Guild Wars is a series of Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games. The first was published in 2005 and the second in 2012, with regular updates and expansions.
The stories take place in a heroic fantasy world, named Tyria .
It also has a Cataclysmic Big Bad – godlike dragons who have started to awaken and will destroy everything.
The game is polished, and a fair bit of worldbuilding accrued over 10+ years.
This profile represents a somewhat typical Thief class character.
It also covers the “Personal Story” saga – a long storyline that deploys throughout the pre-expansion game. Which means S P O I L E R S about the GW2 story !
There are some micro-adjustments in the early stages of the Personal Story’s narration. Mostly to reflect her (made-up, not seen in the game) specific Canthan cultural background.
This profile covers a lot of ground with combat techniques, magical stuff, espionage, wars and armies, zombie invasions, sunken realms, strange species, etc. etc..
We therefore broke it down into three articles, for those who can’t sit down for 40-ish minutes :
- Elegant Fox Spirit part 1. This here article.
- Elegant Fox Spirit part 2.1.
- Elegant Fox Spirit part 2.2.
For a full understanding, we suggest reading the Eir Stegalkin character profile before the Elegant Fox Spirit series. It’s not indispensable, but it explains useful stuff.
- Real Name: Elegant Fox Spirit.
- Other Aliases: Her name can be translated in numerous manners – Classy Ghost Vixen, Well-Mannered Little Nature Trickster Goddess, Elegant Ghost Fox, etc.. In the family she’s usually just called Húli (狐狸, meaning just “fox”).
- Known Relatives: Proud Standing Flower (sister, usually called Huā — 花 meaning just “flower”).
- Group Affiliation: Order of Whispers, agent of the Shining Blade.
- Base Of Operations: Divinity’s Reach.
- Height: 5’5” (1.65m). Weight: 125 lbs. (56 Kg.).
- Eyes: Light green. Hair: Jet black.
Powers & Abilities
Elegant Fox Spirit is an unusually fast and agile fighter. She specialises in mobility and offense.
She’s a minor master of the four forms associated with her family – Monkey Slays Ox, The Leaping Spider Arrives, The Cunning Steel Heron Mingles, and The Archer Salutes the Stars.
Elegant Fox Spirit is generally a competent and experienced agent and adventurer. She has some charisma to her and a good practical intelligence.
It’s a kind of magic
Like most elite Tyrian adventurers, Fox also uses magical techniques to enhance her field skills. Feats include :
- Rapid leaps used for mobility and dodging.
- Shadow magic techniques allowing her to disappear for a few seconds – usually to deliver an attack from stealth.
- Disappearing in this way can also be combined with a magical pulse of black light. This will briefly dazzle close onlookers.
- Her arrows can magically burst into a fireball or a poison cloud on impact.
- She can perform a sort of spinning motion that bounces back incoming arrows and other projectiles.
Fighting Fox is thus confusing. She vanishes and reappears all the time. She can flicker from opponent to opponent through darting leaps that can cover a dozen metres within a fraction of a second. She is always running and tumbling to avoid blows and attack from unexpected angles.
First fitting thing that comes to mind for 2012 — when GW2 was released — is one of my favs. KT Tunstall’s cover of fellow Scots Simple Mind’s Don’t you forget about me, for a charity album.
The original was high-energy 1980s power pop (and great), but this version is more mature and layered. Also, Ms. Tunstall is generally great.
Elegant Fox Spirit is from a small Canthan community that has been living in Divinity’s Reach for three generations. They’ve thus been there practically since the city was founded.
These people are the descendants of the crew of a huge fishing junk of the Dragon Empire. It was 300 persons strong and working in the Unending Ocean. The boat was caught in an enormous storm and eventually crashed on the other side, on the Tarnished Coast. About half the crew survived.
The survivors kept close ties with each other. They eventually moved to the enormous fortified city of Divinity’s Reach.
Sometimes called “Humanity’s last stand”, Divinity’s Reach is the largest city in Kryta. And Kryta is the last known Human kingdom after the wars with the Charr and other calamities.
Shelter from the storm
Though long since fluent in the Krytan language and culture, the Canthan refugees strenuously and privately maintain their own. These are not used in everyday life, but various rituals and traditions are still carried out in the old tongue. The children are also taught about these lost roots.
As Divinity’s Reach is inhabited by many refugees, this is not considered remarkable.
The Canthan folks, with their Asian features and skin tones, also look different from much of the population in Divinity’s Reach. But Krytans do not generally care about that either.
The Dragon Empire traditions still upheld by the survivors are the official ones. The crew actually came from a number of nations and cultures within the Dragon Empire. Therefore, the imperial customs are their main shared background.
They marry their children with each other at a young age. But this is a technical tradition meant to maintain genealogies. What the “married” people actually do and whom they live with is usually different from the marriages that exist on paper for tradition’s sake.
Enters the fox
Elegant Fox Spirit was born in 1302 AE. The labour went very badly. It was thought that mother and daughter would be lost. Cousins came to pray to the good fox spirits of their ancestors’ region, and the birth suddenly went much better. Both the mother and baby made it in good health.
