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Thread: Cantha in GW2

  1. #11
    We dont have much infomation on Cantha after the Emperors successor rose to the throne. We know that he spent millions of gold Building and Arming his army which then went and conquered and forcibly ended the war between the Luxons and Kurzicks.

    We learnt through the Booklet that arrived with EOTN that life was returning to both there homelands, so I'm guessing that after 250 years life will now have completely returned.(This also goes with the fact Anet has drastically changed the looks of the 2 other continents.)

    The Emperor who has taken Cantha Usoku, is described as a Tryannical and Fierce. He also drove out everything non-human and acts more of a modern day dictator than an emperor. (It can be assumed there will be underground movements with creatures such as Tengu within them.)

    I am going to guess Cantha if it is still Isolated seeing how the rising of Orr ended the links with it, will be a modernised country where on the surface all looks happy yet on the inside all is the exact opposite.

  2. #12
    That's actually a topic that's been bugging me a while. Simple reason: my main is Canthan. She's the one I play most of the time, grinding all titles and other crap. Now... if Usoku pulls an Ieyasu (see Tokugawa Ieyasu, the first Tokugawa shogun who unified Japan -third unifier- and isolated it), then Cantha will be cut off... now, how would that work for my main? Ok, all descendants inherit some stuff from her (how, we'll see in the future), so far so good. But... the question for me is: Cantha being isolated works for non-Canthan characters right now. How will it work for us Canthans? Castaways, washed ashore... always makes me cringe a little, since it's not really original. LOST in Tyria...

    Though...

    Forgive me, I'm rambling, and I'm drunk.

    If Usoku unifies the country, how does he do that really? We know he builds an army, defeats the Luxons and Kurzicks, etc. Why and how? Two options, he's a "good" guy, which I, frankly, don't see happening. Second option: afflicted creatures, or somehow connected to the Shiro Incident. Ok, we killed Shiro, but... you never know... Yes, we killed Shiro, but that doesn't mean troubles are over.

    Who knows... for all we know Usoku could be an afflicted himself! And he takes over the continent... Heroes of Cantha! Unite! Throw the bugger out! Hmm, let's kill him instead. Though, that would make him less Ieyasu but more Nobunaga...

  3. #13
    About the descendant thing, I think ANet will pull an EN (that is, treat all players as Tyrian origin).

    Lore wise, how the whole Cantha incedent seems to me to be like would be:

    1. Usoku spends all/most of the Empire's money on the military (done many times in the past).

    2. Usoku attacks Luxons and Kurzicks and forces them to "kiss and make up" (for lack of a better term) because the fighting has become too constant and lasted too long (he gets sick of it?).

    3. He kicks out all non-humans to remove all "racism" in the country. (As there are constant fighting in Factions between Tengu and Canthans, it's rather apparent that humans still hate Tengu and the Sensali still hate humans obviously). This could be done either by force (which the Movement of the World makes it sound like), or it can be done diplomatically (maybe the Angchu agreed to leave to Tyria or something to avoid any more senseless fighting? I would prefer that, but with the Tengu's behavior (them being VERY territorial), I don't see that happening).

    That's all mentioned in the Movement of the World (with a possible way/reason of doing some things :P). But as for the question of "how does Cantha change/get affected by the events of Factions?" I would have to say that the ministry is still useless until Usoku, there are still too many poor. Before Usoku, the Kurzicks and Luxons saw a rise in population (from people fleeing the plague).

    In all simplicity, it seems to me that Cantha recovers well and Isolates itself from the rest of the world, becoming even more of a GW Japan.

    In GW2, Cantha will be bombing Orr with flying machines in the shape of dragons :). (Yes, that is a WWII reference for those who couldn't figure that out right away)

  4. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by kyln View Post
    Has there been any real consideration of possible Lore consequences to the whole "Empire of the Dragon" notion? Is this a title only, does it refer to Kuunavang only, or are there possible connections somewhere to the ancient dragons? If there is an ancient connection, it might have some bearing on how we find the state of the empire and it's self definition once the ancient dragons awake.
    I found it interesting that at the Dragon Festival, Kisu does not mention Kuunavang by name in his speech. He does mention 'the dragon' a few times. I find it odd that since we do have Kuunavang's name that he does not refer directly to it, instead of generically (or because ancient dragons don't give out their names on a whim). All speculation, but I remember reading it while at the festival and wondering this very same thing.

