Elona

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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.
Map of Elona.

Always may your waters flow to quench the land and seeds you've sown.

— Old Elonian Blessing

Elona is the name of a nation, sometimes also referred to as a continent[1], southeast of Central Tyria. In the past, it was often called Land of the Golden Sun, and in times since Palawa Joko's reign began has been called the United Kingdom of Elona by his faithful followers.[2] Originally a human kingdom under the Primeval Kings, it has since faced civil war and been divided among three provinces—Istan, Kourna, and Vabbi—before being united under the undead lich's banner. King Joko's leadership has turned Elona into a land of both living and undead, long without contact to the other nations.[3]

Elona is part of the same super-continent as Central Tyria, connected via the Crystal Desert; though before the Exodus of the Gods, the two areas were separated by the Crystal Sea. The northern borders of Elona have been plagued by Zhaitan's Risen minions since the Rising of Orr, causing a war between the two undead nations.[4] This combined with Kralkatorrik's presence in the Crystal Desert has prevented all communication with Elona, except for the Order of Whispers, who have an unknown means of traveling between the two lands, and a few members of the Durmand Priory and other explorers braving the dangers of the desert region.[5][6] Only Balthazar's return and subsequent Forged invasion of the Crystal Desert region has brought communication back with Elona, throwing the land in chaos once again.

According to Alain, it was prophesied over three hundred years ago that an Elonian, long from home and living beneath steel, would rise and lead his people back to the Crystal Desert.

History[edit]

See also: Guild Wars 2: Path of Fire—Road to the Desert

Primeval Dynasty (200 BE–452 AE / 0–652 DR)[edit]

After reaching Orr, humanity spread into the lands that would become Elona in 205 BE. Within five years, the first of the Primeval Kings was crowned and Fahranur, the First City was established. Legends say that the Six Gods themselves crowned this first king, but the truth was forgotten even within the 600 years of the Primeval Kings' reign.[7] This marked the beginning of the Primeval Dynasty.

The Primeval Dynasty marked the height of Elona. Before the Exodus of the Gods, it stretched across the lands of Istan, Kourna, and the southern coasts of the Crystal Sea.[8] During this time, Elona shared its borders with the Margonites, a sea-faring human civilization that established itself in the Crystal Sea and Elona's coasts.

After Abaddon's defeat and imprisonment in the Realm of Torment, the Primeval Kings spread their reign further north, settling Vabbi and reaching into the Crystal Desert and establishing the Tomb of the Primeval Kings on its northern edge in 29 AE. They had even established Morah as a guard over the Mouth of Torment.[8] In 300 AE, Elona colonized the lands of Kryta, previously established by Prince Mazdak of Orr, and expanded the colony's lands into centaur and tengu territories, though Kryta became independent in 358 AE.

Though considered by many to be the height of Elona's time, the Primeval Dynasty had its share of bloodshed. During King Wasi's and Queen Nadijeh's reigns, Elona was torn by civil war and became famous in defending their people during these times.[7] Nadijeh brought an end to these wars upon establishing the Sunspear Guard to become Elona's independent protectors for centuries to come.

The Primeval Dynasty lasted for approximately 650 years, ending with the Scarab Plague that swept through Istan and killed the royal family.

Great Dynasty (456–583 AE / 656–783 DR)[edit]

Four years after the Scarab Plague began and Istan was abandoned, a man by the name Admun Kolos took the throne and began the second dynasty of Elona which became known as the Great Dynasty. Istan was isolated for eight years until settlers returned and blocked off the source of the plague: Fahranur. This new dynasty only lasted 31 years, however, and brought forth the bloodiest time in Elona's history.

Shattered Dynasty (456–583 AE / 656–783 DR)[edit]

The Shattered Dynasty was consumed by the Pretender Wars which saw the birth of the dervish profession before they ended in 640 AE, 37 years after the wars began. The Shattered Dynasty Era ended in 840 DR (640 AE) when the last of the "Pretender Kings" fell and the three provinces—Istan, Kourna, and Vabbi—were formed.

Era of three provinces (640 AE–1135 AE / 840 DR–1335DR )[edit]

The union between the provinces of Istan, Kourna and Vabbi marked the birth of the modern nation of Elona.

