First, there are three stages of "Life," which is how the first part of this topic is split up. Each stage deals with a different type of body or location. The stages, as I have named them, are “Mortal Life,” “Ghostly Life,” and “Afterworld Life.”
Stage 1: Mortal Life
This stage is the life of corporeal beings, with physical bodies. Basically, it is the original life of creatures.
How I view this stage of life is that there is a physical body that traps (for lack of a better word) the soul and keeps it in the physical world. While it traps the soul, it also protects the soul, preventing any damage to it. The reason why I say "trap" is because the soul cannot freely leave the physical body, not like many would want it to.
As evidence by Shiro, it is possible to return to this stage, through use of powerful magic, or more possibly through the help of a god. Because Shiro was able to return to his mortal body, something I now wonder is "Will we meet others who will return from the 'Ghostly Life' to the 'Mortal Life?'"
That is, other then the Undead, which are souls who were forced into inanimate bodies, unlike Shiro, who took on flesh and bone from his spirit form. But Undeath is for a later discussion.
Stage 2: Ghostly Life
In this stage, souls wonder the world, waiting to be taken to their afterlife destination (usually the Underworld, sometimes other realm of the gods). It is this stage that all of the spirits in the world are in (i.e. the spirits in the Crystal Desert, Desolation, Ascalon, etc.).
This stage can also be considered the stage for "Spirits who cannot find rest," as this is the same idea. Spirits here are simply waiting to move on, or unable to move on due to some regret or mistake regarding their "Mortal Life." For instance, the spirits in the Crystal Desert and the Desolation are unable to move on due to one of two things: First, wanting to finish the journey/be reunited with their loved ones. Second, wishing to see Turai Ossa go through Ascention (which is implied to happen when the heroes Ascend, by Turai’s dialogue in Amnoon Oasis).
When under the order of the gods, it seems that spirits are allowed to travel between this stage and the next stage freely. This is most evident by the Avatar of the gods (most of which look like spirits, Lyssa being the exception) – who grant special people access to their god’s realm and in some cases guide a spirit themselves – and the Envoys (as they are the spirits of past criminals) – who have to shepherd the dead.
Stage 3: Afterworld Life
First, I will start off by saying that there seems to be two ways into this stage. The first being obvious, an Envoy takes the spirit to the Underworld – or a spirit is taken by an Avatar to the respective Realm. The second is that when a ghost is killed, it is sent to the Rift.
The evidence I have for this is the quest Refuse the King, mainly the reward dialogue:
Seeing how those who take this quest has to kill the spirit of King Jahnus, and his spirit is sent to the Underworld, then that means that killing a spirit that is in the "Ghostly Stage" just sends it to the next life.Originally Posted by Myrish the Slave
The biggest mystery in all of this is what happens to the spirit if it is killed in the Rift. Vizier Khilbron and Shiro Tagachi are perfect examples for this. After the heroes killed them in the Gate of Madness, as they were spirits, what happens to them?
Well, as it seems, what happens to the spirit depends on how the spirit “died.”
When a spirit is killed in the Rift, it disappears forever. This currently has little to no support, and is just a common belief of what happens to a spirit. The most common background for this belief would be an “exorcism.” If this outcome ever happens, it would be a rare outcome and would only happen in unusual times (as this happening a lot would throw the universe out of balance – see below for why).
The final possibility, would be when the spirit dies in the Rift, the "spirit energy," as one can call it, is sent back to the Mist. This would be the case for most of the deaths of spirits, as the Mist cannot create something out of nothing (despite it being “just a game” as many who are not interested in lore would say, even the universe of Guild Wars must rely on physics most of the time), and energy cannot be created or destroyed.
Because energy cannot be created or destroyed, a soul cannot be created out of nothing, and therefore the Mists must gain something or else all new life will eventually stop. The best source of this “something” would be the energy from spirits when they get killed.
