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#61 Steadfast Gao Shun

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 07:58 PM

... I have this idea that Koda is actually something the Kodan leaders to fool Kodan society, a sort of "Greater Good" concept that is abstract and philosophical rather than a physical being. I could be wrong, but Koda doesn't actively interfere in the activities of his followers, right? The can't raise bone minions or make purple glitter or raise the dead or shoot eye lasers or conjure the elements or .... I dunno, whatever Melandru does for her followers.

Add the fact that all the things the Six have been doing seems to be a GROSS violation of anyone's definition of balance, it strikes me as extremely odd that Koda, in all his might and wisdom and glory, did not strike down these puny spirits of these unbalanced creatures. Where were they when the Jotun/Seers/Forgotten were fighting for Tyria? Sitting in their mobile fridge fortresses holding paws and singing psalms, probably.

Personally, My crackpot theory is that Koda is Abaddon. When Abaddon was cast down into the Domain of Anguish, the Kodan lost contact with him. The Claw and the Voice does not know this, as too much of their history has been lost for whatever reason. Instead, Kodan society is extremely insular (to the point of xenophobia), and their spellcasters are actively "seeking" to interpret "Koda's will" by looking for their lost god. The Rage of Koda is therefore logical - Abaddon is mad. Mortal spellcasters entering into the Mists without ascension or equivalent WILL be driven insane, so as a Voice grows powerful enough to find "Koda" and discover the reality behind it, it cannot communicate what it finds to the rest of the people. This essentially leads to a negative feedback cycle, where the less powerful "voices" cannot know the truth, and those that do know the truth are dead from knowing the truth.

...Given how Abaddon's domain is knowledge and secrets, I would think he would take great pleasure in this, even in his current state of madness.

On Zhaitan: I personally suspect that Zhaitan isn't dead. That whole fight felt too easy, and no matter how you stretch the suspension of disbelief, it basically took a handful of heroes and airships to beat him up. My own crackpot theory is that - based on Anet's habit of releasing stuff afterwards (Sorrow's Furnace) - Zhaitan's been "broken," but he is under Arah still, dreaming and ready to rise again.

Edited by Steadfast Gao Shun, 30 November 2012 - 08:13 PM.


#62 Flaming_Foxx

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 08:37 PM

View PostSteadfast Gao Shun, on 30 November 2012 - 07:58 PM, said:

-snip-

Because to disrupt the gods would also be to disrupt balance, that would be shifting things in your own favour, or in favour of what you saw as the greater good - and Koda is far to philosophical and good to do that.

Also, I haven't actually finished the main storyline - I see no need to rush it - but I thought that the concept behind Zhaitan was that he is made up of dead things/the corpses of other dragons. If so then I would be inclined to say he isn't all that dead.

Edited by Flaming_Foxx, 30 November 2012 - 08:39 PM.


#63 Steadfast Gao Shun

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 08:56 PM

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Because to disrupt the gods would also be to disrupt balance, that would be shifting things in your own favour, or in favour of what you saw as the greater good - and Koda is far to philosophical and good to do that.

Except in this case, Almighty Koda is judge, jury, and executioner. As the highest source of morality and enlightenment, Koda is the definition of good. Thus, whatever benefits Koda must be the most "correct" thing to do, and that includes forcefully correcting the other races.

Irrelevant anecdote: Some of the Kodan you talk to in the game have a disturbingly supremacist view that made me somewhat uncomfortable, and one near the Kodan sanctuary actually sprouted what I think must be a Dr. Who reference (you know how some NPCs, if you talk to them repeatedly/wait for long enough they say funny things, like a Durmand Priory historian telling you that "History does not lie... Historians, on the other hand..."? One of the Kodan goes EXTERMINATE. EXTERMINATE if you spam F near him :P)

Humanity's expansion is clearly unnatural, and goes against nature - especially considering that much of what humanity did was to tame nature and bring about civilization. If Koda is unaware, then he cannot be the creator of the world (how could an architect be unaware of the house he built?). If Koda is aware of humanity's actions and choose to not act, he is either a hypocrite or he is not nearly as powerful as the Kodan perceives.

The caveat to this, of course, and what the Kodan would answer, is that I am not Kodan, and therefore unenlightened and incapable of criticizing or understanding Koda. Their logic and philosophical reasoning is very circular and sound.

