Six Human Gods

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Spoiler alert: The following text contains spoilers relating to the story of personal story, The Ruined City of Arah (explorable), Living World Season 3, and Guild Wars 2: Path of Fire.

The Six are a small group of extremely powerful divine beings from beyond the Mists, with powers rivaling those of the Elder Dragons. They are worshiped by the humans of Tyria and have a central position in human culture, but have retreated from worldly affairs in the last 250 years.

List of known gods[edit]

Current[edit]

  • Dwayna, goddess of healing, air, warmth, and life
  • Melandru, goddess of nature, earth, and growth
  • Lyssa, twin goddesses (Lyss and Ilya) of beauty, water and illusion
  • Grenth, god of darkness, death, and ice
  • Kormir, goddess of order, spirit, and truth
  • Balthazar, god of war, fire, and courage

Former[edit]

  • Abaddon, god of water and knowledge (succeeded by Kormir)
  • Dhuum, god of death (succeeded by Grenth)
  • Abaddon's predecessor, whose existence was hinted at by The Apostate

Characteristics[edit]

The extent of power of the human gods is not known, but it is known they are not omniscient, and by their own very nature as a pantheon each is not omnipotent (though human legends do claim they are omnipotent in their own specific domain). Xakk, in his publication The Six: Being or Playing God, states his belief that the Six are not gods, but are what anyone would become if given the amount of magical energy they possessed and allowed to live as long as they appear to have.

All the gods seen so far have been humanoid in appearance, both in person and in cultural depictions. They can have family members (e.g. Balthazar's half brother, Menzies, and his father) and can have children with human mortals. It is also possible for a demigod or a mortal to ascend into godhood by absorbing the power of a deposed god.[1][2] It is said that the mortal dies when they ascend into godhood, no longer being human;[3][4] instead of living beings, gods appear to instead be pure magic.[5]

The gods are incredibly powerful, so much so that they blind mortals who gaze upon them for too long. Clashes between the gods have, in the past, transformed seas into deserts, and verdant coastlines into toxic wastelands. Abaddon, even while weakened and imprisoned in the Realm of Torment, was able to extend his influence to Tyria and warp the landscape to his desire.

It is immensely difficult (and perhaps unwise) to kill a god. Dhuum was sealed in the Hall of Judgment because Grenth was not powerful enough to kill him,[6] and Abaddon was sealed in the Realm of Torment rather than killed with chains forged by Balthazar himself binding him.[7] Whereas the Elder Dragons release their magic from their inert bodies into the world along the ley lines when they die, the death of a god causes their magic to escape unbound into the world with potentially catastrophic consequences as their bodies crumble. Abaddon's death, for example, caused his body to break apart and the magic within to violently escape, threatening to "destroy everything".[2] It has been said that the power of a god cannot be destroyed, which is a statement similar to the Seventh Law of Maginamics.

Each of the gods also has a realm, their own shred of reality within the Mists, which serves as the afterlife for their followers. Grenth's is the Underworld, Balthazar's was the Fissure of Woe, and Abaddon's was the Realm of Torment, which Kormir took over. From time to time, these come under attack from rivals, and the gods have been known to grant access to mortals deemed worthy in order to solicit their aid. Several great landscapes have also been named after the gods, such as the Grenth's Footprint and the volcano of Abaddon's Mouth, but it is unclear whether there is direct relation to the god or gods the places are named after.

History[edit]

Pre-arrival[edit]

Very little is known of the gods or their histories prior to their arrival in Tyria. At the time that they first arrived in Tyria, it is thought that there were six of them: Dwayna, Balthazar, Melandru, Lyssa, Abaddon, and Dhuum. Melandru is the oldest of the gods, although Dwayna is usually depicted as their leader.

The gods (in particular Dwayna) brought humanity with them to Tyria from elsewhere. In the Orrian History Scrolls it is said that Dwayna "brought with her those who would make this world a paradise", and that "as she had promised, Dwayna led her people to peace". This implies that humanity are her favored people, that she had brought humanity to Tyria because of a promise that she had made, and that wherever they had come from, it was not peaceful. The fact that no record exists of these times may be attributable to Lyssa, as it is said in the scrolls that "[Lyssa] brought with her the hope and beauty of humanity. While the other gods focused on building Arah and beginning a new future, Lyssa gave them joy and helped them forget the past".

