Explore the legendary region of Cantha in Guild Wars 2: End

author: admin type: news Time: 2022-02-26 00:00
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Nearly 500 years ago, a man named Shiro Tagachi brought the distant land of Cantha to its knees. Driven mad by the fallen god Abaddon, he turned to forbidden magic, slaughtering the emperor and consuming his soul. His defeat in that far-flung era was a pyrrhic victory, triggering a devastating magical catastrophe that transformed everything from birds to trees to the ocean itself to jade. 

Tagachi would return several hundred years later to act as the antagonist of 2006's Guild Wars Factions, the second story chapter of the original game. Throughout the events of Factions, the player and their comrades worked to foil Tagachi's efforts to resurrect himself and bring havoc to the world. Ultimately, they succeeded. 

A few short years later, Cantha closed its borders to the world. Much has happened since then. 

Guild Wars Factions Monastery

(Image credit: ArenaNet)

The Charr gained their independence, slaying their dark gods and triggering an industrial revolution. The Norn and Asura were both driven from their ancestral homes by the terrible might of the elder dragons. The Sylvari came into being, born amongst the boughs of The Pale Tree. And finally, the Pact Commander — the player character of Guild Wars 2 — was born. 

The jury is still out on whether or not that's a good thing. 

A World Sundered By Magic

"Surely no one would be so monumentally STUPID as to destroy a dragon, the life force of this world."  

In the past, the magic of Tyria was finely balanced between six massive, primordial beings known as elder dragons. Some believe they were always forces of pure destruction, wiping out entire civilizations and consuming the world in an endless cycle of death and rebirth. Others believe what they have become is a perversion of what they were meant to be.  

Whatever the case, these dragons inevitably came into conflict with the people of Tyria — and by association, the Pact Commander. Zhaitan, the elder dragon of death and shadow, was first to fall, brought down in the skies of Orr at the climax of the core game. Then, in the Heart of Thorns expansion, the Commander and their allies brought down Mordremoth, slaying the elder dragon of plant and mind in a mental realm known as The Dream. 

GW2 Living World Kralkatorrik

(Image credit: ArenaNet)

Kralkatorrik, the elder dragon of crystal and fury, died next, brought low in Living World Season 4. Then, in The Icebrood Saga, Primordus and Jormag — fire and conflagration and ice and persuasion, respectively — were pitted against one another. Each anathema to their twin, they would ultimately meet their end together. 

It sounds like an inspiring story so far, right? 

There's just one tiny problem. As revealed by research from one of the Commander's companions, Taimi, killing off the elder dragons may well break Tyria. With each dragon slain, the world may inch ever closer to its end.  

Today, only one remains of the original six — a furtive and mysterious being known only as The Deep Sea Dragon. 

Yet hope is not lost. From this ongoing conflict, a new elder dragon was born. Kralkatorrik's granddaughter, and the Pact Commander's adoptive child.

Aurene Elder Dragon Form

(Image credit: ArenaNet)

The elder dragon of Crystal and Light, Aurene. 

Raised from a hatchling across Living World Season 3, Path of Fire, and Living World Season 4, Aurene was instrumental in many of the game's most climactic showdowns. She stood bravely by the Commander's side against the god of war, and struck the deathblow against her grandfather — fulfilling his last request

With Kralkatorrik's death, Aurene became a true elder dragon, absorbing the magic released by her kin. This power will see her play a pivotal role in the days to come. Because with the fall of Primordus and Jormag, something unprecedented has happened.

End of Dragons Gate Screenshot

(Image credit: ArenaNet)

Cantha has reopened its gates. 

Cantha Calls 

Two centuries of isolation have changed Cantha almost beyond recognition.

In the early years of its seclusion, Cantha established various mines and quarries throughout the Jade Sea. These operations existed both to unearth valuable materials and to reclaim lands lost to The Jade Wind. The discovery of jade's true potential is credited to a woman known as Lady Joon, founder of the Xunlai Jade Corporation. 

She realized that even the smallest piece of jade contained immense stores of a mysterious energy, which she quickly set to work harnessing. The result of her efforts, known as dragonjade, became the foundation of a nationwide technological renaissance. Sensing an opportunity, Joon established her own corporation, which she merged with the prestigious Xunlai banking guild. 

