Almost since the release of Prophecies, there has been debate about the true nature of the Flameseeker Prophecies. Was it genuine prophecy? Was Glint a psychohistorian in the vein of Asimov’s Foundation series, using her knowledge of how sapient beings think to predict the future and nudge events towards the least bad outcome? Or was she settling a grudge against the mursaat, uncaring of the harm it caused to others?
A line from the Heart of Thorns announcement may shed light on Glint’s motives. There, it was mentioned that Glint’s legacy, to be found in the Maguuma Jungle, was established at the end of Prophecies. Up to now, we had assumed that Glint’s legacy was related to her offspring – however, we first see her eggs in the Dragon’s Lair mission, and while certainly well into the story, it’s hardly the “end” with the Southern Shiverpeaks and the Ring of Fire to go. Meanwhile, Glint’s baby in Eye of the North does not appear until long after the conclusion of Prophecies.
Finally, there is one line from Glint that has been difficult to explain: if you attempt to steal her eggs and lose the resulting battle, Glint will resurrect your party after unceremoniously wiping the floor with your charred remains, implying that if you did not survive to complete the Flameseeker Prophecies, humanity would become extinct. While this remark is typically linked to Abaddon’s possible victory, the recent announcement suggests that Glint may have had thinking more long-term.Glint and her eggs – #1 cause of party wipes in the early days of Prophecies.
So, what did happen at the end of Prophecies?
At the very end, our characters fled from an exploding volcano. While impressive, it’s difficult to see how an erupting volcano could have created a legacy in the present. Admittedly, the bloodstones were originally all tipped into the volcano by the Five Gods, and it was a previous eruption that released at least two of them into the world, so maybe Glint’s legacy was the expulsion of the remaining bloodstones from the volcano. However, there is hint of this in the announcement, so let’s put that aside for now and move on.
Before that, we see the disappearance of the Scepter of Orr, by Glint’s volition or its own. However, we know the Scepter’s destiny – to be found by Livia and used to prolong her life and help defend Kryta. Maybe it’ll turn out that Livia has been in the jungle for her own reasons (chasing White Mantle, perhaps) since handing over the Shining Blade to a successor. It’s also possible that part of Glint’s legacy is recovering Sohothin by similar means, allowing Rytlock to recover it and become what he is today. But let’s shelve those thoughts, too, and turn the clock back further.
The catalyst for these events was the defeat of the Lich Lord and the sealing – possibly permanently by way of eruption – of the Door of Komalie. Clearly, this was important in defending against Abaddon, but likely not to the present situation. Perhaps if we hadn’t cleared out the Foundry of Failed Creations from the other side, we could unleash the titans on the dragons… but, as far as we know, no more titans.
So, what does that leave? The defeat of the mursaat at the hands of the Prophecies heroes and, it is strongly implied, an army of titans rampaging through whatever we missed. But what do we see in the trailer?Yup. These guys.
At this stage, I should point out that the identification of these glowing figures as mursaat is not yet beyond reasonable doubt. While there are thematic similarities, the original mursaat did not glow, and had multiple black feathery tendrils instead of a single pair composed of glowing energy – it is possible we could be looking at something else, such as armoured djinn. Despite this discrepancy, as Aaron pointed out earlier, there is ample reason to believe that these are, indeed, mursaat. Additionally, TheBlackLeech on the official forum makes the interesting observation that, behind the masks, the heads of the glowing figures are still mursaat-flesh-tone grey, so the glow may be a protective energy field as part of their armour.
If this is the return of the mursaat, it is particularly interesting that, despite their history of villainy (albeit with shades of grey rather than moustache-twirling evil) and ample reasons why the playable races, particularly humans, might distrust them, these apparent mursaat are presented as “new allies”.
Could this be Glint’s legacy? Was the point of the Flameseeker Prophecies to arrange events leading to the mursaat helping against the dragons in this cycle, instead of fleeing?
A quick review of mursaat history is in order here. The mursaat were one of five races that allied against the dragons in the last cycle. However, instead of continuing to support the other races, the mursaat found a way to flee and took it, leaving the other races to fend for themselves (the root cause of the seer-mursaat war referenced in Prophecies). Without the mursaat, the other races were forced to seek more desperate means of survival, including enlisting the freed dragon champion Glint to hide them from the Elder Dragons.
The Flameseeker Prophecies, therefore, would become a means of culling the more selfish of the mursaat, likely the same leadership caste that chose to leave the others hanging. Even in the name of self-preservation, it takes a certain degree of selfishness to murder hundreds or thousands of innocent people on the say-so of a prophecy that might never come to fruition. So, while those mursaat willing to sacrifice large numbers of a “lesser race” for their own survival were drawn out into the world where they were vulnerable, those more principled may have remained in their cities, preferring to accept their fate over buying their lives through the murder of others.The golden city behind a door – possibly the last refuge of the mursaat, nestled within a pocket dimension with the door as the portal.
After culling the undesirables, Glint could have offered those more principled mursaat a deal – promise to stick around and help the younger races against the second awakening of the dragons and Glint would hide them from the titans, just as she had hidden their previous contemporaries. While we cannot say if the mursaat have the sense of honour to uphold to such a deal, the mind-reading Glint would know. So, perhaps, a city of mursaat willing to aid the other races is Glint’s true legacy.
This does raise the question, however – with Kryta’s history of years of oppression and centuries of insurrection by the White Mantle, how could the mursaat ever be trusted by human PCs?
The answer is simple: we lay the blame at the hands of Lazarus the Dire.
Having been Optimus Caliph’s henchman during the Rise of the White Mantle mission, and having divided his essence into parts to hide from the titans (a process that was fatal for each of the White Mantle followers who hosted one of his facets), Lazarus is certainly one of the ‘selfish’ faction. Of the mursaat known to Shining Blade intelligence – and thus, likely, of all the mursaat that interacted with the White Mantle apart from Saul d’Alessio himself – Lazarus is the only one that survived the original game, and was last seen fleeing into the jungle after swearing vengeance upon countless human (and possibly asura) generations. It is likely that Lazarus has been directing the White Mantle since.Lazarus? That guy? We hate his guts too.
Such behaviour may well have resulted in Lazarus being deemed an outlaw by whatever government – apparently a triumvirate – now rules over the mursaat city we see. As olive branches go, there are few that could be more persuasive than for the means to finally track down and defeat the true leader of the White Mantle; to be given to us by his own former people, allowing even the Shining Blade to approve of an alliance.
An alliance for which the foundations were set behind the scenes back in 1072 AE, and without which humanity, among other races, might have been doomed to extinction.