New Happenings at the Old Oaks Front
With construction on the Imperial Outpost and adjacent Cavern completed, the Gifted anxiously await further orders from Tazoon. To date, however, Lord-Commander Jatell has issued no new orders nor moved any troops into the Outpost. When asked to comment on persistent rumors that he is spending more time picking out curtains for his new office than coordinating the war effort, the Lord-Commander clutched the velvet brocade he had been stroking to his chest, shouted, “You cannot have the Precious!!!” and hid under his desk until we were escorted out. Alladania SilverMist, Chaos Shard Herald
Klaus Wulfenbach, Assistant Editor
There has been one significant change at the Cavern, however; construction of the Cavern liberated the spirit of the last master of gemcrafting from its imprisonment by the Withered Aegis. The being, known as “Spirit”, is willing to teach the secrets of master-level gemcrafting to those skilled enough to learn.
Considering the horrors Spirit must have endured –WA captivity, torture, death, and bodiless imprisonment beyond death – it would have been terribly cruel to point out that this knowledge is only of limited usefulness right now, as diamonds, rubies, and sapphires are only used in lairshaping, and then only in their uncut forms. We can only wait, and hope that the secrets of master-level crafting will one day be rediscovered by the Gifted.
Ker’tis Portal Completed
The portal chamber in the amber azulyte mine near the Ker’tis guild lair community has been completed and the portal is now active. The portal connects to all racial cities, something heretofore unseen with guild communities. As of yet, a crystalshaping chamber has not been found, but several corridors remain to be completed.
Wanted, Dead or Alive: Radiant Wisps
Rumors have begun to surface that the near-mythical radiant wisp may be alive and well in some distant, remote portion of the Empire. Although there has yet to be a confirmed independent sighting, speculation about the possible habitat and nature of the radiant wisp fills the marketplaces of Istaria. Although most experienced crafters are excited at the possibility of finding a living radiant wisp, some voices are urging caution until the nature of the wisp can be more fully investigated.
“Radiant wisps are toxic!” declared a master-level dragon crafter who spoke on condition of anonymity. “Toxic to bipeds, anyway. Look at how long they have remained undiscovered, despite vigorous efforts to find even one. They have obviously been trained in search evasion techniques by the Withered Aegis! That proves they have some kind of insidious purpose. Bipeds are just too fragile to risk exposure to radiant wisps until a properly trained dragon craft master can drain off the toxic essence pervading them.”
Several expert alchemists and enchanters have dismissed these charges as fabrications. “Ridiculous!” scoffed Sshranu, the alchemist trainer in Sslanis. “Dragons are only saying that because they want it all for themselves! In fact, Sshranu thinks this all smells of a conspiracy by the Lunus faction to cripple biped access to equipment and resources!”
Some in the Empire question the very existence of radiant wisps, dismissing these rumors as the products of wishful thinking or lairshaping-induced dementia. Another school of thought holds that they are a red herring tactic, created by the Withered Aegis to distract the Gifted from more critical pursuits. However, just before we went to press, the staff of Chaos Reigns! obtained the following image:
This unaltered image clearly shows several radiant wisps grazing peacefully in an unidentified setting. Although the image was slipped under the door of our offices (Ed: What door? We don’t have a door!) anonymously, we have every confidence in its authenticity.
So take heart, essence hunters! The wisps are out there…
Help Wanted in Sslanis
Newly risen Gifted with a taste for combat and a need for coin may find a trip to Sslanis rewarding. Town Marshal Ssoren has a few tasks that need to be taken care of and is looking for a few stalwart souls willing to lend assistance. When pressed for details about the nature of the tasks, Marshal Ssoren replied, “Pest control.”
Ssoren went on to explain, “Travel around Sslanis has become more dangerous in recent times. Spiders in the jungle, gruok roaming the hills – always Sslanis has had those, of course. Now, these accursed giant chickens have arrived, along with many colonies of spiders. Gruok sows and their litters brazenly stalk the hills around the Sslanis basin. They roam in great numbers, but there is only one Ssoren, and Ssoren cannot be everywhere!”
“If those vermin were not enough, travelers have told Ssoren that many honored dead of the Sslik have been summoned from their resting places and commanded to plague the roadways. This desecration grieves Ssoren greatly. The honored dead should not be treated this way. They deserve peace.”