The final outcome is to be eaten by a demon, or something demonic, such as a Margonite. Along with what happens to a spirit when they die normally, we do not know what actually happens to a spirit when they are eaten.
According to the quests Vanishing Spirits, A Tasty Morsel, and The Growing Threat, it is known that Margonites and Torment Demons eat spirits as food.
What I see as the most likely thing to happen would be the same as the above Outcome 1, the complete destruction of the soul. However, the difference between here and Outcome 1 is that, while Outcome 1 has no export for the energy of the soul, being eaten does have an export of energy.
This Outcome would support why Dhuum’s and Menzies’ forces attacked the Hall of Heroes, to gain a food supply for the upcoming attempt to release Abaddon (which would also be why the Fury attacked Shing Jea during the Dragon Festival, to gather the Celestial Essences as a food supply).
River of Souls
A lovely topic with the Rift and spirits is the River of Souls. There are many thoughts about this going all over, most dominant seems to be that many people believe that it is the River of Souls that decides where people go. This is far from correct, and we have but to thank the incorrect person who put this idea on the wiki for this. The River of Souls’ purpose is unknown.
However, I have a theory of its purpose. One belief is that it goes through all the Realms of the Gods, I would agree to this. But I will expand on this idea. I believe that the River of Souls goes in a circular path, never ending, never beginning. Some spirits are stuck in this River, as punishment, similar to that of the Envoys, but this is a lesser punishment.
From death, the spirit is taken to Grenth to be judged by the Envoys, except in rare cases. After being judged by Grenth, they are put in the River of Souls and the River takes the spirit to its correct resting place, as such, it passes through all the Realms, and nearby the Hall of Heroes, until it comes back to the Underworld.
The River of Souls never “dries up” because there are the spirits who are meant to be the “inter-Realm guides” for other spirits. These punished spirits could very well be the ones that help break the dam in the Gate of Pain mission.
The Envoys were, in the past, great villains. After death, they were punished with the task of guiding the newly dead spirits to the Rift. Usually, the Envoys would take the spirits to the Underworld, but on rare occasions – such as Shiro Tagachi’s second death – would take spirits to the Realm of Torment.
While punished into a forced “community service” by Grenth, they are also given very strong powers. Such as controlling spirits, and the ability to resurrect people easily.
These spirits are an interesting thing to look at, as we know very little about them. What we know of them can be summarized with Egil Fireteller’s dialogue in Jaga Moraine:
There are at least six “good” spirits among the Norn folklore, these all take the aspect of an animal (Bear, Wolf, Raven, Owl, Wurm, and Ox). Along with these, there are at least four “evil” spirits, which take on aspect of nature (Mountains, Seasons, Fire, and Darkness).Originally Posted by Egil Fireteller
The Animal Spirits are probably the spirits of a very magically adept animal, but why it interacts with the Norn is unknown. As for the Nature Spirits, it seems that the Norn just link an aspect of nature to have a hostile spirit because these parts of nature prove as challenges to the Norn, that they might not be interested in (they are more interested in fighting then trying to survive blizzards and the like).
Each of the Nature Spirits that we know of can be related to something in the Far Shiverpeaks that prove troublesome for the Norn, without giving a fight. Such as:
Mountain: Travelling the Shiverpeaks (obviously), making it hard to track prey, and making it annoying to get around.
Seasons: Winter brings more cold, summer could bring slushy snow (therefore making it annoying to move around), etc.
Fire: Kind of point blank. Fire melts snow and can kill things without a “real fight.”
Darkness: Probably connected to the bottomless pit in Jaga Moraine.
I have a theory on the Norn’s Origins, and their relations to the Animal Spirits, but that is for another thread.
This is a short and simple thing. Although they have the name "spirit" in them, they are not the same type of spirit as a soul. As their own name says, they are Nature Spirits, which are, technically, aspects of Nature, from winter to Favored Winds, they all bring about a different natural affect.