I made the connection to Abaddon because details, based on what we know, is really, really fishy. Their communal focus eliminates individualism, but at the same time, only one individual (the Voice) is considered to be the "high" authority of interpreting Koda's will. If Koda is really as benevolent as he is suggested to be, then surely Koda wouldn't mind questions? Thus, I drew parallels between these guys and certain historical uses of religion as a political tool, such as limiting access of the Bible to medieval Christians or withholding scriptures from the branch temples so the Pure-land sect can wield unlimited power over the Tang dynasty. Such harsh restrictions are only necessary if it is beneficial to those currently in power.

I think the Kodan's got something to hide. ;) But again, this is all just a crackpot theory from me.

Edited by Steadfast Gao Shun, 30 November 2012 - 09:24 PM.


#64 Konig Des Todes

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 09:01 PM

@Steadfast: Your notions hold a few holes in them.

1) Not all of the Six Gods are destructive, and as the kodan themselves will preach, not all destructive habits are against balance. Balance is the co-existence of good and evil, not the sole existence of good. The Six Gods as a whole actually personify balance perfectly. Dwayna, Melandru, and Lyssa are beneficiaries - particularly the former two - while Balthazar, Dhuum, and Abaddon are rather harsher; when Grenth takes over, he is among the harsher of gods, though less so than Dhuum, and Kormir has been taken to be used for justice and thus also holds a harsher side to her (punishing evil), though she's a greatly brighter side than Abaddon which somewhat offsets the former balance.

2) If the theory that the great storm was indeed caused by Jormag, the kodan were hiding from the Elder Dragons, probably unaware of what was causing the many-decade blizzard, and not yet on sanctuaries.

3) Abaddon holds no ties to balance or any of Koda's titles. And the Voices are still in contact with Koda. Abaddon being dead, means that if Abaddon and Koda were one in the same, then they couldn't converse with Koda in modern times. The Rage of Koda is a symptom of stress mixed in with contact of the Mists. It's basically a mental breakdown that got amplified due to their connections. I would imagine this can also happen to havrouns in norn culture, given that they are also tied to the Mists via their Spirit of the Wild.

Something to note about Koda's titles in relation to the Six Gods - something I noted since the get go: He is called "the Ancient One, Founder of the Earth, Keeper of the Sky" in the blog post. The Six Gods are, by the forgotten, called the Ancient Ones. Melandru terraformed (parts of) the world, and Dwayna is the goddess of air. As such, I'd be willing to argue that Koda is instead a personification of both Melandru and Dwayna.

However, should the great storm be from when the Elder Dragons rose, this would then mean the Six Gods knew of the world Tyria long before they arrived - before the Elder Dragons previously rose, even. If so, then koda cannot be Dwayna, Melandru, nor Abaddon. So an alternative possibility - if there's even a connection between Koda and the Six Gods - would be that Koda was Melandru's predecessor. Why Melandru?

"When she saw destruction, she brought creation. Where she saw anger, she grew love. With this, Melandru prepared for a future she knew would be troubled." - Orrian History Scrolls

In other words, Melandru was bringing balance to the world.

Onto Zhaitan: The lasers and cannons used to kill Zhaitan are specially designed based off of both Snaff's and Kudu's research on the Elder Dragons and their draconic energies - probably with a bit of Gorr's theories as well. As a member of the Order of Whispers, for retaking Claw Island there's an option to go with Gorr to create an anti-Elder Dragon device. The cannons likely derived from that, empowered by Snaff and Kudu's research that Zojja obtained. It was said Zojja herself upgraded them and the lasers, after all.

In other words, those "handful of heroes and airships" were specifically designed and equipped with weapons that were also specifically designed to kill an Elder Dragon. And that's ignoring the fact that they've been starving Zhaitan for who knows how long the Orr invasion took, weakening Zhaitan day by day.

Zhaitan is dead, however, per the explorable mode dungeon's tokens:

A small piece of Zhaitan, forever dead. - Shard of Zhaitan

View PostSteadfast Gao Shun, on 30 November 2012 - 08:56 PM, said:

Except in this case, Almighty Koda is judge, jury, and executioner. As the highest source of morality and enlightenment, Koda is the definition of good. Thus, whatever benefits Koda must be the most "correct" thing to do, and that includes forcefully correcting the other races.
Koda is never called jury and executioner. And your take is very Knight Templar and not kodan like at all.

