Earlier today I was thinking about what we know about Guild Wars 2′s new race, the sylvari, compared to the existing ones. Each race so far has had its own strengths, but also its own inner turmoils. For the humans it is the tension between the Ministry Guard, the Shining Blade and the Seraph. For the norn it is their dealing with the Sons of Sanvir and for the charr it is the Flame Legion Shamans stirring up trouble.
For the sylvari the tension is likely to come from their dealing with the Nightmare Court.
On my own blog I mentioned how it’s possible that the Pale Tree has some wider connection to the welfare of the planet, and how it might be imploring the sylvari to deal with the growing threat (no pun intended) which the Elder Dragons pose.
The sylvari have popped up in the 23 years preceding the events of Guild Wars 2. They emerge from the Pale Tree fully grown and are forever linked to it. Whilst they are growing inside the tree they experience dreams through which they learn the knowledge of their race. They also report that they experience nightmares – however, most sylvari attempt to ignore or at least not pursue any further knowledge of them. The sylvari that do embrace these nightmares are called the Nightmare Court.
Then I began to think about the timing of it all (and this is a theory I’ve mused on before). The growth of the Pale Tree and the birth of the sylvari coincide very closely with the emergence of the dragons (bearing in mind; in the growth of a tree, 250 years is not a long time at all). Perhaps the Tree – being of distinctly mystical origins – sensed the growing threat that the awakening of these dragons posed. The Pale Tree itself could have brought the sylvari in existence for the sole purpose of helping in the fight against the dragons; as a defense mechanism – like a leaf turning towards the sun, or a flower bud closing at night to conserve energy.
So the Pale Tree, being inexorably linked to the welfare of the planet, must feel the rending and tearing of the Dragonbrand, the whirling icy rage of Jormag in the Northern Shiverpeaks and the hateful abomination of nature as the land of Orr is risen from the depths. The dragons imprint their hate, lust, hunger and rage upon the earth and so have imprinted these feelings upon the Pale Tree. Perhaps the nightmares, so mysterious in origin, are the dragons malevolent minds creeping into the dreams of the sylvari? A manifestation of the pain which the world, and so the Tree, feels. Perhaps, then, the Nightmare Court – in examining and embracing these nightmares – are being corrupted just like the Sons of Sanvir.
The dragons have been corrupting the earth (however little – pfft, Great Destroyer my arse!) since we were in EotN. Could this corruption be what the sylvari sense as they dream in the Pale Tree? As they delve deeper and deeper into the origins of these nightmares perhaps the Nightmare Court will uncover (as one most often does when you delve too greedily and too deep) a little more than they bargained for.
Choo’ reckon? Are the Nightmare Court embracing the Dragons, and if they are; are they doing it unwittingly or do you think that they know what they are getting into?
About the author: Distilled (Will) has been playing Guild Wars for almost 6 years, he works as a clinical researcher in the UK but has aspirations of getting into social research. In his spare time he enjoys a good scotch, shopping for new suits and jazz flute. He writes regularly on Guild Wars and gaming over at VeryDistilled. You can also follow him on Twitter at @Distilledwill!