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Balthazar

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Spoiler alert: The following text contains spoilers relating to the story of Living World Season 3, Guild Wars 2: Path of Fire and Living World Season 4.

I will NOT be dismissed! I am Balthazar, mightiest of the Six! And I swear to you, you will scream your allegiance before the end!

Balthazar

Balthazar is the god of war, fire, and challenge. He was the second of the Six Gods to arrive on Tyria from the Mists, carrying the severed head of his father and accompanied by his two hounds, Temar and Tegon. It was Balthazar who urged humanity to engage the other races in battle and claim the world for themselves, believing the other races would fall easily. While many often praise and ask him for courage and victory in battle, there are individuals who call the god violent, going even as far as referring to him as "god of mass murder."[1] His half-brother, Menzies, waged a war against Balthazar's realm of the Fissure of Woe. The outcome of this war, or if it even ended, is unknown.

Balthazar is often associated with honor, valor, wolves, and hounds. Statues of him often depict him with a greatsword and his hounds at his feet. Prior to the Rising of Orr and the destruction of the Battle Isles, the Zaishen Order worshipped Balthazar exclusively. Before the Cataclysm, Orrians worshipped Balthazar at the Cathedral of Glorious Victory. In the present day the Church of Balthazar worships the God of War.

Biography[edit]

Early years[edit]

Balthazar's past is mostly shrouded in mystery. He was a member of the older generation of the Six Gods who guided humanity to Tyria. Balthazar and his Eternals—spirits enlisted in his service—fought a neverending war, called the Eternal Battle, against the Shadow Army of his half-brother Menzies the Mad in Balthazar's realm known as the Fissure of Woe.[2] Neither the origins of this conflict nor the identities of the half-siblings' parents are known.

Life on Tyria[edit]

According to the Orrian History Scrolls, Balthazar was the second god to arrive from the Mists, carrying the severed head of his unnamed father and sweeping Orr with a cleansing flame. Although the gods were initially drawn to the magic of the Artesian Waters in the heart of Orr, they took humanity with them to Cantha in 786 BE, planting the seeds of the first thriving human civilization in Tyria.[3][4][5][6] Balthazar urged humanity to claim Tyria for themselves at the expense of the native Tyrian races. However, the natives resisted human expansion better than the God of War had expected. Despite this, humanity proved to be resilient and spread to Orr, Elona and beyond in the following centuries.

According to a Canthan legend, Balthazar spent some time walking Tyria and came across a village which offended him through a long-forgotten breach of etiquette. The old ritualist Kaolai challenged the God of War to a game of Nui in exchange for sparing the village. Balthazar accepted the challenge, and seven days later the game ended with Kaolai emerging as the winner. In a fit of anger, Balthazar slew the old ritualist, but ordered him inducted into Tahnakai Temple afterwards in a rare gesture of sportsmanship.

As Orrians worked on building the great city of Arah for the gods, Abaddon, the God of Knowledge, designed a set of magically warded reliquaries where the gods could keep their priceless and powerful artifacts, relics and knowledge safe from thieves and defilers. Balthazar was given one of these reliquaries.[7] During this time the gods gathered various powerful and ancient artifacts from around the world, including the original Bloodstone and the Mystic Telescope, and brought them for safekeeping and study in Arah.[8] Fights were held in the God of War's honor at the Orrian gladiatorial arena on the Fields of Gold, and the Zaishen Order likewise honored their patron god in combat on the Battle Isles. Members of the Church of Balthazar dedicated themselves to worshiping the God of War.

At some point the gods became aware of the existence of the hibernating Elder Dragons, who were tied to the magical balance of Tyria, and learned their names and spheres of influence. This information was documented in what would come to be known as the Scroll of the Five True Gods.[9]

The gods lived for a time among their followers in Arah. However, their radiance blinded mortals who gazed upon them for too long whenever the gods appeared among their followers. The gods eventually decided to retreat from public, and Dwayna, the Goddess of Life, commissioned the Orrian sculptor Malchor to make a statue of each god. As the statues were completed, the respective gods depicted in the statues retreated into Arah one by one.[10] Around 48 BE, the old and tyrannical God of Death, Dhuum, was overthrown by Dwayna's half-god son Grenth who ascended to godhood and was welcomed by the gods as the new member of the Six.

