What if the gods never left us?

Welcome back for the final article in a four part series speculating the future of Guild Wars 2. If you are just joining you can find the previous articles in the series here, here, here and here. As I have mentioned in all of the other articles, this series isn’t speculating how successful Guild Wars 2 will be but taking a what if look at possible features or events in the lore ArenaNet could add. In this article I speculate the reappearance of the Six Human Gods in Guild Wars 2.

The Human Gods were a big part of the lore in Guild Wars. Not only were they the religion for the only playable race, but by the end of the third campaign it was revealed that much of the story in all three campaigns happened because of the gods. In Guild Wars 2 however, the gods have retreated from the world and have so little apparent impact that the Sylvari, an entire race that is only 25 years old, don’t even believe they exist at all.

Having the gods retreated from the world in Guild Wars 2 made sense seeing as they are human gods and the other races have their own set of believes. But just because they are not the subject of reverence for all the races doesn’t mean they couldn’t play a part in the story of Guild Wars 2. Other than the Sylvari, the other races still believe they are of a higher order. The Norn think of them as the Spirits of Actions similar in ways to the Spirits of the Wild that they revere while the Charr and Asura believe them to be powerful deities though not in a worshipping manner. Guild Wars 2 could take this “think of them as you will, they are still there” approach to bringing the gods back to Tyria.

Statue of Kormir

Which brings us to why the gods even left in the first place. At the end of Guild Wars: Nightfall Kormir takes the place of Abbadon becoming the new God of Knowledge. Throughout the end of Nightfall the player and his or her party are visited by the gods telling them how the world is theirs to make of it as they will. Kormir after her transcendence compliments these words, but before the player leaves she adds “And remember my friend – you never fight alone.”

So what if we have not been fighting alone?

During one of the BWEs, I played through some of the personal story on a Norn. One quest had me journeying into the spirit realm to seek out the soul of a shaman trapped there in the mists. After entering the spirit realm you encounter Sons of Svanir, servants of the Elder Dragon Jormag, who shouldn’t be there. The NPC who grants you access into the spirit realm said “I’ve never seen anything like this. Jormag isn’t a Spirit of the Wild. Its followers should not be able to enter the spirit world.”

Passage into the mists is typically only given with aid from a deity from the mists, like the Spirits of the Wild or the gods. In terms of lore, all the PvP areas exist in the mists and are accessed via a portal set up by Balthazar, one of the six human gods. Which got me thinking, what if the Elder Dragons exist in both the physical world as well the mists?

The Elder Dragons are supposed to be immensely powerful, and what better way to show that then their ability to exist in both realms whereas the gods would only be here or there. This also could explain why these powerful dragons are taking their time, only sending out their champions and minions to fight the races of Tyria.

Early Concept of a sleeping Elder Dragon
Early Concept of a sleeping Elder Dragon

Kralkatorrik for example awoke and blazed the Dragonbrand when he was first waking up, possibly not even at his strongest, but then all but disappears after Destiny’s Edge fails to kill him. Instead, maybe they are holed off back in the corners of the world while they are busy fighting in the mists. But what could be keeping these powerful beings busy?

The gods have been reported to be increasingly absent in human affairs while the Elder Dragons have slowly been waking up one by one. What if the gods are trying to keep the Elder Dragons busy long enough for the races of Tyria to come together and have a fighting chance? The gods might not be strong enough to defeat the Elder Dragons, but if a small band of humans could defeat a god then maybe an army of different races can defeat a dragon, and having the aid of a god would only help.

Depiction of the god Grenth

The Elder Dragons are referred to as forces of nature while the Six Human Gods are considered gods of action and nature, so I think that it would be fitting to find that the gods would have faced off against the dragon of their element. Not only would this be fitting, but it could be reasoned that the god would be stronger against, and therefore better equipped to hold back, the dragon of the same element. Therefore Primordus being fire related would be fighting Balthazar, Zhaitan is death and fighting Grenth, and so on.

We know that the original story of Guild Wars 2 will end with the defeat of Zhaitan, so following this idea I think that Grenth, the god of death, would show up and thank us for finally defeating Zhaitan. This would confirm that the gods never truly left the humans to fend for themselves and instead were fighting alongside them unknowingly the entire time. It would also confirm that the Elder Dragons are an even bigger threat since they were being pinned down by the gods and were still able to create all of these champions and minions that keep the races of Tyria equally busy.

This was undoubtedly the most speculative What If in my series, which is one of the reasons it came last. Also I wanted it last as it can be proven right or wrong almost immediately upon release which is only a handful of days away. While it is very speculative, I think that it would be a cool story if the gods were always there watching and helping without anyone knowing.

Thanks for reading my articles and have fun in Guild Wars 2. And as always, may the Six watch over you.

Author: Mattsta

I recently earned a BS in Game Art and Design and write for ZAM.com including my weekly Guild Wars 2 column The Scrying Pool.