In 860 AE, the first invasion by Palawa Joko and his Awakened armies began. He quickly conquered Vabbi, earning him the title as "The Scourge of Vabbi," and moved his forces south. At the Grand Cataract of Jahai, the forces of Kourna—along with the remnant forces of Vabbi and the Order of the Sunspears—stood against Joko's armies. The general of the allied forces, Turai Ossa, assaulted Joko directly and defeated him at the Battle of Jahai. However, because Joko could not be killed, Turai imprisoned the undead lord and established the Order of Whispers to ensure the lich remained captive. Due to his victory, Turai was crowned king of all Elona. In the following years, his obsession with prophecies led him to give his son Kunai Ossa the crown and led the Great Pilgrimage into the Crystal Desert.

In 1075 AE, the fallen god Abaddon attempted to break free of his prison and brought forth Nightfall. Utilizing the few still faithful to him, such as Warmarshal Varesh Ossa, he had portals opened throughout Elona and dark rituals performed to weaken the barrier between Tyria and the Mists. Abaddon was defeated and killed by heroes and members of the Order of Sunspears after they fought their way into the heart of the Realm of Torment to find him. Abaddon was then supplanted by Kormir who became the new goddess of knowledge. During this time, Joko was also freed from his prison due to Abaddon's own attempts at freedom.

In the years following Nightfall, the three provinces worked to recover. Istan became a tourist nation due to their aid in helping the Sunspears, and the Vabbian princes used their wealth to speed their nation's recovery. Kourna was plunged into a civil war, as the war had left them leaderless, though the Order of the Sunspears worked to bring peace as they spread throughout Elona once more, even traveling to other parts of the world.

The United Kingdom of Elona (1135 AE– / 1335DR– )[edit]

In 1135 AE, sixty years after Nightfall, Palawa Joko once more invaded Elona. This time, he dammed the Elon River, sending it westward from its former southern course, and caused famine throughout Vabbi and northern Kourna. Vabbi quickly surrendered to ensure survival, and Kourna and Istan became vassal states shortly after that. Those who could, fled the nation now ruled by the undead, many becoming refugees in Kryta. The Order of the Sunspears were broken or corrupted, reforming into the Mordant Crescent. Joko had the descendants of the Ossa clan hunted down, and few of either still exist in Elona. Those who survived now live as wanderers. The Order of Whispers, which had established a presence in Central Tyria earlier, was divided into two in Elona after disagreements over whether to focus on the threat posed by Joko or bigger threats like Primordus and other rising Elder Dragons. The faction that chose to focus on Joko became known as the Order of Shadows and set up the Chantry of Shadows in the Desolation.

Approximately fifty years ago in 1275 AE, another wave of Elonian refugees came into Tyria, escaping the ravages of Palawa Joko, and contact with Elona was lost. Later, access to the Crystal Desert was barred off by way of the Desert Gate—the primary land route into the Crystal Desert—being sealed by Queen Jennah's order due to Kralkatorrik's rise.[9] Only the Order of Whispers had knowledge of how to travel to Elona in modern times. Despite this, some small groups as well as the Durmand Priory had managed excursions into the Crystal Desert, though whether this was before or after the Desert Gate was sealed is unknown.[5][6]

After 1328 AE, Kralkatorrik was empowered by the deaths of Zhaitan and Mordremoth. It flew south to Vabbi, extending the Dragonbrand which both destroyed the environment and spread Branded minions with it. Local nobles retreated to their palaces and lush gardens while deliberately choosing to ignore the threat that was literally next door. Awakened and Mordant Crescent fought the Branded but their efforts to contain the Elder Dragon's forces proved to be a losing battle.

In 1330 AE, Elona witnessed the return of Balthazar, one of the human gods, who was followed by many acolytes from the Church of Balthazar and the Zaishen Order. Balthazar met privately with Joko and struck a mutually beneficial deal with the lich king, after which the pair departed to search for the lost city of Kesho and, eventually, a portal to the Underworld for reasons that remained unclear even to the spies of the Order of Shadows. Balthazar eventually returned with an army of Forged at his side, but Joko was no longer accompanying him, which left Elonians and other denizens of the Crystal Desert unsure what had happened to the lich king. The Forged began the invasion of the Crystal Desert and Elona in their hunt for Kralkatorrik shortly after and struck down anyone standing in their way, prompting both desert dwellers and Joko's subjects to fend for themselves. Several Elonians and denizens of the Crystal Desert were able to flee north to the Free City of Amnoon and found their way to Lion's Arch in increasing numbers, alerting Tyrians to the disaster which was ravaging Elona.

