After the last Living Story update, ArenaNet also released what looks to be three short stories about three characters who have played significant parts in our journey. This series is being called All or Nothing: Requiem and seems to be filling in some of the narrative which they haven’t been able to provide directly in game. While the first story focused on events in the past, these seem to be bridging the gap between Episode 5 and Episode 6. Let’s look at the story we’ve already gotten and speculate a bit about what the next two stories might bring. I will reference many past story elements as well so if you aren’t all caught up there are some spoilers.
The first story released was Rytlock and gave a lot of information about his history and why he is the Charr he is. From his youth as a runt who was picked on and pushed down over and over, to his young adult life where even his leaders looked down on him. Rytlock was consistently condescended to. It wasn’t until after he obtained Sohothin that his legend started growing. It was as if stealing the sword gave him a confidence he never had before. It is a magical flaming sword. After all; there’s a reason so many people focus on it even if they don’t know the history of the sword itself.
So, it makes sense why Rytlock jumped into a magical mist hole to who knows where after Sohothin disappeared. Everything he ever obtained or had accomplished was built on that sword. This is also why he agreed to free Balthazar in exchange for the blade being reignited. He had probably internalized some feelings of needing the sword that he was nothing without it. When someone believes every good thing they have done is tied directly to an object, there’s nothing which will stop them from holding onto the thing they need. It’s also important he then leaves Sohothin at Aurene’s body without realizing he did it.
These moments of reflection, where he thinks about his past failures, even while having Sohothin, are essential. It leads him not only to understand why the commander and Caithe are upset about a dragon dying but also reminds him of exactly why this fight is worth fighting. And that he doesn’t need the sword to be strong and keep fighting. This is a pivotal moment for Rytlock and probably will change how he behaves moving forward. Although these moments seem like they will be important for Rytlock as a character, the fact they were self-reflection is probably a big reason why they weren't in the game in the first place.
With such pivotal reflection and resounding realizations made by Rytlock in this story, I start to wonder what it means for Caithe and Zafirah (who I’m almost certain is the other silhouette we see).
On the one hand, we know a lot about Caithe’s past and pivotal moments where she chose to do what she thought was the right course of action even though it meant doing a terrible thing. There’s not a whole lot of history there for us to find out about still after all the Sylvari were only around for 23 years before Guild Wars 2 starts. There might be things there we don’t know, but I must imagine most of Caithe’s story will focus on her relationship with Aurene and her branding. It just seems more immediately relevant.
Zafirah is an entirely different case though. She was only really introduced in Episode 4 (although she appeared briefly at the end of the Path of Fire story) and our interactions with her have been relatively minimal. As a result, there’s not a whole lot we know about her other than she loved Balthazar and was angry about his downfall. There’s a lot of potential room to cover in her story. Not the least of which is her apparent inclusion in this line up of stories is fascinating.
During Episode 4 it seemed like she was somehow crucial to defeating Kralkatorrik. The obvious answer is we needed the greatsword to lure Kralk to us and get a tracker on him, but I always felt there was more to her role. It felt like it was also pivotal she joins us and chooses to fight with us, though I have no idea why. Her story might give us some real clues as to why she’s important and matters. I wouldn’t expect anything action wise to happen but rather the foundations to be laid for what comes next. While the importance of Caithe and Rytlock are unquestionable, Zafirah’s (possible) inclusion is interesting. I’m anxious to see what her story covers.
Those are my general thoughts about what I think we can expect to see with the continuing stories, where do you all think these stories will go? If you don’t think Caithe and Zafirah are the next stories who do you think the silhouettes are?