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"Champion's End" plot "twists" and confusion (spoiler)


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Setting aside the "Dragonstorm" instance and Arena Net's way of disappointing  everyone with what happened there. I wanted to express and maybe see some thoughts about the narrative (from the perspective as a consumer of said narrative) regarding the aftermath of it all.

 

Specifically this instance presents two new facts that seem to be unexpected, based on my own experience with the content. A plot twist, or so I think. The issue I don't really get, is, are these supposed to be plot twists, and furthermore, are they interesting and meaningful. Execution wise, well, I think we all know where that discussion goes. No, not so great, and that it what makes me unsure if I should even interpret these things as plot twists. But anyways here are the things that confuse me.

 

Braham survives intact, and the spirits of the wild too, they are said to be recovering. Ok, so we never where told that Braham's actions in the last chapter was definitively a one way street. But as far as I can tell, the writing was priming people to believe it to be so. It certainly made me expectant of something bad happening to Braham. So lets look at the things that made me believe so.

Quote

Bear: Trading one dragon for the other—what if we end up like Ox and the rest? What happens to the norn if we four are lost?

 

<Character name>: But what happens to Braham when they do?

Aurene: It was his choice. We have to respect it, no matter the outcome. We owe him that.

 

Crecia Stoneglow: Braham knew the risks.

Maybe I am overthinking it, reading too much into some lines of dialog, but I think the game wanted me to seriously consider that Braham might not get out of this intact.

So when Braham is found, no only alive, but also, restored to his regular old self, it is a surprise. And we haven't seen de-corrupting of dragon minions before. Previous dragon deaths have even left their dragon minions, not only corrupted but also very much still able to maim and kill with whatever latent magic is left in them. So there kind of is another surprise on top. But I have to wonder to myself what was the point of that. Basically I am confused that they build up these ideas that something bad can happen, to build up tension, and then the resolution is just sorta flat. Not hint of consequences for what happened to him.

 

And then there is Aurene's role. Or rather, and ambiguousness to her plans to deal with magic fallout that gets explained and proven to fail at the same time. So again a sort of double surprise, that just makes me feel more confused. I've played through champions and then re-read some if it on on the wiki, and I really don't remember anywhere that Aurene showed any confidence in her ability to absorb both dragon's magic or her intent to do so. The closest thing we get is that Aurene doesn't object to the idea of the other dragons killing each other. So when the twist, that the magic doesn't get absorbed by Aurene, is revealed, I just think to myself, I didn't even really expect her to absorb the magic in the first place. And this turn of events, is meaningful. It has consequences, and the writing tries to make someone of a big deal about it. But in stead of thinking oh wow, what a mystery. I am just going why am I out of the loop?

 

 

So my questions are. Is that really all there is to Brham's arc? Is there something else we should be expecting from his actions, did I miss anything that points to future problems for Braham? And as for Aurene, did I miss the idea that she would absorb both dragons, did I miss the dialogue that state she will try to do jus that? Or do you think it is reasonable for me to be confused about these points, and well, it is because the release is what it is.

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Let's face it, folks: there is only one explanation for the whole mess: it had to end quickly (for reasons undisclosed to us).   Not even the worst writers would have planned for this, of th

Don’t overthink things.  Take it as it is: buchered lore by a company who doesn’t care about their own product. 

Except the writing NEVER makes this clear. We're just left to assume reasons, and even then she just seems aloof half the time. It's only toward the end of Champions they make her indecision more expl

Posted (edited)

Judging on his response it sounds like he’ll be suffering from some form of PTSD, but that’s all the writing seems to be indicating at the moment.

 

The Altar of Glaust in Arah/Orr could give dragon minions free will again (which happened with Glint), but I don’t remember if it can cleanse physical corruption in addition to mental corruption/control. Frankly it’s a pretty important piece of lore that’s been long forgotten (no pun intended) by the devs. Perhaps ignored.

 

I agree with your sentiments, though. Braham felt as if he was being narratively set up (however forced the perspective) to die a hero. Especially with all the heavy handed comments from the cast at large indicating how Braham was making such a brave and noble sacrifice for the world. Given the obsession with a Norn creating their legend, it seemed a natural resolution given the “impossible” task Braham set out to do — directing a primordial force of fire and destruction. The decision not to have him physically scarred at the very least by Primordus’ corruption makes the whole plot thread feel even more contrived and bonkers than it already did to me. I just pray we’re done with Braham now. Please retire him to Hoelbrek as a living legend/super havroun and let us move on to other characters, I BEG YOU ANET.