In Joko's absence, Elona was governed by the lich king's closest civil administrators and generals, including Grand Vizier Utumishi, Archon Iberu, and several Awakened marshals and commanders. Provincial decision-making fell to the jurisdiction of local clanmarshals and viziers who supported the kingdom's war effort in their own way by sending an increasing number of supplies and soldiers, Awakened or not, to the front to fight the Forged and Branded while raising taxes and imprisoning defectors and insurgents in growing numbers. Lawbreakers who had not been killed, Awakened or imprisoned were exiled to farms outside the Bone Wall where they would work under harsh conditions to fill the kingdom's storages. At the same time the archon and other diplomats approached neutral city-states and villages in the desert such as Amnoon in an attempt to annex these establishments into Elona and extend Joko's influence.

The war in the desert reduced the numbers of Cavaliers and Awakened forces, prompting desert bandits to become bolder and prey on unwary travelers in greater numbers. The notable desert-wide smuggling syndicate called the Hamaseen used the resulting chaos to extend its influence with the businessman Zalambur gaining political power in Amnoon while Amnoon's City Council was trying to decide whether to remain independent or side with Joko's forces or the remaining Sunspears in the conflict. Ley magic released from the two Elder Dragons' deaths hit several denizens of the desert and Elona and turned them crazed, violent and magically unstable, prompting the Order of Shadows to post bounties on their heads to make the region safer to traverse. Corsairs collaborated with Joko's government on Istan, taking bounties on people who had been deemed enemies of state such as Sunspears.

The conflict between the Awakened, Branded and Forged eventually culminated in the Battle of Kodash Bazaar in Vabbi where Balthazar was destroyed and his magic, taken from the Maguuma Bloodstone and the Elder Dragons Jormag and Primordus, was absorbed by Kralkatorrik and Glint's second scion Aurene. Now able to corrupt the dead, spread the Brand via its lieutenants and create Brandstorms far away, Kralkatorrik flew west to roost on the mountains north of Dajkah while slowly extending its influence. Following the Elder Dragon's departure and using the distraction which the Forged invasion had caused among the Mordant Crescent, the surviving Sunspears of the Elonian mainland gradually regrouped and established a hidden sanctuary atop Yahnur Plateau in Vabbi with the blessing and wisdom of the still sentient, Awakened remains of Tahlkora who introduced them to local griffons with which they could strike back at Joko's forces and spread Sunspear teachings among Elonians.

The Elonian government's increasingly harsher methods to raise productivity for the war effort against the Branded and the Forged, as well as the nobility's and Joko Loyalists' blatant disregard over the well-being of commoners and rural folk, eventually incited the Istani people into a revolt led by Spearmarshal Zaeim and his autonomous branch of Istani Sunspears who conducted their operations from a hidden base beneath the Astralarium. The revolt culminated in the liberation of Champion's Dawn and raids on Palawadan, Jewel of Istan and the Mordant Crescent Great Hall for supplies that would aid the Sunspears' campaign.

However, the Forged were gradually routed following Balthazar's demise, and Awakened regrouped and increased their presence in Istan with rumors that Joko had returned after his long absence although the lich king had not made public appearances to confirm these rumors. At the end of 1330 AE Joko declared war on Central Tyria, however, in response to the Pact Commander's interference in Elona and sent Awakened invasion forces led by the Mordant Crescent through portals to probe the defenses of the five notable nations' heartlands. Joko assaulted Rata Primus on Sandswept Isles in southern Dajkah and successfully acquired samples of the Scarab Plague from the Inquest there by 1331 AE.

Politics[edit]

Palawa Joko is the current and absolute ruler of Elona. He enforces obedience mainly by brainwashing Elonian citizens, twisting their view of history and making them praise him as a beloved and almighty ruler. This influence is especially apparent in Vabbi where the Awakened Affirmation System broadcasts messages of obedience and other announcements to the living and Awakened subjects of Joko's kingdom.

Geography[edit]

Crystal Desert[edit]

The Crystal Desert lies north of Elona and contains a subregion called the Sulfurous Wastes in its southern reaches. Its geography ranges from lush oases and riverlands to harsh dunes in the heartlands, a populated coastline in the west, and mountainous regions in the northern highlands. Many areas in the eastern parts of the Crystal Desert have been Branded by Kralkatorrik.

Dzalana[edit]

Dzalana lies along the northeastern edge of Elona. It was never settled or heavily explored by humanity and is likely the homeland of harpies and heket.

