Or should I say the "Dragons of Nature"? Yes. Dragons have long been thought to be as much a part of Tyria as the sun, moon, land, and seas.
Most scholars give these tales little credit, unfortunately, as so much time has passed. It was over ten thousand years ago that the dragons last returned to their slumber.
The very existence of these tales, however, indicates that the dragons have awakened at least twice in history.
The Elder Dragons are primordial beings who have throughout history awoken and wrought devastation upon the world of Tyria, before falling back into slumber. These cycles of awakening, destruction, and hibernation are millennia-long, and are intrinsically tied to the levels of ambient magic in the world. The latest cycle of awakening was triggered by the death of the fallen god Abaddon in 1075 AE, and continues to this day.
The Elder Dragons may be as old as Tyria itself, and are a fundamental part of nature's workings. Most of what is known about them comes from a single document written by the first humans to walk Tyria: the Tome of the Five True Gods.
Nature and physiology
The Elder Dragons are the apex lifeform on Tyria, and feed upon its magic in a cycle of feast and famine. They violently draw the magic of the world into themselves until the world is near depleted, and then as they slumber it slowly bleeds back out into the world from their draconic bodies, causing them to awaken again. As all life is to some extent magic-bearing and the dragons are not picky in their meals or servants, each dragonrise is a dangerous period, resulting in the shattering of civilizations and even extinctions in the past. Only a few other creatures naturally have this ability; these include chak, imps, and the Six Gods.
From the point of view of Tyrians, the Elder Dragons appear to be primordial forces of nature, and are as just as unstoppable as a blizzard or earthquake. However, the dragons actually have distinct personalities and goals. Each Elder Dragon embodies a concept of nature, and has two spheres of influence, for example Plant and Mind, or Crystal and Fury. These spheres are reflected both in the Elder Dragons' appearance and the appearance of their minions. The breath of the dragons exudes their essence, twisting creatures, landscapes, and all things caught in their exhalation into a mimicry of the dragon's power via what is referred to as dragon energy. For the undead dragon, Zhaitan, this meant minions and landscapes were images of decay, watery decomposition, undeath, swampy morass, and pestilence.
The Elder Dragons represent a force much larger than their material form would suggest, and the constellations themselves are altered by their awakening.
Each Elder Dragon appears to have a unique respective weakness, and each have shown different behaviors and powers. Jormag and its champions have shown mind-affecting powers, while only Zhaitan could utilize corpses in its corruption. Similarly, the Elder Dragons have both limitations and preferences for what and how they corrupt. Primordus, while capable of corrupting the living, will usually corrupt rock and lava into new minions. Zhaitan, though capable of corrupting the living, will usually corrupt corpses.
Being so intrinsically tied to Tyria, the death of an Elder Dragon has major consequences to the natural order of the world. Like dormant Elder Dragons, dead Elder Dragons release the magical energy contained in their body back into the world via the ley lines criss-crossing the globe. In addition to this, their sphere of magic becomes divided among the other Elder Dragons, with the closest gaining more power from these fallen Elder Dragons. The Elder Dragons who absorb this magic gain some control over the spheres of the fallen Elder Dragons.
With the deaths of both Zhaitan and Mordremoth, their magic spread across the ley lines. Primordus, Jormag, and Kralkatorrik all created minions exhibiting death, shadow, plant, or mind magic. Interestingly, one such abomination was immune to most normal damage, but could be harmed by bursts of plant or death magic from the explosive deaths of plant or death-infused larvae in close proximity. Similarly, larvae infused with Zhaitan's magic were vulnerable to Mordremoth's magic, and vice-versa.
Some time after Mordremoth and Kralkatorrik's demises, Jormag gained the ability to puppeteer corpses to communicate with people, with the victim generally displaying jerky movements as Jormag's voice bleeds through their own. The whispers of the Ice Dragon's champion Drakkar similarly grew louder during this time. Primordus, meanwhile, unleashed enhanced minions such as Death-Touched Destroyers, Rotting Destroyers, and Vine-Touched Destroyers although these were only seen after Primordus's relocation to the Ring of Fire.
The recent unexpected elimination of two Elder Dragons from the cycle has created a void and an imbalance in Tyria's cosmic magical mechanism known as the All, causing the collapse of the world's natural systems to begin. Based on simulations that Taimi had run, the death of one more Elder Dragon would irrevocably damage Tyria and send it to destruction, giving credibility to Ogden Stonehealer's theory on the Elder Dragons' ties to the All based on research on the Tome of the Five True Gods.
While awake, the Elder Dragons exude unique draconic energies, which have a corruptive effect on the magic near them. These energies twist landscapes and turn living creatures into minions that also consume magic and act on the dragons' behalf. The Elder Dragons themselves rarely directly intervene with Tyrians, preferring to send their minions to do the work for them. Dragon minions that have absorbed more magic are observed to be more powerful, leading to speculation that as more powerful minions hold a larger quantity of magic, they may also hold more of the Elder Dragons' will, and that creatures infused with more energy by Elder Dragons act with more self-will.
As shown by Inquest tests with Kudu's Monster, Subject Alpha in the Crucible of Eternity, and Subject Beta in the Specimen Chamber, dragon minions are not immune to other Elder Dragons' corruption although the crosscorruption phenomenon has not been observed among dragon minions in the wild so far for unknown reasons. In the case of the rogue Subject Alpha, the crosscorruption from multiple Elder Dragons gave it the ability to force rival dragon minions to work under it as a single army without the minions turning on each other while it was unknown which dragon Alpha ultimately was loyal to. Further Inquest tests with Risen in Arah have shown that dragon minions can be controlled by another party via dominating devices.
The most powerful dragon minions are known as "champions", or lieutenants. The will of the dragons is realized by these champions, who maintain their territories and command their lesser minions. Champions are also known as "heralds" in the context of preparing for the awakening of their respective masters by gathering magic. This has been observed in the case of the Great Destroyer for Primordus, and Drakkar for Jormag.
