July 13, 2006
Rotscale's Army Increasing in Majesty's Rest
The dreaded Rotscale has been seen lately amassing more forces around his tomb located in Majesty's Rest. While the dragon's motives are unclear, many suggest the dragon and his undead army are protecting something. What they may be protecting, however, is unclear—though many have speculations.
Rotscale is not a new presence on the continent of Tyria. Early reports placed him far east, in the great Shiverpeak Mountains, near The Frost Gate. There he is said to have slain many travelers making the trek from Ascalon to Kryta. The beast has since made the western boarder of Kryta its home, adding additional danger to the already treacherous journey from Kryta into the deep Maguuma Jungle.
Many of those brave enough to attempt to slay the beast—and lucky enough to return—claim that Rotscale is indeed protecting great treasures. There are mixed reports, but the general consensus is that the Dragon is protecting a weapon of some sort—potentially one of great value. The possibility of treasure has lead to an increased interest in the beast. This, in turn, has increased the number of corpses one will find near the dragon's roost—albeit, most of these corpses are unnervingly active. Many of those slain are now in the service of their very murderer.
The army surrounding Rotscale is a force to be reckoned with, to say the least, often preventing would-be dragon slayers from getting within sight of their master. Those who do face the undead monstrosity will soon find a new reason to avoid dragons—especially those still standing after the removal of half their torso. Besting the dragon is by no means simple. Were it not for nearby resurrection shrines, more would be left rotting on the ground or forced into an afterlife of undead slavery.
Extreme caution should be used by those who attempt to slay the beast. Even the bravest of soldiers have been frightened into withdrawal upon hearing Rotscale's unnatural shriek. So choose your allies well, for your life could very well rely on them. Most elect to start their trek at the Temple of Ages, so if you wish to join a party of dragon slayers, I would suggest making the journey to the temple.
May Dwayna protect all who face the dreaded Rotscale.
The Mesmer: Uncommonly Effective
Of all the professions one can study, the Mesmer is by far the least common. While it may not be the most popular profession to embrace, Mesmers are unmatched in their ability to counter the strategies of others because they specialize in turning your skills against you. The three lines of magic available to a Mesmer provide different strategy choices But, they all combine with the primary Mesmer attribute, Fast Casting, to make this an extremely effective profession.
The Illusion line focuses on Hexes. These include a lot of powerful counters to physical attacks—primarily those of the Warrior, Ranger, and Assassin. There are also degeneration Hexes that drain Health, snaring Hexes to slow enemies, and miscellaneous self-Enchantments that can protect the Mesmer from harm.
Powerful conditional damage skills like Clumsiness are the key to defeating physical attacks. This skill interrupts the next attack performed by the Mesmer's adversary and inflicts great harm in retaliation for the attack. Ineptitude, an elite skill similar to Clumsiness, is even more effective, as it blinds the Mesmer's foe for a significant duration and deals even more damage than Clumsiness.
Mesmers can also opt to damage their opponents over time with skills like Conjure Phantasm, as well as a few more interesting options. Phantom Pain is a degeneration Hex that applies a Deep Wound when it expires, discouraging the removal of the Hex. Images of Remorse, another skill used with this strategy, adds more Health degeneration and does extra damage to an attacking foe.
Where Illusion is most useful against physical attackers, Domination concentrates on eliminating and shutting down those who follow the path of magic. The Domination line provides some of the most effective anti-casting skills known on the field of war, including Blackout, Diversion, and Powerblock. All of these hinder enemy use of skills, either rendering opponents entirely helpless or reducing their skill efficiency to a fraction of its original state.
Many who choose this path also take advantage of the numerous interrupt skills provided through advanced training in Domination Magic. Interrupts are very powerful, but also require great reflexes. Many Interruption skills cause additional harm to targets when they are interrupted, but timing these skills correctly is a challenge in and of itself.
The Inspiration line is much more of a defensive line of training. What it lacks in destruction, though, it makes up for in its ability to keep a Mesmer alive and keep his Energy reserves high. The skill Ether Feast is quite effective because it steals Energy from an opponent and converts it into Health for the caster. For restoring Energy reserves, the Mesmer might use skills such as Channeling, Energy Tap, and Power Drain. Many Mantras are also found in the inspiration line, which can reduce damage, increase Hex length, restore Energy, or even evade interruption effects.
The Fast Casting line is arguably one of the most effective schools of training for any profession. While Fast Casting does not have many skills directly linked to it, it shortens the cast time for any spells a Mesmer chooses to use. This is especially effective when combined with the Necromancer's minion summoning or the Monk's resurrection abilities, as both require a relatively long casting time. Raising a fallen comrade or summoning an undead minion in short order can turn the tide of a battle, which is just one of the many reasons why Fast Casting is extremely useful.
I write this today in the hope that I might dispel a myth that has formed about the Mesmer. Some who do not know better have been heard to say that Mesmers are second-rate fighters, and a few veteran soldiers foolishly decline to ally with Mesmers in combat. I assure you that a skilled Mesmer in your party can make any task easier. This is proved by their ability to slay individual opponents effortlessly, including those—such as the Monk—who are often the most challenging to defeat. Do not underestimate the powers of Mesmers or you will soon feel the wrath of their twin goddesses.
Random Acts of Kindness
Since I spent the week of the Dragon Festival over in Cantha, I decided it was time for another journey to Tyria. While making my way to the Serenity Temple, I stopped by Ascalon City, where I witnessed many kind acts.
Upon arriving, I overheard a young Ranger seeking out the local animal trainer. Diana of Sorrow quickly directed the Ranger to Jarrel the Tamer in Old Ascalon, helping the Ranger find a safe home for his pet. Kindness to both animals and people is most appreciated.
Later, while having a conversation with Symon, a fellow scribe who resides in Ascalon City, I witnessed two fine soldiers offering to train or help local adventurers. The Afro Man was offering detailed training to parties of recently enlisted soldiers. He no doubt hoped to prepare them for combat against the Charr, which have been threatening areas on the outskirts of Ascalon City. Omen Darkwoods was also in town, offering to answer questions or give directions to those new to the area. Both were providing great services to those they helped as well as to the great Kingdom of Ascalon.
Finally, on my way out to the war-torn ruins of Old Ascalon, I saw Fantacy Goddess helping a lost traveler find his way to the merchant. Even the simplest help is of value, so it is worthy of note.
Thanks to you all for making my trip to Ascalon City brighter. Kind souls such as yours lift my hopes and assure me that your fine Kingdom shall endure and rise again grander than ever.
July 13, 2006
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