    I don't think Usoku can 'politely' convince the Luxons and Kurzicks to give up their culture and habitual fighting. Note that to do this, he has to go against the treaty that gave the Luxons and Kurzicks their somewhat independant status as vassals, I think they would resent any reinterpretation. I don't think he can do this and not have bloodshed. Heck, he may even want rebellion as an excuse to kill leaders and dispose of the very things that make Luxons and Kurzicks unique; destroying the Gyala Hatchery or the Eternal Grove for starters.

    First theory is that Usoku simply wants the Kurzick and Luxon resources for the people of Kaineng city. He's under economic and population pressure and by this time the lands of the Jade Sea and Echovald start to be habitable by 'normal' people due to Abaddon's powers fading away. In this theory, Usoku is simply a warlord who takes what he wants and is motivated by simple power, control and greed.

    My second theory is that a threat has arrived in Cantha that is so terrifying that Usoku NEEDS to have a strong and united empire. It may be that Usoku is not an evil, xenophobic dictator, but someone who sees what is about to happen and is wisely making preparations. It may be that the Seers so prominent in the Factions storyline know what's coming with the dragons and the undead and all. Isolation may be one of the strategies to protect themselves. Usoku knows that they cannot afford to have the distraction of the Kurzick and Luxon bickerfest, or enemies within the empire (Tengu and others), so he sets about disposing of them for the greater good.

  5. #15
    I have some characters that are Canthan as well.

    For starters, it's possible that your Canthan character chose to live in Tyria instead of Cantha.

    In that vein, even if they lived and died in Cantha, their children might have relocated. Maybe they relocated when they saw that Cantha was going to war with its vassal nations.

    The castaway theory works, too.

    Maybe eventually Cantha will open up for trade again - it happened in the past. The leaders will change and it can happen again.

    I doubt that the Tengu would leave Cantha willingly. Perhaps the emperor was racist himself. Togo and Kisu seemed like pretty open-minded people when it came to racial matters - Togo ended the Tengu wars, for example. They tried to end racism through peace.

    Perhaps Usoku is nowhere near as accepting and doesn't want Tengu plaguing his country. He's going to end racism by making sure Cantha is populated by one race only.

  6. #16
    I suspect that Emperor Usoku may have actually gone on the offensive pre-emptively.

    Following the Affliction, the Kurzick theocrats and Luxon elders got a closer look at Cantha than they had in generations, maybe centuries. I suspect that they actually saw how weak the imperial government had become, being forced to employ foreign mercenaries from Tyria and accept Elonian military aid from the Sunspears just to try to keep control of Kaineng during the Affliction.

    The Luxon and the Kurzick nations are each probably approaching parity with the strength of Cantha by the end of the Affliction.

    I suspect Cantha fared far worse than its vassals during the plague because it not only suffered the Affliction for longer, but the epidemic was compounded by starvation from the failure of Shing Jea crops and foreign imports, and from the fires which broke out all over the wooden city as fighting raged throughout. The worst blaze can be seen in Nahpui Quarter as a huge section of the city burns down while battles rage among the flames between imperial and bandit forces.

    The Kurzicks and Luxons both had to face the Affliction for a shorter amount of time and then didn't lose nearly as much infrastructure. The stone cities of the Kurzicks couldn't burn, even if the whole population became Afflicted, while the Luxons don't actually have much in the way of infrastructure to lose, other than the lives of their warriors, and that's the very foundation of their culture anyway.

    Thus, the survivors of the vassals could pick up the pieces after the Affliction much more quickly than the grievously injured, slow-reacting bureaucracy in Cantha.