Exodus of the Gods[edit]

King Doric prostrates himself before the gods.

According to an ancient Ascalonian legend and an Orrian scroll, the gods formulated a magical ritual and gifted three holy artifacts needed to enact and reverse it—a magical crown, Balthazar's own sword Sohothin and its twin Magdaer—to the royal human lineage as protection against invasion. The artifacts, as well as the knowledge how to use them in the ritual, would eventually pass on to the Ascalonian line of human kings.[11][12]

In 1 BE, the Six decided to gift magic to the mortal races. The gift of magic made the mortal races greedy, however, and led to devastating wars. King Doric, who had become the ruler of Tyria's united human tribes, journeyed to Arah and asked for the Six to put an end to the bloodshed. In response to the king's plea, the gods shattered the original Bloodstone and divided the magic in the world into five lesser Bloodstones to prevent anyone from ever wielding power over all magic again. According to the History of Tyria, the gods sealed the stones with Doric's blood and placed his bloodline in charge of guarding the stones.[13]

Abaddon turned against his fellow gods because of a disagreement over the gifting of magic among many other escalating events that followed the sealing of the Bloodstones. The rebellious god and his army of Margonites were defeated after their failed assault; however, the gods' victory came at the cost of the Crystal Sea turning into the Crystal Desert and a once plentiful land becoming the sulfurous Desolation. Balthazar himself forged the chains that bound the fallen god in the Realm of Torment.

The Five realized the damage which the war against Abaddon and the gifting of magic from earlier had caused to the world and decided to leave humanity to stand or fall on its own merits without further meddling.[14] They departed from Tyria in 0 AE in an event known as the Exodus of the Gods. The Five entered the Mists and continued governing their respective realms from there although they did not sever their ties with Tyria completely as their power was still felt in the world for centuries to come.

Conflicts in the Mists[edit]

While in the Mists, Balthazar focused his efforts on fighting against Menzies in the Fissure of Woe. Centuries after the Exodus, mortal heroes ventured into the Fissure of Woe and offered their assistance to the Eternals. They helped cull the numbers of Menzies's Shadow Army and treacherous Eternals and turned the tide of the Eternal Battle in Balthazar's favor for a time.

When Abaddon began Nightfall in order to break free from his prison, the gods chose not to intervene directly. However, the Five gave a blessing and words of encouragement to Spearmarshal Kormir's party via their avatars as the mortal heroes entered the Realm of Torment to defeat Abaddon once and for all.

Living World Season 3[edit]

Balthazar absorbs the magic of the Maguuma Bloodstone.

Balthazar returned to Tyria but was weakened so he stayed hidden while vowing revenge against those who had dimmed his light. To achieve his ends, he needed an army to do his bidding as well as enough magic to restore his lost power. He learned of the White Mantle's plans to resurrect the mursaat Lazarus and realized that the White Mantle's fanaticism to the mursaat, along with their riches and their access to the Maguuma Bloodstone which contained vast amounts of magic, would speed up his plans.

Balthazar used a magical hand mirror of Lyssa to disguise himself as Lazarus. After the raid on the Stronghold of the Faithful, he appeared before Justiciar Bauer with whom he began plotting to set the stage for the next part of his plan which involved speeding up the destabilizing of the Bloodstone.[16][17]

The rogue god successfully absorbed most of the exploding Maguuma Bloodstone's magic in Bloodstone Fen after the White Mantle tinkering had turned it unstable in 1329 AE. Disguised as Lazarus, Balthazar appeared in front of the White Mantle and the Pact Commander's party during the fight between the two factions and declared that the Mantle were destined for more virtuous pursuits. He claimed many but not all of the White Mantle for himself; some members of the Mantle refused him and chose to side with their leader, Confessor Caudecus Beetlestone, before fleeing.

