The Essences. — Guild Wars 2 Forums

The Essences.

Loesh.4697Loesh.4697 Member ✭✭✭

So something that not a lot of people have been talking about is the essence masteries, where they are from, what they represent. But I think that if I don't have the answer, I think I have the closest thing we can get to one with all the evidence that has been given. Thusfar the story has been infuriatingly vague with the exact nature of what masteries are or where they come from, saying only that they are a malicious spirit energy that is intrinsic to the various minions we have thusfar encountered. When we harvest their magic we transform it into a 'vitreous' essence that we can transform into weapons against essences of the opposite type. However I think I know the source of each of these essences, and it all goes back to the Norn exodus from the Far Shiverpeaks, because each one of these essences is a corrupted spirit of the wild.

This ability is showcased with Raven and the High Shaman, who uses his magic to attempt to subvert Ravens power and create the Icebrood Constructs that we fight, I believe that when the Spirits of the Wild were overwhelmed by Jormag each one of them was fashioned into a distinct weapon save for Owl, who is the only one of the four confirmed to be dead.

First is the aspect of Resilience, associated with the Fallen, though not merely because they have turned to worship of the Dragon. At a distance the Fallen appear to be an army of Kodan and transformed Norn Shaman, but if you look closely you'll realize that each and every one of them is a transparent ghost. This is because I believe that Jormag used the power of Dolyak to keep their spirits in the mortal world, persisting in the mortal plane despite their death. This is why the Fallen use so many portals to bring their soldiers in and why they inhabit decrepit ruins. They have no need of a place to feed or house their troops, only a place to haunt, and all those places also happen to have a Dolyak shrine near them. One in the Fallen Mountains, one near a Raven Lock near the Ice Caves, and a third with the Fallen Kodan in the Sanctum strike mission. Not only that but the vigil investigator who keeps talking to her Dolyak while endlessly collecting evidence around her keep? When you assist her, you realize the areas she's searching through is attracting swarms of Fallen.

Second is the aspect of Valor, attached to the legions of demons, wisps, haunts, and otherworldly abominations that inhabit the forests nearby. Within that forest is a single statue to Wolverine above the ground, and each of the essences resemble a Wolverine, in much the same way that Resilience each resembles a Dolyak. Where Resilience was perverted into undeath, Valor was turned into a manifestation of fear, taking Wolverines violent and destructive aspects to their logical extreme to craft monstrosities like the Boneskinner. Thw legend of the Boneskinner as told by the Norn is very similar to Wolverine feeding patterns. They're fond of carrion and scavenging, sometimes following other predators to take their kills in much the same way that the Boneskinner mops up in the aftermath of the other kills, hunting and snatching whatever prey remains in the area. Wolverines are also known to be gluttonous, consuming vast quantities of food to sate themselves, but this is believed to be an adaption to food scarcity in much the same way that Boneskinners are created from cannibalism brought about by starvation.

Eagle is the most difficult one for me to pin down the specifics on. The essences of Vigilance look like it of course, and in the High Shaman fight you can see those Eagle statues arranged around them on the central platform. If I had to guess as to why exactly Vigilance has become tied to the Svanir, it's most likely because the blind fanaticism and zealotry their exhibit is being inverted by that particular spirit and fed into Jormags mortal followers in order to enhance it's persuasive answers, turning them into a loyal and unquestioning army to persecute Jormags wars on the other races.

I think this theory is pretty solid, and explains a lot about why exactly the Essences have such contrary effects and powers to their names, thoughts?

Comments

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

    i never bothered much with masteries lore because since HoT they are simplified as "learned stuff", i mean in the case of essences they represent a "learned weakness" after fighting the specific kind of monsters.

    main pvp: Khel the Undead(power reaper).

  • Konig Des Todes.2086Konig Des Todes.2086 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited November 26, 2019

    @ugrakarma.9416 said:
    i never bothered much with masteries lore because since HoT they are simplified as "learned stuff", i mean in the case of essences they represent a "learned weakness" after fighting the specific kind of monsters.

    Not at all, in this case. They actually put quite a bit of lore into the Icebrood Saga masteries. Only mastery on par lorewise was the S3E1 mastery (counter magic being Taimi's derivation of Zinn's derivation of the Seer's Infusion techniques to counter Spectral Agony).

    The new essence masteries has a very dark lore behind it with the asura dude.