 

In the end, there are no stakes to this story. Braham suffers almost no consequences for jumping the shark, and I dearly hope we don’t have to help him work through his trauma in any future adventures. The spirits protecting Braham is just another convenient and hand-wavy excuse — of which Champions is rife with. And honestly, Champions isn’t even the first time the writers have leaned into quick-and-easy solutions to end plot threads swiftly.

 

Can’t wait to see what the repercussions of Champions and Dragonstorm will be — most likely it will be our fault somehow!

 

Edit: Truly I don’t even feel like Braham fulfilled the prophecy. Jormag’s defeat had very little to do with Braham directly. Aurene in tandem with Jormag’s sudden stupidity sealed the deal more than anything else. Thank goodness for that “gentle push” she gave the “balance” by spirit bombing Jormag and Primordus into killing themselves. 🙃

Edited by Zola.6197
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Couple things kinda bugged me and for all I know, this might be where the story is going. In Champions,

Owl said this:

“The Wild together can direct the fall. You are the harness, Norn of Prophecy. Tell them.”

 

I thought this was weird maybe this is referring to the Spirits of the Wild absorbing the magical fallout.

 

Then at the end Aurene says these couple of lines.

 

“Aurene: I felt such a rush of wild magic, but then some of it seemed to just... flow through me. There's still much I don't know.”

 

and

 

“All that magic from Primordus and Jormag—

Aurene: Out in the wild. I know. I braced myself to absorb it all, but most of it went elsewhere. I didn't expect that. Foresight is... unpredictable. I wish I'd known this ahead of time. Now, we wait.”

 

Is it just me or are they really using the word Wild a lot this episode. I think Aurene says during the Dragonstorm instance as well.

 

“Aurene: Champion, help me! There's too much— This power, it's so wild. Get to the prisms!”

 

Did the magic from the dragon get absorbed or directed by this “Wild”, which I would imagine is connected to the spirits?

 

I’m personally not sure, just find it odd, how often they said Wild in this chapter.

 

 

 

Edited by Tyson.5160
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6 hours ago, Tyson.5160 said:

I’m personally not sure, just find it odd, how often they said Wild in this chapter.


I suppose they could reveal something like this down the line, but if so it’ll be yet again a detail our characters put no effort into investigating its possibility/viability. It’ll have happened as a happy accident in spite of our cast of buffoons.

 

Or maybe we’ll get a tweet to explain how the heroes knew all along so there’s no need to worry! That’s often how we get clarity on many crucial plot points in the game, vs those answers being organically built into the movement of the narrative.

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15 hours ago, PseudoNewb.5468 said:

And we haven't seen de-corrupting of dragon minions before.

There was a Sylvari that was a former Mordrem at one of the last festivals, i think. And Mordrem were corrupted both in mind and body, so it's not just a case of regaining free will. Caithe was also un-crystallized for a while during LS4 finale, when Aurene's power weakened for a while. On the other hand, Sylvari (both Mordrem and Caithe) were the only cases of undoing physical corruption so far.

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14 hours ago, Tyson.5160 said:

Couple things kinda bugged me and for all I know, this might be where the story is going. In Champions,

Owl said this:

“The Wild together can direct the fall. You are the harness, Norn of Prophecy. Tell them.”

 

I thought this was weird maybe this is referring to the Spirits of the Wild absorbing the magical fallout.

 

Then at the end Aurene says these couple of lines.

 

“Aurene: I felt such a rush of wild magic, but then some of it seemed to just... flow through me. There's still much I don't know.”

 

and

 

“All that magic from Primordus and Jormag—

Aurene: Out in the wild. I know. I braced myself to absorb it all, but most of it went elsewhere. I didn't expect that. Foresight is... unpredictable. I wish I'd known this ahead of time. Now, we wait.”

 

Is it just me or are they really using the word Wild a lot this episode. I think Aurene says during the Dragonstorm instance as well.

 

“Aurene: Champion, help me! There's too much— This power, it's so wild. Get to the prisms!”

