Guild Wars Lore: Nightfall
“…prayed Jadoth, "Abaddon! Lord of the Everlasting Depths, Keeper of Secrets, open mine eyes and bestow upon me the knowledge of the Abyss that I might smite mine enemies and send them to the watery depths!"An unsettling silence swept across the waves. The twilight sky shattered and stars streaked down upon the Forgotten armada. The seas boiled and ruptured, and gave birth to a maelstrom from which not even light could escape, and transforming the sky above into a midnight void.And thus was magic gifted to Jadoth, chosen of Abaddon, the first of the Margonites.”
Hey guys, time for the next installment on my series dealing with the original Guild Wars campaign, this time it is Guild Wars: Nightfall. If you would like to catch up, just click the links for my post on the Prophecies, and Faction campaigns! As with the other two, Nightfall is a standalone campaign, meaning that it is not necessary to own any other copy of Guild Wars to play it, it can be played by itself. If you own the other campaigns though, that means your characters can travel between the different continents that each game takes place on! Speaking of which, Nightfall introduced us to the continent of Elona, northeast of Cantha, and south of Tyria, connected by the Crystal Desert, it is inspired by Africa and the many cultures that dwell there!
Nightfall introduced two new professions (the last for the original Guild Wars), the Paragon and the Dervish. The Paragon is a support character that focuses on using chants to support and strengthen the party. Their chants were unique in that they rewarded the paragon with energy for each target it effected! The Dervish were scythe wielding holy warriors who grew stronger the more enchantments they gained. Now many professions in Guild Wars had a patron God that they prayed to over the others, such as Warriors revering Balthazar, and Necromancers praying to Grenth, the Paragon and Dervish where not tied to one God. Instead they were seen as chosen by the whole pantheon of Gods, Paragons leading others through inspiration, and Dervish as the will of The Gods, cutting down foes.
Nightfall brought in NPCs called Heroes that could be added to parties. Originally players could add Henchmen NPCs to their party if they were alone, or needed more people to fill a party. Henchmen would have specific builds that couldn’t be changed, but Heroes could be changed. They effectively acted as another player, they could be given weapons, you could choose their traits, their skills, and armor, using special pieces collected in the world. They could even be given specific instructions, such as where to walk, to stay put in a certain spot, or to be defensive, aggressive, or passive to enemies in their aggro range. These Heroes, where characters encountered in the story, and as such, would help to immerse the player by allowing them to actually quest with NPCs that usually would only be interacted with in specific missions.
Nightfall can also be seen as the ‘Sequel’ to Prophecies and Factions, as both of those campaigns took place at roughly the same same time, and Nightfall is set 3 years after the event of those games. It also answers many of the questions that the last two campaigns left open, and introduces a villain that shakes even the Gods. So now begins the story of Nightfall…
(ONCE AGAIN, HUGE SPOILERS FOR THE ENTIRE GUILD WARS: NIGHTFALL CAMPAIGN)
1075 AE on the Island province of Istan, just south of the Mainland of Elona, the Player Character (PC) seeks to join the Order of The Sunspears. Lacking a unified government, the three provinces of Elona, Istan, Kourna, and Vabbi, rely on the Sunspears to keep order over the whole continent. They have no allegiance to any of the provinces, and even though each province had its own military, Sunspears were still seen as the best protection for Elona. As the PC joins another recruit Koss, Spearmarshall Komir’s lesson is interrupted by reports of a corsair attack on nearby Chahbek Village. The lesson suddenly become a crash course in fighting pirates, and protecting the locals. Following their victory over the corsairs, the PC works their way up the ranks of Sunspears, and is eventually put to the test by a general of the Kournan military, General Morgahn. Kournan’s presence on Istan is curious, but as the provinces are all allies it is not seen as threatening. Kourna was the military might of Elona, they were formidable and their current leader, Varesh Ossa, was a descendant of the first Warmarshall of Kourna, Turai Ossa. After saving Elona from the Scourge of Vabbi, Palawa Joko, Turai decided he wished to become closer to the Gods, to become Ascended. He led a faction of his people to the Crystal Desert, but once there, they met only death, from the elements and The Forgotten, ancient serpent beings. Turai and his people remained in the desert as ghosts, and he himself would later help the true Chosen to Ascend. Calling himself the Ghostly Hero, he had hoped to prevent the PC from Prophecies from meeting his same fate. After the PC impresses General Morgahn they are asked by a Kournan emissary to investigate a woman named Melonni, childhood friend of Koss, and a Kournan seen asking questions about something called ‘Nightfall’. Finding her leads to the investigation at the ruins of Fahranur, The First City, where a digging team sent in by Komir was found dead, all of them covered in purple runes. After the dead team is found, the Sunspears observe a second dig team, this time Kournans, entering the ruins.
