It’s snowing in Divinity’s Reach and it’s surroundings. It looks like snow at least, hundreds of Dandelion seeds hovering in the sky. But during the nights something changes, something strange appears, there in Queensdale, and it’s not the Lady of Shaemoor. You can even see it happening in Kessex Hills and Brisbane, the air is heavy with magic, hundreds, thousands of hovering orbs. What is going on here?
It all started when I went to the second raid wing Salvation Pass. I was looking for clues to learn more about the lore behind the raids, but there was this one thing that made almost no sense to me at all. When I went to Slothasor’s Den I saw these flows of energy, acting the same as the ley line energy we already knew from the Ley Line Hub in Dry Top and several places in the new HoT maps, but with one big difference. Instead of being blue (with a few hints of green and red) these ones where yellow with bright purple tones mixed in it. At first I suspected that this had something to do with the Windstorm that swept across that area after we had defeated Mordremoth, the energy surge reacted with the bloodstone somehow and that caused the ley line energy to change color (becoming a different state or level of energy). Then I realized that that golden color reminded me of another place in game, one that has been around for a long time already, the Wealdwood in Malchor’s Leap. The floating yellow orb had reacted with the trees in it’s surroundings, turning them into Pyrite, Fool’s Gold, and also managed to keep Zhaitan’s minions away, as if it’s magic was something hostile to the Dragon. That orb was one of the ancient Orrian mysteries, dating back to the time when Orr was thriving and maybe even back to the time of the Human gods themselves. Was this evidence that the ley line energy we knew was totally different from the energy lines we saw in Slothasor’s cave? Two different types of energy?
May 3, 2016 Magic energy has been surging around the ley lines
With the game update of May 3 we could read in the patch notes that “Magic energy has been surging around the ley-lines) and it turned out that ArenaNet was releasing this tiny event, not big at all, just some achievements you could do, but something that revealed that my theory wasn’t that silly after all. It didn’t seem like much at first, you needed to kill some Dragon Minions in order to receive this “Unidentified Lodestone” that you needed to give to Ela Makkay in Lion’s Arch. She will say that there are reports of unusual ley line surges and that Dragon Minions are drawn to those sites. After that the first part of the Current Events achievements is opened up and you need to check out those events at certain spots (three different ones), do them a few times, kill some coalescence champions and get some achievements point. Easy enough and it’s not so thrilling at all. Wait… Ley lines doing weird? Champion coalescence? If you look at those events closely you will notice something strange is going on. There is a gust of ley line energy coming out of the ground (three actually), lines of yellow energy (again three) are flowing towards those spots. You will need to prevent the Dragon minions from absorbing to much accumulated ley line magic (just kill them) and then you need to defeat the coalescence to disperse the ley line magic.
So there is definitely something going on with magic at the moment. It is something that would make sense in my opinion. The dragons were not just bad ugly dragons (ehh maybe they are….) but they also took care about this balance we needed to have in Tyria. The amount of free magic in Tyria would change over time, just like waves, and this kept Tyria healthy. The Elder Dragons where the major cause in all of this. When the level of magic in Tyria would reach a certain threshold they would wake up and start consuming that energy, slowly lowering that level until it reached a certain spot and there wouldn’t be enough energy for the dragons left so they would go into a dormant state (one that would last for thousands of years, if our records are correct). It’s something we learned from Scarlet’s vision as well, the Eternal Alchemy we witnessed ourselves, if that balance is off than things we cannot imagine could happen. Remember that sphere that crashed? I think everyone is taking for granted that we are on a quest to defeat all of the Elder Dragons, that is what we need to do to survive. We defeated Zhaitan, we defeated Mordremoth (did we?) now we need to kill the rest. I absolutely do not doubt that the other Dragons are massive threats, that we need to deal with them, but just killing them won’t be the answer. If we keep on killing the Dragons the magic would become even more in a dis-balance and who knows what will happen then. I really think that if that magic level would rise to high something worse will happen.
So back to this first “Current Event” thing. Three ley line spots, three surges out of it, three yellow lines of energy flowing towards it and the final thing is three champion coalescences per event map. Something really interesting is the word coalescence, it basically means that two things merge together, pull themselves towards each other and become one. Yellow and blue energy merging together, needed to be defeated so it can disperse that energy again. Those accumulated ley line energy look a lot like sparks and those champion coalescences use a skill “Lightning Bolt”, so they are related to the lightning sparks we already knew (how about that lightning around the lowest point at the Breachmaker’s Drill?”. And there are just three maps where all of this takes place and even more interesting, just three types of Dragon minions: Destroyer, Branded and Ice-brood. Primordus, Kralkatorrik and Jormag. Three Dragons, but what happened to Bubbles (Zhaitan and Mordremoth are dead of course)?