Empowered by the Bloodstone and having the beginnings of an army at his command, the vengeful god could finally turn his attention to his real target on Tyria: the Elder Dragons whose magic he needed to truly restore himself to his former glory. At some point he visited Siren's Landing in Orr and left an aspect of Lazarus that he had stolen in the safety of Abaddon's Reliquary so no one could attempt to resurrect the last mursaat, expose Balthazar's disguise and thus thwart the god's schemes.[18]

Balthazar kept up his disguise as Lazarus but chose a new approach to reach his goals due to Caudecus's rebellion depriving him of some of the forces he had been after.[19] He appeared in Tarir some time after the events in Bloodstone Fen to aid the Pact Commander and the Luminate of the Exalted in defending Aurene, the newly hatched daughter of the slain dragon prophet Glint, from invading Destroyers. He attempted to forge an alliance with the Commander who he knew had already defeated two Elder Dragons so they could fight the dragons together, but his offer was viewed with skepticism due to him being disguised as a historically treacherous mursaat. Balthazar's visit was not fully wasted, however, when the Commander's companion Marjory Delaqua chose to accompany him to see if he was being genuine. After he had taken Marjory with him, Balthazar focused on growing his army by adding mercenaries in its ranks with the treasures he had seized from his White Mantle faction.[20]

Balthazar's army established a base in Draconis Mons where they had tracked down Primordus, the closest living Elder Dragon they could find. While there, several White Mantle began doubting "Lazarus" seizing their assets and rebelled after they had discovered that he was not their mursaat leader. Balthazar retaliated swiftly, having dissenters killed or imprisoned while placing the mercenary leaders in charge of the hunt for Primordus.[21][22] During this time the mercenary leaders attempted to earn the former god's favor by crafting a dagger similar to the one he had lost although the craftsmanship was inferior to the original.[23]

While preparing to take the fight to Primordus, Balthazar learned about Taimi's machine and how it could supposedly kill two Elder Dragons with a single blow, which piqued his interest. This piece of news, as well as Marjory's sudden departure from his side which raised his suspicions about her motives, made Balthazar travel to Rata Novus to see the machine in person as well as find out what Marjory, who had been his bothersome shadow, was up to.

Balthazar within Taimi's Machine.

What Balthazar did not anticipate was that the Commander had not only met with Marjory but had learned of "Lazarus" being an imposter from Caudecus's letters and had prepared a trap to make the fake mursaat reveal his true identity. The trap was sprung and a battle ensued shortly after "Lazarus's" arrival, and Lyssa's mirror was broken. Balthazar shed his mursaat disguise, shocking the Commander, Taimi and Kasmeer Meade with the revelation and nearly killing Marjory. The rogue god left his mercenary escort to face the Commander's party while he fled to Draconis Mons with the machine which he intended to simultaneously use on both Primordus and Jormag.

After sealing the entrance to the heart of the volcano and descending its chimney to face Primordus, Balthazar set up and activated Taimi's machine. He joined into the energy trails linking Primordus and Jormag and began absorbing their magic, as he had done to the Maguuma Bloodstone, in an attempt to slay the two Elder Dragons and take their power.

During his second confrontation with the Commander who had pursued him into the primal kiln, Balthazar revealed that he had been severely weakened although he did not name who had done so, and intended retribution at any cost, even that of Tyria itself. He unleashed his hounds Temar and Tegon, but the Commander defeated them and foiled the god's plan by disrupting the machine with Taimi's help, which resulted in Primordus and Jormag going back into hibernation and the machine exploding. Although Balthazar's plans to drain the two Elder Dragons' power had been thwarted, he had nevertheless absorbed some of their magic and successfully manifested his greatsword before seemingly vanishing into the Mists.

The rogue god was not done with Tyria yet, though, as he still craved more power from the Elder Dragons. He briefly visited Siren's Landing along with his mercenaries, looking into reliquaries devoted to himself and Abaddon. Despite the ruthlessness he had shown before, he was gracious while talking with the ghost of Queen Yasamin, a loyal follower of his even in death, and asked her to maintain his reliquary. However, once the former god had left, the reliquary lost the spark of power which his presence had briefly activated.[24]

Balthazar had already left Siren's Landing by the time the Pact Commander arrived in the area. However, by using the Eye of Janthir found deep within Abaddon's Reliquary, the Commander was able to glimpse Balthazar's next plan of action: the God of War had turned his attention to another Elder Dragon, Kralkatorrik, and had traveled to the Crystal Desert to finish the destructive campaign he had begun.

