Living World Season 3
Mordremoth is dead! But at what cost? And what does the future hold now for the members of the Pact and Destiny's Edge, not to mention Glint's Egg? So begins the third season of Living World of Guild Wars 2!
A note about spoilers: a brief summary aside, this article assumes a basic knowledge of the plot of season one, two, and Heart of Thorns. Since season three begins in 1329 AE, and the personal story takes place in 1325 AE, it is likely that this article will contain personal story spoilers, as story threads that began in the personal story may be continued with the Living World.
- See also: Release#Season 3
The storyline of Season 3 is primarily comprised of the following releases:
When Mordremoth was killed, all the magic it held was released into the world, and now factions are coming out of the woodwork to claim it. Chief among them are the White Mantle, religious cultists who worship the mursaat and are trying to harness the power of the Bloodstone to resurrect one of their gods. And while two Elder Dragons have met their end, four still remain a threat to Tyria.
Open world zones
- Bloodstone Fen in northern Heart of Maguuma.
- Ember Bay in the Ring of Fire.
- Bitterfrost Frontier in the Shiverpeak Mountains.
- Lake Doric in northern Kryta.
- Draconis Mons in the Ring of Fire.
- Siren's Landing in the Ruins of Orr.
- Conservation of Magic
- Justice of the Blade
- Anomalous Occurrences
- Transfer Chaser
- Knight of the Thorn
Fractals of the Mists
- Braham Eirsson - The son of Eir Stegalkin and Borje the Sun Chaser is determined more than ever to take down all the Elder Dragons since the death of his mother at the hands of Mordremoth. While not as brash as he once was, commenting that he believes Taimi is rubbing off on him, he still has much to learn if he is to follow in his mother's footsteps.
- Rox - Rox has finally found her own warband now with Braham, Taimi and the others. While no longer attempting to join Rytlock's warband, she is curious to learn about the new abilities that he learned when in the mists.
- Lady Kasmeer Meade - Much has happened for the noble, dealing with both Scarlet and an Elder Dragon, not to mention a relationship with investigator Marjory Delaqua, all within a short period of time.
- Marjory Delaqua - Marjory is finally more at peace now that she has avenged her sister Belinda. However, she is no closer to finding the mysterious "E" than before.
- Taimi - Taimi, now confident in her place as a member of the team, is working on figuring out how to take down other global, dragon-related threats, not to mention the rebuilding of her beloved golem, Scruffy since it was destroyed in the Heart of Maguuma.
- Rytlock Brimstone - Once a member of Destiny's Edge, this Tribune of the Blood Legion became the first revenant in Tyria. With the death of Eir, he takes up the mantle to leading a group to defeat the remaining dragons.
- Caithe - One of the Firstborn sylvari, who has been keeping an eye on Glint's Egg after Mordremoth's defeat. However, she always seems to find her way into the heart of whatever disturbance is happening.
- Canach - A prickly sylvari, who was once arrested for causing trouble in Southsun Cove. When Lady Anise bought his billet, he became an extension of her reach in an effort to become free again.
- Primordus - The Elder Fire Dragon, first of its kind to awaken from millennia-long slumber, and responsible for forcing the asura to the surface. He has become active again and moving about underneath Central Tyria.
- Jormag - The Elder Ice Dragon, responsible for forcing the norn, kodan, and others south out of the Far Shiverpeaks, has become active once more.
The White Mantle are a cult over two centuries old. Worshiping the mursaat, ancient spellcasters who resided partly outside of Tyria, as gods, the White Mantle still intend to take control of Kryta and in doing so, kill the current monarch: Queen Jennah. Most had believed the cult to be long-dead after gww:War in Kryta, but there were whispers that they are still around.
- Minister Caudecus - Revealed as the leader of the White Mantle, Confessor Caudecus Beetlestone has now openly waged war against Kryta after years of subterfuge and manipulation among the courts and nobility.
- Lazarus - The last of the surviving mursaat, the White Mantle had spent the past 250 years trying to revive him from his self-imposed imprisonment into artifacts. He has now returned to make good on his threat against all humanity and asura-kind.
A Pact squadron tracking Mordrem movement to the north of the Maguuma Jungle were ambushed by bandits, with Squad Leader Bennett and numerous others taken hostage by Sabetha the Saboteur. In response, rescue teams were formed to track them down in this dangerous, uncharted territory. In Spirit Vale, the group faced heavy opposition from Sabetha's bandits, who were well equipped and had fortified themselves among a mysterious Vale Guardian and the bestial Gorseval the Multifarious. They eventually defeated Sabetha and found some of the Pact hostages, but more of them had been taken deeper within the region.
The rescue team made way into Salvation Pass, discovering that the magic released by Mordremoth's death had warped the wildlife, chief among them the powerful Slothasor. They found the remainder of the Pact squad, raiding the prison camp and defeating its bandit guards. Despite the prisoners' warnings, the rescue team pushed northward, finding themselves facing the unexpected - Matthias Gabrel, an Inquisitor bearing the robes of the White Mantle. After besting his Bloodstone-enhanced powers, the squad now faced an age-old, vengeful threat to Kryta and Tyria alike.