A Dark Prophecy
The Sunspears enter the ruins, determined to find what killed the workers, and what Kourna is searching for. They find the ruins overrun with undead, all awakened by some dark force. The Sunspears find the source is an ancient construct known as The Apocrypha, a monolith that comes to life, contained on it, a dark prophecy. After the Apocrypha is defeated, it foretells the coming of ‘NIghtfall’ but does little to explain what it actually is. Komir seems struck by the observing the monolith, as if something has taken hold of her, but she quickly shakes it off. A cutscene shows a meeting betweek Varesh Ossa and General Kahyet, where she informs Varesh that while the Apocrypha was destroyed, she already got what she needed from it. They are well on their way to unleashing Nightfall. Komir leaves to study more about, leaving the PC and allies under the leadership of Jerek. He sends the PC to subdue a new recruit, Tahlkora, who claims she overheard Warmarshall Varesh Ossa, leader of Kourna, and her mentor General Kahyet speaking about taking down Istan. Jerek believes her claims baseless, and that they threaten to strain relations with Kourna if she isn’t silenced. The PC finds her, but instead of stopping her, they go along to see if what she said was true. This leads to the sunspears disguising themselves as corsairs and discovering that Kourna is responsible for the increase corsair attacks on Istan. General Kahyet herself has been meeting with the corsairs to discuss strategies on destroying the Sunspears. After tricking their way into meeting with her, the Sunspears attack and defeat General Kahyet, but in her final moments she seems pleased that Nightfall will still occur, saying that her God Abaddon will ‘..eat your eyes’. While the Sunspears had stopped the very immediate threat of the corsairs, but now it seemed that a bigger threat loomed. Another pressing matter was the fact that a Kournan general was just killed by the supposedly neutral Sunspears in Istan. To answer for this, the Sunspears are put on trial, where they hope to convince others of Kourna’s intent to destroy Istan. During the trial Komir returns, with evidence that Varesh Ossa is plotting to release Abbadon, the exiled God onto the world, causing Nightfall.
The Fallen God
The five true Gods once counted Abaddon among them as the God of Water and Secrets. He was the one who gifted magic to the mortal races in 1 BE (Before Exodus), which led to much war and death. Hoping to control magic and the destruction that followed it, the other Gods split the schools of magic and sealed them away in a Bloodstone, breaking it into shards. This splitting of magic was done so that no mortal could wield power over all the aspects of magic again, diluting the strength of magic wielded by mortals. This infuriated Abaddon and he declared war on the other Gods. His human followers, the seafaring Margonites, even went so far as to start destroying temples to the other Gods. Abaddon was eventually defeated, and was stuck down in the area that was once the Crystal Sea, but this caused the entire ocean to dry up, creating the Crystal Desert seen today. Him and his followers were banished to the Realm of Torment, an area of the Underworld built as a prison for the deposed God and those mortals that are guilty of terrible crimes. After the fall of Abaddon, the five remaining Gods left the mortal realm in an event known as the Exodus. Nightfall is the event that foretells Abaddon returning to the mortal realm by merging the Realm of Torment with the world of the living. General Kahyet had been Vareh’s mentor and turned her to worshiping the fallen God, hoping to start Nightfall in the land and bring Abaddon back. Although designed as a prison, Abaddon has started to spread his influence. His corrupt power had even tainted the Realm of Torment, going so far as to corrupt his Margonite worshipers into demons. It is only a matter of time before he is able to break free.