Path of Fire[edit]

Balthazar sought out Palawa Joko, the undead tyrant of Elona, and made a deal with him which would ostensibly benefit them both. With Joko's aid, Balthazar located the lost city of Kesho and learned the ritual the Forgotten had used to create the Exalted. With this newfound knowledge, Balthazar created the Forged, an army of animated armor housing fanatical and brainwashed souls of the departed, to help him with his campaign in the Crystal Desert.[25]

The rogue god recruited his loyal Eternals from the Fissure of Woe to wage war in his name on Tyria, and turned one of these Eternals into the Herald of Balthazar who would act as his mouthpiece during the campaign and issue orders to both the Forged and the Zaishen Order alike. Balthazar also set about drawing souls from the Domain of the Lost to boost the numbers of his Forged with Palawa Joko's help. However, he betrayed and imprisoned Joko within the domain once the lich was of no more use to him.

It was initially believed that Balthazar had gone into the desert to kill Kralkatorrik, but he was actually looking for Vlast, Glint's first scion. When Dragon's Watch first confronted Balthazar at Godfall Tower in the Desert Highlands, he refused to stand down and negotiate with them, only offering to spare Rytlock as a show of mercy for the charr's earlier actions while calling him a friend. In the battle that followed, Balthazar sent off a blast that nearly killed his opponents, however. He raised his sword to stab the Pact Commander, but Vlast interceded the blow and died, exploding in a shower of crystals and forcing the rogue god to leave.

Once they had entered the Mists to seek help from the gods to stop Balthazar's rampage, Dragon's Watch encountered the goddess Kormir who explained the reason for Balthazar's actions and the gods' absence. The God of War had been stripped of his divine powers, being the only one of the Six who wanted to stay on Tyria and fight the Elder Dragons. The rest of the gods realized that a battle of that magnitude would do nothing but destroy the world. Instead, Balthazar had been imprisoned in the Mists, until Rytlock Brimstone had encountered him while looking for Sohothin. The sword had been extinguished, but Balthazar had offered to relight it, and Rytlock had freed the prisoner in exchange, never knowing his true identity until much later.

After Kormir's departure, the Commander traveled to the lost city of Kesho and found crucial information about the origins of the Forged as well as Glint and the Forgotten's overall plan to restore balance to Tyria. Balthazar set up an ambush shortly after the Commander had emerged from the city, however. The rogue god's intent was to seemingly toy with the Commander in an extended mockery of a duel. Sensing the Commander's distress, Aurene flew in to offer her assistance; however, Balthazar revealed that he had been after Aurene all along and had been aware of the bond which the Commander and the young dragon shared. Having finished his mission, the God of War captured Aurene before killing her chosen Champion.

The End of War.

With Aurene at his mercy, Balthazar used the captive hatchling as a key component in his plan to defeat Kralkatorrik. He had discovered that Kralkatorrik's weakness was any creature which shared its crystalline power, such as the Branded, Glint, Vlast, and Aurene. Using Aurene as a battery, Balthazar placed the young dragon into his recently constructed Warbeast.

Balthazar prepared his Forged army and planned to invade the Domain of Vabbi, as it was where the Crystal Dragon had flown to. Having been revived after journeying to the Domain of the Lost, the Commander rushed to Vabbi and coerced Joko's Awakened minions into defending Kodash Bazaar from the Forged assault in the Battle of Kodash Bazaar. Atop of King Joko's Sky Garden, Balthazar used the Warbeast to attack Kralkatorrik, nearly killing the Elder Dragon had it not been for the Commander armed with Sohothin. The Commander, along with Aurene after freeing her from the Warbeast, engaged the rogue God of War in combat while the recovering Kralkatorrik itself fired in anger at everyone present.

In the end the Commander and Aurene prevailed and caused fatal injures to Balthazar who cursed all the gods except Lyssa with his last breath. Balthazar's demise caused a large explosion of magical energy which was absorbed by Aurene and Kralkatorrik who then flew off, more powerful than before.

