It’s time once again to pick back up on my replay of the story of Guild Wars 2. Last time I had just finished with the first expansion Heart of Thorns story. Mordremoth had been vanquished but at the cost of also killing Trahearne to prevent the Elder Dragon from taking over his mind. Additionally, during the cutscene at the end of the HoT storyline, we also saw what looked like an explosion of ley magic come out of Mordremoth and spread out into many directions. One of these directions was right to Glint’s egg in Auric Basin.
However, before we could move on and figure out what’s next on our plate, we had to take a moment to remember Eir. When she died in the jungle, there was no time to morn her passing. We had to figure out how to defeat Mordremoth before he killed everyone and then made armies out of our bodies. Eir has been tied to the Elder Dragons and defeating them ever since the Edge of Destiny book before GW2 came out. Additionally, she was a reasonably big part of the Personal Story, especially for Norn players. So, having a moment to reflect and look back on everything which led us to that point felt good. Players can even get a recap of Edge of Destiny during this chapter. I wish a whole cutscene done in their painterly style had been done for this recap, though, it was still a great way to remind everyone and inform people who didn’t read the book.
One thing which has always been weird to me is Braham wasn’t at the memorial. He was apparently off dragon minion hunting in the Shiverpeaks, which on the one hand, makes sense. Also, he did stay behind when Eir fell and took care of the rites then, so he probably felt like had already done the memorial part, and I could see how standing around a bunch of people going on about how great she was might have been more than he could bear. But on the other hand, it felt peculiar for him not to be there.
One of the dangling questions I had after we found Eir, was what happened to Garm? He was always with her no matter what, so seeing her without him seemed pretty grim. Thankfully when Rox shows-up we find she has found him and brought him home. According to her, Garm had lost Eir after their airship was shot down, and he followed Eir’s scent through the jungle looking for her. It might seem like a small thing but it was a nice touch. I also enjoyed having the option to feed and clean him. It felt like in some small way, I was helping both him and Eir by doing that.
During this memorial, we also find out the Commander is planning on forming a new guild called Dragon’s Watch. One thing which isn’t clear from the replay is Dragon’s Watch is a name the community voted on. Unlike the election for Ellen Kiel or Evon Gnashblade, there was no in-game aspect to this vote; it was done via a poll on the website. It might not seem like much, but it was fun to feel like I had some influence on something in-game. Not to mention all the great debates about which option was better.
Before too long, though, Taimi asks us to meet her in Rata Novus, though Rox declines as she wants to help Garm recover from his ordeal and find Braham. Once we are there (Rytlock got lost on the way but finally arrives), it’s clear that in the time since Mordremoth was defeated (there wasn’t any clear indication about how much time has passed) Rata Novus has changed. Now it’s crawling with Asura eager to figure out all of its mysteries.
Somehow Taimi has managed to keep the existence of the “Dragon Lab” a secret from all of the other Asura. It’s at this point I started to get a bit worried about Taimi, and how far her drive for knowledge could take her. After all, she put a chak bladder in a blighting pod and ran dragon magic through it. That’s… risky at best. Nonetheless, she also points out that she checked on the egg in Tarir and it’s doing fine but there was another large concentration of dragon magic when Mordremoth died but she doesn’t know what that was.
At this point, Almorra and Canach show-up; in Canach’s case, he causes panic from the Asura because “omg scary crazy sylvari.” Of course, he is no more insane than he is typically and invites us to hunt down Caudecus with him. Almorra has not only shown-up with a summons to the Black Citadel for Rytlock, but has also brought a job offer for the Commander as the leader of the Pact. However, she points out this time around it’ll be strictly a desk job to keep the Commander safe. Thankfully we decline the honor of a desk job, but we do get to keep the title of Commander. This does not deter Taimi from calling us “grand poohbah” for a while. It’s one of those annoying but adorable things about her.
Almorra graciously offers a ride on her airship to get to Bloodstone Fen, where they believe Caudecus has gone. This is helpful not only because airships move quickly and so far, nothing terrible has ever happened to an airship traveling somewhere. So, it comes as a complete surprise that on our way, there is a massive explosion which then collapses in on itself. The airship doesn’t crash, thankfully, but the whole area is a mess and awash with chaotic magic energy everywhere. Additionally, the bloodstone seems to have corrupted both White Mantle and Members of the Pact who were already there. So, we set about investigating what caused the explosion in the first place and why it then imploded in on itself.
Eventually, the trail leads us back to where the explosion happened, oddly enough we encounter Caithe there. It seems she had left the egg to go back and visit the Pale Tree for guidance on what she should do next. Unfortunately, the Pale Tree was still too weak to give her any instruction on what she should do. Caithe also asked that the Commander forgive for everything she had done and explained with Mordremoth’s voice in her head she didn’t know who she could trust. I remember back when I first played this, I had sort of a “hell no” reaction, but at this point, I think I understand Caithe a bit better. She’s the sort of person who always does what she thinks is right. She doesn’t always make the best choices, but she has the courage of her convictions, and I can respect that.
After talking with Caithe and gathering up the remnant bloodstone shards, we were able to view an image of what happened. It wasn’t clear what exactly caused the explosion in the first place, but it did seem like someone had absorbed the magic which had exploded out of the stone. At first, we thought it was Caudecus, but that was proven to be a mistaken assumption. Instead, a supposed Mursaat showed up claiming to be the last of his kind named Lazarus. He made a big show of his power and most of the White Mantle departed with him. Caudecus, on the other hand, beat a hasty retreat with the help of a Mesmer, and Canach was sadly denied earning his freedom by killing the wayward minister.
After all of that excitement, Taimi calls in to deliver some bad news. She figured out what the big explosion of lay energy she had seen on the map was. It was Primordus becoming active. Not only is this bad because it means we need to deal with another Elder Dragon asap, but as far as we know, it took the dwarves sacrificing themselves by turning into stone to quell him before. And could we really be ready to fight another Elder Dragon so quickly?