Jul 132013
 

With the news of the Zephyr Sanctum’s arrival, Captain Magnus told Ellen Kiel to secure a trade agreement with them. If successful, she’d land a spot on the Captain’s Council. No one has ever convinced the Zephyrites to trade with Lion’s Arch before. Kiel’s already difficult task was made harder, by another rival for the Captain’s Council seat; Evon Gnashblade, the leader of the Black Lion Company.

As I waited to board the ship, a golem named LOR-748 Field Reporter gave me more information. I learned that the Zephyrites were said to be human descendants of Canthans or Elonians. Their flying ship, the Zephyr Sanctum, rarely docks to trade or sometimes host treaty talks. They are governed by three aspect masters (sun, wind, lightning) and the Master of Balance who epitomizes all three.

Boarding a ship on Lion’s Arch, I set off to visit the Zephyr Sanctum on the Labyrinthine Cliffs. For reference, the cliffs are located between Mount Maelstrom, and what was once the dwarven outpost of  Marhan’s Grotto.

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Landing at my destination, I noticed all of the bazaar stalls placed at our dock. Merchants sold produce in bulk, and others offered to sell a Zephyr Sanctum supply box in exchange for ore, wood, and fabrics.

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Quartz crystal formations were found throughout the bazaar. Their properties (when refined) are said to grant the wearer a sense of balance. Perhaps the armor and weapons made with it, enhance a bit of all my abilities.

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Looking at the natural formations of the land, I found cliff dwellings. They don’t appear to be inhabited, and I know this portion of Tyria used to be covered in snow. I wonder when they were built, and who lived here.

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The remains of a Pact or Aetherblade skyship lay on an island beneath the Zephyr Sanctum. Since the Labyrinthine Cliffs are not near any Pact objectives in Orr, perhaps this is an Aetherblade skyship. It’s not clear what they were doing here, or if they have any secret bases nearby.

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Moving on, I decided it was time to try out the Zephyrite’s new way to move around. The Sun Adept showed me how to travel as a beam of light through a powerful waterfall. Learning these new techniques is essential to reach the top of the Labyrinthine Cliffs and visit the Zephyr Sanctum.

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Next, the Wind Adept introduced me to a crystal that would allow me to jump to great heights with the power of air.

These aspects of nature are the veins of magic that course through our world, and the Zephyrites have found a way to tap into them.

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Rising above to the next section of the cliffs, there is a bar that also hosts a strange new game: Belcher’s Bluff. You challenge an opponent in a drinking completion with the toxic raw omnomberry juice. The winner is determined by whoever lasts the longest. The trick to this game is to bluff, and not be caught my your opponent.

This was explained to me by Poyaqui, “The Grand Maser of Om” who considers himself the champion of this game. He would not even let me challenge him to a game until I have conquered the other masters around Tyria.

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The aspect of Lightning allows one to leap across to reach otherwise inaccessible areas. In addition to this, the Zephyrites have built anchors that automatically pull you towards them when you use an Aspect of Lightning.

The Lightning Adept told me that they found this power “amid the clouds”. If I had any further questions, they would all be answered at the sanctum itself.

bfw-lightning adept


At the top of the Labyrinthine Cliffs, I found Ellen Kiel and Evon Gnashblade mingling with the Zephyrites. However the “star attraction” was Kookoochoo the Incredulous’ show. His jokes were terrible, but his fire-breathing was entertaining and he even got an audience participant to do the magic trick as well.

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I noticed that after supplies were brought from the docks to the kite baskets at the top, Aetherblades would descend and attack us.

Earlier I found one of their airships, wrecked on an island below. It’s possible that they too heard about the sanctum’s arrival and came to loot the Zephyrites. It’s still puzzling that we don’t know where their main base of operations is. After we infiltrated their retreat, arrested Mai Trin and located a second base, the Aetherblades have yet to be eradicated.

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Due to the size of the Zephyr Sanctum, you need to look at it from different angles to see the whole vessel.

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Looking over it’s design, they’ve used a lot of bamboo as well as other natural resources to craft the sanctum. It’s not cutting-edge asura technology, but it suit’s the Zephyrite’s needs.

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On board they have several primitive ballistas, which I can only assume is their ship’s main firepower.

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Talking to the inhabitants, I learned that the Zephyr Sanctum was founded by the dwarves before Orr rose. With the inevitable demise of the dwarves, humans inherited the sanctum.

At the back of the ship, I overheard an adult Zephyrite teaching children about the dragon Glint. She was speaking about her recent passing, and of Eir Stegalkin as a hero.

Then as I walked around, several different Zephyrites sang a dulcet song that mourned Glint. She appears to have given them guidance at some point. Otherwise I don’t know why they would be mentioning her so much. 250 years ago, Glint commanded a group of dwarves known as the Brotherhood of the Dragon. Perhaps this ties into the dwarven history with the Zephyr Sanctum.

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There’s a lot on my mind to think about, and I’m hoping that more will be revealed as the Zephyrite people open up to us. I searched the area and found more sky crystals, which they have placed all around as a scavenger hunt. To reach them, you need to harness the aspects of nature and have a keen eye to find 40 for a prize.

bfw-zephyr crystal


At the top of a scaffolding on the sanctum, lay a pair of diving goggles. High above the clouds, looking down I could barely see where the shoreline and the deep waters were. The challenge and the thrill of diving through the clouds into the water gave me the courage to jump.

bfw-zephyr goggles1

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With a brief introduction to the three aspects of nature, the Zephyrites challenged visitors to try out their game: Sanctum Sprint. It’s a race with hurdles that can only be avoided by using their aspects to overcome it. Along the way, you can pick up temporary skills that hurt other players and can potentially stun them mid-air, causing them to miss jumps and fall behind.

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Taking a break from bartering and talking to the Zephyrites, I decided to take the quartz I mined and refine it for use. It’s useless before charging it at places of power. So I dropped by Queensdale to commune with the remnant of earthen magic on the Scaver Plateau. The spot has a special meaning for me, because this is where I defended Shaemoor against the modniir shaman’s colossal earth elemental.

bfw-charging quartz


On a side note, I visited Braham in Cragstead and walked in on an unfortunate conversation. Otilla doesn’t see him going anywhere in life, and has taken a liking to Ebbe the merchant. In other words, he got dumped. If he gives up on trying to win her affection, perhaps Braham will leave Cragstead to adventure and gain more glory.

However Rox is doing well. She still continues to train Frostbite and working to pass tests for Rytlock’s warband.

bfw-braham otilla