Legacy of War[edit]

Balthazar's destructive war and the truth about his fall from grace made many disillusioned humans reject him as their god in the Crystal Desert and Elona while they openly celebrated his demise. The few who viewed the former God of War differently, including his surviving Elonian priestess, remained silent out of fear and lamented that Balthazar would only be remembered for his recent campaign.[26] Despite Balthazar's death, some of his magic survived within Aurene and made his recovered greatsword perceive him through her.[27]

Scriptures[edit]

For weeks did the battle rage on, and those who had taken up the mantle of war grew weary and their courage began to falter.

Then did Balthazar, god of war and fire, appear to the soldiers, carrying with him a grand sword that did glow with such brilliance it blinded any who looked upon it. When he spoke, His voice was like thunder, and it shook the ground with force.

Then saith He, "Lift up thy weapons. For you are my soldiers, and must you be steadfast, strong, and brave of heart. They who neither hesitate nor stumble shall be rewarded. Then shall you have glory. Then shall your deeds be remembered for eternity."

And then did release from His sword a hundred thousand flames, which encircled the soldiers. For this was the fire of courage, and forthwith did they follow the god into battle without fear or hesitation. Thence was the enemy struck down.

— Scriptures of Balthazar, 48 BE

Balthazar came in fire and wrath, carrying the head of his father and leading his fierce hounds, Temar and Tegon. He swept Orr with a cleansing flame.

It was he who claimed Tyria for humanity; he who said the other races would be easy to defeat. It would not be the only time that the Master of War was wrong.

Orrian History Scrolls, The Six, Volume 2—Balthazar: God of War

Walking upon a battlefield strewn with the dead, Balthazar, the god of war, blessed each of the corpses for their valor, until he came across one who had not fought but had cowered.

Balthazar could smell the stink of fear, and so he reached into the man and pulled forth his soul. He held it in place as he scrutinized it.

The soul was no more courageous in death than it had been in life, and it trembled and whimpered. It bowed its spine and hid its face.

You," said the god, "do not belong here. You sully these brave men and women who died in honorable combat. You will cower behind them no more."

Balthazar folded the soul, bent it and broke it, crushed it until it was hidden inside his clasped hands. Then he opened his mouth wide, and shoved the soul in, consuming it whole.

Once it was gone, Balthazar shouted to the dead, "You carried this coward when he lived. Now, I carry him, for he serves as my reminder that strength and courage are never to be taken for granted."

Parable of Balthazar

Story involvement[edit]

Living World Season 3[edit]

Path of Fire story[edit]

Combat abilities[edit]

Abilities
  • Rogue War God
Effects

DefianceDefiance bar segmented.png

Skills
  • Balthazar's Will - Balthazar heals you. (only during The Departing)
  • The Fury of War (no marker) - Balthazar sweeps his sword for an immediate, low damage attack without an AoE marker.
  • The Fury of War (right swing) - Balthazar sweeps his sword, creating a short but wide AoE Cone with multiple AoE cones that Knockback.png Knockback grow in size towards the left.
  • The Fury of War (left swing) - Balthazar sweeps his sword, creating a short but wide AoE Cone with multiple AoE cones that Knockback.png Knockback grow in size towards the right.
  • The Fury of War (big swing) - Balthazar sweeps his sword, creating multiple AoE cones that Knockback.png Knockback grow in size towards the left.
  • The Triumph of War (one cone) - Large AoE cone that appears in front of Balthazar. Deals high damage.
  • The Triumph of War (three cones) - Large AoE cones that appears in front of Balthazar, and diagonally behind him to his left and right. Deals high damage.
  • The Triumph of War (four cones) - Large AoE cones that appears in front, behind, and to the left and right of Balthazar. Deals high damage.
  • The Ways of War (one line) - AoE line that appears directly in front of Balthazar. Deals moderate to high damage.
  • The Ways of War (three line) - AoE lines that appears in front of Balthazar, and diagonally in front of him to his right and left. Deals moderate to high damage.
  • The Ways of War (five lines) - AoE lines that appear in front of Balthazar, to his right and left, and diagonally to his right and left in front of him. Deals moderate to high damage.
  • The Ways of War (eight lines) - AoE lines that appear in front of Balthazar, behind him, to his right and left, diagonally to his right and left in front of him, and diagonally to his right and left behind him. Deals moderate to high damage.
  • The Onslaught of War - Balthazar leaps high into the sky and slams down on the player's location.
  • The Advancement of War - Balthazar slams his greatsword into the ground and slides forward in a line, continuously causing Knockback.png Knockback. Direction marked with an arrow before movement. Low damage, but results in easy Trail of Embers.png Trail of Embers damage.
  • Sundering Leap - Balthazar leaps high into the sky and slams down on the player's location, producing a shockwave of fire that Knockdown.png Knockdowns and applies Burning.png Burning.
  • The Grasp of War - Ensnares target in Immobile.png Balthazar's Grasp. (scripted use)
  • The Judgment of War - Charged attack that makes Balthazar Determined.png Determined. Once charged, automatically downs or kills player. (scripted use)
  • Rain of Fire - Balthazar summons a large fireball to land on the player. Propduces a burning shockwave that Knockdown.png Knockdowns and applies Burning.png Burning. Deals high damage.
  • Flames of Divinity - A two rows of six AoE lightning strikes that surround Balthazar.
  • Wings of War - A curved series of AoE cones, shaped like Balthazar's horned helm, with another curved series of AoE cones (same pattern) where the curves end.