All of this shows that magic is starting to act weirdly. That Zhaitan and Mordremoth are not a big deal anymore and that Bubbles doesn’t matter at this point either.
May 17, 2016 Reports of Banditry have increased
We could read in the patch notes that this time the bandits were acting differently. So first thing to do was to check out bandits. It took one try, the first kill of a bandit would reward you with a special reward: Encoded Orders and these would direct you to the Shining Blade Officer Ralan in Divinity’s Reach. This guy is familiar with a few of the cyphers criminals used to encode their manuscripts, so he could decipher this one. When he has taken a good look at it, he will hand you this bounty contract to hunt down Bandits, five of them to be exact at five different sites in Queensdale, Kessex Hills and Brisbane Wildlands.
My first impression was “OMG BOUNTIES”, I mean, for those of you that ever played the first game, GW1, and then especially Guild Wars Beyond, War in Kryta, bounties are just bringing back memories, we had those back in the days for the quest “Wanted by the Shining Blade”, hunting down White Mantle for the Shining Blade. Even the names of these bounties we need to find sound similar: Destor the Truth Seeker, Maximilian the Meticulous or Valis the Rampant as example, those names sound so much similar to these five bounties we need to find: Vic the Iron, Zirh the Venomous, Flyrra the Remorseless, Ruye the Crimson and Aerl the Silent. And when we kill the first bounty the rewards are just as amazing: War supplies, just like we got way back in time, but also random White Mantle badges (they randomly drop from bandits anywhere).
But the most impressive thing I realized was the following: During the night in those maps it feels like the air is heavy with magic, countless of yellow and purple orbs of energy are hanging around in the air. Sometimes that is. It seems that those orbs only appear during the night, by day you will see dandelion seeds hovering in the sky.
What’s going on there?
That’s the moment that I realized that the orbs where there, they could have been around earlier, but I just never payed attention to it. Orbs, blue or yellow with sharp purple edges, they hover around, at some places blink and sometimes move faster. The level of orb activity seems to be heavier during the nights, they can be seen in a lot of maps, Queensdale, Kessex Hills and Brisbane Wildlands, the bandit maps, blinking around but also places like Plains of Ashord or Diessa Plateau. In Divinity’s Reach you can only see them in the Upper City and in Lion’s Arch and the Grove there are just a few small ones hovering around. The Heart of Thorn maps seem to have both yellow and blue orbs but it’s getting confusing here. Dragon’s Stand (except around the ley lines) and Spirit Vale seem to have no orbs at all, Salvation Pass, Auric Basin and Tangled depths are a mixture of blue and yellow, just as in the center of Auric Basin, Tarir, it seems to be both yellow and blue energy orbs. What is strange, is that during the nights the yellow orbs are coming out of the ground and just go straight up, not just hovering around. Verdant Brink is another map that is acting strange, the orbs you can see there are the blue ones, not yellow at all, why is that? Is that map related to Rata Sum? The orbs there are just blue as well.
Most of the maps affected are either in Maguuma or strongly related to the bandits, but a few other maps and places seem to be connected as well. Let’s start with Metrica Province. It is not one of the maps affected by the nighttime orbs, but the orbs are there. You can find them in the Thaumanova Reactor, but they only appear in one single room, the jungle or green room, and you can only see the yellow ones. You won’t even find them at the Infinite Coil Reactor (didn’t play through any fractal though, so I don’t know how everything is behaving there).
Plains of Ashford and Diessa Plateau are two maps that are not related to bandits, but that still have those yellow orbs during the nights. Is it a coincidence that there are a lot of Ascalonian ghosts there? The Blasted Moors, Ascalon, The Foefire maybe? As far as I know the Foefire never had any relation to the Dragons, it happened 30 years before Primordus woke up, but it is related to magic. King Adelbern used his sword Magdaer, which was a relic from Orr (and twin to Sohotin, the sword Rytlock carries) and started the Foefire. The Foefire and these mysterious energy orbs seems to be unrelated to each other, if it wasn’t for the next location that stands out.