War with Kourna
The Sunspears convince Istan of the threat Varesh poses to not only Istan, but the whole world, they join the Sunspears in declaring war on Kourna. Komir is convinced that they must make the first move, and she leads Sunspears and Istani Military in an assault on Gandara, the Moon Fortress, in Kourna. At first their assault seems to be working, the Kourna military fled from them at every point. Then, Varesh ordered all of her troops to fall back to the main temple of the fortress. Komir knew that a trap was being laid, but she pressed onward, determined that whatever dark magic Varesh was about to unleash, it was the duty of the Sunspears to bear the brunt of it. As the Sunspears make it to the citadel, Varesh calls forth demonic servants of Abaddon to fight at her side. Many of the Istani and Sunspear forces are killed or captured, the PC and Dunkoro, a veteran Sunspear, make it out, but even Komir and Koss are captured. The PC and Dunkoro set up a secret Sunspear Sanctuary in Kourna, using it to strike out against Varesh’s forces. Eventually the PC frees Koss, and is able to rescue most of the other Sunspears taken captive by Varesh’s forces, getting them all back to Istan, with the help of a corsair named Magrid the Sly. Sadly, Komir is not among those rescued, her whereabouts, or even if she was still alive, was unknown. Once back in Istan, the Sunspears tell the leaders of the province what happened during the attack on Kourna. The leaders are convinced to keep fighting Kourna, but have to admit they are to far outmatched in military strength. They decide that to stand a chance against Varesh and her demons, they must enlist the help of Vabbi, the third province of Elona, which had remained silent on this whole affair.
Standing in the way on the road to Vabbi was the Fortress of Jahai, a Kournan stronghold the seemed impenetrable. While scouting around it is discovered that Kourna was enslaving Centaurs, working them literally to death. Shortly after the PC is contacted by a free centaur Zhed Shadowhoof who had snuck into the Sunspear Sanctuary in Kourna. He gives the PC an ultimatum, help him free his pride, or he will reveal the Sanctuary’s location to the Kournan military. The player goes along with Zhed, and come to find out that he was convinced to ask the PC’s help after being contacted by a mysterious man calling himself The Master of Whispers. The PC and Sunspears go along with Zhed’s plan, which is to be captured by Kournan forces so as to gain access to their jail, then break themselves, and all the other centaurs out. The plan is successful, and as a result the centaur pledge their help in the war against Kourna, and Zhed joins the PC’s party as another hero to the cause. This seems to have been the Master of Whisper’s plan all along, securing more allies for the war against Varesh. After this, the player is contacted by the Master of Whisper’s himself, and is given a choice in going forward. With him is Magrid the Sly, and she has information showing not only that Komir is alive, but also where she was being held. The Master of Whispers also has information on a secret passage into Vabbi, aiding a Djinn in destroying a demon to gain access. Both these events must happen at the same time to prevent interference from Kourna, so the PC must choose which one to personally join. This is a branch in the story, both these events will still happen in the story, but you can only do one, which leads to a acquisition of a hero for your party, the Necromancer Master of Whispers, or the Ranger, Magrid the Sly, if you do their choice of mission. Both the mission and hero you do not obtain now, could be obtained after you beat the main game.
The Master of Whisper’s plan had the Sunspears help Dehjah, a Djinn, in defeating a powerful demon, The Drought. Djinn are powerful, and ancient elementals, unlike regular elementals, Djinn are sapient, and have free will. After proving that the PC is up the task, the Sunspears assault the Mahkelon Waterworks, here the Drought plans on corrupting the River Elon which runs through all of Elona. After defeating the Drought, a secret entrance to Vabbi is found within the Waterworks. Meanwhile, Magrid had neglected to tell you that her information on Komir comes at a price, namely you have to help her free someone else as well, her sister. Oh, and help her steal some valuable treasure from the Kournan military (she *IS* a corsair you know). After obtaining Kournan military uniforms, Magrid and the Sunspears sneak back into Gandara, where Komir awaits execution. Magrid and the Sunspears are able to seize the treasure and rescue both Komir and Magrid’s sister Shahai the Cunning. Once a passage is found and Komir is safe, the Sunspears make their move to Vabbi through the Bahdok Caverns. As they approach it is clear that Kourna is expecting them, having got there first. Then, after fighting off many corsairs and Kournan military units, an even bigger challenge awaits just at the entrance to Vabbi, another of Varesh’s Generals, General Bayel. This general, however, comes better prepared, having been teamed up with a demonic servant of Abaddon known as The Hunger. Fighting against the General and demon prove challenging, but the Sunspears and their allies are victorious and are able to enter Vabbi. The death of another one of her generals at the hands of the Sunspears does however present Varesh with an interesting opportunity. Using the death of her general as an excuse, she gets permission to send her troops into Vabbi to hunt down the Sunspears. While killing the Sunspears is on her agenda, her main reason for this was so she could gain access to a very holy place in Elona, a place to perform her dark rituals.