Ssoren refused to give specifics on the rewards being offered. “Is the curious one going to actually help Ssoren? No? Ssoren did not think so. When one comes to help, Ssoren will tell that one. Those who do not come to help have no need to know.” Ssoren returned to work and declined to provide any other comments.
Interested parties will find Marshal Ssoren on the east patio of the Sslanis Temple, just outside the Vault.
Being on the Street Interviews:
We posed a question this month to a random selection of inhabitants of Istaria. “If the Empire were to introduce the sale of luxury items, what would entice you to spend your hard-earned silver?”
Brighde Sidheag would like hair dye, and perhaps even a pet mongoose or ferret.
Serpenticus, an almost certainly Lunus hatchling, would like piercings, visible dragon jewelry such as a tail ring (!), a golden leash for his pet biped (!!), more ways to visibly express his feelings (please, no one give him the ‘mount’ option!), and perhaps a pet raven.
Mr. Ruxus, a large, green fellow, would like the chance to acquire a personal arbotus squirrel, new or gently used, from a smoke free home.
Angellyne would like hair dye, makeup, nail polish, and a pet kitty. Perhaps she should consider dating a Saris… ;-}
Jayne would like new or unique weapon forms, crystals, and techs - anything that can increase her damage output would make her very happy and spend-y. She would also like tattoos, invisible bracers, and more unique foods, drinks, potions, etc., such as gummy maggots and the like. Last but not least, she tends to hunt in Kion formalwear, and would like to see additional interesting fashions added. If those fashions could be teched with armor and such, that would be grand.
AzureStar, a dragon hatchling, would like to have a familiar (and gnomes did not enter the conversation).
Ani would like flowers, bushes and statuary for her homestead. She would enjoy changing her hairstyle occasionally, and would not mind additional shoulder pets. While she loves her cows dearly, and they do match her fur, variety is fun.
Starlighter would like ale…and flowers, and a pet fish she could feed, and finally, couture clothing.
Damascusss would like a sign posted outside his lair reading “Free tinkering spanners, inquire within.”
Withered Aegis leader Gruk the Frigid would like a new line of social clothing tailored for the plus-size gentleman. He received a set of Kion formalwear as an anonymous gift during his first assault on Harro, and did not find the resulting effect flattering in the slightest.
Guild Spotlight: Paradox Reborn
This month, our guild spotlight shines on Paradox Reborn. We would like to thank Guildleader Dayren Soth for taking the time to answer our questions. To begin with, please provide some background on yourself, your position, and your history with the guild.
My name is Dayren and I’m currently serving as the Guild Leader of Paradox Reborn. I have been playing since launch and got my start on the Energy shard. I joined with what was then called Paradox and it has been my home every since.
How would you describe your guild?
Paradox Reborn primarily consists of veterans who enjoy the laid back atmosphere Horizons provides. Dragons make up a big portion of our guild, so there is usually some kind of group helping on RoP, ARoP or working on lairs.
What is your guild’s mission statement or charter, if any?
We are a family first. Treat each other as you want to be treated. Have fun with each other.
Do you have a central base of operations, such as a guild plot or a central community?
Our main base is the guild community of Baker which has all the shops required to supply our guild with everything it needs. We also have the smaller and less used guild community of Arua which was acquired in a recent merger. Additionally we have many members who call Brandon’s Shelf home and many of our Dragons are spread out all over Istaria.
Tell us about your guild’s history.
The roots of Paradox can be traced back to Energy. Since the shard merger we have brought on new members either with mergers or recruiting. Our most recent merger brought the great guild Arcanna Imperii into the fold. Arcanna Imperii was a splinter guild of Insomniac Crafters Union back on Shadow. We have also recently acquired a number of new players that have energized our entire guild with their fresh perspective and optimistic view of the game.
What qualities does your guild look for in a new member?
We look for a well rounded slightly more mature player. Someone who is willing to pitch in and help when needed. People who enjoy playing Horizons and accept it for what it is: a great game. Above all else we look for people with a good sense of humor and who remember that in the end, this is a game; the goal is to have fun.
What membership requirements, if any, does your guild have?
Usually we only invite people to join who already know a few of our members or someone we have grouped with for a few weeks. All of our veteran members have been in a situation where tension and strife develop between guild members. We try to avoid this by having an “orientation” period. It doesn’t always work, but it has proven more reliable than open invitations.
Are there any significant accomplishments in your guild’s history that you are especially proud of?