Interesting thing to note, is that none of these Nature Spirits share a name with a known Norn Nature Spirit, while some ideas can be seen to be similar between what we know of the Norn Nature Spirits and these Nature Spirits.
Binding Ritual Spirits
The quest Haunted actually helps explain where the spirits that Ritualists summon come from. Although not directly explained, it has spirits summoned with the names Anguish, Sorrow, and Regret, and those spirits are suffering from such things. It seems to me, that the spirits that are summoned are regular spirits, that are filled with a certain type of emotion (e.g. Pain, Anguish, etc). It also seems that the more the emotion is stuck in them, the stronger it is.
Now of course not all of the spirits have the emotion of the name, as Empowerment and the like are not emotions. But they have the intent to do what the spirit does, such as the intent to help, so they help in different ways.
In other words, the spirits that Ritualists summon are regular spirits that just take the form of those aspects, as they are bound to where they are summoned (other spirits are not bound, so they have the shape of their physical form).
Mad King Thorn
Because we do not know if the Mad King Thorn is an Undead or a Spirit, I am giving him his own main section, in between covering Spirits and Undeath. Also, because there is a thread on Guru dedicated solely on our beloved mad king, I shall just link it, and summarize it.
Mad King was once a human king of Kryta. Due to the lack of family trees we cannot place him into a time period. When he was King its suggested by one of his quotes that he was a simple man rather than a 7ft spirit with a Pumpkin for a head. During his reign King Thorn had trouble with the Tengu who often caused chaos within Kryta. This grudge appears to last through to him becoming the Mad King.
He also implies that he was a military genius with an undefeated army and fleet that crushed any revolt that rose against him. Its hard to tell if he’s serious here due to him immediately placing Rock-Paper –Scissors on the same level as commanding an army. I would guess that he is indeed telling the truth and the Rock-Paper-Scissors comment comes from his own madness.
Thorn also had connections with Kamadan, after going there to woo an Elonian Princess who dwelled there. Its also implied that his rule extended or at least affected other races as one of the horsemen implies that other races should also be celebrating his return (the horseman in question orders the Grawls to be put to death for not joining in).
Unknown Things About Thorn
(Followed by my opinions)
- The Mad Kings appearance : when did he get this appearance and why?
- The Mad Kings sanity: When did he turn into this being of madness? Was it after his death or before? and is he evil or good?
- His status in death: Why is Thorn able to directly manipulate elements of the mortal realm? does he have some kind of envoy status within the Mists? or is he a special case altogether?
Sanity and Appearance: I think that it occured after death because of his joke:
Bolded proves that before he returned from the Underworld (meaning before death) he didn't have a pumpkin for a head. Underlined suggests that he had courtesy, even after death. However, as these are a joke, it cannot be taken seriously, yet.Originally Posted by Mad King Thorn
Status in Death: I think that Mad King Thorn is a Lich himself, like Khilbron and Palawa Joko – or more accurately Zoldark *will get to that later*. It is known that a Lich can control the weaker undead and that they are very strong. This can support his unusual high amount of power by being able to instantly kill people and change areas to his desire. He would just be much more powerful the Khilbron, and is able to move between the Underworld and Tyria (whether due to something he did in life, or due to the power he gained by becoming a lich).
Back to Insanity: I theorize, that the reason why Thorn is maddened, possibly the reason for his distorted figure, is that he fell into the Bone Pits and was transformed/maddened by the Realm of Torment.
As we all know, undead are dead bodies that have been animated. And of course, only a Necromancer can make an undead. True undead, not minions like what those of the *barely mentioned* "Order" of the Necromancers create, are created by attaching a soul to a dead body, creating an *usually* obedient servant.
This means that the spirit is trapped within the body, forcing a second Mortal life on the spirit. When that body is killed *again*, the spirit would be released and move to the next stage, a Ghostly Life, until the spirit is taken to the Rift or is put into yet another dead body to create a new undead.
Difference between Minions and Undead
There are two differences between Minions and Undead, but these two things make the two completely different as well.
