Saturday, March 28, 2015

Guild Wars 2 Faolin & Caithe


If you have not yet completed Season 2 of the Living World in Guild Wars 2, I strongly advise you to not read further.

There are details here that if known ahead of time will dampen the impact of the story as you play through. The following discusses portions of the final two chapters, Seeds of Truth and Point of No Return.


Having finished the play-through several weeks ago, this story has been on my mind occasionally. It's the mark of excellent story-telling if you find yourself thinking about a story days and weeks later, right? I wonder at all the possibilities ahead. Then listening to others brings in a fresh perspective and gets the brain wheels turning. While listening to the GuildMag podcasts of January through February where they discussed parts of this same story, some new ideas came to mind.

Season 2 of Guild Wars Living World (these stories are analogous to downloadable content in other RPG games) revealed tragic details about Caithe & Faolin's history. Caithe's naivete coupled with Faolin's evil heart directly lead to the death of all members of a Centaur camp at Faolin & Caithe's hands, plus the murder of Wynne by Caithe (albeit at the behest of Wynne).

The way I saw it, Faolin started the fight with the Centaurs, attacking first. GuildMag's podcaster Kaysee talked about being angry with Caithe for being stupid. I too was angry with Caithe for going along. The player witnesses Caithe being dragged along into these horrible deeds by Faolin, and I found myself wishing that Caithe wasn't so blind and would stand up to Faolin, but I felt helpless and now I wonder if that's not perhaps the sensation the developers are trying to communicate: that Caithe felt helpless and trapped in this path by Faolin and didn't know how to find the inner strength to confront her.

And later in the story when Caithe killed Wynne, that night when I played it I was so mad - why didn't Caithe just kill Faolin??! Ugh. But as hubby pointed out, maybe she didn't do that because there was a risk of failure that Faolin would win the fight and still get the answers about the dragon. And as in my own mind, perhaps she also was in a helpless, powerless place mentally and didn't know what to do to stop this horrible sequence of events she was trapped in.

Caithe must be haunted by these awful memories and guilt and shame. I can't imagine she agrees with Faolin's thinking. It seems we have seen evidence to the contrary in previous stories.

Faolin is a dragon minion through and through! Her thinking is warped, her actions are warped, she functions on jealousy and paranoia and power-hunger. (A really bizarre tangent possibility sprang to mind - the Quaggan might be dragon minions of the deep sea dragon.)

This will be interesting to see how this all plays out in Heart of Thorns. GW2 seems to be exploring a nature-vs-nurture topic here with the Sylvari having all originated from the dragon, yet Ventari found and planted the seed of the pale tree, and although he died before he could meet the creatures, he left behind his guidance on the revered Ventari tablet, so his influence on these dragon spawn has been a positive one. Question: is his nurturing from beyond the grave enough to break the dragon's will?

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