GW2: Thaumanova and the Mists

"Time stabilizer damaged. He's unstuck in time. Zathras warned, but no one listen to Zathras, no."

I’m going further and further down the rabbit hole here. The more I read up on stuff and poke around things in-game, the more bits and pieces are starting to suspiciously come together.

Still groping for the most part, but some things that sounded odd and were initially dismissed seem to have a deeper second meaning.

It’s hard to know where to start and how to situate you all in this bizarre layer of theories, but I’ll try to begin where I did this time around.

It begins with Dessa.

She says she is the krewe chief of the fractals project. And there’s a lot about her that seems “off.”

First of all, she assumes you’re here as volunteers and she’ll be your experiment manager. She makes reference to something she calls “Mistlock” which seems to be some kind of process to stabilize bits of the Mists. In fact, that seems to be her dream and ambition:

“I can’t believe I made explorable chunks of reality from the Mists. I’ve dreamed of doing it for so long. Now, it’s real.”

“We can now lock down and enter any point in the Mists. The legacy code of Tyria is ours to explore, assuming it doesn’t collapse.”

Hang on, let’s backtrack a bit. What the hell are the Mists to begin with?

themists

Well, in the lore of Guild Wars (1 and 2), the Mists appear to be the fabric of space/time themselves.

Jeff Grub from a Guild Mag interview describes them as:

“The Mists are the building blocks of reality, the proto-reality that exists between the worlds. It is where we find afterlifes and the homes of the various gods and other powerful entities. The Mists also resonate from the worlds around them, such that they form bits of their own reality – islands of existence that reflect the histories of their worlds.”

According to the wiki, the Mists are further described as only being accessible via portals.

Previously these portals seem to be created by vast expenditures of magic and link to only one place (see history as described by wiki) but Dessa seems to have the magi-technology to target different parts of the Mists.

(But so far, besides the uncategorized fractal which is…as yet uncategorized, only the past. Discrete sections of the past. No futures in there, says Scott McGough.)

But hang on again, WHOSE past are we talking about?

dessa

My google-fu isn’t strong enough to locate any other links, but surely someone has commented on the futuristic style of clothing that Dessa is wearing?

littlestormtroopers

Even the rest of her krewe look like miniature stormtroopers.

I leave this as an exercise for my readers (mostly because I haven’t taken screenshots yet) but we may want to compare these guys’ helmets to the Steam mechataur creatures. To me, they look suspiciously similar in style.

Are there any other asura in our present day Tyria that look like these guys?

Where the hell do they really come from? Or WHEN?

Could they be from that alternate future reality that we are positing exists? The one that has magi-tech and steampunk styles all over the place, is probably full of Aetherblade pirates and Steam creatures, likely contains a money-grubbing group known as the Consortium, and very possibly contains a Conclave and a Grand High Sovereign?

Dessa certainly recognizes the name Consortium. “Those money-grubbing connivers? It’s bad enough I lost my boyfriend to those shady “businessmen.” Take my advice: reject their advances. Nothing good will come of their machinations.”

In our reality, they still seem pretty harmless, just creating gift shops and tourist attractions. They don’t seem to have gotten that sort of “corporate evil” vibe that I may be reading too much into what Dessa says.

And she says one more thing. When asked about how they got connected to the gate in Lion’s Arch, where we entered from, she exhibits confusion. “Lion’s Arch? No, there must be a misunderstanding. We’d never launch this lab from that pirate haven.”

Well, yes, our Lion’s Arch is a united gathering of pirate captains forming a peaceful haven of trade and diplomacy to go fight dragons.

But could LA be an Aetherblade pirate haven in Dessa’s reality?

Let’s go look at the portal gates in Lion’s Arch.

normalgate

Normal tame asura gates look like this. They shimmer with magical energy and transport us from place to place.

fractalgate

The fractals gate looks like this.

Seriously, go -look- at it yourself. There’s VIOLENT lightning strikes crackling across its surface every couple of seconds. (And I’ve been jumping into this thing all the while with nary a care. Aieeee.)

If you talk to the Lionguard guarding the gate, he tells you that this… doorway appeared instead when some asura tried to open a gate to an island. (Presumably a reference to Consortium/Southsun, but I’m not chasing down that rabbit tunnel just yet.)

When we go through, we end up in the Fractals of the Mists. OF THE MISTS.

The crackly lightning gate appears to symbolize getting access to The Mists, where little pockets of various realities/pasts/reflections of worlds are floating like islands, unstuck in time.

Let’s take a trip to Metrica Province and go look at the Thaumanova Reactor.

thaumanova

We’ve all seen it before. It’s a gigantic sprawling dark stone structure that is suspiciously (to me anyway) open to the elements.