The squad laid siege to the Stronghold of the Faithful, breaking into the White Mantle's fortress with the assistance of Scholar Glenna. High Inquisitor Xera marshalled the castle's defenses, first by impeding the group with her powerful Keep Construct and then twisting the castle itself into a deadly maze. She ultimately fought the squad herself to delay them, displaying great power as a mesmer, but ultimately fell with the name of Lazarus on her lips. Pressing forward, the rescue team found an empty stasis chamber, in the distinct shape of a mursaat and still smoking with Bloodstone magic. Seemingly, the last mursaat had been revived.
Conservation of Magic, Part I
After the death of Mordremoth, his magical energy flooded through the ley lines. This caused disturbances as magic bled through into the world at specific points in Snowden Drifts, Mount Maelstrom, and Blazeridge Steppes, overflowing the ley line nexuses and forming into coalescences. The Priory, Consortium, and Inquest each mobilized to gather this magic, at times coming into conflict. The situation only became worse over time, however, and Ley-Line Anomalies began appearing.
Justice of the Blade, Part I
Meanwhile, the Shining Blade began issuing bounties on bandit leaders, with evidence being discovered that the bandits were indeed linked to the White Mantle from Kryta's past. Posters began appearing in human outposts and cities, stoking the fires of anti-charr sentiment and instigating additional distrust of the Krytan government.
Episode 1: Out of the Shadows
The events in the war against Mordremoth came with deep consequences.
— Story Journal before activating this episode.
Friends of Eir Stegalkin gathered around her former homestead to memorialize the great hero of the norn. Rytlock was the only member of Destiny's Edge able to attend; Zojja and Logan were still recovering from being prisoners of Mordremoth, and Caithe remained absent. Rytlock decided that with Eir's death, it was time to form a new guild: Dragon's Watch. Rox arrived midway through the proceeding, bringing a surprise guest; Garm, badly injured but still alive after the Pact's fall. Braham was notably absent, off killing icebrood.
At the end of the funeral, a message from Taimi sent the new guild to Rata Novus via a portal in Rata Sum. Many asura had started to investigate the lost Rata's technology, including Councillor Phlunt. Taimi kept the Dragon Lab secret for her own experiments, and reconfigured the asura gate to allow multiple access points. Deep in the lab, chak still periodically attacked, but Taimi had made many new discoveries. She had created a duplicate map marking ley line magic, and tapped into Tarir's security systems, allowing her to monitor the status of Glint's Egg. She had also kept a chak's organ in a jar for further study, preserving it in Mordrem blighting pod fluid despite the doubts of the Pact Commander.
General Almorra Soulkeeper arrived at Rata Novus to see the Commander. With Trahearne's death, the leadership of the Pact was vacant and offered to the one-time second in command. However, because the officers feared losing another leader like Trahearne on the front lines, the revised position would largely involve paperwork and would be kept far away from the fighting. The Commander turned down the offer, effectively resigning from the Pact. News of a sylvari in the complex stirred things up, as Canach also came by seeking out the Commander for their assistance. He brought news that Minister Caudecus had fled his internment at the Krytan palace, and headed into the Maguuma Jungle. Countess Anise had sent Canach to retrieve the minister, and deal with him as necessary, should it come to that. General Soulkeeper offered her own airship to bring the parties back to Divinity's Reach. On the way there they found a storm of magical energies, and a massive explosion threatened to destroy the ship. But just as the blast was about to hit the ship, the blast inverted and the energies were seemingly absorbed backwards. The airship was heavily damaged as it came to a stop above Bloodstone Fen, former site of the Maguuma Bloodstone.
Taimi contacted the Commander through a communication device planted before leaving the lab, which allowed her to keep track of their movements and send updates. She informed the Commander of a new mastery she had devised, the technique to reverse the magical flow of certain attacks. The Commander set out to investigate the area. Many White Mantle were scattered about, as well as some members of the Pact caught in the blast; both had become crazed, empowered by the Bloodstone. There were also threats from Bloodstone elementals and vengeful spirits, of those who had been sacrificed to power the Bloodstone. Squad Leader Bennett had made a small camp on the ground for Pact survivors. The White Mantle clerics had strange devices that allowed them to collect the Unbound Magic that filled the air in Bloodstone Fen. Dispatching one, the Commander put this device to their own use.
Deep in the crater of the massive explosion, the Commander found a chamber floating just above the ground, which appeared to have been the source of the magical blast. Unexpectedly, Caithe arrived to aid in the investigation. She had returned to the Grove to meet with the Pale Tree, who was recovering but still injured from Mordremoth's assault. The Commander decided to try and recreate the event that caused the explosion on a small scale, gathering up large chunks of Bloodstone scattered near the chamber and fighting off hostile creatures in the area. While helping out, Caithe apologized for her behavior regarding the dragon egg, lamenting that Mordremoth's influence had caused her to not trust her comrades. Once enough Bloodstone had been collected, the ritual was repeated. Many of those who activated the ritual were killed, leaving burn marks on the walls, and someone - possibly Minister Caudecus - had absorbed a large amount of Bloodstone magic.
