The addition of the royal crown had great potential — for about a minute — but got turned into another pathetically implemented story element.
As I said in another thread in the lore section, the writers managed to screw up previously established lore again:
Tribune Rytlock Brimstone: “It is. When Adelbern enacted the ritual with Magdaer, he became a ghost. But the crown was preserved and found by a charr who entered the area later. They toyed with it, and the fragments were lost.”
The ghost of chief courtier Savione: “For many years His Majesty prowled through the city, salvaging armor, weapons, and anything of value. He sealed it in the vault of the royal treasury.”
I don’t think this needs further explanation. Everything of value (one would think a sort of magical crown forged by the gods would be included in that group) was hoarded into the vaults. Every attempt to loot the ruins of Asalon City — both by charr and humans — was foiled by the ghosts up until Dougal Keane’s second break in. Conclusion: either in fragments or in whole, the crown should’ve still been inside the vaults (of which there is a thorough description later in the quoted book). Instead of a cool, instanced mini-dungeon we got three lackluster, random events and three piles of rubble where magical fragments of a very pretty crown were casually dumped.
Now, let’s assume they didn’t have the resources to make a new instance of the royal vaults for that story step. What could they’ve done to make the hunt for the lost fragments more believable and at least contain significantly more epic? For example:
- Fragment #1: A Flame Legion charr who miraculously survived the Foefire in Ascalon City found one of the pieces (it was so pretty he was drawn to the precious) in the first minutes of the aftermath and bolted with it with the ghosts on his heels. He made it to their camp in Oldgate where the newly risen ghosts caught up and slaughtered him and his friends. Fast forward into the present: the release could’ve added the skeletal remains of a charr still grasping the crown fragment in ghost-infested Oldgate.
- Fragment #2: Bria is the sole spirit who was cursed in the Foefire yet managed to escape Adelbern’s influence. Before returning to her evil ways of feasting on children’s souls, she had an unpleasant fallout with the king where she fled with the last fragment of His Majesty’s crown (a theft of revenge to get back at their wrongdoer for this miserable fate). Fast forward into the present: Scholar Abel binds Bria’s ghost after her defeat, and she confesses just how exactly she broke free of the Foefire curse. At the end of our dialogue with her, she reluctantly tells us the location of the crown fragment inside her house. At least she can have her revenge on Adelbern by participating in the breaking of his malign reign.
- Fragment #3: Before the fateful day of the Foefire, Kendrick Redstaff was tasked by the king himself to take one of the fragments to Serenity Temple and hide it in a secret niche in one of the goddess’ statues. He died in the terrible magical calamity shortly after his mission was completed. Fast forward into the present: after defeating him at the end of the event, Priestess Rashenna (an unaffected ghost from before the Foefire) appears and shows us the niche where the fragment is hidden. With her task done, burden lifted and finally knowing there’s a chance to break the Foefire and grant final release to her tortured countrymen, she passes on into the Mists.
As to how each fragment should’ve been located? Rytlock gives us his own piece as well as some hints about Fragment #1’s location (in Diessa). We WP to Diessa and find a new bar on our UI similar to Divination from Guild Wars 1. The fragment we have would pull at the one nearby, and the closer we get, the fuller the meter would become. After finding the fragment, we’d get a dialogue panel where we’d feel the two joined pieces pulling us east, toward Bria’s house. In Iron Marches we get the “Crown magnet meter” again until we arrive at the manse. After acquiring the third piece, we’d get gw2 gold us where the three fragments are drawing us southeast, into the Steppes. Rinse and repeat until we get to the ruins of Serenity Temple.