 

Did the magic from the dragon get absorbed or directed by this “Wild”, which I would imagine is connected to the spirits?

 

I’m personally not sure, just find it odd, how often they said Wild in this chapter.

 

 

 


I found it strange as well. Constantly mentioning "wild." But I wouldn't read into it. Unless we're going with the assumption that the spirits of the Wild sacrificed themselves when they vowed to help Braham with Primordus. That Primordus somehow absorbed them and now the magic released into the world is not only Primordus and Jormag, but the spirits as well?

I assume that if they were going that route they would have at least taken the time to add one sentence of follow-up dialogue to Braham after the story instance.

So no, I think that's just Aurene's weird way of referencing the magic. And presumably the emphasis on "wild" is because it's foreign to her as she hasn't metabolized it yet or whatever the elder dragons do. Any magic that isn't their own is "wild" magic. Like eating spicy food and getting indigestion or something. Idk.

With Braham being left alive and seemingly perfectly healthy along with the concept art released recently showing the Norn hut in Cantha I suspect there may be a future plot point in Cantha with other spirits of the wild in that region that we'll need Braham as a plot device for. For now I think they've served their purpose and it's full steam ahead though. 

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4 hours ago, Bast.7253 said:


I found it strange as well. Constantly mentioning "wild." But I wouldn't read into it. Unless we're going with the assumption that the spirits of the Wild sacrificed themselves when they vowed to help Braham with Primordus. That Primordus somehow absorbed them and now the magic released into the world is not only Primordus and Jormag, but the spirits as well?

I assume that if they were going that route they would have at least taken the time to add one sentence of follow-up dialogue to Braham after the story instance.

So no, I think that's just Aurene's weird way of referencing the magic. And presumably the emphasis on "wild" is because it's foreign to her as she hasn't metabolized it yet or whatever the elder dragons do. Any magic that isn't their own is "wild" magic. Like eating spicy food and getting indigestion or something. Idk.

With Braham being left alive and seemingly perfectly healthy along with the concept art released recently showing the Norn hut in Cantha I suspect there may be a future plot point in Cantha with other spirits of the wild in that region that we'll need Braham as a plot device for. For now I think they've served their purpose and it's full steam ahead though. 

I’m wondering if the magic was absorb by the Wild or the forces of nature, which I would imagine would include the Spirits of the Wild and maybe this dragon spirit and other nature forces.

 

This could be a tie in as I recall Cantha having a more spiritual side focussed on the Ritualist and what not.

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Actually, we've seen a decorrupted minion. It is a sylvari, who was a Mordrem's guard. But we've never seen dragon's champion became the same: we had to kill Trahearne because of him turning to the champion after Mordremoth's death. We saw still crystal Caith after Aurene's death, so it takes a lot of time to get rid of corruption. And now suddenly Braham and Rytlock are just fine, because of?..

Edited by nopinopa.4861
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9 hours ago, Astralporing.1957 said:

On the other hand, Sylvari (both Mordrem and Caithe) were the only cases of undoing physical corruption so far.

That's actually very interesting, since Sylvari is the only specie that was made specifically to be dragon's minions in the first place. And yet they were the only one (before the end of the saga) who could be decorrupted.

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1 hour ago, nopinopa.4861 said:

That's actually very interesting, since Sylvari is the only specie that was made specifically to be dragon's minions in the first place. And yet they were the only one (before the end of the saga) who could be decorrupted.

 

The Sylvari are able to change their appearance regardless of corruption/decorruption provided they have a strong enough stimulus/reason to do so (like Canach and probably Malomedies). They were not actually corrupted physically by Mordremoth, more like their minds were hijacked and the physical change was then triggered. So when their minds got freed, they were also free to change back.

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6 minutes ago, anninke.7469 said:

They were not actually corrupted physically by Mordremoth

But there is a physically corrupted Caith, who started to decorrupt slowly after Aurene's death.

 

11 minutes ago, anninke.7469 said:

So when their minds got freed, they were also free to change back.

Yet we have only one sylvari who did this, and he still hears the echo of Mordremoth. We don't know how he did it and if there are more sylvaries who could do this. Also, we fought Mordrems in LW3, and then we just don't know anything about them, except that one Sylvari. We also had one last Mordrem in lw4. That (as well as Trahearne death) means that they mind corruption had not go away with the death of the dragon for at least months.