A Shining Blade messenger arrived, requesting the Commander's assistance. Canach, Rytlock and Marjory had tracked down where they believe Caudecus to have gone, a coliseum floating above Bloodstone Fen. The route to reach him was riddled with traps, Bloodstone elementals and White Mantle zealots. These White Mantle, however, seemed to have retained their sense of self. Once the party caught up to the escaped Minister, he revealed himself to be the new leader of the White Mantle, proclaiming they would carry him to the throne of Kryta. He unleashed a Jade Construct on the party, not seen since the days of the mursaat. After the construct was defeated, the mursaat Lazarus appeared, having been brought back to life by the White Mantle. Lazarus ousted Caudecus as a heretic and incinerated many of his followers, then vanished, leaving Caudecus to his own devices. The minister narrowly escaped through a mesmer portal created by Lady Valette Wi.
Canach was displeased that his mission remained incomplete, as Anise had promised him freedom from his billet once Caudecus had been brought to justice. The Commander assured him that he would get help from Dragon's Watch; a fine conflict to start the guild around. Just then, Taimi contacted the group with grave news: Primordus, the Elder Fire Dragon, had become active.
Dessa gained access to a new fractal: the Chaos Isles Fractal. This new fractal was a messy combination of previous fractals.
The group was interrupted by a Mysterious Asura. He saw Dessa and the group of adventurers as a threat and ordered them to get out while blocking Dessa's means of communication.
The mysterious stranger tried to kill the adventurers with a device dubbed as the Diaphanous Diffraction Randomizer (or DDR) which it used to cause "chaotic instabilities" to destabilize and reduce cohesion of the fractals. It spawned Golems, the Chaos Anomaly, blizzards and the Brazen Gladiator to kill the group.
After all the asura's attempts were defeated, the DDR was out of energy. The mysterious asura threatened the group for slowing him down and left the fractal. Communication with Dessa was reestablished and the group left to debrief the observations with her.
Journals found in the fractal revealed that the mysterious asura had gained access to the Mists due to a inexplicable surge of potent magic; this may refer to either Mordremoth's death or the Maguuma Bloodstone's explosion.
Anomalous Occurrences, Part I
Slivers of bloodstone, presumably debris from the explosion, became scattered in various places throughout Tyria. Creatures which unwittingly ingested these fragments became crazed and mutated. Adventurers, co-opting the use of Researcher Levvi's technology taken from killed Consortium, were able to mitigate some of the potential damage by putting the creatures down and gathering several bloodstone slivers. The full ramifications of the bloodstone explosion remained unknown for now.
Conservation of Magic, Part II
Across Tyria, smaller magical anomalies had been spotted appearing randomly in places before quickly disappearing. They remain standing in place, and seem to be sad or depressed. Not everyone was able to see them, though; it seemed to be an unpleasant side effect of too much exposure to ley-line magic.
Meanwhile, a charr named Seis Burntheart began investigating a stirring of magic in the world, starting in Frostgorge Sound and slowly moving south. She scattered beacons all over the areas she camped in, and asked adventurers to hunt down the beacons so she could check the readings. She tracked the movements down to Malchor's Leap and determined that the source was still moving out to sea, west from Orr.
Episode 2: Rising Flames
Taimi has another task for you; one of extreme importance to the war on the Elder Dragons. Help her with her research as she tries to nail down how best to deal with them.
— Story Journal before activating this episode.
The Pact Commander and Rytlock visited Taimi in Rata Novus, who confirmed that Primordus was indeed active and on the move. Luckily, Taimi had found a training simulator that she could repair (with a bit of help from Moto) to test battles against Destroyers. She also had more bad news to share, having received a letter from Braham confirming that Jormag was also active. After Rytlock and the Commander calibrated the simulator, Taimi revealed some of her research; ley energy was composed of various types of magic, as the chak organ absorbed energy but filtered out death magic. She had also leaked information of Primordus' movements to the Arcane Council, who responded by sending asuran research teams to the Ring of Fire islands. Just as all seemed to be going well, word from the camps in the Fire Island reported that the destroyers were "different" and stronger than expected, with the expedition leader Cami killed. It seemed the destroyers had gained death and plant energies, presumably after the deaths of Zhaitan and Mordremoth. Rytlock was summoned to the Black Citadel - forcibly, this time - and with Taimi still golemless, the Commander ventured off to Ember Bay alone.
There were four main camps spread out across the Ember Bay area: an asuran krewe studying the new destroyers, a camp of pirate skritt who worshipped an idol known as "Rock Face", a circus crew who were shipwrecked, and another asuran krewe set up on the caldera. There were also the remnants of an old mursaat base in the northwest corner, with many Ether Towers and Jade Constructs scattered about. By helping the skritt the Commander was allowed to see Rock Face, who was actually Rhoban Orestriker, a dwarf whose stone body got fractured and was little more than a head. He enlisted the Commander to activate four dwarven devices scattered around the island to prevent it from erupting violently. He offered up his thumb, as only a dwarf's touch would get them to respond.
