In my last column recapping the story of Guild Wars 2 so far, I left off discussing Scarlet and the role she played in forcing us into direct conflict with Mordremoth. While Scarlet did speed up our confrontation with Mordremoth, she probably did us a favor since he had the potential to be a real pain considering his powers after just one Elder Dragon was killed were already almost enough to do us in. As with before, if you haven’t played through Season 2, this will contain spoilers.
From the beginning of Season 2, it became clear Mordremoth was a bit different from the other Elder Dragons we had encountered. All of the previous Elder Dragons caused massive damage when they awoke, but Mordremoth’s reach seemed far greater. While both Zhaitan and Kralkatorrik’s minions did have a fairly wide range in which they roamed, most of their influence seemed to be relatively limited to being close to where the Elder Dragon’s home base was. Zhaitan did reach out to Claw Island, which was a relatively long reach for him, but that’s about as far as his reach extended.
Season 2 kicked off with reports of strange vines springing up out of nowhere and attacking people. Initially, these attacks were all close to the Maguma Jungle area, but it wasn’t too long before these vines, and Mordremoth’s minions started, popping up in Ascalon. If you look at the map, Ascalon is pretty much on the opposite side from the Jungle of Maguma. His incredible reach was fed by not just the death of Zahtain but also his use of the ley lines and his control over plants. Anyone who has ever battled with weeds, and especially invasive vines, can tell you not only do they grow fast but the roots can be extremely far from where you see the plant. In this way, Mordremoth was able to further extend his reach by tapping in the expansionist abilities of plants.
Additionally, he also has power over the Mind domain, which allowed him to corrupt many Sylvari. During Season 2, we saw this directly with Aerin, who was a soundless and thus less protected from Mordremoth’s ability to reach out with his mind. During Season 1, we learned the Pale Tree offered Sylvari a certain amount of protection from outside forces. I don’t believe at that time it was explicitly stated she was protecting them from Mordremoth, it might have just been corruption by the Elder Dragons in general. Aerin had turned his back on the Pale Tree and the Dream because he wanted more individuality. Unfortunately, he fell to Mordremoth’s influence and not only killed many Zephyrites but also tried to steal Glint’s egg from the Master of Peace.
One of the big goals during Season 2 was to rally the leaders of every race to help support the cause of killing Mordremoth. Before Zahtain was killed few people believed it was even possible, but after we killed him with Destiny’s Edge killing them all suddenly seemed like the best plan for dealing with them all. So, the idea was to rally support and hold a summit at the Grove to accomplish this task. Unfortunately for us, this gave Mordremoth the perfect opening to directly attack the Pale Tree. We were successful in beating back his champion but not before the Pale Tree had been severely injured, and her protection to her Sylvari weakened.
It was perhaps due to this attack that Mordremoth was able to get into Caithe’s head a bit and cause her to doubt her friends. As a result of this confusion, when we did find Glint’s egg, Caithe seized it and ran off with it. Later we found out from her she had been given a second Wyld Hunt, to protect the egg and later Aurene. However, at this point, all we knew was Caithe had stolen the egg, for reasons, and ran off with it. Which was odd and disturbing but since we also didn’t know the truth about the Sylvari so at the time I was perhaps a bit less alarmed than I otherwise would have been.
This lack of alarm is probably why, rather than hunting down Caithe immediately, we decide to meet back up with the Pact in the Silverwastes. As it turns out, it’s a good thing we did. As the Pact was making final preparations to head into the Jungle to take on Mordremoth directly, Camp Resolve was attacked. After a long fight, the Pact got their ships airborne and rained down fire on the dragon minions. Of course, the Commander is invited to go along and fight Moredremoth directly, but we needed to find the egg. It’s also at this point Braham and Eir have a sweet convo where he apologizes for not understanding why she was never there, and she apologizes for not being there more. They both agree to spend a lot of time together after Mordremoth is dealt with. Which, spoiler alert, is heartbreaking in hindsight.
While searching for where Caithe might have gone with the egg, Pale Tree offers the idea of using memory seeds to see into Caithe’s past. The whole sequence of memories was honestly one of the roughest for me to get through because I was put in the position of doing a lot of things, I didn’t agree with but had to because that’s how everything happened in the past. In the last memory, the Commander (as Caithe), caught up with a Sylvari named Wynne. Faolain had been chasing her because she believed Wynne knew an important secret about the Sylvari. The secret was that the Sylvari were created to be minions of Mordremoth, but Wynne was fearful of what Faolin would do with this knowledge and begged Caithe to kill her to protect all the Sylvari; which she does.
After experiencing a handful of memories, we finally catch-up to Caithe. Not only did Caithe confirm the truth of the Sylvari, but she also refused to hand over the egg while still insisting she was on the Commander’s side. Now, we had already seen how Mordremoth corrupted Scarlet and Aerin, and now Caithe was behaving oddly as well. She didn’t seem crazed the same way the other two were, and we were able to have an actual conversation with her. Nonetheless, she wouldn’t hand over the egg, which to many people indicated she couldn’t be trusted even if she was sane. After all, we had just witnessed her do terrible things because she thought they had to be done.
There’s no telling if the Commander might have eventually convinced Caithe to hand over the egg because before too long the Shadow of the Dragon showed up and tried to steal it. This time we manage to kill the dragon champion, however, while fighting Caithe slipped off into the jungle. We barely had any time to process how terrible that choice of hers might have been before we see the Pact heading off and starting their attack… only to be completely decimated by Mordremoth and many of the Sylvari on the airships turning on everyone.
And that’s how Season 2 ended. All our hopes of getting another Elder Dragon taken care of dashed on the floor of the Jungle. The heroes who we’d been following in the footsteps of since before Guild Wars 2 had even launched were all lost, and no one had any idea if they survived. It wasn’t long before we got our first glimpse of the next chapter of Guild Wars 2, and Heart of Thorns would change things forever.