Fantastic Dragons and Where to Find Them — Guild Wars 2 Forums

Fantastic Dragons and Where to Find Them

Starfall Leyline.2481Starfall Leyline.2481 Member ✭✭✭
edited December 22, 2019 in Lore

Sorry, it was just the only title that came to mind and I couldn't think of what else to call it.

THIS POST CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR ICEBROOD SAGA (And Path of Fire/Heart of Thorns if you haven't played that far)

So, I've been going through the lore, the video clips, and various people's opinions. I'm no WoodenPotatoes, but I do have some thoughts on where the story might be going, and where it currently stands. First, let's take stock of a few things:

1. Each time we kill an Elder Dragon, its magic is disseminated to the other dragons.
2. The Elder Dragons are themselves each bound to a particular type of magic. They can absorb other magics, but like foreign bodies it hurts them, as seen in Kralkatorrik.
3. Kralkatorrik was split into two personalities: a 'benevolent' grandfather who actually desired to pass his magic on to Aurene as "the first of her kind" who could unify and maintain multiple types of magic without being destroyed by them. The second personality was the tormented rage that drove him to violence.
4. We did not kill Mordremoth. Mordremoth deliberately killed himself by impaling his head. I found this odd the first time I saw it, and odd every time after.
5. There is this related nugget an entire expansion later: https://i.gyazo.com/5d8536a2f301b6f4538aec9fd98481fe.mp4
6. The Forgotten had tried to purify Kralk and failed, but succeeded with Glint, Aurene's and Glast's mother.
7. The Forgotten's plan didn't entail having only one Elder Dragon replacement, but several, each balancing and sharing magic benevolently in a non-destructive way. While Aurene can handle multiple magics, we don't yet know that killing another Elder Dragon won't make the world explode. We don't know what balance the world needs to maintain.
8. Taimi discovered that Jormag and Primordous were each other's weaknesses due to their form of magic.
9. When fighting Zhaitan, a mysterious Blue orb of unknown origin but great power was used to protect Fort Trinity as it innately negated Zhaitan's power. It is speculated that this is related to the Deep Sea dragon, Bubbles who was Zhaitan's antithesis/weakness.
10. In the most recent Icebrood Saga, Ep. 2, we discover that the Spirits of the Wild did not lead them south from Jormag, but Jormag himself made that arrangement. More on that later.

Let's revisit Mordremoth. Mordremoth was the dragon of Mind and Plants, with a dash of death and shadow from Zhaitan. It was later revealed that the different magics were giving Kralk a stomach ache, essentially, tearing him apart from the inside. It was a deterioration that probably started even before Zhaitan and Mordremoth were killed, but when they died the explosion of those magic types accelerated that process. On the surface we see Mordremoth as being domineering and violent, seeking to control everything, but destruction was all we saw of Kralkatorrik until we reached his heart and he actually entreated the Commander to end him in benevolent Grandfatherly fashion.

At the end of the Mordremoth fight of consuming ley islands and Mordy snoot-boops, he finally coils up his tree and- slam spikes himself through the head, sending a shockwave of his magic through Tyria and specifically sparking the hatching of Aurene's egg. As I linked above in my list, his deliberate end is punctuated by a student questioning why someone would ever spike themselves through the head. And honestly, I had the same thought even the first time I saw that cinematic. Why would he so deliberately kill himself? No one I knew seemed to find it out of place, so I had shrugged it off until recently.

From what we have learned of Kralk, I suspect that Mordremoth may have had similar internal struggles. We saw his violence and domineering nature, but he was very aware of Aurene's egg. Much of the story revolves around protecting the egg from him. Kralk also sought to destroy Aurene, even though in the end his ultimate desire was for her to ascend. In the last moments when Mordremoth had been weakened, I suspect that Mordy's "better side" took over, and in effect he sacrificed himself to spark the hatching of the egg.

That isn't the only parallel we see, though. Mordremoth via his 'converted' Faolain both antagonizes and entreats the Commander on their path to killing him in a way not entirely dissimilar to Jormag's offers and methods. Very likely up until Zhaitan's death, the dragons may have viewed themselves as the 'organs' of Tyria, and the leylines its circulatory system. In truth, that isn't totally incorrect in how they had operated in an objective view. They are corners of a web support structure that we have been systematically disconnecting so it collapses a bit more each time. To the dragons, the mortal races might even be considered at best, parasites.

So let's think about how the dragons seem to view mortals thusfar. In general the dragons heretofore have viewed mortals as pests as mentioned, maybe sources of food or minions, and generally inconsequential. We never got to speak with Zhaitan directly, but he definitely did not seem on the benevolent side other than mortals dying providing him with even more minions. Glint was the first hint at a more benevolent side, but as we learned from Kralk, his 'hidden good side' also saw value in mortals, and despite Glint's assumption, he did not actually fear a world with peace between mortals and dragons. Mordremoth was domineering and wanted to conquer mortals, but the Pale Tree is the herbaceous equivalent to a purified Glint, one of Mordremoth's lieutenants broken free, which shows an equally benevolent side. This is where things get interesting with Jormag.

Thusfar it had been believed that the Spirits of the Wild had led Aesgir, who in turn led the Norn to safety south of Jormag. Aesgir had actually made a deal with Jormag himself as is elaborated in "A Burden," Aesgir's journal. Jormag is described as having a soft, benevolent, even kind voice. Jormag says that his violence to the Norn incursions had been in self-defense, and that Jormag now saw the Norn as a race worth preserving. As such, Jormag gave Aesgir a choice: Bring more norn and watch them die as Jormag continued to defend himself, or take Jormag's tooth and use it to convince the Norn to move further south where they could live in peace, with the promise that Jormag would not follow and torment them. Aesgir, however, also mentions in his journal that he can't shake the feeling he may have given up a possible victory in the deal, even though at the time he felt he had no other option.

You might assume that it's just as Aesgir said, that he had given up an opportunity for victory and that he had taken the coward's way out, but the entire "Invitation" instance sets itself against that assumption. Before you ever get to actually speak with Jormag, you need to go through the Raven's trials, a series of situations you need to make decisions on. The underlying message that is even voiced by Jhavi during the trials is:

[Character name]: I feel like I didn't make the right choice.
Warmaster Jhavi Jorasdottir: There isn't a right choice, Commander. That's what the Raven Spirit is about. That's why we choose to follow it.

There are no right answers, only consequences, it instructs you. No matter what choice you choose, there will always be consequences one way or another. The trial scene wasn't just fluff to make things interesting, it's the framework for the final scene where you receive Jormag's offer through Fraenir's broken corpse. Like Aesgir, Jormag identifies you as someone worthy of speaking to, and Jormag entreats the Commander in much the same way:

Listen to Jormag's invitation, allying with him at the possible risk of the dragon taking things in a direction you do not want, or forge ahead opposed to Jormag, and forgoing any possible protection the Elder dragon might have provided, facing the nameless calamity alone. Add into this that we're not necessarily free to attack Jormag yet anyway - that whole magic balancing act which has already been thrown askew with the death of Zhaitan and Mordremoth is still a factor. While Aurene is helping to stabilize things, the Elder Dragons aren't Open Season yet, so succeeding to kill Jormag has more possible consequences than simply not getting a buff. Allying with Jormag might mean letting Bangarang (Sorry, I just can't not call him that) and his cohorts follow their chosen path of essentially becoming minions of Jormag, which in turn might be enlightening as to the effect of conversion. It might also put you at odds with Bangarang and the charr separatists if Jormag allies with the Commander instead.

So where does that leave us as far as Jormag's intentions and our possible options? At the end of "The Invitation" the dialog between Braham and the commander is purposefully crafted to leave a sense of doubtfulness and uncertainty as to whether or not we'll actually consider Jormag's offer. The commander says, "Right," in response to Braham's query, but in a tone that sounds more like they're convincing themselves as much as anyone else.

From a story writing perspective, we know that we as the players aren't actually going to make a world-altering choice; the choice will be written into the story. I suspect we may court the idea of an alliance with Jormag once the actual threat that Jormag did not deign to extrapolate on is revealed, perhaps even try it for a time, but sooner or later we'll likely end up fighting Jormag in some fashion. Still, it is purposefully being presented as a difficult choice to make, where we may lose people to one side or the other, and have to be ready for the consequences whichever path is chosen. That's the obvious part, of course.

But that being said, we can still learn from how things are presented. Jormag is the dragon of ice and persuasion, so by nature he is not as directly aggressive. Lack of aggressiveness does not mean lack of hostility, though. It just makes him the politician of the Elder Dragons, and his supposed desire to 'help' Aurene is definitely most likely a political move more than anything else. The svanir are notoriously misogynistic and cruel (ironic that Bangarang would seek to ally himself with them after having just arranged a treaty with the Flame Legion that required instatement of status to females), but Kralk's minions (though by appearances more mindless) were also cruel, and so too were Mordremoth's. Their vicious sides were resonating through their minions just as Aurene's benevolence resonates through hers. Jormag is older, however, and more calculating, and only needs to quell the mortals to survive. 10,000 years is a passing day to an Elder Dragon.

We do not know what the 'terrible threat' is that Jormag mentions, but we know that it's in Jormag's best interest to present himself as our best option for survival regardless of what the reality of the situation is. Like Raven's trials, Jormag is presenting a binary option. In his position, he presents the choice as binary because it allows him to limit options to those that best serve him regardless of what we choose. You'll also note that Jormag does not present destroying him as an option, only that "You can either join me and I help you in this coming threat, or you can stand alone." He will not proactively suggest or confirm the possibility of his own defeat, but rather frames the offer in terms of what mortals face without his proposed support.

Jormag may indeed be offering a sort of compromise, but it's a more passive means of self-defense than the aggressive approaches of other dragons. It doesn't fix the inherent problem that the way Jormag feeds is destructive, and that Jormag - for all his borrowing of Almora's voice and sweet talking - doesn't have the best interest of mortals at heart outside of a bargianing chip. While in a sense he 'shares' power, he doesn't do so in the way that Aurene does. He is controlling and manipulative, and prefers to put threats off their guard, or better yet lead them to believe they are helping themselves by joining him.

You've probably guessed by now that I don't believe our choice is all that binary. So what are the alternatives that Jormag isn't mentioning? In my list I mentioned the Forgotten and how they had attempted to purify Kralk unsuccessfully. Sooner or later, I believe this ritual will come into play with one of the Elder Dragons. Our third option is that we purify Jormag or one of his lieutenants the way that the Forgotten attempted to purify Kralk. We can't necessarily go through the whole process that took place the first time to produce Aurene, but if a purification of Jormag succeeded, we wouldn't necessarily have to. Jormag in his current state wouldn't want that to be an option, so he wouldn't present it as one. He'd far prefer mortals feel forced into doing things "his way," complacently if possible.

If we destroy Jormag, we have to rely on the remaining dragons to be able to support that magic, or hope that Aurene can balance the magic all on her own, which seems an unlikely situation. Frankly, while Aurene might be able to cycle magic with the Pale Tree, the idea of Aurene replacing all of the other dragons is also the most boring option to me personally, and I sincerely hope that a more creative solution is part of the twists and turns Tyria takes. The Forgotten had always planned replacements for each of the dragons, not having just one take all the pressure. We might end up purifying one or more of the other dragons, but there would still be consequences to destroying Jormag beyond simply 'facing the nameless threat alone.'

