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#1 Konig Des Todes

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 08:32 AM

Since 2007, thanks to The Movement of the World, most folks interested in lore have been more or less believing the Elder Dragons' last time being awake was around 10,000 BE - the date given to the approximate extinction of the Giganticus Lupicus. This assumption is because ever since said article, the Durmand Priory (note: The Movement of the World was, from a lore standpoint, written by a member of the Durmand Priory) has been leading us all to believe that their last rise was during the Giganticus Lupicus' extinction.

In going through my alt characters earlier today... well, yesterday now seeing its nearly 2 am, I came across an interesting line in the Durmand Priory personal storyline Bad Blood:

<Character name>: Look at this place! It must be tremendously old. Centuries, even.
Magister Sieran: Older than that. The dwarven civilization lasted for more than two thousand years, and this might be one of their first structures.

As many, if not all, lore delvers know by now, the dwarves were among the five sentient races to face and survive the Elder Dragons during their last rise. If this last rise truly did occur in 10,000 BE, then Sieran's statement feels grossly out of place. Sieran's a bit exccentric, but she's no idiot, so she'd know how old dwarven civilization lasted - and seeing how it ended in 1078 AE, 2,000 years prior would be 922 BE. That's nearly 9,000 years off from what we've been told to be the case by the Priory. So why "two thousand years" and not "ten thousand years" - two letter difference ends up making a huge gap in dates.


Given that the dwarves had tools, organization, and writing back during the last Elder Dragon rise it's unlikely they didn't have civilization then. This leads to four likely possibilities in my opinion:
  • Dwarven civilization collapsed after the Elder Dragon fall, but restarted sometime between 1922 BE and 922 BE (reason why I make this range is because from 1922 BE on Sieran would be more likely to say "three (or 4, 5, etc.) thousand years"). This I find unlikely as there's far too many dwarven records and artifacts surviving from the Elder Dragons' rise for a "dark age" in dwarven civilization - not impossible, but unlikely.
  • Sieran's wrong about the date, or it was a typo in development.
  • The Giganticus Lupicus were already extinct during the previous rise of the Elder Dragons, and they in fact were killed of two or more cycles ago.
  • The estimation for the GL's extinction is wrong. After all, we don't know the basis for this estimation or who made it.
Right off the bat, I suspect 3 or 4 to be correct. I have other lines of interest to bring up. From the timeline we're given a very interesting date that's similarly peculiar with regards to the Elder Dragons' last rise:

1769 BE The Forgotten arrive in Tyria.

Originally, we were told that the forgotten were brought to the world by the Six Gods. And we were given this date, supposedly in relation to this notion. However, in GW2 we learn that the forgotten were among the five races that fought the Elder Dragons during their last rise. This placed a shadow of doubt on that original claim (and I myself began wondering if it were the other way around given the forgotten's devoutness to the Six Gods) - but nothing ever stated that the forgotten weren't brought to Tyria by the Six Gods either.

Given that we're told dwarven civilization lasted "over 2,000 years" but not "over 3,000 years" and this date so nicely fits within that very same timeframe that the dwarven civilization would have begun, perhaps there's still truth to the old claim and timeline date.

Of course, this would imply the Six Gods and even humanity were around during the Elder Dragons' last rise. This both does and does not make sense. If one were to assume the Elder Dragons are limited to and around continental Tyria - that there truly were only six Elder Dragons and they all remained mostly around the main continent, the Six Gods could have came to the world and brought the forgotten and humans there and while the humans were away from the conflict, the forgotten (and possibly the Six Gods though I find it unlikely) were in conflict with the Elder Dragons. If this is so, then it may explain why there's a Giganticus Lupicus acting as a Temple Guard in Arah if their extinction wasn't in 10,000 BE but rather closer to ~1,600 BE and the gods were present during this time.

Another peculiarity to me comes from Historian Angelina of the Priory:

"Early pre-imperial era? What? That can't...oh, I'm sorry. Did you need something?"

"That can't" ... what?  For reference (and avoiding the wiki page), she's researching the Elder Dragons too - obviously in relation to Cantha. The only thing I can think of from "that can't" is "that can't be right" given the wording. The interesting bit about this is "Early pre-imperial era" - the only year we have in correlation to this era is 10,000 BE. If that can't be right, why not? And if it's not "right" that should finish her interrupted thoughts, what is? The rest of her dialogue, when talking to characters of the Priory, is about the Elder Dragons going through cycles - so as this stands, I can only assume she's stumbling upon a second previous cycle of the Elder Dragons. That, or a Canthan Elder Dragon.