The Merchant Princes of Vabbi
Once the PC reaches Vabbi they are contacted by Kehanni, a priestess of Lyssa, who received a vision from her God, compelling her to help the Sunspears. She is able to secure them entrance into the Festival of Lyss, the biggest festival in Vabbi, celebrating Lyssa which all of Vabbi heavily pray to. The festival is guaranteed to attract the three Merchant Princes of Vabbi, and then the Sunspears can discuss their help in the war against Varesh. After entering the festival, and a whole lot of mingling, the Sunspears are granted an audience with the three princes, Prince Ahmtur the Mighty, Prince Mehtu the Wise, and Prince Bokka the Magnificent. They make their case against Varesh, but it falls on deaf ears, the princes are convinced that Varesh and her forces are only in Vabbi for their protection. Suddenly, the party is attacked by harpies, but the PC is able to fight them off and save the party. Although initially seen as a failure, their actions in driving off the harpies provided another opportunity to try and convince the princes. A playwright has invited the PC to see a play at Prince Bokka’s theater, deciding to have them as an honored guest. As the PC attempts to convince Bokka of the threat of Kourna, the play begins, and almost immediately things seemed off. Eventually the act (hehe) was dropped, and the actors revealed themselves to be Kournan soldiers. They were attempting to take out the Sunspears and Prince Bokka in one fell swoop. This act finally convinces the Princes to act against Varesh, however the Princes have different reactions to the idea of war. Prince Ahmtur chose to stand and fight, leading a charge against the Kournan invasion of his realm. The other two princes, Mehtu and Bokka decide to try and hide from war. They seal themselves up in the Hidden City of Ahdashim, guarded by Djinn, the princes believe themselves to be safe there. A split in the story once again occurs, going off the last choice of recruiting either the Master of Whispers, or Magrid the Sly, so players that chose either will now follow them again on their mission to help (or convince) the princes fight. The Master of Whispers decides to call on the Order of Whispers, of which he is the leader. The Order of Whispers was founded hundreds of years ago by Turai Ossa, the first Warmarshall of Kourna. He created the Order as his secret elite guard, tasked with covert missions, controlling demons, and also to safeguard the tomb of Palawa Joko. With their help, Prince Ahmtur was able to defeat the Kourna and Margonite forces. Magrid’s skill as a thief and pirate paid off, as she was able to find a way into the fabled Hidden City that the other two princes had locked themselves away in. The fact that the were found so quickly convinces Mehtu and Bokka that they could not hide from this war, so they too pledged their forces to the war.
The victory by Prince Ahmtur’s forces against Varesh was a short lived celebration, as it was determined that it was all a distraction from her true target. Varesh planned to conduct another ritual to begin Nightfall in the Sebelkeh Basilica, a holy place to those who revere Lyssa. Varesh led the assault on the Basilica, slaughtering all the Priests of Lyssa inside. General Morgahn, a devote worshiper of Lyssa, and acolyte of the Basilica itself was furious at Varesh’s actions. She had promised to spare the priests, but she of course, did not keep it. This causes Morgahn to finally see the truth of what Varesh was doing, and he decides to defect, joining the PC. Varesh leaves a demon, the Blasphemy, behind to corrupt the Basilica, as she herself moved onto the next part of her plan. The PC and allies fought back against the demonic corruption, and were able to close the portals and defeat the Blasphemy, but it was too late for the Basilica. The once holy site was now tainted, and completely merged with the Realm of Torment, offering a grim example of what awaits the whole world if Varesh was allowed to free Abaddon. Morgahn convinces the PC to take them along on their journey, revealing that Varesh was going into the Desolation. Located to the north of Vabbi, she was heading to the very spot where Abaddon was struck down, the Mouth of Torment. It is there that she hoped to finish her spell, and spread Nightfall all across the land.