Upon activating the 4 devices and returning to Rhoban, the Commander received a vision from Glint's Egg, emitting a violent glow. Returning to Tarir, the Commander met up with Marjory and Caithe. Ruka reported that the egg was about to hatch, but only the Commander was attuned to the chamber and thus had to enter alone. Just as the egg hatched and a baby dragon burst forth, the new breed of destroyers swarmed the chamber and tried to kill the hatchling. The assault nearly overwhelmed the Commander, but Lazarus appeared and offered his aid against the horde. The Commander reluctantly agreed and the pair eventually drove back the destroyers. Once the battle was over, Lazarus expressed a desire to help guard Glint's offspring, claiming that he had learned from past mistakes and stood with the party against the Elder Dragons. Despite the Commander's better judgement, Marjory agreed to shadow the mursaat and confirm his intentions. Part of her reasons to do so, being a necromancer, was to investigate Lazarus' death and how he had managed to return to life. As a backup, the Commander asked Caithe to stay and watch - a show of faith that Caithe was trustworthy once more. Caithe asked what the dragon should be called, and without pause, the Commander informed her that the dragon was female and would be named Aurene, as if they had known her name all along.
The Mistlock Observatory had changed, with new entities arriving, including the Chronicle Mistwalker, the first being to show recognition of fractal inhabitants not being real, and hinted that Dessa and her krewe were not "real people". Dessa and her krewe denied that there had been any change at all. They mentioned that "it always has been this way".
Unstable Rift Event
Strange magic rifts began appearing all across Tyria, but mostly concentrated around the area of Gillscale Pond. A charr has been seen in the area, Auris Weirdbringer, who seemed to be investigating the problem, but something about him wasn't quite right. Finding a strange broken device, adventurers took it to Auris, who claimed it was a Rift Stabilizer that could help in getting rid of the rifts. After travelling through the rifts to various locations, the device broke once again. Fortunately, Auris was able to fix and improve upon the Rift Stabilizer.
Anomalous Occurrences, Part II
The Commander had been plagued by visions of ley-line anomalies, and sought the help of Ogden Stonehealer. He directed them to a fellow member of the Durmand Priory, Historian Tranton Hainsworth. Tranton gave the Commander an incomplete Shadowstone, an artifact which mimicked the Bloodstone's ability to channel magic and could contain the visions. The Commander restored the Shadowstone with Bloodstone fragments, but were also approached by Tradesman Maezz of the Consortium. The dubious organization had an offer; they would take the Shadowstone, in exchange for curing the anomaly visions in a "safe and natural way".
Episode 3: A Crack in the Ice
Braham has gone after Svanir in the Shiverpeaks. What better opportunity to kill two birds with one stone: recruit him to Dragon's Watch, and find another corrupted sample for Taimi.
— Story Journal before activating this episode.
Aurene sent a vision of herself to the Commander, leading them to head to Tarir to check on the young dragon. The Exalted Luminate was just about to send word, as several tests to guide her properly had been set up. They were designed to teach her how to be kind, generous and able to fight. Once the trials were completed, Taimi called on her device. Hearing about a dragon fighting on their side, she got the idea of having Jormag and Primordus fight each other. The Commander decided to head into the Shiverpeaks to find Braham and hunt an Icebrood with either Zhaitan or Mordremoth's magic.
Investigations in Hoelbrak revealed that Braham was in the far north Shiverpeaks. There were also rumors of strange Icebrood from that area. Braham had headed north to look for a mystic scroll, similar to the one that helped break off Jormag's tooth. In the northernmost part of Frostgorge Sound, a kodan with a flaming brazier guarded the path, which was blocked by a large block of ice. The kodan offered a torch of Koda's Flame to melt the ice and head north, into the Bitterfrost Frontier. The area was quite desolate, except for a Son of Svanir camp and the Sorrow's Eclipse Sanctuary, a joint settlement of kodan and quaggan. The leaders of the sanctuary had heard of a strange Icebrood in the coldest part of the area, too cold to approach without special protection. The Svanirs had a way to enter there, so the Commander disguised themselves to infiltrate the camp. Their shaman provided a formula for an elixir that protected the drinker against the cold, containing winterberries and griffon eggshells. The local grawl tribe had the firestone needed, but would not give it up without having a shrine to Chokochooka made (which was just a statue of Jora). Once all the ingredients were collected, the elixir had to be mixed in the warmest hot spring.
Once the elixir was finished and drunk, the Commander headed into the Bitter Cold, into a cave behind a frozen waterfall. Behind it, they found a large Icebrood Goliath who was clearly imbued with death and nature magic. Once killed, the Commander collected a sample for Taimi and headed back to the settlement. The leaders had alarming news; Braham's location had been found. The Svanir were hunting him, believing he was the one who had disguised himself to steal the elixir formula. Hearing this and feeling guilty, the Commander immediately rushed to find Braham.
In Wayward Cave the Commander found Braham, along with Rox and Garm. The Commander apologized for the Svanir hunting them, and then proceeded to catch Braham up on all that had happened in the past few encounters. Braham was mostly uninterested, and was appalled that the Commander had left Destiny's Edge behind for a new guild, feeling that it spat on his mother's and Snaff's memory. The group pressed onward into the cave, searching for the mystic scroll. Deep inside the cave, they eventually found an ice beast and its minions. After breaking down several ice blocks, the scroll Braham searched for was revealed. He took it and fused it into Eir's bow to defeat the ice beast. Braham was elated, and stated his plans to crack Jormag's tooth with the enchanted bow, rallying the Norn so that Jormag could be defeated once and for all. However the Commander rejected this idea, saying that it would get many people killed recklessly, and mentioned Taimi's alternative plan. Braham was furious, insulting the Commander's actions and storming off angrily with Garm back to Hoelbrak.
