Snow Leopard (Spirit of the Wild)
May Snow Leopard grant you swiftness and grace.
Snow Leopard, also known as Spirit of Snow Leopard or Snow Leopard Spirit, is a Great Spirit of the Wild and the natural embodiment of all snow leopards. She is revered by the norn, who build shrines and lodges to honor her, the most notable being the Snow Leopard Lodge. According to her Speaker, Valharantha, Snow Leopard is dedicated to stealth and prowess on the hunt, as well as independence. She reminds us that sometimes the best approach is the one least expected. She is also associated with strategy, laughter in the face of danger, and is considered to be solitary.
As a solitary Spirit of speed and cunning and the natural embodiment of all snow leopards, Snow Leopard, also known as Snow Lynx, is said to be dedicated to stealth and prowess on the hunt, and has become a symbol of independence. She reminds people that sometimes the best approach is the one least expected and laughs in the face of danger. The norn respect the secrets she collects. Snow Leopard's teachings contain a darker, feral side: when some of her followers are on the hunt, they give themselves to their animal side as the scent of their prey becomes their entire world, and they become wild and dangerous, like Snow Leopard herself.
Following the Elder Dragon Jormag's awakening in 1165 AE, the norn tried to defend their lands in the Far Shiverpeaks from its corruption and destruction, but they were no match for the Ice Dragon. Snow Leopard was one of the Spirits of the Wild who aided the norn in their exodus to the south. It is said that she was one of the four Spirits—along with Bear, Raven, and Wolf—who revealed themselves to the norn hero Asgeir Dragonrender over the field of battle after Jormag had devoured Owl and instructed him to lead the surviving norn south to a sanctuary while Ox, Eagle and Wolverine stayed behind to distract and battle the Ice Dragon. Asgeir's personal journal, however, included additional information not known by the rest of the norn about the circumstances of him severing Jormag's fang and his reasons for leading the exodus south.
Thanks to her actions, Snow Leopard became one of the four most highly regarded Spirits of the Wild and had the Snow Leopard Lodge built in her honor in Hoelbrak. Although the four Spirits had worked together to help the norn survive Jormag's attacks, they—or their followers—were not always on the best of terms. Followers of Wolf scorn Snow Leopard's stealth as "cowardice," and the shamans of Bear are known to mistrust Raven's adherents, calling their deceptions dishonorable and weak.
In the past, Bear, Raven and Snow Leopard gave their respective blessings to Wolf's map which was in Captain Romke's possession. When the Spirits were invoked, the map could display everything between the traveler's current position and the destination they wanted to reach. However, the boastful norn crew's voyage came to a sudden end due to the Rising of Orr which was caused by the Elder Dragon Zhaitan's awakening in 1219 AE. The map was lost in the crew's battle against the Risen, and the slain crew members' ghosts were cursed to haunt the shores of Orr until the map was retrieved and the Spirits had forgiven the crew's pride.
In 1325 AE, the Slayer of Issormir went on a quest to retrieve their ancestor Romke's horn from the Sons of Svanir and was given a choice to either destroy the horn or keep it. If the Slayer chose to return to Hoelbrak with the horn in the company of Eir Stegalkin and Garm, the trio were ambushed by a group of Sons of Svanir led by Niilo Wolfskinner in the Great Lodge. The horn had been corrupted by Jormag's magic, however, and its powers burst out during the battle. Despite its corrupted state, the horn also manifested what appeared to be ghostly visions of the four Great Spirits of the Wild, including Snow Leopard, as it repelled the Sons of Svanir although the horn was depowered when it shattered during the battle.
During the Pact's campaign against the Elder Dragon Zhaitan later that year, the Pact Commander and Trahearne retrieved Romke's lost map from Risen-infested waters and lifted the curse which had affected the crew's ghosts. As the map was brought to the grateful Romke, he was able to invoke the Spirits' magic on the map to help the pair locate the Artesian Waters while avatars of the four Great Spirits watched on in approval.
During the campaign against Jormag's forces in Bjora Marches in 1332 AE, the Vigil made a shocking discovery within the frigid, mountainous confines of Asgeir's Legacy: the personal journal of Asgeir Dragonrender himself. In the journal's pages, Asgeir revealed that he had a private conversation with Jormag after rending the Elder Dragon's fang, and that Jormag had explained how its violent actions had only been a form of self defense. Jormag had come to view Asgeir as a worthy warrior and had realized how much he cared for the norn, so the Ice Dragon let him leave alive with a choice: Asgeir could return with more warriors and watch them all die as the dragon continued defending itself, or he could use the severed fang to convince the norn to move south and live in peace with Jormag promising not to follow them as it had come to view them as a race worthy of being preserved. Realizing that the norn would stand no chance against the Elder Dragon even with the enchantments of the jotun scroll and the blessings of the Spirits of the Wild, Asgeir had lied that the Spirits, not Jormag, had instructed him to lead the norn to a southern sanctuary. Despite believing that the lie had been necessary, Asgeir could not help but wonder if he had been tricked by Jormag to give up the fight and if he could have been capable of slaying the Elder Dragon; that uncertainty was a burden he would carry for the rest of his life.
In 1333 AE, Imperator Bangar Ruinbringer of the Blood Legion led his Dominion army to the Drizzlewood Coast where he intended to awaken and subjugate Jormag deep within the hallowed site known as the Sanctum of the Wild. He came to realize that he needed to corrupt his soldiers into the Frost Legion with Jormag's blood in order to hasten the Elder Dragon's awakening. The Blood Imperator set aside his initial aminosity with the Sons of Svanir and allied with the cult who then helped him capture the totems of Bear, Raven, Snow Leopard, and Wolf. Bangar positioned the totems before the slumbering Jormag in a twisted ritual, planning to corrupt the Great Spirits of the Wild and use them as a carrot to control the Ice Dragon by infusing their magic into himself.
The Great Spirits' essence was trapped within the sacred totems so they were unable to call for help at first, remaining silent to any norn trying to invoke them. Once Braham, Crecia, Rytlock and the Commander had successfully used the lesser Spirits' power instead to open the enchanted door to the Sanctum of the Wild, Braham was finally able to hear the Great Spirits calling to him in pain. Upon reaching Bangar deep within the Frost Citadel, they learned his plans to leech the Great Spirits' magic. In the ensuing battle, the party managed to sever Bangar's link to the Spirits although Ryland arrived on the scene soon after to direct the Great Spirits' magic straight to Jormag instead much to Bangar's frustration.
The Commander was ultimately able to release the Great Spirits from the totems, preventing them from being corrupted. However, Jormag had siphoned enough magic from the Spirits to finally awaken, letting the Ice Dragon resume their delayed campaign on Tyria.
Petitioners who seek Snow Leopard's wisdom often stop by at the Snow Leopard Lodge. While there, they ask for advice from Snow Leopard's shamans to perform specific ritualistic acts to improve their standing in the eyes of the Spirit. Snow Leopard accepts offerings of prey that hunters have slain, though she especially honors those offerings taken with speed or stealth.
Snow Leopard lets her followers contemplate their kills in silence. Those who question if it is a crime or a cowardly act to strike their foes unseen are told that Snow Leopard cloaks the sound of their steps and guides their blade. As such, the Spirit favors those who show their cunning and patience via spying on or stalking their prey.
- Chapter 2: Everyone Makes Mistakes
- Chapter 8: Victory or Death
- Romke's Final Voyage (as "Snow Leopard Spirit")
- Pounces on Foes
- Elder Shaman Aukje
- Genora Silentstalker
- Gyda Oddsdottir
- Havroun Svena - Havroun
- Leopard Shaman Amund
- Shaman Purda
- Shaman Sigarr
- Shaman Velja
- Valharantha - Speaker
- Valryn Jonsdottir
- Vaxela of the Leopard's Walk
- Wovil the Frostpaw
Places of worship
- Concept art
The projection of Snow Leopard that appears over the Snow Leopard Lodge.
Snow Leopard guild emblem.
- Astralaria IV: The Cosmos: Star Chart: Great Spirit Snow Leopard
- Howler III: Howl: Snow Leopard's Grace
- The Moot III: The Energizer: Celebrate Snow Leopard
- Snow Leopard is featured in many common norn phrases such as "Run with the swiftness of Snow Leopard,", "Snow Leopard give [one] patience," "By Snow Leopard's lazy tail," and "By (Snow) Leopard's pink nose."