    After Kisu's death, Usoku may have seen the writing on the wall, that his vassal peoples were ready and willing to break all ties with the empire, if not even seize some ethnic Canthan territory for themselves, which they would probably have been strong enough to accomplish. If Usoku is paranoid enough, as so many rulers who live through hard times are, he may start seeing the seeds of vassal rebellion in every minor engagement which breaks out along the Kurzick/Luxon border.

    Furthermore, in order to react quickly enough to stop Shiro in time, Kisu had to assert much more personal authority than it seems was normal for emperors at that point in Canthan history. In Chinese history, after a given dynasty had been in power long enough, the authority of the emperor tended to wither in the face of the power of his ministers and their bureaucratic agencies. Eventually, the emperors often became ritual figureheads, never given the chance to lead because most decisions were made by the ministers without even speaking to the emperor, or they just told him what he wanted to hear to keep him quiet. He often had little recourse in the matter because, by that point, no one in the government actually expected to receive orders from the emperor, not even his own bodyguards.

    If the same had happened in Cantha, which seems likely judging by some of the statements made by certain ministers in Kaineng (although that may have just been their own inflated egos speaking), then Kisu's taking charge of the Affliction crisis was a serious reassertion of imperial authority and, while Kisu seemed a very humble, benevolent ruler, Usoku would only need a small touch of ambition to see the potential for asserting the newly strengthened imperial powers his father had set the precedent for.

    Lastly, by spending the central government broke, Usoku would be able to enlist and arm many of the poorest and most desperate people in overcrowded Kaineng, thus mostly pacifying another potentially rebellious section of society. He could then go on to pay and feed his massively expanded army with the plunder he could expect to seize from the Kurzick cities and Luxon camps.

    The martial enlargement seems to me to be the last desperate gamble of an empire finally coming to terms with the dire straits it had been sailing for years.

  7. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Harjubal od Uo View Post
    I suspect that Emperor Usoku may have actually gone on the offensive pre-emptively.

    Following the Affliction, the Kurzick theocrats and Luxon elders got a closer look at Cantha than they had in generations, maybe centuries. I suspect that they actually saw how weak the imperial government had become, being forced to employ foreign mercenaries from Tyria and accept Elonian military aid from the Sunspears just to try to keep control of Kaineng during the Affliction.
    On the bold part, what? The Sunspears first make contact with Cantha three years after the events of Factions and that's just to ask for help in the upcoming attack on Gandara.

    Quote Originally Posted by Harjubal od Uo
    The Luxon and the Kurzick nations are each probably approaching parity with the strength of Cantha by the end of the Affliction.
    On this, I'd have to agree to an extent. As can be seen from bits of dialogue from either faction's NPCs, the war is heating up which means they're obviously going to be upping their military. However, what we see of the Dragon Empire's forces is a rather bad example to go off of. They're stretched very thin due to the Affliction and so are not going to look quite as strong as they normally would.

    Quote Originally Posted by Harjubal od Uo
    I suspect Cantha fared far worse than its vassals during the plague because it not only suffered the Affliction for longer, but the epidemic was compounded by starvation from the failure of Shing Jea crops and foreign imports, and from the fires which broke out all over the wooden city as fighting raged throughout. The worst blaze can be seen in Nahpui Quarter as a huge section of the city burns down while battles rage among the flames between imperial and bandit forces.
    While I can't disagree that the Affliction lasted longer in the Dragon Empire, where do you do you get the idea of failing Shing Jea crops? On the western side of Shing Jea Island in Panjiang Peninsula you can easily see that their doing well. The real trouble lies in the lack of foreign imports as of late. Fires that broke out in Nahpui Quarter? Are you certain that's the right place? You may be mixing it up with Xaquang Skway, in which there's an entire section burnt up, but that's due to the Dragon Empire's own actions in an attempt to contain the Affliction.