 

Considering that Tyrians are clearing the lands from the dragon minions, I think, it is safe to consider that we just killed all the mordrems just like we did it with undeads and branded minions, and not waited and tried to gather the data about if the sylvari could get their own mind back or not.

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12 minutes ago, nopinopa.4861 said:

But there is a physically corrupted Caith, who started to decorrupt slowly after Aurene's death.

 

Yet we have only one sylvari who did this, and he still hears the echo of Mordremoth. We don't know how he did it and if there are more sylvaries who could do this. Also, we fought Mordrems in LW3, and then we just don't know anything about them, except that one Sylvari. We also had one last Mordrem in lw4. That (as well as Trahearne death) means that they mind corruption had not go away with the death of the dragon for at least months.

 

Considering that Tyrians are clearing the lands from the dragon minions, I think, it is safe to consider that we just killed all the mordrems just like we did it with undeads and branded minions, and not waited and tried to gather the data about if the sylvari could get their own mind back or not.

Well, Caithe's "branding" is a different issue, she kept here new physical form but lost the flowers. I guess I have no theory about that.

 

The one sylvari we have is a miserably small sample, I admit, and it would be nice to have more. However, him still hearing the echoes is not a proof of lingering corruption, might as well be PTSD or something similar. 

 

As for fighting mordrem later on - not all mordrem were turned sylvari, only Mordrem Guards. And not all turned sylvari must have necessarily wanted to change back. Some of them might simply have chosen to stay as they were.

 

Trahearne's death was Mordremoth's real/final death. Mordy tried to use him as a back-up unit, it wasn't residual corruption. 

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They established that Braham might die or stay corrupted, not that he would. The point of doing that was to establish that there was a risk in what he was doing, so the outcome is uncertain. We weren't supposed to know what actually would happen until it was over, which gives those players who are interested in the story an incentive to see it through.

 

Think of it like being told fighting a dragon champion (or dragon) is incredibly dangerous and your character and everyone else involved could die. It doesn't mean they will die, just that it's possible and therefore you need to make an effort to not only win but also survive. If you went in being told you will definitely be fine no matter what then the fight seems less meaningful.

 

As for Aurene's plan I think what Aurene wanted to do got overtaken by events. She wasn't really prepared to absorb all the magic and wasn't sure what would happen if she didn't but Jormag and Primordus weren't going to wait for her to be ready and we didn't have the time or the means to keep delaying them so she had to make the best of it.

 

I think we're not supposed to know yet what the implications of that will be, but I think we'll find out during End of Dragons, possibly with some foreshadowing before then, like the ley line current events activities which followed Moredremoth's death. That uncertainty is like the unresolved plot lines at the end of a TV show season, it's intended to keep you engaged in the story instead of thinking you've seen the end of that storyline and can just not start the next one.

 

5 hours ago, nopinopa.4861 said:

Actually, we've seen a decorrupted minion. It is a sylvari, who was a Mordrem's guard. But we've never seen dragon's champion became the same: we had to kill Trahearne because of him turning to the champion after Mordremoth's death. We saw still crystal Caith after Aurene's death, so it takes a lot of time to get rid of corruption. And now suddenly Braham and Rytlock are just fine, because of?..

Ryland wasn't fine, he still had the ice effects on him right up until the end.

 

I think with Braham the Spirits of the Wild were shielding him from fully becoming a dragon champion, which is why most of the time he could think for himself even though Primordius was trying to take him over entirely. So he was never fully corrupted and maybe that allowed it to fade faster than it would for other dragon champions. Although I'm expecting to see some fall-out from this, either we'll see Braham struggling to recover and get used to being alone in his mind again, or we won't see him at all for a while because he's out of action recovering off screen.

 

5 hours ago, nopinopa.4861 said:

That's actually very interesting, since Sylvari is the only specie that was made specifically to be dragon's minions in the first place. And yet they were the only one (before the end of the saga) who could be decorrupted.

 

I think how the dragons corrupt or create their minions might be a factor too. For example we wouldn't see any uncorrupted risen because they'd just be dead. Mordremoth didn't corrupt anyone except sylvari - instead he created plant minions (basically sylvari) based on them using the birthing pod things. Likewise before Braham I don't think we saw an example of Primordus corrupting anyone to make minions, instead he created destroyers from lava.

