This week’s Guild wars 2 column is all about speculation regarding the most recent story episode All or Nothing. This is your warning massive spoilers follow.
“Long ago, I lived in a dragon-dominated world. I saw how they feasted on all flesh, on all minds, on all life. I saw how they ate until there was nothing left to eat, and then fell, sated. The darkness of those days slowly gave way to a new dawn – a bright world that did not remember the rapacious beasts. From that time to this, I have feared one of those sleeping dragons. My master, Kralkatorrik.” – Glint, Edge of Destiny.
My first thought after finishing “All or Nothing” was “why did we ever think we could trust Glint in the first place?” For a prophet she sure seemed to not know what would happen a surprising amount of the time. I mean sure she knew if Destiny’s Edge didn’t stand together against Kralkatorrik they’d lose and warned them of this fact; but all her plans seem to have gone to ruin. So, it’s only natural to question her powers as an oracle… but man if this was one big long con it’s a heck of a dozy.
It is safe to say although Glint does have the gift of prophecy, she doesn’t automatically know everything. As I was reading back over the conversation she has with Destiny’s Edge in preparation for their fight with Kralkatorrik, I noticed she seemed genuinely surprised Snaff might be able to wrest mental control away from an Elder Dragon, even if it was only for a short period of time. As if she knew the blood of Kralkatorrik would be important, just not how it would be used. As a result, she collected as much as she could find even after the spear was created.
Additionally, during the Crystalline Memories chapter of the Path of Fire storyline we hear her muse over her inability to see past the battle. She thought it might mean she would die but it doesn’t seem like she knew for sure at all. I assume the thoughts we hear in this section are her thoughts before Logan leaves because since she knew they all had to fight together she’d probably be more aware of the likeliness of her death. Although she might have known from the beginning they were doomed as she ends by saying “I must keep my faith, and hope my children will carry on my legacy”. Faith is an interesting idea for an oracle. Faith means an absence of actual knowledge so while she probably knew things would go badly, she didn’t seem to know how things would playout longterm.
It is also during this chapter Rytlock reveals he learned his Revenant powers from Glint. This is interesting to me because it feels sort of random and a bit odd. “Oh, hello charr I fought and failed to kill Kralky with, let me teach you about how to manipulate the mists and use it to fight” just seems kind of random and weird. Of course, in this case it could just be more of a gameplay explanation more than a real story explanation. However, if we assume there is a story reason for Glint teaching Rytlock about how to be a Revenant some interesting possibilities open up. One of the most interesting is the fact one of the signature moves for Revenants is the ability to step in and out of the mists at will and I wonder if this ability might come into play with helping Aurene on the next step of her journey. No real idea how that would work though.
There’re a few reasons why I think Aurene isn’t done yet… one big one being it pretty much would be the end of everything. No one to take the Elder Dragon’s place means no killing the Elder Dragon without destroying the world. Plus, Ogden Stonehealer listed three very specific signs which needed to be met before the battle could commence: Aurene needed to hatch, the Lich needed to die, and the sand in the hourglass needed to glow. The last one might seem a bit odd when compared to the others but the sands in the hourglass glowing just means Aurene is in Glint’s Lair and the trials can commence. Also… let’s note in this dialogue Ogden mentions the entrance to this part of Glint’s lair is accessible through the mists. And Aurene is already there waiting. Which means she can enter and exit the mists all on her own.
The Lich needing to die is an interesting requirement though. In Tyria the general rule has been, at least in the case of the Elder Dragons, when they absorb magic from a different source, they gain at least some of the abilities of the original source. We saw this most notably after Mordermoth’s death where minions of other Elder Dragons started exhibiting characteristics which were only previously seen in Mordy’s minions. If this holds true, then Aurene eating and devouring Joko could be the key to what happens next. Although we don’t know how exactly Joko was able to regenerate and come back from death, we got a very upfront look at how this worked in Long Live the Lich. For all intents and purposes, he really did seem dead before he came back to life. Now, he could have been just toying with us, but it is also possible the whole resurrection thing is just something which happens automatically if his body stays intact. If this is the case Aurene still has a fighting chance and could come back. Although she has crystal spikes running through her, her body is mostly intact.
I have also seen the theory maybe the whole point of branding Caithe was to make use of Mordy’s ability to plant a seed in another creature and come back through her. Personally, I don’t see this avenue as being likely. The main reason is Mordremoth’s ability was invasive and there is a world of a difference between sharing your mind with someone and forcing them to die so you can live again. If this was the route, they go it’d really undermine how different Aurene is. Granted I do believe if given the choice Caithe would sacrifice herself to save Aurene, it’s more I don’t believe Aurene would ever ask this of anyone else. Rather I believe the reason Caithe was brandied was not only to allow Aurene to more easily communicate with everyone but also to offer what would feel like a final nail in everything. Caithe was deeply bonded with Aurene and if anyone would feel a glimmer of her still there it’d be Caithe. Of course, I am also blindly ignoring this fact because I want to believe.
Back to the topic of what Glint does and doesn’t know. I feel confident she knew this is how things would go and she probably told Aurene as much. We don’t know exactly how a dragon becomes an Elder Dragon, there’s probably a bit more to Ascension than just gorging on all the magics. Afterall, if all which was needed was eating a ton of magic, we’d likely have had at least one new Elder Dragon pop-up after Zhaitan was killed. Additionally, it can’t be an age thing because Glint would know the world couldn’t wait thousands of years for her children to be strong enough. As such I imagine she told Aurene this because she knew Aurene would understand and could be convinced it was ok and to go ahead with it. One reason I believe this is at the end of Scion and Champion Glint tells us to go “face the crystal dragon”. Only to face him, not to defeat him. It seems an odd word choice if we were really meant to kill him in that fight. But she didn’t tell us this.
So… can we trust Glint? We can probably trust her to always do what she believes is best for the world, but we can’t expect her to always be fully honest with us. She has freewill afterall, so she’s not under any sort of compulsion to be forthright… which is something we’ve probably lost sight of over time. We trusted Glint everything would be ok, and it still might be. Just maybe not the way we thought it would be.