With the arrival of the destroyers, another age-old prophecy emerged from the depths of time: they are the heralds of the Great Destroyer, Primordus's champion, who was once defeated and sealed away by the Great Dwarf himself to prevent the waking of the Elder Dragon. The fight pushed the heroes of Tyria to their limits, testing their skill and determination.
— The Complete Art of Guild Wars: ArenaNet 20th Anniversary Edition, page 75
Primordus is the Elder Dragon of Fire and Conflagration, and the first Elder Dragon to awaken in modern times. He has fought a lengthy battle against dwarves in the Depths of Tyria and forced several underground races like the asura and the skritt to the surface. Primordus's minions, the destroyers, attack anything in sight with the sole intention of killing everything that stands in their way.
Primordus, like the other Elder Dragons, is thought to have last awakened 10,000 years ago, around the time of the disappearance of the Giganticus Lupicus, and then fallen back into slumber from consuming all the world's available magic. At some point in the past, Primordus struck Jormag, the Elder Dragon of Ice and Persuasion, in battle and littered the Drizzlewood Coast in the Ice Dragon's shards.
Primordus eventually went into a deep slumber in a cavern deep beneath what became known as Earthshake Basin in Frostgorge Sound. It is claimed in the book titled The Elder Dragons that the Fire Dragon's previous awakening is the only one still known to history. Dwarven legends tell of Great Destroyers which are today believed to reference Primordus and his armies. According to one legend, the Great Dwarf took from his greatest foe, the Great Destroyer, the one thing that gave him his power—his name—and sealed it away until the time of their final battle. To ensure that the name was unspeakable to all but the Great Dwarf, the name was sealed within the Tome of the Rubicon with enchantments. If the true name of either was ever spoken aloud, it would mean the end of the world and summon "the most malignant creature ever seen by mortal eyes".
Centuries after the end of the previous dragonrise, the asura discovered Primordus's resting place but mistook him for a statue emitting a high amount of magical energy. Because of this concentration of magical energy, the asura built the Central Transfer Chamber near the dormant Elder Dragon.
After a band of heroes defeated the fallen god Abaddon in 1075 AE, the residual magic from his death led to a temporary imbalance in the flow of magic, which caused Primordus to stir. Primordus was initially supposed to awaken in 1078 AE, but upon the defeat of his most powerful champion, the Great Destroyer, his awakening was delayed by two generations, until 1120 AE. After Primordus's rise, other Elder Dragons began to stir as well, one by one.
Destroyers, Primordus's minions, flooded the Depths of Tyria, taking over asuran cities such as Quora Sum and crushing any hopes the asura had of returning to their natural home. Around the time of Primordus's awakening, the last of the dwarves had undergone the Rite of the Great Dwarf, and most dwarves went underground to combat the destroyers. The dwarves that remained closer to surface were said to stand watch at entrances to the Depths, ensuring that the Fire Dragon's minions would never reach the surface. Nonetheless Ogden Stonehealer and Rhoban Orestriker were the only dwarves known to the surface world. However, in recent years destroyers had begun appearing closer and through the surface in increasing rates, suggesting that the dwarves had been losing the war in the Depths.
At some point after the Rite of the Great Dwarf, a splinter group of the Stone Summit dwarves tried to find a means to cure themselves of the spell that was slowly turning them to stone. In their desperation to hold on to their individuality, they turned to ancient scrolls recovered from the tomb of Duncan the Black who had once tried to harness the Great Destroyer's power. These scrolls revealed dark rituals that would allow the dwarves to either undo the physical transformation caused by the Rite of the Great Dwarf or at least leverage it for their uses.
Although the ritual appeared to be a success, some dwarves melted from within and were reduced to ash while the ritual priests pondered if they had actually been drawing from a power that was greater and more ancient than the Great Destroyer. Some of those who did not succumb to the initial effects of the dark ritual became erratic and violent, causing in-fighting among the dwarves much to the priests' confusion. Eventually every surviving dwarf in the splinter group felt a sense of burning within them as they began to think less and less. By the time that the attacks of Jormag's icebrood had lessened on the dwarven fortresses, the Stone Summit remnant had closed the gates until all of them succumbed to the effects of their new state and became bound to the true source they had been calling their ritual magic from: Primordus.