The child was named after these spirits to thank them. This was done in a flattering but generic manner since Fox’s parents knew little about the traditions of that part of the Empire.
Four years later Fox’s mother became accidentally pregnant. Since none of the problems of the previous time showed up the pregnancy was warily conducted to term. Another daughter was born. That was the last one, as further accidents were avoided.
Whoah. I know kung-fu.
Among the unifying imperial traditions kept by the junk survivors were military training drills for boys from age 14 to 19. These are mostly about basic use of a spear and short bow. Since her family had but daughters, Fox trained despite being a girl. She showed an obvious talent with these techniques.
It was agreed to let her join a four-persons group among the descendants of the junk crew. This team kept the martial traditions of their peoples alive.
Part of Fox’s interest was caused by her violent life. Her parents were much poorer than most community members. They lived in a bad part of the Salma district. It was riddled with street gang activity – including bad seeds such as the Widowmakers gang.
Being stubborn and not much of a joiner, Fox did get in a remarkable amount of trouble. She also took care of the problems encountered by her kid sister Flower.
Being on the small martial arts team was a full-time job. These four — now five — persons were paid by the community to maintain this heritage. Fox was a voracious student and specialised in no less than four schools. She started with styles of knife-fighting using large, intimidating “daggers” (short swords, really) for street use.
Her kid sister Flower followed in her steps. However, the budget would not allow for a sixth person on the martial heritage team. So Flower instead used her training the enlist with the military of Divinity’s Reach.
She was specifically with the Seraph. These are a gendarmerieA military organisation doing law enforcement, and the largest military branch under the Queen’s control. Flower’s unit was the Falcon Company.
Fox being a proud Krytan patriot and a fierce supporter of Queen Jennah, the community eventually had her serve as their interface with the Shining Blade. This is the personal guard of the Queen, also serving as a counter-espionage arm. In this latter role, the Shining Blade has tight relationships with many communities within Divinity’s Reach.
Since Elegant Fox Spirit was already on the community’s payroll, that also saved money.
Furthermore, the young woman knew the streets of the Salma District well. By contrast, both the Seraph and the Shining Blade had difficulties monitoring what the gangs there were up to.
On her Majesty’s discreet service
Fox increasingly came to work with the Shining Blade as an unofficial agent. She eventually developed ties with Countess Anise , the Master Exemplar (commander) of the Shining Blade. 狐狸 was generally considered their most reliable associate in the Salma District, as well as an elite fighter when things there went wrong.
Over the years, Elegant Fox Spirit essentially became a one-person irregular police force for part of the Salma district. She nipped problems there in the bud.
However, in 1321 AE, Standing Proud Flower was lost. The entire Falcon Company had fallen in a centaur ambush.
We could be heroes
In 1325 AE, Elegant Fox Spirit was outside the massive walls of Divinity’s Reach to investigate a missing commercial shipment. While she was there the village of Shaemoor was attacked by a daring raid of centaurs. These had managed to bypass the fort usually protecting the village.
Fox was invaluable in helping the beleaguered Seraph get the civilians to the village’s inn. The soldiers fortified it against the raiders, since it had stone walls. Fox then rushed through the enemy raid to reach the Shaemoor Garrison and help with a counter-attack.
During this battle she fought at the side of Logan Thackeray , the famous Captain of the Seraphs. Together they killed the elementalist shaman leading the centaurs. This broke the attack and forced a retreat. Yet the centaurs now held the Scaver Plateau, taking them closer to Divinity’s Reach than ever before.
Thackeray was impressed by Fox. After the young woman was knocked out in the explosion of an earth elemental, he brought her personally to the field hospital. Captain Thackeray even mentioned her to the Queen, and his friend the Countess Anise told him that Fox was a Shining Blade associate.
The Seraph need help
Logan then heard rumours about the Widowmakers gang planning something big. He got in touch with Elegant Fox Spirit to learn more.
The investigation eventually led to Thackeray and Fox saving the orphanage in the Salma district. It and the hospital had been lit on fire by the Widowmakers. The gang’s goal was to keep the Seraph busy while they carrying on their mass poisoning plot.
Who was behind the plot wasn’t elucidated at this stage, but it had been thwarted.
However, Fox lost her childhood friend Quinn in the fracas. Quinn had betrayed the Widowmakers to help her. He was vengefully murdered by the gang.
Odds are she won’t live to see tomorrow
Out of friendship for Thackeray, the Countess Anise allowed him to enlist Elegant Fox Spirit for Seraph work. As long as the Shining Blade did not need her, that is.
The Captain thus approached Fox to investigate an old matter. Weak evidence had surfaced that the loss of Falcon Company had been a product of treason. Logan did not know that Fox’s sister had been a Falcon, though learning about it reinforced the burgeoning friendship between the two.