Dajkah[edit]

Dajkah is the northwestern, mountainous shoreline of Elona. In the past, it was used by corsairs as their base of operations and has since seen arrivals from the Olmakhan charr tribe as well as the Inquest.

Elon River[edit]

The Elon River is the primary source of water across Elona. However, it was dammed by Palawa Joko and diverted towards the Crystal Desert.

Isle of Istan[edit]

The Isle of Istan lies in the southwestern portion of Elona and was among the first places humans colonized. The first human rulers, the Primeval Kings, once inhabited a city there called Fahranur. The western half of Istan grows lush jungles and wetlands, while white sand beaches and plains comprise the eastern half. Following Palawa Joko's conquest of Elona, Istan became a vassal to the undead kingdom.

Kourna[edit]

Kourna is the southernmost region of the Elonian mainland. As it was known, the region/province had many garrisons and the strongest military presence in Elona. Elonian centaurs claimed the land as their home for centuries, but today their fate is unknown. The region's inhabitants found food in abundant savannahs mostly through herding. Though farming was possible, it required the damming and redirection of the Elon River, which once flowed through the land into the Unending Ocean as the land's main water supply. With the Elon again diverted north after Palawa Joko's return to power, the region fell under famine and only gets water when he allows it.

Sulfurous Wastelands[edit]

Sometimes called The Desolation, the Sulfurous Wastelands is a sub-region of the Crystal Desert. It was formed over the centuries following Abaddon's defeat at the Mouth of Torment. Over the millennia, his influence slowly seeped into the world, turning the landscape increasingly deadly with sulfurous sands. The Primeval Kings expanded their reach there and beyond before it fell completely and built tombs for their royalty. The biggest site among them in Sulfurous Wastelands is the Dynastic Tombs.

The Desolation became home to Palawa Joko, who utilized the sulfurous sands as a natural barrier to protect his Bone Palace from the living, who died in the sulfurous sands within seconds. From there, he launched both of his conquests on Elona. When he dammed the Elon River again and it began to flow instead through the Desolation and the Crystal Desert, portions of the land became verdant again. Since Abaddon's defeat, the toxicity of the Desolation has gradually lessened over the centuries, allowing traversal with skimmers.

Vabbi[edit]

Situated between the Sulfurous Wastelands and Dzalana, Vabbi is the northernmost province of Elona. It boasted ornate and lavish architecture, fashion and decor in its settled areas before Palawa Joko's return. Outside the protection of high bastion walls and the nobles' retreat known as the Hidden City of Ahdashim, the dangerous wildlands of Vabbi were home to harpy and heket raiders. Once ruled by clanmarshals called princes who gained their power through wealth alone, Vabbi was never militarily focused; instead they looked towards cultural advancements in various forms of art. Before being dammed, the Elon River originated from north of Vabbi, which was the first province to fall to Palawa Joko's invasion.

Notes[edit]

  • Northern Elona is accessible in Guild Wars 2's second expansion, Path of Fire. Istan and Dajkah became available with the releases of Daybreak and A Bug in the System.
  • Elona is not a mechanical region. Zones in this region are mechanically listed as Crystal Desert zones.

References[edit]

Gwwlogo.png The Guild Wars Wiki has an article on Elona.
  1. ^ Wikki's Official Guide to Tyria
  2. ^ Dishwasher
  3. ^ Sparking the Flame
    First Mate Fidus Foecrush: Our navigational charts didn't say nothing about gigantic pyramids. Didn't think our info was so out-of-date.
    <Character name>: It's been hard for cartographers to keep up. This entire region has been in lockdown since Palawa Joko took over.
  4. ^ The Movement of the World: Orr
  5. ^ a b Secrets in the Earth
    Iowerth: The Priory does a great deal of research into ancient forms of magic, and this ritual was a real find.
    Iowerth: One of our explorers discovered it while tomb-raiding in the Crystal Desert. I tell you, one learns the most amazing things as part of the Durmand Priory.
  6. ^ a b The Heart of Nightmare
    <Character name>: Have you traveled to many places?
    Aife: Oh, yes—Lion's Arch, the Maguuma Wastes, the great desert...the world is wider than you can dream, Valiant.
  7. ^ a b Dialogue with King Wasi and Queen Nadijeh during Hallowed Ground
  8. ^ a b Unified Timeline, page 29, Guild Wars Nightfall manual
  9. ^ Desert Gate Guard