The Role Of Elder Dragons
In Search Of The Source Of Tyrian Magic
It seems pretty excessive to suggest that Elder Dragons are the only autotrophs in the magical food-chain, however. Surely other beings are sources of magic too? And what about the environment? Isn’t that exuding magic too?
Although the environment is a good candidate for the production of magic, the recent revelation of the presence of a magical distribution network – namely, ley lines – running throughout the continent makes the role of the natural world ambiguous. Indeed, given that the Elder Dragons have access to said ley lines, one must ponder whether the natural world is distributing the magic of the Elder Dragons or whether the Elder Dragons are consuming the magic of the natural world. What came first, the chicken or the egg? One calls to mind the artesian waters of Orr. Are they magical by nature, or are they magical because, as a conductor, they were in contact with Zaithan whilst he slumbered?
Other beings seem to exude magic too. Think of Issomir, or the husks of the druids in the Brisban Wildlands. These creatures are all releasing magic. But then again, they’re all dead too (interestingly, many of the beings associated with the generation of magic in Tyria are often associated with death, such as ghosts etc). In death they form powerful magic generators, but they may not be self-sustaining sources in the same way that autotrophs are. Eventually, one would expect the magic of these beings – and the magic of the various artifacts scattered across the globe too, for that matter – to diminish. This is one way in which the Elder Dragons seem to be totally unique. They are not dead, yet they do generate magic somehow.
In my opinion, therefore, the best candidate for the generation of magic is an Elder Dragon. They are the primary producers of this most precious resource. Furthermore, although they do release significant quantities of magic whilst they sleep, I believe that they also generate magic whilst awake, both corrupted and uncorrupted.
Criticisms Of The Theory
There are reasons to contest this theory and whilst I am not able to address all of them, I do wish to direct your attention to the problem presented by the dragons’ consumption of magical artifacts. If the magic wielded by lesser beings of Tyria originates from the Elder Dragons, why would said dragons then consume it? After all, wouldn’t the magic wielded by the races be merely a by-product of the metabolic processes of the serpents? It would be, for all intents and purposes, the equivalent of a dragon’s excrement, right? Herein lies the problem. A dog may return to it’s vomit, but I’m not so sure that an Elder Dragon is prepared to. If, however, my theory is generally correct, I can only surmise that the dragons don’t metabolize magic as efficiently as we might think. Essentially, excess magic is “dumped” during their slumber, primarily because it is surplus to the requirements of their bodies. Thus, when a dragon awakens, if an artifact with a strong magical signature exists, they may be attracted to it.
It seems reasonable, however, to conclude that the magic processed by lesser beings of Tyria cannot possibly be enough to satiate the appetite of Elder Dragons. Sure, the seers did create the bloodstone during the last Elder Dragon rise in an effort to starve them, but I find it hard to believe that their plan was successful. So then, they may have successfully stored some magic in the stone, but the Elder Dragons may have alternative food sources from which they can feed. In my opinion, it may be that the dragons feed on the Mists themselves, in addition to any magic immediately available to them in the form of artifacts. Thus, during the last rise, the races survived the scourge of the Elder Dragons not so much because they were able to starve the great serpents, but because of the work of Glint. Of course, to us the feeding patterns of the Elder Dragons seem to be directed solely at civilization, but it may be that we only think this is the case because of our limited perspective.
Whilst we are affected, we may not be the primary food-source of the dragons.
In this post I have presented the theory that the Elder Dragons are magical generators, creating the magic that all other beings use. I have also posited that the dragons may feed primarily on the Mists.
I’m not entirely sure that the Elder Dragons are the autotrophs of magical energy. Magical Energy might be a natural resource present in the world of Tyria, maybe created at the Tyrian equivalent of of the ‘Big Bang’ along with all other things in the Universe. Since we have no idea how old Tyria is or how many cycles these Elder Dragons have gone through, it could even be that the Elder Dragons were one of the first lifeforms that evolved on Tyria. They fed off of an energy source widely available and potent, and at that time uncontested, magic. After they became the dominant species, whether through conflict(which might explain their combative nature) or by being the sole species at the time, they lives off the Tyrian Magic.
Similar to Earthly creatures that go into hybernation when their food source runs low, the ED’s might have gone to sleep, waiting for the magic levels to build up again. During this hybernation they leaked the excess magical energy that they had consumed. Perhaps they had consumed all of the magic in the world, or it is as you say, that more magical energy sources are present(Tyria’s planetary core or magical ‘bleeding’ through contact with the Mists?) However, their hybernation was so long that other creatures evolved and rose to dominance. After the awoke once more, these other lifeforms might have hoarded magical energy(it is after all a highly potent power source) and thus came into conflict over the Dragon’s food source. Repeat that for several cycles and you have yourself something that can quickly be assumed to be part of the ‘natural order of Tyria’.
Does this make any sense?
I think our problem is our unclear definition of what “magic” is…
We have mentioned the elder dragons as things that seep out magic, awake when they’re “hungry”, consume all the magic and go to sleep to start leaking magic once again.
So, now, these elder dragons were awake the last time ten thousand years ago, fed, nearly wiped out the sentient races who lived in tyria at the time and went to sleep again.
So, the seers made a bloodstone to conatin magic, “the elder dragons did not corrupt”, late to be released by abaddon to bestow it on “all races” – Which, at that point, really just comes down to humanity, since the other races already had magic.
Our question seems to be: What is “uncorrupted magic” or how can we distiguish from “corrupted magic”?
Is magic corrupted forever if it has once been consumed by a dragon?
How does magic being consumed effect our spellcasters?
Also, what was the original purpose of the bloodstone, since, if I got that right, there are now 4 bloodstone shards out there, leaking magic, in addition to the elder dragons already leaking magic as well (Well, at least until they woke I’d say) – So, why would containing some magic make a difference in the given situation, when there are six primal beings leaking what I can only imagine as huge amounts of magic into the world?
@Stephen – A+ for effort.
I share the same sentiment as Ishmael on the mysterious nature of magic, and its relationship with EDs. I don’t really agree on magic as sustenance for ED, like food to us. Based on Prof Gorr storyline in PS and Ogden’s journal in Scarlet’s drytop room, it seems to me that EDs serve as mechanism to control concentration of magic in Tyria. Perhaps I will use potato & salty soup as analogy (yes, as an avid gamer I do cook sometimes, try not to faint) to explain what I have interpreted the whole dragon & magic thing so far:
Imagine Tyria as a pot of soup, and salt is the magic that ED ‘consume’. According to old cooks’ tale, if the soup is too salty (aka magic level too kitten high), potato is added to lower the saltiness level. In actual fact, some salt in the soup are absorbed by potato via osmosis process, meaning there will be salt left in the soup, not all of them will be absorbed by potato (i.e magic locked in bloodstones).
(If EDs really depend on magic for sustenance, they could have clawed at each other during the last awakening, to fight for whatever magic that have left to satisfy their hunger.)
So now, if Tyria is now a pot of plain water (aka not much magic, when the potato is added back it, the salt absorbed will be slowly released into the water via osmosis process again. To draw parallel to EDs lore, the magic are never digested, they are being ‘stored’ inside ED all the time until they are being leaked back into Tyria.
Of course, being WvWer first & PvEer second, I could have missed some part in the lore that could explain the relationship between ED & magic, so apologies in advance for long wall of text :p