Gallery[edit]

Screenshots
Concept art

Notes[edit]

Trivia[edit]

Related achievements[edit]

See also[edit]

Gwwlogo.png The Guild Wars Wiki has an article on Balthazar.
Associated items

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Ghost Rite Gixx: The human god of mass murder is not a deity that likes to use the same tactic twice.
  2. ^ Strange Burning Scroll
  3. ^ Cathedral of Silence The Seventh Reaper: You seek the heart of Orr? Then you must go to the very beginning. The rock where the gods first set foot upon this world. There is an artesian well hidden in the mountains behind the temple of Melandru. There, you will find the place where Orr began.
  4. ^ Orrian History Scrolls Volume 1—Dwayna: Goddess of Life
  5. ^ Guild Wars 2: Path of Fire—Road to the Desert
  6. ^ Given the wording in the timeline of the "Road to the Desert" article, it is unclear at this time if the claims made by the Orrian History Scrolls and the "Cathedral of Silence" mission are contradictory to what is presented in the timeline article. The wiki page assumes a compromise between these points of view for now.
  7. ^ A Parable of Abaddon
  8. ^ The Ruined City of Arah (explorable) Jotun path
    Varra Skylark: There are ancient jotun legends of a sky-sweeper, a great magical observatory. I believe that the human gods brought that magic telescope here and rebuilt it. [...]
    Varra Skylark: My study of those stones in the Shiverpeaks leads me to believe [the jotun] knew when the dragons would awaken.
    Varra Skylark: That knowledge was found by the human gods and brought here to Arah.
  9. ^ Hidden Arcana
    Ogden Stonehealer: Much of what we know about them comes from a document written by the first humans to walk the face of Tyria: the Scroll of the Five True Gods. [...]
    Ogden Stonehealer: In it, the gods revealed the names of the Elder Dragons: Mordremoth, Kralkatorrik, Jormag, Zhaitan, and Primordus. [...]
    Ogden Stonehealer: The gods expound on how Tyria's health is tied directly to them. This portion is somewhat abstract, however.
  10. ^ Orrian History Scrolls Arah: City of the Gods and The Tragedy of Malchor
  11. ^ Comment by Connie Griffith, Reddit.com
  12. ^ Plan of Attack
    Rytlock Brimstone: This story began a thousand years ago, when this ritual was first formulated by the humans' gods—the Six. The Six gave them magic. At the same time, they also gave one of them a magical crown and two magical swords to protect the kingdom.
    Rytlock Brimstone: It all hinges on Sohothin, my sword. There were originally two of them—Sohothin and another called Magdaer. They were given to the Ascalonians as protection against invasion.
    <Character name>: Sohothin and Magdaer. And King Adelbern had inherited the crown?
    Rytlock Brimstone: Exactly. The crown was designed to break into four parts. When the fragments are separated, they're hard to see. This was a safeguard to keep this powerful item from falling into the wrong hands. [...]
    Rytlock Brimstone: I finally found a reference to the ritual.
    <Character name>: And you trust the source?
    Rytlock Brimstone: It's got an Orrian stamp on it, which makes it so old, it's got to be legitimate.
  13. ^ Bloodstones
  14. ^ Dolyak Express Jan 10, 2014, Old Guild Wars 2 Official Forum (Archived). Jeff Grubb: The human gods still exist, and their power is still felt within Tyria. However, they have pulled back into the mists, leaving the humans to stand (or fall) on their own merits. There has been a tendency for the human gods to, um, meddle with their worshippers a bit much, and in the wake of the final battle of Abaddon, they have been trying to cut back. Also, the destruction of the big A and his replacement with Kormir in the Pantheon resolved one of their ties with physical contact with Tyria. So there are ties, but you just can’t ring them up to take on the Elder Dragons.