As things stand given the above lines, I'm inclined to believe the following:
  • Either the Giganticus Lupicus did die around 10,000 BE, but not during the last ED rise; or they died during the last ED rise, which was far more recent than 10,000 BE.
  • The previous ED rise was in about 1,700-780 BE (I cannot fathom it being after the establishment of the Empire of the Dragon, however if their rise was much closer to it than we thought, maybe there's a reason why its named such).
  • The Six Gods were around for the last ED rise, but most likely didn't know of Zhaitan's resting place (after all, Arah was where Glint was freed from her corruption - it would be odd if the forgotten brought her to Zhaitan's front yard to free her of corruption).
  • This would also explain why while the Six Gods arrived on the world at Arah, humanity thrived in the south - they were taken to away from the Elder Dragons. Though it begs the question of what the Six did in relation to the Elder Dragons if this is so.
This situation also explains how we can find so many records of the Elder Dragons. Sure, they're hard to find, but what's being discovered are engraved stones and parchment that's all still legible - that stuff I find unlikely to last and be readable after 11,000 years (particularly the later) without some sort of protection.

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#2 draxynnic

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 11:08 AM

Personally, I would believe #1... or at least that the civilisation of Deldrimor spanned that time.

Part of that is that as of the start of GW1, while a lot of dwarven artifacts from those days survived, most of them were lost - and the dwarves themselves seemed largely ignorant of those times except in distant legend. That's the sort of thing that implies that there was some form of dark age in the time in between, during which records were lost and history faded into myth. Alternatively, the dwarves might have been elsewhere - if the Elder Dragons truly devastated Tyria to the point where it took divine intervention to make it habitable again, they might have lived for a time somewhere else, and only reclaimed their ancient land after it was made possible to live there again - which quite possibly could have roughly coincided with the return of the Forgotten. While the parchment is a good argument for a more recent writing of the Tome, in the Guild Wars universe it could also be explained by it being some exotic or enchanted form that lasts longer.

We also get mention that Deldrimor was founded when Droknar united the dwarven tribes - and while we don't have a date on that, that seems to be recent enough to be 'history' rather than 'legend'. So we have some timeframe during which the dwarves were disunited, after which Droknar brought them back together. This disunity, however, raises the question of how or why they would have returned to Deldrimor as a group if they'd been taking refuge elsewhere... unless it was that Droknar united them and brought them back to their ancestral homes. This, however, conflicts with the purpose of Ice Tooth Cave as a meeting place between dwarven clans (although it's possible that this is simply that the clans remained post-unification and every so often they needed somewhere to discuss things that wasn't the capital).

However, I think there's another possibility that would explain the disunity of the dwarves and a relatively recent founding of dwarven civilisation: the dwarves were eclipsed by another civilisation. Namely that of the jotun, before they fell to civil war.

It's been one of the questions that's been arising in my mind - the information we've had suggested that the jotun ruled the entire Shiverpeaks, but how the dwarves (also dwelling in the Shiverpeaks) and jotun coexisted during the time of the giant-kings has never really been explained (except that despite there being no sign of jotun in dwarven territories in GW1, there are ruins dating back to the Age of Giants in formerly dwarven territory in GW2). One possible explanation is that, whether by choice or by force, the dwarves were subservient to the jotun during the peak of jotun civilisation. After jotun civilisation collapsed beyond the point of no return, however, the dwarves gained their freedom, forming clans to protect themselves against the increasingly degenerate bands of jotun and ultimately forcing the jotun out of the bounds of what would later become the kingdom of Deldrimor. The first fortresses that were made to keep out the jotun, then, would probably be the point that marked the transition from the period when the dwarves were part of jotun civilisation and when they were their own civilisation.
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#3 Red J

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 11:43 AM

Interesting thread. The only thing I am not sure about is the Six being around during the time of Elder Dragons. We were told by devs that they had no idea there is an Elder Dragon under Orr when they were building Arah. Unless- Unless they visited Tyria more than once. Maybe they were aware of Elder Dragons, even fought them alongside forgotten, but left Tyria some time before EDs went to sleep again. That would explain why they had no clue about Zaithan sleeping beneath their feet when they came to Tyria/Orr again.

That brings me to the issue of humans and their "troubled past", as implied by Orrian scrolls. If human gods were around during last ED activity but left before it's end, what if humans did as well? Maybe the Six took humans away (South of Cantha? Or the Mists?) to save them from Dragon corruption and later brought them back when the thread of Elder Dragons was over.

As for Dwarves, correct me if I am wrong, but weren't there some obscure mention of old dwarven artifacts found under Jade sea in Cantha? It is (or at least was) possible to reach the southern continent by underground tunnels, as shown by canthan dredge. It wouldn't be too far-fetched that dwarves used the same method to escape from Tyria few thousand years earlier.

Edited by Red J, 08 December 2012 - 11:44 AM.


