Following on from my lore feature on the Maguuma jungle and exploring the Heart of Thorns, the conclusion to the storyline has me thinking which Elder Dragon might be the next. If you have completed the storyline in Heart of Thorns expansion to Guild Wars 2 or don’t mind me spoiling a few story lines as I delve into speculation and lore, please read on about a few theories I have concocted on which dragon we just might encounter next.
***Spoiler alerts follow in case you have not finished Heart of Thorns storyline***
Aftermath of Mordremoth
As we rose from the depths of Maguuma leaving behind the jungle after dealing the deadly blow to Mordremoth, our tiny guild of heroes have to return to Tyria with other survivors and rebuild. The Pact is still in shambles, and in the north of Maguuma a new mystery unfolds in the Forsaken Thicket as the magical energy that coursed over the lands disturbed something that put angry ghost spirits at unrest. With the Pact in pieces and civil unrest threatening Tyria, could the White Mantle be making a return to occupy the heroes in a time when they should really be preparing for the next Elder Dragon to rise?
However, the looming threat over Tyria is still the Elder Dragons; two may be killed but four remain. We also know that Primordus was the first of these to awake in 1120 AE followed by Jormag and Kralkatorrik. The youngest, and possibly most rash to rise, were Zhaitan and Mordremoth, possibly dead due to their eagerness to consume before they were truly powerful enough to sustain an assault on Tyria. Upon discovering Rata Novus, Taimi leaves the guild temporarily to linger and study the research on the Elder Dragons as left behind by the Rata Novus Asura, partly due to necessity with Scruffy her golem destroyed limiting her movement but also due to chance to study the Rata Novus research data undisturbed by her peers at Rata Sum. As Rata Novan lab is brought back to life, Taimi marvels at how these Asuras must have really hated Primordus and how they had identified that each Elder Dragon has a unique weakness. It is only logical to suppose that spending more time in Rata Novus will give Taimi even more insight into Primordus – who seemed to be the focal point of the Rata Novus Asuras given their troubled history with said Elder Dragon.
The conclusion of Eye of the North saw the heroes of 250 years ago defeat one of its champions; The Great Destroyer. The Deldrimor dwarves underwent the Rite of the Great Dwarf initiated by King Jalis Ironhammer and continued to pursue Primordus’ forces down in the depths of Tyria. The cost of victory was dear, as the dwarves gave their lives as a living race and were transformed to stone, with a collective consciousness and dedication to opposing Primordus. As most will know, Ogden Stonehealer is the last dwarf remaining on the surface of Tyria, residing in the Durmand Priory where he aids with the research on Elder Dragons. However, new races like the Asura and Skritt were already forced to abandon their subterranean habitats because of the movements of Primordus underground and his army of minions; the Destroyers – hellbent on destruction and laying havoc on those that were in their path. Other species such as the murellow beasts were also forced to the surface as Primordus continued to clear huge underground regions and amass great armies of destroyer minions once again.
The Destroyers were the Elder Dragon Primordus’ mockery of humanoid life; creatures made from molten lava and earthen rock mimicking the shapes of natural beasts like trolls, harpies, spiders, all forged from the molten heart of their master. Although more recently, greater Destroyers such as the Destroyer Queen were also known to hatch their own destroyer minions birthed from egg-like pods. Whether living beings could be corrupted like the Risen or the Mordrem is still only a rumour which lacks evidence. As prophecied by the Tome of Rubicon, the Great Destroyer would battle the Great Dwarf once again, and with the aid of the heroes of 250 ears ago the Greater Destroyer was defeated; a powerful set back that saw the awakening of Primordus delayed by nearly two generations until 1120 AE. What the Asuras believed to simply be a stone monument emitting great amounts of magic energy, turned out to be the Elder Dragon Primordus itself, situated in a massive stone cavern deep underground close to where the Asura built the Central Transfer Chamber to power their vast network of gates harnessing this magic.
Primordus would not have another champion rise to threaten Tyria until 1319 AE when the Destroyer of Life rose in the jungle south of Wildflame Caverns, near Rata Sum. A great beast of stone and magma like the Elder Dragon’s dragon minions; he continued the work of The Great Destroyer raising a large army of Destroyers. With respect to Taimi’s discovery of the weaknesses of Elder Dragons, the Destroyer of Life turned out to be highly vulnerable to its own magic attack. The gargantuan stone mantis fired white-hot arrows of primordial fire from its magma bow. During this fight, the late Eir Stegalkin realised she could wound the creature by firing its own, still burning arrows back at the Destroyer, and thus another of Primordus’ champions was slain in 1320 AE.
While the Deldrimor dwarves are still supposedly in the Depths of Tyria keeping Primordus’ forces at bay, reports of sightings are becoming increasingly frequent across Tyria, possibly due to the extent of the underground network and the dwindling resistance of the dwarves. The Dominion Killing zone in south Kessex Hills, on the border of the Dominion of Winds, is one such location where Destroyers repeatedly surge in attempts to gain foothold. And if appearing by their own force was not sufficient, the Inquest have several labs that run experiments on draconic energies with dire results. In the old Sorrow’s Furnace, now Sorrow’s Embrace where the Dredge have taken up residence free of their dwarven masters’ shackles, a Destroyer of Worlds was brought by the Inquest and given to the Dredge in a plot to gain their support to break through to the surface of Tyria. Meanwhile in Mount Maelstrom, the Destroyers continue to attempt to take over the volcano pit as a greater champion beast, the Megadestroyer, frequently erupts from the core due to the Inquest operations in the region working to harness draconic energies yielding unstable results. As is also seen from the nearby Crucible of Eternity facility where Inquest continue to experiment with all Elder Dragon energies, and namely Destroyers in its fire-themed library producing some chaotic, destroyer creatures.
Wild speculation time
Could Primordus’ be the next Elder Dragon to threaten Tyria’s existence, or might more than one Elder Dragon rise to pose a threat at the same time, effectively sandwiching the remaining Pact forces and Tyrian alliance. As mentioned, destroyers are already appearing in several places and growing to be a more imminent threat. Following the death of Zhaitan, the Tengu Izu Steelshrike suggested that word of his experiences could sway the Tengu that have locked themselves in the Dominion of Winds might seek new allies. Until then, the Tengu were set on flight in the wake of Elder Dragons, and when Scarlet’s Breachmaker assaulted Lion’s Arch, the Tengu retreated behind the gates to the Dominion and killed anyone coming within a stone’s throw. This seclusion following Mordremoth’s awakening might now be swayed yet again as word of its demise reaches the Dominion, and at one point it is only natural that the Tengu will join the fray to take on the Elder Dragons. Seeing as the Destroyers present the Tengu with the most imminent threat, it could be a Primordus’ campaign might finally see the logical (re-)introduction of the Tengu race to Tyria, playable as such from a technical perspective in Guild Wars 2.
Location wise, a battle against Primordus would necessarily involve going underground. Arguably, Primordus would only be a threat if launching an assault on the surface of Tyria, but in order to defeat the Elder Dragon, you would expect to first survive the surface assaults before taking the fight into Primordus’ domain underground, and possibly as such in the heart of the Shiverpeaks.
Only time will tell, and hopefully sometime during Season 3 of the Living Story, events or clues might give us an indication where the next threat will come from. Although if the Living Story will be connected to the Forsaken Thicket, chances are this story might lead to Civil War in Kryta to further weaken Tyria’s defenses in the upcoming battle against the Elder Dragons.