maybe we should just let you have it and be done.

When we first met you in Queen Jennah's great city, Divinity's Reach, already we'd heard rumor of you, your name whispered in the aftermath of those terrible events in Lion's Arch, when the charr cultural representative was murdered before the eyes of the Ship's Council. Then, you seemed a true power and a threat, bringing chaos to the heart of the polity. Now you play games out in the wilds and, like the dragons, you shrink to become scarcely more than a tale, fit only for scaring cubs in the fahrar.

Somehow, Scarlet, I sense your story is drawing to a close. Will we ever learn, who it is you are, or think you are? Do you have a plan, truly? Did you always? Did you ever? Or did you make it up as you went along? Was it really only ever about our attention? Because, after all, without that, what are you?

So, here we all are again. You pull the strings while we dance to your tune. Is that your great metaphor, Scarlet? Is that why you took the time and trouble to construct your marrionnette? Are you trying to bring us to some knowledge of ourselves and this life we both share? Are you our savior and if you save us will the game be over?

Courage, Scarlet. Courage all. The time to rest grows near.


  1. There is any server that won that giant gynoid event?

    1. From chat in game I believe a few have, Tarnished Coast for one. Yak's Bend hasn't yet.

  2. Haha, it does seem like a child wanting attention. Creating more havoc and greater problems to not be out done by anything previously while still get as much attention as possible. Being as outlandish in your actions as possible that it just becomes comedic

    Reading about it all now I just don't see how any of it make sense... at all. Some sort of giant puppet controlled by a space ship...riiiiighhht. Someone smoking something at Arenanet. It started off ok but it's becoming something so detached from Tyria and the Lore surrounding it that it just doesn't belong. All it does now is serve to discredit the rest of the lore within the game.

    1. Not really. You've not seen her lair. I've started to get quite excited at the speculation that's going on after what we've seen in Scarlet's Lair, some of it being quite lore heavy (dragons, the Deldrimor Front and the dwarves holding back primodius, the depths of tyria, pale tree.) The marionette thing is odd and I'm still not getting why it's that, but the bit that it's coming down from looks very much like part of one of her giant drill mechanisms. She's also been probing the earth and getting reflections back from those.. er.. sound/sonic? waves. There's something down there that she's discovered. She also saw something when she looked into the Eternal Alchemy and it talked to her.. she talks about it in her journal. There's lots more.. stuff that might tie the Southsun story with the Tower of Nightmares. I just hope what ANet does is as good as what the players are coming up with. I feel they're making a good turn regarding the story and tying things together.

  3. I think you should have waited to write this until you'd seen her lair (maybe you have, but this reads like someone who hasn't.) You still seem to hold the belief that she's just a crazy person with no purpose.. that her actions are completely disjointed, in no way connected and in no way matter. I had these thoughts too the past few months. But after seeing the lair and what's in it, after reading the speculations on reddit and the forums.. there's potentially some cool stuff coming our way. Fingers crossed.

    1. I've just spent the best part of an hour in Scarlet's Lair. Examined everything. Read the journal three times and listened to Scarlet read it out loud (the voice acting is significantly less convincing now than it was a few months ago, I notice, as though the actor is having difficulty maintaining the intensity she gave to the role at the start). Watched the terminal display for about ten repeats. Watched the whole thing on YouTube, twice.

      I can't see any justification for most of the things people are reading into it. It seems like a hodge-podge, vague, generic. Like the patter of a fortune-teller it leaves the mark to read into it whatever he or she needs or wants to hear. In that sense it's quite cleverly done, if cynical.

      Of course, while i have played a good bit of GW1 I am by no means immersed in the lore. I am entirely willing to believe I'm missing something, or several somethings. Where people are getting anything about the dwarves out of this, for example, is beyond me. I couldn't see a hint or mention of them.

      That said, I found it quite thrilling. Some of the most fun I've had in GW2 for a good while. I took an album's worth of screenshots and I'll be writing about it at more length in due course, all being well.


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