Greetings and well met noble Rangers! It is my pleasure and special honor to welcome you to Companions’ Crossing! I am Julian Evenfeather, Keeper of the Crossing and Master of Companions. In the days, weeks, and months ahead, I will be your guide and captain to help you gain knowledge and wisdom in the expertise of the Ranger profession in Guild Wars and Guild Wars 2.
Pull up a tree stump and gather to The Ranger’s Table, because the first round of drinks are on the house!
Our first story begins as I am traveling with a pair of twin sylvari to what is known as the Dreamer’s Terrace to witness a marvelous event! As we traverse the long winding trail through Caledon Forest, allow me a moment to introduce myself with a brief glimpse into ‘my story,’ and tell you what Companion’s Crossing is all about.
Before Guild Wars, I lived in Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas where my first adventures in MMOs began with Asheron’s Call. My journey through Tyria began during Wintersday (Christmas) in 2006. Since then I have traveled and lived in states from Texas to Colorado and crossed the vast Pacific to visit New Zealand. As this Year of the Dragon dawned, I fulfilled my personal quest to move to the Seattle area to start a new life in beautiful northwest Washington state.
Throughout this journey I delved into many other MMOs, but none could keep my attention the way Guild Wars has. Thus, with each return to the rich and ever-evolving world of Tyria, it was like coming home. For it was Tyria (and ArenaNet) and my passion for Rangers and Animal Companions that inspired me to set out on this journey five and a half years ago.
What is The Crossing?
Companions’ Crossing is a unique place. The Crossing is a woodland nook surrounded by all manner of trees, flowers, and plants. A lodge stands at the center of this hidden sanctuary, and as its name entails, Companions’ Crossing is inhabited by dozens of terrestrial, amphibious, and aquatic animals and creatures from Tyria’s past and present. The lodge is part tavern, part stable.
The tavern, known as “The Ranger’s Table”, provides room and boarding for weary travelers while the stable provides similar provisions for a Ranger’s companions. In another corner of The Crossing is a training ground geared with weapons and targets for both Ranger and beast to refine their combative and defensive skills.
The Crossing is not a location that can be found on any map in Tyria. One Asuran Ranger from the College of Synergetics theorized that Companion’s Crossing and The Ranger’s Table is a constantly moving, energetic mass of folded space/time appearing and disappearing at chaotic intervals within the Eternal Alchemy. (Whatever that means.) Those who stumble into The Crossing (sober or not) are quite often caught unaware that they have been mystically transported here. In most cases, it happens when you least expect it, but it is known to occur when one passes through an entry or exit. You may open a door to the next room, walk under an archway, explore the backside of the upstairs wardrobe, or perhaps wander off and become lost in a forest, only to find yourself in The Crossing. In any case, whatever gate, doorway, or threshold you passed through to make your way here, it means one thing. You are a Ranger and you are in good company when you sit at The Ranger’s Table.
The Heart of a Ranger, The Devotion of a Companion
There are many aspects about the Ranger that make us stand out from the other professions. The most notable is the Ranger/Companion dynamic duo. As Rangers, we take great heart in all that we do. We climb the highest mountains and swim though the deepest underwater caverns. By leaps and bounds, we are the first to map the world. The first pioneers. The first explorers. The great hunters.
We are agile and cunning warriors. We are one with the spiritual elements of our natural environment, using it to hide in plain sight. We engineer our own traps, creating the illusion that our foes have the upper hand. We are protectors of the meek and guardians of the earth, the trees, rivers and streams. We heed the call of the wild to train faithful companions to fight by our side in battle. After the herald of victory, we comfort our companions and heal as one, that we might stave off the shroud of death for another day.
Being a Ranger is a challenge of the heart and spirit. Mastering Companions is a devotion of love and passion. I now pass this challenge on to you dear friends to become a Ranger and join me on this journey to continue the traditions of marksmanship that we pass down from our humble beginnings. And speaking of beginnings, it appears we have arrived.
The story that I am covering today is the birth of a newborn Sylvari sapling. To my understanding, it is scheduled to happen sometime today.
Sister Sapling: “As we mentioned before, Sylvari are born from the Pale Tree.” She gestures to a golden fruit pod that organically expands and retracts.
Julian Evenfeather: “So… how long before this one blossoms? A few hours?”
Brother Sapling: “Oh no!” He looks closer at the pod. “Judging by the ripeness of the fruit, it could be a few more days.”
Sister Sapling: She nods in agreement with her brother. “It could even be a few weeks.”
Sister Sapling: “Just wait right here and make sure you give her these clothes.”
Brother Sapling: “No, no, no. It’s going to be a boy.”
Sister Sapling: “It’s a girl!”
Julian: “Hold on a minute. If this is going to take a few more weeks, I could come back.”
Brother Sapling: “I thought you wanted to see how Sylvari were born?”
Julian: “I do, but I didn’t think it would take this long.”
Brother Sapling: “The length of time for newborn Sylvari to emerge from The Dream varies from sapling to sapling.”
Sister Sapling: “Be patient noble Ranger. She will be here before you know it.”
To Be Continued…
The countdown for Guild Wars 2 Headstart and Final Release continues, but while we wait to create our Rangers, (and while I am on pod-sitting duty), I encourage you to share your thoughts about our new Ranger’s Profession column. Do you think the newborn sylvari will be a girl or a boy? This is my first article and I sincerely hope you have enjoyed reading it. I invite you to come back next week for the continuation of Companions’ Crossing! Have a great week!
A Few Hours Later…
A sylvari runs up to Julian (still sitting by the fruit pod) offering a written letter with an enclosed picture.
The letter reads:
Dear Mr. Evenfeather. I am in ‘dire’ need of your Beastmastery skills.
A very special thanks to the following Rangers of Guild Wars for help me put this picture together:
Gilthor The Savage from Champion Of The Gods, Deadly Girl Three from Tuns Tavern, Caius Il Ronin Nero from Via Nocturna, Celest Archer from Murda Squad, Decentful Devil from The Guild Wars Two Legacy, Stead It Up and Stealth Deadline from Fighting Crime With Sailor [Moon]
-  Companions’ Crossing and “The Ranger’s Table” is a dedication to a series of Star Trek novels titled, The Captain’s Table.
-  The upstairs wardrobe is a reference to The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe.