Snow Leopard (Spirit of the Wild)

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Disambig icon.png This article is about the Spirit of the Wild. For other uses, see Snow Leopard (disambiguation).
Spoiler alert: The following text contains spoilers relating to the personal story and The Icebrood Saga.

May Snow Leopard grant you swiftness and grace.

Snow Leopard Shaman

Snow Leopard, also known as Spirit of Snow Leopard or Snow Leopard Spirit, is a Great Spirit of the Wild. 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.

Biography[edit]

Early years[edit]

As a solitary Spirit of speed and cunning and the natural embodiment of all snow leopards,[1] Snow Leopard, also known as Snow Lynx,[2][3] 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 at the face of danger. The norn respect the secrets she collects.[4] 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.[5]

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.[6] 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.[7][8] 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.[4]

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.[9]

Personal story[edit]

In 1325 AE, 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.

The Icebrood Saga[edit]

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.

Rituals[edit]

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.[5]

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.[10]

The havroun of Snow Leopard invokes the Spirit's name so she can grant the havroun and any nearby allies stealth and let them safely enter the Mists.[11]

Story involvement[edit]

Personal story[edit]

Combat abilities[edit]

Abilities
  • Pounces on Foes

Followers[edit]

Places of worship[edit]

Dredgehaunt Cliffs
Hoelbrak
Lornar's Pass
Snowden Drifts
Wayfarer Foothills

Gallery[edit]

Concept art
Screenshots

Related achievements[edit]

  • Legendary Weapons (achievements).png Legendary Weapons: Astralaria IV: The CosmosThe heavens have aligned to support you in your quest! Chart their places within the heavens to discern their wisdom, and defeat the Elder Dragons and their spawn that threaten the world. Complete these tasks, and earn the Gift of the Cosmos, the penultimate step in attaining the legendary axe known as Astralaria. (3Achievement pointsGift of the CosmosThis is a hidden achievement.)
  • Legendary Weapons (achievements).png Legendary Weapons: Howler III: HowlGhosts. Shades. Spirits of the Wild. They exist within our world and somewhere else as well, insubstantial, yet powerful. Meditate upon their nature in your journey to craft the legendary precursor known as Howl. (3Achievement pointsChest of SpiritThis is a hidden achievement.)
  • Legendary Weapons (achievements).png Legendary Weapons: The Moot III: The EnergizerAfter the successful hunt comes the celebration, when all the pent-up energy of the battle is released in food and song. Drink, dine, dance, and revel across the land of Tyria in your journey to attain the legendary precursor known as the Energizer. (3Achievement pointsChest of the CelebrationThis is a hidden achievement.)

Notes[edit]

Trivia[edit]

  • Snow Leopard is featured in many common norn phrases such as "Run with the swiftness of Snow Leopard,"[12] and "Snow Leopard give [one] patience."[13]

See also[edit]

Associated items
Associated effects

References[edit]

  1. ^ Shaman Sigarr
  2. ^ 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."
  3. ^ a b Guild Wars 2 Lore Q&A, GuildWars2Guru.com
  4. ^ a b A Spirit of Legend
  5. ^ a b Valharantha
  6. ^ Old Fiach
  7. ^ Gamal
  8. ^ Skaald Stjarna
  9. ^ 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[sic] 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.
  10. ^ Snow Leopard Lodge ambient dialogue
  11. ^ 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!
  12. ^ Skald Ketil
  13. ^ Iogaer Syllvang