Returning to Orr
After a shocking reveal that Balthazar, human god of war, has returned to Tyria and is absorbing the power of the Elder Dragons as well as a large portion of the Maguuma Bloodstone, speculation has been going wild about where the mysterious deity will take his campaign next. On July 25t , the final episode of Living World Season 3 will take players back to Orr to see what looks like a new, post-cleansing continent, and the aftermath of both Zhaitan’s defeat and Balthazar’s return to his once home.
Orr was once a great nation of the humans in Tyria, home to the Orrians and the holy city of Arah. The humans of Orr were the first to set foot on Tyria, arriving with the 6 gods to found a mighty empire that would eventually span across the globe, whilst the gods themselves resided within the city of Arah, watching and presiding over their human worshippers. The gods themselves built the great city of Arah, founded above the subterranean waterways of the Artesian Waters, a font of great magical power, and resided in the city until The Exodus and their departure from Tyria. Up until the Cataclysm, and the ruining of Orr by Vizier Khilbron which sank the continent below the waves, Orr was a green and fruitful land, and its residents the most common practitioners of magic in the age. The focus on the gods was paramount, influencing both architecture and the way of life for the Orrians, who considered themselves the sacred guardians and protectors of the great city even after the departure of their deities. The Cataclysm, along with the rise of Zhaitan and his corruption, turned Orr from the holy mecca of the human people to a forsaken wasteland, full of undead and worse that roamed the lands serving their dragon master. Only with the cleansing of Orr, a task taken up by the late Trahearne and the Pact Commander (the player character), was the corruption stymied and life once again able to flow in to the land.
This will be player’s first opportunity to visit the revitalised continent, which has had some years to once again feel life flowing through it. It is a logical step to return here now, as Arah has always been a place of mystery, thick with undead forces and even an elder dragon himself for over a century. The secrets that Balthazar and the other gods may have left behind have huge story implications, objects of great power like the Mirror of Lyssa that Balthazar used to disguise himself may have been obtained from the ancient city, and who knows what lies in store for players. This place was once Balthazar’s home, and an excellent way to set up a future expansion. Portals to the Mists, contact with other human gods, along with countless other possibilities await shrouded in the mystery of the ancient city. The Artesian Waters, the great font of magical power used to shape both the continent of Orr and the City of Arah, also lie waiting for Balthazar in his old home. This font of magical power is another potential weapon in the god of war’s growing arsenal, more magic to add to his absorbed dragon and bloodstone power that could aid the god in meeting whatever his mysteries goals are. Although we are unsure if Balthazar means good or ill for us in the long run, for now we are set on the path of opposing him as he attempts to unleash devastation of Tyria by destroying the elder dragons.
This content marks the second time we will see a revitalised Orr post cleansing, with the first instance being during the quest players can undertake to reforge Caladbolg, albeit only in small doses there. The landscape will be dramatically different, as well as, hopefully, far less risen enemies to deal with. It is likely we will still encounter remnants of Zhaitan’s undead, as well as countless soldier’s from Balthazar alongside anything else the continent has to throw at us. To combat this, the logical choice will be to take a full invasion force, and who better than The Pact. This might be the first time we get to see Logan Thackery in his new role as the Pact Marshal (and knowing Guild Wars 2, a new outfit), leading the crusade against one of his own deities to save Tyria. This will be Logan’s second foray in to Orr with the pact, only this time instead of helping us destroy an Elder Dragon, he might be helping us save them.
For good or ill, the story is shaping up to be a nail-biting finale, and we can only hope that some of the thousand questions we have might be answered by the conclusion. Let us know what excites you the most about the return to Orr, and how you think it will lead on to the next expansion!