Sunday, July 21, 2013

Not What They Seem : GW2

A couple of weeks back a bunch of us were teaching the grawl to keep their thieving monkey paws off Tor the Tall's merchandise, a lesson they're exceedingly slow to learn, when an owl made the mistake dumb critters often do and got himself between my greatsword and the grawl I was swinging it at. Flurry of feathers, dead owl; so much nothing new.

Only there was the owl, dead in the snow, sparkling. In these lands glitter means gold, or if not gold exactly then at least something worth picking up and putting in your pack. Little critters like this never have anything that glitters. Something strange about this owl.

There's a trigger-happy asura I know who likes to use small animals for target practice so I mentioned it to him. In all his considerable bird and bunny murdering experience he'd never come across anything like it either. Being asura he couldn't leave it that. He had to go investigate.

From what he tells me, it seems there's a kind of Snow Owl that lives in one very specific part of Wayfarer Foothills, right around Hunter's Lake. The way my asura friend classifies these things, this owl is a "Yellow Name" where all the other owls he ever found were "White Names".

White-named creatures are the feeblest things you'll ever meet in Tyria, things like chickens, rabbits and rats. They're completely harmless, incredibly easy to kill and they never, ever leave a glittering corpse. Killing them teaches you nothing, which is why I leave them alone unless there's a bounty.

Yellow-named creatures mind their own business; you leave them alone, they 'll leave you alone but if you happen to shoot or stab one, intentionally or by accident, you'll have a fight on your hands. You can sharpen your skills fighting this kind of animal. Win the fight and there might be even be something left you can use or sell; a pelt or a claw or a chunk of meat. 

My asuran friend fancies himself something of a tracker although really he's about as subtle as a Dolyak in a pastry shop. Still even he can follow a slow-gliding owl in broad daylight. He tracked this one for a good while, making notes the way the asura do. The bird flies a repeating pattern from just behind Kevach's Lodge heading south-east over the frozen lake through the stand of trees in front of Krennak's Homestead, reaching the end of its range at the end of the wood, looking out towards the Icesteppes.

In the name of science (and in no way because he's a bloodthirsty little maniac) he killed a number of these owls (or possibly the same magically reincarnated owl a number of times, he was evasive on that point). He found that the owl always died on the first shot, that he was able to learn something to improve his skills from each kill and that occasionally the bird would leave something behind, a tiny claw useful for crafting, poultry meat fit to cook or a mangled talon worth a copper or two to a merchant.

Just once the owl dropped four copper pieces, something my friend couldn't recall seeing a yellow-named animal do before, nor indeed after, when he conducted a lengthy cull of deer and dolyaks in the nearby area. How an owl obtained or indeed carried the coins remains a mystery.

Tyria, of course, is a land filled with mysteries, of which this might well be the smallest and least important. As my asuran friend says, however, pure research is its own reward. I just hope he doesn't come to regret it. They say the Spirit of Owl died fighting Jormag, but who really knows what death means for an entity like that?


  1. Maybe the owl kept the the copper in a smiling bag?

    1. With its creamed corn, no doubt. What really is creamed corn anyway?

    2. OK, you win. :)

      I had to go back because I couldn't remember what exactly the corn thing was about any more. Time for a Twin Peaks rerun.

      Before or after Mulholland Drive though? Humhom.

  2. There are a few yellow critters around now, I've seen eagles and hawks apart from the usual deers and crabs.

    What bugs me though are the suspicious spy rats in Ebonhawke. Not sure how to aggro them since they are green but their ability line reads something like "aggros when attacked". Maybe you should let your inquisitive asuran friend work that one out! :P

    1. The Unsuspicious Rabbit on the bridge in Mount Maelstrom is the one I really don't trust.

    2. The Suspicious Rats in Fields of Ruin are minions of a bounty target. You can only trigger them if your guild is assigned that particular target (his name escapes me...) for the guild bounty.

      If you do aggro the rats, you'll regret it for the rest of your life, I assure you.



Wider Two Column Modification courtesy of The Blogger Guide