One of the Elder Dragons, Kralkatorrik, had at least one scion, Glint. This scion was also made a champion of Kralkatorrik, enslaved to his will, but was freed from his influence by Forgotten magic. She remained in crystalline form, but regained her free will and identity, but not her memories, and eventually turned against Kralkatorrik. Glaust (better known as Glint) was an oracle who could hear the thoughts of others and predict the future with some limitations. The dwarven Brotherhood of the Dragon believed that she was well on her way to becoming an Elder Dragon herself, indicating that the primary distinctions between Elder Dragons and lesser dragons are the amount of magical energy that they possess and the amount of time that they have lived.
|When an Elder Dragon dies, its corrupted minions become Unchained. Lesser minions' effectiveness is reduced, but dragon champions are able to enhance nearby minions' intelligence to work more effectively. More intelligent champions such as kingpins are able to acknowledge their dragon master's demise but are willing to continue fighting and carrying out the dragon's vision regardless.
Upon the release of magic from an Elder Dragon's death, more powerful champions can absorb the magic and undergo an evolution to potentially take their fallen master's place as an Elder Dragon as was suggested to happen with Tequatl the Sunless following Zhaitan's demise.
Protection from dragon corruption
It is possible to protect oneself from the corruption of draconic energies or restore free will to a dragon minion via a purification ritual at specific and rare magical sites around the world, as the Forgotten did to Glint during the last dragonrise cycle, and what Warden Illyra did to the Risen chicken Twitchy by recreating the ritual at the Altar of Glaust in 1325 AE. The Pale Tree is also suggested to have been purified in the past although who performed the ritual on her and potentially other seeds found by Ronan remains unknown. As shown with Glint and Twitchy, purified minions retain their physical corruption even though their minds are freed. However, free will still allows the cleansed minion to continue serving the Elder Dragon if they so choose as Glint served Kralkatorrik for some time after being freed until she finally defected to the side of mortals. The freed minion can also opt to carry out the Elder Dragon's will even if the dragon is dead and the minion has become aware of their master's demise.
Ascalonian ghosts, spectral Mist Wardens, the Exalted and golems apparently cannot be corrupted. Because the sylvari are protected by the Pale Tree and the Dream of Dreams, they are immune to corruption by Elder Dragons, a fact which was taken advantage of by the Pact by forming all-sylvari units such as the Pale Reavers during the campaign against Zhaitan. Any attempt to corrupt a sylvari results in the affected sylvari dying instead; however, there are ways to circumvent this protection if the affected sylvari willingly opens themselves to a dragon's corruption to become a bonded minion rather than being forced to undergo the process.
Divine magic, and artifacts or beings enchanted by it, are able to ward off dragon minions such as via the use of the Forgotten's Divine Fire, some artifacts found in Arah, or the ritual the Exalted perform to shield Tarir, the Forgotten City from dragon minions. The Elder Dragons were originally unable to corrupt the djinn, considering the djinn's ability to deflect forms of corruption like the Brandstorm by using the fallen god Abaddon's remnant magic. However, if an Elder Dragon consumes the divine magic of a god or a former god, they are able to circumvent protection drawn from divine magic as seen when Kralkatorrik was able to corrupt Vemyen and other djinn after consuming much of the former god Balthazar's divine magic.
|Deep connection with multiple Spirits of the Wild can also offer protection from dragon corruption even if the protected being opens themselves to dragon corruption. If the being bonds with the Spirits by taking their essences into themself as a harness, they can retain most of their original physical form when corrupted and resist the mental enslavement of an Elder Dragon to a degree albeit with great difficulty. However, this protection is not permanent as prolonged exposure to dragon corruption and the Elder Dragon's hive mind will ultimately turn even a Spirits-shielded being into a true dragon minion who loses their former individuality.
Cutting a bonded champion off from the magic of their Elder Dragon master and defeating the Elder Dragon afterwards appears to revert the physical effects of dragon corruption and restore the affected champion back to their former self. It is presently unknown if something similar happens to non-bonded dragon champions and lesser minions as well. A being protected by Spirits of the Wild appears to fully return to normal with no signs of lingering physical corruption, while other cut off, bonded beings without Spirits' protection are severely weakened and retain some minor changes to their bodies as dragon corruption violently leaves their bodies.
List of Elder Dragons
At the beginning of Guild Wars 2
|Name||Domain(s)||Date of most recent awakening||Weakness||Territory||Minions||Status||Attitude|
|Primordus||Fire and Conflagration||1120 AE||Jormag||Depths of Tyria||Destroyers||Awake||Hostile|
|Jormag||Ice and Persuasion||1165 AE||Primordus||Far Shiverpeaks||Icebrood||Awake||Hostile|
|Zhaitan||Death and Shadow||1219 AE||Over reliance on specialized minions||Ruins of Orr||Risen||Active||Hostile|
|Kralkatorrik||Crystal and Fury||1320 AE||His own blood and resonance with his minions||Crystal Desert||Branded||Awake||Hostile|
|Mordremoth||Plant and Mind||N/A||Attacking its mind||Heart of Maguuma||Mordrem||Dormant||Hostile|
- The Sons of Svanir revere and worship Jormag but they are not its minions, though many are eventually corrupted into Icebrood.
The fact that the last rise of the Elder Dragons is considered pre-history can be attributed to the dragons themselves—few records exist of the last cycle of awakening (believed by the Durmand Priory to be over 11,000 years ago, to coincide with the disappearance of the giganticus lupicus), and most of what is known comes from dwarven legends and jotun stelae.
The Tome of the Rubicon speaks of the dwarves fighting the dragon's champions. Tyrians have since learned of other races fighting the dragons long ago—mursaat, jotun, Forgotten, and Seers. The mursaat used their own magic to flee the world of Tyria, while Kralkatorrik's champion Glint betrayed her master and hid the remaining races some time after being freed from Kralkatorrik's control via a Forgotten ritual.
