by Scott McGough on April 2, 2015
Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns™ is poised to take the story of Guild Wars 2 to a whole new level. Before we venture past the point of no return, we thought it was worth a second look to see just how we got here.
It All Started with Scarlet
No one knows exactly what the sylvari Scarlet Briar had in mind when she unleashed The Breachmaker on Lion’s Arch—and given the fractured state of her psyche and that not all of her thoughts were her own, she may not have known, herself. Everyone saw the result, however—a city in ruins and a jolt of high-energy magic surging across the globe to rouse the Elder Dragon Mordremoth deep in the Maguuma Jungle.
Hearts and Mindscapes
The death of Zhaitan already meant one less Elder Dragon to compete for Tyria’s magical resources, and the surge gave Mordremoth an advantage on which the jungle dragon was quick to capitalize. It quickly spread its tendrils out from Maguuma, across the Silverwastes, and along the network of ley lines and waypoints to Fort Salma and beyond. Countless innocents suffered and died as the jungle dragon extended its grasp, Marjory Delaqua’s sister Belinda among them.
Mordremoth wasn’t solely interested in claiming physical territory. It also worked its way into the minds of vulnerable sylvari like Aerin, a Soundless who had consciously separated himself from the Dream of Dreams. Without the accompanying protection of the Pale Tree, Mordremoth twisted Aerin’s earnest ambition to join the Zephyrites, positioning him as its unwitting agent to steal the Zephyrites’ most prized and powerful magical artifact: Glint’s egg. Under Mordremoth’s influence, Aerin brought down a Zephyrite ship in order to claim the jungle dragon’s prize. Aerin’s deadly gambit forced the Zephyrite Master of Peace to flee with Glint’s egg; it also prompted players to rally the great nations of Tyria to join forces in response to the jungle dragon’s growing threat. Though successful, this rallying effort came at great cost: in securing the participation of the charr, Rytlock Brimstone plunged into the Mists and did not return, robbing the war effort of his valuable dragon-fighting experience.
World Summit, Global Terror
When the world leaders met, Mordremoth responded. It sent its champion, the Shadow of the Dragon, to attack the World Summit in an attempt to decapitate its chief opposition in one fell swoop. Players prevented this catastrophe, but with dire losses: the Pale Tree was crippled and rendered semicomatose. Before she faded, the Pale Tree gave the player a vision of Glint’s egg and a golden city, warning that the egg must be delivered there to protect it from Mordremoth.
Seeds and Eggs
As players tracked down the Master of Peace and Glint’s egg, the sylvari Trahearne mustered the Pact for an invasion of Maguuma to crush Mordremoth in its lair. The remainder of Destiny’s Edge also joined the cause, while Caithe accompanied the player to recover the egg. When players found the Master of Peace, he was under vicious and sustained attack by Mordremoth’s minions. The master fell, and Caithe snatched the egg to further her own hidden agenda.
Pursuing Caithe, players learned of her dark history with Faolain of the Nightmare Court and discovered the great secret that Caithe has lied, stolen, and killed to protect—that the ultimate source of the sylvari race is Mordremoth itself. This revelation came too late to prevent the Pact air fleet from launching its invasion, and Marshal Trahearne led his army into a devastating ambush on the edge of Maguuma, where Mordremoth’s influence was so strong that it turned many of the Pact sylvari against their former comrades. With the fleet destroyed, the Pact is now broken, and the only ones left to stand against the jungle dragon are the player and a handful of stalwart companions.
Who Can You Trust?
Though players have forged a crack team of combatants that includes every race and every style of magic, it is a team of strong individuals with volatile personalities. Beyond Marjory, who’s still grieving and angry over the loss of her sister, there’s Braham, the often reckless norn who’s eager to learn the fate of his mother, Eir, now that they’ve just begun to repair their broken relationship; asuran prodigy Taimi, the youngest member of the team, eager to prove herself her elders’ equal; and perhaps most troubling of all, Canach, a proud sylvari secondborn and convicted criminal seeking to redeem his violent and troubled past. If any of these wild cards flip while the player is taking back the initiative and bringing the fight to Mordremoth, the war against the jungle dragon will truly be over before it begins.
Use What You’ve Got to Get What You Need
The Pact has fallen, and its surviving soldiers are scattered and demoralized. Sylvari stand revealed as creatures of the jungle dragon, distrusted if not outright despised by their former allies. Mordremoth is manufacturing minions by the thousands to cement its hold on Maguuma before bursting out of the jungle’s borders to overrun the surrounding regions. All of the traditional martial advantages lie on the enemy’s side—terrain, numbers, and momentum.
Victory against the jungle dragon requires the iron will and supreme skill of a born leader: superlative strategy and tactical brilliance on the battlefield; the ability to combine whatever and whomever is at your disposal into an effective fighting force; and the capability to make new allies, develop new skills, master new magic, and secure new resources.
What else will it take to defeat Mordremoth and secure Tyria’s future? And who has what it takes? The answers all lie in the Heart of Thorns.