It is also not clearly known how the gods came to form the pantheon, what their relationship is to one another, and the degree to which they understand how their own power works. What is known generally dates to after their arrival on Tyria. Grenth is the first Tyrian-born god, being the son of Dwayna and an unnamed human, and with the help of his Seven Reapers he defeated and replaced Dhuum (but did not or could not vanquish him entirely) as the god of darkness, ice, and death. Kormir was once a human, the Spearmarshal of the Sunspear Order of Elona, who rose to divinity after the fall of Abaddon.

The gods have not revealed much to humanity regarding the nature of their cooperation. In the case of Kormir, no indication is given that the gods' gift to her while she was still mortal, which enabled her to absorb Abaddon's divine powers once he was defeated and ousted, was discussed amongst themselves in advance. However, the gods apparently did know what their gift would do and were also apparently satisfied with the elevation of a mortal human to their pantheon, as well as the replacement of Abaddon who had previously been the guardian of their secrets.

Arrival[edit]

The Artesian Waters, the source of Orr.

The date at which the gods arrived in the world of Tyria is somewhat contentious, although it is known that they arrived sometime after the writing of the Tome of Rubicon.[8] Human legends say that Glint was the first creature created by the gods, and Glint told Destiny's Edge in 1320 AE that three thousand years ago, she was set on Tyria as a guardian of the world.[9][10] The legends also say that the Forgotten were brought to Tyria in 1769 BE to help Glint, and that humanity came later.[11][12]

However, it was later discovered that Glint was a champion of the Elder Dragon Kralkatorrik,[13] and that the Forgotten were present for the last dragonrise, which is believed by the Durmand Priory to have been around 10,000 years ago[14] (this is corroborated by the Mursaat Lore Tablet). The earliest known mention of humanity on the northern continent is in 205 BE, although humans were known to have a presence in Cantha as early as 786 BE.[15][16]

The Gods first stepped from the Mists into Tyria at the Artesian Waters, a place of such power that they were drawn to it from across realities.[17] Dwayna was the first to step forth, and it is said that Tyria was her choice. Next came the others: Balthazar, carrying the severed head of his father and flanked by his hounds Temar and Tegon. He cleansed Orr and claimed Tyria for humanity, believing that the other races would be easy to defeat. Melandru, on the other hand, urged peace, but was ignored. Melandru terraformed Orr into a green and flowering expanse. Dhuum is not mentioned in any early Tyrian records, but was known to have had a presence on Tyria before being usurped by Grenth.[1]

Together, the gods built Arah, and gathered artifacts of power from across Tyria to their city, including the Bloodstone and the Mystic Telescope. Abaddon designed a set of magically warded reliquaries in Siren's Landing where the gods could keep their priceless and powerful artifacts, relics and knowledge safe from thieves and defilers with his reliquary as the centerpiece.[18] At some point the gods became aware of the existence of the hibernating Elder Dragons, who were tied to the magical balance of Tyria, and learned their names and spheres of influence. This information was documented in what would come to be known as the Scroll of the Five True Gods.[19]

For a time, the gods lived among the humans of Orr. They had a working relationship with the leader of the humans, Doric. Doric was the first to kneel at Dwayna's feet, begging for an end to the wars that harmed his people. These events are dated 115 BE in the Scriptures of Dwayna. He was later crowned as the first King of Tyria.

Because the gods blinded most humans who looked upon them for too long, they chose a sculptor, Malchor, to make statues of each of them, before retreating to Arah. Dwayna was the last of these, and Malchor drove himself mad with love for her, throwing himself to his death after she left.

At some point during this period, Grenth was born to Dwayna and a mortal sculptor, making him the first god to be born of Tyria. Grenth, along with seven mortals, defeated Dhuum in the ossuary of the Cathedral of Eternal Radiance. Grenth imprisoned Dhuum within the Underworld and took his place among the gods in a spot not far from where his father had fallen.

Exodus of the Gods[edit]

King Doric prostrates himself before the gods.