Jade Mining Operation

(Image credit: ArenaNet)

Flash forward to today, and the Xunlai Jade Corporation has revolutionized the empire. Its cities and towns are powered almost entirely by jade technology, which now plays a pivotal role in day-to-day life. Xunlai Jade has also created an army of elaborate mechs, bots, and machines to protect both Cantha and its people. 

Modern Cantha is a vast empire of verdant coastlines, twisted forests, and mountain temples arrayed around the neon–lit streets of New Kaineng City, a metropolis that contains both the seat of the Canthan government and the heart of Lady Joon's corporate empire. 

End of Dragons Shing Jea Monastery

(Image credit: ArenaNet)

As you may have guessed, all is not well here. The rival factions that make up Canthan society are in constant conflict with one another, each vying for domination. The Jade Brotherhood is among the most noteworthy — and arguably the most dangerous.

Originally a powerful gang that ran the streets of Kaineng, it's today helmed by Lady Joon's former business partner Chul-Moo. Early in the life of Xunlai Jade, Joon realized that Chul-Moo was far too willing to cut corners in the interest of higher margins. She made the decision to cut ties, at which point Chul-Moo found his way into the Jade Brotherhood.

There, he used his business prowess and expertise to quickly take control of the gang. Bringing in his own engineers, Chul-Moo reshaped the Brotherhood  into one of Xunlai Jade's greatest competitors — albeit one that trafficked in modified secondhand technology and maintained a far riskier business model. 

Echovald Wilds Screenshot

(Image credit: ArenaNet)

Although not recognized as an official manufacturer of jade tech, the Jade Brotherhood has nevertheless managed to establish a strong foothold, expanding their business beyond the streets and alleyways of Kaineng and into the Echovald Wilds.  

Worse still, the aetherblades — a faction of sky pirates that once served the infamous Scarlet Briar — have returned. No one is yet certain what they're planning in Cantha. Only that, if they're not stopped, they may plunge Tyria into a war from which it might never recover.  

Guild Wars 2 New Elite Specializations

(Image credit: ArenaNet)

As the cycle that has sustained Tyria for millennia collapses around you, you must gather your allies and return to the ancient Empire of the Dragon, a land of intrigue, turmoil, and triumph. 

Every battle since the war against Zhaitan has led to this. The culmination of a millennia-long war against the elder dragons. A climax which may finally reveal the secrets of the elder dragon cycle. 

End of Dragons Marjorie and Kasmeer

(Image credit: ArenaNet)

Once again, the future of Tyria is in your hands. Once again, the choices you make will have far-reaching consequences that echo across history. Once again, it's time to take up arms — hopefully you don't inadvertently burn down Cantha in the process. 

(Hey, we were all thinking it. )

The Dragon Legacy Sweepstakes 

Guild Wars 2 Dragon Legacy Sweepstakes

(Image credit: ArenaNet)

We've saved the best for last. Shortly after the official launch date for End of Dragons, three lucky commanders will have the opportunity to win some downright incredible prizes. Provided you're over 18 and a resident of the United States, Canada, Germany, France, or the United Kingdom, all you need to do is preorder End of Dragons through the Official Guild Wars 2 Store before 11:59 PM Pacific Time February 27, and opt in to receive email newsletters prior to the draw, which will take place on March 4, 2022.

The three prize packs are as follows: 

  • The opportunity to name your own commemorative NPC, a trip to ArenaNet's headquarters in Bellevue, WA for yourself and a single guest, a premium Aurene statuette, and a branded HyperX Cloud II headset.  
  • A 20x20'' canvas portrait of your character done by an ArenaNet artist and signed by the development team, a year's supply of Butterfinger candy, an End of Dragons DXRacer gaming chair; and a HyperX keyboard, mouse, and headset.
  • A 2-3 hour gaming session with at least 3 members of the Guild Wars 2 development team, an HP OMEN 16 Gaming Laptop, and a premium Aurene statuette. 

All three prize packs also include a collection of Guild Wars 2 memorabilia from For Fans By Fans, Funko Pop! and Dark Horse. You can view the official rules for the promotion here. 

Guild Wars 2: End of Dragons Releases on February 28, 2022. Preorders start at $30.