View PostSteadfast Gao Shun, on 30 November 2012 - 08:56 PM, said:

One of the Kodan goes EXTERMINATE. EXTERMINATE if you spam F near him :P)
If you're actually serious with this, I think you were spamming F so much you became delusional.

View PostSteadfast Gao Shun, on 30 November 2012 - 08:56 PM, said:

how could an architect be unaware of the house he built?
Last time I checked, the person who built the building I'm living in doesn't know diddly squat about what I have inside or do inside it. Hell, he might even be dead, I don't know how old this building is.

Poor example. Koda simply has to not be present. I do not believe there's any claim that Koda is omnipresent, let alone omnipotent or omnibenevolent (or hell, even just simply benevolent). I mean, hell, they don't even credit Koda as having made the world either! Just that he was a god at the beginning of time. That he was simply present as the world formed.

Details on what we know are very fishy because, quite frankly, we only know two paragraphs worth on Koda. Give or take. And you're making a lot of assumptions, relating Koda to be taken as the same as the Abrahamic God. Just because both faiths are monotheistic doesn't mean the gods are treated the same.

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#65 Flaming_Foxx

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 09:08 PM

View PostKonig Des Todes, on 30 November 2012 - 09:01 PM, said:

-snip-

I'm sorry but don't you see how that can be slightly humorous.

"A small piece of Zhaitan, forever dead" - He was technically already 'dead', undead doesn't really mean not dead (because otherwise all of us are undead), it simply refers to animated dead, which Zhaitan was. Nothing in that small quote says that he no longer exists - simply that he is not alive, which he never was in the first place. :D

#66 Konig Des Todes

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 09:11 PM

Nothing says Zhaitan was already dead or undead. He holds the appearance of rotting skin, but being an Elder Dragon, they aren't technically "normal" in how they biologically function. He is called the Elder Undead Dragon because he controls undeath. The description your basing off of - the one from the Making of Guild Wars 2 - is not entirely accurate to the actual concept art or Zhaitan's final model. That concept art where Zhaitan was comprised of many undead dragons is this one: http://wiki.guildwar...concept_art.jpg

In turn, this is not how his final model in game looks: http://wiki.guildwar.../49/Zhaitan.jpg

One can argue that given the fact no Elder Dragon eats nutrients, none of them are living. However, the act of living in fantasy isn't solely the case of having functioning biological organs like it is in reality. Rather, its the act of having a corporeal body and a mind - to be a sapient mobile being. Undeath is simply leaving that state then returning to it in a rotten form. If one doesn't leave the state, even if rotting, he is living - even if as a construct of rocks and stone. Death thus occurs when there is no more movement - when the sapience or sentience leaves. This is Zhaitan's case (as I doubt the Pact would be stupid enough to not check for his body).

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#67 Steadfast Gao Shun

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 09:14 PM

You realize my whole theory started as a joke, right? ;)

Quote

1) Not all of the Six Gods are destructive, and as the kodan themselves will preach, not all destructive habits are against balance. Balance is the co-existence of good and evil, not the sole existence of good. The Six Gods as a whole actually personify balance perfectly. Dwayna, Melandru, and Lyssa are beneficiaries - particularly the former two - while Balthazar, Dhuum, and Abaddon are rather harsher; when Grenth takes over, he is among the harsher of gods, though less so than Dhuum, and Kormir has been taken to be used for justice and thus also holds a harsher side to her (punishing evil), though she's a greatly brighter side than Abaddon which somewhat offsets the former balance.


I had another post above in response to Flame Fox's inquiries. My argument is that sure, while the Six do balance each other out to some degree, their collective support of humanity - Badazar helping humanity to conquer their enemies, for instance - which allowed humans to spread like wildfire across Tyria is very difficult to interpret as being "in" balance.  

Quote

2) If the theory that the great storm was indeed caused by Jormag, the kodan were hiding from the Elder Dragons, probably unaware of what was causing the many-decade blizzard, and not yet on sanctuaries.