For hundreds of years, Abaddon acted as a bridge between the Mists and the world. Though each god had granted magic to humans in small amounts throughout the centuries, when the gods decided to truly spread magic to the world, Abaddon was the one who took on the task, giving a unique magic to each group of creatures he deemed worthy. However, he gave magic out too freely, and the civilizations that received magic rose to prominence and began to wage wars on each other.

When King Doric saw his people's plight, he journeyed to Arah and requested the gods to take back magic. Accepting his pleas, the gods split the Bloodstone, an immense repository of the world's magic, into five parts and cast them all around the world, separating and thereby reducing the capabilities of magic use.[11][20] Abaddon was furious at this and strongly protested to the other gods, but his protests were not addressed. Given the events that occurred afterwards, Abaddon apparently left the company of the other five gods at this point, while still retaining his divine power and position, but did not take any other independent action.

One particular tribe of Abaddon worshipers, the Margonites, lived within the Crystal Sea and Clashing Seas. At that time, it was a beautiful and bountiful place, nestled between Tyria and Elona. They worshiped Abaddon exclusively, and upon hearing the news of the revocation of magic, they launched an attack on the Temple of the Six Gods, a great place of worship on the northern shores of Elona. They slaughtered the priests of the other five gods, desecrated their altars, and defaced the statues and scriptures within that holy place. Meanwhile, they had turned their boats into towers and attempted to physically attain Ascension to meet with Dwayna, Balthazar, and Melandru, perhaps to appeal on behalf of their god Abaddon. While the gods were understandably furious, it was their mortal followers, the Forgotten, whose anger burned the brightest. A mighty legion, the likes which were not seen before, was gathered to quell Abaddon's insolent followers, and what followed was the largest naval battle ever seen in human history.

The crude magics and technology of humanity was no match for that of the Forgotten, and in time, the great Margonite armada was annihilated, and a lone Margonite survivor, Jadoth, desperately prayed to his god for deliverance. For a long time, there was silence. When Abaddon answered, however, the answer was clear. The waters beneath the Forgotten fleet began to bubble as large whirlpools formed. When the sky should have been filled with the light of dawn, it was torn apart by abyssal tempests, and a fearsome devouring darkness appeared from beneath the Forgotten fleet. No living being emerged from the endless darkness that came from beneath the waters, except for one: Jadoth. He became the first champion of Abaddon, and the first of the Margonites to become transformed into demonic beings. Hate and anger had overcame Abaddon completely, and with a vengeful roar, he declared war upon the gods, vowing to turn Tyria into his domain and preside as its one true god.

As the mightiest of the gods, the war initially went in Abaddon's favor. He created the Horde of Darkness and laid siege on the Gates of Heaven. However, he could not stand up against the combined strength of the five other gods. Abaddon was ultimately struck down, leaving a vast desert where there was once a sea. Unwilling or unable to destroy their brethren, the gods imprisoned Abaddon in his realm, much like Dhuum's imprisonment by Grenth in the Hall of Judgement, along with a host of his Margonite followers with chains forged by Balthazar himself binding the fallen god.[7] A force of Forgotten wardens was sent to safeguard Abaddon's prison, and the spot where Abaddon fell became known as the Mouth of Torment. The city of Morah was established to maintain a vigil there, where the link between the world and the Mists was weakest.

Soon after, the gods left the world in an event that came to be known as the Exodus of the Gods, which marked the beginning of the timeline used by the Mouvelian calendar.

Nightfall[edit]

Abaddon in his corrupted form.

Imprisoned in the depths of the Realm of Torment, Abaddon slowly recovered his strength and plotted his vengeance. Over the millennium after his imprisonment, he sent out demonic servants to subvert the mortal realm. One servant of Abaddon persuaded Shiro Tagachi to murder Emperor Angsiyan during the Harvest Ceremony. Shiro's actions during that time led to his death, causing the Jade Wind. The titans, sent under Abaddon's orders, acted as gods for the charr and gave them the capability to perform the ritual of the Searing. When the charr were reaching Arah's gates, Razakel coerced Vizier Khilbron to use the dark magics of the Lost Scrolls, which caused the Cataclysm that sunk Orr. This all set the stage for Abaddon's plan to unleash Nightfall.

Around this time, both Balthazar and Grenth faced challenges within their own realms. Balthazar was under attack by Menzies, whereas Grenth faced the forces of Dhuum, who had been slowly accumulating enough power to break free of his chains. Through the aid of mortals, Menzies's forces were thwarted and Dhuum was eventually returned to his dormant state.