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

  • reapex.8546reapex.8546 Member ✭✭✭

    @Loesh.4697 said:
    Eagle is the most difficult one for me to pin down the specifics on. The essences of Vigilance look like it of course, and in the High Shaman fight you can see those Eagle statues arranged around them on the central platform. If I had to guess as to why exactly Vigilance has become tied to the Svanir, it's most likely because the blind fanaticism and zealotry their exhibit is being inverted by that particular spirit and fed into Jormags mortal followers in order to enhance it's persuasive answers, turning them into a loyal and unquestioning army to persecute Jormags wars on the other races.

    I think this theory is pretty solid, and explains a lot about why exactly the Essences have such contrary effects and powers to their names, thoughts?

    Thanks, this is an interesting theory. I'm not sure about Eagle but the rest of it makes perfect sense.

  • @Konig Des Todes.2086 said:

    @ugrakarma.9416 said:
    i never bothered much with masteries lore because since HoT they are simplified as "learned stuff", i mean in the case of essences they represent a "learned weakness" after fighting the specific kind of monsters.

    Not at all, in this case. They actually put quite a bit of lore into the Icebrood Saga masteries. Only mastery on par lorewise was the S3E1 mastery (counter magic being Taimi's derivation of Zinn's derivation of the Seer's Infusion techniques to counter Spectral Agony).

    The new essence masteries has a very dark lore behind it with the asura dude.

    What "dark lore"? I would like to read your elaboration.

  • Perihen the Thawk.9527Perihen the Thawk.9527 Member ✭✭✭
    edited December 15, 2019

    I've said this elsewhere, but I think it's possible that Jormag has consumed the magic of Wolverine, Dolyak, Eagle, and Owl, and that it has learned to use their abilities in exactly the same way that Kralkatorrik and Aurene gained the ability to walk the mists from Balthazar and Aurene gained immortality from Joko. I absolutely agree that the "Hunger" that creates Boneskinners is due to Wolverine's magic, whether Wolverine has been corrupted or Jormag is using magic that it consumed from Wolverine.

    I think Jormag is already much more than an Ice dragon, due to its devouring/slaying of so many Spirits of the Wild. We're going up against a dragon with a full arsenal of Northern magic.

  • @Stephen.6312 said:

    @Konig Des Todes.2086 said:

    @ugrakarma.9416 said:
    i never bothered much with masteries lore because since HoT they are simplified as "learned stuff", i mean in the case of essences they represent a "learned weakness" after fighting the specific kind of monsters.

    Not at all, in this case. They actually put quite a bit of lore into the Icebrood Saga masteries. Only mastery on par lorewise was the S3E1 mastery (counter magic being Taimi's derivation of Zinn's derivation of the Seer's Infusion techniques to counter Spectral Agony).

    The new essence masteries has a very dark lore behind it with the asura dude.

    What "dark lore"? I would like to read your elaboration.

    The TL;DR:

    Yarixx admits to doing what sounds like torturing the Fallen, Svanir, and Aberrants in order to extract essence from their souls which match the same kind (for lack of a better word) of essence that matches the three missing Spirits of the Wild. And doing the same for the Spirits' magic.

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

  • @Konig Des Todes.2086 said:

    @Stephen.6312 said:

    @Konig Des Todes.2086 said:

    @ugrakarma.9416 said:
    i never bothered much with masteries lore because since HoT they are simplified as "learned stuff", i mean in the case of essences they represent a "learned weakness" after fighting the specific kind of monsters.

    Not at all, in this case. They actually put quite a bit of lore into the Icebrood Saga masteries. Only mastery on par lorewise was the S3E1 mastery (counter magic being Taimi's derivation of Zinn's derivation of the Seer's Infusion techniques to counter Spectral Agony).

    The new essence masteries has a very dark lore behind it with the asura dude.

    What "dark lore"? I would like to read your elaboration.

    The TL;DR:

    Yarixx admits to doing what sounds like torturing the Fallen, Svanir, and Aberrants in order to extract essence from their souls which match the same kind (for lack of a better word) of essence that matches the three missing Spirits of the Wild. And doing the same for the Spirits' magic.

    Thank you for that. What part of what he says gives you the impression that he tortured them?

  • @Stephen.6312 said:

    @Konig Des Todes.2086 said:

    @Stephen.6312 said:

    @Konig Des Todes.2086 said:

    @ugrakarma.9416 said:
    i never bothered much with masteries lore because since HoT they are simplified as "learned stuff", i mean in the case of essences they represent a "learned weakness" after fighting the specific kind of monsters.