Allying with Jormag is not a pretty option either. Still, as far as we know Jormag is the first and only dragon outside of Aurene herself to recruit minions and (from what we understand) only convert the willing. I've seen others say Jormag's minions retain their free will, but I largely disagree. They have intelligence, but Mordremoth minions displayed all the same characteristics of intelligence and 'free will' confined by the bounds of their master's, and I believe it's the same for the Svanirr. There is one ex-svanir Rojan the Penitent who claims that Jormag is a folly and not to be trusted. There were several 'interesting' conversations happening among the NPCs at the Dragon Bash, as well. Instead of quoting them all, I'll link you, and point you to the discussion of the preaching norn and the conversation between the human and the sylvari: https://wiki.guildwars2.com/wiki/Dragon_Bash_2019/dialogue

A purified Jormag offers some interesting benefits. Trying to find a way to purify an Elder Dragon while not being destroyed by it would be quite the feat. As you may have already thought, a purified elder dragon wouldn't necessarily have the 'connection' to mortals that Aurene has. Building that in a being that's been alive for unknown amounts of time would be a task in itself. Here, Jormag's willingness to interact with Mortals and natural propensity for persuasion might in a purified state translate into an actual benevolence and connection. If Jormag has an internal dichotomy going on such as Kralk (and possibly Mordremoth) did, that connection may on some level already exist.

Ultimately, all of this comes down to (A) Which dragons are capable of feeding without destroying the world, (B) which dragons can support the remaining magics without being driven mad by them, and (C) How many dragons it takes to screw in a lightbu- err... keep the world from falling apart.

Kralkatorrik identifies Aurene as "the first of her kind." Kralkatorrik is prophetic, as he was the first one to see a world where there was peace between dragons and mortals in the first place. While we can't say for certain that this was a prophecy, Kralk still said it with conviction and certainty. This suggests that she won't be the "only one" of her kind, but that she was simply the beginning. It also suggests that none of the other elder dragons - known or unknown - currently are capable of doing what Aurene does (supporting the flow of multiple magics without being destroyed by them).

With or without Jormag, Primordous neither seems the sharing type nor the peaceful type. He likes to watch the world burn, more or less literally, from all indication. Then there's Bubbles, the dragon no one knows much of anything about. Depsite being apparently awake, they have kept to themselves and remained undetected. While there are rumors of 'horrors' in the deeps from the Largos, the only direct influence we know of is that (possibly) its power protected us from Zhaitan in the form of the blue orb, and that it drove out the (arguably evil) Krait from the depths, so either Bubbles is so evil that even the Krait couldn't join them, or Bubbles is good or neutral. For all we know, the Largos themselves might actually be minions of Bubbles, similar to how the Sylvari were minions of Mordremoth without even realizing it. If Jormag and Primordous die, their power will get divided between Bubbles and Aurene. As with everything else about Bubbles, the spheres of influence of Bubbles is unknown. With Bubbles being such an unknown there is a definite 'best for last' flavor to his/her continued and increasingly obvious absence. It can't fail to be noted though that if Bubbles is the antithesis to Zhaitan the same way Primordous is the opposite of Jormag, that Bubbles is possibly a dragon of life.

So, unless we go the route of "Aurene is everything we need," purifying/converting of someone somewhere is almost inevitable, if not Jormag, I would expect us to try it with one of the two other remaining dragons. These are my thoughts and theories. I'm curious to see what other people think! ...and how many people actually manage to read all of this.

Random extra (and largely unrelated) thoughts:

If Jormag was the one who urged them south and not the Spirits of the Wild, just what role have the Spirits of the Wild been playing in the Norn culture? They've definitely been 'benefiting' from Norn devotion considering they are viewed as saviors, something which the Kodan have a thing or two to say about. Various Norn NPCs will commonly attest, "I pray to the spirits of the wild, but they rarely answer." Jormag and the Raven spirit appear to be at odds with one another, though Jormag's followers also successfully subvert Raven's magic during the map meta event.

The six gods and six dragons are often paralleled with each other. The quaggan worship Mellaggan, a god they believe is dead. Mellaggan is believed to be Melandru, the human god of life/growth, though Quaggan do insist that Mellaggan is not Melandru, it's interesting that Mellaggan represents something similar (bounty/growth/wealth of the ocean). They believe she died when the Krait invaded after Bubbles drove the Krait out of its own domain. In the Elder Dragons so far, we have death/shadow, crystal/fury, fire/conflagration, Ice/persuasion, plant/mind covered. Mordremoth could be argued to be the closest comparison to Melandru in association. If there are any parallels in which dragon is what, it'd be interesting to deduce what remains for Bubbles after the dragons we've seen.

Comments

  • Stephen.6312Stephen.6312 Member ✭✭
    edited December 22, 2019

    @Starfall Leyline.2481 said:
    Sorry, it was just the only title that came to mind and I couldn't think of what else to call it.

    THIS POST CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR ICEBROOD SAGA (And Path of Fire/Heart of Thorns if you haven't played that far)

    I've bookmarked this theory, as it's something new for me to think about.

    Look, I'm still unconvinced that killing the Elder Dragons is a bad thing for anyone or anything, other than them, of course. There isn't much to suggest that killing them is creating problems for us. In fact, hunting the Elder Dragons has turned bitter enemies into close allies. Look at what the humans and charr were capable of doing when the Elders were seen solely as enemies, and how allying with an "Elder Dragon" (Aurene), rather than resisting it, has created new problems for the dynamic between the charr and the other races.

    It's possible that dragons exist to be killed, even if they don't want to be. If they do exist to be killed, we should not think that doing so will jeopardize reality beyond repair. The All will find a way. It always does. Dragons are just one species among many, many more that have emerged from the Mists.

    Everything that we have so far, indicating that killing the Elder Dragons is a bad thing, is just nonsense, pure nonsense. The asura have theories, derived by machines, which, quite frankly, are no better at predicting the outcome of events than the organic minds that assembled them. Furthermore, the Infinity Ball story arc suggests that the steam creatures are capable of fulfilling the role of Elder Dragon minions and have allowed the asuran PC's doppelganger to stabilize Tyria in the absence of the Elders. The humans haven't got a clue, although Balthazar's behavior suggests that killing the Elder Dragons wouldn't destroy Tyria (yes, the PC assumes killing the Elders would destroy Tyria when appealing to Balthazar, but the god of war never openly declares as much). The sylvari have been instructed by their Dream to kill the dragons, as evidenced by Trahearne's statement at the end of GW2 Vanilla: "The dragons are not stars in the sky...one day we will kill the last of them". The norn aren't too sure what to make of the Elders. And the charr, well, they don't need gods anymore than they need dragons. Fighting is what they're made for.

    As to the Elder races. The forgotten have theories. That's it. The dwarves are all but extinct and Ogden Stonehealer is an idiot. We killed the mursaat so there goes that. The jotun don't want a bar of it. And the seers? How convenient that they're all dead too.

    Smite the Elder Dragons. Get it over with.

  • Teratus.2859Teratus.2859 Member ✭✭✭✭

    Kralkatorrik wasn't benevolent.. his drive to violence has always existed and his acts of cruelty and violence go back long before we kill Zhaitan and Kralkatorrik gets juiced up on other dragons magic.
    The only thing we can suspect is that absorbing the other dragons magic etc made him severely worse than he already was by feeding his torment and driving him more and more insane.

    The split we see in him wasn't between good and bad it was more like a difference in solutions.
    All he really wanted was to end his own pain.

    The torment demanding he basically eradicate absolutely everything in his path.. end everything and end the suffering.
    While the other personality sort and end to his suffering through his death.

    He was pretty much constantly in a state of war with himself and once the torment completely took over.. well Living world 4 happened lol

    What is important to note though is that Jormag doesn't appear to be afflicted with this same torment.. from what interaction we've had with it so far it seems to be stable.
    This could be due to it's weakening in Living world 3 or it could be that the torment Kralkatorrik was suffering from was exclusive to him alone.
    We simply do not know this at the current time.

  • @Teratus.2859 said:
    Kralkatorrik wasn't benevolent.. his drive to violence has always existed and his acts of cruelty and violence go back long before we kill Zhaitan and Kralkatorrik gets juiced up on other dragons magic.
    The only thing we can suspect is that absorbing the other dragons magic etc made him severely worse than he already was by feeding his torment and driving him more and more insane.

    It should be clarified that Zhaitan's death was not when Kralkatorrik's torment formed. ArenaNet confirmed it's eons old. Which would mean it formed from Kralkatorrik feasting on the ley lines and not siphoning out just his domain to consume.

    Zhaitan's, Mordremoth's, and Balthazar's deaths did make it worse, but it didn't create the torment either as many people incorrectly perceive, and it sounds like you're making the same mistake.

    What is important to note though is that Jormag doesn't appear to be afflicted with this same torment.. from what interaction we've had with it so far it seems to be stable.
    This could be due to it's weakening in Living world 3 or it could be that the torment Kralkatorrik was suffering from was exclusive to him alone.
    We simply do not know this at the current time.

    Being able to converse doesn't really make things stable. And ArenaNet narrative devs had implied pretty heavily that all Elder Dragons suffer from the same issue of conflicting magical torment for eons.

    All these squares make a circle.
    All these squares make a circle.
    All these squares make a circle.

  • Teratus.2859Teratus.2859 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Konig Des Todes.2086 said:

    @Teratus.2859 said:
    Kralkatorrik wasn't benevolent.. his drive to violence has always existed and his acts of cruelty and violence go back long before we kill Zhaitan and Kralkatorrik gets juiced up on other dragons magic.
    The only thing we can suspect is that absorbing the other dragons magic etc made him severely worse than he already was by feeding his torment and driving him more and more insane.

    It should be clarified that Zhaitan's death was not when Kralkatorrik's torment formed. ArenaNet confirmed it's eons old. Which would mean it formed from Kralkatorrik feasting on the ley lines and not siphoning out just his domain to consume.

    Zhaitan's, Mordremoth's, and Balthazar's deaths did make it worse, but it didn't create the torment either as many people incorrectly perceive, and it sounds like you're making the same mistake.

    I didn't state when the torment formed just that his recent power boost made it worse and allowed the torment to compeltely take over and dictate his recent actions before his death.

    What is important to note though is that Jormag doesn't appear to be afflicted with this same torment.. from what interaction we've had with it so far it seems to be stable.
    This could be due to it's weakening in Living world 3 or it could be that the torment Kralkatorrik was suffering from was exclusive to him alone.
    We simply do not know this at the current time.

    Being able to converse doesn't really make things stable. And ArenaNet narrative devs had implied pretty heavily that all Elder Dragons suffer from the same issue of conflicting magical torment for eons.

    Will be interesting to see how that plays out, personally I don't care much for the idea that they'll all be more or less the same as Kralkatorrik.. kida diminishes their uniqueness imo.
    Jormag has been defined by it's manipulative and seductive behaviour so having it suffering from the same kind of torment just doesn't work for me tbh.. Insane is the last thing I would use to describe Jormag.

    As for the sea dragon.. if that one was suffering the same we'd surely have heard something about it by now considering it's the only dragon alive that hasn't been weakened in recent years so it's a safe bet to assume that it's currently the most powerful Elder Dragon next to Aurine.

    And Primordus.. well I'd honestly prefer him to be the most genuinely evil of the Dragons rather than another poor victim driven to destroy..

  • ugrakarma.9416ugrakarma.9416 Member ✭✭✭✭

    Mordy spike himself wanst a "suicide", is just a expression, to say that he received a so hard blow that he accidentally "finished up" himself.

    main pvp: Khel the Undead(power reaper).

  • @Teratus.2859 said:
    Will be interesting to see how that plays out, personally I don't care much for the idea that they'll all be more or less the same as Kralkatorrik.. kida diminishes their uniqueness imo.
    Jormag has been defined by it's manipulative and seductive behaviour so having it suffering from the same kind of torment just doesn't work for me tbh.. Insane is the last thing I would use to describe Jormag.