Back in Hoelbrak, Braham fired an arrow at Jormag's tooth, cracking it to the roars and cheers of the onlookers. It was the sign of Norn legend that the time to strike back at Jormag had arrived...
Dessa gained access to a new fractal: the Nightmare Fractal.
In the beginning of the fractal, the group of adventurers encountered Toxic sylvari and krait. Dessa did not recognize who the sylvari were as a race, calling them "tree people" and thus reaffirming the notion that she had been in the Mistlock Observatory since before the sylvari appeared on Tyria (27 years prior to then).
The group found an asura called Arkk within the fractal. He revealed himself to have been the mysterious voice in the Chaos Isles fractal. He claimed to have mistaken the adventurers with Inquest looking to collect a debt.
Arkk suggested forming a "mutually beneficial alliance" with the group to find a kernel of "remarkable power to reconstruct the Diaphanous Diffraction Randomizer", referring to the DDR that the adventurers had inadvertently damaged in completing the Chaos Isles fractal. The group fought and defeated the Multiform Ambulatory Mobile Artillery, Siax and Ensolyss. Arkk claimed that the ledger between the adventurers and him had been balanced, and ran off with the orb of Ensolyss, warning the adventurers not to follow.
Arkk was the second person aside from the adventurers to show knowledge of the fractals while being in it. Not only this, but he was the only being in a fractal able to act outside the Observatory timeline.
Justice of the Blade, Part II
Caudecus remained at large and began posting propaganda in Krytan towns. He announced his leadership of a returned White Mantle, and hoped to rally humans against Queen Jennah. However, the White Mantle remained divided between himself and Lazarus. Caudecus sent letters to their bandit allies, denouncing Lazarus as a "false god".
Episode 4: The Head of the Snake
Queen Jennah has summoned you to an emergency gathering of the ministry in Divinity's Reach. What are her plans for Kryta, and what role will you play in them?
— Story Journal before activating this episode.
Queen Jennah summoned the Commander to Divinity's Reach and a meeting with the various human ministers of Kryta. After the news spread of Caudecus being a White Mantle Confessor and Lady Valette Wi aiding him, the Queen needed to find out which ministers were still loyal to the crown. To help the Queen, the Commander socialized with the nobles and ministers, and gathered listening devices that had likely been planted by the White Mantle. With this evidence, Jennah then gathered all the ministers together in the Council Room and announced that she would be temporarily suspending the council while she re-evaluated the loyalty of its members. As the ministers began their protests, bloodstone shards were catapulted on the capital from the direction of Lake Doric. Queen Jennah displayed her prowess as a mesmer, erecting a massive Feedback dome over the center of the city and fighting alongside the Commander as White Mantle and traitorous ministers began their assault. Just outside the throne room, Minister Estelle appeared with White Mantle in tow, proclaiming that she was personally picked by Caudecus to kill the Queen. However, even while trapped Jennah killed her entourage effortlessly, leaving Estelle alone. Sensing the Queen's peril, Logan Thackeray limped to her side, even though he was still recovering from his time in the Blighting Pod. Estelle was killed, and Logan coordinated the Seraph to defend the people living in Lake Doric.
The siege had already scarred Lake Doric, with the water being drained due to breaches in the dams. Since Logan knew the White Mantle would have planted spies among the Seraph, he entrusted the Pact Commander with a mission to survey the land and halt the enemy's movements. The White Mantle attacked in vast numbers, and had even enticed Harathi centaur as allies, enhancing them with Bloodstone magics. Regardless the Commander was able to put a wrench in their plans, securing human settlements and even infiltrating the occupied Fort Evennia with the help of Exemplar Ylan's mesmer disguise.
Meanwhile, the offense on the Elder Dragons continued. Rox had appealed to Braham for patience, and he agreed to let the norn scout out Jormag before their full-on assault; although he had named his group "Destiny's Edge", a move the Commander found ironic. Thankfully, Taimi's research into the dragons' magics had paid off. With help from other asuran experts and data from Omadd's previous experiments, she began devising something that would pit Jormag and Primordus against each other.
With the White Mantle invasion stopped in their tracks, the Commander returned to Queen Jennah and discussed how to remove the "head of the snake" - Caudecus himself, who had holed up in Beetlestone Manor. They planned a sting operation, with Logan and the Seraph attacking the manor's front while the Commander would infiltrate the building through a back entrance, guided by Demmi Beetlestone, Caudecus' daughter who had fled and became an Order of Whispers agent. The pair broke into the manor, finding Countess Anise and Canach along the way. The party eventually confronted Caudecus, now glowing with bloodstone power. He delivered a fatal pistol shot to Demmi, and was pursued to the manor's secret chambers. Despite his transformation into a hulking brute, Caudecus was slain.