I can’t think of any specific accomplishments that stand above the rest. I think the fact that you will find our members actively involved in most community projects is a great reflection of who we are. That and the fact that, as a completely self-sufficient guild, we are quick to help others outside of our guild whenever possible.
Is your guild working on any major projects currently?
We had a number of members active in the recent Imperial outpost and cavern project. Most notably Strix, Azrial and a few others were actively involved in the cavern project from start to finish. Within the guild we don’t have many major projects going besides the ongoing liar construction of most of our dragons.
What long-term goals does your guild have?
Our long term goal is to maintain an active and vibrant guild that promotes a fun and entertaining environment for all involved.
Is there anything else you’d like to tell us about your guild?
I would just like to say that this by far the best guild that I have been personally involved with. I know that if it wasn’t for them I would be playing another game.
How can potential members learn more about your guild?
The easiest way is to find a member of Paradox Reborn and ask to join one of our groups. We are usually in group to keep tabs on each other, though we may not be doing the same tasks.
Note: Just before press time, Paradox Reborn and Mithril Council agreed to a merge. Out of respect for Paradox Reborn’s membership and their history of service to the community and to Istaria, this interview is presented without edits or changes.
The Herald and the Chaos Reigns! staff are members of Mithril Council.
Lives in Chaos: Ranqthas Clawfoot
Ranqthas Clawfoot, ‘the eternal hatchie’, garnered a fair amount of attention by opting not to go through the Rite of Passage until well after reaching level 100. Although all grown up now, his willingness to help out and answer questions for newcomers is undiminished. As we discovered, he still possesses a hatchling’s exuberance and enthusiasm. Although adult dragons cannot jump, they can still be very bouncy.
Thank you for taking the time to speak with us. To begin with, tell us a little bit about yourself and your history in Istaria.
First off, thanks for taking the time to ask! It's an honor to be here. That being said, I can now ramble till I'm blue in the face... Wait, I'm sorta blackish-purple already!
Where to begin? Well. Let’s start with now, since that's the easiest to remember. I can be found wandering Istaria during the early morning hours (Pacific Time) most days of the week. Nowadays, I spend most of my time scraping away at Lesser Aradoth to get pieces for my lair. Often I break up the grind by causing trouble in Dragon chat, helping new players, and in general trying to find any distraction to get me off of that island. By the way, I like making beginner dragon equipment and showing new players around, helping with quests and ROP - don't be afraid to ask. I'll help if I can.
About a year and a few months ago, I wasn't in such a position to provide such help. I had just started playing - both in Istaria and MMORPGs in general. I didn't know what to do (besides go kill grulets and maggots) but there seemed to be an abundance of both bipeds and dragons willing to help me do whatever it was that Istarian dragons do. I decided early on that I'd continue the spirit of community that drew me in. Ranqthas Clawfoot: dragon, Helian, Gifted, wise-ass, troublemaker and friend was born.
What are some of your fondest early memories of Istaria?
They say that first impressions are everything. My first memories were of landing on the old training island and discovering that I had no clue what to do and that I could not swim. Yes. My first death was from jumping off a cliff, landing in the ocean, and walking around till I died. (so THATS what the blue bar is for!) Sometime later, I found the dragon trainer NPCs who started me in my adventure and craft schools. I managed to spend a good half hour trying to make Training Sandstone Bricks. Ugh. That was painful. Somehow, I'm still here. It turns out that first impressions, while fun to recollect, are not everything!
By day three, I found myself on the pad of New Brommel. Many a death was earned that day as I wandered about the "monsters" area. It was there that I learned about ratings and aggro - the hard way. Imagine a level four hatchling running into a swarm of level nine maggots and beating on one. Well... Not beating. Missing... Err... Taking a beating! The first time I made it out alive, with an angry mob of maggots flopping behind me as I ran down the road. The second time I died before I knew what was going on. Yes, those first experiences with combat were fun.
Around the next day, I ran into a big red hatchling* who was about as new as I was. We started to play together -- grouping to take down larger monsters, teaming up to do craft and sharing our knowledge of Istaria with each other. While we had many memories together, the most moving was when we finally became strong enough to fight through the blighted area in New Brommel. It meant that we could take on everything the island had to offer and that we would forever leave the place we had grown to call home.
*I'm not naming names. You know who you are. Thanks for the good times!
You became known as 'the Eternal Hatchie' because you waited so long to go through the Right of Passage. Why did you decide to wait so long?
