While a lot of attention has been focused recently on the shining beings that many are presuming to be mursaat, there has been another elder race that has received some of the spotlight within the second half of season 2, albeit in absentia. In the wake of the Heart of Thorns announcement and trailers, however, they have been somewhat… forgotten.
It’s almost as if this is something that happens to them on a regular basis.
However, there have been some important reveals in the past few months about the serpents which were the first servants of the gods upon Tyria. In this three-part series, we shine the heat-lamp back on these neglected reptiles, reviewing what we know about them from the past and considering what new conclusions we may be able to draw from the closing of season 2.
A Brief History of the Forgotten:
The true origins of the Forgotten remain shrouded in mystery. The History of Tyria, by Thadeus Lamount, claimed that the ‘serpents’ first emerged from the Mists in 1769 BE, but more recent archaeology demonstrates that they were present during the last rise of the dragons. Ogden later reaffirms that the Forgotten came from the Mists, however, suggesting that while Thadeus may have underestimated the duration of their stay in Tyria (that, or the last rise was much more recent than we had thought), he was right about their origins. Of course, it is possible that Ogden, too, is incorrect – the dwarves had forgotten much of their ancient history by the time of Prophecies apart from that which was buried in old documents like the Tome of the Rubicon, and the true identity of the Forgotten – travellers of the Mists like their divine allies or a native sapient species – is lost to him also.
Regardless of their true identity as natives or aliens, the Forgotten played an important role the last time the dragons were active. The Forgotten brought to the alliance a form of magic that could protect against the corruption of the dragons, allowing the creation of magic items that could not be consumed by them for power. However, the Forgotten did not limit themselves to preventing dragon corruption, but also deployed a partial cure – a powerful ritual that returned free will to the dragon champion, Glaust (now known as Glint), granting her the ability to choose to side with the mortal races against her master. While the Seers hid Tyria’s magic within the artifact that would later be sundered to create the Bloodstones, Glint concealed the Forgotten, seers, dwarves and jotuns until the dragons slipped into hibernation.
Soon after, or perhaps even before, these events, the Forgotten had entered into the service of the Six Gods, now better known for their human worshippers. The History of Tyria claims that the Forgotten served the gods as shepherds to the younger races, a role that would bring them into conflict with the charr who refused to accept any leadership but their own. As humans spread outwards into Tyria, the Forgotten began to withdraw from the wider world into the Crystal Desert – possibly because it was a place where they were comfortable and humans would not be, or possibly in order to defend the sacred places that had been established there.
Unfortunately, this meant that the brunt of the fighting between the forces of Abaddon and the other gods fell upon the Forgotten. With Abaddon’s defeat, their population was split – some remained in Tyria to defend the sites of the tests of Ascension and to challenge would-be ascendants to prove their worth. Others entered the Realm of Torment, the prison dimension of Abaddon, to serve as jailors for Abaddon and the demons, margonites, and titans that continued to serve him.
Their fate after the events of Nightfall is unclear. The description of the Lair of the Forgotten outpost implies that the Forgotten were massacred by the margonites, but it is unclear whether this refers to the time of Abaddon’s fall or to something more recent. Meanwhile, the Forgotten in the Realm of Torment seemed to celebrate their victory… but their celebration may have been premature due to a lack of knowledge of events back in Tyria. With their numbers depleted through centuries of holding out against the increasingly hostile Realm of Torment, the Forgotten there may not be sufficient to ensure the survival of their species if the Forgotten of the Crystal Desert had indeed been subjected to genocide during the events of Nightfall. Either way, the Forgotten were once again lost to history soon after Kormir’s ascension, although some of their constructs still remained in remote places of the continent.
The Forgotten in Season 2:
Apart from historical mentions among the books in the Priory’s Special Collections archive, one of the first hints is in an enigmatic exchange between Ogden and the player character:
“There are those who have taken interest. I had some warning that you might be calling. Your challenges do not go unnoticed.”
“All in good time. But know that they have Tyria’s best interests at heart.”
This raises the obvious question: Who are “they”? There are a number of possibilities, including Glint’s children, seers, other surviving stone dwarves, mursaat that have come to an arrangement with Glint, and/or even the Six Gods themselves, with arguments that can be made for and against each. Given the significance of Glint in the current storyline and the Forgotten’s history as caretakers of Tyria, however, the Forgotten are certainly a strong contender for those Ogden is referring to. While Ogden continues to speak of the Forgotten as if they are gone from the world in later instalments, this could be a deception on his part to maintain their privacy after he realises that they have not already made contact with the PC.
However, the real revelations into the nature of Forgotten magic, and their relationship with the gods, comes in the finale, Point of No Return. In the second part, we will examine the revelations regarding the Forgotten that came with our second visit to the Priory Special Collections basement, and consider what conclusions can be made from those revelations.