 

Jormag did corrupt people to make his minions, but he's only just died so we don't know yet what might happen to them now he's gone.

 

That leaves the Deep Sea Dragon, who we still know nothing about and Kralkatorrik. Given what we've seen with Caithe I think it's possible some of the branded could recover, but I don't think it's been mentioned either way.

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Caithe's case is going to be different from the Modrem guard sylvari as all Sylvari are already technically Modrem to begin with, they were always dragon minions of Mordremoth.  Caithe was 'corrupted', if that's really the correct term, by a completely different dragon.

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8 hours ago, The Greyhawk.9107 said:

Caithe's case is going to be different from the Modrem guard sylvari as all Sylvari are already technically Modrem to begin with, they were always dragon minions of Mordremoth.  Caithe was 'corrupted', if that's really the correct term, by a completely different dragon.

Which goes against all earlier lore, and hasn't been even touched upon so far. Everyone around seems to be okay with it and not see it for what it is - a significant change to the previously established rules.

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43 minutes ago, Astralporing.1957 said:

Which goes against all earlier lore, and hasn't been even touched upon so far. Everyone around seems to be okay with it and not see it for what it is - a significant change to the previously established rules.

Turns out that there is a lot of that going on.

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Let's face it, folks: there is only one explanation for the whole mess: it had to end quickly (for reasons undisclosed to us).

 

Not even the worst writers would have planned for this, of that I can assure you. Things like these only happen when you have to hastily rewrite a story arc to make it end ASAP.

 

  • Why did Aurene suddenly get involved? - Because of Braham, she said. Truth is: because the writers couldn't come up with a better way to end this quickly.
  • Why did Braham survive? - Because the original storyline didn't plan for him to die, so the rewritten, shortened plot didn't kill him off, either, as reshaping the outcome of it all would have taken up too much time, and they obviously couldn't be bothered.

 

If you are looking for other logical explanations, you won't find any.

 

Edited by Ashantara.8731
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3 hours ago, Ashantara.8731 said:

Not even the worst writers would have planned for this, of that I can assure you. Things like these only happen when you have to hastily rewrite a story arc to make it end ASAP.

That has to be it. I feel for the studio. They went through a difficult situation, on top of having the world situation turn everything upside down.

 

The story had to come to a close here and now, and its all hands on deck for EoD. It doesn't matter what was established previously, we'll just make things make sense here and now and leave these plot points open/unanswered and hope it gives us enough wiggle room later.

 

 

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I honestly have no clue how people, just some years before the big lesson that the writers of "Game of Thrones serie" had, with soo much rage, insults and meme's all about 2 guys literally destroy their life carrers in just a couple of weeks...

...And they still dont even second question themselves and think: "Huum, this really have everything to go badly. Maybe lets delay it and have more time to do this properly."

No one? not a single person (well, someone with autority at least, cause from what we have seen lately, I guess it's definately true that the higher ups keep acting like totally unreasonable donkeys, not the dev's) looked at this and tried to stop it?

 

The one (or group of people) that is/are the higher up's and let this slid should be responsible for this mess. and We, players, are not only players but actually **your customers** here, have a right to expect more or we will just leave and let your game to rot.

Edited by Condutas.3580
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3 hours ago, Ashantara.8731 said:
  • Why did Braham survive? - Because the original storyline didn't plan for him to die, so the rewritten, shortened plot didn't kill him off, either, as reshaping the outcome of it all would have taken up too much time, and they obviously couldn't be bothered.

Besides the fact he was being protected by the four major Spirits of the Wild, entries previously described as being nearly unlimited batteries of magic and power?

5 hours ago, Astralporing.1957 said:

Which goes against all earlier lore, and hasn't been even touched upon so far. Everyone around seems to be okay with it and not see it for what it is - a significant change to the previously established rules.

That's because Caithe wasn't corrupted.  She even point blank states this herself right after it happens.

https://wiki.guildwars2.com/wiki/The_Crystal_Blooms

Taimi: I thought dragon minions couldn't be corrupted by other dragons! Is it 'cause her egg absorbed Mordremoth's magic? How—
Caithe: Taimi, it's all right. She asked, and I accepted. This isn't corruption—it's connection.
Edited by Sajuuk Khar.1509
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6 hours ago, Ashantara.8731 said:
  • Besides the fact he was being protected by the four major Spirits of the Wild, entries previously described as being nearly unlimited batteries of magic and power?