The Lesser of Two Evils
Abaddon’s corruption was spreading fast, rifts were opening all over Elona, and demonic servants of Abaddon were pouring through them. Whole areas of land were merging with the Realm of Torment, becoming Nightfallen. Meanwhile Komir had been having vivid dreams, telling her of things to come, and compelling her to act. One such dream was of the undead lord Palawa Joko, who centuries ago tried to conquer all of Elona. He was defeated by Turai Ossa, the first Warmarshall of Kourna, and sealed away, unable to be killed he reamained under the magical bindings in his tomb. Komir led the PC to Jahai Bluffs, where Joko was sealed, but as they travel she feltl Abaddon’s influence reaching into her mind and soul, and she was suddenly consumed and thrown into the Realm of Torment. The Sunspears were shocked at losing their Spearmarshall once again, but were determined to find out what she was trying to lead them to. At the monument for Joko’s tomb they found a shocking sight, the Scourge of Vabbi was loose, the distortions caused by Nightfall broke the bindings on his tomb, releasing him. He tried to escape, determined to start where he had left off, but was quickly captured by a group of centaurs not to far away. The PC demanded that Joko tell them how his troops crossed The Desolation back when he invaded Elona. Joko told the PC that the sulfurous haze of The Desolation would kill any mortal that walks along those sands. The PC told Joko he knew mortals were in his army of the past, and to stop lying to them. Joko replies that he did not lie, that the use of giant wurms that tunnel under the sands could be used to cross The Desolation. Joko helped the Sunspears in taming the Junundu wurms in exchange for releasing him. The PC is later forced to help retake Palawa Joko’s domain, for Varesh had stationed some of her most power demonic allies at Joko’s Bone Palace. After helping round up the now feral undead that once comprised Joko’s army, he ordered them to help assault Varesh’s rear guard. WIth that, the path to the Mouth of Torment was clear, and Joko had his domain back. While the lesser of two evils now, the consequences of releasing Joko would be felt in Kourna in the decades to come…
The Mouth of Torment
Varesh was finally confronted in the Ruins of Morah, an ancient city built atop the Mouth of Torment to monitor it, it was now a crumbling husk. There, Abaddon’s corruption was felt the most, the veil between worlds was thin. The Sunspears fought Varesh, and just as it seems they had dealt the final blow, she was revived by Abaddon’s power, completely transformed into a demonic servant. The newly revived Varesh was much more powerful, infused with power from her dark god, but she was once again defeated, and she died with the belief that nothing could stop Nightfall. The PC asked Morgahn if that is the end, he responded that he wasn’t sure, that each of the rituals were meant to weaken the walls of Abaddon’s prison. While wondering if that means something could breach from the other side, the entire party was pulled into the Realm of Torment. If they were going to stop Abaddon now, it would have to be within the twisted walls of the prison that edged ever closer to completely enveloping the living world.
Once in the Realm of Torment the situation was revealed to be much worse than anyone could have imagined. The Realm of Torment was meant to be punishment for wicked souls, but it appeared that even the innocent were being trapped within. It turned out that any being, living or dead, that had come into contact with Abaddon or his minions were destined to be pulled into the Realm of Torment. The PC was reunited with Komir, who was determined to destroy Abaddon, but Dunkoro was not convinced they could win, believing a God impossible to kill. However after he found the soul of his dead son within the Realm of Torment, he was moved to at least try. His son had died fighting Margonites years ago, before anyone else was aware of the impending Nightfall. This contact with the Margonites meant that once he died, his soul was not taken to the Underworld, instead, it was drawn into the Realm of Torment. While trying to find ways to beat back Abaddon, the PC met the spirit of a Charr roaming around. Scorch Emberspire was trapped there, but he asks the PC for help to beseech the Charr gods that roamed the twisted realm. When accompanying Scorch to his Gods a startling discovery was made, the Charr Gods, were Titans. As it also turned out, Titans were demonic servants of Abaddon, and they used the Charr to further the Fallen God’s plans. Nearly 200 years ago Charr of the Burnt Warband found a titan in a volcano, believing it to be a God they presented it to the rest of the legions. They worshiped the Titans, and eventually these ‘Gods’ bestowed onto the Charr the Cauldron of Cataclysm, the artifact that caused The Searing in Ascalon. The Titans then commanded the Charr to invade the rest of the Human kingdoms, their victory was unnecessary, Abaddon simply wanted destruction.