Primordus remained underneath the surface in the centuries following his awakening, clearing huge tracts of the underground regions and forcing races such as the skritt and murrellow to flee from the Depths. As a result of the Fire Dragon's activities, destroyers could be found almost anywhere on the surface, including the walled Dominion of Winds where the tengu suffered frequent destroyer incursions. Only the dredge stayed underground in Central Tyria, though their mines remained close to the surface.
After his initial rise and forcing out the subterranean races, Primordus remained largely inactive, having only moved beneath Tyria to spread his destroyers, until 1329 AE. The asura Taimi discovered that Primordus had become active via a ley line energy map within Rata Novus.
Elsewhere, the charr Seis Burntheart began tracking a large disbursement of magic, caused by Primordus moving from Frostgorge Sound to Malchor's Leap. Following the trail, she realized that the Elder Dragon was headed for the Ring of Fire Islands, specifically to Draconis Mons, the northwestern island. After moving, Primordus remained underneath the Fire Islands to consume an abundance of magic left by the deaths of the Elder Dragons Zhaitan and Mordremoth. The affected ley lines were full of death and plant magic, allowing Primordus to augment his destroyers with such magic. The Pact Commander acquired a sample of the new plant and death augmented destroyers for Taimi.
After examining the destroyer sample, Taimi developed a theory that Primordus and Jormag could be weakened by each other with their unique magical energies. The Pact Commander traveled to Bitterfrost Frontier to acquire a sample of an icebrood that had been infused with death and plant magic. The tests with the samples turned out to be successful. According to Taimi, proximity to the dead Elder Dragons might matter, considering that Primordus had absorbed more plant and death magic than Jormag.
Theorizing that she could defeat Jormag and Primordus at the same time by mixing their energies, Taimi created a device using parts from Omadd's Machine, which became known as Taimi's Machine, to do so. However, this device was stolen by the returned, but weakened, human god Balthazar, who was looking for a way to increase his power by absorbing the Elder Dragons' magic. Shortly after the theft, Taimi discovered that one more Elder Dragon's death might lead to Tyria's destruction.
Balthazar brought the device before Primordus and activated it deep within the volcano of Draconis Mons, where the Fire Dragon was located at the time. He inserted himself in the magical stream and began absorbing the two Elder Dragons' magic. When the device was destroyed by the Commander and Taimi, who had chased the fallen god into the heart of the volcano, the blowback and drained magic resulted in Primordus and Jormag being hit by each other's magic and entering a pre-awakening state.
Although Primordus had been forced into dormancy, the destroyers continued gathering magic for him and attacked any trespassers in their territory. The minions of the Fire Dragon inhabited old dwarven ruins in Derelict Delve in the Desert Highlands and appeared within ancient dwarven strongholds such as Darkrime Delves and Stoneward Halls in the Far Shiverpeaks alongside the corrupted Stone Summit remnants.
Several months after the awakening of Jormag, Primordus began to stir. The energies within Tyria began to churn, slowly growing stronger, causing seismic activity. This change was noted by the Elder Dragon Aurene, who spoke to Jormag about the growing earthquakes, believing Jormag to have caused them. Jormag explained that Primordus's hunger grew as he stirred. The Ice Dragon then referred to Primordus as their twin, adding that Primordus would set the world ablaze, and referred to a choice coming ahead.
Soon after, Primordus's activity was again noticed by Braham Eirsson, who attempted to speak to Jormag through their corrupted Voice. Jormag again called Primordus their brother and noted that the Fire Dragon was incapable of subtlety. Jormag then declared that the balance of the All was a mere mortal superstition and that Primordus could be killed, but not yet.
As the Commander traveled to Rata Sum at Taimi's urging, Taimi explained to them that there was a massive amount of tectonic movement, far above the usual amount of it, and that some of it was Primordus, some of it was likely ley energy and that she still had not figured out what one spike was. Destroyers then began to burrow out outside the Advanced Metamystics Lab and Rata Sum Port Authority and the conversation was ended as the Commander and their allies battled the destroyers.
