This week in Lore School we’re going to talk about the Elder Dragons, AKA The Reason Guild Wars 2 is a Thing. Okay, so Guild Wars 2 would probably exist without the Elder Dragons, but they’re the key driver for the storyline of Guild Wars 2. They’re the big baddies that we’re all going to find against to save the world. So we should probably get to know them a little bit.
In fact, you may have experienced their influence first-hand! Anyone who took part in the beta finale event for BWE2 has seen what the dragons are capable of. Did you fight the bizarre corruption in the Plains of Ashford? Fight against your friends who mysteriously transformed into creatures of purple crystal and turned against you? Maybe you were one of the corrupted attempting to take over the Plains and defeat the hero Rytlock? Well that was all kicked off by The Shatterer, the champion of Kralkatorrik, an Elder Dragon.
Screenshot of the Shatterer, credit Twitter user Kookie_C
Without trying to sound dramatic, the Elder Dragons are the biggest threat Tyria has faced so far – even worse than any of those pesky evildoers from the original Guild Wars. They may even be more powerful than the Six Human Gods. The Elder Dragons are so powerful they’re often described as the forces of nature and are even responsible for the huge changes in landscape in the intervening 250 years between the original Guild Wars and Guild Wars 2.
At then end of Eye of the North, we had heard about two Elder Dragons in particular, Primordus and Kralkatorrik. Both were safely sleeping… on the most part. Primordus had started to become restless, but the world was still relatively safe. Its stirrings are actually what drove the Asura to the surface. It’s also the reason we no longer see Dwarves. In order to take on the forces of Primodus, the Dwarf race all took part in the Rite of the Great Dwarf, turning them to living stone. They now dwell beneath the ground in an effort to keep Primordus’ forces at bay.
Primordus was originally supposed to wake in 1078 AE, but when the Dwarves killed its greatest champion, The Great Destroyer, Primordus’ awakening was delayed two generations until 1120 AE. At this point, all hell broke loose. Primordus’ minions flooded the Depths of Kryta, ruining any plans the Asura had to return to their subterranean lifestyle. The Dwarves stand guard at the entrance to the Depths to prevent any of the minions reaching the surface, but Primordus has been busy digging out much of the underground of Tyria and so his minions have reached many parts of the surface world.
The next to rise was Jormag, the Elder Ice Dragon, who erupted from the Northern Shiverpeaks. You might remember this as being the traditional homeland of the Norn. Unfortunately the Norn weren’t able to hold the land against Jormag’s minions, the Icebrood. To make matters worse, whenever the Norn fought against Jormag’s armies, any warriors who fell were turned in to Icebrood themselves. The Norn were forced south to the Shiverpeak Mountains, the old homeland of the Dwarves before they headed underground to take on Primordus. Since its awakening, Jormag has split the land and created inland seas.
Soon after Primordus and Jormag awoke, a chain reaction started and other Elder Dragons’ alarms started ringing. Unfortunately, they aren’t fond of using the snooze button.
Zhaitan was the next one up and was determined to make a dramatic entrance. Zhaitan raised an entire peninsula as its fanfare… Orr used to be the homeland of the Six Human Gods, but after some war and some really serious treachery, The Cataclysm destroyed the peninsula and sunk all but a few scattered islands beneath the sea. The inhabitants of Orr were killed so quickly they didn’t realise they’d died and so they became undead under the control of a Vizier Khilbron, an Undead Lich. When Zhaitan lifted Orr from the depths of the ocean, the devastation rivaled the original destruction of Orr. Massive tsunamis killed the nearby locals and flooded the neighboring coastal lands, including Lion’s Arch, which is why the human capital is now Divinity’s Reach.
The next to wake was the dragon we know the least about – we don’t even know its name! Deep Sea Dragon is what we’ll call it for now. So far, it’s had the least impact on Tyria. Its biggest influence to date was pushing the Krait into Quaggan territory, almost completely wiping out Quaggan civilization. The Deep Sea Dragon has the ability to create tentacled creatures in the waters around its location. As of yet, however, we don’t know what its exact location is and what we can expect from it. The suspense!
Finally the most recent Elder Dragon to trouble Tyria is Kralkatorrik, the one who made you fight against your comrades at the end of BWE2. And you know the big scar down the eastern side of Tyria? Called the Dragonbrand? Yeah, that was Kralkatorrik. That was Kralkatorrik just leisurely flying over the land! Anything beneath its flight path (animal, plant, human, charr, etc.) was turned to living crystal and forced to do Kralkatorrik’s bidding. Imagine what it’ll be capable of when it actually wants to do some serious damage… As far as we know, however, Kralkatorrik is the Elder Dragon who came closest to being killed by Tyrian heroes.
Destiny’s Edge worked with Glint, dragon and former champion of Kralkatorrik, to fight against it. They had a cunning plan, which involved an Asura-invented mind-control yolk, set in place by Glint (in exchange for her life) and controlled by Snaff, the Asura Golemancer, while Eir Stegalkin, Rytlock Brymstone, Caithe and Zojja held back Kralkatorrik’s minions. It’s unlikely anyone is strong enough to fully control an Elder Dragon’s mind, but Snaff managed to subdue it and bring it to the ground. Rytlock ran to impale Kralkatorrik’s heart on a spear made from crystal of Kralkatorrik’s own hide.
Unfortunately, Destiny’s Edge were a man down (Logan Thackeray had other places to be) and Kralkatorrik’s minions broke past the line and killed Snaff, releasing Kralkatorrik before Rytlock could kill it.
So unfortunately the inhabitants of Tyria are under threat by at least five Elder Dragons. This brings us to current day in Guild Wars 2. As you can imagine, we’ll enter the world at a very troublesome time. We know that a very important part of the Guild Wars 2 story line will be a show down with Zhaitan. Hopefully we do better than Destiny’s Edge’s first attempt!
Are you looking forward to facing off with an Elder Dragon? Have you and your buddies got what it takes to bring one down?