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Kralkatorrik went mad from all the magic, why not the other dragons?


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In LW3 episodes "Rising Flames" and "A Crack in the Ice" we saw the minions of Primordus and Jormag, respectively, be tainted with the magics of Zhaitan and Mordremoth. Then, at the end of LW4, we see Kralkatorrik go mad and be at war with himself because of all the extra magics he absorbed: Zhaitan, Mordremoth, Balthazar and we learn from Aurene during "War Eternal" that the elder dragons weren't meant to contain those other magics; that they could only handle the magics in their respective domains and that Aurene was the "first of her kind" being a dragon that COULD contain all the magics in one.

So why aren't Jormag and Primordus and water dragon all going insane like Kralk did? Also, why do we no longer see their minions tainted by the other magics? It's not like those other magics just ceased to exist. Yes, Aurene is now an elder dragon and the nexus for those other magics, but until that happened, the other magics had no direction and were being absorbed by the still living dragons, hence the tainting of their minions. So why didn't they go mad like Kralk and why are their minions not still tainted?

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Kralk's torment is eons old. It was not caused by the events of the game, but rather something he's been suffering from since at least the previous dragonrise 10,000 years prior. We don't know if torment was unique to his situation, or if it's something all dragons contend with. From Kralk's case it seems his level of greed/magic consumption is what made him go mad with torment. For all we know, the other dragons just haven't consumed the same level of magic/conflicting magics.

As far as we know, no elder dragon has died before to allow other dragons to consume whatever magic they release until now. This phenomenon is relatively new and began with Zhaitan in the personal story. We have yet to see how this affects elder dragon's long term beyond some superficial changes to their minions or abilities (like mist-walking with divine magic demonstrated by Kralk and Jormag, or Aurene's resurrection magic gained from Joko).

In Champions, Councillor Phlunt hypothesizes Primordus may have evolved/adapted during slumber to better process Mordremoth and Zhaitan's magic, which he believes may account for the absence of death and vine touched destroyers we're seeing now.

In the end, you can probably chalk it up to an inconsistent narrative team that changes the rules as new members/leads cycle in and out.

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There is an implicit assumption here that the other Elder Dragons aren't insane in their own ways. We have a pretty clear indication that excess magic can drive anyone insane - dragons appear to have a higher capacity than most, but it doesn't mean they're immune. Aurene's whole MO is that she shares and redistributes magic continuously rather than trying to hoard it, so she never has as much magic personally at any given time compared to the others.

In Kralkatorrik's case we saw the insanity directly, but working through the other dragons - Zhaitan thought he was the cure for death. Mordremoth seemed to believe he WAS the world. The whole Truce arc seems to be demonstrating that Primordus is striking somewhat randomly to cause destruction for the sake of destruction, without any apparent regard for strategy (Taimi pointing out that "Destroyers do not show reason" when the boss destroyer of the Metrica Province region moves AWAY from the Rata Sum gate, for instance). Jormag seems to be the most put-together, but shows distinct signs of dark triad personality traits.

Regarding Jormag and Primordus absorbing new magic types: a possible explanation is that, unlike Kralkatorrik, Primordus and Jormag realised that it was unhealthy for them to absorb the conflicting magics themselves. So, in order to benefit from that magic without absorbing it themselves, they dumped it into their minions. Phlunt's hypothesis also isn't the first time there's been a suggestion that Elder Dragons might be able to convert magic over time from other forms into their own, so it's also certainly possible that while Jormag and Primordus were hibernating, they had the opportunity to essentially metabolise the foreign magics.

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This weird torment thing that they added is supposed to be a long standing side effect of all that conflicting magic. One theory is that kralks showing it more than the others was triggered by the attempt to purify him by the Forgotten abd ended up splitting his personality further

I tend to agree with the above though. Inconsistent writing, zero story planning and changing writers is likely to be at fault

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@Musha.4025 said:So why aren't Jormag and Primordus and water dragon all going insane like Kralk did?

Who said they aren't? As mentioned, the torment is eons old, having happened several dozen millennia ago.

We've yet to see a personality out of Zhaitan or Primordus, and both act little different from Kralkatorrik (especially Primordus) as Kralk was very animalistic and without personality until Kralk's final moments when we went straight to his mind/heart. And we've not had such for Jormag, so there's no reason to outright state Jormag isn't afflicted by Torment.

Even the reason for this split personality inside Kralkatorrik is unclear but given Edge of Destiny novel, it doesn't seem it was always there - Snaff goes deep into Kralkatorrik's mind, and there is no hint of anything other than what turned out to be the Torment's personality. One theory is that the split personality was caused by the Forgotten ritual being performed on Kralkatorrik, as mentioned by Sadizi in Path of Fire. And because Mordremoth (all five other Elder Dragons in fact) weren't put under such a ritual would mean that if the ritual is the cause, that's why we don't see split personalities in any of the rest of them when diving into their minds (though we've only done such for Mordremoth atm).