Anise lived up to her promise, and released Canach from her service. His replacement as a Shining Blade agent would be Valette Wi, mourning the loss of her close friend Demmi and wanting to make amends for assisting the White Mantle. Meanwhile, the Commander raided the manor, finding letters describing Caudecus' schemes against Kryta, and the splintering of the White Mantle between himself and High Inquisitor Xera. Within the Confessor's private quarters, the Commander made a shocking discovery; Caudecus had sabotaged Xera's ritual to resurrect Lazarus, meaning his return should have been impossible. However, there was still a "Lazarus" walking about Tyria, an imposter who had absorbed the Maguuma Bloodstone's massive power and posed as the mursaat for their own purposes. Marjory, who had joined Lazarus, was now in danger.
Back in Bloodstone Fen, Scholar Glenna had discovered a mysterious portal. Travelling through it, squads of adventurers found themselves in a new region far to the north of central Tyria, outside an ancient-looking fort. The entrance was guarded by a massive jade construct, Cairn the Indomitable, who was seemingly able to open rifts in space and reality. While they fought, a mysterious entity watched the battle; Scholar Glenna surmised it was the Eye of Janthir, which had last been seen hundred of years ago assessing Krytan humans, finding "Chosen" for the mursaat to sacrifice in bloodstone rituals.
Entering the fort, the squad discovered jail cells and the spear-impaled corpses of prisoners, revealing the building had been a prison long ago. They found a courtyard filled with sadistic traps, and destroyed the "Mursaat Overseer" in control of the devices. Pressing onwards, the squad found the source of the impaled corpses; Samarog, a massive creature wielding huge spears. It had also enslaved two other beings, the jotun Guldhem and the human Rigom, and from their dialogue it was apparent that Samarog had once been a fellow prisoner but had turned against the others for reasons unknown. While the squad made headway into the prison and fought against its hazards, the Eye of Janthir continued watching them from afar.
Reaching the center of the Bastion, the squad found a curious sight; an elderly human shackled by a massive weight and glowing chains. As the party tried to free him, the Eye took action at last, transporting adventurers into a dark, foreboding mirror image of the world around them. As the chains were broken, a massive adversary emerged from the dark realm; Deimos would not let his captive go without a fight. It became apparent that the man was by no means ordinary; he was Saul D'Alessio, founder and martyr of the White Mantle. Despite Deimos' powers, and drawing the party into his own realm for a last stand, the beast was slain and the Eye of Janthir retreated. Saul lay on the ground free of his burden, and revealed that he had not died defending Kryta from the Charr; rather, he had been imprisoned by the mursaat and the Eye, kept alive by magic over the centuries in hopes of breaking his will and making him a puppet for their plots. Saul was allowed to pass on in peace, and Scholar Glenna made arrangements with the Priory to return his body to Kryta and give him a quiet burial.
Note: This event only triggers for characters who have completed the Heart of Thorns story.
The Commander received word about a memorial for Trahearne built in The Grove. After speaking with Warden Leide who watched over the monument, they then received a letter from Ridhais asking to meet them in the Commander's home. There, and upon bringing the Broken Caladbolg acquired at the end of the events of Heart of Thorns, Ridhais explained about her desire to restore Caladbolg to its former power. She gave the Commander a shard of Caladbolg which was connected to and could help them find the remaining pieces. Ridhais also requested that the Commander locate motes of natural energy across Tyria to aid in the restoration of the living aspect of Caladbolg.
Returning to Ridhais with the blade's shards and motes of energy, Ridhais then used a vision crystal on the broken Caladbolg in order to commune with it. Thereafter, the Commander met with Ridhais in several key locations across Tyria as remembered by Caladbolg, where they challenged memories of the previous possessors of Caladbolg: Riannoc, Trahearne, and then the Pact Commander themselves, proving themselves worthy of wielding the sword. After a final ritual at The Artesian Waters, Caladbolg was fully restored, and the Regrown Caladbolg offered the Commander several weapon forms it could take up.
The next day, the Commander was contacted by the Pale Tree who requested a meeting. Although still weakened by the Shadow of the Dragon's attack, Caladbolg's restoration had helped the Pale Tree recover more strength as well due to the blade's connection to her. She thanked the Commander for their part in restoring Caladbolg, gave her blessing to its new rightful wielder, and bestowed the title of "Knight of the Thorn" upon them.
Episode 5: Flashpoint
Taimi says she's completed her device. Has she found a solution to the Elder Dragon problem?
— Story Journal before activating this episode.
Taimi had finally completed her device to defeat both Primordus and Jormag, and called the Commander to the Rata Novus lab for its final tests. Outside the city's asura gate, Kasmeer portalled in, acting upset. The Commander initially assumed she was worried about Marjory going with Lazarus, but instead Kasmeer complained that she hadn't yet been invited to join Dragon's Watch, though she had been busy serving Kryta by interrogating White Mantle. After some brief banter, she agreed to join the new guild.
As the pair entered the lab, they encountered several dragon minions on the loose. They were defeated and rounded back to their containment areas, as test subjects for Taimi's device. Although the machine was ready to initiate, Councillor Phlunt and his workers had to be removed from the area, just in case something went wrong. The Commander convinced them to leave, but Marjory suddenly arrived, having fled from Lazarus. She had discovered that Lazarus was raising an army of mercenaries from a base in the Fire Islands, gathering power for some unknown purpose. He had also held a hand mirror with him the whole time, which Kasmeer believed to be the focus of a mesmer illusion that was disguising his true identity. To lay a trap and expose Lazarus, Taimi had the Commander to set up three reflective discs around the lab and help focus Kasmeer's magic. However Phlunt and his krewe had not evacuated as planned, because the asura gate wouldn't work; Lazarus had trapped everyone in Rata Novus. Taimi reluctantly agreed to open up the secret Dragon lab, so that everyone can leave through its gate instead.