After the initial wave had been driven back, Taimi noted that the destroyers seemed bigger than previous specimens. Alerted to more tremors, the party went to drive off another wave of destroyers attacking the Arcane Council at the Port Authority. After clearing away the rest of them, a large destroyer, allegedly different to archival descriptions of them, appeared and was killed. The Commander then announced that any place feeling the slightest tremor would need to prepare for destroyer attacks.
Back at the Eye of the North, the Commander witnessed Aurene and Jormag arguing about whether killing Primordus was necessary. Aurene then gave the Commander a gift to allow them to absorb destroyer essence to empower themself. This ability also included absorbing the additional essence granted to champions to empower the Commander more than regular destroyer essence would allow. After being upgraded, this ability grew effective at empowering the Commander.
Taimi called the Commander to Soren Draa where destroyers were attacking. After evacuating civilians, powering defense golems and killing destroyers, Taimi, Braham and the Commander headed into Wildflame Caverns where they battled a destroyer champion and eventually defeated it. During this battle, Taimi began arguing with Braham about whether Jormag was more of a threat than Primordus or not while revealing that she was sharing discoveries about Primordus with Jormag. Despite having noticed unusual scouting behavior from the champion, Taimi dismissed such findings by claiming that destroyers could not reason.
Taimi then called the Commander about a destroyer attack on the sylvari village of Watchful Source, with the Commander this time putting out fires, activating sylvari plant turrets and killing more destroyers. After this, Ryland Steelcatcher, Jormag's champion, appeared and assisted the Commander with destroyers as they approached the location of another destroyer champion in Skrittsburgh, a large settlement of skritt already known to have a destroyer infestation. They defeated the champion and then they returned to the Eye.
Destroyers soon began attacking Lion's Arch's northern gate, and then attacked the settlement in Cornucopian Fields. The Commander attempted to rescue civilians, kill destroyers and put out fires this time. The Commander then ran to Ascalon Settlement and, together with Jhavi Jorasdottir and Marjory Delaqua, battled several waves of destroyers there, including one resembling the large destroyer differing from archival accounts of its race. A large flying destroyer champion resembling a harpy then appeared and, after a fierce battle, was killed. Both Jhavi and Marjory realized that the attack on Lion's Arch had been a diversion while the destroyers' true target had been the Ascalon Settlement instead. The pair quickly dismissed such a tactical maneuver as unimportant, however, believing that Primordus only thrived on chaos and wanted to spread destruction by attacking the most vulnerable.
Instead of corrupting living beings, Primordus and his champions seem to prefer to create minions called destroyers solely of earth and fire, usually spawning them in pools of lava, and these minions are created in mockery of living creatures. Reflecting this, Primordus and his minions only care about killing and then moving on, and are never seen corrupting or capturing like other Elder Dragons and their minions. However, it is still possible for destroyers to corrupt living beings, where rock encases the creature until the body turns into lava, though no such destroyer has definitively been seen. At least one champion, the Destroyer Queen, has created destroyers in egg-like pods, implying it to be a corrupted living being though it could simply be a unique champion or a new form of creating destroyers.
After sorting through information left by the Rata Novans, Taimi discovered that the Rata Novan acquires information regarding a potential weakness for Primordus and that his unique magical spectrum could be negated all together. Taimi theorized that Jormag unique ice magic spectrum could be the unique weakness for Primordus. After the Commander acquired samples of destroyers and icebrood enhanced by magic from the deceased Zhaitan and Mordremoth, Taimi was able to confirm her theory on a small scale. When Balthazar stole Omadd’s machine, Taimi ran simulation confirming that Primordus and Jormag were each others weakness.
Unused 2007 concept art by Kekai Kotaki.
- Primordus (like the English word "primordial") comes from the Latin word primordium, literally meaning "the first to come [in order, in a series, in history]"—more metaphorically, "a beginning."
- With Flashpoint's release, ArenaNet has addressed the model change for Primordus by claiming that it is unknown if the slumbering dragon found in the cavern in Guild Wars was actually Primordus himself or one of his champions. However, back in 2009 they had stated that the Central Transfer Chamber was built adjacent to Primordus.
- Text in The Complete Art of Guild Wars: ArenaNet 20th Anniversary Edition, released in 2020, has since reasserted that the statue in the cavern was in fact Primordus.