Dragons of all shapes, sizes, and origin called Cantha home for thousands of years, since long before the tribes of old joined to form the human empire that took them as its symbol. Historian Angelina, who was apparently one of the first scholars to conclude that the awakening of the Elder Dragons was cyclic, referred to a time known as "early pre-imperial era." In the Canthan calendar, the early pre-imperial era corresponds to around 10,000 BE, a period which was not long after theorized by Varra Skylark to be the time of the last dragonrise.
As the dragons slept, the surviving races re-emerged, built civilisations, warred, and in some cases, died out. New civilisations also emerged, including the human nations. Six Human Gods first stepped out into the world at the Artesian Waters, drawn to that site by the amount of ambient magic there. They built Arah, City of the Gods there, not realizing that Zhaitan slept deep below. Similarly, the asura built their Central Transfer Chamber near Primordus, believing his sleeping form to be a magical statue and using the magic radiated by the Elder Dragon to power their asura gate network.
In 1072 AE, the human Ronan discovered a cavern guarded by terrible plant creatures (possibly Mordrem) containing strange seed-pods. These seeds were destined to grow into Blighting Trees, minion factories for Mordremoth. The seed taken by Ronan, however, eventually became the Pale Tree who was guided by the tenets of Ventari's Tablet. At least one other tree (which birthed Malyck) is out there, and the sylvari that came from that were also non-hostile (at least as of 1325 AE, two years before Mordremoth's last awakening).
At some point before 1078 AE, Vlast, first of Glint's scions, was born. He was intended to play a large role in Glint's legacy, her plan to preserve Tyria's magical balance by replacing Elder Dragons with equally powerful but less predatory entities in the cosmic Antikytheria mechanism of the All. Destroyers came for Vlast during Primordus's first rise, but the scion was protected by the Brotherhood of the Dragon inside a fortress, which legends claimed was only a tiny shard of sand within the massive Crystal Desert. Vlast was raised in the city of Kesho by the Forgotten and their Exalted servants, but he was never able to bond with the mortal races of the world as his mother had done due to his isolated upbringing.
The death of the god Abaddon and consequent surge of magic in 1075 AE triggered the latest cycle of destruction. In 1078 AE, the first of the Elder Dragons to awaken, Primordus, began to stir. His herald, the Great Destroyer, and its Destroyer army swarmed the Depths of Tyria, driving the asura to the surface and destroying multiple underground civilizations. The asura refugees united with the dwarves, as well as the norn and Ebon Vanguard, to strike at the heart of the destroyer army, defeating the Great Destroyer and delaying the awakening of Primordus until 1120 AE. This victory came with a cost—the dwarven race were forced to undergo the Rite of the Great Dwarf in order to suppress the Destroyer forces. To this day, the transformed dwarves fight them in the depths so that the surface may be spared, although in recent years small groups of Destroyers have made it to the surface world. It was this year that Svanir was corrupted by Jormag's herald Drakkar, a dormant dragon champion frozen in Drakkar Lake.
Although the exact year is unknown, it appears very likely that sometime between 1120 and 1165 AE, the still-unnamed Elder Dragon of the deep seas woke up. However, it wasn't until approximately 1275 AE that Tyrians felt the first influence from the deep sea dragon. This came in the form of the krait being forced out of their home, the Unending Ocean's deepest trenches, and in turn forcing the southern quaggans out of their own homes in the ocean depths—both races arriving on the shores of Tyria as refugees. The deep sea dragon is said to be able to twist the waters around it into tentacled horrors, and is implied to have forced out the karka and be assaulting the largos homeland currently as well.
In 1165 AE, Jormag rose from the northern reaches of the Far Shiverpeaks, where it toppled kodan sanctuaries and shattered the mountains, creating inland seas that the kodan and quaggan of the north took refuge in. The norn of the Far Shiverpeaks thought to challenge the Ice Dragon and its icebrood minions, but they were outmatched and forced south, guided by the Spirits of the Wild although Asgeir Dragonrender was able to rend one of Jormag's teeth with help from the Spirits of the Wild and the magic of an ancient jotun scroll and take it with him as a trophy.
In 1219 AE, Zhaitan's awakening caused the sunken nation of Orr to rise from the ocean, flooding the coastlines of Tyria and drowning thousands. Zhaitan conscripted those killed into its Risen army alongside the ancient dead of Orr, creating a fleet spanning the Strait of Malchor, and blocking access to and from Cantha while also invading north towards Kryta and southeast towards the Elonian border.
In 1320 AE, Kralkatorrik rose from the Blood Legion Homelands, flying south over Ascalon and corrupting everything in his path with his breath, forming the Dragonbrand. The Vigil was formed in response following Almorra's Massacre. Kralkatorrik landed in the Crystal Desert, where he sought Glint for her betrayal. He fought her and Destiny's Edge there, a battle in which he was injured but ultimately victorious as Glint and Destiny's Edge member Snaff were slain.
In 1325 AE, Zhaitan launched an attack on Claw Island and prepared to strike on Lion's Arch. In desperation, the Vigil, the Order of Whispers, and the Durmand Priory pooled their resources to form a Pact led by Marshal Trahearne, and the combined magic and technology of the charr, humans, norn, asura and newly-awakened sylvari was enough to push into Orr and defeat Zhaitan itself, above the skies of Arah. This marked the first known time an Elder Dragon had been defeated, and proved that they could be killed. Zhaitan's death magic was absorbed by the remaining dragons, giving them the ability to utilize corpses with their corruption.
In 1327 AE, Mordremoth stirred when Scarlet Briar drilled into the ley line network with her airship, The Breachmaker, underneath Lion's Arch. The disrupting of the ley line led to a magical chain reaction, causing the Elder Dragon to awaken with a roar deep within the Heart of Maguuma.
Some months later, the Pact began focusing its resources to west in an attempt to put down Mordremoth before it could truly rise. However, the effort resulted in failure when the Pact airship fleet was destroyed by Mordrem vines surging from the jungle as well as by the sylvari saboteurs who had been taken over by their original master's influence.