As Phlunt and his group left, Lazarus entered the lab accompanied by his mercenaries. Lazarus had heard about the dragon-slaying device, and chided the Commander from hiding its existence from him. As Lazarus approached the machine, Kasmeer unleashed the trap, channelling magic through the mirrors to break his illusion. Although Lazarus was able to scatter the mirrors, the Commander and Dragon's Watch replaced them and fought off the mercenaries. Lazarus's illusion faded to reveal that he was, in fact, Balthazar, the human god of war and fire. Kasmeer was paralyzed at the revelation, even as he crippled Marjory with a blast of flame. As Balthazar's mercenaries poured into the lab, Phlunt and his entourage returned to fight them off (and save the councillor's research). But in the chaos, Balthazar escaped with Taimi's device. Kasmeer confirmed that Balthazar had dropped all lies, but was in deep shock over his appearance, and fled the scene with a portal. Marjory was stabilized by an asuran medic, but still quite injured; she was even more distraught that Kasmeer had frozen up and nearly let her die.
Luckily Taimi had planted a tracking device on her device, just in case Phlunt had tried to steal this invention as well. The signal linked back to Draconis Mons, the largest mountain in the Ring of Fire. The Commander boarded a submarine docked at the Rata Sum docks, following Vigil soldiers to the inside of the hollowed-out volcano through an underwater passage. Taimi's contact and her signal tracker were at the landing camp, but they were both kidnapped by vines. The Commander began to hear a strange voice, guiding them deeper within to meet with the speaker, a druid spirit named Nettleblaze. The spirit released Taimi's contact and a broken signal tracker, and demanded for them to leave their domain. But when the Commander declared that they were pursuing Balthazar, Nettleblaze agreed to assist them.
Balthazar had already entered the Titan's Throat, and the heart of the volcano would melt anyone else who entered. Nettleblaze asked the Commander to seek assistance from his fellow druid spirits. The four druids had been kept prisoner in different vaults across the mountain, set up by Zinn after the fall of Rata Novus. To gain access to the vaults, the Commander sought out a key from Zinn's remaining golems, including the ancient M.O.X. who wished to follow the Vigil back to civilization. Freeing each of the druids granted a blessing on the Commander. During this exploration, Taimi revealed that she had run further experiments, and believed that destroying one more dragon would destabilize the flow of magic so much that Tyria would not survive. Despite this Taimi was relucant to have her creation destroyed, as Omadd's Machine (which it had been based on) had not be duplicated, and was their only weapon against the Elder Dragons.
Upon entering the Titan's Throat, the Commander discovered some sort of blockade on the floor. Taimi arrived inside Scruffy 2.0, heat-protected but weaponless. However, she provided a scanner that could find weaknesses in various items. Scanning the seal revealed it was built recently, and Taimi upgraded the scanner to reveal energy that could be used to break through the blockade. The Commander descended into the caldera, breaking through two more blockades and avoiding the army of the upgraded destroyers launching fireballs at the airborne Commander. While removing a third barrier, all the destroyers in the area were instantly destroyed, signalling that Taimi's device had been activated. The Commander found a sea of lava at the bottom, with Balthazar floating above Taimi's device on a platform, launching blue energy from Jormag at the massive form of Primordus, while also draining its energy to fire back. The Commander tried to taunt Balthazar out for a direct fight, but instead he summoned Temar and Tegon, flaming hounds to fight in his stead. Balthazar's growing energies empowered the hounds, and energy from Taimi's device had to be extracted to keep both of them down for good.
With both hounds defeated, Taimi prepared her device to overload and explode, but Balthazar launched one last attack that immobilised Dragon's Watch. As the device overloaded, Balthazar seemed to absorb more energy and disappeared, and Primordus sank back into the lava. Taimi and the Commander were launched to a nearby rock outcropping, where Taimi confirmed that Primordus's energies had become very inactive, with a similar assumption for Jormag. With both Elder Dragons having returned to a dormant state, Tyria could stay in peace for awhile. However Balthazar's fate remained unknown, along with his plans to make use of the dragon energies he had absorbed.
Episode 6: One Path Ends
Balthazar has gone missing. How does one go about finding a god?
— Story Journal before activating this episode.
Wanting to learn more about the returned god Balthazar, the Commander traveled to Divinity's Reach to speak with a high-ranking Priest of Balthazar. Countess Anise was already talking with the priest who was zealously eager to fight for the glory of his god. Anise called the Commander aside, because she had learned that Balthazar had one of Lazarus's aspects. She sent the Commander to meet up with one of her exemplars who had also been hunting the aspects.
The Commander found the exemplar trapped in a bloodstone-based rune trap. The Commander freed her and, after some banter and slaughtering of many White Mantle members, the pair retrieved the aspect while the Eye of Janthir fled shortly after. The exemplar asked the Commander to give her the aspect but the Commander was only willing to part ways with it if the exemplar revealed what she was going to do with it. The exemplar could not say, however, as she had taken an oath and to reveal the fact would literally kill her.
