Concept art by Doug Williams for Guild Wars: Nightfall.
Life and early years
It is not known who Palawa Joko was in life, although he claims to be the last of the Primeval Kings. Mad King Thorn's Lunatic Courtiers seem to suggest offhand that Palawa Joko and King Thorn knew each other in life. Which, if either, is accurate remains unknown.
The Scourge of Vabbi
The earliest known mention of Joko in history booksAE, when he constructed the Bone Palace in the Desolation, a sulfurous wasteland where only demons and the undead could survive. In these early years, Joko feuded with Mad King Thorn of Kryta, with some squabbles nearly escalating into full-scale war.is in 757
In 860 AE, commanding hordes of undead followers raised from ancient tombs, he invaded Vabbi, intent on conquering it and using its riches to make him even more powerful. Although he was defeated by the great Kournan hero, Turai Ossa, he could not be killed, and after the battle members of Turai Ossa's elite guard formed the Order of Whispers. These great hunters used powerful magic to bind him within a great tomb, and eventually built a huge stone plinth commemorating the victory.
Return of the undead king
Centuries later, Turai Ossa's descendant, Warmarshal Varesh Ossa, attempted to summon the dark god Abaddon and bring about Nightfall. The weakening of reality freed Joko, who fled to the Sulfurous Wastes after being disturbed by Spearmarshal Kormir of the Order of the Sunspears, who had dreamed that the Sunspears must travel to the monument to Joko's defeat to see what awaited them there. Though being buried and bound for so long had cost him all of his power, the Sunspears allowed his freedom in exchange for knowledge on how mortals could traverse the Desolation. Joko revealed that this was possible using great Junundu wurms, and with the help of the Sunspears he regained some control of his army and retook the Bone Palace from Varesh's rear Vanguard.
Kormir's rise to godhood upon the defeat of Abaddon was a blessing to the Sunspears and a beacon of hope to people across Tyria. Her new power was a boon to those who followed her. Sadly, it also ignited a jealousy that would lead to the downfall of the Order of the Sunspears. Ever an enemy, Palawa Joko's resolve to wipe them out intensified. Ruining the Sunspears, whose spearmarshal had reached such great heights, would bolster Joko's ego and help secure his position as a true threat to Elona.
Recordings left by the renowned golemancer Zinn hint that it was Palawa Joko or an agent of his that commissioned the golem R.O.X., which attempted to assassinate the leaders of the three great kingdoms of the world in an attempt to destablise those kingdoms. This suggests that Joko was actively working toward his conquest of Elona only a few short years after his release.
In 1175 AE, Palawa Joko marched on Vabbi once again. Having learned from his past mistakes, he dammed and diverted the Elon River, which both supplied his desolate domain with precious water and simultaneously deprived Kourna and Vabbi of that same resource. Faced with a devastating drought and famine, the people of Vabbi and northern Kourna rebelled against their leaders, comfortably allowing Joko to crush any Elonian resistance. Vabbi surrendered in desperation, while Kourna and Istan later became vassal states to the undead lord.
After conquering Elona, Joko forced tributes and loyalty from the Elonians, training them to accept him as the rightful ruler of Elona and promising wealth and fortune to those who joined his forces, with the ultimate honour being an eternity of servitude in undeath. Joko had all of the Ossa bloodline brought to him, creating a living army to rival his undead one, and took pleasure in the irony of their servitude. Along with this, he focused on the defamation and destruction of the Sunspears, recruiting many members into the Mordant Crescent and granting them prominent roles within his army. Those who did not betray their vows were killed and recruited into the Mordant Crescent all the same as undead, and the Sunspears were scattered to the winds, leaving the survivors to travel as secretive hermits.
|After the deaths of Zhaitan and Mordremoth, Kralkatorrik flew south to Vabbi, and the human god Balthazar returned to the world in order to defeat the Elder Dragons and take their power. This allowed Elonians to flee as far as Kryta for the first time in at least 50 years, with many disillusioned defectors attempting to escape north to the Free City of Amnoon and beyond.
The re-establishment of contact with Elona has revealed how much control Joko exerts over his kingdom. Presently, Joko's northern domain is enclosed by the Bone Wall, with only the work farms along the Elon (where prisoners and exiles are sent) remaining outside. Even those loyal to Joko's regime may end up in these farms if Joko's whims demand it, though many offer themselves or their loved ones as concubines in the hope of sparing their families. Those within the walls are bombarded with propaganda which paints Joko in an absurdly flattering light—for example, that it was he who single-handedly defeated both Abaddon and Zhaitan.
It transpires that Balthazar had approached Palawa Joko to find souls for his Forged army. In exchange for a share of the new recruits, Joko agreed. Together, they journeyed to the hidden city of Kesho to learn the Forgotten's magic of binding souls to armor, and then Joko guided Balthazar to the Domain of the Lost where those who had died traumatic deaths and forgotten themselves ended up before they could move on to their rightful resting place. Instead of fulfilling his end of the deal, Balthazar imprisoned the lich in a cell in the Domain of the Lost with magic too strong for even Grenth's Judge to break.
When the Pact Commander arrived in the Domain of the Lost, Joko tried to bargain with them, pointing out that it would not be possible to defeat the Forged without the help of his Awakened army. The Commander refused the bargain, and hatched a plan to seize control of Joko's army, who followed the Mordant Crescent in Joko's absence. Joko was last seen imprisoned in the Domain of the Lost, swearing to take revenge on those who had put him there, who had left him there, and who had dared take advantage of his absence.
- Act III
Joko defeats Turai Ossa at the Battle of Jahai.
Joko defeats Abaddon in the Realm of Madness.
Joko defeats Zhaitan in the Ruined City of Arah.
- Alternative styles for Palawa Joko include Joko the Feared, Joko the Beloved, and Joko the Eternal Monarch of All.
- When discussing who they would cast in a dream "movie-version" of Guild Wars Nightfall, ArenaNet would cast Christopher Walken as Palawa Joko.
- Joko is voiced by Nolan North in Guild Wars 2: Path of Fire.
- ^ The Departing
- ^ Open the Flood Gates of Death
- ^ Zinn's Recorder
- ^ Guild Wars 2: Path of Fire—Road to the Desert
- ^ Guild Wars Insider: Interview with Ree Soesbee
- ^ Guild Chat Episode 56 - Crystal Desert History Lessons Peter Fries: What's kind of cool, speaking of Joko as well, is that Nolan North was the voice of Joko.