Living Story Update

Two weeks ago the Flame and Frost Living Story was introduced into Guild Wars 2. Nearly everyday since, I have taken a quick run through Hoelbrak, up the Wayfarer Foothills, across Diessa Plateau, and finally, to the Black Citadel looking for new developments. I reviewed the initial content added to the game shortly after release but have yet to provide an update to what is happening. Today I would like to do just that by sharing with you some of the things I have seen change and the stories I have seen beginning to develop. If you would like to explore the story on your own and would like to avoid spoilers then I suggest skipping this article.


The story in Hoelbrak takes place between Wolf and Bear lodges where a refugee camp has been setup. It is marked on your map with a yellow star. At the entrance to this camp is a coordinator where you can get more information. Well you can try.

Not very helpful. In the beginning this was all that the player could discover within this camp. Since then things have changed, including the dialogue of the coordinator.

I think we will have to give up on this NPC. She still does not know what is going on. Luckily for us, not so much the refugees, the camp has grown in size.

Quite a little camp has sprung up and there are now more NPCs to talk to. Among them is a steed holder that seems to know more.

Dredge and fire! Interesting. We shall have to keep this in mind when exploring other areas. There is another story here though. Talking with a refugee Blacksmith we learn of a poor orphaned boy.

Perhaps this is a seed for a story that is to develop? Or maybe this is just trying to set the mood. Either way I am curious to learn more about the fate of the boys parents.

The Black Citadel

In the Black Citadel a refugee camp, similar to the one in Hoelbrak, has been setup near Memorial way point. The Charr are more forth coming with information. Before we even get to the refugee camp a herald, near the Asura gate to Lion's Arch, gives us some info.

This Charr seems to know more then the Norn do about the situation in Wayfarer Foothills. At least we get some confirmation of that the dredge are involved in this some how. When we arrive at the refugee camp we are met by a member of the Adamant Watch who is acting as a coordinator. This is what he has to say,

Up until recently, this was all there was to discover in the Black Citadel. Like Hoelbrak, things here have evolved a little, including this NPC's dialogue.

Things seem to be getting hectic, but the consistency seems to be the Flame Legion's involvement. We can get more confirmation of this in the now expanded refugee camp.

Within this expanded camp are two new NPCs we can speak with. The first NPC we run into is a grouchy rancher who really wants nothing to do with us.

More talk of Flame Legion! Perhaps, once this rancher calms down, she will have more to tell us. For now though, this is all she has to say. As we continue to explore the camp we run into this well dressed chap.

And he has a bone to pick with, you guessed it, the Flame Legion.

Butcher's Block is the small town in the north-west of Diessa Plateau. I will discuss this area more below.  Suffice to say there are more Dredge in this area then Flame Legion. Are the Flame Legion some how behind the disturbances in the north? Or are they just taking advantage of the chaos? Could the Flame Legion be working with the Dredge? Or maybe flame throwing Dredge are being mistaken for Flame Legion? Or is something else going on here? So many questions, so few answers.

Wayfarer Foothills

Things start to get a little more interesting as we explore Wayfarer Foothills because we start to get closer to the source of the problems. In my previous review of the Living Story, I discussed the events you can participate in including, completing your volunteer achievement by helping streams of refugees coming from the north and by completing dynamic events that involve fighting ice elementals and plugging ruptures in the ground.

This has not changed. You can still participate in these events and no new events have been added to my knowledge. The other thing that has not changed is the mysterious frozen dead merchant in the north near Solitude way point,

It is still dead and still just as mysterious. One possible explanation for this dead merchant, that I did not discuss before, is found nearby at Dolyak Pass way point. Here, in a tent, we find a Merchant Bodyguard that seems to be more concerned with counting his coin than guarding merchants.

What a guy. Unfortunately for us this is all we are able to learn. It does seem, though, that the merchants know something is up. Too bad the only one around is a frozen corpse. We will just have to keep looking around and in fact we do not need to go far. Just south of Dolyak Pass way point some refugees have setup a couple small buildings.

There are three NPCs in the camp but none of them have anything to say. As we continue to explore the zone we discover this ominous looking mountain north of Dolyak Pass way point.

Which looks even more ominous when viewed from another angle at a different time of day.

Those ruptures look an awful lot like the vents that we are required to close during the dynamic events. Here is one for comparison,

Similar? Exploring further around this mountain reveals little. Heading further north leads to Frost Gorge Sound where these events have yet to spread. Going either south or west just leads away from the mountain where nothing else seems to be occurring. If we look on the slopes of the mountain there is one cave, called the Warm Spring Grotto, which contains some steaming pools of water and a lot of spiders. 

This isn't the only place in Wayfarer Foothills with hot springs though. On the other side of the zone at Zelechar Hot Springs way point are more hot springs.

But, there are no geysers shooting steam into the air here. Are the Wayfarer Foothills volcanic? Or is there more to this? The center of the activity appears to be in the North East around the steaming mountain. Next I want to explore the eastern slope of this mountain in Diessa Plateau.