In other words, we simply do not know that the other Elder Dragons aren't going insane like Kralkatorrik did. After all, they're all malevolent, greedy, and evil bastards like Kralkatorrik's Torment (and Kralk himself).

For the record, Tom Abernathy did imply the other Elder Dragons were afflicted by Torment, and even suggests that Aurene is not immune, merely resistant. One theory which I adhere to is that her resistance comes from her bond with the Commander and Caithe (as suggested by Glint AI's words in the trial chambers during All or Nothing), and Jormag is emulating this by bonding with Ryland, Bangar, and the Frost Legion rather than outright corrupting them (the difference between the two, besides free will being stripped away, is that bonding means sharing magic, while corrupting means taking/hoarding magic).

Also, why do we no longer see their minions tainted by the other magics? It's not like those other magics just ceased to exist.

For Jormag, it's because they're more experimental with new magic than Primordus or Kralkatorrik - the two most animalistic of the Elder Dragons - were. This was why in Season 3, there was only one such minion, and in IBS, Jormag uses Zhaitan's death magic in a new way:

to control and speak through corpses (Almorra's and the Fraenir's).


For Primordus, it's mentioned in the newest update (talk to Phlunt in Eye of the North), where because Primordus was put to sleep, he was able to properly assimilate the magic and thus is able to convert the foreign magic into his own (or something along those lines, similar to what Balthazar seemed to do when absorbing Jormag's and Bloodstone's magic in S3 - he never uses ice magic or bloodstone magic, just his own flavor of fire magic).

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I don't have too much to add here as I agree generally with the consensus.

My thinking is this: Jormag—being a smaller and less powerful elemental dragon than the others—evolved to be clever. There's something that clever animals do that others don't: cooperate. As Jormag took an interest in mortals, they found that there was that which they wanted to preserve, they saw them as more than just merely an army that they could use to survive. At one point, they said in anger that they would freeze the world to stop the cycle if need be—to preserve the vulnerable from the wars.

Jormag speaks of a cycle. This is the dragons waking, warring to consume magicks, then sleeping again. In these cycles, civilisations have fell, entire cultures and socities have been lost to the sands of time to sate the dragons and their need for magic. Above all else, Jormag has made it clear that they find this untenable.

They're really the only dragon we know about who thinks this way. Thus far, it's fairly clear that this isn't true of Primordus as their awakening has wrought fiery death upon whomsoever was unfortunate to be caught in their wroth—which is a different word than wrath, but that too! The other dragons appear to be very invested in the wars. I'm inclined to believe that this, in part, is due to the torment. I believe that, similar to Aurene, Jormag has found a way to remain free of the torment.

Why the attack on Vigil Keep, then? That doesn't seem especially rational. I'm... not actually inclined to think that was Jormag in the first place. Ultimately, yes, certainly we were fighting the forces of Jormag as they have a self-preservation instinct the same as anyone else. However, there's some introspection to be done, here: 1.) Why would Jormag suddenly choose to do this; 2.) If indeed it was Jormag who committed this act, why would they call the Commander to the Keep; 3.) The whole thing had an illusory atmosphere that isn't really Jormag's bag, power-wise.

Now Jormag has made mistakes in understanding the desires of mortals before, we've found texts that show this. What I would posit, however, is that it isn't really their way to attack unprovoked. So why, then? It would've behooved Jormag to try to make peaceful contact with the Keep, so in my opinion there's something else going on there. What I believe happened is that the spirits of the wild got scared, so they staged this attack with the intent being to pin the blame on Jormag for it. Why, though?

The spirits are very animalistic creatures and even more focused upon survival than Jormag is, for one. The second point I'd share is that they aren't perhaps quite the "noble" beings that some would believe them to be. They eat children. There's lore supporting this, I'll let the other loremasters explain if they wish but it is true. That's not exactly the act of a benevolent spirit, they have a malignant element to them that shouldn't be openly trusted.

With two dragons awakening? I suspect that their fear lead them to try to wield the will of mortalkind to end the most pertinent draconic threat to them—Jormag. They had an idea that the mortals would challenge Primordus as the will of the dragon of fire is one of open hostility. He cares not for cooperation or the survival of mortalkind, thus they had little to fear from him initially. They knew that before Primordus came from them, he'd have to deal with both the mortals and likely Jormag first. This made Jormag their primary concern.

We've seen magicks like this used before by Joko. I'd say that it's very likely raven was responsible for the illusions that lead to the downfall of the keep, aided by eagle. They're afraid that should mortals know their true nature, even the norn might not necessarily care that Jormag had a taste for them. They've done some things that the mortals would not approve of, whereas Jormag hasn't done anything—thus far—of ill-will. The actions of the ice dragon have either been out of generosity or survival.