- Associated items
- ^ Guild Wars 2 Living World: The Icebrood Saga - Issue 01, GuildWars2.com
- ^ Shards of Jormag achievement flavor text
- ^ Unspeakable, Unknowable
- High Priest Alkar: The Stone Summit are dangerously close to uncovering the Tome of the Rubicon. Inside is the true name of the Great Destroyer, the bane of the living and nemesis of the Great Dwarf himself. If the seals that bind that book are dispelled and the true name spoken... well, let's just say there is no worse thing that could happen in this world. [...]
- High Priest Alkar: Long ago, the Great Dwarf took from his greatest foe the one thing that give him his power...he took from him his name, sealing it away until the time of their final battle.
- High Priest Alkar: To ensure the name was unspeakable to all but the Great Dwarf, the name was sealed within the Rubicon. There are few left with the knowledge and power to open the Tome.
- High Priest Alkar: If the true name of either is spoken aloud, it would mean the end of the world as we know it. We must not allow that which is unknown to again become known. Not now. [...]
- High Priest Alkar: If that Hierophant reads the Great Destroyer's true name, he will summon upon this world the most malignant creature ever seen by mortal eyes.
- ^ The Final Vision
- Vekk: I've been to the Central Transfer Chamber. That cavern is adjacent to it. The big statue practically bleeds magic. It's why we built the chamber there in the first place.
- ^ a b Important Guild Wars 2 Questions Answered, ZAM.com
- ZAM: Why were the dragons asleep, and why have they awoken?
- Mike O'Brien: They have always been here. They are power; raw, incarnate power. The City of the Gods was built on top of a dragon, the central transfer chamber that the sewer used in Eye of the North was built on top of a dragon...they're just literally magical reactors to a great degree.
- ^ a b Guild Wars Interview, KillTenRats.com
- Ravious: Kerrsh's quest line in Eye of the North (ending with the quest The Path to Revelations) is a hotly debated topic on the lore forums. Why are the facets of the human gods depicted as dragons? Can the gods' cryptic message be explained in terms of Guild Wars 2?
- Jeff Grubb: Dragons are power, and the facets reflect the nature of the power that the human gods have harnessed. Both the Asuran Central Transfer Chamber and the City of Arah were built on places of power, which turned out to be directly over Elder Dragons.
- ^ Facing the Truth
- Kormir: The surge of power upended the balance of magic in Tyria, and stirred Primordus from his slumber—triggering this latest cycle of destruction.
- ^ a b That Old College Try
- ^ The Elder Dragons
- ^ The Movement of the World: Dwarves
- ^ Books: Records of the Stone Summit
- ^ Lore Interview with Jeff Grubb, GuildMag.com
- ^ Genzhou Talonrend
- ^ Confessor's Stronghold
- Taimi: Something possibly...slightly...marginally...cataclysmic.
- Taimi: I managed to finally get detailed ley readings from the map and determined...well..
- Marjory Delaqua: What is it?
- Taimi: Primordus is active.
- ^ Taimi's Game
- Taimi: According to what I documented, Primordus is awake—you know this. But here's the more part...
- Taimi: It's moved! Tunneled its way down to the Fire Islands, south of Maguuma.
- Rytlock Brimstone: If we know where it is now, let's just go knock on its door and give it a welcome basket.
- <Character name>: Why did it move?
- Taimi: I posit Mordremoth's death and the subsequent magic release must have jump-started Primordus. And then, with a lot of energy pooling in the south...
- Taimi: What better place to feed?
- <Character name>: So it relocated...to get more powerful. Great. [...]
- Taimi: Killing Zhaitan caused the other dragons to absorb the death spectrum, but we only saw it in Mordremoth because it was active.
- Taimi: Then we killed Mordremoth, and now Primordus has absorbed some of the death and planty-ness! I think...
- <Character name>: Can we test that theory? I'll go and get you a sample from these new destroyers.
- ^ Precocious Aurene
- Taimi: We need a force that can counter Primordus. What if it's another dragon? An ice dragon, for instance?
- Taimi: Remember what I was telling you about that chak organ? How it could selectively filter certain types of magic?
- Taimi: If we can discern magic types, we may be able to pit Jormag and Primordus against one another, destroying them both at once!
- <Character name>: Are you suggesting we get Jormag and Primordus to fight one another? How?