    I think it would make sense that they all suffer from mixing magic, as it would feel weird that Kralkatorrik was the one and only Elder Dragon who suffered from such, especially after saying Aurene was the "first of her kind"; but it would also make sense that the torment takes on different forms as they each have different mixtures of magic. Kralkatorrik is also the only Elder Dragon who sought destruction and possession of all things. Which implies that the torment for the others doesn't "promise destroy everything and the pain will end".

    All these squares make a circle.
    All these squares make a circle.
    All these squares make a circle.

  • Teratus.2859Teratus.2859 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited December 22, 2019

    @Konig Des Todes.2086 said:

    @Teratus.2859 said:
    Will be interesting to see how that plays out, personally I don't care much for the idea that they'll all be more or less the same as Kralkatorrik.. kida diminishes their uniqueness imo.
    Jormag has been defined by it's manipulative and seductive behaviour so having it suffering from the same kind of torment just doesn't work for me tbh.. Insane is the last thing I would use to describe Jormag.

    I think it would make sense that they all suffer from mixing magic, as it would feel weird that Kralkatorrik was the one and only Elder Dragon who suffered from such, especially after saying Aurene was the "first of her kind"; but it would also make sense that the torment takes on different forms as they each have different mixtures of magic. Kralkatorrik is also the only Elder Dragon who sought destruction and possession of all things. Which implies that the torment for the others doesn't "promise destroy everything and the pain will end".

    It could definitely manifest in different ways and if all the dragons are tormented then I would like to see this explored more rather than have them all ultimately face the same consume everything role.

    Jormag serves best example as it's the most pressing threat.. if I had to put a label on it and give Jormags torment a name i'd probably go with.. Paranoid.
    It wouldn't be so out of place if Jormag's behaviour was some kind of projection of it's own torment.. much like Kralkatorrik destroyed everything in it's path as his torment wanted.
    Jormag could be seducing and manipulating people with whispers of doubt and mistrust because Jormag itself could be severely paranoid.. constantly mistrusting everything that it has no control over hence it's drive to control and manipulate rather than just destroying everything which it is very likely more than capable of doing if it choose to.
    A strong theme we see in the recent episode is paranoia and betrayal being installed in Vigil soldiers as well.

    Thinking back on Mordremoth.. his personality did come across as pretty megalomaniacal.. I am the future. I am this world. You cannot destroy me. Run while you can!
    Dunno what to describe Zhaitan as though since he never speaks so we can only get his desire and will from his minions.. perhaps voracious maybe? or ravenous.. kinda applies to Kralkatorrik too though Zhaitan didn't show any sign of wanting to eradicate all existence.
    So Zhaitan voracious torment?
    Mordremoth megalomanical torment?
    Kralkatorrik insanity torment.
    Jormag paranoia torment?

    It's just speculation but if the torment does effect them in very different ways it certainly makes them far more interesting and makes me curious about what Primordus and DSD's torments could be.

  • @Konig Des Todes.2086 said:

    Suffice it to say: Mordremoth did not commit suicide, despite the wording at Vabbi's school. He did not intentionally impale himself on a spike, he fainted - for lack of a better word - while hovering above the spike.

    I say it's a good policy not to trust any "educational" materials found anywhere in a state-sanctioned facility under Kim Jong Joko's jurisdiction. I, too, subscribe to the theory that Mordremoth lost consciousness at the precise moment his head was above the spike, giving us the resulting impalement.

    @Starfall Leyline.2481 said:
    So let's think about how the dragons seem to view mortals thusfar. In general the dragons heretofore have viewed mortals as pests as mentioned, maybe sources of food or minions, and generally inconsequential. We never got to speak with Zhaitan directly, but he definitely did not seem on the benevolent side other than mortals dying providing him with even more minions. Glint was the first hint at a more benevolent side, but as we learned from Kralk, his 'hidden good side' also saw value in mortals, and despite Glint's assumption, he did not actually fear a world with peace between mortals and dragons. Mordremoth was domineering and wanted to conquer mortals, but the Pale Tree is the herbaceous equivalent to a purified Glint, one of Mordremoth's lieutenants broken free, which shows an equally benevolent side. This is where things get interesting with Jormag.

    So I would say that Kralkatorrik saw no value in mortals, unless they were subservient to dragons.

    Ultimately I believe this is the most "benevolent" any of the dragons could possibly be towards mortal life-forms. This is also the fundamental incompatibility between said mortal life-forms and the dragon perspective. The mortals would like to preserve their lives the way they are now, despite all the death, uncertainty, and pain that entails. Dragons like Mordremoth and Zhaitan might be technically truthful when saying they can offer a version of protection and immortality to mortals, but at the cost of those mortals' total transformation and subservience to the dragons. I suspect Jormag's "fortification" and "protection" is essentially the same offer, just presented in a much more seductive voice.

    keeps the Vigil in a loop of doing the same thing over and over again (as highlighted when you help allies with events during the story, and with the investigation events), indicating that Jormag does want the Commander into the Far Shiverpeaks, but at a certain pace - Bangar is a lure, and Fraenir was a delay, just to bring the Commander in, so that Jormag can get at Aurene.

    Keeping the Vigil in a loop - I appreciated this aspect of the writing for Bjora very, very, very deeply. Obviously events across the entire game world remain repeatable for various mmo reasons, despite the immersion-breaking nature of doing so. However, to have an explicit explanation of why npcs literally run circles around the map repeating the same tasks over and over - and to have that explanation actually make a good deal of sense - feels extremely rare and valuable in the gaming world.

  • @Konig Des Todes.2086 said:
    Wow. Lengthy post. Those are rare and always hard to follow.

    You make a lot of good points! Actually, on several things you and I agree and I make essentially the same point myself, like Mordremoth's torment having begun a while back but getting accelerated by the recent death of the other dragons, etc, or Jormag's intentions for Aurene and that the 'offer' he made was more about getting to her than anything else. I also agree that not all dragons are reacting to the magic exactly the same, but I do think the various dragons are all suffering from that mixing magic. AS for the complications with 'purifying' Jormag, I kinda misspoke there. I don't see the purification as a brainwashing that suddenly makes the dragons good, but rather something that clears their perspective as it were so that in certain instances they might become more benevolent, if that makes sense. Jormag might in fact just stay manipulative and bad, but he might not. Semantics aside I think we're closer to the same page than it may appear.

    @Starfall Leyline.2481 said:
    8. Taimi discovered that Jormag and Primordous were each other's weaknesses due to their form of magic.
    9. When fighting Zhaitan, a mysterious Blue orb of unknown origin but great power was used to protect Fort Trinity as it innately negated Zhaitan's power. It is speculated that this is related to the Deep Sea dragon, Bubbles who was Zhaitan's antithesis/weakness.

    The speculation was actually that Elder Dragon magic prevents corruption, though this has been proven wrong. Twice.

    This would thus imply that the deep sea dragon is (or was) Kralkatorrik's opposite - and now Aurene's.

    >

    Interesting indeed; I was not aware of this! I appreciate the added info there.

    @Starfall Leyline.2481 said:
    10. In the most recent Icebrood Saga, Ep. 2, we discover that the Spirits of the Wild did not lead them south from Jormag, but Jormag himself made that arrangement. More on that later.

    Not entirely correct. While Jormag did offer peace and recommend taking the norn south, it was still Asgeir's choice to do so rather than return with more forces. Jormag offered to led Asgeir go regardless. Asgeir was the one who chose to go south - and he was still backed by the Spirits of the Wild. And as far as we know, it was still the Spirits who guided Asgeir to 'the lowlands' where he built Hoelbrak.

    Furthermore, we know that Jormag did not keep its promise. It chased the norn south, as according to Owl Shaman Ulgadis, Jormag battled Owl over Owl's Lodge, in Snowden Drifts, before retreating back north (likely to where it rests now, which Season 3 says is just north of Bitterfrost Frontier).

    Owl Shaman Ulgadis: It happened centuries ago, on this very ground. Jormag came to ravage our homes, and Owl stood against him. She was destroyed. Since that day, this area has been known as her abattoir.

    Hmm, according to

    https://wiki.guildwars2.com/wiki/Norn_exodus "Knowing that the norn would not back down from a challenge, and that no norn was capable of defeating Jormag, Bear, Wolf, Raven, and Snow Leopard guided Asgeir to lead the norn south so that they can survive until a hero to defeat Jormag appears.[1] Meanwhile, Ox, Owl, Wolverine and Eagle, having taken damage from Jormag's actions or being best suited to defend against it, stayed back to fight off the Elder Dragon. It is known that at least Owl has died during this, and the other three have been lost since."

    From that, it's not quite so clear cut as to when that happened, and Jormag did warn Aesgir that he would defend himself if attacked. Now, I should say I am not putting it past Jormag to be lying and deceitful, but I'm not sure we can all-out say that Jormag didn't keep his word because of Owl dying at the time. You're right though, it's equally murky as to whether or not the Spirits accompanied them. In this text https://wiki.guildwars2.com/wiki/A_Burden he doesn't mention the Spirits except at the very beginning. Perhaps they did support them southward, or perhaps that was part of Aesgir's lie to make the deal complete. Further chapters of Icebrood may reveal that.

    @Starfall Leyline.2481 said:
    Let's revisit Mordremoth. Mordremoth was the dragon of Mind and Plants, with a dash of death and shadow from Zhaitan. It was later revealed that the different magics were giving Kralk a stomach ache, essentially, tearing him apart from the inside. It was a deterioration that probably started even before Zhaitan and Mordremoth were killed, but when they died the explosion of those magic types accelerated that process. On the surface we see Mordremoth as being domineering and violent, seeking to control everything, but destruction was all we saw of Kralkatorrik until we reached his heart and he actually entreated the Commander to end him in benevolent Grandfatherly fashion.

    At the end of the Mordremoth fight of consuming ley islands and Mordy snoot-boops, he finally coils up his tree and- slam spikes himself through the head, sending a shockwave of his magic through Tyria and specifically sparking the hatching of Aurene's egg. As I linked above in my list, his deliberate end is punctuated by a student questioning why someone would ever spike themselves through the head. And honestly, I had the same thought even the first time I saw that cinematic. Why would he so deliberately kill himself? No one I knew seemed to find it out of place, so I had shrugged it off until recently.

    From what we have learned of Kralk, I suspect that Mordremoth may have had similar internal struggles. We saw his violence and domineering nature, but he was very aware of Aurene's egg. Much of the story revolves around protecting the egg from him. Kralk also sought to destroy Aurene, even though in the end his ultimate desire was for her to ascend. In the last moments when Mordremoth had been weakened, I suspect that Mordy's "better side" took over, and in effect he sacrificed himself to spark the hatching of the egg.

    I really do recommend watching the meta ending cinematic again. In the linked video, at 13:20, you see Mordremoth rear up his head and roar, a flash of light bursts out (the entire time his body is pulsating the glow) and he falls down.

    We know that the final story instance - Hearts and Minds - occurs concurrently with the final battle. When we kill the possessed Trahearne, there is a flash of light blue light in the cinematic, coming from the Heart of Thorns. That burst of light before the Mouth dies, and the burst of light after Trahearne's death, are likely the same exact bursts of light. The amount of time for Mordremoth's body to begin pulsing that light, climb up the tree, and roar is approximately the same as between destroying Mordremoth's avatar in the Dream, and killing Trahearne (especially when you consider that there was originally meant to be a final phase where players climb up and attack Mordy's face head on).

    On the matter of Mordremoth suffering from his own kind of torment - this is entirely likely, and likely can be extended to all Elder Dragons, though it also clearly manifests in different ways, as Kralkatorrik's torment pushed for destruction of all things, which is how Kralkatorrik acted during Edge of Destiny novel, and no other Elder Dragon functions that way.