Funny how often one thing leads to another. Among the things discussed with my new found friend was the topic of Rite of Passage. He pointed out that there were some really nice scales which only a level fifty hatchling could obtain. I argued that their benefits would be outweighed by being able to fly sooner, level faster, and consequently use more powerful scales. You heard it here. Ranq's initial position was to complete the Rite of Passage as soon as possible.
So, what happened?
A long story short, we agreed to try and keep our levels close so we could hunt together. I worked on my craft in his absence, and well, his absence became rather extended. I leveled and capped craft, then returned to adventuring. By the time I became a level fifty adventurer, others began to wonder if I was ever going to become an adult. I decided that I might as well go all the way to see if it could be done, and what their reaction would be. Let’s face it - I liked the attention!
Was there ever a point where you were tempted to bag it all and start the RoP anyway?
NOO! NEVER GIVE UP! NEVER SURRENDER!
Ahem. Technically, I started my RoP as soon as I could have. "Become a True Helian" was on my quest list for the longest time, sitting there as I leveled craft and adventure.
What? That's it?!
You're probably wondering if there was ever a time that I was tempted to bag it all and finish RoP then. That is a yes. When Lairshaping hit Blight, I got my first taste of another flavor of insanity. After having scraped my claws dull and joints sore over several months of solid crafting, I was not about to pick it up again - well, not without making it easier. You could say I gave in. With a commitment to my lair and remaining sanity, I decided that the honor of becoming a 100-Adventurer-Crafter-Lairshaper-hatchling would fall on somebody else's tiny wings. Not mine.
Did you ever encounter people who treated you as "a cute widdle hatchie who needs help", despite your obvious combat expertise?
I do not ever recall being "babied" in my higher levels. Those I have encountered understood what it meant to have a high rating and that a hatchling with one deserved respect. I've been on hunts with low level group members and have served to inspire them. I've been on high level hunts and have been treated like any other member.
Come to think of it, the only baby treatment I got was a bit of a spanking. I had a bit of a habit for excessive overpull - which almost always resulted in a group wipe. Ranq was fun to group with - just don't let him pull! (I blame that on load-lag. The fields I ran into looked bare! I swear!)
If it were within your power to change the Right of Passage, what would you change and why?
Everything! Make the Rite of Passage an instant quest. Click the link for your faction and you're adult!
Okay, okay! I was joking. Put down the blunt objects! Seriously though, there are some areas that I'd want to change.
First, I'd want to increase the minimum starting requirements to thirty craft and forty adventure. Making the crafting requirement higher eliminates an early starter's unpleasant surprise of having to interrupt RoP to grind nearly ten more craft levels to finish. Increasing the adventure level makes it possible for the hatchling to have an active role in their Rite of Passage and makes the Simulated Scales worth considering.
Second, I'd want to make it so that a hatchling can definitely solo their Rite of Passage. Not just any hatchling - one who has managed to level themselves into the "you should be an adult by now" range. A level eighty-something Lunus can solo their Rite of Passage - that opportunity should be available to a Helian as well. The only real obstacle is Kaa, who spawns enough followers to overwhelm a full grown adult! When I fought him (it?), they did not seem to spawn in such great number and they definitely did not aggro like they do now. Soloing the all boss mobs was incredibly rewarding and made it feel like I earned my adulthood. I wish the same opportunity for other prospective adults, Helian and Lunus alike.
What about the content? Nah. That was great. I enjoyed every moment of it -- even when I was complaining about running all over the place.
What would you say is your proudest achievement to date?
I'd guess being able to play this long and still remain perfectly sane.
Right. Those that have had the (mis)fortune of interacting with me after I've been Lairshaping know that I can get a bit wacky and spontaneous - probably stressing any interpretation of "sane".
I've talked about some of my personal achievements which I'm definitely proud of - but they are all just that - personal - for myself. However, that's not what it's about. They rarely have an impact beyond "Oh, that's nice." for anyone but myself.
The closest thing to a proudest achievement, then, would be the friends and reputation I have built up over my time in Istaria. It's about the people who like my company, the ones who laugh at my jokes and indulge in my odd moments, the ones who can respect the way I do things, the ones who seek my advice, and the ones who found comfort in me during times of despair.
Do you have any regrets about your time in Istaria, or are there things you would do differently if you could?
Regrets... Well... no. I'm here for a good time, not a stressful one. Sure, I make mistakes (and mis-tells) but I take it all in stride. If I screw up, the most and least I can do is apologize, clean up the mess, and not do it again, and move on. I just wish more people would feel that way. After all, "It ain't no big ting!" (The good times comin' ... let 'em roll).