Diessa Plateau

The story here in Diessa Plateau is similar to Wayfarer Foothills. Refugees are streaming from the north to the south towards the Black Citadel. These poor refugees still need help if you are willing to provide it. You can also still participate in the dynamic event that has the player fighting earth elementals and plugging ruptures much like Wayfarer Foothills. Unlike Wayfarer Foothills, there are no refugees setting up camps nor are there any mysterious dead merchants. Thus, my attention is drawn to the north west of the zone to explore the eastern slope of the mountain I discussed above.

Even on this side we can see the vents blowing steam into the air. Is it any surprise that this is right near an area ripe with Dredge? The whole north-west of Diessa Plateau, named Burrows of Moledavia, is infested with dredge. Seeing as how the Dredge have been brought up before I thought it worth exploring this area some more. Upon reaching the north-east corner of Moledavia I saw this as I looked to the north and east.

I exited Moledavia and worked my way around to the other side of a small ridge for a better view.

It seems there is activity all around Moledavia. Here is a map showing the different things I have discovered crossing over between Diessa and Wayfarer Foothills.

If the Flame Legion is involved it is sure hard to find evidence for it besides some raving Charr in the Black Citadel. There seems to be a lot more activity around the Dredge areas.


It is hard to say, just yet, where this story plans to go. There are some good theories floating around though. Some people thing the Flame Legion are solely to blame, while other blame the Dredge. A guild mate suggested the Steam Creatures, but they seem to be located only in Lornar's Pass. Just about every elder Dragon has been invoked in some theory at some point. A theory I like involves a continuation of the story told in the dungeon Sorrow's Embrace. If you have not played through the Sorrow's Embrace Dungeon you can watch the cut-scenes in this video,

The gist of it is that the Inquest and Dredge got together to try to harness the energy of a dragon. They are defeated in the story but the head Inquest scientist escapes. Are the inquest still supporting the dredge in these experiments with dragon energy? Perhaps, the Dredge have started experimenting on their own, or maybe they have a new backer in the Flame Legion. We will have to wait and see as this story plays out. Hopefully it picks up in speed as up until now things have moved forward at a rather slow pace. There are lots of seeds for stories that I would like to see develop. I would also like to see more far reaching effects. Arena Net has me hooked now they just need to reel me in.

What do you guys think of the Living Story so far? Have you been exploring and trying to find hidden story elements? Have I missed anything? What are your theories about the cause of this disaster? Let me know in the comments below!


  1. Fantastic write-up! I knew most of the Charr side of the story since I spend so much time in Black Citadel and the surrounding area but still some detail there that I'd missed.

    On the frozen merchant: trails of blood from the ears but no blunt weapon trauma would be consistent with the sonic weapons favored by the Dredge.

    On the Charr theories: the Charr blame *everything* on the Flame Legion. Maybe they are involved but I wouldn't assume they were the organisers - they're certainly opportunistic enough to take advantage of any disruptive activity within heir sphere of influence.

    Steam Creatures - I also thought they might be involved. I went down to their incursion point in Lornar's yesterday to see if there was any sign of a connection but couldn't spot anything. I'd really like it to be them but I'm as certain as I can be that it's not.

    Someone (Ravious at KTR maybe?) suggested it might be Destroyers. I hope not because I find them a bit dull and I had more than enough of them in GW1. They do fit the bill, though.

    ANet have said there is definitely no dragon coming in F&F but that clearly doesn't mean a dragon isn't behind whatever's going on. After the damp squib of the Karka I doubt it's a completely new factor we've never heard of. As far as I know, neither The Flame Legion nor the Dredge follow, worship or have any time for Dragons so if there's a dragon behind this it must be manipulating them subtly, which is what dragons do best.

    My reservations on this as a means of storytelling remain. It's developing far too slowly and in ways far too obscure to be apparent to any but the most dedicated investigator, like yourself. Having added The Heralds, at the very least they should be relaying the information you have collated in this post and directing interested parties to it, not just repeating the same two lines of vague rumor week after week.

    Most importantly, though, we need to see places we visit and use under attack. We need to see the wrecked villages from which the refugees are fleeing. It's not like there aren't plenty of small outposts in both Wayfarer's and Diessa that could have been used to show not tell.

    We'll see how it develops at the next update but at the moment it's hardly nail-biting stuff.

  2. Glad you liked my post :D

    I think you are right about the frozen merchant. Those injuries seem consistent with some sort of shock wave. That plus the burn marks means flame throwing dredge or some sort of explosion IMO. The other possibility is that the body has been there for a LONG time and has just recently thawed out.

    On the Destroyer front, I heard this theory as well, but I heard it in relation to the Sorrow's Embrace theory. I was told dredge were attempting to control destroyers with the help of the Inquest. Further research into that revealed that destroyers are not specifically mentioned in SE. That seems more like a Flame Legion thing ala Citadel of Flame.

    Also, no dragon's doesn't mean that their minions couldn't be involved :) but I agree. After Karka I do not think we will see a new enemy. Just new arrangements of the existing ones.

    The story is far to slow and the effects not nearly as far reaching as I would like, so I couldn't agree with you more on that. It makes things seem inconsistent which drives me up the wall as it pretty much destroys the hope of speculating and guess as to what will happen next. Literally anything could happen next.