Mordremoth was ultimately killed by the nascent Dragon's Watch guild in 1328 AE, although to fully destroy it it was necessary to kill Marshal Trahearne, who had become part of the dragon. Mordremoth's magic surged out across the world, and some of it was absorbed by Glint's Egg in the nearby Exalted city of Tarir. Trahearne was succeeded as Pact Marshal by Logan Thackeray, formerly of Destiny's Edge, two years later.
In 1329 AE, Glint's egg hatched into her second scion Aurene, who chose the Pact Commander (also the leader of Dragon's Watch) as her champion. Around this time, Primordus and Jormag became active, with their minions exhibiting signs of having absorbed death and plant magic. These signs were more prevalent in Primordus's minions than in Jormag's, leading to speculation that proximity to the released magic may have played a role.
The progeny Taimi built a machine to access the the All and turn Jormag and Primordus's energies against one another, killing both. She soon discovered that doing so would have potentially catastrophic consequences, but the machine was stolen by the former god Balthazar, who traveled to the Ring of Fire (where Primordus had recently relocated) and attempted to use the machine to kill both Primordus and Jormag and steal their magic. Meanwhile, in the Far Shiverpeaks, Braham Eirsson and his norn companions (calling themselves Destiny's Edge), had hunted down Jormag and had it surrounded.
Although Balthazar was stopped and the machine destroyed, the Elder Dragons were wounded and Balthazar managed to absorb a significant portion of their magic before disappearing. The Elder Dragons' energy subsided to pre-awakening levels, and they went dormant although their minions remained active around the world.
Kralkatorrik, who had become active after absorbing a portion of the magic released by Mordremoth's demise, moved southeast from Prophet's Fall in the Desert Highlands to the Domain of Vabbi in 1328 AE. By 1330 AE the Crystal Dragon was pursued by Balthazar and his Forged army, who killed Vlast as part of their campaign against Kralkatorrik.
The Elder Dragon was brought close to death by Balthazar's Forged Warbeast, which used a captured Aurene to exploit Kralkatorrik's weakness. Balthazar was killed by Aurene and the Pact Commander, however, and his magic was absorbed by Kralkatorrik and Aurene who both flew off. As Kralkatorrik flew south, the color of his crystals had changed and he brought a dead devourer back to life to brand it, indicating that he had acquired new powers from absorbing the magic of the other Elder Dragons. Aurene, too, grew significantly after absorbing the magic.
Kralkatorrik began experimenting on his new powers, sending Brandstorms throughout the Crystal Desert region, and believed to roost on mountains west of the Domain of Kourna, but it was soon revealed that the Crystal Dragon had abandoned Tyria by traveling into the Mists with the magic gained from Balthazar and began feeding on the entire multiverse.
Together with the Pact, Olmakhan, the Order of the Sunspears, Zephyrites and their other allies, the Dragon's Watch guild succeeded in tracking and luring Kralkatorrik out of the Mists to trap the Elder Dragon underneath Thunderhead Peaks in 1332 AE. The battle ended disastrously; Aurene and many other combatants were killed and the guild's morale was shattered until Aurene was brought back to life by means of magic from the lich Palawa Joko whom she had devoured in Gandara. Coming to understanding the meaning of Aurene's visions and prophecies of both Glint and Kralkatorrik, the guild renewed their efforts to track and trap Kralkatorrik one more time.
After a dragonflight through the Mists, Aurene and her champion destroyed Kralkatorrik's wing and brought him back to Tyria once more, preventing Tyrian magic in his possession from dissolving into the Mists and partially burying the Elder Dragon into Unending Ocean under chunks of isles torn from the god realms of Melandru's lost domain, Grenth's Underworld, and Balthazar's Fissure of Woe. Kralkatorrik's life finally came to an end after Aurene and her champion traversed into the Elder Dragon's maw, released the excess magic within and destroyed Kralkatorrik's tormented heart with a true Dragonsblood Spear. In the presence of his grandchild, Kralkatorrik accepted the death he had once prophesied and welcomed respite from the haunting magical torment, while Aurene emerged as a fully fledged Elder Dragon.
Around 1333 AE, Jormag begins to put their plan into action. It is not know how much of an influence Jormag has over the following events leading to Dragonstorm, but as they are the Elder Dragon of Ice and Persuasion it can be assumed that they manipulated events long before any other actors in the tale realised what was happening. It is also unclear what outcome Jormag truly desires, but most likely it is the destruction of their twin Primordus, whom they seem to hold a great deal of resentment for.
After a period of calm, Blood Legion centurion Ryland Steelcatcher steals from Braham the bow ostensibly destined to kill Jormag, plotting with Bangar Ruinbringer to use it to control Jormag as a weapon for the Charr. Bangar reveals to Ryalnd that he intends to become Jormag’s champion, as well as his plans to create a multi-continental Charr empire separate from the High Legions.
This essentially prompts a civil war between Bangar’s Dominion and The High Legions. During this war it is revealed that some of Bangar’s Dominion forces have been corrupted, or empowered in some way, by Jormag and refer to themselves as the Frost Legion. Within the base of the Frost Legion, aptly named the Frost Citadel, Bangar attemps to empower himself with trapped Great Spirits of the Wild in order to control Jormag. This ritual is broken by the Commander, and the opportunistic Ryland seals Bangar in a magical shield. In the aftermath Jormag transforms Bangar into their Voice after which Ryland offers to become Jormag’s Champion, an offer which Jormag readily accepts and together they recede into the Mists.
After Bangar’s capture the civil war is more or less won and Primordus' minions have begun to erupt all over Tyria in higher numbers than ever seen before. Great Destroyers begin to appear, similar to the one who functionally chased the Asura from their homes and forced the Dwarves to remain underground, protecting the surface dwellers by using the rite of the great dwarf. The more Primordus’ minions destroy, the stronger Primordus gets.