 

Well, that is as uninspired writing as Aurene surviving because she ate Palawa Joko - at least the latter was hysterically funny. 😉 Besides, I for one couldn't take the Spirits of the Wild, as portrayed in the whole Champions episode, seriously - the diaolgue and especially the direction of the voice acting were plain horrible (and there I was, almost a year ago, thinking that their portayal in the Drizzlewood Coast adventures was somewhat off for Ancient Powers of Nature).

 

Edited by Ashantara.8731
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2 hours ago, Sajuuk Khar.1509 said:

Besides the fact he was being protected by the four major Spirits of the Wild, entries previously described as being nearly unlimited batteries of magic and power?

That's because Caithe wasn't corrupted.  She even point blank states this herself right after it happens.

https://wiki.guildwars2.com/wiki/The_Crystal_Blooms

Taimi: I thought dragon minions couldn't be corrupted by other dragons! Is it 'cause her egg absorbed Mordremoth's magic? How—
Caithe: Taimi, it's all right. She asked, and I accepted. This isn't corruption—it's connection.

A rose by any other name...

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13 hours ago, Astralporing.1957 said:

Which goes against all earlier lore, and hasn't been even touched upon so far. Everyone around seems to be okay with it and not see it for what it is - a significant change to the previously established rules.

 

To be fair, despite what Taimi claims in Season 4, dragon minions could always be crosscorrupted by other dragons as seen with the existence of Subjects Alpha and Beta, Kudu's Monster, and arguably Kudu himself; we just didn't see this in the wild for unknown reasons. All the Inquest did in Crucible of Eternity was to shoot pure dragon energy at test subjects without any modifications, so this power was inherent in all Elder Dragons all along. Devs have stated that the reason why sylvari were immune to dragon corruption before bonded champions became a thing has been their connection to the Dream of Dreams and Nightmare via the Pale Tree. Why does the Dream/Nightmare have this intriguing ability to kill sylvari rather than let them become corrupted (unless they willingly open their minds to a dragon) has yet to be explored, but it could be a plot hook for later once/if we explore the story of Nightmare Court, Malyck's grove, and the fate of the two still missing Firstborn.

 

My guess as to why dragons don't generally corrupt each other's minions may be two-fold: 1) they may need to use more magic to corrupt an already corrupted being, so it negates the gain of adding that minion's magic into their own (why waste the effort when there are many non-corrupted beings out there to corrupt and leech magic from instead), and 2) crosscorrupted minions can become unstable with unforeseen abilities like Subject Alpha who was able to attune to the hiveminds of each dragon it had been corrupted by and thus take control of rival minions and "persuade" them all to work as a united pack with it as the alpha. Depending on which, if any, dragon Alpha was ultimately loyal to, dragons might see such a hybrid minion's existence as a threat as there's no guarantee which dragon Alpha would ultimately serve (or if its allegiances kept shifting whenever it attuned to different hiveminds) or if it decided to become a sort of seventh Elder Dragon type entity by stealing minions from dragons for itself.

 

Crucible of Eternity's explorable mode left Alpha's fate open as we saw its last invulnerable essence fleeing right as the facility was about to be shut down. Perhaps it managed to escape and reformed its body (hopefully in a slimmer, more muscular body to signify its evolution from its bloated form), and it has been gaining power and knowledge since then by assimilating beings into itself while questioning its existence and trying to find its purpose in the world. I'd love it if Alpha sought out unchained Risen, Mordrem, Branded (and now icebrood and destroyer) champions and used both persuasion and mind control (depending on the type of champion as it's unlikely that the aggressive destroyers can be persuaded with words alone) to form its own pack with such "equals", each with their own strength. Perhaps Alpha could offer them all a way to find another purpose for their lives than carrying the last commands of their respective slain dragon masters, and we could thus explore the post-dragon fates of surviving dragon minions after the intriguing tease with the veteran Unchained kingpin and why it continued serving Zhaitan and killing people (and even having a diplomatic conversation with the Commander) in Siren's Landing. 🙂

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