Sure. However, given that no concrete evidence is actually given, we don't know when the storm actually happened. Plus, judging from the unchanging nature of Kodan society, I think it's a valid interpretation that their separation of Claw and Voice existed even before the Sanctuaries existed, judging from the fact that there was a Voiceless Claw who took his people south. There's a ton of ifs here, but IF Koda ends up being a philosophical construct meant to kept Kodan society functioning, then that storm is simply a sign of how old the Kodan might be.

Quote

3) Abaddon holds no ties to balance or any of Koda's titles. And the Voices are still in contact with Koda. Abaddon being dead, means that if Abaddon and Koda were one in the same, then they couldn't converse with Koda in modern times. The Rage of Koda is a symptom of stress mixed in with contact of the Mists. It's basically a mental breakdown that got amplified due to their connections. I would imagine this can also happen to havrouns in norn culture, given that they are also tied to the Mists via their Spirit of the Wild.


Right. There is no connection to any of Koda's known titles, but given the nature of Koda, we'd probably see more titles show up. I'm aware of all that. But you don't find it strange at all that only a small handful of individuals are actually "communicating" with Koda? Most of the Kodan are in communion with their community, but only the Voice, who is considered to be all-knowing and blessed and free from errors, which allows them to interpret Koda's will in any way they choose?

I am aware of what the official lore presents, but at the same time, I am suspicious of the Kodan, period. What if Koda doesn't actually exist? If the Sylvari or Charr have the right to question, don't we, too, have those same capabilities? Bear in mind that Koda's initial mission to his followers was to watch and learn. Surely that's a pretty firm connection to that and secrets, knowledge, what have you? Kormir became the Goddess of Truth (Justice). There's no reason to assume that Abaddon couldn't have been performing the same role.

Plus, when you consider that they expanded all the way to the borders of the ocean...

EDIT: I revise my original hypothesis. ;)  Everything remains the same still, except in this case, whereas before the Voice would be driven insane by Abaddon, they are now driven insane due to the simple trip to the Domain of Anguish, and the fact that a puny human was able to upset the balance and become a god by doing nothing except occasionally shout at the people who did all the work.

Edited by Steadfast Gao Shun, 30 November 2012 - 09:23 PM.


#68 Konig Des Todes

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 09:22 PM

Dwayna and Melandru sought to have humanity co-exist with other races. Balthazar sought to have humanity rule the world. Nothing is said of how Abaddon/Abaddon's predecessor, Dhuum, or Lyssa reacted to this.

I never argued against the roles of Claw and Voice to have ever been conjoined nor would I argue such. Nor do I see how that's relevant.

I do not find that strange at all. The role of the Voice is no different than the role of Havroun among norn society - of which there is only one per spirit, just as there's only one Voice per Sanctuary (or tribe). It'd be like saying it is weird there's only one High Priest of a faith - or one Pope of the Catholic community.

And where do you get that the Voices are "free from error" or "all-knowing and blessed" because this is brand new to me and I've been throughout Frostgorge Sound. They really do admit that even the Voices can make errors - this is why the Claw exists, in fact, to help reduce those errors.

And please re-read my previous post as I edited it in response to your response of Flaming Foxx.

And your line about Kormir... I'm just going to ignore it because your forcing mechanical limitations into lore (either you had Rurik 2.0 or your had what Kormir was, or you had an invincible but fighting NPC which would make the game an afk fest).

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#69 Steadfast Gao Shun

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 09:36 PM

Quote

If you're actually serious with this, I think you were spamming F so much you became delusional.


Calling me delusional, loremaster...  Is this the kind of example you wish to set for this community? ;)

The role of the Voice, being the sole authority in which religious/moral principles that govern how a particular race behaves, is directly contradictory to a religious belief in which one should be mindful watchers and learners seeking to bring about balance. The Kodan's collectivist nature as a society is contradicted by the role of the Voice. If anything, everyone should have an equal part in interpreting Koda's will, but instead, we have a high authority who

Quote

It is the Voice's duty to seek and interpret the will of Koda, and to bring spiritual guidance to the kodan of his Sanctuary. In these things, the Voice is all-knowing and blessed, possessed of supernatural knowledge, authority, and freedom from any error and sin. They can sanction laws, proclaim judgments on a grand scale, and interpret Koda's will in any situation.


