Welcome back to the second article in a four part series speculating the future of Guild Wars 2. If you didn’t read the first article you can find it here. As I mentioned in the first article, this series isn’t speculating how successful Guild Wars 2 will be but looking at what if they add some special feature or a special event happens in the lore. This week I will look at how a Sixth Dragon could open a path for the heroes of Tyria to explore Cantha.
The first article was directed to a specific feature: Guild Halls. ArenaNet has commented multiple times that they plan on adding guild halls into the game at some point post-launch and the article was about my own speculation on how they could be implemented. This week’s article is touching on a couple more pieces of information that ArenaNet has given regarding their post-launch plans: that there will be expansions (bet you didn’t see that one coming) and that they will eventually be revisiting the different continents that were part of the original Guild Wars. In this article I am going to speculate on what the major story point of Cantha, the continent from Guild Wars: Factions, could be.
Cantha is situated on the other side of a giant body of water aptly called the Unending Ocean. As such Cantha has remained isolated from the other human nations throughout most of its history. The nation of Cantha is called the Empire of the Dragon and has always been ruled by a long line of Emperors. About 200 years before the present day setting of Guild Wars 2 (about 50 years after the events of the original Guild Wars series), Emperor Usoku was sworn in as a new emperor. This is important as this new emperor unified his Empire by defeating the two vassal states, the Luxons and Kurzicks, as well as driving all non-humans and dissenters out of the Empire, once again making it an extremely isolationist state.
The Luxons and Kurzicks had been fighting with each other throughout the known history save for a few moments of peace brought about by the Empire. In the original Guild Wars series the two are once again attacking each other, this time fighting over the jade being mined out of the solidified Jade Sea. It is on this large, solidified sea that the two states would fight each other on the frontlines. Since the defeat of the main antagonist in Guild Wars: Factions however, the effects of the Jade Wind has reportedly been reversing turning the Jade Sea back into a sea and not a solidified mass of jade. It was not long however before Emperor Usoku raised his army to subdue both vassal states, incorporating their people into the Empire.
What we currently know is that there are five Elder Dragons: Primordus, Jormag, Zhaitan, Kralkatorrik, and an unknown dragon that has awakened in the Unending Ocean. Now what if there is a sixth dragon that has awakened in the middle of the Jade Sea?
Cantha as far as we know is home solely to humans since they kicked all the non-human races out, which combined with their isolationist nature would make it seemingly impossible for outsiders of other races to gain entry under normal circumstances. This could be a bit of a problem seeing how humans are only one of five races players can play at launch.
I went into depth about the Luxons and Kurzicks because the abolishment of those two states happens at the same time the Empire starts kicking out non-humans. When the dragons first awaken they are believed to still be weak from their long — believed to be 10,000 years long — slumber (not really awake before their morning coffee apparently). If a dragon awoke in the middle of the Jade Sea, it would have awoken right around where the front lines of the Kurzicks and Luxons were while they were still fighting. So that dragon would have awoken with an army with all their defenses and war machines on both sides of it, but because the Luxons and Kurzicks were abolished the dragon instead awakens in the middle of a sea with only defenseless people around.
The citizens of the Empire could make the connection that if the abolishment of the two vassal states hadn’t happened, then they might have been able to kill the dragon before he was fully awake and started terrorizing the Empire. If the citizens make that connection they might also question how beneficial Emperor Usoku’s other idea of banishing non-humans from Cantha was. This discontent along with the news that a band of heroes composed mostly of non-humans had defeated an Elder Dragon in Tyria could lead Cantha to not only open its borders to other races but willingly ask for their help in defeating this new threat.
All of this would allow for many different factions in an area that is solely human. There could be the Empire, the dragon’s minions, the traditionalists that want to remain isolated and human only (Ministry of Purity?), rebellions and gangs that spring up in the chaos of the dragon awakening, another Svanir-type faction of humans loyal to the dragon, other external factions (Quaggan, Krait, and minions of other dragons), and possibly even the reemergence of the Luxons and Kurzicks.
So having a dragon emerge from the bottom of the jade sea would give reason to allow any of the player races into the nation, split up the native population into different factions, create an overarching story (dragon) along with smaller story archs (different factions), and possibly setting up the creation of alliances if Kurzick and Luxon reform much like the creation of alliances in Guild Wars: Factions with the original introduction to the Kurzicks and Luxons.
Come back next week for the third article in the series: What if we are not alone?