#4 Thalador

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 06:26 PM

Being one of the few supporters of the theory of the last ED rise being not the one that led to the extinction of the GL, I found this quite interesting. Regarding the Giganticus Lupicus' approximate extinction, it is important to note that nobody - to our knowledge - has found any sign of their civilization aside from that lone, frustrating guy in the center of Arah's grand temple. The lack of ruins of their civilization (we know there are seer ruins somewhere, we have dwarven ruins everywhere. Under 10,000 years time could erode a lot) would support the date of 10,000 BE as the well-estimated time of their "extinction." Side note: just checked the the Timeline in EoD, and it never says they went extinct, only that they disappeared from the Tyrian continent. May mean that there are a few survivors scattered around the world.

However, the problem with the Forgotten joining the fray is much more interesting to me. Just after Konig pointed this out in-game and I logged off, a theory formed in my head that could explain several things in their history and connection to the gods.

It is very likely that the Forgotten came from somewhere in the Mists, too. Not just the wording of the History of Tyria and the timelines, but the dialogue of a particular forgotten you can meet at the Throne of Secrets after Abaddon's defeat:

"Ah, yes, I am sorry. I did not see you coming. I am blind, you see. My eyes were seared in the light of the First Sun."

- Keeper of Light

The First Sun is one of the greatest mysteries ever mentioned in Guild Wars, but I personally  consider it as the source from which the gods - the very first beings who rose to godhood - harnessed their eternal powers. (Reason being the divine radiance of a god or goddess that blinds any mortal who stares at them for too long. After all, if two powers have the same basic chracteristics it can be assumed that they are the same as well.) But the derailing case of the First Sun aside, I'd hazard to guess that the Forgotten were close allies of the Godly Council (or Pantheon) since the beginning, and no matter who or what kinds of races were ruling that council, they were bound to accept them and abide by their decisions. (This could be further supported by this Keeper's line, although it's stretching the bounds a bit: "Once, many lifetimes before humans came to Elona, I was a priest of the Ancient Gods." One might ponder why to call them Ancient Gods when they were still widely worshipped by humanity, but it could be that this Keeper is referring to the godly system as a whole.)

Now, concerning the case of the Forgotten's appearance on Tyria, it might be that in 1769 BE they arrived in the middle of an apocalyptic war where all six dragons were wildly awake and consuming everything in their path. I always found it interesting - since we learned about the Forgotten's cleansing magic - that without the Forgotten all would have been lost. Had they not been there, after the mursaat's betrayal (the genocide of the seers and them denying everybody else a way out) the other four would been done for plain and simple. Also, I believe that shortly after they entered the war the cycle ended, with the dragons' plot foiled more or less, and them left partially hungry (i.e. all the magic in the bloodstone was denied of them).

Then after the dragons all went to sleep, the survivors returned to a post-apocalyptic wasteland. I kinda like what Drax suggested, that it was a dark age: jotun giant-kings starting a civil war, the seers on the brink and the dwarves in crisis but holding ground (before finally uniting and rising as a civilization around 1000 BE). However, given the fact that in this theory the Forgotten are a "Mistfaring" race, they could have had access to supply from offworld while they were cleansing Tyria of the dragons' legacy.

And then sometimes later the Pantheon and the humans were forced to leave their home of old. As I mentioned in the beginning, since the Forgotten might be a sworn ally of the whole godly system, they suggested them to come to Tyria. This way it could be explained how the Forgotten got involved in the Elder Dragon war, while still having strong connection to the gods. Ever since we learned that the Forgotten fought the dragons, I kept wondering at what point did they become so "religious." As to why they didn't tell the Pantheon about the dragons after they'd set foot in Arah, I thought of one reason: they might have seen that there were some rotten apples (Dhuum, Abaddon and his predecessor) among the Six. To ensure that one or more of the deranged does not tamper with the ED they kept their existence as a secret.

Another aspect this theory could explain is why the Forgotten did not strike back - and even willingly pulled out - when the humans were continously pushing them north - and then into the Crystal Sea. Because the overly-biased human Pantheon demanded it that way. (Balthazar is a human supramacist while the others are fairly human-looking. My usual analogy to Mass Effect: just like you could influence the end of the 1st game in a way to elect a fully human Council in a multi-species galaxy, it's not impossible to make a Pantheon composed mostly of human gods only.) As a consequence, it might have led to the "schism" that could be observed in GW1: the Tyrian Forgotten (the ones that fought the dragons and/or their descendants) centered around Glint while the loyalists remained with the gods and even chose to be the jailors of the traitor, Abaddon.

One last thought - and one connecting to it: we know Glint was freed of Kralky in Arah, but before the city was there. First the minor, less interesting implication: Zhaitan might have only gone to that place to hibernate after the purifying ritual, which means Orr was minimally corrupted at the end of the cycle. But more importantly, it means that there was some Forgotten presence in Orr. When they "invited" the gods, they created a portal there using the Source of Orr, so the gods didn't just appear there out of thin air. They had agents on Tyria already.

