The Gathering Storm – Grass Pants Muses on “The Living Story” in Guild Wars 2

Anyone who follows me on Twitter (why would you do that to yourselves?) probably saw my most recent post (tweet?) regarding Guild Wars 2’s ‘Living Story’ event, Flame and Frost’s upcoming second part, The Gathering Storm. Seeing as this likely signals the beginning of the end of the first section, I figured it’d be a nice time to write about. Since talking about narrative is kind of my thing, this is going to be strictly focused on the actual story, rather than the mechanical updates that come with it.

To give newcomers a quick TL;DR of what’s going on, the gist of Flame and Frost is this: Bad stuff is happening in the northern chunk of the explorable world. Steam vents are erupting and changing the climate in Wayfarer Foothills, a region covered in snow and ice and dust storms are pissing off elementals in Diessa Plateau, a war-torn land that hardly needs to be ravaged further.

In Prelude, characters acted as volunteers by retrieving mementos from refugees, erecting signposts, and lighting campfires. As the days went on, more and more refugees poured into their regions’ capital cities and, by talking to them, players could gather information about what’s causing the disaster. We find out that the Flame Legion, a group of charr hellbent on world domination, and the dredge – communist moles with an affinity for sonic technology – have been stirring up trouble and causing at least some of the evacuations. That’s what we know at the time of this writing. Now it’s time for speculation.

While ArenaNet said that a dragon won’t be coming in Flame and Frost, I’m going to assume that they were doing what developers do best and being very careful with their choice of words. Here’s my guess, and we’ll get to the evidence and some counterpoints in a moment. Either directly or indirectly, Flame and Frost will either bring about the Depths of Tyria as a zone (or handful of zones) or we’ll see an increased amount of Destroyer – the minions of the Elder Dragon Primordus – activity.

Image from Dulfy’s GW2 Living Story Refugee Volunteer events guide. Link to the guide embedded in the image.

Why do I think this is gonna happen? It’s mostly the fact that whatever ‘bad stuff’ is going on, it’s coming from underground. Since Zhaitan is dead as of The Lost Shores update, that gives us a few things. First, it opens up the need for a new ‘bad guy,’ and I’m pretty sure that ArenaNet doesn’t want to devote a single dragon to each expansion or we’ll be fighting them for a good ten to fifteen years. Zhaitan’s death also meant that other dragons can start making moves now. If the dragons’ collective goal is to either destroy or corrupt Tyria, why not hit us while we’re still weak from fighting the last guy?

Now, regarding the dredge and Flame Legion mentions by refugees. The Flame Legion once worshiped the Titans, horrible otherworldly creatures that… … Alright, I’ll admit that I honestly don’t know all that much about those guys and they seemed to come out of nowhere. Anyway, like their name says, the Flame Legion is all about fire and brimstone and pain. They’re also not above corrupting their own dudes (as seen in any high-level content dealing with the Flame Legion) and Primordus appears to be the only dragon that doesn’t corrupt things for his minions. I’m not entirely sure if he’s incapable (doubt it) or if shaping earth and fire and hate into a solid form is easier than hunting down some dudes or conveniently sleeping under a sunken kingdom. I’d be willing to bet, assuming Gaheron Baelfire, leader/pseudo-god of the Flame Legion is actually dead, that the Flame Legion has turned to worship Primordus or at least the idea he represents. I could even see Destroyer’d Flame Legion troops, assuming that Primordus promises power to the charr like he did to the Sons of Svanir.

For the dredge? Keep in mind these dudes live underground, much like the last race that got ran out of the Depths, the asura. The dredge are likely terrified, fleeing, and having their own refugee issues to deal with. The reason the norn are assuming the dredge are responsible is because, well, those two haven’t been on the best of terms. The dredge have been a constant thorn in the collective side of the norn and let’s face it, some norn are kind of jackasses who want to start fights for the sake of itself. In the panic and confusion, there’s a good chance that someone got shot and rumors are spreading.

Now, I could be totally wrong, like I have been on several occasions, but something about this seems like it’s going to eventually point to Primordus and his Destroyers. Either way, I can’t wait to see what The Gathering Storm has for us and I might do more of these things as the Flame and Frost arc rolls out. Anyway, that was super fun to write, but I’m gonna head out now. As always, thanks for reading and have a good’un.

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