Something I noticed today rereading Ghosts of Ascalon: when General Soulkeeper is telling the story of the founding of the Vigil, she gives a lengthy and detailed exposition on the killing of her warsiblings, but has only this to say about what actually led her to found the Vigil:
I became a gladium, a charr without a warband, and refused any aid in my darkness. At last, with the help of a few unlikely allies, I came to myself and knew what had to be done.
“A few unlikely allies”? Sounds like there’s a tale to be told there. Specifically, a rousing tale of disparate races learning to put their differences aside to fight a greater evil, and learning something about themselves on the way. Sounds almost like a Guild Wars novel. I’m sure we’ll hear more of it in the future
But who are these unlikely allies? Well, Laranthir of the Wild is a safe bet. And according to Elisabet Kardijn, Warmaster Efut, Lord Rodrigo (who?), and Jhavi Jorasdottir are all leaders of the Vigil as well as Almorra and Laranthir, so they’re all in as well.
Anyone else? Well, there’s the Canthan Shu Arai and the tengu Fuji Shadowbane, both of whom are, like all the above NPC’s, veteran-ranked, are inside the Vigil Headquarters, and are “characters” in the sense that they don’t wear Vigil uniforms and don’t have “traditional” backgrounds—as in, their may be more to their stories. These last two are more tenuous, but don’t discount them just yet.
My question is this: what else do we know about these characters? I suspect that like the story of Trahearne and Sayeh al’Rajihd, there’s just not enough information available yet to piece together the full truth about how this group of allies came together, but it doesn’t hurt to make enquiries.
I’ll start: the character that intrigues me the most is Lord Rodrigo. He is a human noble who is apparently in occasional contact with the Krytan Queen Jennah, and yet he hails from a place called Cormoch. Where is Cormoch? Well, we don’t really know, because it’s never been mentioned by anyone else in a Guild Wars game—ever. I guess it could be some obscure lordship somewhere in Kryta, but I’m going to suggest something a little more interesting.
Who is, to my memory at least, the only other NPC with a hispanic-inspired name such as Rodrigo? Why, it’s our favourite Order of Whispers Preceptor Doern Velazquez! And where is he from? Well, it’s not Kryta, that’s for sure—he barely seems aware that such a place exists (which is pretty bad form for a Precptor if you ask me, but whatever). The player character can observe that he doesn’t look Elonian, and “Velazquez” hardly seems like a Canthan name, so I’m going to propose that the good Preceptor, like Rodrigo, is a son of Cormoch, wherever that may be. And I’m going to go a step further, and propose that Cormoch was the “fourth continent”, the planned setting of the cancelled Guild Wars Utopia.
What evidence do I have for this last proposal? Well, not much, if I’m honest. Only that Utopia was originally to take aesthetic inspiration from Aztec architecture and culture, in the same way that Factions was designed with a blend of Asiatic cultures in mind, and Nightfall had a North African feel to it. A Spanish-inspired human culture would not be out of place on such a continent. Furthermore, many of the assets from Utopia were later used in the Tarnished Coast in Eye of the North, which is where a lot of the asuran buildings good their look and feel, and ArenaNet have been reluctant to talk much about Utopia in case some of the ideas make it into future games. I think we might just have found what happened to those ideas.