One of the most interesting locations you can find these orbs, the yellow ones, is at the Wealdwood in Malchor’s Leap. At that location, in the Pyrite Peninsula, the yellow orbs come rushing out of the ground, just as we can see in Tarir. But we have known this location for quite a while now, the yellow orb hovering in the sky, somehow keeping the dragon minions away from that location. The connection to the Ascalonian Ghosts and the Foefire is that this orb holds an ancient Orrian mystery, it is wielding great and unknown forces, and is just as Magdaer and Sohotin, a remnant from ancient Orr. And this one has transformed the trees in it’s surrounding into gold, Fools Gold that is, Pyrite. Is that what happened to the Mystery Cave from the Point of no Return? Or Tarir? It just can’t be a coincidence that both the Wealdwood and Tarir have these yellow orbs rushing up and at the same time everything around is golden.
Another thing I noticed at the yellow energy lines from the first events was that those blue energy orbs where present there, coming out of the ground together with the blue ley line energy, and the yellow with purple ones where there as well. The yellow and purple ones where just acting different, they were not following the flow of the yellow energy gusts, but they were going the opposite way, acting like electrons going left and the electric current going right. The same as at the Ley Line Coinfluence, blue orbs going opposite from the flow (but the blue orbs seem to act different at other locations). Is this what those orbs are? Electron-like particles? How about Tarir or the Wealdwood then? The orbs are emerging from the ground in a rapid pace at those two locations, rushing to the sky. Electrons going up, energy flow going down? Does this mean that both Tarir and the Wealdwood are actually consuming energy? Hmmm…..
Let’s take another look at the colors of the energy lines. The yellow ones have two colors, yellow and purple, the ley lines are just blue…. Well, there are so many places where you can see that the blue color of the ley lines is not just blue, but a combination of blue, green and red. The best placed to look at this is in Rata Novus, at the ley line collectors there you can see that the ley line energy is composed of blue, green and red energy. Hmmm is it a coincidence that the Vale Guardian had blue, green and red guards? Or that Scarlet had blue, green and red Dynamic Cores? Or even the Aetherblades, Molten and Toxic alliance?
So why is the other one just yellow and purple? I’m not sure, but I think there is one color missing there. If you look at the magic around Tarir, and then especially the Exalted and their magic, you will notice that the color of their armor and magic is a combination between yellow, purple and white. Did the Forgotten find a way to make the yellow and purple energy even stronger? Is that where the power of the Exalted comes from? And it would make sense I think, six Gods, six Dragons, six Spheres etc. So why wouldn’t the magic in Tyria be made up by six components? Green, blue, red, yellow, purple and white. And these colors could even tie into the color of the Dragon spheres (Orange/red, blue, white, dark green, purple and lime green/yellow?).
There is one last place, with orbs, that is totally different from any other place, and that is Rata Novus. There are orbs there, but they are not blue and they are not yellow with purple either. The orbs you can see there are purple, just bright purple. This is something I haven’t seen anywhere else. Even other places in Tangled Depths do not have purple orbs. Around Tangled Descent there are blue and yellows or yellow ones at Teku Nuhoch, but no purple ones at all. Did the Asura of Rata Novus find a way to work with the energy lines? We know that they did with the ley line energy for sure, the ley line collectors show that they know how to extract the magic into three separate flows. Did they do the same to the yellow ones? Did they find out a way to separate the purple one from the yellow one? But why? Does this have anything to do with Kralkatorrik, the Elder Dragon who’s orb color is assumed to be purple? And how about the Chak?
When I first viewed the Heart of Thorns Launch Trailer one thing made me wonder: why that creature, created out of vines, had this purple energy running through his veins. Remember I wrote “we defeated Mordremoth (did we?). It’s just something that is confusing. In that final Heart of Thorns chapter “Heart and Mind” we get to fight Mordremoth. We defeated his mouth, we conquered his mind, but we never manage to kill it’s heart. And why is it called HEART of Thorns? Is “heart” maybe not referring to the heart of Mordremoth, but the heart of magic?
To be continued I guess and hope. I really like the direction where ArenaNet is bringing us to right now, this prelude to the Living Story Season 3 is just amazing. The raids, the lore behind it, these small events, nothing is really obvious. Small hints and changes, but all of that together shows that the Living World in Tyria hasn’t stopped, it is moving, you just need to know where to look for.
There are so many places in game that have those orb, blue or yellow or even purple or black, that I wouldn’t be surprised if I have missed quite a few of them. Do let me know if there are other places where any of these energy orbs are appearing.