#5 Konig Des Todes

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 10:26 PM

@Drax: There's more than just the Tome of Rubicon, which itself has a viable explanation for its continued existence (it was rewritten and copied several times according to one of the NPCs in the Durmand Priory location in Lornar's Pass), which doesn't quite make sense to have survived ~11,000 years.

As to the jotun and dwarves - given Kathandrax and the underground dwarven village in Edge of Destiny, I have figured that originally dwarves were either a completely underground race (akin to the asura prior to Primordus' awakening) or they originated in/around Ascalon. Given that we're told charr conqured Ascalon, it wouldn't be surprising to me if they did so from the dwarves who fled rather than continued fighting.

@Red J: Actually, we're told that the Six Gods simply never mentioned anything about the Elder Dragons - from interviews at least, I've heard that the later portion of the seer path of Arah implies/states the Six Gods truly didn't know of the Elder Dragons. The idea of the Six coming and going did come to me - though in a different manner: that they came, brought the forgotten and humans before the last ED rise, left for some reason then returned after their fall.

And you're right, there is a single comment about relics resembling Deldrimor artifacts being uncovered in the Jade Sea. Though this may not mean they were present, just that their artifacts were brought there. However, given recent information, I've been taking it as the dwarves and forgotten having a previous presence on Cantha as being them going to confront an Elder Dragon there.

@Thalador: That's a damn fine observation there about the novel timeline's 10,000 BE entry. I went and checked the GW1 manuals and they (sans Nightfall which doesn't go further back than 205 BE) effectively state "Last appearance of Giganticus Lupicus walking on the continent of Tyria" - this leads to the suspicion that they did indeed survive past that point - they simply left the continent then and didn't return. However, given all other comments about the GL being "they're extinct" I'm in doubt that there are survivors elsewhere in the world. But it leads more credence to the last ED rise being closer to 2,000 BE than 10,000 BE (though that too could be the date of a former rise).

I've been keeping that Keeper of Light's dialogue in mind lately too, however I've been considering it not in relation to them being from the Mists, but rather a comment about when they first saw the gods. The gods' blinding divinity is compared to the light of the sun, so to me "First Sun" may mean Melandru, who is said to be the oldest of the gods. This to me would imply that the forgotten weren't always allied with the Six Gods pantheon (in other words I've been using this line in my head as support for the concept that the forgotten brought the Six Gods to Tyria rather than the other way around - that they traveled into the Mists after the last ED rise and met the Six Gods there and brought them back). To this degree I'd argue that Arah was originally a forgotten city, renovated by the Six Gods.

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#6 Red J

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 12:07 AM

I haven't had chance to do Arah explorable yet. So I don't have much knowledge in this regard. The only thing that's bugging me- if forgotten knew and fought the elder dragons- why they didn't tell the Six? I don't know, but if I knew my gods were building their city over a sleeping world-consuming monster, I'd probably tell them.

#7 Konig Des Todes

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 01:09 AM

Well as far as I know, we don't know if the Six Gods knew of the Elder Dragons or not (we know they do now - or at least Grenth does - but then is fairly 50/50). Of course, nothing indicates that the forgotten knew Zhaitan was there either (they knew of the Elder Dragons in general at least and fought Kralkatorrik's forces, but we don't know the specifics of the forgotten's involvement past their dealings with Glint and having a counter to corruption).

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#8 draxynnic

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 06:07 AM

View PostKonig Des Todes, on 08 December 2012 - 10:26 PM, said:

@Drax: There's more than just the Tome of Rubicon, which itself has a viable explanation for its continued existence (it was rewritten and copied several times according to one of the NPCs in the Durmand Priory location in Lornar's Pass), which doesn't quite make sense to have survived ~11,000 years.

As to the jotun and dwarves - given Kathandrax and the underground dwarven village in Edge of Destiny, I have figured that originally dwarves were either a completely underground race (akin to the asura prior to Primordus' awakening) or they originated in/around Ascalon. Given that we're told charr conqured Ascalon, it wouldn't be surprising to me if they did so from the dwarves who fled rather than continued fighting.
I know there's more than just the Tome of Rubicon - there's Kathandrax and the various artifacts of the Great Dwarf, for instance.

The dwarves having come from somewhere else - out of reach of the Durmand Priory - would be a credible explanation for the inconsistency. If the dwarves only started building on the surface of Tyria circa 1000BE, then that would mean that the earliest structures available to the Priory would be from around that time too. For the underground structures you would need to be competing with the dredge (even more than the Priory is already) or possibly running headlong into the destroyers.