As I said, sometimes Jormag had made mistakes regarding mortals and their desires but that doesn't mean ill-intent. It just means that they're an ancient creature that perhaps didn't fully grasp that mortals don't always actually know what they want. Jormag's modus operandi seems to be to appease with generosity in the hope of gleaning the cooperation of mortals. This has been twisted to become "you think how they want you to think," which isn't necessarily true. Jormag's power is persuasion, not control, and I think it's clear by this point that their goal is cooperation.

I have a... particular interest in them myself as their personality comes across as very autistic, and they're confirmed as a plural state by Tom Abernathy. They share their mind with their branded. This is a different approach from other dragons who tend to enslave their branded—as I've pointed out, the Frost legion clearly aren't, and unless we really want to argue that Svanir were ordered to sit around and relax in hot springs, their will is intact as well. When Jormag says something like "what we all want," the point in and of itself is survival. Jormag wants to survive. We want to survive. Aurene would quite obviously like that too. Logically, cooperation is the best way to achieve that.

As stated prior—they see value in other life, and other life having agency in order to create the incredible things they do, so cooperation is the best choice for the survival of everyone. This includes the mortals they'd wish to see survive. What I find interesting is that Jormag may wish for mortals to be longer-lived as well, to have more of a chance to express themselves. In the world as it is now, mortals are easily manipulated and they throw away their lives for foolish, pointless goals (see: The Dominion).

I think that collaring Bangar was a way to show that they aren't like the other dragons. How do I explain this? Alright, let's say you're faced with a dictator. After a long war, you've finally managed to capture them and you have them within your custody. What do you do? What is about the dictator that made them so dangerous? Why did their enablers follow them in the first place?

I suppose we'd have to look at the real-world for that. If I had to guess, I'd suggest it's all down to dopamine flow and the protection thereof. Humans tend to be very tribal by nature and their tribalism is focused on protecting their dopamine flow. If you were to give a junkie some heroin, they'd be your best friend. Humans feel rewarded by doing things that empower the in-group, they feel rewarded by social success and by being a part of an effort that a lot of others agree upon. This is something that can be exploited by a clever speaker. So the real danger? Charisma.

Charisma is what you'd have to deal with. So how do you do that? Do you throw them in a dark pit and toss away the key? Do you kill them? Do you try to punish them in some near-mortal way that will have them think twice before doing that again? Or... Do you remove their capacity to use their charisma to wield groups of people, and monitor them to ensure that they can be of no danger? With all of these options considered, the lattermost is hte most compassionate.

By collaring Bangar, Jormag was showing Aurene that they're capable of compassion. Not only did they end Bangar's ambition to take over the world—which could have easily cost umpteen millions of lives—but they did so in a way that didn't harm him unncessarily. They were showing Aurene their way.

I see Jormag as a bit of a helicopter parent versus Aurene's permissive approach where anything goes as far as mortals are concerned. I find Jormag to be a very compelling foil to Aurene's position and it's something that they—as a young and very inexperienced dragon—sorely need. They both agree on the value of cooperating with and preserving mortalkind, yet they disagree on teh best way to do that. I feel that their interactions wil make for some of the best storytelling we've seen in Guild Wars 2 thus far. I'm looking forward to it.

In the end, I see Jormag as a steadfast ally. There's just going to be some rockiness between now and then thanks to their ideological differences.

The point is: Jormag isn't tainted because they were more clever in how they do things. They evolved to be that way due to being a smaller dragon of lesser power, and the only reason they've survived thus far is due to that cleverness. And being a clever dragon, their chosen means is cooperation. None of this is conducive to them being taken by the torment in the way the other—more predatory—dragons were.

Footnote: Just to have it on the record, I do believe that the purpose of this story is also to further learn the nature of and challenge the torment. I think that we'll free Primordus from the grip of it and bring them into balance with Jormag by the end. That's what I think the goal is. This brings the story to a point where the dragons themselves are no longer the threat—End of Dragons. Not the end of the dragons themselves, per se, but the end of the dragon threat.

This opens the story up to the true villain of the piece: the torment.

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I feel Anet was really leaning hard into the direction that Kralkatorrik had felt something after killing Glint. Kralkatorrik acted like a large greedy beast for most of the time we've known him, yet there was one act that was far from normal behavior of dragons based on what we can observe from lesser dragons. Dragons are fiercely protective of their young, we can observe that from drakes and wyvern in Tyria. Even Glint would not hesitate to kill a hero stealing her eggs. Without a doubt Kralkatorrik had to be feeling conflicted over the act of killing Glint, everything that was dragon in him says not to kill his own young yet every bit of his fury says kill everyone involved in this betrayal including her. This must have left an open vulnerability for Torment to exploit after he kills Glint. The other Elder Dragons as far as we know have not had to kill their own scions like Kralkatorrik had.

Family was a recurring theme I'm finding in season 4. Multiple references to Aurene being a member of Kralkatorrik's family, Gorrik's reaction to Blish's sacrifice, Braham coming to terms with the reality of his family, the bonds of Aurene to the Commander and Caithe, and of course Kralkatorrik's parting words.

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