    Quote Originally Posted by Harjubal od Uo
    After Kisu's death, Usoku may have seen the writing on the wall, that his vassal peoples were ready and willing to break all ties with the empire, if not even seize some ethnic Canthan territory for themselves, which they would probably have been strong enough to accomplish. If Usoku is paranoid enough, as so many rulers who live through hard times are, he may start seeing the seeds of vassal rebellion in every minor engagement which breaks out along the Kurzick/Luxon border.
    I cannot agree with this due to in-game information. Right after you defeat Shiro, if you pay attention to what the Kurzicks and Luxons say, they speak only of continuing their hostilities. They may have seen into the Dragon Empire more than they had in centuries, but they certainly didn't have it in mind to pay attention to its poor state to attack them or seize pieces of their territory.

    Quote Originally Posted by Harjubal od Uo
    Furthermore, in order to react quickly enough to stop Shiro in time, Kisu had to assert much more personal authority than it seems was normal for emperors at that point in Canthan history. In Chinese history, after a given dynasty had been in power long enough, the authority of the emperor tended to wither in the face of the power of his ministers and their bureaucratic agencies. Eventually, the emperors often became ritual figureheads, never given the chance to lead because most decisions were made by the ministers without even speaking to the emperor, or they just told him what he wanted to hear to keep him quiet. He often had little recourse in the matter because, by that point, no one in the government actually expected to receive orders from the emperor, not even his own bodyguards.
    I don't see this as being the case. Emperors in the Dragon Empire are highly respected, by those in the Empire itself and those residing as vassals. I say this due to information provided in the Manuscripts and the respect that even Shiro gave to Emperor Angisyan. Not only that, but emperors are a conduit to the Gods as displayed in the Harvest Ceremony. Well, I can't find the source at the moment, but I know that the emperors are given a blessing or magic at each Harvest Ceremony to distribute amongst the people.

  8. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Gmr Leon View Post
    The Sunspears first make contact with Cantha three years after the events of Factions and that's just to ask for help in the upcoming attack on Gandara.
    I use Funwa Shento's quest Plague in Cantha as evidence that Cantha had to turn to the Sunspears for military aid as well as enlisting the Ascalonian mercenaries. An argument might be made that the Ascalons recruited the Sunspears through Mhenlo, who somehow seems to have deep roots in every corner of the world even though he's what, 22 in 1072 AE? Even if that's the case, at least a small number of Sunspears was definitely fighting in Cantha, maybe just as observers to report back to Kormir, shortly after the outbreak of the Affliction in 1072 or 1073, a few years before Nightfall began.

    They're stretched very thin due to the Affliction and so are not going to look quite as strong as they normally would.
    This is true, but I would argue that the very fact that they can be stretched thin by the Affliction would be quite noticeable to the Kurzick theocrats and Luxon elders. Even if it's mostly illusory, the possibility that Usoku might think that the vassals might think that Cantha is weak could be enough to start gears of paranoia turning in the emperor's head. It would certainly explain why he would want to suddenly change the status quo after centuries of relative peace for the ethnic Canthans who are the emperor's base of power.

    While I can't disagree that the Affliction lasted longer in the Dragon Empire, where do you do you get the idea of failing Shing Jea crops? On the western side of Shing Jea Island in Panjiang Peninsula you can easily see that their doing well. The real trouble lies in the lack of foreign imports as of late.
    This is based on the assumption on my part that an epidemic as widespread and disruptive as the Affliction appeared to be on Shing Jea would be very likely to lead to crop failures, or at least less abundant harvests.

    We see the results of the Affliction in Zen Daijun, an area where many if not most residents are killed and toxic miasmas choke the land, but right after Zen Daijun the narration cuts away from Shing Jea and picks up in Kaineng. Just because we don't see the Affliction in Panjiang or western Shing Jea doesn't imply that it never reached there and, given how far and how quickly the plague spread in Kaineng, I would be very surprised if it didn't make it to Panjiang or Seitung on Shing Jea. We never saw torment claws in Cantha during Nightfall, but we do know that they arose somewhere on the continent thanks to the re-enactments during the recent Dragon Festival. The true extent of the Affliction very likely took place "off-camera" in the same way.