So it could be that Sieran's "more than two thousand" line means that they can positively affirm that dwarven civilisation is at least that old, but they don't know just how old it is because they don't have access to the oldest dwarven holdings.
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#9 Konig Des Todes

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 06:33 AM

After a discussion with Thalador in-game (after my previous post), I'm inclined to believe that the Elder Dragons are under the effects of 4,000 year long cycles (that is, the times of their awakenings are approximately 4,000 years apart). Thus I'd argue that, including modern times in GW2, the four latest times of awakening were:
  • 10,000 BE in which they forced the Giganticus Lupicus out of continental Tyria (per the timeline, none of which state extinction as Thalador pointed out) but not lead them to extinction
  • 6,000 BE which we hold no information on
  • 2,000 BE which coincides with the forgotten's arrival to Tyria (continental or world - never clarified which the timeline refers to) and the dwarven civilization's oldest ruins and would in turn be when the GL went extinct, when the Bloodstone was made, and all other events we're told of
  • And then now in 2,000 AE
Along with this, assuming there are indeed only six Elder Dragons, I'd argue that they take approximately 300 years to "wake up" and at least 100 years to "prepare" individually before their real actions (though I'd be more inclined to argue 200 years - 100 years comes from Zhaitan and his invasion of Lion's Arch which we managed to thwart; Jormag and Primordus would have begun earlier, but they're further away from where we can go so we don't see their full devastation, just the reaches of it; altnernatively Zhaitan had quite a beneficial head start thanks to the Six Gods and Khilbron providing him a lot of magical artifacts and corpses unintentionally, and Jormag has what I'm sure is an odd case of worshipers, leading both to have a shorter-than-normal preparation time period).

To me, this makes the most sense and rather than the ruins being from the beginning of dwarven civilization I'm inclined to think that they're the oldest standing ruins as others were destroyed in the last ED rise, and dwarven records only go so far back until the last ED rise.

As an addendum to this theory, I have a postulation as to the timeframe of jotun civilization. We're told in Arah that the Bloodstone also contained jotun magic. Thruln the Lost attributes the loss of magic to their fall (though we know its not the sole case, it may hold truth if we were to replace "the gods took it" with "the seers took it"). This would then put the jotun's fall at approximately, I'd imagine, 1,500 BE.

Along with this, we know the jotun have records of cycles of Elder Dragon rises - indicating that they bore witness to the one before the last, or had recorded such. Their ability to predict when the Elder Dragons would rise coincides this - if they witnessed the event more than once, they could hold records to point out similarities. I believe that this would be the referenced Age of Giants - when the Giganticus Lupicus still lived, and other giant races including the jotun (and given they're called ancient, the ogres too most likely - possibly norn and the more nomadic giants) roamed the world. I'd believe that the Age of Giants came to an end by the Elder Dragons (I'd postulate, based on little to nothing but the GL timeline statement, that it ended with the 6,000 BE ED rise), but the jotun in their pride claimed it to continue until their fall ~4,000 years later.

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#10 Steadfast Gao Shun

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 07:25 AM

Konig, what is your interpretation on the age of the world as a whole? And I don't remember if it's explicitly mentioned in the Arah Jotun path, but do the Jotun really have a record of the cycles of ED rising, or is it more of a cultural thing in that they interpret events much like the Mesoamericans did in our culture?

Spoiler

Edited by Steadfast Gao Shun, 09 December 2012 - 07:46 AM.


#11 Xukavi

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 11:07 AM

@Konig

This might be off topic, but what if the 6 gods knew about the Elder Dragons and they took The Forgotten to Tyria to fight them. The gods wanted the humans to go to Tyria (running away from wtv disaster they had left behind) and knew they had to secure Tyria before they could bring Humanity. Like you said 2000 BE coincides with the forgotten arriving in Tyria.

#12 Pellarch

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 12:17 PM

Slightly off-topic, but what I don't understand is the 'Temple Guardian' nature of the GL in Arah. Does the dungeon imply that it had been placed there (pre-sinking) as a guardian or does it imply it's just been risen by Zhaitan and is only now blocking the entrance to the temple.

The former seems like it might not line up too well for the timeline and construction of Arah.

#13 draxynnic

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 01:00 PM

My gut feeling regarding the GL is the latter - for whatever reason there was a GL body in Arah, and Zhaitan animated it.

When it comes to the younger versus elder races... the distinction here seems to be one of magical versus nonmagical technology. Most of the elder races were powerful in magic - we see the Forgotten and Mursaat stuff in action in Prophecies, and it's along similar lines to what the asura have. However, none of the elder races seem to fulfill the role of the charr - charr and dredge technology started with contemporary dwarven technology and ran with it, but the dwarven technology is likely stuff that's been developed since the last cycle and even then it was well behind what the Pact had access to in Orr. At the time of the last cycle - however long it was - it's likely that the dwarves didn't have anything like that.