The first difference is the physical difference. Minions are formed of shambles of bone and flesh, while Undead are formed of the entire body *or what is left of it*. This means that an Undead’s body is much more stable then that of a Minion, which is why a Minion will die over time, while an Undead will not.
The second difference is how they are made. Minions are created from just a portion of the Necromancer’s energy, while Undead are created from the use of an entire spirit, and probably the creator’s energy as well (and a lot more of it to add). This means that it is more difficult to make an Undead compared to making a Minion.
Afflicted, despite their origins, are very much like undead, and can even be considered a sub-species of undead. They are created by Shiro when he does not move spirits to their destination. Whether they are spirits put into a body like other undead or are literally created by the plague and not Shiro's immediate actions, I have yet to find out.
However, in the Minister Cho’s Estate mission, Cho dies, then he becomes an afflicted. Vizunah Square mission, those affected by the plague (those that are maddened, and hostile) and those just in the nearby area become afflicted after they die. This supports that the Afflicted are in fact undead. But it is not enough to confirm such.
Also, there are the quests The Chalice of Corruption and Chasing Zenmai. These two quests show the ability to “imbue” the affliction without the help of Shiro, and well after he is sent into the Realm of Torment. This then goes against the idea that the Afflicted are a form of undead. But, like above, this is cannot fully disprove the undead connection.
All that is known for sure is that Shiro can control spirits.
So Afflicted are either a different type of Undead, or they are corrupted bodies and souls.
Shiro'ken are also very much like Undead. Also created by Shiro like the Afflicted, these are only created by immediate actions by Shiro. In order to create Shiro'ken, he must take spirits and bind them to souls stones, which then control armor and other objects *the humanoid seem to be armor while the others seem to be statue or something of the like*.
So Shiro'ken are spirits that are bound to formerly inanimate objects, just as Undead are spirits that are bound to formerly inanimate bodies.
Liches are powerful magicians that casted a spell before they died that would preserve their spirit in their body.
There are three known Liches – Vizier Khilbron, aka The Lich Lord, Palawa Joko, and Zoldark - and of these liches, only one's origin is known. That being Khilbron, an Orrian Vizier who was corrupted by Abaddon and used an ancient scroll to destroy Orr, which in turn, transformed him into a lich. Palawa Joko's and Zoldark's origins are unknown as of now, and it seems that Zoldark will not be mentioned again in the future as he was just a side-boss that we killed *supposedly, it is unknown if he, like Joko and Khilbron, can reanimate himself*.Originally Posted by Wikipedia
As I just stated, Palawa Joko and Vizier Khilbron can both reanimate themselves upon death. That is, their souls do not leave their bodies. This is the main thing that separates a "True Lich" from the powerful Undead that lead others. It is because of this, that Zoldark may not be a "True Lich," but just a powerful undead. It is also known that "True Liches" have to be killed in a very specific way, such as how we kill Khilbron.
Vizier Khilbron became a lich, supposedly, during the events of the Cataclysm. He read an ancient scroll, which sunk Orr, after that, Khilbron is known to be a lich, controlling the Orrian Army as Undead.
There is an issue here though. Usually, when a Necromancer (of any caliber) dies, his minions, or in this case undead, would die with him. This is shown with Zoldark, when what causes the raising of Undead dies, those undead that were raised die too.
This proves that Khilbron was not what caused the raising of the Undead in Orr, so there are only two possible sources. These are The Cataclysm, caused by Khilbron, and the Undead Dragon – nicknamed "Malchor" by the GW2 wiki. The Forbidden Scroll that caused The Cataclysm most likely holds the power of either Abaddon or Dhuum, so instead of when Khilbron dies, when whoever’s power is in the scroll dies, the Undead would to. Abaddon was killed in Nightfall, but the Undead are still around a year later, in Eye of the North, therefore, if it was the scroll which turned everyone into an Undead, it would have to be Dhuum’s power.