    Weirdly, I don't recall that flash of light when I first did Dragon's Stand, but that was also years ago and I haven't done it much more recently than that. Without the flash of light it looks more like a deliberate act. I tried to check to see if at any point the death scene was 'patched' or changed in the intervening time, but that's a needle in a haystack I may never find, so it's easier for me to assume it's been there the whole time and I'm just forgetting it. While I liked the idea of Mordremoth hatching the egg 'on purpose', a coinciding with the mind fight does make sense, and in watching the video it doesn't look as deliberate as I had remembered it.

    @Starfall Leyline.2481 said:
    So let's think about how the dragons seem to view mortals thusfar. In general the dragons heretofore have viewed mortals as pests as mentioned, maybe sources of food or minions, and generally inconsequential. We never got to speak with Zhaitan directly, but he definitely did not seem on the benevolent side other than mortals dying providing him with even more minions. Glint was the first hint at a more benevolent side, but as we learned from Kralk, his 'hidden good side' also saw value in mortals, and despite Glint's assumption, he did not actually fear a world with peace between mortals and dragons. Mordremoth was domineering and wanted to conquer mortals, but the Pale Tree is the herbaceous equivalent to a purified Glint, one of Mordremoth's lieutenants broken free, which shows an equally benevolent side. This is where things get interesting with Jormag.

    I disagree that Kralkatorrik saw value in mortals. Kralkatorrik says that Elder Dragons don't fear anything, yet he strived to prevent a world where dragons and mortals were in peace; Glint presumed this was because he feared his death, but if that's not the case, and he's willing to die for his family, why would he hate his vision's outcome so much? We don't know how long ago this vision was, but the current Kralkatorrik - even the Kralkatirrin in Edge of Destiny (pre-Zhaitan's death) - is a mindless murderer bent on destroying everything. Not exactly something that would react to a vision, and Glint's secret of him sounds like "before even the previous dragonrise" that she has little memory of.

    The "good" Kralkatorrik we meet during Descent regrets killing Glint (the line about killing loved ones was confirmed by devs to be regarding Glint) and has affection for Aurene. The "bad" Kralkatorrik sought destruction for all things. Neither really cared about self-survival, and the latter didn't show enough care for anything beyond ending the pain, so it wouldn't care about a vision of a world at peace without him.

    My theory? Kralkatorrik's a racist. He despises mortals. The only mortal he interacts with kindly is the Commander, and for all we know this is because the Commander is Aurene's champion and no other reason. ArenaNet also stated that even before being afflicted by torment, Kralkatorrik was not a "good guy". "Good Kralkatorrik" is still a villain figure. Thus, I believe he didn't want that vision come to pass because he didn't want peace between mortals and humans.

    So I would say that Kralkatorrik saw no value in mortals, unless they were subservient to dragons.

    I don't believe that Kralkatorrik hated his vision's outcome. He definitely wasn't a 'good guy' to start, but I see it more like a parallel with those movies where the villain at the very end shows some gleam of redemption. A few others have pointed out that in that interaction, Aurene had clearly begun to care for her Grandfather, and his 'good side' (note I do put that in quotes) argues with the tormented rage in her and the commander's defense. The tormented rage was many things, including xenophobic, and was clearly the much more powerful influence in him. Something I was going to say about Jormag in my original version of the post was that "Not fearing death does not necessarily indicate a willingness to die."

    Kralkatorrik's heart I don't so much see as a true divide between "good/evil" but rather rationality/rage. The rage was the primary motivator in Kralk, and had been for who knows how long before, hence we never got to see his 'rational' side until we had actually gone into him to his heart. Compared to his rage, the rational side is clearly more benevolent in nature, cared for Glint as you pointed out, and also clearly cared for Aurene. It's true he wanted his pain to end, but who wouldn't, especially if he had been powerless to end it due to the rampage of his rage? While it might seem self-serving to end the torment, that possibility is downplayed in his exposition in defense of Aurene and her qualities. He presents it, rather, as a passing of the torch.

    @Starfall Leyline.2481 said:
    So where does that leave us as far as Jormag's intentions and our possible options? At the end of "The Invitation" the dialog between Braham and the commander is purposefully crafted to leave a sense of doubtfulness and uncertainty as to whether or not we'll actually consider Jormag's offer. The commander says, "Right," in response to Braham's query, but in a tone that sounds more like they're convincing themselves as much as anyone else.

    >

    -snip a bit-

    I believe you might have missed something about Jormag's message. In the Guild Chat for Whisper in the Dark, it was revealed that there is a "hidden message" during Jormag's dialogue. This message seems to have been discovered, as Fraenir says speicfic words with Jormag, but only a certain few, as pulled out in this video:

    What the video points out is: "End it. I want her." But I hear an additional few words, making the full message: "This pain. End it. I want her."

    My take on this is that Jormag's promises are - like with Asgeir - a lie and a trap. Jormag has been slowing down the Commander's and allies' forces, but also inviting them in - the blizzard prevented the Commander from chasing Bangar, but Jormag used Almorra's corpse to bring them into Bjora's Marches, where the Fraenir's power keeps the Vigil in a loop of doing the same thing over and over again (as highlighted when you help allies with events during the story, and with the investigation events), indicating that Jormag does want the Commander into the Far Shiverpeaks, but at a certain pace - Bangar is a lure, and Fraenir was a delay, just to bring the Commander in, so that Jormag can get at Aurene.

    Jormag's ultimate goal for the moment, I suspect, is to get Aurene to end Jormag's torment. Jormag wants to take what makes Aurene special and capable of handling multiple types of magic without harm, and use it for its own goals of ending its torment.

    Incidentally, I feel that Jormag and Zhaitan were perhaps the closest Elder Dragons to "benevolent Elder Dragons" before afflicted with Torment, as both's actions feel like they're trying to benefit mortals in some way, but do so in a very, very poor way. Zhaitan's minions often speak of Zhaitan ruling a nation without death and loss, but they go about building this by mercilessly killing and forcing servitude. Jormag and its minions talk about protection, strength, and survival, but simultaneously makes the world inhospitable to all but ice creatures.

    As to the "threat on the horizon" - we can't even be sure there is one. But I'd argue it's referring to the deep sea dragon, especially if it is the opposite to the Crystal Dragon family's domains.

    I did miss the secret message, but ironically I came to the same conclusion anyway, that Jormag was making a political move to get close to Aurene, and that he had his own ulterior motives. Likewise, I also mentioned (or in one of my draft versions I may have mentioned - perhaps I removed it) that we don't have a guarantee that there is a threat. It's just that Jormag needs to present himself as being necessary in order to weight the bargaining table in favor of his survival. I don't think Jormag is necessarily lying about his offer in this instance, but rather it's all colored by his motivations. With Aesgir I think he kept his word as well when it comes to a technicality, but I also suspect he thrives on technicalities, as it were.

    @Starfall Leyline.2481 said:
    Our third option is that we purify Jormag or one of his lieutenants the way that the Forgotten attempted to purify Kralk. We can't necessarily go through the whole process that took place the first time to produce Aurene, but if a purification of Jormag succeeded, we wouldn't necessarily have to. Jormag in his current state wouldn't want that to be an option, so he wouldn't present it as one. He'd far prefer mortals feel forced into doing things "his way," complacently if possible.

    It should be noted that purifying a dragon minions does not make them good. The ritual only frees the minions from the enslavement of the Elder Dragon - or, it would seem given the intent, would separate the Elder Dragon from its greed (thus its torment?). When purified, Glint still killed mortals and defended Kralkatorrik. It was only after she heard their dying thoughts, and the thoughts of Kralkatorrik while he slept, that she turned against him.

    In addition, we were told by Anet some time ago that the Forgotten's purifying ritual is a resource extensive one that requires specific geographical locations, and this is why the Pact doesn't use it more frequently (or at all). So it may not even be an option, since we'd have to lure Jormag, or whatever scion we could, to a suitable location first.

    Oh, I definitely realize this, but at this point I'm taking guesses as to where Anet might take the story. I doubt that Anet would have us raise 'another' Aurene, that if (and I do stress if) we need more than one figure who can cycle magic to be present in the system, they may have us purify an existing dragon to give us variety. From a game dev standpoint, honestly the easiest dragon to do that with would probably be Bubbles the Deep Sea dragon, because we haven't seen hide nor hair of their minions yet in the actual game, so you don't have year's worth of minions in high thoroughfare maps that that we need to explain after 'reforming' Jormag if he actually turned out benevolent at the end of it. That being said though, if Anet did decide to have us try and purify Jormag, they would provide the circumstances to do so just by writing it into the story, and probably make the difficulty of arranging the whole endeavor part of the missions leading up to it. Having a chance to try and purify an Elder Dragon and then convince it to our side would I think, make for an intriguing endeavor nonetheless.

    @Starfall Leyline.2481 said:
    Allying with Jormag is not a pretty option either. Still, as far as we know Jormag is the first and only dragon outside of Aurene herself to recruit minions and (from what we understand) only convert the willing. I've seen others say Jormag's minions retain their free will, but I largely disagree. They have intelligence, but Mordremoth minions displayed all the same characteristics of intelligence and 'free will' confined by the bounds of their master's, and I believe it's the same for the Svanirr. There is one ex-svanir Rojan the Penitent who claims that Jormag is a folly and not to be trusted.

    It should be noted that the Mordrem Guard do still have free will. They're not corrupted, but instead were "convinced" (or tricked) to follow Mordremoth via its whispers and calls. The fact they're not corrupted is why one of them almost reverts during HoT when separated from Mordremoth's whispers (and possibly could have been reverted completely had Canach not pressed him back towards Mordremoth's way of thinking), and we can meet one reverted at Festival of the Four Winds.

    The Sons of Svanir are not corrupted either, at least most of them are not. Those who have received "blessings" do get corrupted, and their intelligence can often be reduced. It's unclear whether or not the corrupted Sons of Svanir still have free will, but your not-yet-Icebrood definitely do (and that includes Rojan).

    But note that they only started to revert after being separated from Mordremoth's influence, and that reverting was in fact the expression of their own wills fighting back. They only retain their free will so long as they hold onto it, which makes up the entire battle of a Sylvari while in Maguuma. Canach himself was constantly battling it, but had a strong enough will to not be overcome by Mordremoth's. That is actually the very trait I was pointing out: 'intelligence' is not the same as free will. They could make decisions, but while subjected to Mordremoth's (or Jormag's) influence, it was confined to the will of their masters.

    This is why all the unprepared sylvari on the Pact ships at the outset of the Maguuma incursion turned on their fellows. They weren't acting on free will, but on Mordremoth's will. As for the Svanir who haven't been transformed yet, they're simply idiots with blind zeal akin to a political party. In fact in one of the story missions you actually have the non-transformed Svanir run away when one of their own is transformed and they 'realize' what they're in for. In this case, I'm only referring to those who have been "minionized". The "unchained" Zhaitan minions are actually another good example of this. Most of them feral, but the ones who are positive even if they choose to still follow Zhaitan, are no longer under Zhaitan's direct influence, and 'unchained' in the name itself even implies their wills have been freed to make their own choices.

    @Starfall Leyline.2481 said:
    Depsite being apparently awake, they have kept to themselves and remained undetected. While there are rumors of 'horrors' in the deeps from the Largos, the only direct influence we know of is that (possibly) its power protected us from Zhaitan in the form of the blue orb, and that it drove out the (arguably evil) Krait from the depths, so either Bubbles is so evil that even the Krait couldn't join them, or Bubbles is good or neutral. For all we know, the Largos themselves might actually be minions of Bubbles, similar to how the Sylvari were minions of Mordremoth without even realizing it.