Full of asuran architecture and Inquest-y technological trappings, sections of it echo the Elder Dragons’ elemental magic, though it’s unclear if these existed pre or post explosion. Chaos magic is raging all around, displaced monsters are popping in unstuck in space or time, and most importantly for this post, there is also a honking big portal if you amble over to the center and look up.

thaumaportal

No, I mean it. Go there yourself and look up. The camera angle is really tough to screenshot, and those animated lightning flashes are tricky to capture in a still image, but there is as much violent lightning energy crackling across the surface of the portal over Thaumanova as the… doorway in Lion’s Arch.

Probably more because this portal is fucking huge.

How huge? Well, it’s like covering the roof of where a second floor might have once been…

…Could the Thaumanova Reactor have been a LOT bigger than it is now?

Could a chunk of it have actually been broken and hurled through the… doorway now hovering above the reactor and ended up in The Mists?

File:Uncategorized Fractal 2.jpg

Credit: Pic from GW2 wiki, I ran out of energy trying to solo the last fight just to get to this cutscene.

We know what the Raving Asura says, right?

Raving Asura: “Breach! Broken! Falling! Screaming! Dying!”
Raving Asura: “I couldn’t save them. I heard them all. Pleading. All gone. All on my watch!”

Could something have breached the security of the reactor?

Could something (or someones) have broken an important part of the reactor?

There would naturally be a lot of falling, screaming and dying as a result.

I wish I could tell you I sacrificed myself to get you this screenie, but it's just me sucking and failing to figure out how to manage the damage from this fight.

I wish I could tell you I sacrificed myself to get you this screenie, but it’s just me sucking and failing to figure out how to manage the damage from this fight.

The clothing style of the raving asura unfortunately doesn’t give anything away. He’s using a standard for our time asura style staff, he’s in what seems like dark brown medium armor and has a monocle/eyepatch thingy, and has poofy grey hair – which might be his usual hairstyle, or just overall meant to simulate a Rip Van Winkle hermit look.

Another possible link:

holdingcell2

There are holding cells in the Uncategorized fractal – containing a Flame Shaman charr, a human bandit saboteur, an ettin and a rabbit. Holding cells, we know, are the main purview of the Inquest.

And we know the Thaumanova Reactor was an Inquest facility, where they were researching on a Thaumacore Energy Source (which they later moved to the Thaumacore Inquiry Center after the exposion) and Elder Dragon magic (which they later rebuilt as the Infinite Coil Reactor and Crucible of Eternity to continue their research.)

uncategorizedtop

Dessa, too, has some kind of reaction on seeing this fractal. It’s just not very clear what because she doesn’t reveal much of any emotion over the line she’s using. She just needed to leave for a while, and then comes back later and apologizes for her absence.

It’s possible that’s an indication she recognizes it, but possibly not in this configuration and can’t quite put two and two together as to what happened.

The name for this fractal is Uncategorized, after all.

Maybe in her reality, the Thaumanova Reactor never blew up.

Seeing it in pieces in what is supposed to be Tyria’s past is perhaps a paradox that floors her for long enough to shut off communication with her lab rats and try to puzzle it out.

"I don't wanna be a lab rat. Can I go home now?"

“I don’t wanna be a lab rat. Can I go home now?”

We leave now the shores of plausible theory to venture further into speculation.

I started scouring the Guild Wars timeline because I suddenly realized there are actually documented yearly dates attached to some of these historical events.

Unfortunately, I can’t find any documented source on when exactly the Thaumanova Reactor blew up. We know it’s pretty recent an event, but not exactly how recent.

It’s recent enough that they’re still dealing with the fallout in the present day, but far back in the past for the Inquest to have built replacement facilities.

Stay with me here, it’s a bumpy ride…

Now I’m going to build on my hunch that we ourselves are going to enter the Thaumanova Reactor in the to-be-built fractal and blow shit up, because if we don’t, we face an alternate reality of magitech horror and villainy.

I’m going to assume the explosion caused realities to diverge somehow – in one reality, the reactor never blew and we enter our future world  of magitech steampunk villainy, in another reality – ours – the tragedy happened but yielded our present-day racially united renaissance fantasy heroic world.

Dessa recognizes the name Lion’s Arch. Now LA has existed since GW1, so that doesn’t tell us very much, but it’s a pirate haven for her.

She doesn’t go, oh the capital of Kryta (GW1), oh that flooded ruins? (circa 1219 AE)

Lion’s Arch slowly became a haven for pirates and the LA we know today was founded by Cobiah Marriner somewhen around 1230-1231 AE… I think. I haven’t read the Sea of Sorrows novel yet. That is probably our lowest bounds for when Thaumanova blew up in our day, and my personal guess is that it’s a lot more recent than that.

