Cantha Prepares for Annual Dragon Festival

Across the lands of Cantha, citizens prepare for the annual Dragon Festival. Merchants fill their storerooms with rice wine and red bean cakes, while townsfolk assemble the games and activities that commemorate the historic events following the Jade Wind. Decorations have already been spotted in Shing Jea Monastery and Kaineng Center.

Conceived by Emperor Hanjai following his father's assassination at the hands of the betrayer Shiro Tagachi, the Dragon Festival is meant to memorialize the survival of the Empire of the Dragon following the Jade Wind. This year holds special significance in light of the new danger threatening our empire. More so than ever, it is important to show the residents of Cantha that their empire can and will survive even the most catastrophic of tragedies.

Residents are already booking passage to Shing Jea Monastery in preparation for the festival. Those allied with the Luxons or Kurzicks will be able to celebrate together without conflict—due, in part, to their united pride in their homeland's survival, as well as the strict "no combat " law the emperor's guards enforce within Canthan towns.

Residents of Tyria should prepare to travel to Cantha, as this is surely an event that will go down in history. There will be games, prizes, food, wine, and plenty of dancing to keep the celebration going for days. At the festival's finale, there is a surprise that no one will want to miss! And while the celebration will last for five days, the special event collector will remain behind for an additional week, allowing celebrants plenty of time to turn in their Jade Wind Orbs for a special Dragon Mask. Plan to be in Shing Jea Monastery for the Dragon Festival, which begins very soon!

Creative Strategies: Adding Variety to Combat

In these troubled times, most soldiers engage in multiple battles with many different parties throughout their time in Tyria or Cantha. You will find many similar skill combinations and professions used in combat, even when battling alongside strangers. Some common combinations include the Warrior/Monk, the Minion Master Necromancer, and recently, the "Touch Ranger." These professions are popular and powerful and as such have become extremely common.

There are, however, those who pursue more unusual configurations and create abstract strategies in battle. While designing one's own plan of attack is difficult, it certainly has advantages, for opponents generally go into battle expecting to see common strategies, and thus are unprepared for novel concepts of war.

On my way from Maatu Keep to Tanglewood Copse, I observed one of the more creative abstract strategies I have seen. I was in a party with a Warrior/Elementalist using a hammer and Earth Magic skills. To add a bit of spice to his already somewhat rare plan of attack, he also used a single skill from the Air Magic line—Ride the Lightning. It is uncommon for Elementalists to take skills from two different Elemental lines—especially when Warrior is their primary profession—but the strategy did prove quite effective.

The Warrior kept things simple: he attacked his opponent in melee combat until enough adrenaline had built to deal Hammer Bash, knocking his opponent to the ground. When the enemy hit the dirt, the Warrior tapped into his Elementalist Earth Magic with the quick yet devastating Aftershock. As you might imagine, the foe was nearing his demise at this point, and tried to flee. This is when Ride the Lightning came into play.

With his opponent brutally injured from the hammer beating and well-timed Aftershock, the Warrior "rode the lightning bolt" to the fleeing enemy's location and dealt a bit of lightning damage. Far more important, however, was the fact that the Warrior had put himself back in melee range. As a finishing touch, the Warrior used Sprint to keep up with his enemy and ensured the enemy's death in a matter of seconds.

This Warrior/Elementalist proved that unique strategies can be extremely rewarding. Thanks to the Warrior's creative thinking, we were able to reach our destination with no real danger to our party members. The point is to be creative and try diverse strategies in combat. Different trials call for different skills, and there is no one tactic that is right for all situations. So while the pursuit of certain professions and the use of specific tactics can be popular, the novel approach is almost always the most effective.

Random Acts of Kindness

It is my pleasure to again recognize a few notable Tyrians and Canthans for their generous acts. In this week of the Dragon Festival, we all are sure to see many exceptional gestures of good will, and I will endeavor to report on many of those in an upcoming news scroll.

While observing and making notes on the status of the Kurzick/Luxon conflict, I was pleased to see a talented Necromancer named Pwnage by Minions explaining how faction works to soldiers new to the front. Pwnage explained the basics of gathering faction and also went on to explain the uses to which faction can be applied. Sharing information is easy to do, and its effects are beneficial not only to those you help, but to the world as a whole.

Later, while visiting a friend in Kaineng Center, I chanced on an Elementalist named Jawa Talisien giving 500 gold to a stranger to help him pay for new armor. That adventurer would not have made it far on the streets of Kaineng City in his training armor, and Jawa's kindness no doubt saved him from certain death.

Later still, I traveled south to House Zu Heltzer where I witnessed King Llanowar Elf providing a free ferrying service to Urgoz's Warren. Later, I saw Hex Monk do the same. It appears that many members of the Komalis Protector Alliance [oOo] are providing this free service, so I express thanks to all of them for their honorable and kind acts.