    It wasn't just the krait forced out of their homes, but the quaggans and karka too. Furthermore, the idea of the DSD keeping to itself seems very unlikely. When it woke up (approx 200 years ago by all indication), it forced the krait out. 50 years ago, it forced the quaggan out. Very recently, it began conflict with the largos and forced the karka out. It has definitely been expanding its territory over time.

    As to the notion of largos being minions - it seems very unlikely for that to be the case. Even ignoring the fact that there are largos in the arctic seas as well as the southern seas where the DSD is, and were well known by the quaggans before they fled their respective homes (both north and south), there's the fact that the two aspects of the DSD's minions we know do not match the largos at all: 1) they're tentacle monsters, 2) they're very large. Largos are neither tentacle-y nor very large.

    Bubbles forced out the Krait, who then in turn forced out the Quaggan, but the Karka themselves were also forced out as I recently learned. I hadn't paid much attention to them. Excerpt from the Quaggan wiki entry: "Overall, quaggan history is mainly uneventful. Most records merely state things such as ancestry lines or when food was bountiful. During this time, the quaggans lived primarily within the Unending Ocean and the unnamed seas to the north. Over the last fifty years however, the krait began invading quaggan homes and forced them towards Tyria." And from the Krait: "Fifty years ago, however, they were forced out of the Unending Ocean's deepest trenches, their former homeland, by the deep sea dragon's forces. During this time, they forced the quaggan out of the Unending Ocean as well, killing their royal family and, according to a Pastkeeper, their goddess Mellaggan herself."

    The Largos being DSD minions was not so much a suggestion as an indication of how little we actually know about Bubbles. When it comes down to it, any number of those races could technically be candidates of DSD minions, since dragon minions tend to come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, and often specialized to various tasks. Just as not all of Zhaitan's, Kralk's, Jormag's, or Mordremoth's minions were any one thing or set of characteristics, I also doubt that all of Bubble's minions will end up being large tentacle creatures.

    But when it comes to large tentacle creatures, I do find the Jade Ocean fractal to be a point of interest with the 'kraken' boss. Which I always felt bad for attacking, as a side note. There it is minding it's own business, trapped in Jade, not attacking us, and then we go throwing things in its eye. I'd be grumpy too. And by the way I'm not insinuating anything from that fight, I'm just rambling there, lol. The kraken in that fractal might actually be a DSD minion, it's difficult to say for certain, but so far outside of Zhaitan himself it's the only large be-tentacled thing we've encountered. I just don't think that it would constitute the entirety of Bubble's minions, and most likely there's going to be a twist/reveal somewhere.

    @Starfall Leyline.2481 said:
    Random extra (and largely unrelated) thoughts:

    If Jormag was the one who urged them south and not the Spirits of the Wild, just what role have the Spirits of the Wild been playing in the Norn culture? They've definitely been 'benefiting' from Norn devotion considering they are viewed as saviors, something which the Kodan have a thing or two to say about. Various Norn NPCs will commonly attest, "I pray to the spirits of the wild, but they rarely answer." Jormag and the Raven spirit appear to be at odds with one another, though Jormag's followers also successfully subvert Raven's magic during the map meta event.

    Leading the norn south or not, the Spirits of the Wild did play an active part during Jormag's rise. Owl battled Jormag directly and died for it; Wolverine, Eagle, and Ox/Dolyak battled Jormag as well, and went missing. Bear, Wolf, Raven, and Snow Leopard did do some guidance, as the latter three were "brought up" to be named Greater Spirits for their deeds - before Jormag's rise, only Bear was considered a "Greater Spirit" among the norn. Furthermore, at the end of Bjora Marches meta, we can see Raven (or so it seems) flying overhead to clear the storm.

    So it isn't like they're doing nothing.

    Oh, I didn't think they were doing nothing. I just find it curious that the spirits themselves didn't see fit to shed any light on how things went down with Aesgir. But as the Norn attest, the spirits don't always talk much, nor seem to view themselves as arbiters of truth. They're definitely there and providing boons for the Norn people, but it also seems as though they have something to gain themselves. Granted, a symbiotic relationship of give and take isn't necessarily a bad thing. Really, that part was just me rambling a bit since the Spirits of the Wild hadn't entirely played the role it was thought. I would like us to learn more about Koda (as irritating as I find the Kodan to be) and about Koda's relationship with the other Spirits of the Wild. I rather wonder if we'll be learning more about him during the Icebrood Saga.

    @Starfall Leyline.2481 said:
    The six gods and six dragons are often paralleled with each other. The quaggan worship Mellaggan, a god they believe is dead. Mellaggan is believed to be Melandru, the human god of life/growth, though Quaggan do insist that Mellaggan is not Melandru, it's interesting that Mellaggan represents something similar (bounty/growth/wealth of the ocean). They believe she died when the Krait invaded after Bubbles drove the Krait out of its own domain. In the Elder Dragons so far, we have death/shadow, crystal/fury, fire/conflagration, Ice/persuasion, plant/mind covered. Mordremoth could be argued to be the closest comparison to Melandru in association. If there are any parallels in which dragon is what, it'd be interesting to deduce what remains for Bubbles after the dragons we've seen.

    To clarify, Mellaggan is believed by human scholars to be Melandru, and the quaggan disagree completely. Furthermore, Melandru is not the goddess of life - that's Dwayna - but the goddess of nature.

    No no, I understand. In fact, I said that myself in the paragraph, only I didn't specify human scholars: "Mellaggan is believed to be Melandru, the human god of life/growth, though Quaggan do insist that Mellaggan is not Melandru". As for the specific things they represent, I did do that from memory. At that point I was tired of wiki'ing lol. But you're right, I was a little broad-brushed in what I said of what the gods represented.

    As to parallels between the Six Gods and Elder Dragons, they've been done and countlessly failed throughout the past. To the point ArenaNet poked fun at it. There are some parallels, but they tend to stop after the second or third Elder Dragon. A dev also outright confirmed there is no relation.

    Good to know! I had never gone through to confirm where those theories had ended up. Still, the gods and the Elder Dragons seem to play similar roles, just with different forms of magic. My thought process was that as they came from a different world, the human gods may have had a function parallel to the Elder Dragon's in their own world. There may not be a direct 1:1 relationship between what they represent and spheres of influence, but basically I wonder if the human gods had "cycled" magic like the Elder Dragons, just in a more benevolent fashion than the Elder Dragons had.

    Also, I apologize that it took so long for me to reply here. It may be a bit before I can reply again just due to busy schedule. Thanks for the thoughts!

  • Konig Des Todes.2086Konig Des Todes.2086 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited December 29, 2019

    @Starfall Leyline.2481 said:
    Hmm, according to

    https://wiki.guildwars2.com/wiki/Norn_exodus -snip quote-

    From that, it's not quite so clear cut as to when that happened, and Jormag did warn Aesgir that he would defend himself if attacked. Now, I should say I am not putting it past Jormag to be lying and deceitful, but I'm not sure we can all-out say that Jormag didn't keep his word because of Owl dying at the time. You're right though, it's equally murky as to whether or not the Spirits accompanied them. In this text https://wiki.guildwars2.com/wiki/A_Burden he doesn't mention the Spirits except at the very beginning. Perhaps they did support them southward, or perhaps that was part of Aesgir's lie to make the deal complete. Further chapters of Icebrood may reveal that.

    It must be noted that the wiki is written by the playerbase, and lore articles (or intro paragraphs) is going to be subject to interpretation fallacies, and lack of updating when new lore comes out. What you quoted was written by players - links and maintenance edits aside, the last rewriting of that article was in February 2012, several months before the game launched and thus before we had the lore of Ulgadis' dialogue, let alone A Burden. Suffice it to say, it's vastly out of date.

    @Starfall Leyline.2481 said:
    I don't believe that Kralkatorrik hated his vision's outcome. He definitely wasn't a 'good guy' to start, but I see it more like a parallel with those movies where the villain at the very end shows some gleam of redemption. A few others have pointed out that in that interaction, Aurene had clearly begun to care for her Grandfather, and his 'good side' (note I do put that in quotes) argues with the tormented rage in her and the commander's defense. The tormented rage was many things, including xenophobic, and was clearly the much more powerful influence in him. Something I was going to say about Jormag in my original version of the post was that "Not fearing death does not necessarily indicate a willingness to die."

    Kralkatorrik's heart I don't so much see as a true divide between "good/evil" but rather rationality/rage. The rage was the primary motivator in Kralk, and had been for who knows how long before, hence we never got to see his 'rational' side until we had actually gone into him to his heart. Compared to his rage, the rational side is clearly more benevolent in nature, cared for Glint as you pointed out, and also clearly cared for Aurene. It's true he wanted his pain to end, but who wouldn't, especially if he had been powerless to end it due to the rampage of his rage? While it might seem self-serving to end the torment, that possibility is downplayed in his exposition in defense of Aurene and her qualities. He presents it, rather, as a passing of the torch.

    I don't really see Descent as a redemption arc for Kralkatorrik (nor do I believe he deserves such), especially given how the devs talked about Kralkatorrik's tormented nature in the GuildChat following War Eternal's release. They do stress that Kralkatorrik was never a "good guy", and I take this to indicate that he wasn't even "a good guy" in his final moments. As I took it, given the dev commentary, his "redemption" (for lack of a better word) is not about his own morals or morality, but his treatment of family.

    @Starfall Leyline.2481 said:
    Oh, I definitely realize this, but at this point I'm taking guesses as to where Anet might take the story. I doubt that Anet would have us raise 'another' Aurene, that if (and I do stress if) we need more than one figure who can cycle magic to be present in the system, they may have us purify an existing dragon to give us variety. From a game dev standpoint, honestly the easiest dragon to do that with would probably be Bubbles the Deep Sea dragon, because we haven't seen hide nor hair of their minions yet in the actual game, so you don't have year's worth of minions in high thoroughfare maps that that we need to explain after 'reforming' Jormag if he actually turned out benevolent at the end of it. That being said though, if Anet did decide to have us try and purify Jormag, they would provide the circumstances to do so just by writing it into the story, and probably make the difficulty of arranging the whole endeavor part of the missions leading up to it. Having a chance to try and purify an Elder Dragon and then convince it to our side would I think, make for an intriguing endeavor nonetheless.

    Raising another scion isn't out of the question. However, if they do go that route, I suspect that the PC won't be the champion this time around, but another member of Dragon's Watch will, and it will serve as the excuse-of-the-season to send half of the members away (since that seems to be the reoccurring theme since Season 3).

    Speaking from an in-universe perspective, working on the assumption that the Pale Tree cannot become an Elder Dragon, raising new candidates (scion or otherwise) from scratch is no doubt an ideal. Purifying a dragon minion who has long-standing views, or even an existing Elder Dragon, is too risky because of their lack of ties to mortals. So even if, say, Twitchy could become the new Elder Death Dragon somehow, there's no real guarantee it'd stay a good "Elder Dragon". And from a narrative viewpoint, having Aurene become "the One True Elder Dragon" would just be lazy, boring, and predictable writing, so I would at least hope we will have more "good Elder Dragons" in the future.

    @Starfall Leyline.2481 said:
    But note that they only started to revert after being separated from Mordremoth's influence, and that reverting was in fact the expression of their own wills fighting back. They only retain their free will so long as they hold onto it, which makes up the entire battle of a Sylvari while in Maguuma. Canach himself was constantly battling it, but had a strong enough will to not be overcome by Mordremoth's. That is actually the very trait I was pointing out: 'intelligence' is not the same as free will. They could make decisions, but while subjected to Mordremoth's (or Jormag's) influence, it was confined to the will of their masters.