Jormag uses Primordus’ attacks to justify sending Ryland to seek help from the rest of Tyria in a tenuous alliance with him and the Frost Legion. Ryland betrays this trust by converting innocent civilians in Frozen, whom he plans to rule alongside Jormag when they eventually defrost after destroying the rest of Tyria. Knowing the twinned Dragons are weak to the effect of one another, and feeling some form of personal responsibility for Ryland’s ascension to power, Braham uses the help of the Spirits of the Wild to become Primordus’ Champion in order to combat Ryland.
Both Champions are seem roaming through Tyria, wreaking havoc and destruction. In doing this they are absorbing the world’s magic for their patron.
As is mentioned frequently by multiple characters across this saga, the two dragons are twinned. As one rises in power, so does the other, and vice versa. Our heroes are therefore torn on how to defeat them, as killing them one at a time is likely impossible as is killing them simultaneously. Perhaps our heroes need to find a way to force the dragons to destroy one another. This battle between Tyria and Primordus and Jormag comes to a head, when in 1334 AE Dragon’s Watch, Aurene, the Commander, and all their allied and united forces lie in wait at a ley-line nexus at Anvil Rock. The Tyrian forces clear the destroyer minions there and install prismatic crystals which Aurene can use to channel magical energy from different sources. As this spot is an abundance of magical energy it eventually draws in Ryland. Seeing it clear of Primordus’ minions Ryland summons an army of Frost and Frozen to absorb the magic at the nexus. Braham also appears, presumably drawn by the same bait, and their fight against one another begins in earnest.
This clash of Champions brings both Elder Dragons to the field, who give in to their aeons long feud and join in the fight. Jormag is no longer unable to hold back their vitriol and disdain for their brother, seemingly determined to end Primordus once and for all. As the Elder Dragon of Destruction, it is unclear whether or not Primordus returns the feelings of hatred or is simply as destructive as ever. Regardless of their feelings, both Elder Dragons strive to protect their respective Champion from Tyria’s army, healing them when they are defeated and attacking their assailants with powerful ice and fire attacks.
Using this battle as a distraction, and the magic accumulated in her prismatic crystals, Aurene severs the magical links between the Dragons and their Champions. Caught up in the fury of battle, Primordus and Jormag leap at one another, fire and ice fizzing out gouts of steam the battlefield becomes obscured. When the mist clears, both dragons have been destroyed having killed their counterpart.
- Screenshots of the old dragon generation
- Screenshots of the new dragon generation
- Concept art
- Size comparisons
Size comparison of all Elder Dragon and dragon champion models as of War Eternal.
Size comparison of Zhaitan to dragon lieutenants, The Glory of Tyria, and Zhaitan's original incomplete model.
- Elder Dragons do not have genders as Tyrians comprehend. However, some dragons are associated with certain genders:
- Glint refers to Kralkatorrik as both he and it, while Aurene uses male pronouns for him. However, Kralkatorrik never uses male pronouns himself.
- Jormag uses male pronouns for Primordus.
- Many norn, especially the Sons of Svanir, consider Jormag to be male, and books in the Durmand Priory replicate this approach. However, Jormag themself is non-binary and does not care what gender they are viewed as.
- Aurene initially only had one known domain, Light, whereas all the older Elder Dragons had two. In Roaring Flames, her domains were confirmed as Crystal and Light.
- Elder Dragons were not always the main antagonists of Guild Wars 2. According to The Making of Guild Wars 2 book, original drafts for story included demons and angelic beings descending to the world to judge it.
- In the vision of the All seen during The Machine, the colored orbs 'activate' in an order that corresponds to the known awakenings of Primordus, Jormag, Zhaitan, Kralkatorrik and Mordremoth, with the deep sea dragon's orb activating second. Additionally, within the City of Hope story instance in Heart of Thorns, the trial of strength requires fighting dragon minions in the same order; though there is no minion of the deep sea dragon encountered, salt water spouts begin forming between fighting a destroyer and an icebrood. These two situations suggest that the deep sea dragon awoke after Primordus but before Jormag.
- Other draconic creatures, such as drakes, hydras, wyverns, and Canthan saltspray dragons have been observed throughout the world. What relation they have to the Elder Dragons and their scions (if any) is unknown, but they certainly do not share their power.
- Although the world of Tyria is quite large, for unknown reasons the Elder Dragons are only ever observed to be active in one small corner of it.
- ^ a b Facing the Truth
- Kormir: Abaddon remained a fallen god, imprisoned for a thousand years, until he rose to threaten Tyria one last time...
- Kormir: A mortal hero led a mission to stop him, and against all odds, succeeded. But then... [...]
- Kormir: I was there to contain the damage, but by then it was too late.
- Kormir: The surge of power upended the balance of magic in Tyria, and stirred Primordus from his slumber—triggering this latest cycle of destruction.
- ^ a b c d e Hidden Arcana
- Magister Ela Makkay: Each dragon has two spheres of influence. For Mordremoth, that's mind and plants. Zhaitan ruled shadow and death. [...]
- Ogden Stonehealer: The Elder Dragons may be as old as the world itself. They're more than creatures.
- Ogden Stonehealer: They're part of nature's workings. They rise and fall on a cycle that spans millennia.
- 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: Glint foretold the future in the Flameseeker Prophecies over a thousand years ago.
- Ogden Stonehealer: The brotherhood believed that she would one day become an Elder Dragon. She was old and wise, well on her way.
- ^ Guild Chat Episode 85 - (Spoilers) War Eternal, YouTube.com
- Tom Abernathy: One of our slow changes to the world over [Living World Season 4] has been that dragons are not crazed wild animals with no rationality. They are actual people. And Aurene is our window into that. That's how the Commander and everybody else knows it because now they know Aurene, they know a dragon the way they never knew one before.
- ^ a b c d e The Elder Dragons
- ^ Rising Stars
- ^ Buried Insight
- Taimi: Based on their extensive research on Primordus, the Rata Novans determined that each Elder Dragon had a weakness.
- Taimi: A unique respective weakness.
- ^ a b c d The Way Forward
- Josso Essher: The most important lesson an Exalted must learn is: though Elder Dragons are unimaginably powerful, they can be killed.
- Josso Essher: Each has a distinct flaw.
