Always may your waters flow to quench the land and seeds you've sown.
— Old Elonian Blessing
Elona, also known as the Land of the Golden Sun and the United Kingdom of Elona, is an area southeast of Tyria. Once governed as a human kingdom, it has since been divided into three provinces - Istan, Kourna, and Vabbi - and has fallen to the undead lich, Palawa Joko. Palawa's leadership had turned Elona into a land of both living and undead, without contact to the northern nations. The last contact made was 50 years ago, when the last of the Elonians fled Palawa's reign.
Elona is part of the same super-continent as Tyria, connected via the Crystal Desert; though before the Exodus, the two areas were separated by the Crystal Sea. The northern borders of Elona are plagued by Zhaitan's risen minions, causing a war between the two undead nations. This combined with Kralkatorrik's presence in the Crystal Desert has prevented all communication with Elona, except for the Order of Whispers, who have an unknown means of traveling between the two lands.
According to Alain, it was prophesied over three hundred years ago that an Elonian, long from home and living beneath steel, would rise and lead his people back to the Crystal Desert.
Much of Elona has changed since it was last seen by Tyria. In Guild Wars, Elona heavily resembles Africa and the Mediterranean. It is divided into five main regions: Dzalana, Istan, Kourna, the Desolation, and Vabbi. At various points in history the Crystal Desert has been colonized by Elonians, though the region itself lies within and connects both Tyria and Elona.
The island of Istan lies in the southwestern portion of Elona and was among the first places humans colonized. The first human rulers, the Primeval Kings, once inhabited a city there called Fahranur. The western half of Istan grows lush jungles and wetlands, while white sand beaches and plains comprise the eastern half.
Istan is now a vassal to Palawa Joko's undead kingdom.
Kourna is the southernmost region of the Elonian mainland. As it was known, the region/province had many garrisons and the strongest military presence in Elona. Elonian centaurs claimed the land as their home for centuries, but today their fate is unknown. The region's inhabitants found food in the region's abundant savannahs mostly through herding. Though farming was possible, it required the damming and redirection of the Elon River, which once flowed through the land into the Unending Ocean as the land's main water supply. With the Elon again diverted north after Palawa Joko's return to power, the region fell under famine and only gets water when he allows it.
When Abaddon fell at the Mouth of Torment, sulfurous sand spread, slowly corrupting the surrounding land not unlike the Elder Dragons have since done in Tyria. That deadly wasteland became known as the Desolation. The Primeval Kings expanded their reach there before it fell completely and built tombs for their royalty. The biggest site among them in the Desolation is the Dynastic Tombs.
The Desolation became home to Palawa Joko, who utilized the sulfurous sands as a natural barrier to protect his Bone Palace from the living, who die in the sulfurous sands within seconds. From there, he launched both of his conquests on Elona. When he dammed the Elon River again and it began to flow instead through the Desolation and the Crystal Desert, portions of the land became verdant again.
Situated between the Desolation and Dzalana, Vabbi is the northernmost province of Elona. The province boasted ornate and lavish architecture, fashion and decor in its settled areas before Palawa Joko's return. Outside the protection of high bastion walls, the dangerous wildlands of Vabbi were home to harpy and heket raiders. Once ruled by clanmarshals called princes who gained their power through wealth alone, Vabbi was never militarily focused; instead they looked towards cultural advancements in various forms of art. Before being dammed, the Elon River originated from north of Vabbi, which was the first province to fall to Palawa Joko's invasion.
The current earliest known records of Elona is in 205 BE, when humans arrived along the southern shores and northern valleys of the land. Within five years, humans had established the Primeval Dynasty that situated itself in Fahranur. The Primeval King's reign extended from Istan to Vabbi and, after its creation, into the northern reaches of the Crystal Desert. They even built a colony in Kryta, lands previously inhabited by Orrians and centaurs, in 300 AE though it became independent nearly 50 years later. The Primeval Dynasty lasted for approximately 650 years, ending with the Scarab Plague that swept through Istan and killed the royal family.
Four years after the Scarab Plague began and Istan was abandoned, a man by the name Admun Kolos took the throne and began the second dynasty of Elona: the Great Dynasty. Istan was isolated for eight years until settlers returned and blocked off the source of the plague: Fahranur. This new dynasty only lasted 31 years, however, and brought forth the bloodiest time in Elona's history. The Shattered Dynasty was consumed by the Pretender Wars which saw the birth of the dervish profession before they ended in 640 AE, 37 years after the wars began. The outcome of the wars was the establishment of three allied provinces: Istan, Kourna, and Vabbi.
In 860 AE, the first invasion by Palawa Joko and his undead armies began. He quickly conqured Vabbi, earning him the title as "The Scourge of Vabbi," and moved his forces south. At the Grand Cataract of Jahai, the forces of Kourna - along with the remnant forces of Vabbi and the Sunspears - stood against Palawa's armies. The general of the allied forces, Turai Ossa, assaulted Palawa Joko directly and defeated him at the Battle of Jahai. However, because Palawa Joko could not be killed, Turai imprisoned the undead lord and established the Order of Whispers to ensure he remained captive. Due to his victory, Turai was crowned king of all Elona. In the following years, his obsession with prophecies led him to give his son the crown and lead the Great Pilgrimage into the Crystal Desert.
In 1075 AE, Abaddon attempted to break free of his prison and brought forth Nightfall. Utilizing the few still faithful to him, such as Warmarshal Varesh Ossa, he had portals opened throughout Elona and dark rituals performed to weaken the barrier between Tyria and the Mists. Abaddon was defeated and killed by members of the Order of Sunspears after they fought their way into the heart of the Realm of Torment to find him. Abaddon was then supplanted by Kormir who became the new goddess of knowledge. During this time, Palawa Joko was also freed from his prison due to Abaddon's own attempts at freedom.
In the years following Nightfall, the three provinces worked to recover. Istan became a tourist nation due to their aid in helping the Sunspears, and the Vabbian princes used their wealth to speed their nation's recovery. Kourna was plunged into a civil war, as the war had left them leaderless, though the Order of the Sunspears worked to bring peace as they spread throughout Elona once more, even traveling to other parts of the world.
In 1135 AE, sixty years after Nightfall, Palawa Joko once more invaded Elona. This time, he dammed the Elon River, sending it westward from its former southern course, and caused famine throughout Vabbi and northern Kourna. Vabbi quickly surrendered to ensure survival, and Kourna and Istan became vassal states shortly after that. Those who could, fled the nation now ruled by the undead, many becoming refugees in Kryta. The Order of the Sunspears were broken or corrupted, reforming into the Mordant Crescent. Palawa Joko had the descendants of the Ossa clan hunted down, and few of either still exist in Elona. Those who survived now live as wanderers.
Approximately fifty years ago, another wave of Elonian refugees came into Tyria, escaping the ravages of Palawa Joko. Contact with Elona has been lost since. Nowadays, access to Elona is barred off by way of the Desert Gate - the primary land route into the Crystal Desert - being sealed by Queen Jennah's order due to "dark events" in the desert, which are unknown to the gate's guards. Only the Order of Whispers has knowledge of how to travel to Elona in modern times.
- Northern Elona will be accessible in Guild Wars 2's second expansion, Path of Fire.