Sea breeze or tree hug
In an early mission in the Guild Wars Factions campaign, our guiding NPC Master Togo discovers a mark on the ground after defeating the enemy (paraphrased):
Togo: “It is the mark of Shiro Tagachi”
My character: “He who turned the forest to stone and the sea to jade?”
Togo: “The very same”
This dialog stuck with me, since I wondered what fairy tale or story about Shiro this was, or if it was just meant as an expression. It was not until later in the campaign when I got to visit the Kurzicks and the Luxons that I realized that it was not empty phrase.
The Kurzicks are a mixture of Tolkienesque elves and vampires, being pale aristocratic type living in palace/castle type habitats in the big trees in the forest. Part of that most certainly is stone. The Luxons seems more like a somewhat nomadic tribe of sailors/fishermen, who actually live by a sea made of jade.
In particular the last one was something I found fascinating, seeing an entire sea area where all the activity of the water with waves and boast floating seemingly was just frozen in time. And now everyone, both humans and the critters living there are walking on its surface of jade. Even quarries have been made, to mine the jade I assume.
During the play of the campaign I choose the Luxon path, partly because I was more fascinated by the sea than the forest – big tree forests with inhabitants has been done before, thanks to Tolkien. But also since the guild had choosen the Luxon side, so I thought I might just as well stick with that in following the story.
It was only after beating Shiro that I decided to pursue the Kurzick/forest path, so that I could complete all the Factions missions. Plus also, I noticed that many of the bosses that had elite skills for my ritualist was hanging around in those forests. So it also became a good opportunity to pay them a visit.
I found the forest areas of the Kurzick quite nice as well, although it did not quite make the same impact on me as the Jade Sea. But that is Tolkien’s “fault” I guess, although I do like the twist combining Elven setting with pale aristocrats a la Transylvania. But I think the designers did a great job here and I do recommend visting these areas.