With Thackeray and his Seraphs’ help, Elegant Fox Spirit exposed the massacre of the Falcon Company as an old plot to discredit the Queen. Though the real backer of the plot couldn’t be determined, she killed the man directly responsible for leading the centaurs to ambush Falcon Company.
Fox also discovered that her sister had survived years of captivity by centaur raiders. She rescued Flower and brought her back to Divinity’s Reach.
Advocate of the Crown
These, and numerous exploits along the way — often to help local Seraph detachments — continued to build up Fox’s reputation with Thackeray and the Queen. Anise was less enthusiastic over losing a prized associate in the Salma District, but she did not interfere.
Elegant Fox Spirit had become a de facto agent of the Queen. Queen Jennah eventually elected to make Fox an Advocate (special agent) of the Crown.
Fox was then sent to the South. The presence of the Risen — the undead hordes of the Elder Dragon Zhaitan — had caused trouble for years. Large populations fleeing the undead’s northward progression had been ending up pell-mellIn a confused, rushed, or disorderly manner in Kryta. And now Risen forces had been spotted on the marches of mankind’s last kingdom.
Among her responsibilities as an Advocate, Fox was to liaise with the three Orders of Tyria. These are old international organisations dedicated to fighting the Elder Dragons and their armies.
Though Elegant Fox Spirit had no difficulties working with the Vigil (a chiefly military organisation) and the Priory (a more academic and research-oriented order), she became closest to Agent Ihan of the Orders of Whispers, specialising in subterfuge and sabotage.
Investigating, Elegant Fox Spirit heard about a haggard, insane ex-Seraph soldier who was apparently guiding the Risen. She started tracking that man down with Agent Ihan’s help.
The recap of the story continues in part 2.1..
Elegant Fox Spirit is in her mid-20s. She possesses an athletic, attractive physique and long hair. In real-world terms her features and skin tone would look local in many areas of China – particularly Hunan. There’s one glaring exception to that, though – her light green eyes.
Fox loves light shades of purple and purplish blue. It’s the signature colour of her wardrobe, and she’s almost always wearing articles in these colours.
Elegant Fox Spirit dresses like an experienced traveller. Long heavy coat with many pockets, big tough boots, tight leather trousers, weapons in quick-draw sheaths, a strap across the chest to help support the weight of her weapons belt, etc.
A very serious, very patriotic doer willing to do anything for Queen Jennah and her community.
She’s a professional, full-time quasi-police and agent with a surprising amount of experience for her age. She’s on duty 24/7 and has basically no life.
DC Heroes RPG
Elegant Fox Spirit
|Dex: 05||Str: 02||Bod: 04|
|Int: 05||Wil: 04||Min: 04|
|Inf: 04||Aur: 04||Spi: 05|
|Init: 018||HP: 020|
Flash: 05, Invisibility: 04, Jumping: 01, Reflection/defection: 05, Regeneration: 02
Bonuses and Limitations:
- Flash requires using Invisibility (-0) and has a Range of 0 APs.
- Invisibility is Fatiguing if used for more than one Phase.
- Reflection/Deflection only usable vs. physical projectiles, and is Fatiguing if used for more than one Phase.
Acrobatics: 05, Martial Artist: 06, Thief (Stealth): 04, Weaponry (Melee, missile): 06
Area Knowledge (Salma District), Credentials (Krytan government, Low ; Order of Whispers, Low ; Seraph, Medium), Language (an unspecified Canthan language), Lightning Reflexes, Schtick (Fast-Draw).
Shining Blade (Low), Countess Anise (Low), Logan Thackeray (Low), Street (Low), Junk survivors descendants community (High), Lionguard (Low).
MIA toward Patriotism.
Uphold the Queen.
Advocate of the Crown.
- Swords (x2) [BODY 04, Enhance (EV): 02 (cap is 06), Descriptor: Slashing, piercing].
- Short bow [BODY 02, Enhance (EV): 01 (cap is 03), Enhance (Range): 02 (cap is 04), Bomb: 05, Poison touch: 04, Ammo: 01, Recommended STR: 02, R#03, Limitation: Low Penetration, Descriptor: Piercing, Bonuses:
- Poison touch has a Range and a 1 AP Area of Effect.
- Bomb has a Range.
- Projectile Weapons has Multi-Attack 1].
Guild Wars 2 has a much more video-gamey gameplay than early MMOs such as Everquest, who were more based on tabletop RPGs. It owes as much to beat ’em up games such Final Fight than to Dungeons and Dragons, to take seminal examples.
The pace (abilities commonly last but five seconds) and the video game logic such as cooldowns, boons and conditions, combos, weapon switches, the arsenal of powers and the ability to quickly change those, the energy and initiative bar, etc. do not adapt well outside of a video game context.
Thus the stats above are very streamlined and represents key abilities in a less video-gamish way. And, as usual, all the little bits of equipment providing abstract bonuses are abstracted out.
See also our FAQ for discussions about MMO adaptations.
Source of Character: Inspired by a Guild Wars II player character. Paintings from the The Art of Guild Wars 2.
Writeup completed on the 28th of May, 2013.