Soldiers Celebrate Pay Raise

Across Cantha, Luxon and Kurzick soldiers are rejoicing. In an attempt to gain more recruits, Cantha's vassal states have increased the amount of faction soldiers receive while serving in their armies. Soldiers on both sides of the war have rushed to take advantage of this pay raise, and the number of new recruits has reached an all-time high.

In addition to rewarding troops for their overall success during battle, the Luxons and Kurzicks now reward faction to soldiers for their individual kills on the battlefield. In fact, the Luxons have put a bounty on the head of any soldier who fights for the Kurzicks, and in response, the Kurzicks have done the same for those who stand with the Luxons. The results have benefited each faction, since it further motivates those fighting for them to show no mercy to their opponents.

Along with the increase to Luxon and Kurzick faction, the Priests of Balthazar have reported that their war-loving god appears to be pleased with the conflict and has begun granting his favor to those who spill enemy blood. Soldiers will gain favor from Balthazar when they slay a rival, making fighting in this conflict more beneficial than ever. Because Balthazar's faction works as currency with the Priests of Balthazar, it has created a whole new reason for adventurers to join in the conflict.

The numbers of combatants on both sides have continued to increase, no doubt due in part to the added rewards for their service to the Luxon or Kurzick cause.

Power in Numbers

Historically, the battles between the Luxons and Kurzicks have been fought through the collaborative efforts of a few small squads of roughly four soldiers each. Despite the fact that the soldiers in a squad are all working toward the same goal, they generally do not group as one large force, but rather allow each squad to work independently on the battlefield.

Now, however, the Kurzicks are beginning to change all that. They have begun merging into one large force rather than splitting into groups, which allows them to focus their strength. The Luxons continue to split up their forces, and thus far it is hard to tell which faction's strategy is more effective. Both have their advantages and disadvantages, but the Kurzicks seem to be sticking with their new plan. Time will tell which strategy is the winner.

There is definitely an up and a down side for this merged forces strategy. Its biggest weakness lies in its limited ability to capture resource points quickly, since a group working as one can capture a single point at a time. Several small units of opposing forces have a simple task following behind the single large group and recapturing the recently claimed points. However, since the Luxons remain separated into small parties, their groups of four cannot withstand the abuse that a mass of twelve Kurzick soldiers can dish out.

The large group strategy has had mixed success on the battlefront, and while many claim it is the certain path to victory, others dismiss that sentiment, saying that only inexperienced commanders would encourage their troops to merge forces. Either way, the outcome is more often determined by the Luxon's reaction to a mass of foes than to how well the Kurzicks actually fight as one. If the Luxons avoid the mass and concentrate on capturing points, striking when they have an advantage, they generally do well. It is only when the Luxons face the Kurzicks directly that they fail.

As a result, Luxons are avoiding direct confrontation and gaining more resource points, causing the strategy of working as a large group to lose effectiveness with every passing day. Perhaps the Kurzicks will improve upon the strategy, or perhaps they will be forced to come up with a new one to avoid certain defeat. Either way, it is apparent that the strategies used in this war will continue to change and evolve as each side adapts to those used by their opponents.

Random Acts of Kindness

Another week has passed, and so the time has come to once again praise a few in our world who selflessly display kindness toward others. No good deed is too small to deserve a "thank you," so here are a few random acts of kindness, recently witnessed.

On my way to the continent of Tyria, I stopped in Kaineng Center. As usual, the town bustled with traders selling their wares, and adventurers seeking to buy them. Amid the typical commerce, I witnessed Faceless Rt give away six Imperial Commendations and some other miscellaneous items to a complete stranger. Such generosity reminds me why it is always so rewarding to return to the fine lands of Cantha.

Upon exiting my rickety vessel in Lion's Arch, I saw a bewildered Tyrian, bags in hand, asking how one obtained passage to Cantha. Before I could step in to help, a young Assassin named Bluish Assassinator provided directions to Firstwatch Sergio. This specifically aided the confused Tyrian, but aided all citizens of Cantha in a more general sense, for easing the passage of willing soldiers will assure that the plague in Cantha will all the more quickly be cleansed.

I ended my trip with a stopover in Ascalon City. In contrast to the cruelty of the ravaged landscape, a young Ranger named Kataigida Xafnikos showed great kindness in handing out wares from the distant lands of Cantha. Asking nothing in return, Kataigida continued to hand out item after item to assist in arming the new recruits of the Ascalon army. Viewing this exceptional act of kindness was a fine way to end my long trek.