Throughout the lifetime of the Kournan Warmarshal Varesh Ossa, General Kahyet, Varesh's mentor and a secret worshiper of Abaddon, groomed the Elonian leader to fulfill an ancient prophecy known as Nightfall, whereby Abaddon would be returned to the mortal plane. In 1075 AE, this plan came to fruition and Abaddon, with the help of Dhuum and Menzies, was almost successful. The prophecy was ultimately stopped by the Order of the Sunspears and the Order of Whispers, who entered the Realm of Torment itself with a group of heroes to defeat Abaddon. But the power of a god could not be destroyed, only transferred into another vessel. In his final moments, Abaddon's power threatened to run out of control and bring about the world's destruction regardless. Using a power that had been granted to her by the Five, Spearmarshal Kormir absorbed the vestiges of Abaddon's power, and in the process became the Goddess of Truth.

Silence of the gods[edit]

Though the gods had left the world, they continued to maintain an interest in human affairs, occasionally blessing the world with their favor. This changed with Abaddon's death, however. Although Kormir had absorbed most of Abaddon's power, the surge of energy upended the balance of magic in Tyria and stirred the Elder Dragon Primordus from its slumber, beginning a new cycle of awakening.[21]

The gods eventually came to the conclusion that there could be no victory in a war with the Elder Dragons, believing that even in the event that they succeeded, Tyria would be ripped apart in the fight. The cataclysmic outcome of their fight with Abaddon a millennia before was proof of what kind of outcome could be wrought when beings of such power collided. The gods decided that they would leave Tyria behind for good—all but one of them.

Balthazar, as the god of conflict, refused to turn away from the fight and announced his intention to fight the Elder Dragons with or without the other gods. He additionally vowed that he would punish the other gods for their cowardice. Before Balthazar could act, the gods imprisoned him and stripped him of his divine power, chaining him in the Mists. There he would remain forever, powerless to carry out his plans.

Oloko, a priest of Kormir, received a vision from Kormir in which it was revealed to him that the remaining gods left in search of a new world without threats like the Elder Dragons that they could prepare for their faithful.

Recent developments[edit]

Perspectives of the other races[edit]

Each of the races of Tyria have different attitudes to the gods. Despite their legend of Melandru, the charr view the gods as powerful beings to fight, not worship. The norn recognize the existence of the gods, but consider them an extension of their belief system of nature spirits; they refer to the Six as the "Spirits of Action" and do not call them by their name, but by what they govern. For instance, Balthazar is War and Kormir is Knowledge.[25] The asura consider the gods to be relatively large parts (but parts nonetheless) of their Eternal Alchemy.

The sylvari, having appeared only in 1302 AE and therefore having never actually witnessed the work of the gods, remained unconvinced they existed at all until the recent return of Balthazar made them reconsider their views. The sylvari heading the reclamation of Orr in Siren's Landing have changed their views of the gods and interpret them as powerful royals to the humans rather than godly beings per se while trying to understand the significance behind the term "god" itself.[26]

Statues[edit]

Throughout the current and formerly human-controlled lands of Tyria, statues of the Six Gods can be found. There are typically two designs for each of the gods, though a third has been observed for Balthazar and Dwayna, and only one statue of Abaddon remains. At least one of the statue designs was made by Malchor, whose original statues were placed at the gods' respective temples - only the statue of Dwayna made by Malchor is known to have been seen, though altered from its original form by Zhaitan's corruption.

Of the two designs, one is seen across Orr, the Desolation, and in Divinity's Reach, the latter holding inscriptions from Malchor except for Grenth and Kormir - which hold inscriptions by Desmina and Jurah respectively. It would seem that humanity had returned to older statue designs within Divinity's Reach, given the Orrian origin of this design and how Kormir, who became a god after Orr's sinking, has statues of this design.

The other design of the statues, which were the only style seen 250 years ago, can be found throughout Tyria, mainly in abandoned locations. One exception to this is Dwayna's statue which is also seen in Malchor's workshop, stated to be imperfect designs. Why these supposedly imperfect were spread throughout Tyria is unknown.