    Likewise, I would suggest that the Affliction was pretty much a pandemic, especially on an island like Shing Jea where Shiro went out of his way to leave his mark and make his presence known. So, even if much of the population wasn't outright killed by the plague or the violence that followed, they probably were unlikely to be spending all their time out sowing the fields or reaping their crops while their whole society was crumbling around them. I know I might indulge in a break in my daily routine if it were as likely that murderous zombies or terrified tengu would come rampaging through my farm at any moment as it were that the delivery wagon to Seitung would come trundling down the road.

    This is what leads me to strongly suspect that there were crop shortages, or at the absolute least, great disruptions of food shipments from Shing Jea. We all know that Kaineng was really walking the razor's edge all the time after the Jade Wind, so even a small disruption in foodstuffs could lead to a comparatively widespread famine as prices rose and government aid rations grew scarce.

    Fires that broke out in Nahpui Quarter? Are you certain that's the right place? You may be mixing it up with Xaquang Skway, in which there's an entire section burnt up, but that's due to the Dragon Empire's own actions in an attempt to contain the Affliction.
    If you look in the southeastern corner of Nahpui Quarter, due south of Senji's Corner, the great black splotch on the map is one giant inferno where several city blocks are just in flames as Am Fah wander around, probably looting abandoned tenements before they collapse. Perhaps this was another of the Ministry of Fire's attempts to contain the Affliction, but one way or another, a big part of the city caught fire, and in a ramshackle wooden town, built as haphazardly and slipshod as Kaineng, I suspect that no matter how hard they tried to contain it, that fire spread pretty far.

    Just think about the swath of destruction that we, the "heroes," must have cut as we criss-crossed the city with pyromancers and aeromancers in tow. And even if you say that we would be so conscientious as to put out any fires that we set, do you think the Jade Brotherhood or the Am Fah, let alone the afflicted, would bother with that sort of courtesy until it turned into a firestorm and threatened to burn them up too?

    The whole city seems like it was just a tinderbox waiting to go up, and the Affliction was the can of gasoline that was poured all over it, and then the flamethrower that set it off and then kept all the Ministry of Water hydromancers, or whoever serves as a fire department, occupied with killer zombies, preventing them from putting the fires out.

    Emperors in the Dragon Empire are highly respected, by those in the Empire itself and those residing as vassals. Not only that, but emperors are a conduit to the Gods as displayed in the Harvest Ceremony. Well, I can't find the source at the moment, but I know that the emperors are given a blessing or magic at each Harvest Ceremony to distribute amongst the people.
    Often emperors who had their power stripped by the encroachments of their bureaucracies were kept in completely powerless, ritual positions because they were the only bloodline supposedly capable of doing whatever magic the world needed to keep turning every day. Just because they're beloved by the people and necessary for casting magic spells doesn't mean that anyone in the palace is going to listen to them if they say something which is not part of the imperial tradition or if they say something that a powerful and scheming minister, who might be able to hire or fire much of the palace staff, contradicts later in private.

    If any emperor ever just doesn't feel like going to all the trouble of maintaining power and would rather just lead a lazy, privileged life, it would be pretty easy for complacency amongst the ministries to set in and for self-serving ministers to strip the throne of most of its authority.

    Granted, normally, if an emperor were bold and determined and forceful enough, they could often reassert their will in their own palaces, but normally not without cleaning house, sometimes bloodily, in corrupt and self-serving ministries. This is what Kisu was able to do, capitalize on a crisis to break people out of the malaise of imperial tradition and actually look to him for orders for once in their lives, rather than just following ministry procedure day after day after day.

    It would be this resurgence of imperial authority that Usoku might be trying to protect in GW2 by growing the army and keeping it used to looking to him for ultimate authority.

  9. #19
    About Funwa Shento's quest, it would seem like that, but it's pretty much agreed that any quests leading back to Tyria/Cantha go into the past. Togo died three years ago, he couldn't still be alive to send a letter to Mhenlo.

