The D. Murphy Chronicles: The Dawn of a New Dwayne

63 Scion 1331 AE

Out of the pan, into the fire, they say. It wasn’t but a moment after I stepped through the gates of Divinity’s Reach when I heard the screams of villagers down the hill. My eyes hadn’t even fully adjusted to the blaring sun beyond the city walls… “Well, no time like the present to put Gulivar’s gear to the test!”, I thought to myself before charging headlong down the hill to investigate the commotion. Along the way I had a chuckle, remembering the silly old man’s stories and his insistence that he owes his life to my act of kindness. The truth is… he saved me and I can’t help but feel that now it’s time for me to live up to my own potential. In a way, to carry on Gulivar’s story by living the life he passed on to me…

It was about that moment when my train of thought was derailed by the thunder of hooves to my left. I turned, expecting to see the Seraph charging on horseback, but instead I was abruptly tackled to the ground by Mrs. Hemmingsworth, the Baker’s wife. Lovely lady, built like a four ox cart , with a demeanor as sweet as pie, unless she’s crossed. Turns out a band of Centaur had decided to raid the village and she wasn’t going to have any of that nonesense. Bravely and without a second thought, she had taken to the street with her trusty cast iron frying pan, wearing a look so stern as to cower even the most brash of adventurers. After rescuing my fool self from what most surely would have been a life threatening trampling, she dusted her self off, smiled, and charged on around the corner with a guttural roar. What an inspiration!

Now I have no misgivings with the Centaur, or any other free peoples, but I definitely don’t take kindly to violence. “Surely a peaceful arrangement could be made?”, I thought as I adjusted my ill-fitting armor and made my way further into the fray. I’m no pacifistic, but… but after taking Jordan’s life to save Gulivar from the evil that overcome my old friend, I… I can’t! Every life is a gift, a gift that is not mine to revoke, and by Dwayna’s light, I will fight to bring peace without becoming the very evil I wish was not part of this beautiful world. So when I reached the inn and spoke with Sergeant Walters, I offered to help defend the garrison in the hopes that I could help administrate a diplomatic solution to the crisis. I did have pretty good luck handling disputes between the other waifs in The Reach.

Long story short? I should have brought Mrs. Hemmingsworth with me, for either her hefty shoulder or her terror inducing display of frying pan swashbucklery. That Centaur Captain didn’t so much as flinch as he trampled over me when I attempted to parlay with him on the bridge to the keep. Shortly after I came to, I decided it would be a good time to put on the wacky helmet that Gulivar so kindly gave me. Unfortunately, the dutiful Seraph who revived me pointed down into muck below the bridge and smiled, eyebrows raised. No helmet it was! Throwing caution to the wind, and boy was it windy, I rushed toward a conjured monstrosity which looked like it was making to hurl a farm’s worth of machinery at the keep. Yup, two giant magical hands had sprung from the earth in the time I laid face down on the bridge. Finally, something I could smack with my new (old… very, very old…) mace!

“Something… something.. explode!”, and a bright flash of light is all I remember after that. Waking up in respite a few days later was a humbling experience to say the least, but I learned some valuable lessons. Firstly, helmets are good – wear the helmet! Secondly, there’s a world of opportunity beyond the walls of the great city – I should have left years ago! Why did I spend my youth and indeed, much of my early life, unaware that there was more than living day to day off scraps? People need help, they want help, and not only are they willing to pay for my hard work, they’ll thank me for my time! When Gulivar told me of his adventures that brought him from Elona to my dusty alley, I really didn’t believe him, because it all seemed so detached from my own experiences. But, now I see that all I needed was an opportunity and just a few resources to find a direction, a start…

– Dwayne Murphy

About Levels 1 – 10

Wow, is the “murder hobo” thing ever true about MMOs! When you’re actively trying not to damage, let alone kill, humaniod NPCs it’s a little shocking to watch other players bounce around gleefully murdering everyone in sight. What else becomes quickly obvious is that games such as Guild Wars 2, are designed with indiscriminate killing in mind. And I guess that’s fine, disturbing as it may be as a general concept, because they are games after all. In any case, by the time I reached level 9 I realized that no amount of stealthy or smart play will allow me to achieve “map completion” without having to murder a few dozen people along the way. Given that goes against spirit of the challenge (and Dwayne’s morals), I modified some of the post-level-80 goals so that I can reach them without having to make any exceptions.

Mr. Murphy is all setup with some extra bags I had kicking around and access to the following list of items that were “given to him by his old-man friend” Gulivar: A magic carpet, a suit of old armor, a worn out mace, a spectral glider, and a magical token which summons a freakin’ mystical jackal that is trained to be a mount! And if that wasn’t enough, Gulivar even gave him 20 gold worth of coins, along with a mandate to go out and live a life that would rival his own astounding story. For me, the player, that essentially means wandering the world trying explore as much as possible without getting into too much trouble along the way.

So far it has been pretty easy to complete hearts (quests) in Queensdale, though I did have the be sneaky when destroying Centuar supplies, because the Centaurs seemed to very much insist upon standing within the swing of my weapon. I’m pretty sure that is going to be the biggest difficulty with this challenge, because, as I said, the game seems to be designed with the assumption that folks will just kill anything that moves. Indeed, there are account wide achievements for doing that very thing!

And that brings me to my other important observation: One of the most awesome aspects of GW2, how so many things are conveniently account bound rather than character bound, also makes it difficult to track the achievements of a single character. It’s even difficult to set boundaries or limitations for particular characters, such as “only has X gold” or “can do X after completing Y achievement”. I could still set those types of limitations and track them externally from the game (in a book or a text file), but really that’s more work than I want to put into it. I mean, it’s a challenge I’m doing for my own entertainment, so… I think it’s OK for it to be a little lazy.

As of now, I am not sure where Dwayne will lead me. Maybe he’ll make his way to Hoelbrak to see if he can find out what happened to that nice Norn girl he met at a fair when he as a boy. What was her name again? Leona? I guess we’ll find out, won’t we!

The D. Murphy Chronicles (TDMC) is a fan fiction series based upon my adventures in Guild Wars 2, an online role-playing computer game.
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