- According to A Spirit of Legend, followers of Wolf are generally known to scorn Snow Leopard's use of stealth as cowardice although Snow Leopard's havroun Svena is friends with Wolf's havroun Solvi and Apprentice Valda. This animosity seems to extend to the two Great Spirits as well. In the Still Waters Speaking story step, Snow Leopard is notably the only Great Spirit whom Wolf does not address as his sibling.
- Associated items
- Associated effects
- ^ a b Skuld
- ^ Shaman Sigarr
- ^ a b Guild Wars: Eye of the North manual, GuildWars.com, pg. 6:
- The Norn revere the spirits of nature—from the wolf to the snow lynx—but the most powerful of these is the Bear Spirit, who, according to myth, blessed the Norn with the ability to change shape and "become the bear."
- ^ a b Guild Wars 2 Lore Q&A, GuildWars2Guru.com
- ^ a b A Spirit of Legend
- ^ a b Valharantha
- ^ Old Fiach
- ^ Gamal
- ^ Skaald Stjarna
- ^ Still Waters Speaking
- Wolf Spirit: The kodan ignore our voices. They cannot speak to Ox, Eagle, or Wolverine. But Braham can.
- Braham Eirsson: Why me?
- Wolf Spirit: You cracked the Fang of the Serpent. Fate now decrees you will either slay Jormag or fall to Jormag.
- Wolf Spirit: All Spirits know this. Even when taken and corrupted. You must go to their shrines. Demand their power. [...]
- Wolf Spirit: You are a norn of prophecy, but you are not yet true norn. Any can wear the wolf, but only true norn can become the wolf.
- ^ Romke's Final Voyage
- Captain Romke: The map you seek is a sacred thing, blessed by all four Spirits of the Wild. Even in death, we could not leave it in this wretched place. [...]
- Captain Romke: If we return Wolf's map...the Spirits of the Wild will finally forgive my foolish pride. [...]
- Trahearne: As expected. My research indicates the true map will remain dormant until the traveler opens it and speaks their destination aloud.
- Trahearne: The map will then displays the target location, everything around it, and everything between it and the traveler's current position. [...]
- Trahearne: Indeed. But you must show us how to use the map to find the Source of Orr.
- Captain Romke: I shall. It starts by calling upon the Spirits of the Wild. Their power makes the map function.
- ^ One Charr, One Dragon, One Champion
- Story journal: The former Blood imperator had used the Svanir to help him capture the totems of Wolf, Bear, Snow Leopard, and Raven, positioning them before Jormag in a kind of twisted ritual. Bangar was planning to corrupt the Spirits of the Wild and use them as a carrot to control Jormag, the same way Jormag used the powers of Ox, Eagle, and Wolverine to control Drakkar in the Bjora Marches.
- ^ Wrench in the Works
- <Character name>: Any updates on our big stone door?
- Braham Eirsson: Well, I can't speak with Wolf, Snow Leopard, Bear, or Raven. I feel their magic, but they're not responding.
- Braham Eirsson: It's not enough to open the door. I think I'll need to channel the magic from...all the other Spirits.
- <Character name>: All of them? Even the corrupted ones?
- Braham Eirsson: Just...give me some more time, okay?
- ^ One Charr, One Dragon, One Champion
- Rytlock Brimstone: The Spirits?
- Braham Eirsson: They're calling to me. They're...they're in pain.
- Braham Eirsson: If Jormag corrupts them like Ox and the other—
- ^ Snow Leopard Lodge ambient dialogue
- ^ Through the Veil
- Havroun Svena: Snow Leopard, grant us your stealth. Let us slip into the land of secrets.
- Havroun Svena: We come to aid those who have devoted themselves to defending the Spirits of the Wild.
- Havroun Svena: Bless us with your vision and shield us from the rising evil.
- Havroun Svena: Grant us safe passage to the Mists!
- ^ Skald Ketil
- ^ Iogaer Syllvang
- ^ Ghosts of Ascalon by Jeff Grubb and Matt Forbeck
- ^ Hunter Gronach
- ^ A Pup's Illness
- Eir: Snow Leopard's havroun, Svena, is friends with me, as well as Valda and Master Solvi. Meet me at her shrine and we'll ask her for help.