- Taimi: Not the dragons themselves—their energies. As for how, I'm... not quite sure just yet. Our first task is to test the theory.
- <Character name>: Okay, let's say we pursue this course of action. What comes next?
- Taimi: We confirm the theory in the lab, utilizing small amounts of magic to see if they'll actually counteract one another.
- Taimi: And we'll need an icebrood sample—one showing signs of influence from our dearly departed Mordremoth and Zhaitan.
- ^ Elixir Cookin'
- Taimi: If I were a supposing kind of genius—which I am—I'd suppose Primordus must have soaked up more Mordremoth energy.
- Taimi: Maybe proximity matters, and since Jormag's so far away, it didn't receive as much Mordy juice.
- ^ Heart of the Volcano
- <Character name>: There's really no other way to kill Primordus or Jormag?
- Taimi: They're each other's weakness. Like Mordremoth's was its mind. And without my machine...
- Taimi: I don't think they're going to duke it out physically. Feels like that would be a disaster anyway.
- <Character name>: I can't believe we're seriously considering saving them.
- Taimi: I know, but magic is so out of whack. If one more goes, all of Tyria might just collapse in on itself.
- ^ Confer with Bangar achievement - Jormag's enemy
- Aurene: Champion, the energies deep beneath Tyria are churning. At first the shift was so quiet I hardly noticed. But it's growing—and I'm afraid this is just the beginning.
- Pact Commander: Yeah, it's hard to miss the earthquakes now. Jormag's got to be involved.
- Aurene: Jormag, we need to—
- Voice of Jormag: I've been waiting for you. I can be patient, Aurene, but I hope you'll be quicker to act in the days ahead.
- Aurene: Primordus.
- Voice of Jormag: His hunger will grow as he stirs. Destruction is not far off. You and your Champion have already seen signs.
- Aurene: You knew this would happen, but you still chose to impose your waking—and Primordus's—on the world.
- Voice of Jormag: And you chose not to intervene. Despite your power and potential, you left it to mortals.
- Aurene: It's their world as much as mine. There was nothing to be gained—
- Voice of Jormag: Oh, little sister, how wrong you are. Careful you don't learn the lesson too late.
- Aurene: So then you kill him.
- Voice of Jormag: That time will come, but not yet. My twin will awake. And he will set the world ablaze.
- Voice of Jormag: Look to that World, Aurene. Very soon you will have to make a choice—if you're to have any chance of saving it.
- Bangar Ruinbringer: (growls)
- ^ Stéphane Lo Presti and Jeff Grubb, Guild Wars 2 Guru; links broke - image of posts:    
- ^ "Chapter 8: Deep Places", Edge of Destiny by J. Robert King:
- "These stones are the remains of a destroyer—a monster of elemental magma. A whole hive must have erupted into this chamber and burned every living thing in it."
- "They conquered it only to vanish?"
- Caithe nodded grimly. "Destroyers care only about killing. They are forged from the molten heart of their master—Primordus, first of the Elder Dragons to rise. The dwarves forestalled his coming, but at a terrible price. They are all but gone now, and Primordus is rising to destroy all races."
- ^ Interview with Jeff Grubb, Ree Soesbee and Scott McGough, GuildMag.com
- ^ Guild Chat Episode 48: Flashpoint
- Link Hughes: There was also some back and forth because there's, at the end of Guild Wars 1, the depiction of the Great Destroyer and then this dragon eye opening when you defeat the Great Destroyer. So there's some question about is that Primordus, is that a Primordus lieutenant, what was going on there? I don't think it's ever clarified in Guild Wars 1, and we had concept art that seemed to indicate that maybe that was much smaller than, like, real Primordus's actual look. There was a lot of back and forth about this, but ultimately the concept art that is the loading image for that instance was put together, and then our prop artists Sam and Chris did an amazing job [...] just to make that live.
- ^ The Complete Art of Guild Wars: ArenaNet 20th Anniversary Edition, page 86:
- Once thought to be an enormous monument carved in his likeness, the Elder Dragon Primordus is concealed belowground within the Depths of Kryta. The asura built labs near his body to collect the magical energies that radiated from the great beast, harvesting that power to generate their extensive network of Asura Gates.