So, essentially, all the elder races had in their toolbox was, essentially, to pelt the Elder Dragons with food. Now, anyone who's been beaten with a leg of lamb would know that this is not necessarily completely ineffective (and asura magitech did play a significant role in Zhaitan's defeat) but it has the problem that any unsuccessful attack using magitech is just going to make the dragon stronger. Furthermore, however, is that it's likely that technology that's not reliant on magic allows for things that could not be done with pure magitech. The airships used asura magitech, but they also used charr science, and the fundamental principles that made them work at all seemed more firmly rooted in the latter - the elder races simply may not have had anything equivalent. And if they did, they may not have been able to produce enough of them to represent an effective assault force - while it was the Glory of Tyria that defeated Zhaitan in the end, it would likely have failed to get to the Elder Dragon if not for the rest of the fleet engaging Zhaitan's flying minions.

I'm also getting an impression that in this case, "ancient" does not actually translate to "stronger". Stronger in magical knowledge, perhaps, but even then, what we've seen from the mursaat and forgotten doesn't actually seem to be that much greater than what the modern races have been achieving. And as discussed above, the elder races seem to have been pretty much completely lacking in non-magical sciences.
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#14 Konig Des Todes

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 05:43 PM

@Steadfast Gao Shun: The bit on jotun holding records of cycles of Elder Dragon rising doesn't come from Arah (afaik, Arah on jotun only tells us about their telescope and how they observed the stars to predict when Elder Dragons rose as a new star was formed whenever an ED rose). The bit on the cycles comes from an NPC in the Durmand Priory area of Lornar's Pass, specifically Scholar Caterin who says "In jotun stelae writings, we've found references to a sextet of "swallowers" who are said to have consumed the world several times over." when asked if she's persued ancient creation myths. Of course, myths are myths, but this shows the jotun at least believed the Elder Dragons lived in cycles - and based off of the creation myths of dwarves, charr, and humans we know there's a degree of truth to them (while the Great Dwarf might not have made the dwarven race on Anvil Rock, there was (an) ancient battle(s) with the Great Destroyer(s) - similarly while the Six, or Melandru specifically, didn't make Tyria, they did do a degree of terraforming and did bring humanity to the world thus "birthed" them upon the world).

As to the age of the world - impossible to tell thanks to the Elder Dragons. Unless we learn how many cycles they went through I don't think its possible to guess anything more than ~15,000 - 11,000 years old.

On your four points:
1. The thing about the airships is that it is technology - which seems to be the Elder Dragons' bane. The elder races didn't have such technology to our knowledge during the last rise - it was all magic and magitech.
2. Well we know the forgotten learned how to reverse mental corruption and, from what I was told, create magical artifacts immune to said corruption. They kind of remind me of the sylvari in this, who themselves are immune to corruption as far as we know. Kind of makes me wonder if the Rite of the Great Dwarf is forgotten in origin.
3. Very possible, given the Bone Dragons of GW1, and how fleshy Glint looks, as well as the Saltspray Dragons in Factions, dragons could be an extremely ancient race and the Elder Dragons the strongest among them - though personally I'm less inclined to call Elder Dragons actual dragons given Zhaitan's appearance but rather eldritch abominations that resemble dragons.
4. It certainly is possible and given the whole star bit and the placement of Zhaitan (being where the forgotten freed Glint and where they allowed the Six to settle), it might be that new Elder Dragons are "born" every cycle - especially so if my theory on the Elder Dragons actually being a coalescence of magic gone sentient holds to be true (it does seem to be their lifeforce after all - they consume it and exert it, and are said to be "more magical than physical" by Glint). That would lead me to believe that star forming is actually to an Elder Dragon's birth rather than reawakening and that Zhaitan as we know him wasn't around last time.

As for something keeping the Elder Dragons in check... I'm inclined to believe otherwise. The only reason why Zhaitan was beaten so easily was because after starving him, we bombarded him with things he couldn't corrupt - things that were not magic - and other things that were specifically made to be anti-Elder Dragons. In other words, without the charr and their "no magic" belief, or the Inquest/Snaff and their research on the Elder Dragons, this generation of races would be as screwed as the previous - heck, even with the asura I'd be inclined to think so given the previous races had some anti-Elder Dragon stuff too.

@Xukavi: Possible. But nothing indicates that the Six Gods knew of the Elder Dragons and furthermore nothing indicates that the Six Gods (or humans) were around during the last ED rise (sans the now-questioned "fact" that the Six brought the forgotten to the world); similarly, we're told that the Six Gods predate humanity on Tyria "but not by much" and the Orrian History Scrolls - though authenticity is in question - indicate that there was very little time between the Six arriving and them bringing humanity to the world.

@Pellarch: It really depends on when the GL went extinct. It's possible that a GL corpse was simply in the area, but it's also possible that was the last GL survivor and served the Six Gods in Arah before their departure and afterwards acted as a "watchdog" of sorts.

