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. It 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.
Instead of corrupting living beings, Primordus and its champions seem to prefer to create minions called destroyers solely of earth and fire, usually spawning them in pools of lava, and they are created in mockery of living creatures. Reflecting this, Primordus and its 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 new form of creating destroyers.
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 magic it could find. 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 many Great Destroyers which are today believed to reference Primordus and its armies.
Centuries after the end of the previous dragonrise, the asura discovered Primordus's resting place but mistook it 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 its most powerful champion, the Great Destroyer, its 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 attacks 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 its 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 Elder 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 its initial rise and forcing out the subterranean races, Primordus remained largely inactive, having only moved beneath Tyria to spread its 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 its 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 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.
Theorizing she could defeat Jormag and Primordus at the same time by mixing their energies, Taimi created a device using parts from Omadd's Machine to do so. However, this device was stolen by the former god Balthazar. In the theft's aftermath, Taimi ran simulations and discovered that if both Primordus and Jormag were killed, the world would die with them. The Commander pursued Balthazar to Draconis Mons to either convince or force him to abandon the assault on Primordus, while Balthazar brought the device before Primordus in the Primal Kiln and activated it. The former god inserted himself in the magical stream and began absorbing the two Elder Dragons' magic, incapacitating Primordus and its minions in the process. When the device was destroyed by the Commander and Taimi, the blowback and drained magic resulted in Primordus sinking into the lava and being placed in a pre-awakening state.
Although Primordus had been forced into dormancy, the destroyers continued gathering magic for it 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.
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 was actually Primordus itself or one of its 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
- ^ 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
- ^ Shards of Jormag achievement flavor text
- ^ 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 its slumber—triggering this latest cycle of destruction.
- ^ The Movement of the World
- ^ 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.
- ^ 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.