  15. ^ Comments by Connor Fallon and Scott McGough, Reddit.com
  16. ^ Justiciar Bauer's Memoirs Justiciar Bauer: Our supreme leader arrived today. We have been ordered to tell no one for fear that interlopers will interrupt his grand plan. The moment of our vengeance is at hand. [...] The girl who usually brings me my mail barged into my office today, rambling about a crack in the bloodstone and throwing notes and diagrams at me. Somehow, she knew about the ritual. I don't know what else she knew, but she was pretty annoying, so I took her head just to be sure. Once the ritual is complete, we can proceed with our leader's virtuous pursuits!
  17. ^ A Shadow's Deeds Unknown: ...trial #33, complete failure. Received orders to increase output. Results demanded so or...or what? Or else. The rumbling of dissent in our ranks is unacceptable for research progress. Being pulled in two directions. I want to stay the course and not listen to this new, shady influence behind the curtain. Who is the justiciar getting his orders from anyway? My loyalty is a liability here now. Perhaps I should flee before the rift becomes inescapable. I hate to leave my White Mantle brothers and sisters, but I will not follow someone who won't reveal themselves while issuing threats so liberally.
  18. ^ Comment by Taylor Southerland, Reddit.com
  19. ^ Comment by Charlie Engelhard, Reddit.com
  20. ^ Comment by Charlie Engelhard, Reddit.com
  21. ^ Escaped Prisoner Arissea
  22. ^ Officer Mandate
  23. ^ Letter (Draconis Mons)
  24. ^ The Flow of Magic
    Queen Yasamin: Balthazar was a sight for sore eyes.
    <Character name>: So you saw him? Here?
    Queen Yasamin: Oh yes. He came to visit his reliquary, and I was the first to greet him.
    Queen Yasamin: He was gracious and asked me to maintain the reliquary, but when he left, it went still.
  25. ^ The Way Forward
    <Character name>: Why were Balthazar and Joko here?
    Sadizi: They came seeking the Forgotten magics that imbue battle armor with living spirits. The same that created the Exalted.
    Sadizi: They quickly discovered that they could use those magics to create these...abominations. The horrors they call "Forged."
  26. ^ From the Ashes
    Deadeye Priestess: After you killed him, people were celebrating. And I was afraid. Too afraid to open my lips to say that I...
    Deadeye Priestess: I remember him differently. [...]
    Deadeye Priestess: After you, the forge was cold. The practice yards empty. The temples silent. My brothers and sisters—gone.
    Deadeye Priestess: I wandered the heights and called their names. The echoes came back unanswered. I was—I am—completely alone.
    Deadeye Priestess: You had snuffed him out. People have already forgotten everything he was. Everything we were.
    Deadeye Priestess: Now the world will remember us only by the worst thing our god ever did.
    Deadeye Priestess: Do you understand? You've made their sacrifice meaningless.
  27. ^ Storm Tracking
    Zafirah: It seeks Balthazar. Senses his magic. I don't understand... Balthazar was never here...
    <Character name>: But Aurene was.
    Zafirah: The sword perceives him...through her? Just who is this dragon of yours?
  28. ^ Comment by Eve Eschenbacher, Reddit.com