There is a hole though, there are about five or six spirits from Orr in the Realm of Torment. Also, where are the Undead Charr? Such a general spell would not choose between them, and although Khilbron could have the Undead Charr killed off (for prejudice reasons), he could not control those spirits, so they would not have made it to the Realm of Torment.
This is where my theory comes in. The Cataclysm simply killed the Orrians and Charr, and sunk the Orrian Peninsula, and it was the "Malchor’s" power which animated the Orrians, and Khilbron.
Khilbron was influenced the most due to his proximity; he was in the Catacombs of Orr, and therefore the closest to "Malchor." It is also possible that Khilbron was a lich long before the Cataclysm, as he was around since the Second Great Corsair War (which happened in 982AE, about 90 years before the Cataclysm). He could have done something to what Svanir did with Drakkar, that is, call upon "Malchor’s" power.
At the time of the Cataclysm, it is possible, if Khilbron was a lich before the cataclysm that is, that he tried to use "Malchor’s" power again, which did a wide spread turning of people into undead. This would have had to be done this way, as if it was Khilbron’s own power, the Orrian Undead would now be, well, dead.
Now, we get to Palawa Joko, everyone’s favorite bad guy in Guild Wars.
Palawa Joko has no known past, and the first mention of him is in 757 AE, where he makes his Bone Palace. This means he was probably born (as a human) no later then 700 AE. There is absolutely nothing else on him, so from here on about Palawa Joko, is a hypothesis.
I believe, that Palawa Joko, like Khilbron, “called forth” the power of "Malchor." I believe this because the Awakened Undead and Joko have closer similarities to Orr then anywhere in Elona, at least in my observations. Orr has an Arabic background (most dominant in the naming system), the Awakened have Egyptian backgrounds, Cyrstal Desert seems to have Sahara backgrounds, Istan has Madagascar similarities, Kourna has eastern Africa, and Vabbi has South Africa. I may be wrong in these connections, if so sorry and correct me.
I think that Palawa Joko was once Orrian, and whether on purpose or accident, used "Malchor’s" power (most likely accidentally finding but purposely using). He seems like a power hungry “person” so he could have been searching for ancient knowledge in the Catacombs of Orr, and accidentally found "Malchor," or at least “Malchor’s” magic seeping out.
After becoming an Undead, I believe tried to make an Undead Army, but was exiled (since they could not kill him), where he fled across the Crystal Desert, and into the Desolation. From there, he did some grave robbing and Giant killing in order to start his undead army, and slowly built up and then came forth the Scourge of Vabbi.
Again, little to back this up, so it is a hypothesis.
I believe that Zoldark, seemingly the oldest of all undead, as his army’s name implies (Ancient). He would be considered a different class of a lich. Instead of being able to “chain his soul” to his body, he can chain the souls of others to their bodies, forcing them to serve no matter how many times they die.
Because of his inability to make himself “immortal,” once he died, his entire army did too, as his magic is what kept their souls constantly chained to their bodies.
It is hard to figure out what kind of Lich Mad King Thorn is – if at all – due to the lack of information on him, but I would believe that he has nothing to do with “Malchor.”
In this, I summarize that it is "Malchor’s" power that allows one to become a “True Lich,” while any other lich are just able to control Undead, and in powerful cases, bind their souls to their bodies until the lich’s death.
Undead Dragon (a.k.a. “Malchor”)
Sadly, very little is known about the "Malchor" residing under Orr. But what is known is that it is able to change both living and dead into draconic undead servants. This implies that "Malchor" acts very similar to that of a "True Lich.” Also, with it’s possible ability to create “True Liches” himself, he could be a combination of both Zoldark’s power and a “True Liches” power. In that, the “True Liches” he makes are in fact just simply very power Undead (like Zoldark) who are bound to be eternal servants (until "Malchor’s" own death).
This may mean that, in GW2, when we kill “Malchor,” Palawa Joko may end up dying as well.