- Josso Essher: Mordremoth, for example, dominates thought. But its most powerful asset—its mind—is also its greatest liability.
- Josso Essher: Kralkatorrik's unique strength—its power to crystalize objects—is also its singular weakness.
- Josso Essher: Its creations share a fundamental resonance that connects them back to the crystal dragon and makes them vulnerable to each other. [...]
- Sadizi: The millennia-long Elder Dragon cycle is one of feast and famine. Ravenous, they rise. Sated, they sleep.
- Sadizi: Glint and the Forgotten set out to break this cycle of extremes and to restore true balance.
- Sadizi: But when two Elder Dragons were unexpectedly eliminated from the cycle at one time, we believe it created a void.
- Sadizi: A void that caused the system to break down and the collapse to begin.
- ^ "Chapter: Lair of the Dragonspawn", Edge of Destiny by J. Robert King:
- The Dragonspawn’s elongated head turned toward his foes. Eyes glowed bright blue. The beams splashed across Eir, Garm, Snaff, and Zojja. They shielded their eyes, but the monster was seeping into their minds.
- ^ a b c Post by Andrew Gray in "Elder Dragons Zhaitan and Mordremoth", Guild Wars 2 Forums
- ^ Interview with Jeff Grubb, Ree Soesbee and Scott McGough, GuildMag.com
- ^ Crucible of Eternity (story)
- ^ Corporal Kellach
- ^ Necromancer Rissa
- ^ a b c Taimi's Game
- Taimi: The ones who came from the blighting pods! Mordremoth had its minions, the sylvari, right? But it was able to create more, new ones from the dead! That power came from Zhaitan!
- Taimi: Killing Zhaitan caused the other dragons to absorb the death spectrum, but we only saw it in Mordremoth because it was active.
- Taimi: Then we killed Mordremoth, and now Primordus has absorbed some of the death and planty-ness! I think...
- ^ Researcher Raizza
- ^ a b Elixir Cookin'
- Taimi: If I were a supposing kind of genius—which I am—I'd suppose Primordus must have soaked up more Mordremoth energy.
- Taimi: Maybe proximity matters, and since Jormag's so far away, it didn't receive as much Mordy juice.
- ^ Guild Chat - Episode 95
- ^ A History of Still Waters Speaking: Part Two
- ^ a b Cinematic during Elder Druid Protection
- ^ The Map of the All
- ^ 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: It is written in an ancient dialect, therefore it is subject to interpretation.
- Ogden Stonehealer: In it, the gods revealed the names of the Elder Dragons: Mordremoth, Kralkatorrik, Jormag, Zhaitan, and Primordus.
- Ogden Stonehealer: There is one other name listed, but it is illegible, lost to time. I suspect this is the deep-sea dragon.
- Ogden Stonehealer: The gods expound on how Tyria's health is tied directly to them. This portion is somewhat abstract, however.
- Ogden Stonehealer: There are varied theories on what it means, but I believe it refers to the natural balance of magic.
- Ogden Stonehealer: Too much magic, and the world spins out of control. Too little, and it crumbles into darkness.
- ^ Test Subject
- Scholar Krasso: Sorry, Professor. I should have anticipated that such a high dose of concentrated magic would only strengthen the minion.
- Scholar Krasso: This test proved that we are all imperiled, particularly those of us possessing large magical stockpiles.
- Professor Gorr: Unquestionably. On the bright side, this is the breakthrough I've been looking for: proof positive that my theory is valid.
- Professor Gorr: These readings are conclusive: the more magic we gave it, the more was absorbed. The Arcane Council can't possibly deny the correlation.
- ^ Magic Sucks
- Trahearne: These seem to be more powerful. They also hold a larger quantity of magic. More of Zhaitan's will, perhaps? [...]
- Trahearne: Indeed, these creatures are acting with more self-will! Zhaitan's infused them with tremendous energy. See how the weapon affects them!
- ^ See e.g. Elite Dominated Deadeye.
- ^ Arcanist Fenn
- ^ That Old College Try
- ^ Post by Stéphane Lo Presti, GuildWars2Guru.com (Archived)
- ^ a b c The Ruined City of Arah (explorable) Forgotten path
- Warden Illyra: The Forgotten discovered a great spell that granted Glint a will free from control by the Elder Dragon. She then concealed many of the elder races from the dragons. [...]
- Warden Illyra: This artifact once belonged to the Forgotten. The golden seal matches those from the Crystal Desert.
- Warden Illyra: More importantly, it has remained uncorrupted either by Orr's long immersion or by Zhaitan.
- Warden Illyra: This is important. It means that some sort of protection is possible! [...]
- Warden Illyra: I have learned that the last time the Elder Dragons came, the Forgotten worked with Glint, who hid the old races from the dragons' power. [...]
- Warden Illyra: Yes. Yes! Look at these runes. The Forgotten were able to remove Kralkatorrik's control over Glint.
- Warden Illyra: Glint remained in crystalline form, but she regained her free will and identity. [...]
- Warden Illyra: This is the altar. It was here, before the human gods came, that Glint was freed of the Elder Dragons.
- ^ "Chapter 26: Seeking the Sanctum", Edge of Destiny by J. Robert King:
- The dragon's great eyes went gray. "I can hear the thoughts of creatures. I am an oracle. I heard their plots against my master, stopped them before they reached him, killed them in their tracks. But I also felt their agony, their loss. It grieved me."
- ^ a b Crystalline Memories
- Glint: I remember only fragments from the days before the Forgotten performed their ritual on me. [...]
- Glint: When my mind is drawn to the suffering of Tyria's people...the inescapable doom they face...
- Glint: I feel a sickness in my heart. The first stirrings of compassion.
- Glint: I turn their plight over and over in my mind. The Elder Dragons. The world consumed.
- Glint: I can abide these visions no longer. There must be something I can do.
- Lady Kasmeer Meade: So this is when Glint decided to help the mortal races.
- <Character name>: We were fortunate. Could have just as easily gone the other way. [...]