Statues of the second design can be seen in:

Gallery[edit]

Screenshots[edit]

Concept art[edit]

Notes[edit]

  • Humans often refer to the pantheon as the Six Gods or simply the Six. Other races most commonly refer to them as Human Gods. They are also known as:
    • the Five Gods (during the time between the Exodus and Nightfall)
    • the Old Gods (archaic Krytan name; in contrast to the "new gods", the Unseen Ones, who were worshiped in Kryta for a time)
    • the True Gods (archaic name; in contrast to the "false gods" of cults throughout Tyria and Elona)
    • the Ancient Gods (used by Forgotten)
    • the Ancient Ones (used by Forgotten)

Trivia[edit]

  • The name of Abaddon's predecessor is speculated to be Arachnia, as this name can be found by datamining Guild Wars. However, it is unknown if this is canon.

References[edit]

Gwwlogo.png The Guild Wars Wiki has an article on Human Gods.
  1. ^ a b Memory of Dhuum's Last Stand
  2. ^ a b Abaddon's Gate
  3. ^ Koss on Koss (book)
  4. ^ Journal of Kormir
  5. ^ Heart of the Volcano Scanner: No—life—detected. Only—magic—energy—present.
  6. ^ Something Wicked This Way Comes
  7. ^ a b Dialogue with Dunbri.
  8. ^ GuildMag issue #1 Q&A with Ree Soesbee, GuildMag.com
  9. ^ "Do you?" roared the dragon, rearing up and spreading her wings through the vault. "I am Glint, Keeper of the Flameseeker Prophecies, Protector of the Forgotten, Foe of the Lich Lord, and Downfall of the Titans! Three thousand years ago, I was set here as a guardian of the world. Three hundred years ago, I welcomed heroes such as yourselves, hailing them as the Chosen who would destroy the titans and save the world. But did they remember? Did not the very heroes that I sent return to battle me again? And now you come to slay me?" "Chapter 26: Seeking the Sanctum." Edge of Destiny by J. Robert King.
  10. ^ Return to Camp Resolve Eir Stegalkin: She had the gift of prophecy and the burden of three thousand years of memories.
  11. ^ a b The History of Tyria, Volume 1 by Thadeus Lamount
  12. ^ The Guild Wars Manuscripts
  13. ^ Edge of Destiny by J. Robert King
  14. ^ The Ruined City of Arah (explorable)
    Varra Skylark: It shows that the awakening of the dragons is a natural and cycling thing. The stars only indicate the passing ages. They do not determine events here.
    <Character name>: When was that last time?
    Varra Skylark: Around ten thousend years ago. You know what this means? The Elder Dragons may have been responsible for the extinction of the Giganticus Lupicus!
  15. ^ An Empire Divided: A Selected History of Mysterious Cantha for the Traveling Scholar by Loremaster Ermenred of Ascalon
  16. ^ Guild Wars 2: Path of Fire—Road to the Desert
  17. ^ Cathedral of Silence Avatar of Grenth: You seek the heart of Orr? Then you must go to the very beginning. The rock where the gods first set foot upon this world. There is an artesian well hidden in the mountains behind the temple of Melandru. There, you will find the place where Orr began.
  18. ^ A Parable of Abaddon
  19. ^ Hidden Arcana Ogden Stonehealer: Much of what we know about them comes from a document written by the first humans to walk the face of Tyria: the Scroll of the Five True Gods. [...] In it, the gods revealed the names of the Elder Dragons: Mordremoth, Kralkatorrik, Jormag, Zhaitan, and Primordus. [...] The gods expound on how Tyria's health is tied directly to them. This portion is somewhat abstract, however.
  20. ^ The Ruined City of Arah (explorable) Seer path Randall Greyston: The human gods recovered this bloodstone, and gave magic to the human race. When humanity could not handle that power, they split it into five parts. The first bloodstone was broken into pieces in Arah.
  21. ^ Dialogue with Kormir in Facing the Truth.
  22. ^ Dialogue with Rytlock Brimstone in The Sacrifice.
  23. ^ Comment by Charlie Engelhard, Reddit.com
  24. ^ Comment by Charlie Engelhard, Reddit.com
  25. ^ Lore Interview with Jeff Grubb, GuildMag
  26. ^ Ambient dialogue at Abaddon's Reliquary.