I dove in to capture this shot while Maureen was still in the frame. Had I been a little more aware of what I was doing I might not have picked up my unwanted passenger. Operating an electronic hand-held device while hiking adds hours to your day. It also inhibits your ability to make informed decisions. Add to this the sad fact that I was in the early stages of a full-blown DDo vs. Me episode and it was obvious, in hindsight, that I was one, very distracted, hiker; a dangerous combination.
I dislike ticks but admit to having picked up the odd hitch-hiker over the years. I firmly believe that I found “today’s passenger” right here at this photo. The tick might have latched on at some later point in the day but this location was my most obvious, high risk position; laying low and tight to the ground, inches from a tuft of hair, kicked, scratched, molted from a passing deer or elk. Dumb!
Did I mention that I hate ticks?
DDo vs. Me: I don’t want another spider-like mob to trade blows with. I see the tick used as an environmental encounter. Envision a mob’s collectable bag or a Champion’s Mysterious Remnants dropping for simply staying in a designated zone for too long. The tick could easily adopt this mechanic. In my example, the level-15 quest Mired in Kobolds, our tick would come from the brambles. Why a tick? What does it bring to the game?
Luck of the Draw. Each brambles has a chance for one “searchable” remain-still zone. Some brambles, like those found in the final fight with Momma Dragon would hold two or even three shots at picking up a tick. Now the punchline; Not every tick has what we’re after. 😉 sorry.
I suppose that every tick we collect could be attached to a small list of rewards offered by some minor academic located in the Twelve but these are not the ticks we are after. We are chasing a tick suffering from a sort of special influence. Suffering and more than willing to share it’s discomfort. In our world ticks carry disease and I believe Lyme disease holds the key in it’s trademark bullseye rash.
We hang out in a brambles, we attract the attention of a tick, the tick is infected with “Lyme” disease and the infected tick, having evolved under the influence of the kobold’s crystals will pass it’s special “Super-Lyme” concoction on to us. We take the symptoms of our Lyme to the Twelve and though they are more than willing to study the problem will be helpless to cure our affliction. The healers of House Jorasco, though able to alleviate the symptoms will give us a similar runaround. A dragon however is a different matter.
A dragon, in humanoid form, any of several individuals that we have encountered in the past gives us something very different. At it’s core, the hallmark image of Lyme Disease is not Avril Lavigne rather it is, as stated earlier, a Bullseye rash. The Bullseye is a mark. (See image 6 of the slideshow if you follow the link) A Mark!
The dragon whether sanctioned by the Argonessen Leadership or not, will give us a Draconic True Heart of Wood and this heart will provide us with the option of reincarnating with an Aberrant Dragonmark. Aberrant Marks were “officially” erased from Eberron years ago because of their wild, unpredictable and destructively terrible powers but I believe my ticks are one possible way of returning to the Lore of Eberron AND IN SO DOING, give proper Epic extensions to our current lines of “official” Dragonmarks. The devs can work out the exact turn in rates, store availability etc. What I really like here is my eye to past quests and environments in the hopes of bringing them new life or relevance. I admit that the harbour is looking pretty sweet nowadays and yes, quest advancement flows nicely but for all that work, it does not address my issues with Continued Quest Relevance.
Am I the only person who thinks Eberron Dragonmarks got the Epic Shaft when Destinies appeared? When the iconic races popped up? It’s possible. Maybe the ticks could be used by Dragonmarked characters to open the Mark’s epic “4th tier” powers? Least, Lesser, Greater, Epic-30? Nah, we’re probably stuck with Cherry picking our trees. Sigh…
Next post: Worried about game balance? Let me present my first entry into the world of Cosmetic Aberrant Marks.
Thanks for visiting,
Luedwig Bait H’oven