- As it turns out, there was this one guy who asked if I had a devourer egg. Something about using it to lure a worm queen and driving the vermin from a field. It's not the work of heroes. But hey, I have an extra egg, right?
- Upon my return to Ashford, I discovered that the place was overrun with pigs. None of them tried to kill me, but they certainly did not belong here. With a little effort, I corralled them and Farmer Dirk gave me 25 gold for my trouble.
- Pitney was happy, and a little shocked, when I returned with a devourer egg. We wrapped up the worm problem without any trouble. As we returned to Ashford, Devona mentioned that she wanted to investigate the rumors that the Charr had been seen south of the wall. Since killing Charr is the reason I came to the Academy, I agreed to help.
- Devona was right. There was a real and actual Charr roaming the path from Regent Valley. The coward ran off before we could get to him, but we finished off his Grawl buddies who stuck around.
- Devona was quite concerned about this Charr running loose, but she knew I had business in Wizard's Folly. As I left Ashford, she told me, curiously, "Think warm thoughts." Okay.
- Wizard's Folly, it turns out, is up in the hills. As I made my way south, I came upon this waterfall. The sound of the rushing water was so peaceful that I took a moment to catch my breath and reflect on my journey so far.
- Once I got up the hill, I understood what Devona was talking about. Snow, lots and lots of snow. What she should have mentioned were all of the elementals roaming the hillside. I can't help but wonder if this wizard's folly involved making to many elementals.
- As Gwen and I made our way up the mountain, I discovered a small, green valley untouched by the snow. Since the frost was setting into my clothing, I decided to explore a little.
- A number of tents and wagons ringed the clearing. A merchant and various people milled around the makeshift encampment. This must be Foible's Fair, I thought. Such a fitting name for the camp, a foible in the shadow of a folly. As I looked across the camp, I saw a woman with blue hair. An elementalist for certain. I walked over and introduced myself.
- The woman drew herself to her full height as she addressed me. "I am Ralena Stormbringer, master of the element of air."
- "Stormbringer?" I mused. "That would be a perfect name for a Charr."
- "Do I look like a Charr to you?"
- "Not in the least," I replied, although her expression looked just as hateful as one of the fanged beasts.
- "Hmm," she said as she appraised me. "You have the stink of one of those fire fetishists. Well, there is more than one element in the world, you know."
- "Oh, I only know a Flare spell. I would love to learn more about Air Magic."
- "Would you? Very well, listen carefully." Ralena taught me how to cast Lightning Javelin and Blinding Flash. I'm not sure how a Lightening Javelin is any better than a flare, but I smiled and kept my mouth shut.
- Ralena also let me know that another elementalist, Aziure, was performing research up at the tower atop Wizard's Folly. She asked me to go slay the Tower Guardian using her Air Magic and rub that fact in Aziure's face.
- I thought that was a little bitchy, but I wanted to see Aziure anyway. If I could wipe out a guardian on the way, more fun for me. With Gwen in tow, I set out for the top of the mountain. We found the tower surrounded by earth and ice elementals. The guardian was easy to spot and easy to kill. It ignored all of the rampaging elementals, but it made a beeline right for me when I came into view. Not surprising really.
- The amiable Aziure was quite happy to have the guardian gone. In fact, she even asked if I would help her with her research.
- It turns out that she wanted me to help by acting as a bodyguard. Since I am just a novice, she taught me how to cast a Fire Storm and the Glyph of Lesser Energy.
- Aziure began casting her Ward Against Harm which immediately drew the attention of all of the elementals in the area. As she taught me, I covered the area with Fire Storms and the elementals melted away. Take that, Ralena!
- Her task complete, Aziure gave me her thanks and went about her way. Without teaching me how to cast the ward. To make sure the day was not a complete waste, I collected the various lodestones that had energized the elementals. Some sorcerer would find a use for them.
- As we walked down the mountain, we passed a shrine where an odd man was waiting. "Hail, good lady," he called to me. "I was hoping you might help me. My name is Savich and I am in need of icy lodestones to help a friend. I have no money, but I could trade you these gloves which are too delicate for my rough hands. If you have the time, I will share with you a tale that will..."
- "Shhh, shhh," I said to him, reaching out to take his hands. "You had me at gloves."
This pig herding event is actually a hidden quest, one of two available in Pre-Searing. I'm not aware if this mechanic is used anywhere else in the game.
Not shown: me losing my chance at the Survivor title before I get out of Pre-Searing. Pathetic.
This waterfall, overlooking Ashford, is one of my favorite sites in Pre-Searing, much less the game. There is no real reason to come up here other to take in the view. For as game-centric as most of the environments are, ArenaNet still found a way to put in these little explorable wonders.
And here ends this episode. For a second time because Blogger ate the first version. You might think that having a second go would let me polish the story, but mostly I'm just annoyed. At least it's done.
Join us next episode when Khilesia says "AAAAAAHHHHHHHH!" See you next time!
© 2011 Marty Runyon. All rights reserved.