Back in Divinity's Reach in the secret Shining Blade Headquarters under one of the mausoleums, Anise agreed to have the Commander take the Shining Blade oath so that Exemplar Kerida could reveal her intentions with the aspects. One of the exemplars protested the Commander taking the oath, but was silenced after Anise said that she had been watching the Commander for a very long time.
After the Commander had endured an initiation involving fire, water and earth, the next test was a retelling of the destruction of the Henge of Denravi. Finally, the Commander had to defeat a Manifestation of Self-Doubt, plagued with guilt voiced by the members of the original Destiny's Edge. Once this self-doubt had been defeated, the Commander took the oath and became an honorary member of the Shining Blade with enough autonomy to do what needed be done so long as it was not against the interests of Kryta. Finally, Kerida told the Commander that she intended not to destroy the aspects, but to resurrect Lazarus, so that he could be slain by her own hand. Knowing that Balthazar had one of Lazarus's aspects and that the Eye of Janthir had been seen searching the aspects, the Commander and the Shining Blade concluded that their goals could align: if they found the Eye, they would find the missing aspect and, hopefully, Balthazar himself.
A boat was arranged to take the Commander to Orr, specifically a region called Siren's Landing. In that area lay several reliquaries dedicated to each of the gods. For whatever reason, the reliquary of Melandru was still active but the rest were not. The Commander explored the area, looking to reactivate all the various reliquaries in order to open Abaddon's Reliquary which was tied to the others. Exemplar Kerida warned the Commander not to go inside alone, then not to touch anything inside once entered, but both of these instructions were ignored. Kerida came to aid the Commander in the fight against the reliquary's defenders, and the pair ventured deeper into the complex and clearing traps along the way.
With the Commander's help, the two of them caught up to the Eye of Janthir, and the place where Balthazar had hidden the fifth aspect of Lazarus although the god himself was nowhere to be found. Once all five aspects were arranged, Kerida stabbed one of them with the Shining Blade artifact, hurting Lazarus greatly. The last mursaat was revived and angry at this sneaky attack, but had an almost sinister glee upon noticing that Kerida was in fact Livia, a well-known Shining Blade member whom he recognized from centuries ago.
The injured Lazarus tried to split himself up into aspects one more time, but Kerida and the Commander fought to prevent his escape. At the last moment, Lazarus ejected the Shining Blade from his chest and tried to choke Livia to death. The Commander bravely pulled the blade from the ground and stabbed Lazarus in the chest once more, dealing the final blow to the last mursaat on Tyria. The exemplar revealed that she was indeed the same Livia as the one of legend, but in lieu of more details, she suggested that the Eye of Janthir be consulted about Balthazar's current location. Before disintegrating, the Eye showed that Balthazar was headed for the Crystal Desert to hunt down the Elder Dragon Kralkatorrik.
Dessa gained access to a new fractal: the Shattered Observatory Fractal.
Investigating, the group of adventurers were seemingly returned to the Mistlock Observatory. However the area had been devastated by the energies of a massive rift, which was tearing apart the Fractals of the Mists. Dessa and Yokko welcomed the party back, claiming they had been stuck in transit for sometime. The group rallied and defeated an invader, Skorvald the Shattered, but the rift was being held open by something from the other side.
The adventurers and Yokko headed into the rift to find the source of the interference. They found themselves in a bizarre, otherworldly landscape of floating islands and asuran architecture infused with Cosmic Energy. The group pushed ahead, defeating hostile asuran golems, and encountered a strange entity called Viirastra. Beating her at her "game", she granted the party an orb of energy to power a nearby portal.
Through the portal, the group found Arkk once again, tinkering with a rebuilt Diaphanous Diffraction Randomizer that was generating the Fractal-disrupting rift. The group confronted Arkk, and a battle ensued. Despite Arkk's advanced technology and his pulling various weapons and enemies from the Fractals, the rogue asura was eventually defeated.
Arkk claimed that it was too late to stop the DDR's final sequence. Dessa entered the scene and confronted Arkk as well, and he revealed he was her son, hoping to destroy the Fractals in order to free his mother from its time looping effect. However the DDR was somehow unable to bring either Dessa or Arkk back to Tyria, revealing that both of them only existed within the Fractals as "echoes" of their former selves. Arkk and Dessa accepted their fate, consigning themselves to the time loop. By doing so, the DDR could not complete its operation, and the Fractals of the Mists endured.
Dates of free access
Logging into the game between the two dates listed would unlock the related episode for free (as opposed to buying it in the Gem Store). You can unlock the episodes even if you do not own Heart of Thorns, but you must have the expansion in order to play them. The dates are as follows:
|Out of the Shadows||July 26, 2016 - September 18, 2016|
|Rising Flames||September 19, 2016 - November 20, 2016|
|A Crack in the Ice||November 21, 2016 - February 7, 2017|
|The Head of the Snake||February 8, 2017 - May 1, 2017|
|Flashpoint||May 2, 2017 - July 24, 2017|
|One Path Ends||July 25, 2017 - September 21, 2017|
- The release of Living World Season 3 was announced by Mike O'Brien on the official Guild Wars 2 forums on July 12, 2016.