Always may your waters flow to quench the land and seeds you've sown.
Elona is the name of a nation, sometimes also referred to as a continent, southeast of Central Tyria and is named for the Elon River. 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 and some of his opponents. 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.
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 the Elder Dragon Zhaitan's Risen minions since the Rising of Orr, causing a war between the two undead nations. 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. 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.
In 205 BE, humanity spread into the lands that would become Elona, landing on the island of Istan and valleys of Kourna. 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. 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. 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. 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 the reigns of King Wasi and Queen Nadijeh, Elona was torn by civil war, and many of the Primeval rulers became famous for defending their people. 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)
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)
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 had begun. 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 (640–1135 AE / 840–1335 DR)
The union between the provinces of Istan, Kourna and Vabbi marked the birth of the modern nation of Elona. The confederation was named after the great Elon River that flowed through their shared kingdom.
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.
United Kingdom of Elona (1135–1331 AE / 1335–1531 DR)
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 while the original Order of Whispers ultimately left the first Chantry of Secrets at Jahai Bluffs although it is not known whether they did it by choice or if they were killed.
Another wave of Elonian refugees came into Tyria circa 1275 AE as they escaped the ravages of Palawa Joko, and contact with Elona was lost. Circa 1320 AE, 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 and flight to the Crystal Desert. Only the Tyrian 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.
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 Archon Iberu and other diplomats of Joko's empire 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.
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. However, Joko declared war on Central Tyria at the end of 1330 AE 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. The improved Scarab Plague was unleashed on Amnoon, costing a few lives until the outbreak was ended before it could spread.
In response to Joko's actions, the Commander rallied Elonian and Tyrian allies and led them to establish a foothold in the heartlands of Kourna where Joko was preparing to unleash the third, deadliest generation of scarabs. The allied army launched an assault on Gandara, the Moon Fortress, and the Commander and the norn Braham broke into the fortress to face Joko while the Primeval ghost army led by Queens Dahlah and Nahlah kept the third generation of Scarab Plague from spreading. With the help of their dragon ally Aurene, the allied forces were able to kill Joko and finally end the lich king's reign.
Interregnum (1331 AE– / 1531 DR– )
Palawa Joko's demise left Elona's political landscape shaky with various living and undead factions either trying to keep order or strengthening their position in opposition to other factions. To end the crisis and help direct Elona towards stability, Spearmarshal Zaeim sent invitations to various factions to attend a summit at the Fortress of Jahai where they would discuss the terms of a treaty for a post-Joko interregnum government. The factions that entered the negotiations included the Free Awakened, Joko Loyalists, Order of Shadows, the Mordant Crescent, and the Sunspears. However, the rival factions could not initially find common ground due to old hatreds and suspicions, including the presence of Aurene who had killed Joko. The growing suspicions led to an attempted coup by Archon Iberu, who intended to assassinate the delegates, until he was killed by Awakened Koss Dejarin who subsequently coerced the delegates to agree to Zaeim's treaty. The summit came to a halt due to the assault by the Death-Branded Shatterer, however, and facing a common enemy in Kralkatorrik's Branded made the delegates cooperate so that they could escape the fortress and seek shelter in the Sun's Refuge which the Sunspears had put to use.
Various Elonian factions began having dialog to understand their former opponents' viewpoints, and the factions in Sun's Refuge slowly came to terms although some distrust remained between those who still showed signs of loyalty to Joko and those who were happy to be freed from the lich king's influence. Meanwhile, opportunists such as an Awakened mesmer, who posed as Joko, appeared to the hopeful and confused Awakened in an effort to sway the Awakened to follow them, justifying these actions with the belief that Elonians were sheep who needed a wolf, Palawa Joko, to both lead them and keep order in the lich king's crumbling empire which was suffering from increased raids by Kralkatorrik's Branded.
After many lives had been lost to finally slay Kralkatorrik later that year, Elona's political system was in shambles. Still believing in the idea of an interregnum council that he had proposed during the summit in Jahai, Spearmarshal Zaeim set out to find statesmen who would live out the Sunspears' eight virtues and act as guardians of peace while Elona began to rebuild itself in the aftermath of the wars waged against Balthazar, Joko, and Kralkatorrik.
During his reign lasting from 1135 to 1331 AE, Palawa Joko was the absolute ruler of Elona, forcibly uniting the separate autonomous provinces under his banner and naming the conquered nations as domains belonging to his united kingdom. He enforced obedience mainly by brainwashing Elonian citizens, twisting their view of history with rewriting books and by having his loyalists teach in academies, and making his subjects praise him as a beloved and almighty ruler. This influence was especially apparent in Vabbi and Istan, where the Awakened Affirmation System and Public Service Announcement Skull broadcasted messages of obedience and other announcements to the living and Awakened of the respective domains, and Kourna, where Joko used statues of himself in homes and public squares to project messages with which he personally taunted his subjugated Kournan subjects.
List of regions
Mechanically these are considered to be part of the Crystal Desert, and therefore part of Tyria.
- Crystal Desert
- Vast desert on the boundary with the nation of Elona. The Elon River currently flows through it, sustaining the growing population of the Free City of Amnoon which acts as a gateway to the desert proper. The Dragonbrand originally ended here, at the lair of the dragon Glint, but has since spread after the Elder Dragon Kralkatorrik's flight south.
