Monday, March 23

Sign 'O' the Times

Over the weekend I found out that progress is not only a thing of 'the real world', but even in Telon the wheel of time has its impact on its inhabitants.

In my quest to become an official armorsmith I was required to make a few sample gloves to show my skills. To accomplish that I needed to harvest some tin. I had started looking for some nodes in the hills surrounding Tanvu, but the nodes were as sparse as rainy days in Khal. I delved into some books and maps at the library and found out there were several deposits to be found near Jalen's Crossing, north of the woodelf city of Ca'ial Brael. I had read the stories of Soeni and Aloria, and I was quite enthousiastic to see it all for myself. I made my way to the riftway in Tanvu and looked at the riftway map. I pointed to the Jalen's Crossing stone, and *poof*, I was there.

In the days of Soeni and Aloria this would have been impossible. Unless you would have visited a riftstone by yourself you would never be able to just pop up there. The riftway operators clearly made quite some progress. The whole world is lieing at my feet now. It definitely made the search for tin a lot easier for me. I managed to harvest all the required ore in no time. In stead of returning to Tanvu with the riftstone again I decided to travel south to Ca'ial Brael to work at the crafting station there where so many great memories and adventures were crafted.

But the city didn't shine as much as it used to. The woodelfs were still as obnixous as always, and Kanni is still looking over everybodies shoulder, but it felt like a city in decline. It took me a while to realize it, but nobody actually moved around anymore. I quickly finished crafting my gloves and made my way to Tawar Galan.

Tawar Galan used to be the gateway from Kojan to the rest of Telon. It was a bustling outpost and harbour. The crafting station of Tawar Galan was the premier spot for all crafters to learn the Kojani way. At the end of the pier you could find Bashum Gud, the husband of Coilla. I was looking forward to meet the grubby guy. But he was not there anymore! At first I thought I must have been on the wrong pier, but I ran around the whole place without finding him. So I started to ask the people what had happened.

"Progress", they said. Thanks to the innovation by the riftstone operators the teleport services by the harbormasters were no longer profitable. They struggled for a while to keep it in operation, but it was inevitable. They had to shutdown. And this had far reaching consequences. Tawar Galan was no longer the gateway to the world. An exodus of people left the once busy harbour and outpost a deserted backwater dump. Of course this had a ripple effect on already seclusive Ca'ial Brael as well. Perhaps the woodelves themselves don't mind it as much, but I felt a strange pang of loss.

My only way back to civilization was to run back all the way to Jalen's Crossing. Progress definitely has its price. I hope Mr. Gud found some work elsewhere.


  1. I'd have to check with Coilla but last I heard Bashum wasn't stationed at Tawar Galan ever. During those times there was this Kill on Site order against all inhabitants of Martok, including the Ogres. Besides, he used to toss people to Tawar Galan, from the piers of Martok Harbor on the Island of Martok.

    But with the recent Global Peace efforts that ensure the safety of any visitor to Martok or anywhere else in combination with the decline of the old shippinglanes and the Riftway in Wildgrowth Forest being closer to the island's capital than the harbor is I supsect he's not getting much traffic either.

    The poor lug is probably just standing there on his pier, staring out morosely across the waves. Maybe Coilla should drop by, just to cheer him up. The woodelven harbormasters of Tawar Galan that used to sort you out whereever you needed to go from there probably just went back to sorting out cargoes as was their original job.

    That pang of loss is something you'll get used to. With the Isle of Dawn seemingly full of life and vim, the come area's where you may spend your teens are a bit desolate by contrast. Traditionally the Kojani continent has always been the least populated coming in after Qalia and the beaten path that is Thestra.
    But 40% of the active population is over 45, 30% lives on the Isle of Dawn and the rest is spread out across the rest.
    These figures are all guestimates of coruse, based samples taken at mostly non-US-prime times with characters in various tiers.

  2. I know the populations is not the same as at launch. My story is not about the lack of players, but about how Tawar Galan has become a hard to reach corner in stead of a central hub. The rest is just fluff and prose. I just thought it interesting how the changes in the riftway system impacted the entire world.

    And you are right about Bashum being in Martok. But the dockmaster in Tawar Galan was definitely an Ogre as well. And the crafting taskmaster a Goblin. There is no KOS since it is a foreign visition area. Or at least it was that way. I tried to find out the name of the Tawar Galan dockmaster, but no luck.

  3. Ah, ok.
    I still think the NPC's (there were several, one for each destination) were called harbormasters, or at least the one sending you to Thestra was. Could very well be there was an Ogre doing the toss to Martok though.

    But yeah, the Riftway system got a revamp with mixed results. I think the current positioning is fairer towards house-pricing. They also seem to be better located for Adventuring tier hubs.
    But the result is that all traffic goes either directly between adventure hubs or main cities for their services.

    I remember having my Recall set to Lomnshir, the Horse Track there had everything you needed except a bank. There was a similar spot in northern Thestra that had a much beloved crafting spot at a tower on a hill. It was a very popular housing spot because of the nearby riftway.
    All those old "Service Hubs" have become remote out of the way spots now. Not sure I like that. The current riftway system is a great time-saver and the NPC's directing you to quest hubs are probably a great help to new players, but I wish they'd left in some of the old hardcoreness of having to first get their by foot. Heck! Even God of Causal Gaming, Guild Wars has that.