King Palawa Joko, formerly called the Scourge of Vabbi by Elonians, is a powerful undead lich who has built an empire situated within the southern reaches of the Crystal Desert. He is the current ruler of Elona, and the master of the Awakened undead army.
Palawa Joko's origins remain unknown to this day. The first time he is mentioned in history books is in 757 AE when he constructed his Bone Palace. Nearly a hundred years later, in 860 AE, Joko launched his first successful invasion on Elona, conquering the northern province of Vabbi. Over the course of the next two years he laid siege on the rest of Elona, nearly crippling the province of Kourna, but was ultimately defeated by Turai Ossa, who marshaled Kournans, Vabbian refugees, and Sunspears in a battle that lasted over 100 days. Seeing that his army could no longer survive, Turai took advantage of Joko outrunning his own supply lines and led a small elite unit to confront Palawa Joko directly. Upon reaching him, Turai Ossa challenged Palawa Joko to one-on-one combat on a bridge overlooking the Battle of Jahai. Turai defeated Palawa Joko before his Awakened army, demoralizing them and winning the day. Unable to kill the lich, however, Turai created the Order of Whispers to seal Joko within a tomb and keep watch over the prison.
However, centuries later, Warmarshal Varesh Ossa, Turai's descendant, attempted to summon her dark god Abaddon. The approach of Nightfall weakened the magic that bound Joko, and he was able to free himself. Though he was weak and without an army, the Order of the Sunspears allowed his freedom in exchange for knowledge on how mortals could traverse the Desolation, a sulfurous wasteland where only demons and the undead could survive. Joko provided this knowledge in the form of the Junundu wurms, but bargained for the Sunspears to relinquish his Bone Palace from the grip of Varesh Ossa and her Margonites. Though the Order of Whispers were wary of Joko's return, the Sunspears agreed in return for more knowledge—that of how Joko commanded his previous invasion.
During this time of rebuilding, he was also taunted by his rival, Mad King Thorn, who killed many of his minions and subsequently assaulted him in the Mad King's Realm. Joko also tricked the asura Zinn into building R.O.X. and used the golem to launch an assault on the rulership of Kryta, Cantha, and Vabbi.
Following these ultimately failed attempts, Joko bided his time. Sixty years later, in 1135 AE, Palawa Joko had rallied his Awakened army to its former power and marched onto Vabbi once again. Having learned from his past mistakes, however, he dammed and diverted the Elon River, which both supplied his desolate domain with precious water and simultaneously deprived Kourna and Vabbi of that same resource. Faced with a devastating drought and famine, the people of Vabbi and northern Kourna rebelled against their leaders, comfortably allowing Palawa Joko to crush any Elonian resistance. Vabbi surrendered in desperation, while Kourna and Istan later became vassal states to the undead lord.
After conquering Elona, Palawa Joko forced tributes and loyalty from the Elonians, training them to accept him as the rightful ruler of Elona and promising wealth and fortune to those who joined his Awakened forces—undeath supposedly being a prize to be desired greatly by the living. During his reign, Joko took great pleasure in seeing all of the Ossa bloodline brought to him, creating a living army to rival his undead one, and taking pleasure in the irony of their servitude. Along with this, he focused on the defamation and destruction of the Sunspears, converting many prominent members into the Mordant Crescent and granting them powerful roles within his army. Those who did not betray their vows were scattered to the winds, leaving but only a few secretive Sunspears, reduced to travelling hermits.
In recent years, the awakening of the Elder Dragons resulted in loss of contact with Elona. Zhaitan's risen began conflict along Elona's northern borders. Most recently, Kralkatorrik has flown south into the heart of Vabbi and landed within Joko's new domain.
Contact with Elona was re-established when Balthazar's return enabled Elonians to flee as far as Kryta for the first time in at least 50 years. Many defectors had become disillusioned with Palawa Joko's rule and attempted to escape north to the Free City of Amnoon and beyond.
Presently, Joko's northern domain is enclosed by The Bone Wall, with only the work farms along the Elon, where prisoners are sent, remaining outside. Even those loyal to Joko's regime may end up in these farms, if Joko's whims demand it.
- When discussing who they would cast in a dream "movie-version" of Guild Wars Nightfall, ArenaNet would cast Christopher Walken as Palawa Joko.
- ^ http://amd-icbm.com/icbm/guild-wars-insider-interview-with-ree-soesbee/ Guild Wars Insider: Interview with Ree Soesbee