- Mechanical region: Crystal Desert
- Mountainous shoreline in the western Elona. Originally a haven of corsairs who raided the Elonian coastline, now home to the Olmakhan charr tribe and the Inquest city of Rata Primus.
- Elon River
- Mechanical region: Crystal Desert
- Large river flowing from the nation of Elona. Diverted from the original flow through the kingdoms of Vabbi and Kourna by a dam built by Palawa Joko, the river now floods large areas in the Crystal Desert.
- Isle of Istan
- Mechanical region: Crystal Desert
- The island lies in the southwestern portion of Elona and was among the first places humans colonized. The first human rulers, the Primeval Dynasty, once inhabited a city there called Fahranur. The western half of Istan grows lush jungles and wetlands, while white sand beaches, tall cliffs, and plains comprise the eastern half. The island is now a vassal to Palawa Joko's Awakened kingdom.
- Mechanical region: Crystal Desert
- Once a thriving savannah, in the past two centuries under Palawa Joko's reign it has suffered the most out of the three former provinces of Elona. With the Elon's diversion towards the Crystal Desert, much of Kourna has become a dried wasteland. The native centaur tribes have been hunted to extinction, and the heket tribes nearly follow suit. Its people are left starving even in the best of times, and unlike in Istan and Vabbi, the living and Awakened do not appear to live together.
- Sulfurous Wastelands
- Mechanical region: Crystal Desert
- Containing the dreaded Desolation, the region has been warped by the fall of the evil god Abaddon centuries prior. Its toxic areas can be fatal to traverse for anyone who is not an undead or a demon—although the bravest of adventurers may try exploring the hazardous terrain with the help of the resilient junundu and skimmers.
- Unending Ocean
- Mechanical region: Crystal Desert
- The main body of water in world, located to the south and west of the Tyrian continent.
- A mysterious wilderness east of Vabbi, little is known about it except that it is supposedly the homeland of the harpies and the heket.
- Scavenger's Causeway
- Region located between the Elon River and the Ruins of Orr, forming the only passage by land to the latter.
Concept art by Lena Richards.
- Northern Elona is accessible in Guild Wars 2's second expansion, Guild Wars 2: Path of Fire. Areas in Istan, Dajkah, and Kourna became available with Daybreak, A Bug in the System, Long Live the Lich, and A Star to Guide Us releases in Living World Season 4.
- ^ Wikki's Official Guide to Tyria
- ^ Forearmed Is Forewarned <Character name>: The fate of two continents hangs in the balance. Are you with me?
- ^ Comment by Stephane Lo Presti in "Talk:Crystal Desert", Guild Wars 2 Wiki
- ^ a b Guild Wars 2: Path of Fire—Road to the Desert
- ^ Dishwasher
- ^ a b Intelligence Report: Palawa Joko I
- ^ 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.
- ^ The Movement of the World: Orr
- ^ 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.
- ^ 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.
- ^ a b Scholar Stinn
- ^ a b Hallowed Ground
- Queen Nadijeh: Some say the gods crowned the first Primeval king, set above the others who first set foot upon this land. However, the truth of this has long been forgotten, erased by the sands of time. [...]
- Queen Nadijeh: Elona was a wild and lawless place. Tribes waged never-ending war. There was no one to protect the innocent or seek justice for the wronged.
- Queen Nadijeh: To that end, I founded the Order of Sunspears, rallying many great warriors to my cause. Together, we brought the warring tribes of Elona under my banner. We established peace. [...]
- King Wasi: I came into power in a time of war. Our armies were scattered, but I stood firm. Rallied the people. They came to know me as a defender of the desert.
- ^ a b Unified Timeline, page 29, Guild Wars Nightfall manual
- ^ The Movement of the World: Elona
- ^ Order of Whispers Mission Dispatches
- ^ Desert Gate Guard
- ^ Convincing the Corsair
- Sayida the Sly: You're worth more than the last fifty souls I handed over to Joko combined.
- <Character name>: I left Joko in the Domain of the Lost. Whoever's paying bounties, it isn't him.
- Sayida the Sly: Eh, the bounty money's good. Who cares?
- ^ First Spear Hakima
- ^ The First City
- Awakened Asura: The crimes of the Tyrian commander are an act of war against the Elonian people.
- Awakened Asura: Therefore, the kingdom of Elona will respond in kind.
- Awakened Asura: His majesty, Palawa Joko, regrets you will not survive to see your homeland burn and your people enslaved...
- ^ A Shattered Nation
- Taimi: Zaeim is hosting a summit for all the different Elonian factions, to figure out what to do now that Joko's gone.
- Taimi: And he's trying to get them to stop hating and fighting each other long enough to form an alliance. [...]
- Spearmarshal Zaeim: Now, delegates: we were discussing the need for a governing council, post-Palawa Joko.
- ^ Sun's Refuge ambient dialogue
- ^ Descent
- Spearmarshall Zaeim: Elona has suffered turmoil for too long. First Joko, then the Crystal Dragon... Our political system is in shambles.
- Spearmarshall Zaeim: We need statesmen. Guardians of the peace. Those who live out the Sunspears' eight virtues.
- Spearmarshall Zaeim: I'll find those people and raise them up. It's time for Elona to take her place in the world.