- Glint: Prophecy is not always a gift. Often I see things I wish I hadn't. But when the vision is clouded, I am most uneasy.
- ^ a b Defeat the unchained kingpin
- ^ Kill the undead that have escaped into the camp
- ^ Lore Interview with Ree Soesbee, March 24, 2016
- Ree Soesbee: When an Elder Dragon dies, its magic isn't just snuffed out. It doesn't vanish. The creature itself is dead, but the magic that it put into the world through its creations is still there. Tequatl's evolution is an aftereffect of the death of Zhaitan. The magic used to create Tequatl is no longer being controlled by Zhaitan, but it still exists within Tequatl. Therefore, like many uncontrolled magics, it is experiencing an evolution and it is shaping itself.
- ^ "Chapter 7: Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns", The Complete Art of Guild Wars: ArenaNet 20th Anniversary Edition by Indigo Boock:
- She [Pale Tree] was purified, somehow, and is remarkably benevolent.
- ^ Exalted Bastion
- ^ Engage Kralkatorrik
- ^ Marching Orders
- <Character name>: Pale Reavers is an interesting name. I notice you're all sylvari.
- Tegwen: Because sylvari are immune to the curse of undeath, we've been given this dangerous mission. If we fail, we won't rise again. [...]
- <Character name>: I'd like to know more about the Pale Reavers first.
- Tegwen: Marshal Trahearne himself had the initial idea. Once he realized that Zhaitan can't raise sylvari, he formed this squad to exploit that weakness.
- <Character name>: Why doesn't Zhaitan's magic work on sylvari?
- Tegwen: Unknown at present, but the Pact's top minds are working on it. If you ask me, we're just too new to Tyria. The Elder Dragons haven't figured us out yet.
- ^ Rallying Call
- Avatar of the Tree: Well, my child, the one thing you must never forget is that I stand between you and the greatest darkness you'll ever know. A vast darkness intent on consuming all that we hold dear.
- <Character name>: (if sylvari) What do you mean, Mother?
- Avatar of the Tree: There are those who reject my protection. It leaves them vulnerable in ways they cannot imagine, in ways they never were before. I shield you as best I can and will for as long as I can.
- <Character name>: You're talking about dragon corruption. We've been immune to it.
- Avatar of the Tree: Yes. In the past, my children have been immune. But Mordremoth's corruption is powerful, and just as Zhaitan created the undead from so many creatures, so Mordremoth's corruption can change you.
- <Character name>: Scarlet?
- Avatar of the Tree: I believe she opened herself to it when she let down the wall of her mind. Mordremoth's corruption seeps in through the cracks in our willpower. Do not follow in her footsteps.
- ^ Hidden Arcana
- <Character name>: Sylvari were invulnerable to corruption. But not with Mordremoth. Why?
- Ogden Stonehealer: (if sylvari) You refer to Scarlet and Aerin. Similar symptoms. Yes.
- Ogden Stonehealer: I'm no expert on your kind. But your people's concept of nightmare and Dream is simple.
- Ogden Stonehealer: Too black and white, too unsophisticated to explain the changes affecting some of you.
- Ogden Stonehealer: The Pale Tree is said to protect you from the corruption of the other dragons. They both rejected her, no?
- Ogden Stonehealer: It makes sense that sylvari would be vulnerable to Mordremoth, a plant-based being like yourselves.
- Ogden Stonehealer: This is a question you should ask your Pale Tree.
- ^ Points of Interest Episode 18 summary, GuildWars2.com
- ^ While the common misconception is that sylvari are immune to dragon corruption due to being minions of Mordremoth themselves, the existence of cross-corrupted dragon minions such as Kudu's Monster, Subject Alpha and the Simulacrum of Subject Beta shows that dragon minions can be corrupted by other dragons' energies.
- ^ The Crystal Blooms
- Caithe: It's all right. Speak through me. [...]
- Caithe: Oh, I'm me. We were right—she DOES need both of us. Now I know what my role is. And it's...humbling.
- 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.
- ^ The Mystery Cave
- Marjory Delaqua: The torch is burning with divine fire, Kas. Like what the gods imbued the Ascended with. Ogden thinks it will interfere with the Forgotten magic and allow us to entrance. [...]
- Marjory Delaqua: Strange... As soon as you completed the ritual with the Divine Fire, the Mordrem got spooked and ran off. Almost like—
- <Character name>: Like it was warding them off?
- Marjory Delaqua: Perhaps. Come on, we should probably hurry in case they return.
- ^ Shatter the Brandstone before it explodes
- ^ Kodonur Temple ambient dialogue
- ^ Dialogue with Ziya the Radiant in Sun's Refuge
- Ziya the Radiant: We djinn can shield ourselves from the Brand. It's not perfect—I still don't understand what happened to Vemyen—but I want to give others that power as well.
- <Character name>: Can I help?
- Ziya the Radiant: I believe the key lies in corrupted sand, and I'll need your help to gather it. Djinn have turned these sands to their own purposes before—creating jackals, for example.
- <Character name>: How do I find this sand for you?
- Ziya the Radiant: Here's a compass. Well it looks like a compass, but the needle will point you to any sand corrupted by Abaddon's magic. Abaddon's reach was vast—you'll find these sands all over Elona.
- ^ Wildfire
- Story journal: I witnessed Braham's transformation with my own eyes; he conferred with Raven, Bear, Wolf, and Snow Leopard, who instructed him to make his way into the heart of the volcano. Had he not been protected with their magic, he would have burst into flames instantly. They placed their trust and confidence in the young norn, who was now ready to truly become the Norn of Prophecy as had been foretold. It would take their combined strength to not only keep him shielded from physical harm, but also protect him from the mental assault that only an Elder Dragon could mount against a mortal. [...]
- With that, Braham offered himself as the fire dragon's new champion. One of intellect, fortitude, and ferocity. It would take all of his will—and that of the Spirits—to retain even a shred of his self such that he could complete his mission, even if it meant his untimely death.
- ^ Dragonstorm
- <Character name>: I watched him struggle with the fire. With himself. He got control, but...
