“You do not fear death, you fear something far worse…
you fear outliving the ones you swore to protect…
You fear the day your children no longer feel the chill of the frost… or the warmth of the flame.
It is this fear that is your enemy. Not I.”
So begins the chilling speech of Jormag in the trailer for the new Living World season, as the Elder Dragon yet again has awoke from its slumber, most probably disturbed by the death of Kralkatorrik. And the speech goes on beseeching the Commander to give himself over to him and join Jormag on its mission to reforge Tyria according to its own desire.
Disclaimer: this post is not going into details concerning the Arena.net announcement of its new season of Living World and the reception in the community, there’s already enough on that in lots of other outlets. Instead, our focus will be on story and lore, to coincide with the main focus of Guild Wars 2.
In the aftermath of Kralkatorrik’s death, the people of Hoelbreak hosted the Dragon Bash celebration to commemorate the death of the Elder Dragon, a moment of respite that is now interrupted – first by the appearance of suspicious travelers shrouded by mysterious whispered words of their master, the Elder Dragon Jormag – and now secondly by the advancing Icebrood forces. In the Northern Shiverpeaks, trouble stirs again, and the band of adventurers is called upon again to protect Tyria and confront the minions of Jormag, the Icebrood, who are marching southwards (ed. anything reminiscent of white walkers advancing on Westeros, anyone?).
Venturing into the Northern Shiverpeaks means the focus of narrative will now shift to focus on the lore and background of the Norn and Charr culture, and as we saw from the announcement trailer, we are bound to learn more of the spiritual Kodan race.
Prologue – “Bound by Blood”
The first chapter of The Icebrood Saga will see us travel to Grothmar Valley – by personal invitation of Imperator Bangar Ruinbringer – to join the Charr as they celebrate the death of Kralkatorrik and seek to rally all legions to withstand the onslaught of Jormag’s Icebrood army. Our adventurers will surely participate in many different events to ensure the Charr legions manage to unite against the imminent threat.
To veteran players of Guild Wars, the name will be familiar from the Eye of the North campaign where players ventured into the Grothmar Wardowns, a grassy bowl of plains and autumnal forests on the lower slopes of the Northern Shiverpeaks. Back then, players teamed up with Pyre Fierceshot and the Charr warband rebelling against the Charr Shaman caste – leading ultimately to the attack on the stronghold of Hierophant Burntsoul. On the border of Grothmar Wardowns and Dalada Uplands, there was a shrine – the Doomlore Shrine – which became a haven for the Shaman caste.
Another landmark of Grothmar Wardowns was the massive ridge that was formed by the scaled back of Kralkatorrik, who upon awakening in 1320 AE, rose from the ground and flew south covering the land in the brandstorm corruption behind it. With the return to the Grothmar Valley, it will be interesting to see what physical evidence can be traced to Kralkatorrik’s awakening and how it has shaped the area since we last saw it in Eye of the North.
We’ll just leave you with a little memory of Grothmar Wardowns and a magnificent track from the Eye of the North soundtrack below. The keen eye might remember some waterfalls that seemingly have made it unscathed through the years.