Aug 062011

Just getting to Sacnoth Valley is an adventure in itself. Elwin, Elena, Xiara and I had to pass through all of Dalada Uplands to reach our destination. The trouble is definitely worth it, because just like the other Charr Homeland areas, Sacnoth Valley is beautiful. Even as we entered the area and spotted what is left of the charr stronghold, my eyes were more focused on the flowers at my feet.

There are a few patches of tall grass and flowers. For the most part, we walked through this area with ease. Like any other part of Tyria, only the monsters keep us from progressing through too quickly. My Ascalonian friends were a bit surprised to see their old nemesis, the grawl (bipedal ape-like creatures) in this area. I think that with this additional enemy, Sacnoth Valley feels a lot more like home to them.

Further on we saw something very unusual. Ahead of us appeared to be a section of burning forest. Right outside of the entrance were a pair of flowstone elementals.

Exploring a burning forest isn’t a great idea, but we went ahead anyway. Near where entered, there was a small grawl settlement on the edge of the fire. Of particular interest were the many grawl priest headdresses on a pole.

Oozes, flowstone elementals, and burning spirits inhabit the burning forest. If these creatures have been here for a while, I wonder how long this fire has been raging.

I can’t speak for the rest of my party, but I felt drawn here like a moth to a flame. The raging fire is hypnotic to watch. But the thick smoke choking up our lungs kept us from staying too long.

Exiting to a different section of Sacnoth Valley, I turned back and had another look before we moved on. I’ve only had a chance to visit this spot once, so I wonder what will happen to it in a few months or a year. Will it continue to burn or will a young new forest rise from the ashes?

We found a few more grawl settlements in the area, all with similar living arrangements.

These worms are another familiar sight to my Ascalonian friends. Periodically they burrow to the surface and have a quick look around before returning to their earthy home. If you approach them they’ll give you a nasty bite, but by keeping your distance it is pretty easy to avoid that.

While I watched a nearby raven and a few swarms of bees for a while, Elena took command over a masterless siege devourer. With the extra time on her hands, she figured out how to make it dance.

Forest continues on into the distance at a steep boundary.

Going completely around the area, we found a backdoor entrance into the charr stronghold. It is still heavily populated, but less protected since the last assault.

Not long ago, we’d traveled here along with Pyre and his warband to rescue the missing Ebon Vanguards. Even though we made a huge impact on the opposing shaman caste forces, more charr leaders have taken their place. Three of them were gathered at the cauldron of fire, with several groups of minions.

Right by the cauldron is a large pit that was used to imprison the missing Ebon Vanguards. Since their rescue, Captain Langmar has begun to recruit adventurers to help her cause. One cause that interested me was the collecting of charr battle plans and heading into Ascalon territory to stop the charr assault.

We searched around the area for any more charr, their leaders, or any battle plans before heading back to the comforts of an outpost. The charr stronghold looks empty now, but with enough time more members of the shaman caste will repopulate it. I don’t know what progress Pyre intends to make in charr society with this overwhelming problem at hand.

With the successful exploration of Sacnoth Valley, Elena, Xiara, Elwin and I celebrated by the cauldron of fire. After I investigate a few interesting cave entrances, I will be headed to the Tarnished Coast to seek the Asura’s help against the destroyers.

Prized Spoils: 6 golden items
Outposts: None
Exits: Grothmar Wardowns, Dalada Uplands, Rragar’s Menagerie, Catacombs of Kathandrax
Friends: Elwin L., Xiara M. D., Elena D.