- Aurene: The longer Braham is connected to Primordus, the more integrated they become... Until there's nothing left.
- ^ Champion's End
- Braham:: I'm good, Commander. I know I did what I had to do. Just need a second to remember... myself.
- <Character name>: Are the Spirits of the Wild still with you?
- Braham: They kept me from falling off the edge. Wasn't easy. They're gonna need time to recover.
- ^ After Primordus's death in Dragonstorm, Braham Eirsson, who had been bonded with the four Great Spirits of the Wild, returned to normal in Champion's End with no signs of dragon corruption visible anywhere on his body.
- ^ Although Ryland Steelcatcher lost much of his icy dragon corruption after Jormag's death in Dragonstorm, his fur had permanently changed color in Champion's End.
- ^ Leivas
- ^ a b c d Guild Wars 2 Living World: The Icebrood Saga - Issue 01, GuildWars2.com
- ^ a b Taimi's Pet Project
- Taimi: Ah. Okay, it runs off the heart of Omadd's Machine.
- Taimi: That, combined with my spectrum research, aided by my assistant, Spencer...
- Taimi: Will let me manipulate the Eternal Alchemy to smash Primordus and Jormag's unique signatures together.
- Taimi: Thus, cancelling them out. I.E. dragons go (death sound).
- ^ a b Interview GW2 Univers Virtuels, GW2.univers.virtuels.net (Archived)
- UV: The Dragon of the Deep is probably the most enigmatic of all. We do not know much about him. What's his name? Is he as hungry for power as the others?
- Jeff Grubb: The Deep Sea Dragon (DSD) has attracted a lot of attention on the forums primarily because we haven't really referred to it since the "Movement of the World." The existence of the DSD is not well-known to the average Tyrian (for whom the other dragons may be legendary or distant threats). The exact nature of the DSD is as yet unrevealed, and its powers differ from the other dragons as those Elder Dragons differ from each other. But it shares with its kindred a desire to consume, corrupt, and destroy.
- ^ Post by Andrew Gray in "Zhaitan's Weakness", Guild Wars 2 Forums
- ^ a b Roaring Flames
- Jormag through Bangar: Oh, Dragon of Crystal and Light—do I intimidate you?
- ^ The Ruined City of Arah (explorable)
- Ogden Stonehealer: The Tome of the Rubicon speaks of the dwarves fighting the dragon's champions. [...]
- Warden Illyra: The Forgotten discovered a great spell that granted Glint a will free from control by the Elder Dragon. She then concealed many of the elder races from the dragons.
- ^ The Guild Wars Factions Manuscripts
- ^ Cathedral of Silence
- The Seventh Reaper: So shall it be. 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.
- The Seventh Reaper: There is an artesian well hidden in the mountains behind the temple of Melandru. There, you will find the place where Orr began.
- ^ The Final Vision
- Vekk: I've been to the Central Transfer Chamber. That cavern is adjacent to it. The big statue practically bleeds magic. It's why we built the chamber there in the first place.
- ^ Dream and Nightmare
- ^ a b c The Movement of the World
- ^ The Legacy
- ^ The Way Forward
- Sadizi: The millennia-long Elder Dragon cycle is one of feast and famine. Ravenous, they rise. Sated, they sleep.
- Sadizi: Glint and the Forgotten set out to break this cycle of extremes and to restore true balance.
- Sadizi: But when two Elder Dragons were unexpectedly eliminated from the cycle at one time, we believe it created a void.
- Sadizi: A void that caused the system to break down and the collapse to begin.
- Sadizi: The hope was that Glint's legacy would stabilize the cycle.
- Sadizi: We theorize these vacancies must be filled with entities that circulate and share magic rather than hoard it.
- Sadizi: Only then will the balance of magic truly become stable. Only then will Glint's legacy achieve its ultimate purpose.
- ^ Consular Brand Oakencask
- ^ Nanacatl
- ^ Pastkeeper
- ^ The Mostly Harmless Quaggan
- ^ Master Sdias
- ^ Post by Matthew Medina in "No Risen Karkas", Old Guild Wars 2 Forums (Archived)
- ^ Absolute Patience
- ^ The Wisdom and Power of the Kodan
- ^ a b Comment by Chelsey Shuder, Reddit.com
- ^ a b The Flow of Magic
- Taimi: You won't believe what just happened, Commander. Guess. No, never mind, can't wait. Braham sent me a letter.
- Taimi: Would you like me to read it? Of course you would. He says, "Taimi. What did the commander do to Jormag?"
- Taimi: "Destiny's Edge—my guild—had it surrounded, and then... Suddenly, an anguished roar, and it returned to the ice." [...]
- Taimi: But since Jormag's all snoozy, he doesn't have a chance of killing it now, does he?
- ^ Heart of the Volcano
- Scanner: Elder—Dragon—spectrum: Primordus, energy—subsiding—to—pre-awakening—level.
- Taimi: Night, night, sweet dragon! Guessing the same thing happened to Jormag too.
- ^ Guild Wars 2: Path of Fire—Road to the Desert
- ^ Post on GuildWars2Guru.com
- ^ Crystalline Memories
- Glint: I sense Kralkatorrik stirring in its sleep. Could it know what I'm planning? What you're meant for?
- ^ Scion & Champion
- Glint: With you, Champion, I share my true legacy—and Kralkatorrik's greatest secret.
- Glint: He foresaw the possibility of a world at peace. A world without strife between dragons and mortals. A world without him.
- ^ The End
- Aurene: No time to. Kralk...atorrik. S-stop him! [...]
- Aurene: Grandfather. Look at me.
- ^ Descent
- Aurene: My grandfather's prophecy is fulfilled. My mother's legacy is complete.
- ^ Primordus Rising
- Jormag through Bangar: My brother is incapable of subtlety. He stirs. And when he awakens, it will not be with the same grace as I.
- ^ Fight the ice dragon's corruption
- ^ Blane the Insane
- ^ Tweet by Tom Abernathy, Twitter.com