This rather nixes the part of my theory that the explosion could have released/formed the Elder Dragons themselves because those bad boys were operating way before that. In hindsight, they had servants dating back to GW1 and were perplexing the ancient races like mursaat and what not, so yeah, the Elder Dragons long existed, they’re forces of nature/magic and that bit of speculation is all hogwash, forget it.

But we need another piece of baseless speculation to replace it now, don’t we?

Let’s look at the timeline at very recent historical events. Two events stand out rather prominently to me:

1325 AE Guild Wars 2 story begins.

1320 AE Kralkatorrik, the Elder Crystal Dragon, awakens. Creation of the Dragonbrand. Breaking of Destiny’s Edge. Founding of the Vigil. Glint is killed by Kralkatorrik.

1302 AE The sylvari first appear along the Tarnished Coast, sprouting from the Pale Tree.

If the Thaumanova Reactor blew up five years ago, could it be tied somehow with the waking of the Crystal Dragon? There are linkages of chaos magic / Thaumanova Reactor lore with the Chaos Crystal Caverns – the Injured Inquest Researcher talks about the twinning effect of the crystals they were using at the reactor affecting the ones in the cavern.

That’s the more logical, has links in-game, speculation.

Of course, I like the wild and crazy theories the best.

According to the wiki, golden fruit appeared on the branches on the Pale Tree over one hundred years later after Ventari passed away in 1180AE, leaving his tablet behind. In 1302 AE, the fruit opened to reveal the first Sylvari.

If the Thaumanova Reactor blew up anywhere from 23-45 years ago, could the wave of chaotic magical energy have fueled the possibly premature rousing of what are speculated to be the jungle dragon Mordremoth’s minions? Except with him still snoozing, they have no guidance except to turn to this convenient guidebook lying at the foot of their tree, producing Tyria’s youngest and most recent race.

In Dessa’s reality, this would not have happened. Sylvari might still be evil servants of the jungle dragon. And of course, we’re now dealing with a lunatic sylvari by name of Scarlet Briar that exhibits some very strange abilities and seems to have some familiarity with alternate realities/portals/stuff.

I’d talk about Mad King Thorn and all the jungle-bramble-plant-death theme that seems to be happening here, but that’s just reaching now, even for me.

Over to you all. Believable or no?

5 thoughts on “GW2: Thaumanova and the Mists

  1. Ravious says:

    All I can say is “whoa”. I particularly like your idea of the top of Thaumanova Reactor. I’ve always wondered about the stormtrooper asura. Why would Dessa’s krewe get new art? I love these theories, all of them.

    • João Carlos says:

      There is an easy way to deal with stormtrooper asura… call han solo asura, the stormtroopers will run from it…

    • j3w3l says:

      yep that was my first thought.. very intricate network of characters, experiences, and locations if it all pans out and am impressed with their planning and forethought

  2. Attic Lion says:

    Fairly certain that those helmets are exactly the same model as the one from the Sorrow’s Embrace light armor set.

    http://wiki.guildwars2.com/wiki/Sorrow%27s_Embrace_armor/Light

    Not going to comment on the story speculation because my opinion of the lore presented in GW2 and thus, the abilities of the writers involves is limited, to say the least

    I will say that if you’re correct that it remind me of a lot of middling to bad comic books. Once writers start abusing the whole “alternate reality” thing they tend to lose their heads in my experience. It’s like time travel in that respect. It’s confusing and often feels cheap once you reach the end and look back.

  3. bronkitus says:

    The in-game narrative at the survivors camp as well as the presence of the modern garbed cleanup krewe suggest Thaumanova explosion is something that just happened. Continued Inquest interest in the site is confounding, the Inquests aren’t a bunch of Asuran nihilists, though it may just be that SEEKRAT INQUEST TECH was involved, and they have no interest in the place becoming safe enough for it to be recovered or for their involvement in the disaster to be irrefutable.

    From a related forums thread about Dessa and the Uncategorized Fractal, I’d go with it being the Raving Asura was part of a lost krewe Dessa was unable to retrieve (or darkly sent in to die), probably the event that got her benefactors interested in using expendable mercenaries as opposed to using the core technologists as explorers. Note that her krewe’s benefactors helpfully link the observatory to a steady supply of loot obsessed no-questions asked adventurer types in Lions Arch, right near a major military installation (full of heavily armed warriors with mist war experience), without mentioning to Dessa where the other side of that gate sits.

    Dessa thinking of Lion’s Arch being pirate infested, well it is, and out on the periphery in Tyria, everyone speaks of it as a pirate town.

    As for Dessa’s garb, the speed suit is the preferred multipurpose casual garb for the practicing super-scientist.

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