Dec 232011

The Sparkfly Swamp is a unique location under asura control. It’s located on the south-west coast of the Southern Shiverpeaks, and the only way to get here is through an asura gate in the Shards of Orr caves. Much like the Verdant Cascades, there is little in the way of asuran development because of its distance from the Tarnished Coast. The one resting point here, Gadd’s Encampment, is a scarcely stocked outpost meant as a temporary camp for Gadd’s research on the nearby bloodstone (but more on that later). Given the uniqueness of this area, Elwin and I are sure to find plenty of surprises along the way.

When I first started exploring these asura controlled areas, I had no idea how diverse the wildlife was. Here we encountered a variety of dinosaurs, which Vekk tells me are also found on the Tarnished Coast. Elwin found a nest with some of their eggs. The thought of taking an egg and trying to raise it as an animal companion crossed my mind, but it would probably get kicked out of my Zaishen Menagerie after trying to eat all the other pets and trainers.

Walking around the initial area, we looked back on Gadd’s Outpost where we had made our preparations. Besides being built solely for the asura Gadd, several Shining Blade members can be found here. It seems that the troubles in Kryta have left them few places to rest and plan their next moves. The White Mantle still have a strong grip on the Krytan nation, so I have no idea what the Shining Blade will do next. But our new friend Livia, who works with the Shining Blade, has teamed up with Gadd so that she can discover new ways to gain an advantage and help her people back in Kryta.

Usually looking around an area after a battle is not a problem, because it means you’ve just eliminated any potential threats. But here, there are quite a few groups of dinosaurs that wander. While I was writing down some notes, Elwin alerted me to this particular group which was being led by Mobrin, Lord of the Marsh. Of course if Elwin hadn’t seen them in the distance, the loud sound of their footsteps would have given their position away.

In this south east section, there are a few trees that have been chopped down and an abandoned cart with its logs. I didn’t see anyone nearby so I couldn’t say whether it belonged to the Shining Blade or asura. Whoever it was, they must have left in a hurry.

Moving further up the east section, a strange stone face stands out among the more natural scenery. As we walked around, it’s eyes seemed to follow us. It reminds me of a similar one found at the end of Rragar’s Menagerie. I know that prior to the earthquakes the asura were an underground race, so I haven’t a clue who or what constructed this.

Usually I attribute seeing these large bones with the fabled ancient giants. But since visiting the Sparkfly Swamp, I wonder if they are the remains of large dinosaurs.

Waterfalls are always an enjoyable sight in Tyria, and the roaring waters helped drown out the two asuras arguing nearby. I have no idea what their problem is, but I will investigate it further after today’s exploration.

The moment Elwin and I started entering the swamp, the view around us took on a purplish hue.

Looking back on our path, trees in the distance take on a strange appearance as the swamp fog distorts our view.

A large cluster of spiders make their home at the northern most part of the swamp. Their cone shaped nests remind me of similar ones found in Kryta.

What sort of swamp would this be without some frogs? They’re not the cute little green guys though; these agari are more like the heket variety found in Kourna. Not exactly the most intelligent creatures I’ve encountered, but they are worth opponents, and their colorful appearance is very charming.

While fighting these agari frogmen I spotted something golden shining in the distance. Upon further inspection it turned out to be the resting place of Saidra’s Ashes. She sacrificed her life during our fight against the White Mantle and the mursaat in the Southern Shiverpeaks. Back in Gadd’s Outpost, I recalled Shining Blade member Kaira saying she thought this was a good final resting place for Saidra.

With a quick look around the ashes, I can see why Kaira chose this spot. The view from the mound where the ashes lie is amazing. Here is another face similar to the one seen earlier, with a waterfall flowing from its mouth. Along with the floating islands, the contrast between the blue sky and the purple fog give this location a very dreamlike feeling.

Elwin and I ended the exploration by a campfire at an agari settlement. Speaking for myself, I know I had a lot on my mind about our upcoming battles and it was nice to just sit here and stare at the fire.

Prized Spoils: 6 golden items
Outposts: Gadd’s Encampment
Exits: Bloodstone Caves, Bogroot Growths
Friends: Elwin L.