Anything I'd do differently? Sure! Like make tricut gems 3-3-3:2! Oh wait. That's probably not what you're thinking of. No, I'm more or less satisfied with the way things turned out. I'd prefer that to making changes where I may not be as happy with the outcome.
The majority of dragons seem to be eager to begin and complete their Right of Passage as soon as they can. Is there anything you'd like to share with them, from the perspective of someone who chose to wait?
Sure. Enjoy being a hatchling while you can. Take the time to enjoy gracefully running about, being small enough to fit in buildings, and hopping. Man I miss hopping, and wish I didn't run with "all the grace of a pregnant hippo".
Seriously though, being a hatchling is almost a different game when compared to being an adult. The world looks a lot smaller and simpler from the air. Combat strategies and craft strategies will change as well. Interaction with others can change too. When I was a hatchling, even with a high level, newbies would come up and talk. It felt like I was "one of them". Nowadays the typical reaction I get is "Wow! A big dragon! Your butt is so huge!". Yes, I definitely feel like an outsider when visiting New Trismus now.
That being said, spend some time to level. You can start and finish at level thirty, but that's not a good idea. "Your" Rite of Passage would consist of tagging along and trying to stay alive while others do all the hard work for you. With twenty, or even ten more levels, you can do most of the killing and running about un-escorted.
Think of becoming an adult as a journey and not a destination. You will find your experience to be much more rewarding. Ascend when you are ready, not because you can.
Of all the enemies that confront the Gifted, which do you most enjoy meeting in battle, and why?
While I have had only a few encounters, the foe named Fafnir the Defiler is my favorite so far. Battle strategies for this blighted lupine are more varied than previous foes - who all seem to fit in the "stand there and whack" category. With Fafnir, you need to have an attentive and coordinated group, lest it get wiped in an instant. It's less entertaining now since Fiends can no longer run in and sacrifice themselves for an instant kill - but still not boring.
Lastly, if Nadia were sentenced to die and the Empire appointed you to be her executioner, how would you carry the sentence out?
The satisfaction of her death would be short lived. No. She must die many times. After seeing her die many, many times, I can only conclude that she is among the Gifted. That being said, I'd make it her destiny to spawn in the far corners of Istaria, becoming a wandering merchant, constantly seeking her home in Bristugo. At any time, someone may decide to fight her and try to win back their coin. If they succeed, she gets to start all over again. Thus, her execution would be carried out (many times) by the ones she gouges -- the ones that would enjoy it the most.
Persons desiring to make a lasting contribution to the community and improving our world in a real and meaningful way are encouraged to join the new ‘World Object Repair Crew’ chat. This chat is intended to keep the community informed about the state of various community projects and let those interested in volunteering know where their abilities are most needed. Some current projects include:
The Sslanis Lighthouse
The Grayling lighthouse and Artifact of Magic
Four bridge spans between Istaria’s Loom and Scorpion Island
The long bridge between Fabric Isle and the Observatory Peninsula
Community lair structures in Dralk and Chiconis
In addition to these major projects, many smaller communities have a number of lamp posts, archways, and other decorative structures in need of repair. Gifted of all skill levels are encouraged to join in and help make Istaria a better place for everyone.
Anyone who wishes to raise community awareness of a specific project is welcome to provide the details on the project to the Herald.
Faerie Builders Inc - All types of work accepted. T5 metal, T3 all else. Sandstone work welcome! Rates standard and negotiable. Please contact Starna for more information.
Matthew T. Squirrel – Seeking big buddy for fun-filled forest travels. Dragons and ruxus need not apply. Strictly platonic. Vegans preferred.
Tier 1 lair construction work wanted. Rates Negotiable. Please message Ktorin, thank you.
Looking for Quarrying IV and Dexterity IV techniques. Please message Alladania, Ani or Klaus.
Saris clan seeking supply of catnip mice. Serious offers only to editor, Box 12. All transactions will be held in complete confidence.
LexDivinia has some huge tracts of land, and now she wants more! Bristugo is Istaria’s transportation hub, and I want to make it a crafting hub as well. I’m looking for one or two plots where I can build the most commonly used craft shops, making Bristugo a nice, central location for people to craft items on demand. My offers start at double Imperial, negotiable based on location, proximity to the portals, etc. Contact me in-game, or via PM on the community forum.