If, for instance, the Six Gods did indeed bring the forgotten to help fight the Elder Dragons, then the Six Gods might have been seen as a savior to some of the races since it was thanks to the forgotten that the jotun, dwarves, and seers survived after the mursaat fled - because the forgotten freed Glint and she hid the races of Tyria. This would then explain why some dwarves revere Dwayna and Grenth and why Thruln's records bring up the Six Gods at all despite their overly enlarged pride.

The Orrian History Scrolls says that Dwayna was first here - if she came here with the forgotten and had them helped fight off the Elder Dragons, then Dwayna herself would be viewed as a savior - then Balthazar and Melandru and then the rest came. To the Orrian History Scrolls, Balthazar engulfed the land in flame - what if this wasn't in his conquest, but rather to burn dragon corruption? Then Melandru followed with spreading nature across the land, revitalizing it. To the other races, before they had humanity begin their conquest, they could have been seen as saviors who prevented their total annihilation. This would also put some truth behind the claim that Glint was their first creature on Tyria - first non-forgotten creature that they saved from the Elder Dragons.

This would also explain why dwarves revere Dwayna and Grenth - the one who would be behind their salvation, and her son.

Jotun could have retained their faith in the gods as a whole since humanity never really spread into the Shiverpeaks thus unlike the others they didn't get kicked out of their lands - same with the dwarves, especially assuming that charr kicked them out of Ascalon.

Of course this is all theorycrafting upon theorycrafting, but its an interesting development possibility.

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#15 Thalador

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 06:50 PM

Quote

It certainly is possible and given the whole star bit and the placement of Zhaitan (being where the forgotten freed Glint and where they allowed the Six to settle), it might be that new Elder Dragons are "born" every cycle - especially so if my theory on the Elder Dragons actually being a coalescence of magic gone sentient holds to be true (it does seem to be their lifeforce after all - they consume it and exert it, and are said to be "more magical than physical" by Glint). That would lead me to believe that star forming is actually to an Elder Dragon's birth rather than reawakening and that Zhaitan as we know him wasn't around last time.

The legends of the dwarves beg to differ with you.

And maybe even Rotscale's existence now that Ree and Jeff listed him along with Glint and Kuunavang when speaking about dragon champions in that interview from August.

This star thing is really odd to me, btw. Someone on the official forums mentioned that it seems out of place that the birth of new, cosmic fusion plants that "live" for billions of years are connected to some sleepy dragons waking up on a distant planet. He/she theorized that it might be what wakes up the dragons, actually, and that they are not new stars but some impossibly-powerful transmitter beams that "activate" these dear lizards.

#16 Konig Des Todes

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 07:20 PM

Which legend(s) of the dwarves? The one about the Great Destroyer? If so, then it doesn't. I never said every Elder Dragon would have died the last cycle, simply that what was previously called Zhaitan did, but despite its death a "new" Zhaitan would be formed.

Rotscale's existence doesn't contradict this hypothesis either - should it turn out to be the reanimated remains of a dragon champion, all that it shows is that there were dragon champions with an actual skeleton (of which among the modern dragon champions, we see none).

I'm familiar with that hypothesis on the stars, and disagree with it. It would imply one, possibly two, things: Firstly, that the Elder Dragons are influenced by a non-Tyrian attribute which to all indication seems to not be so - their awakening seems to be triggered by their own state of being, rather than someone shining a flashlight on their eyes (so to speak); secondly, it kind of feels rather sci-fiy (and I know GW2 is going more and more Science Fantasy than Fantasy, but still it feels a bit too out of place in the genre of things) though maybe its just how the thought was described.

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#17 Thalador

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 07:34 PM

Which legends, which legends...



"A dragon whose name was written in the legends of the dwarves... A dragon known as Zhaitan."

#18 Konig Des Todes

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 07:43 PM

That doesn't contradict what I said (as I pointed out in my previous post). After all, who's to know what Zhaitan looked like during the previous rise? If their attributes are the same (e.g., both being Elder Undeath Dragons) maybe its not the same dragon - it'd be modern individual's interpretation of ancient lore after all. Same goes for Jormag and Primordus, whose names also come from dwarven legend.

In short: the names come from the legends, but are they being attributed correctly?

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#19 Thalador

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 08:04 PM

It doesn't make much sense for the dragons to reform under earth and sea after they were killed once. Every source states that they are sleeping. Kralkatorrik had gone to sleep as Glint told Destiny's Edge. True, some of them were injured (Jormag's blood was spilled to create the Sanguinary Blade) but NOTHING implies that any of them fell. The elder races had to hide from the dragons to survive, and when they returned, the dragons were "gone."  The jotun yet deciphered that they would return. I think those jotun stelae would have recorded such a great feat that an Elder Dragon was killed. However, the terrible news of said Elder Dragon returning despite its death (learned from the stars) would be written all over their structures.