This literally gives the Voice carte blanche to do anything they want. We can certainly make the argument that the Kodan are benevolent and good  and therefore the Voice acts for the greater good and etc. However, the converse argument - that the Kodan are a race of racist badass polar bears out to be world police - is just as easily made. The difference between the Voice and the Havroun is that firstly, the Norn are not a theocracy, and I would argue that Havrouns are not supreme-leader-esque in any way. Furthermore, the Spirit of the Wild's goals are very different than that of Koda, but I feel like that's a different line of arguments altogether.

I presented a theory for fun. I do not expect to convert anyone to the worship of Koda or to convince anyone that Koda is really Abaddon. ;) I consider the process in which I've arrived at the interpretation to be an exercise in itself. If you feel offended by seeing an interpretation that is different than yours, then I apologize.

EDIT: On the note of Kormir and how that could play into any hypothesis: we have so little canonical detail to work with in regards to the Kodan that really, anything goes. We do not know their tendency to "judge" is a result of a recent invention in order to compensate for disasters (e.g. taking in my hypothesis that Koda is construct designed to solidify power of the Kodan), an actual tradition tasked from Koda himself (if Koda is real, and in some way, a deity much like the human Six), or if it is the result of something else altogether. The Voice could have easily discovered the state of the new Domain of Anguish, and decided that to fit in a theme of truth and justice in order to keep their society functioning. After all, a collective society that places the greater good above the individual, coupled with obedience to authority, makes a society that is easily moldable to anything its leaders wish.

The Koda have a strong oral tradition. Whether that is because truly, they possess a connection with Koda thanks to the Voice, or that it is easy to muddle the facts and "forget" details that are disadvantageous in order to keep its population controlled is something to consider as well. The Kodan, after all, do not expose their young for fear of "outside influence." Again, if Koda's way is the correct way, and that Kodan are at the highest level of enlightenment, don't you think that they should be allowed to test the truthfulness of that for themselves?

Edited by Steadfast Gao Shun, 30 November 2012 - 10:16 PM.


#70 Konig Des Todes

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 09:58 PM

Well that line is a bit contradictory to in-game text, but then again it is more or less writing from an in-unverse standpoint like much of such documents (e.g., it's fallible and since it's prior to release, the contents were subject to change).

And if you actually listen and pay attention to how kodan act in game, even though the blog post could paint a view of the race being Knight Templar in personality, their actual personality is not - for they do what they preach, and though they view themselves with few faults, they do recognize they hold faults and do not look down on other races in a harmful way (but rather more akin to seeing a homeless kitten in a box on the street and seeing it as lesser and wanting to help it).

Edit:

We do know their faith is ancient. And if Koda was a construct to control, then the Voices are being very benevolent. Their faith seems fairly pure in intent to me, based on interactions in Frostgorge Sound and Snowden Drifts. Something that one cannot obtain from the blog post.

And I think its only natural to protect one's young from harm - it's not a case of testing faith, but being a parent.

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#71 Steadfast Gao Shun

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 10:04 PM

Quote

And if you actually listen and pay attention to how kodan act in game, even though the blog post could paint a view of the race being Knight Templar in personality, their actual personality is not - for they do what they preach, and though they view themselves with few faults, they do recognize they hold faults and do not look down on other races in a harmful way (but rather more akin to seeing a homeless kitten in a box on the street and seeing it as lesser and wanting to help it).


Again, this is where our interpretations differ. ;) When I look at lines like "We will bring them into balance, by force if necessary" (Heart NPC in Frostgorge), I don't get the sense of "aww, gotta help homeless kitten". I get - as I think I've made my interpretation clear - a condescending Kodancentric view that, at best, might be neutral.

My interpretation of the Kodan is a bit more complex than a simple TVTrope article, but I think that's best served for another thread instead of this one. To elaborate: I don't think the Kodan are necessarily all negative, either, but again, our perspectives differ because you see them as extremely benevolent and well meaning.

Edited by Steadfast Gao Shun, 01 December 2012 - 12:02 AM.


#72 Flaming_Foxx

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 10:13 PM

View PostKonig Des Todes, on 30 November 2012 - 09:58 PM, said:

Well that line is a bit contradictory to in-game text, but then again it is more or less writing from an in-unverse standpoint like much of such documents (e.g., it's fallible and since it's prior to release, the contents were subject to change).