  3. Is it possible that it is in fact Primordus related anyway?

    The Norn who mentions the dredge specifically says she didn't see any actual Dredge.. "Someone shouted DREDGE" but she didn't see them herself.. And they were attacked with fire.. That isn't like the dredge. So they were attacked from the ground by a mystery something that utilises fire. [Fire - Earth]

    And the Charr would naturally assume any fire attacks are Gold Legion and blame them anyway. No logic needed here at all, really. [Fire]

    If I had to guess, I think it might be likely that they will add 1, 2 or 3 underground maps (as big as current World Maps, but with a ceiling sky box) with entrances in Wayfarer and Diessa - this would open the door to some more Destroyer involvement (you don't see them very often compared to the other three dragons yet), possibly abandoned Dwarf towns, possibly ancient Asura locations - but most importantly a Primordus Dragon Champion event to go with the other three.

    1. Good points. I guess the Norn and the Charr can be blamed for simply blaming past enemies. We really do not have anything concrete yet.

      I like the idea of the underground maps. I was thinking something similar. Since that new camp was built in Wayfarer I was thinking eventually something would kick off there like a dungeon, or an NPC for an event, or an entrance to an underground level as you have suggested.

      I love the speculation! Hopefully we can something more concrete soon so help us figure this out.

    2. Also, I would like to add another possible clue that has been in the game since launch. If you go to the Ruins of Rin in the Black Citadel map, and just travel west to the PoI, you'll see large fiery spikes that look very much like Destroyer skin (but they do also look like Flame Citadel too). These spikes act as a gate to a closed off entrance to a cave. The PoI itself is called "Abandoned Caverns: Access Prohibited" or something similar.

      If they did go with underground maps, there could easily be an entrance in Black Citadel, one in Diessa and one in Wayfarer. Even one map could cover all 3 of those entrances.

      But like I'm saying, this is pure speculation and at the moment, has probably less grounds than your theory.

    3. The more I think about this the more I think a combination of your ideas and the "unknown" poster below are correct. The more I research these ideas the more I learn that the area was full of underground caves in GW1. It seems this was a major nexus for the Asura, and Dwarves, and where there were Dwares there were also their Dredge slaves. Opening up entrances to these underground areas that we know have to be there seems like a very logical next step.

      I went to the location you mentioned and boy is that interesting. That has got to be involved some how....

      Damn I really think you guys are right. I think we will be entering Tyria under belly shortly.

  4. I've looked through a lot of different maps of Tyria and one thing that has seemed to be consistent throughout my search was the fact that the location of the Central Transfer Chamber (the place in the Depths of Tyria where Primordus woke up at the end of Eye of the North) is almost exactly under the general area of that "steaming mountain" in northeastern Wayfarer Foothills and northwestern Diessa Plateau.

    I know that ArenaNet has said that there would be no appearance of any Elder Dragon, but that does not rule out any indirect relationship between the Dragons and this event.

    My theory is that "something" is happening deep beneath that mountain, possibly Primordus and his Titan horde amassing for some future assault perhaps.

    Also, the Dredge and the Flame Legion, or some smaller faction within the two groups, may have allied together for some sinister purpose.

    The Dredge do have their vendetta against the Dwarves, who may still be fighting with the Titan destroyers of Primordus in the Depths, and the Flame Legion did believe the Titans to be their gods at one point (or they still do...).

    Perhaps, the Dredge and Flame Legion have joined forces with Primordus, who may have promised the destruction of the dwarves and the resurrection of Geherron Baelfire in exchange.

    Just a theory.

    1. That is awfully close isn't it... I never played GW1 so I had to do some research on this. I found this map of the GW1 Tyria on the GW1wiki.

      If you open up your map in game to compare you can see what "Unknown" means in his post above. Nolani is the town on Nolan in Diessa Plateau just north of the Black Citadel. That would put the "steaming mountain" very close to where Primordus is marked on the GW1 map. That is really interesting.

      I think this theory may be my new favourite. Thanks a lot for sharing your ideas.

    2. Just a minor lore correction, the titans and the destroyers are no the same thing. The titans were minions of Abaddon, the fallen human god, and were created from tormented souls in the Realm of Torment, the place in the Mists where Abaddon was locked up. Destroyers are Primordus' minions. Unlike the risen, the icebrood and the branded they are not corrupted from organic material, but formed from rock and lava, made to resemble living creatures.

      The Flame started worshipping titans about 200 years before the start of Guild Wars 1, and stopped doing so at the end of the Nightfall campaign, when Abaddon was defeated. A few years after that (before the Eye of the North expansion) they started worshipping the destroyers instead in hopes to retain the weakening grasp the shaman caste had over the charr population. However, according to the Charr article on the GW1 wiki this seems to have been a short relationship. Today the Flame Legion only worships their imperator Gaheron Baelfire as their god.

      But anyway, back on topic, I really like your theory. I now really hope for an underground map of some sort that explores the depths beneath the mountain. That would be really cool. Although I probably should not get my hopes up.