    Not at all, in this case. They actually put quite a bit of lore into the Icebrood Saga masteries. Only mastery on par lorewise was the S3E1 mastery (counter magic being Taimi's derivation of Zinn's derivation of the Seer's Infusion techniques to counter Spectral Agony).

    The new essence masteries has a very dark lore behind it with the asura dude.

    What "dark lore"? I would like to read your elaboration.

    The TL;DR:

    Yarixx admits to doing what sounds like torturing the Fallen, Svanir, and Aberrants in order to extract essence from their souls which match the same kind (for lack of a better word) of essence that matches the three missing Spirits of the Wild. And doing the same for the Spirits' magic.

    Thank you for that. What part of what he says gives you the impression that he tortured them?

    It's not just his words, but also how we get essences - by beating up our enemies. But the two lines of his in particular:

    Yarixx: Yes! I've used the Spirits of the Wild as inspiration for the manipulation of spirit essence in Jormag's minions. In short, I've weaponized spirit essence against the very beings that produce it!

    PC: Essence manipulation... Isn't this exploiting the Spirits of the Wild?
    Yarixx: Yes! Isn't it fantastic? For so long, the norn haven't been able to TRULY harness the essence of their own spirits. Overall, I think they'll be quite pleased.

    In the Guild Chat following this episode, they also say that Yarixx was doing grim things to experiment with essence manipulation before we get to talk to him.

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

  • @Konig Des Todes.2086 said:

    @Stephen.6312 said:

    @Konig Des Todes.2086 said:

    @Stephen.6312 said:

    @Konig Des Todes.2086 said:

    @ugrakarma.9416 said:
    i never bothered much with masteries lore because since HoT they are simplified as "learned stuff", i mean in the case of essences they represent a "learned weakness" after fighting the specific kind of monsters.

    Not at all, in this case. They actually put quite a bit of lore into the Icebrood Saga masteries. Only mastery on par lorewise was the S3E1 mastery (counter magic being Taimi's derivation of Zinn's derivation of the Seer's Infusion techniques to counter Spectral Agony).

    The new essence masteries has a very dark lore behind it with the asura dude.

    What "dark lore"? I would like to read your elaboration.

    The TL;DR:

    Yarixx admits to doing what sounds like torturing the Fallen, Svanir, and Aberrants in order to extract essence from their souls which match the same kind (for lack of a better word) of essence that matches the three missing Spirits of the Wild. And doing the same for the Spirits' magic.

    Thank you for that. What part of what he says gives you the impression that he tortured them?

    It's not just his words, but also how we get essences - by beating up our enemies. But the two lines of his in particular:

    Yarixx: Yes! I've used the Spirits of the Wild as inspiration for the manipulation of spirit essence in Jormag's minions. In short, I've weaponized spirit essence against the very beings that produce it!

    PC: Essence manipulation... Isn't this exploiting the Spirits of the Wild?
    Yarixx: Yes! Isn't it fantastic? For so long, the norn haven't been able to TRULY harness the essence of their own spirits. Overall, I think they'll be quite pleased.

    In the Guild Chat following this episode, they also say that Yarixx was doing grim things to experiment with essence manipulation before we get to talk to him.

    I see. Thank you for pointing that out.

  • Loesh.4697Loesh.4697 Member ✭✭✭

    Also a little refinement on my theory based on more research. I become more and more certain of my theory on Eagle, but I am unsure if all the specifics of how it's inverted are correct. Nevertheless, on close examination i'v found that there are in fact Eagle statues in the Svanir camps, that means there's a one to one match with every essence and one lost spirit of the Wild, minus of course Owl. But beyond on that I am also starting to suspect that while each essence is primarily focused around one of the major corrupted spirits as an essence, I am also starting to suspect that these essences are also drawn from the primary ones the Norn revere these days.

    Raven and Eagle are the most obvious, the Freanir has one way or another been corrupting it's essence and using it to create the Icebrood constructs we now fight, that's even stated by the Shaman of Raven itself. However I also believe that Valor may be twisted wolf energy as well. Not only are Wargs, which themselves are twisted wolves, and other canines like Murellows radiating Aberrant energy but the forest is also filled with their howling. At first I thought this might just be a result of the fact that Wolverines themselves are, true to their name, often confused with wolves but what broke it for me was the Ravenfrost Cavern dialogue from some of the Vigil there. They mention a Kodan who is 100% bright shore as constantly muttering to themselves 'Norn Wolf' over and over again like a mantra, which of course would given Bright Shores nature refer to the Boneskinner. Observing the Boneskinner himself I can say from his posture and features that things I originally took for Charr traits, are more then likely Wolf traits, so while it's habits are similar to a Wolverines it's features are very canine in nature.

