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Written in the voice of Belzan Furu.

I knew the great centaur Ventari once. I shared a campfire with him in the Maguuma Jungle after outrunning and outwitting a group of White Mantle. He spoke of his race as a proud one and he and I debated the human-centaur war. I was a fool back then. Arrogant too. I saw the centaurs as a nuisance to be ignored or tolerated as we Krytans fought our civil war with the White Mantle. “Throw in with us or get out of our way!”

Ventari and Belzan under the Pale Tree

He helped me to see things differently. He helped me to see how foolish the human-centaur fighting was. We had common enemies and we once lived in peace.

I visited him twice more in Maguuma and once at the Pale Tree. We oft debated human and centaur relations and only now do I realize how wise he truly was. Now, as the Elder Dragons are bearing down upon the races–races who have long been rivals. Races who do not see eye to eye. Proud and narcissistic and arrogant alike. How will we survive against these forces of nature if we do not resolve our own interracial quarrels?

I was not there the day Ventari died. Indeed, I didn’t visit the Pale Tree again until it began to sprout its children–the sylvari. Curious creatures. Naive, inexperienced children in a lot of ways, yet they share the wisdom of the aged centaur who preached peace between the races. Very little is known about the sylvari and I have only befriended a couple of them. I have a feeling their insight into Ventari’s teachings and their understanding of the ancient lessons he scribed upon his tablet will be of paramount importance in uniting the races against the Elder Dragons.

As I said, very little is known about this young race of plant-beings. They are intriguing, mysterious, and, well, dangerous–the Nightmare Court especially. This week we will get a glimpse at their world, a peek into their culture, and perhaps gain a bit of an understanding of their motivations.

I for one am eager to see how Ventari’s teachings have grown and blossomed since our last debate. I will be posting an article later this week on Talk Tyria to discuss Belzan’s thoughts about the sylvari. I hope you give it a read.

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