    I got a different impression from the events at Shing Jea, that is, we cleared away the Affliction. I thought we had struck at the source and stopped the Affliction in Shing Jea, especially considering it seems like it only continues in places where Shiro is active. I wouldn't be surprised if the crops being sent were interrupted during the time we try to contain the Affliction.

    Also, about the Emperor, I don't think he has as little power as you seem to think. After Tahnnakai Temple he surrounds it with the military and speaks with Vizu, at the same time he has the Emperor's Voice go into Zin Ku Corridor to direct you to him. He also has the military ready to eliminate the Crimson Skull due to their latest attacks. The only thing stopping him is Togo and his hope that a prior student will change his ways. Which is why we end up killing the person in charge of the Crimson Skull instead of the military.

  10. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Gmr Leon View Post
    About Funwa Shento's quest, it's pretty much agreed that any quests leading back to Tyria/Cantha go into the past. Togo died three years ago, he couldn't still be alive to send a letter to Mhenlo.
    I know that this is actually part of the larger debate about the unified chronology, which should probably be saved for a different thread. For now, even if we agree that the travel quests shift the narration forward or backward in time, it doesn't change the fact that someone, Mhenlo or Togo, contacted the Sunspears to ask for their aid during the Affliction.

    I thought we had struck at the source and stopped the Affliction in Shing Jea, especially considering it seems like it only continues in places where Shiro is active.
    Perhaps it's been too long since I've played Zen Daijun, but I didn't get the sense that there was any source of the Affliction to be stopped on Shing Jea. I know that Master Togo and Headmaster Vhang claimed that there was a "source" that they could destroy, but that was before they understood what was truly happening, before they even saw Tagachi's mark.

    I understood their belief to be that by killing Kana they would be killing the source of the plague and that, somehow, that would stop further infections. They realized after killing Kana, however, that he wasn't the source, but that Tagachi was and thus killing Kana ultimately had no effect on the spread of the Affliction.

    I wouldn't be surprised if the crops being sent were interrupted during the time we try to contain the Affliction.
    This is actually the point I was trying to suggest, that even small disruptions in food delivery could lead to a tidal effect of inflated prices and food shortages that could cause very serious problems in a population as dense as Kaineng.

    Also, about the Emperor, I don't think he has as little power as you seem to think. After Tahnnakai Temple he surrounds it with the military and speaks with Vizu, at the same time he has the Emperor's Voice go into Zin Ku Corridor to direct you to him. He also has the military ready to eliminate the Crimson Skull due to their latest attacks. The only thing stopping him is Togo and his hope that a prior student will change his ways. Which is why we end up killing the person in charge of the Crimson Skull instead of the military.
    One of the most interesting things about Shing Jea to me, is that it seems to be run almost as a private fiefdom of the Minister of Cultural Affairs, which would seem to mean Vice-Emperor of Shing Jea. Consider the sheer size of Minister Cho's estate. It almost rivals Raisu Palace in size, if not, perhaps, in opulence. This wealth has to come from somewhere and I strongly suspect that much of it is embezzled from the lucrative Shing Jea trade. I am even willing to go so far as to say that the Crimson Skull might pay a significant "tax" to the Cultural Minister to encourage him to dissuade the Canthan guards, who seem to be under the minister's local control, from cleaning out their stronghold at Port Kaimu. This is why the the emperor had to send the Emperor's Blade, one of the few people in the government explicitly under his direct control, rather than under the delegated control of one of the ministries, to fight the Crimson Skulls.

    The reason that we were the ones to fight the Crimson Skulls didn't seem to me to be because the minister was unable to defeat the Skulls, but that he was unwilling, so Togo and the Emperor's Blade had to go around Minister Cho's forces on Shing Jea to stop the cult's menace.

    This is indicative to me of the larger problem of authority in the Dragon Empire. Togo, operating as Kisu's trusted agent, had to contact the Ascalons and the Sunspears perhaps because the Canthan guards were simply stretched too dangerously thin, but also, it seems, because he wanted a group of soldiers whose loyalty would be mostly to him, and not divided between the emperor, his agents and whichever ministry that they were a part of.

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