    This is why all the unprepared sylvari on the Pact ships at the outset of the Maguuma incursion turned on their fellows. They weren't acting on free will, but on Mordremoth's will. As for the Svanir who haven't been transformed yet, they're simply idiots with blind zeal akin to a political party. In fact in one of the story missions you actually have the non-transformed Svanir run away when one of their own is transformed and they 'realize' what they're in for. In this case, I'm only referring to those who have been "minionized". The "unchained" Zhaitan minions are actually another good example of this. Most of them feral, but the ones who are positive even if they choose to still follow Zhaitan, are no longer under Zhaitan's direct influence, and 'unchained' in the name itself even implies their wills have been freed to make their own choices.

    I think we may be arguing while saying the same things with different words? My point is: Mordrem Guard always have free will.

    Both they, and the Sons of Svanir, are not (yet) corrupted. The Mordrem Guard follow not because they lack free will, but because their thoughts are so bombarded by Mordremoth's whispers and commands (be they subtle whispers disguised as their own thoughts as Occam and Scarlet (early on) experienced; loud bellowing like Canach experiences; or direct commands like the PC and Aerin (and late on, Scarlet) experience) that they cannot clearly think for themselves.

    @Starfall Leyline.2481 said:
    Bubbles forced out the Krait, who then in turn forced out the Quaggan, but the Karka themselves were also forced out as I recently learned. I hadn't paid much attention to them. Excerpt from the Quaggan wiki entry: -snip quote cuz post is long already-

    See above about wiki articles. That article is also out of date, that section written in June 2011 with very minor alterations (mainly just the addition of the last sentence). Always check sources, in this case. That line came from The Mostly Harmless Quaggan, but in the game we have:

    Bullablopp: It's not a complicated story. Quaggans have lived peacefully beneath the waters for many generations. When the dragons spewed their filth across Tyria, the quaggans had to flee.
    Pact Commander: Where did you go?
    Bullablopp: Quaggans swam upward, into the air, onto land. There was no other choice. But quaggans found other enemies in the shallow waters. The worst are the krait. They...(gulp)...enslave quaggans.
    https://wiki.guildwars2.com/wiki/Bullablopp

    It's always hard to keep track of what articles are out of date still... While the quaggan article had gotten enough of an overhaul over the years, the history section didn't... I'll try to update both pages soon now that I know they're out of date.

    Typical rule of thumb: If the page lacks reference tags in the lore section, it's out of date by a few years, as it became policy in 2016 to either direct link or reference tag the sources for all lore statements (before then, only out-of-game/book stuff required reference tag sources).

    @Starfall Leyline.2481 said:
    The Largos being DSD minions was not so much a suggestion as an indication of how little we actually know about Bubbles. When it comes down to it, any number of those races could technically be candidates of DSD minions, since dragon minions tend to come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, and often specialized to various tasks. Just as not all of Zhaitan's, Kralk's, Jormag's, or Mordremoth's minions were any one thing or set of characteristics, I also doubt that all of Bubble's minions will end up being large tentacle creatures.

    Every Elder Dragon's minions do have a singular set of characteristics to them. All mordrem are plants, all icebrood turn to ice and bone, all risen become unnaturally decayed, etc. etc. In the case of the DSD's minions, they're made out of water supposedly.

    They also all share the same common traits of stupidity outside of lieutenants and champions (Mordrem Guard/sylvari being an exception to this rule), and of the nigh-mindless "grunt" minions: all of them attack non-minions on sight. And even of the lieutenants and champions that don't attack on sight, none ally with the races of Tyria as the Largos do, or have a culture, government system, etc.

    @Starfall Leyline.2481 said:
    The kraken in that fractal might actually be a DSD minion, it's difficult to say for certain, but so far outside of Zhaitan himself it's the only large be-tentacled thing we've encountered. I just don't think that it would constitute the entirety of Bubble's minions, and most likely there's going to be a twist/reveal somewhere.

    Not very likely, even if the "made of water" is made inaccurate, given krakens are an entire species known to inhabit the Clashing Seas and Jade Sea for centuries. Though it got one hell of a redesign overhaul between GW1 and GW2. One key feature about dragon minions is that they don't show up before the Elder Dragons' herald wakes up.

    @Starfall Leyline.2481 said:
    Good to know! I had never gone through to confirm where those theories had ended up. Still, the gods and the Elder Dragons seem to play similar roles, just with different forms of magic. My thought process was that as they came from a different world, the human gods may have had a function parallel to the Elder Dragon's in their own world. There may not be a direct 1:1 relationship between what they represent and spheres of influence, but basically I wonder if the human gods had "cycled" magic like the Elder Dragons, just in a more benevolent fashion than the Elder Dragons had.

    The Six Gods being "Elder Dragons of another world" is one of the theories I've seen floating about, and one I adhere to. It makes sense. Especially if they were simularly "too greedy" as what little lore we have on the human/god/Forgotten homeworld is that it lacked magic and likely suffered some violent / cataclysmic issues.

    All these squares make a circle.
    All these squares make a circle.
    All these squares make a circle.

  • Aaron Ansari.1604Aaron Ansari.1604 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited December 29, 2019

    @Konig Des Todes.2086 said:

    @Starfall Leyline.2481 said:
    Bubbles forced out the Krait, who then in turn forced out the Quaggan, but the Karka themselves were also forced out as I recently learned. I hadn't paid much attention to them. Excerpt from the Quaggan wiki entry: -snip quote cuz post is long already-

    See above about wiki articles. That article is also out of date, that section written in June 2011 with very minor alterations (mainly just the addition of the last sentence). Always check sources, in this case. That line came from The Mostly Harmless Quaggan, but in the game we have:

    Bullablopp: It's not a complicated story. Quaggans have lived peacefully beneath the waters for many generations. When the dragons spewed their filth across Tyria, the quaggans had to flee.
    Pact Commander: Where did you go?
    Bullablopp: Quaggans swam upward, into the air, onto land. There was no other choice. But quaggans found other enemies in the shallow waters. The worst are the krait. They...(gulp)...enslave quaggans.
    https://wiki.guildwars2.com/wiki/Bullablopp

    It's always hard to keep track of what articles are out of date still... While the quaggan article had gotten enough of an overhaul over the years, the history section didn't... I'll try to update both pages soon now that I know they're out of date.

    Typical rule of thumb: If the page lacks reference tags in the lore section, it's out of date by a few years, as it became policy in 2016 to either direct link or reference tag the sources for all lore statements (before then, only out-of-game/book stuff required reference tag sources).

    The trouble is, the quaggans in-game tell you different things. Some, like Bullablopp, seem to be hinting at Bubbles, but others say krait drove them out- Flipdroop was the first one I could find. And at least one credits Orr and Zhaitan.

    R.I.P., Old Man of Auld Red Wharf. Gone but never forgotten.

  • anninke.7469anninke.7469 Member ✭✭✭
    edited December 29, 2019

    @Konig Des Todes.2086 said:

    @Starfall Leyline.2481 said:
    But note that they only started to revert after being separated from Mordremoth's influence, and that reverting was in fact the expression of their own wills fighting back. They only retain their free will so long as they hold onto it, which makes up the entire battle of a Sylvari while in Maguuma. Canach himself was constantly battling it, but had a strong enough will to not be overcome by Mordremoth's. That is actually the very trait I was pointing out: 'intelligence' is not the same as free will. They could make decisions, but while subjected to Mordremoth's (or Jormag's) influence, it was confined to the will of their masters.

    This is why all the unprepared sylvari on the Pact ships at the outset of the Maguuma incursion turned on their fellows. They weren't acting on free will, but on Mordremoth's will. As for the Svanir who haven't been transformed yet, they're simply idiots with blind zeal akin to a political party. In fact in one of the story missions you actually have the non-transformed Svanir run away when one of their own is transformed and they 'realize' what they're in for. In this case, I'm only referring to those who have been "minionized". The "unchained" Zhaitan minions are actually another good example of this. Most of them feral, but the ones who are positive even if they choose to still follow Zhaitan, are no longer under Zhaitan's direct influence, and 'unchained' in the name itself even implies their wills have been freed to make their own choices.

    I think we may be arguing while saying the same things with different words? My point is: Mordrem Guard always have free will.

    Both they, and the Sons of Svanir, are not (yet) corrupted. The Mordrem Guard follow not because they lack free will, but because their thoughts are so bombarded by Mordremoth's whispers and commands (be they subtle whispers disguised as their own thoughts as Occam and Scarlet (early on) experienced; loud bellowing like Canach experiences; or direct commands like the PC and Aerin (and late on, Scarlet) experience) that they cannot clearly think for themselves.

    But being succesfully manipulated (be it subtly or by force) to do something you otherwise wouldn't is quite far from having free will. You might have will and a sense of self but none of it is free. Mordrem Guard were not acting on free will. Perhaps those who chose to accept Mordremoth for what it claimed to be could be considered acting on their free will while fighting on its side, but the rest were forced and that's by no means free.

    Do not fear difficulty. Hard ground makes sore feet.
    Act with wisdom and axe.

  • @Aaron Ansari.1604 said:
    The trouble is, the quaggans in-game tell you different things. Some, like Bullablopp, seem to be hinting at Bubbles, but others say krait drove them out- Flipdroop was the first one I could find. And at least one credits Orr and Zhaitan.

    I suppose that's not surprising, given that the quaggans are a very widespread race in the water depths. It wouldn't be surprising if krait hit some quaggans first, while it was the DSD that hit others.

    Regarding Bleedeep, that may be a case of the quaggans resettling near Orr, then Orr rose and had to move again, and Bleedeep doesn't mention the first movement - or it could be that Bleedeep's village was always in more shallower waters. Still, the fact that Orr sunk should have affected them if they were around for over 250 years, so I'd guess that Bleedeep's village was established post-GW1, whether due to fleeing the krait/DSD, or just natural expansion of a still thriving race.

    Based on what Russhaa and Rosshelpa says, the quaggans in Kahloipoi came from the ocean depths, and tried settling near Orr. But with Orr's rising, Kahloipoi acts as a waypoint for quaggans still fleeing from the ocean and heading north.

    @anninke.7469 said:
    But being succesfully manipulated (be it subtly or by force) to do something you otherwise wouldn't is quite far from having free will. You might have will and a sense of self but none of it is free. Mordrem Guard were not acting on free will. Perhaps those who chose to accept Mordremoth for what it claimed to be could be considered acting on their free will while fighting on its side, but the rest were forced and that's by no means free.

    I would disagree. Being tricked/manipulated into doing something does not remove your own free will. It's just a form of coercion in the end, if you were tricked to do something, you were merely convinced to do something without knowing all the details. I suppose it's a "glass half full" versus "glass half empty" situation to say "you were convinced" or "you were tricked". Free will is merely being capable of choosing, even if someone manipulates you to choosing what they want you to choose.

    The Mordrem Guard could still say no. But they were coerced through mental manipulation to say yes.

    Branded, risen, etc. are not even capable of saying no. No coercion or mental manipulation necessary.

    All these squares make a circle.
    All these squares make a circle.
    All these squares make a circle.

  • anninke.7469anninke.7469 Member ✭✭✭
    edited January 3, 2020

    @Konig Des Todes.2086 said:

    @anninke.7469 said:
    But being succesfully manipulated (be it subtly or by force) to do something you otherwise wouldn't is quite far from having free will. You might have will and a sense of self but none of it is free. Mordrem Guard were not acting on free will. Perhaps those who chose to accept Mordremoth for what it claimed to be could be considered acting on their free will while fighting on its side, but the rest were forced and that's by no means free.