    Further I strongly believe that the spirit of Resilience is now not just Dolyak but also the twisted energy of Bear, wherever there's Fallen Ruins there are also usually large Bear shrines somewhere which could alternatively be a depiction of Koda as well given that there are so many Kodan around. Either way point stands, and indeed many of spirits twisted by this energy happen to be the spirits of large bears. So further revising my theory is the idea that Jormag is effectively forging a dark pantheon to serve it's whims. While each of these three have roots that most strongly resonate with the Lost Spirits, they can likely twist ANY spirit of the wild who will then take on one of these three characteristics.

  • @Loesh.4697 said:
    other canines like Murellows

    Murrellows aren't canines. They're in the same species as bears.

    At first I thought this might just be a result of the fact that Wolverines themselves are, true to their name, often confused with wolves but what broke it for me was the Ravenfrost Cavern dialogue from some of the Vigil there. They mention a Kodan who is 100% bright shore as constantly muttering to themselves 'Norn Wolf' over and over again like a mantra, which of course would given Bright Shores nature refer to the Boneskinner.

    All we have about the kodan muttering is that he sits by a fire and muttering only "nornwolf". First off, nornwolf is clearly a reference to Svanir - the Nornbear. So we're likely to see more icebrood norn in animal forms in the season. Secondly, Bright Shores is not muttering one thing over and over, and never once talks about norn or wolves to us. So I would fully disagree that the dialogue is referring to Bight Shore.

    Further I strongly believe that the spirit of Resilience is now not just Dolyak but also the twisted energy of Bear, wherever there's Fallen Ruins there are also usually large Bear shrines somewhere which could alternatively be a depiction of Koda as well given that there are so many Kodan around.

    The Bear Shrine is a nod to GW1 and has nothing to do with Koda or the kodan or the Fallen. It's just the original shrine to Bear that the norn had before Jormag forced them out of their homelands.

    I don't see the connections to the Great Spirits, personally. Especially since Snow Leopard is completely missing from your assessment. A lot of your suggestions for why they're connected are, ultimately, just GW1 lore popping its head into GW2.

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

  • Loesh.4697Loesh.4697 Member ✭✭✭

    I mean yeah, they're classified to be the same species as bears but Murellows visually look like a mix of Dog and Mole, furthermore despite the in game classification of bear the Murellows have far more in common with the hunting tactics of said canines. They travel in packs, scavenge for food, and attempt to hunt and isolate anything they come into contact with.

    As for Bright Shore, the reference to him seems fully apparent to me. The dialogue happens in the Ravenfrost Caverns near the Aberrant Forest, there's only one Kodan we can talk to on the map and for that matter only one that we meet near a fire pit, and just because we don't see him muttering 'Norn Wolf' ourselves doesn't mean Bright Shore isn't mentally unhinged enough to be doing that to a bunch of total strangers passing through. I'm unsure about the idea it's a direct reference to Svanir, in the sense that just because something is stuck in animal form doesn't strictly mean all they're doing is talking about something that's identical to a Nornbear like creature, could be that a 'Norn Wolf' is only the same in the similar way they are fused to their animal form, but their abilities, powers, and behavior are radically different

    As for Bear Shrine, sure? but even if it's a reference that doesn't mean they aren't connected, especially since that's only one of two Bear Shrines that are corrupted like that, the second one being in the Fallen Ruins in the Aberrant Forest. As for snow leopard, I don't know because the only things i'v seen corrupted by it so far are the Shaman around resil infused areas, which could mean it's something whose corruption we might see later or that it had avoided corruption altogether.

  • Aaron Ansari.1604Aaron Ansari.1604 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Loesh.4697 said:
    As for snow leopard, I don't know because the only things i'v seen corrupted by it so far are the Shaman around resil infused areas, which could mean it's something whose corruption we might see later or that it had avoided corruption altogether.

    I'm not entirely sold on the connection yet, but... if Jormag is managing to subvert the powers of the spirits they hadn't personally vanquished, what are the odds that they're doing it through the old shrines? We saw Zhaitan do similar in Orr. And, far as we know, Snow Leopard wasn't a big deal for the norn until she helped during the flight south. Maybe there just aren't Leopard shrines around for Jormag to harness.

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

  • Loesh.4697Loesh.4697 Member ✭✭✭

    That's what i'm guessing personally, if we at some point bump into a Snow Leopard shrine that's overflowing with corruption I wouldn't be surprised.