The largest forest of Cantha, the Echovald Forest was home of the Kurzicks before they were conquered by Emperor Usoku. The Kurzicks were an oligarchic theocracy led by their Council of Nobles. When the Jade Wind struck, the trees and wildlife turned to stone, petrifying it. The Kurzicks crafted their homes and citadels from the gargantuan stone trees.
In the six years following the second and final defeat of Shiro Tagachi, life had begun to spring up in Echovald Forest as many areas saw new growth take hold. This growth presumably continues to this day, with most if not all of the damage done by the Jade Wind having been reversed.
Sometime in the late pre-imperial era, after the appearance of humanity in Cantha, the Kurzicks settled Echovald Forest from lands believed to be beyond Cantha. In the year 51 CC (459 BE), during the reign of Emperor Yian Zho, the forest was invaded by both Luxons, rivals of the Kurzicks, and the emperor's forces. Though the invaders failed to defeat the Kurzicks, they successfully contained them within the forest and the Kurzicks soon became a vassal state.
During the Jade Wind, the forest and its inhabitants were petrified, trees transforming to lifeless columns of stone and birds crashing to the ground, petrified mid-flight. Deer turned to stone mid-leap, landing on the ground as mere lifeless statues. The Kurzicks largely escaped the petrification of the forest, and so began to carve out homes from remnants of what were once trees.
During the forest's transformation into jade, the forest spirit Urgoz was corrupted by the Jade Wind, driving him and his wardens to madness. Urgoz, suffering from Shiro's influence, became demonic and twisted, corrupting the forest's wildlife and refugee dredge and using them as pawns in his war against the Kurzicks, taking control of an amber mine to stage his attacks from, which would later be dubbed "Urgoz's Warren". Despite Urgoz's corruption, some Kurzicks carried out hope that if they slew enough wardens, Urgoz would breathe life into the forest once more.
- Concept art
Appearance of Echovald Forest in Guild Wars.
- Echovald Forest was confirmed during the Extra Life 2020 charity stream by Matthew Medina and Tracey West to be explorable.
- Associated items
- ^ Guild Wars: Eye of the North manuscripts, GuildWars.com
- ^ a b An Empire Divided
- ^ The Guild Wars Factions Manuscripts
- When the Jade Wind swept through the branches of Echovald Forest, it turned everything to stone. Birds crashed to the forest floor in mid-flight. Deer leaped from the ground as flesh and blood, and came to earth little more than life-like statues. Now, two centuries later, life has cautiously returned. The Kurzicks were the first to venture back to the forest. There they have adapted to their petrified surroundings and have begun to carve their culture into this new landscape.
- ^ Wicked Wardens
- Dunmel Gorhopf: We've begun a campaign to eliminate the corrupted wardens, and we hope that by doing so, the ancient forest spirit, if it still lives, will awaken and breathe life into this forest once more. Unfortunately, with the war against the Luxons heating up, most of our capable fighters have been sent to the front lines. If you will eliminate any wardens you come across as you travel the forest, we'd be extremely grateful.
- ^ Factions Prima Guide, pg. 156-157
- Urgoz, the ancient, tree-like spirit of the forest, was corrupted by Shiro's death wail two hundred years ago. As Shiro's residual influence slowly transformed the tree spirit, he became more hateful and twisted, and the creatures of the Echovald fell under his sway (especially wardens and the Dredge). Now Urgoz has declared war on the Kurzicks infecting "his" forest, and as luck would have it, he has chosen one of the most productive amber mines in the Echovald as his home base. The Kurzicks do not believe the tree spirit (now more demon than spirit) can truly be defeated-if it was, it could mean the end of the forest itself-but they desperately need to open access to the amber and keep Urgoz's forces in check, or their entire economy will collapse. Only an elite group of heroes-heroes from the alliance that has the most faction with the Kurzicks-are worth sending.
- ^ Confirmed by Matthew Medina and Tracey West, Twitch.tv