    I would disagree. Being tricked/manipulated into doing something does not remove your own free will. It's just a form of coercion in the end, if you were tricked to do something, you were merely convinced to do something without knowing all the details. I suppose it's a "glass half full" versus "glass half empty" situation to say "you were convinced" or "you were tricked". Free will is merely being capable of choosing, even if someone manipulates you to choosing what they want you to choose.

    The Mordrem Guard could still say no. But they were coerced through mental manipulation to say yes.

    Branded, risen, etc. are not even capable of saying no. No coercion or mental manipulation necessary.

    It's not "you were convinced/tricked" when someone invades your mind, hacks/corrupts your system and/or mindfucks you into obedience. The important part is being the significantly less powerful one in that encounter.
    As I percieve it, Jormag does the tricking and convincing - seducing. What Mordy did was a mental assault (hope it makse sense enough, had to edit because "kitten").

    Do not fear difficulty. Hard ground makes sore feet.
    Act with wisdom and axe.

  • @anninke.7469 said:

    @Konig Des Todes.2086 said:

    @anninke.7469 said:
    But being succesfully manipulated (be it subtly or by force) to do something you otherwise wouldn't is quite far from having free will. You might have will and a sense of self but none of it is free. Mordrem Guard were not acting on free will. Perhaps those who chose to accept Mordremoth for what it claimed to be could be considered acting on their free will while fighting on its side, but the rest were forced and that's by no means free.

    I would disagree. Being tricked/manipulated into doing something does not remove your own free will. It's just a form of coercion in the end, if you were tricked to do something, you were merely convinced to do something without knowing all the details. I suppose it's a "glass half full" versus "glass half empty" situation to say "you were convinced" or "you were tricked". Free will is merely being capable of choosing, even if someone manipulates you to choosing what they want you to choose.

    The Mordrem Guard could still say no. But they were coerced through mental manipulation to say yes.

    Branded, risen, etc. are not even capable of saying no. No coercion or mental manipulation necessary.

    It's not "you were convinced/tricked" when someone invades your mind, hacks/corrupts your system and/or mindfucks you into obedience. The important part is being the significantly less powerful one in that encounter.
    As I percieve it, Jormag does the tricking and convincing - seducing. What Mordy did was a mental assault (hope it makse sense enough, had to edit because "kitten").

    Mordremoth isn't hacking anything though. It's just telepathy. It's often disguised in a form to mirror your own voice (hence tricked), but it's still just telepathy.

    Jormag is pretty much the same. Telepathy. But the two are using the same tool in different mannerisms - Mordremoth uses trickery and, should that fail, domination, which leads to orders once they succumb; Jormag uses coercion.

    All these squares make a circle.
    All these squares make a circle.
    All these squares make a circle.

  • anninke.7469anninke.7469 Member ✭✭✭

    @Konig Des Todes.2086 said:

    @anninke.7469 said:

    @Konig Des Todes.2086 said:

    @anninke.7469 said:
    But being succesfully manipulated (be it subtly or by force) to do something you otherwise wouldn't is quite far from having free will. You might have will and a sense of self but none of it is free. Mordrem Guard were not acting on free will. Perhaps those who chose to accept Mordremoth for what it claimed to be could be considered acting on their free will while fighting on its side, but the rest were forced and that's by no means free.

    I would disagree. Being tricked/manipulated into doing something does not remove your own free will. It's just a form of coercion in the end, if you were tricked to do something, you were merely convinced to do something without knowing all the details. I suppose it's a "glass half full" versus "glass half empty" situation to say "you were convinced" or "you were tricked". Free will is merely being capable of choosing, even if someone manipulates you to choosing what they want you to choose.

    The Mordrem Guard could still say no. But they were coerced through mental manipulation to say yes.

    Branded, risen, etc. are not even capable of saying no. No coercion or mental manipulation necessary.

    It's not "you were convinced/tricked" when someone invades your mind, hacks/corrupts your system and/or mindfucks you into obedience. The important part is being the significantly less powerful one in that encounter.
    As I percieve it, Jormag does the tricking and convincing - seducing. What Mordy did was a mental assault (hope it makse sense enough, had to edit because "kitten").

    Mordremoth isn't hacking anything though. It's just telepathy. It's often disguised in a form to mirror your own voice (hence tricked), but it's still just telepathy.

    Jormag is pretty much the same. Telepathy. But the two are using the same tool in different mannerisms - Mordremoth uses trickery and, should that fail, domination, which leads to orders once they succumb; Jormag uses coercion.

    I don't know... The Mordrem Guard in Rata Novus sounded like it was more than just telepathy. Just telepathy doesn't do "My strings were tugged and my body acted while I watched...". The soldier met at the start of HoT also looked like Mordy was doing much more than just telepathy. At least it was very very strong telepathy, something like a sound so loud that it's doing physical damage. And (loud) noise can be pretty well used as a way to break ones will, if used in the right way, so I suppose the Mordy-level telepathy can be too.

    However, I wonder how much free will did the Sylvari have in the beginning. They seem to have been told what to do by someone/something ever since they appeared. And the fact that "all converts believe the Nightmare's path is correct, even if forced upon them" (something I still can't quite get over, tbh) might hint at some kind of minion-ish predisposition to obey, even more so when the true master commands. And (this just came to my mind) it makes me think that the Soundless perhaps should have been more Mordremoth-resistant due to their struggle for "minds of their own", despite what the Pale Tree said about it.

    Do not fear difficulty. Hard ground makes sore feet.
    Act with wisdom and axe.

  • Konig Des Todes.2086Konig Des Todes.2086 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited January 6, 2020

    @anninke.7469 said:
    I don't know... The Mordrem Guard in Rata Novus sounded like it was more than just telepathy. Just telepathy doesn't do "My strings were tugged and my body acted while I watched...". The soldier met at the start of HoT also looked like Mordy was doing much more than just telepathy. At least it was very very strong telepathy, something like a sound so loud that it's doing physical damage. And (loud) noise can be pretty well used as a way to break ones will, if used in the right way, so I suppose the Mordy-level telepathy can be too.

    While on the flip side, Occam, Canach, Scarlet, Aerin, the Commander's own experience, and pretty much all other mentions of Mordremoth just say it's his voice in their head, either being manipulative to make them think it was their own thoughts, or being a booming, drowning voice to the point where concentration is nigh impossible. The thing is, you're taking that one line out of context.

    Mordrem Guard Punisher: Help me! Please! I can't tell what (was happening)...
    Canach: What is it? What is it like, giving in?
    Mordrem Guard Punisher: It was a relief. Such a relief. I didn't want to fight it anymore. But then...I did things.
    Canach: Of your own will?
    Mordrem Guard Punisher: I— I don't know. At the time, I knew it was wrong— I couldn't stop! Forgive me! I wanted to obey!
    Mordrem Guard Punisher: My strings were tugged and my body acted while I watched. A passenger to the dragon's breath, its whispers.

    Basically, this Mordrem Guard (if not all) are convinced to want to follow Mordremoth, even if they know it was wrong to do so.

    When you take a sylvari character through Hearts and Minds, the reaction to Mordremoth's whispers is:

    Pact Commander: I can't... make it. It's so close now. I... I can't concentrate, can't think...
    Canach: You're stronger than this, Commander! Focus your mind, Reject the dragon!
    Caithe: You have to. Focus your mind. Mordremoth's thoughts are invaders, infiltrators. Reject them!

    Can't concentrate, can't think. Mordremoth is bombarding the Commander with thoughts, not corrupting them; corruption can't be fought by willpower, and giving in doesn't relinquish free will but choosing to follow Mordremoth instead.

    To quote the Solitary Sylvari of Festival of hte Four Winds:

    I was one of those who...responded to Mordremoth's call.

    He says it himself. He responded. An active act that he would have chosen to do - either by giving up, or by wanting to (in this case, giving up).

    @anninke.7469 said:
    And (this just came to my mind) it makes me think that the Soundless perhaps should have been more Mordremoth-resistant due to their struggle for "minds of their own", despite what the Pale Tree said about it.

    Based on the dialogue, the Soundless are vulnerable to literal dragon corruption, while other sylvari fully connected to the Dream of Dreams are not. Simultaneously, by deduction, it would also mean that the Soundless are harder for Mordremoth to send whispers to, since he does so via the Dream of Dreams.

    All these squares make a circle.
    All these squares make a circle.
    All these squares make a circle.

  • anninke.7469anninke.7469 Member ✭✭✭

    @Konig Des Todes.2086 said:

    @anninke.7469 said:
    I don't know... The Mordrem Guard in Rata Novus sounded like it was more than just telepathy. Just telepathy doesn't do "My strings were tugged and my body acted while I watched...". The soldier met at the start of HoT also looked like Mordy was doing much more than just telepathy. At least it was very very strong telepathy, something like a sound so loud that it's doing physical damage. And (loud) noise can be pretty well used as a way to break ones will, if used in the right way, so I suppose the Mordy-level telepathy can be too.

    While on the flip side, Occam, Canach, Scarlet, Aerin, the Commander's own experience, and pretty much all other mentions of Mordremoth just say it's his voice in their head, either being manipulative to make them think it was their own thoughts, or being a booming, drowning voice to the point where concentration is nigh impossible. The thing is, you're taking that one line out of context.

    Mordrem Guard Punisher: Help me! Please! I can't tell what (was happening)...
    Canach: What is it? What is it like, giving in?
    Mordrem Guard Punisher: It was a relief. Such a relief. I didn't want to fight it anymore. But then...I did things.
    Canach: Of your own will?
    Mordrem Guard Punisher: I— I don't know. At the time, I knew it was wrong— I couldn't stop! Forgive me! I wanted to obey!
    Mordrem Guard Punisher: My strings were tugged and my body acted while I watched. A passenger to the dragon's breath, its whispers.

    Basically, this Mordrem Guard (if not all) are convinced to want to follow Mordremoth, even if they know it was wrong to do so.

    If someone is bombarding your brain with thoughts to the point of you being in pain and/or losing concentration (or even cosciousness), it is not "convincing". It is similar to torture with loud noise you can't hide from. After all, one could say that pushing someone weaker out of a window is just convincing them by physical contact and they chose to fall down of their own free will because they might have stayed in if they wanted.
    This one pact scout literally says that the dragon's call hurts:

    When you take a sylvari character through Hearts and Minds, the reaction to Mordremoth's whispers is:

    Pact Commander: I can't... make it. It's so close now. I... I can't concentrate, can't think...
    Canach: You're stronger than this, Commander! Focus your mind, Reject the dragon!
    Caithe: You have to. Focus your mind. Mordremoth's thoughts are invaders, infiltrators. Reject them!

    Can't concentrate, can't think. Mordremoth is bombarding the Commander with thoughts, not corrupting them; corruption can't be fought by willpower, and giving in doesn't relinquish free will but choosing to follow Mordremoth instead.

    I'm sorry, I have created a misunderstanding here. By "corrupting your system" I did not mean dragon corruption, what I meant was messing your mind similar to what a computer virus does to data . It was about those "seem to be your own" thoughts.

    Doing something only because you lose fight against doing it, it's not choosing to do it.

    To quote the Solitary Sylvari of Festival of hte Four Winds:

    I was one of those who...responded to Mordremoth's call.

    He says it himself. He responded. An active act that he would have chosen to do - either by giving up, or by wanting to (in this case, giving up).

    "Responded" might as well be a euphemism for "succumbed". Like after a mind fight he was not able to win. At the start of HoT Canach says: "You're a fool. Only weak-willed sylvari are vulnerable. The rest of us...myself and the commander especially...fight back."
    But Canach is a guy who's been through heaps of mulch and has made it through. As is the (sylvari) Commander. They can't be taken as a measure here, they're ecxeptional individuals AND experienced elite troops. It's like a top athlete saying that "only slow and lazy people can't win olympic medals".