Komir made the decsion that to fight a Fallen God, they should call upon the five true Gods for help. They discover an old temple, one to the six gods, it was the remains of the first temple desecrated by the Margonites in the name of Abaddon. The PC made their way to the Temple to ask the Gods for help, but in their way, two old foes appeared. The Flameseeker, Vizier Khilbron, aka The Undead Lich, along with The Betrayer, Shiro Tagachi, stood united against the forces of the PC. It was revealed that the fate of these two villains were intertwined with Abaddon, for he was responsible for their actions. A disguised demonic servant of Abaddon had tricked The Vizier into reading from the forbidden Lost Scrolls that sunk Orr. By that time the Vizier had converted to worshiping Abaddon as well, once again, the work of the demon. As for Shiro, the old fortuneteller who had convinced Shiro the Emperor meant to kill him at he The Harvest Festival was revealed to be another demonic servant in disguise. She convinced Shiro to kill the Emperor by telling him she saw the future, and it was the only way to save himself. The two foes fought the PC together, seeking to destroy the world of the living, to gain favor with Abaddon. The two were finally defeated, but the fate of their souls after the fight is still unknown. Finally, the Sunspears reached the Temple of the Six Gods, and begged for help. The Avatars of the Gods appeared to the party of heroes, but their response was not what was expected. The Gods gave the heroes their blessing, and gave a gift to Komir, saying only that it was a gift only a mortal could use. Other than that, the Gods declined direct intervention, claiming that the heroes had everything they needed. Komir decided that they would fight Abaddon themselves if need be, without the aid of Gods and their Avatars. The heroes moved onto the final battle, the battle, to kill a God.
The Six True Gods
The Heroes entered Abaddon’s Gate and gazed upon the Fallen God, now only a head and arms. Still bound to this Realm, and weakened, it was still a seemingly impossible adversary. Graven Monoliths, like the Apocrypha were guarding the original bounds used to hold the God. By rebinding him the Heroes made him vulnerable to their attacks. By keeping the bounds on Abaddon, the heroes achieved the impossible, Abaddon was defeated, they had slain a God. No celebrations could begin however, as even though the God was dead, his power still existed, and now it threatened to run out of control, unbound to a form. It was then that Komir understood the ‘gift’ the Gods gave her, the choice only a mortal could make. She jumped into the maelstrom of knowledge and power, and absorbed it. She emerged as a God, the Sixth God of Tyria, Komir, Goddess of Truth, Knowledge, and Secrets. She congratulated the heroes on their victory, and gave them a way home. She left to repair the Realm of Torment, but before that, she reminded the PC that they never fight alone….
So ended Abaddon, a deposed God who sought revenge after he felt his gift of magic was destroyed by the actions of the other Gods. For over a thousand years he schemed, determined to find a way out of his prison. He corrupted those around him, including the Realm itself. He sought the destruction of Arah, the original City of Gods, where after his fall, all evidence of his existence was destroyed. He sent agents out into the world, creating havoc in Tyria, Cantha, and Elona, with plans that stretched for centuries. In the end it was the choice of mortals that decided this world, not Gods. And now one who was once mortal is now counted among the Pantheon of Gods. An evil God is gone, and now peace has come to Elona, Nightfall has come and gone and the three provinces seek to rebuild. But adventure never sleeps, and soon rumblings from under the ground, strange fissures, and reports of strange obsidian flesh creatures start popping up. The dwarves are preparing for something, and Tyria, Cantha, and Elona would be wise to pay attention. What stirs beneath Tyria will cause even the Gods to fall silent…
Alright guys! sorry for the late post I got started late, then my internet cut off! Sorry again but here it is, the final standalone campaign for the original Guild Wars! Join us next week when we wrap up this lore series with a post on Eye of The North, the expansion for (any) of the Guild Wars campaigns! Also, stay tuned for a post after the Eye of The North lore post goes live for something a little *special* for all you people obsessed with the lore (like I am!) See you guys then!