#20 Konig Des Todes

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 10:48 PM

You're not listening. I never said they're reforming, I said that new ones are forming as old ones die off. Similarly, I never said Kralkatorrik died but instead explicitly stated that he, at least, survived. I was merely presenting a possibility that would explain the forming of stars and why Zhaitan was beneath Arah when the forgotten should have otherwise known about it.

And I wouldn't be so quick to chalk up something not stated in jotun stalea as meaning it was never recorded, given how we're repeatedly told many times that "few records remain."

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#21 draxynnic

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 11:45 PM

One possible explanation for Zhaitan's location is that while the other races were hiding, Zhaitan came sniffing around Orr (possibly looking for the Forgotten), and happened to run out of energy and be forced to go into hibernation while still in the vicinity of Orr. It may then have used the last of its energy to find (or create) a suitable hiding place in the vicinity before going into hibernation - possibly barely falling short of raiding the sources of magic within Orr before doing so.

If the Forgotten were hiding somewhere else (such as the Crystal Desert under Glint's protection) at the time, or even if they were in Orr and just didn't dare look outside, they might actually have failed to realise that one of the dragons had gone to sleep beneath their doorstep. This goes doubly if when they reemerged, they brought their magic with them - they might have figured the high magic reading in Orr was non-dragon-related and not realised that Zhaitan was sleeping nearby.
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#22 Thalador

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 03:54 PM

There's one huge issue with that possibility (aside from the jotun "forgetting" to mention such crucial information on their stelae that DEAL with Elder Dragons): new stars (plural) form every time, not just a single one or as many as there are "dead and reformed" dragons according to you.

"The appearance of the Elder Dragons is reflected by the stars themselves. When they awaken, so do these new stars!"

Varra Skylar

Beside the obvious word usage of awakening = new stars "rising," let's see the case with our dragons: Zhaitan survived as per dwarven legends. Jormag survived (Sanguinary Blade). Kralkatorrik survived (Glint). Primordus is very likely to have survived (him and his Great Destroyers fighting the dwarves). I can't imagine that a horrible foe such as Mr DSD (even sea monsters like the karka fleeing him) who is in a very secluded location could have been killed last time... apropos karka: many many years ago they were forced to flee their deep homes just like now, meaning that the DSD was always there. Now we know close to nothing of the sixth (code named "Mordremoth") and this strange silence of his activities could mean that something is wrong with him... but still. When an Elder Dragon wakes, so does a new star, and based on how many survived it makes sense that these stars indicate the awakenings and NOT the rebirth of a fallen dragon.

And I wholeheartedly agree with Drax. Nothing says dragons can't change locations (look at Kralky... when there's something at stake distance doesn't matter). When Zhaitan might have gone to Orr the Forgotten were probably hiding with the others under Glint's protection. However, when the danger was gone and they returned, they didn't a think an Elder Dragon had gotten so bloody close to proto-Arah and the source of Orr. Besides, I think the pit Zhaitan crawled out of (where that big ass tower stands - the one where he makes his final stand... I wonder what was stored there) might have not been part of Arah several thousands of years ago, and it's actually in the southern regions of Orr rather than in the center where the explorable mode takes place.

#23 Konig Des Todes

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 12:43 AM

*sigh* Seems you're not understanding my posts at all, be it by choice or not. I'll try re-explaining one last time (last because quite simply this was just a side thought and doesn't need furthering).

I'm not saying the jotun didn't record it, I'm saying - should this thought process be plausible - the records have yet to be found by the Durmand Priory, either due to their destruction or lack of acquisition (as shown by a Wayfarer Foothills heart they're still actively trying to obtain jotun runes).

Varra would be telling the truth - to her knowledge, since as far as she knows an Elder Dragon was never killed until the Pact killed Zhaitan.

View PostThalador, on 10 December 2012 - 03:54 PM, said:

Zhaitan survived as per dwarven legends. Jormag survived (Sanguinary Blade).
However, a name can be misplaced from one individual to another - dwarven legend doesn't hold enough proof since we don't know how the Durmand Priory attributed the name of legend (for both Zhaitan and Jormag) to the modern Elder Dragon. While the Sanguinary Blade does create icebrood, if there was an Elder Ice Dragon that died, then the modern Jormag was born, both would have what one would call icebrood as minions (side note: still haven't done the last story step involving that weapon).

Do you get it yet? The argument I hold was that the names were misproportioned because the new Elder Dragons would hold the same qualities as the old Elder Dragons and thus would be mistaken for being the same.

It's just a hypothetical contemplation and truth be told, I too would agree with Drax over that. Only reason I tried re-explaining it thrice is because I don't like being misunderstood.

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#24 draxynnic

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 12:56 AM

One flaw in that is that with the possible exception of Primordus, we hear the names from their minions. Now, it is plausible that the dragons might have adopted the names given to them by the modern races, but it does seem more likely that those names ultimately came from the dragons themselves, and thus are not being misattributed.
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