    @anninke.7469 said:
    And (this just came to my mind) it makes me think that the Soundless perhaps should have been more Mordremoth-resistant due to their struggle for "minds of their own", despite what the Pale Tree said about it.

    Based on the dialogue, the Soundless are vulnerable to literal dragon corruption, while other sylvari fully connected to the Dream of Dreams are not. Simultaneously, by deduction, it would also mean that the Soundless are harder for Mordremoth to send whispers to, since he does so via the Dream of Dreams.

    Yup, something along those lines. The thought was inspired by Occam's "... I know who I am..." line.

    Do not fear difficulty. Hard ground makes sore feet.
    Act with wisdom and axe.

  • Konig Des Todes.2086Konig Des Todes.2086 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited January 13, 2020

    @anninke.7469 said:
    If someone is bombarding your brain with thoughts to the point of you being in pain and/or losing concentration (or even cosciousness), it is not "convincing". It is similar to torture with loud noise you can't hide from. After all, one could say that pushing someone weaker out of a window is just convincing them by physical contact and they chose to fall down of their own free will because they might have stayed in if they wanted.
    This one pact scout literally says that the dragon's call hurts:

    Semantics, I used the word "convincing" out of lack of alternatives because it varies - some sylvari were convinced in a literal sense, like Aerin. Others were manipulated, like Scarlet. Others still were mentally suppressed. And still others were mentally tortured. Mordremoth's call doesn't hurt everyone. It's shown very clearly that he acted differently to everyone, turning to more harmful methods on sylvari who resisted. The one you quoted would be among those who resist, like Canach and the Pact Commander, where Mordremoth ceased the subtleties and went full blown mental torture. It wasn't one singular method that Mordremoth.

    The point is that it isn't dragon corruption, and that Mordrem Guard still have free will. Their minds might be kitten over from all the stress and mental assaults, but their free will was never removed.

    I'm sorry, I have created a misunderstanding here. By "corrupting your system" I did not mean dragon corruption, what I meant was messing your mind similar to what a computer virus does to data . It was about those "seem to be your own" thoughts.

    Which is pretty much what I said from the get go.

    They're not corrupted, ergo, they still have free will. Even if that will has been broken by conventional means. Like how torture will break a human, and a person will serve an enemy if it meant ending the pain and remaining alive.

    Doing something only because you lose fight against doing it, it's not choosing to do it.

    You still choose to surrender.

    Mordremoth effectively gives an ultimatum towards sylvari because he's that powerful. The ultimatum is "serve me or suffer". Sylvari with strong will didn't give up, but giving up doesn't remove your free will.

    All these squares make a circle.
    All these squares make a circle.
    All these squares make a circle.

  • anninke.7469anninke.7469 Member ✭✭✭

    @Konig Des Todes.2086 said:

    They're not corrupted, ergo, they still have free will. Even if that will has been broken by conventional means. Like how torture will break a human, and a person will serve an enemy if it meant ending the pain and remaining alive.

    Well, torture is exactly how I see what Mordy was doing to those who tried to resist it.

    I think we probably won't agree on this matter, because our ideas of free will are too different. If the options are X or suffer/die, I don't see any free will in making the choice. As I percieve it, only some Mordrem Guards have free will, those who accepted Mordremoth as their master. Really accepted it. The rest was forced and what they had is not free will but "sense of self" (excuse my lack of clearer terms, can't come up with anything better) and a certain level of autonomy.

    Just a side note - I don't claim Mordremoth did corrupt the sylvari and I don't say that dragon corruption does not remove free will. I only think that corruption is not the only way to do it and you can have your free will taken away even though you aren't a completly mindless minion and still have a sense of your personality and actions.

    Do not fear difficulty. Hard ground makes sore feet.
    Act with wisdom and axe.

  • Gryphon.2875Gryphon.2875 Member ✭✭✭

    @anninke.7469 said:

    @Konig Des Todes.2086 said:

    They're not corrupted, ergo, they still have free will. Even if that will has been broken by conventional means. Like how torture will break a human, and a person will serve an enemy if it meant ending the pain and remaining alive.

    Well, torture is exactly how I see what Mordy was doing to those who tried to resist it.

    I think we probably won't agree on this matter, because our ideas of free will are too different. If the options are X or suffer/die, I don't see any free will in making the choice.

    Technically, that is still a choice, because you can choose to suffer/die, and some would, out of honor, stubbornness, spite, strength of will, etc.

  • Konig Des Todes.2086Konig Des Todes.2086 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited January 14, 2020

    Adding to what Gryphon said:

    @anninke.7469 said:
    The rest was forced and what they had is not free will but "sense of self" (excuse my lack of clearer terms, can't come up with anything better) and a certain level of autonomy.

    Having autonomy means having free will though, since having autonomy means being able to choose and act for yourself - that's what free will ultimately is: the ability to make your own decisions and choices.

    It seems you're agreeing with me, just not the terms I use.

    All these squares make a circle.
    All these squares make a circle.
    All these squares make a circle.

  • @Konig Des Todes.2086 said:

    @anninke.7469 said:
    Doing something only because you lose fight against doing it, it's not choosing to do it.

    You still choose to surrender.

    Well that's not necessarily true. If you lose a fight by simply being overpowered, you just lost without surrendering. In a physical fight, your body has limits. You can be immobilized, rendered unconscious, or killed. It's not hard to imagine a mental equivalent of being completely overpowered by Mordremoth.

  • anninke.7469anninke.7469 Member ✭✭✭

    @Gryphon.2875 said:

    @anninke.7469 said:

    @Konig Des Todes.2086 said:

    They're not corrupted, ergo, they still have free will. Even if that will has been broken by conventional means. Like how torture will break a human, and a person will serve an enemy if it meant ending the pain and remaining alive.

    Well, torture is exactly how I see what Mordy was doing to those who tried to resist it.

    I think we probably won't agree on this matter, because our ideas of free will are too different. If the options are X or suffer/die, I don't see any free will in making the choice.

    Technically, that is still a choice, because you can choose to suffer/die, and some would, out of honor, stubbornness, spite, strength of will, etc.

    It is a choice only if you have the strength to actually choose. If you're too weak to make your choice happen, then you have no choice.

    @Konig Des Todes.2086 said:
    Adding to what Gryphon said:

    @anninke.7469 said:
    The rest was forced and what they had is not free will but "sense of self" (excuse my lack of clearer terms, can't come up with anything better) and a certain level of autonomy.

    Having autonomy means having free will though, since having autonomy means being able to choose and act for yourself - that's what free will ultimately is: the ability to make your own decisions and choices.

    It seems you're agreeing with me, just not the terms I use.

    Or I'm not able to express my thoughts clearly enough. Happens a lot even without language barrier...

    I'll try making a physical analogy. Someone apparently much stronger tells a group of guys to get in a cage:
    Guy A - gets in right away because he likes the cage.
    Guy B - is talked into getting in.
    Guy C - doesn't want to get in but is scared enough to do so.
    Guy D - gets in after being beaten up.
    Guy E - refuses to get in but is overpowered and shoved in the cage.
    Guy F - resists more than expected but after being tortured passes out and is put in the cage.
    Guy G - is strong enough to not get put in the cage by any means and manages to get away.

    Only A and G got to act on their free will about getting in the cage, B somewhat (or at least he believes so). The rest were put in the cage against their free will.
    Everyone, except G, is in the cage. Sure, they can move around a bit, they can even decide whether to sit, stand, sleep or cry for help, but they can't decide where to go and they can't leave the cage without being let out. And that is the "certain level of autonomy" I was talkin about, which I do not consider free will.
    Maybe guy A could be said to still have (some of) his free will, because he entered voluntarily and likes it in there. But if he changes his mind, he's still in the cage and can't get out.

    Alright, that's probably the best I can do. By now my brain's so overheated that Mordy would burst in flames if he tried to mess with it.

    Do not fear difficulty. Hard ground makes sore feet.
    Act with wisdom and axe.

  • Konig Des Todes.2086Konig Des Todes.2086 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited January 15, 2020

    I think calling it a "cage" is a very poor analogy. Because by all indication, they're still actually in control of their bodies and their actions. This isn't like the branded or risen, who's souls are trapped in a body who's thoughts aren't even their own. Some Mordrem Guard may be in a lucid state, which seems to be the case for that Punisher in Buried Insights, but based on typical Mordrem Guard and sylvari dialogue that isn't the norm at all, and even in a lucid state you're still making the choices even if influenced. A person who's high still has their free will, after all.

    So to use your analogy setup it'd be closer to:

    Guy A - follows orders because he likes having a purpose. Free will.
    Guy B - is talked into following orders. Free will.
    Guy C - doesn't want to follow orders but is scared of the consequences of not doing so. Free will under pressure.
    Guy D - follows orders after being beaten up. Free will under pressure.
    Guy E - resists but is forced to follow orders. Dragon corruption, not Mordrem Guard.
    Guy F - resists following orders, gets tortured to passing out, then still refuses orders after regaining consciousness. Not a Mordrem Guard.
    Guy G - is strong enough to not succumb to torture. Not a Mordrem Guard.

    The Commander, incidentally, falls under "Guy F" by your setup. They actually do pass out in Bitter Harvest - this proves that "torture to passing out" does not result in conversion. Meanwhile, Canach falls under "Guy G".

    Meanwhile, "Guy E" simply doesn't exist within the context of Mordrem Guard/sylvari, because there there simply is no "is forced into the cage" here because that would be dragon corruption, where free will is stripped from them. This is intended to be the key difference between fighting Mordrem Guard and fighting other dragon minions and why sylvari are despised during and after HoT.

    The rest all succumb by choice - it might be a choice under pressure, and by law it would be excusable in almost every case such is involved, but it's still a choice. One taken out of self-preservation. It is still free will. They choose to give in rather than continue being tortured.

    And unfortunately, we do not know if Mordrem Guard could revert while hearing Mordremoth's call. ArenaNet never bothered to even attempt to explore that avenue in the very short, story-chopped-up campaign that was HoT. But the fact that they can break free after being separated from Mordremoth's whispers is proof that any hypothetical "cage" is unlocked and can be opened from the inside.

    All these squares make a circle.
    All these squares make a circle.
    All these squares make a circle.

  • anninke.7469anninke.7469 Member ✭✭✭

    Well, I disagree on guy E being a dragon corruption example. Dragon corruption would be "gets his brain killed and is stuffed in with NO WILL (or mind) AT ALL" or "is artificially created in the cage".

    Orders are not the analogy I went for, because that's a behaviour result of various means of pressure. I needed a physical result so I went with the cage. Once in, you can't influence where it goes and you can't leave until let out. It can even be a pretty large and comfy cage and some might like it in there but they're still moved in a direction they have no control over. And even if they can move a lot in there or have a drink or two or read a book or just sleep, they're still not free and if the cage is set to crash into their family's house or run over their children, they can't prevent it.

    I see Mordremoth's will as such a cage, only it's for mind. Well sure, MG can decide when and where they set camps, what they defend or when they attack. But they can't decide to not kill their siblings/friends/former allies. A mental cage is still a cage.

    But my main problem in this matter is the term (ha, you were probably right after all!) free will. I believe that my view of what is considered free will is very different from yours. Which is why we probably won't reach agreement even though only in this one aspect.

    Also - curse you, lack of official canonic information on this kitten matter!

    Oh, and I think I should apologize to the OP for hijacking their topic... Sorry, I got carried away :)

    Do not fear difficulty. Hard ground makes sore feet.
    Act with wisdom and axe.