Sunspears Flooded with Volunteers

As news spread through Tyria and Cantha of the extremely successful training session that the Sunspears of Istan conducted last weekend, droves of hardy souls have begun to volunteer to aid the Sunspears in fending off whatever threatens their beloved homeland. Many who played a role in fulfilling the Flameseeker Prophecy in Tyria, as well as those who helped put an end to Shiro Tagachi's treachery in Cantha, are now offering their assistance to Elona. If the sinister rumors circulating around Istan have any substance, it seems that Elona could use as many friends as possible.

Tyrian and Canthan merchants have begun retrofitting their cargo ships as passenger vessels. According to my friend from the docks of Kaineng Center, the rumor is that within the month full trade, immigration, and diplomatic ties to Elona will be opened. Despite the region's sweltering heat, our harbors abound with adventurous citizens ready for glory. It seems that in their enthusiastic preparations for the mass exodus, they've commandeered every ship, boat, raft, or buoyant wood plank in sight.

I have heard many rumors from Elona suggesting that the supplication to Tyria and Cantha stems from something as primal as fear itself. An ominous development took place over the training weekend, and it has greatly unsettled all of Elona. Though I cannot speak with certainty about the precise source of unrest, I can certainly applaud the Elonians for enlisting our own local veterans, for those heroes have proven remarkable at defeating evil, no matter what tribulations stood in the way. If some malevolent power menaces their beautiful homeland, Elonians are wise to call upon a combination of all the world's best heroes, for that may be their only chance at survival.

Let us stand as one with the Elonians against whatever foes the forces of evil may throw at us.

Emblem Contest Winners Announced!

The winners of the recent Emblem Contest have been announced! At a recent Emblemers meeting, I gazed upon the winning entries, and was struck with how well they captured Elona's stark majesty and unique fauna.

Also attending the gathering were the contest winners. I took this opportunity to ask them about the inspiration for their fine works of art. Here is what several had to say:

Luac Agwayen explained that his idea—featuring an image of smoke escaping from a lamp—derives from an old adventure story he was told as a child that involved djinns. Folklore offers a wonderful basis for art, and his enjoyment of the story is evident in the care he took in creating his emblem.

Necros Mortiiis based her work of art on what she had heard and read of the landscape and animals found in Elona. She shared with me that, "My biggest inspiration for my design was nature."

A particularly well-dressed Warrior named Sciros Darkblade commented on his design, "Having heard tales of Elona and its many creatures from visiting Dervishes and Paragons, I chose the scarab, representing Elona's fearsome insects, as the central element of my design."

Both Matt Coopersmith and Jack Rackham wove together themes and concepts from many ancient civilizations. Matt mentioned "I wanted to incorporate the sun, which seemed to be an important Elonian theme."

Jade Mooncat drew upon another time-honored story, one that involved a woman who could transform into a wildcat. Using her first pet—a Melandru's Stalker—as a model, Jade then added a palm leaf to symbolize the Elonian climate.

Congratulations to the winners! Be sure to visit your local Emblemer to see these exceptional designs.

Random Acts of Kindness

After returning from beautiful Elona, I wandered through more familiar locales and noted the names of a few kind souls.

In the Leviathan Pits, Ceechow Deathshand donated a Mesmer focus item to a citizen in need. Arming adventurers without reward is truly a noble act.

Gh Os T Strikr gave a small amount of gold to a less prosperous citizen to allow the purchase of storage from the Xunlai agents. What is mere pocket change to some may be a fortune to others, so I thank you for your generosity.

Within the sacred walls of my beloved Monastery, I came across a young Warrior named Stirm Brightblade giving away a set of daggers to a novice Assassin. Those still in training on Shing Jea Island do not always have a way to book passage to the mainland for weapons, so importing and distributing more effective weapons to those in need is surely a noble act.

Amidst the deafening racket within Kaineng Center, I managed to overhear Mahoutsukai Shalnin offering advice to an Elementalist who was in the market for armor. Advising a shopper on an educated decision alleviates the possible feeling of "buyer's remorse" later.

Thanks to each of you for making my return home a most pleasant one.