And if you actually listen and pay attention to how kodan act in game, even though the blog post could paint a view of the race being Knight Templar in personality, their actual personality is not - for they do what they preach, and though they view themselves with few faults, they do recognize they hold faults and do not look down on other races in a harmful way (but rather more akin to seeing a homeless kitten in a box on the street and seeing it as lesser and wanting to help it).

Edit:

We do know their faith is ancient. And if Koda was a construct to control, then the Voices are being very benevolent. Their faith seems fairly pure in intent to me, based on interactions in Frostgorge Sound and Snowden Drifts. Something that one cannot obtain from the blog post.

And I think its only natural to protect one's young from harm - it's not a case of testing faith, but being a parent.

Just because something is ancient doesn't mean that it is right, pure or true. There are far too many real world examples of that not being the case to go along with that. In fact if you look at most ancient beliefs even as little as 500 years ago - they simply can't hold up today because we can see how truly idiotic they are or how they were modelled around control and subjugation. I see absolutely no reason why the Voice of Koda couldn't be the same - even if they truly believe that their beliefs and visions are true - that doesn't mean that it brings out the best or promotes balance - just because that is what Koda stands for doesn't mean that is what is achieved.  (Not trying to start an argument or anything, just saying that there is a very different and very real other side to what we are presented with.)

It's arguably similar to the Margonites with Abaddon - it's entirely possible that they saw Abaddon as the true god - he was the one who offered them true knowledge of the world they lived in. It's very easy to see how that might make it look as if the other gods were trying to pull the wool over their eyes - thus justifying their dislike of the 5 and their love of Abaddon. - Which, following your logic gives us justification for Abaddon being evil - he was just protecting his followers - being a good parent.

Edited by Flaming_Foxx, 30 November 2012 - 10:16 PM.


#73 Konig Des Todes

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 11:16 PM

The thing to take note, Steadfast Shun, is that the kodan use force as a last (or at least latter) resort. That is, when other races are too hostile, the kodan become hostile.

They won't go and bash the quaggan just because the quaggan don't listen. But they will bash in a few dredge, icebrood, or krait skulls.

@Flaming foxx: No where did I say that the kodan's view are "right, pure, or true" nor did I ever state they are such because they're ancient. I'm merely stating that, while a bit pretentious, they are not oppressive, abusive, hypocritical, or otherwise solely-negative.

But this is all getting highly off topic, because someone had to go off-topic about the overused and overbroughtup hypothesis of a connection between god and dragon.

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#74 Daenerys

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 11:48 PM

View PostFlaming_Foxx, on 30 November 2012 - 08:37 PM, said:

Also, I haven't actually finished the main storyline - I see no need to rush it - but I thought that the concept behind Zhaitan was that he is made up of dead things/the corpses of other dragons. If so then I would be inclined to say he isn't all that dead.
You're right. His body is comprised of the corpses of other dragons (which is what we saw in the release date trailer and the super-weird liberal arts-y launch trailer), but he is technically alive.

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#75 draxynnic

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 01:34 AM

View PostKonig Des Todes, on 30 November 2012 - 09:01 PM, said:

However, should the great storm be from when the Elder Dragons rose, this would then mean the Six Gods knew of the world Tyria long before they arrived - before the Elder Dragons previously rose, even. If so, then koda cannot be Dwayna, Melandru, nor Abaddon. So an alternative possibility - if there's even a connection between Koda and the Six Gods - would be that Koda was Melandru's predecessor. Why Melandru?

"When she saw destruction, she brought creation. Where she saw anger, she grew love. With this, Melandru prepared for a future she knew would be troubled." - Orrian History Scrolls

In other words, Melandru was bringing balance to the world.
Another possibility could come from looking at the situation with Lyss and Ilya (who appear to be sharing the mantle of a single deity) and considering that life and nature are very closely related concepts - possibly even more so than the beauty and illusion represented by the twins. It's possible that at the time of Koda, both were combined into a single deity's portfolio, but somewhere between then and now the power ended up being split between two entities, and unlike Lyss and Ilya they chose to present themselves as separate successor deities rather than a single deity with twinned aspects.
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