Battle At Orr

July 11, 2011 at 11:30 pm | Posted in Books, Guild Wars 2, mmorpg | 19 Comments
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Triggersad, over at TalkTyria posted some predictions about what he thinks the next Guild Wars novel will be about. I think they’re some good predictions, and I’m sure one of them may end up being true, or even, more than one.

However I have my own thoughts on the next novel which I’ve posted a few times here and there. Mostly thoughts on who the next author could be. In summary, since Jeff Grubb, Matt Forbeck and J. Robert King all belong to the same writers group, I wouldn’t be surprised to see someone from the same group as author, or someone else familiar to Guild Wars fans like Ree Soesbee.

The main thrust of Triggers post of course is the subject matter, what will it be about?

Ghosts of Ascalon takes place about 1 year before Guild Wars 2 and Edge of Destiny about 5 years. All three books are meant to be a bridge between the original game and the next. The third book then must take place even before Edge.

Here’s another thing I’ve always wondered about. This piece of concept art.

Patchy and Grumpy go to the fair

Speculation has it that the eye-patched individual is related to the Thackeray family, and the art has been around for a while. Somewhere along the way the image was titled Battle at Orr and it seems quite epic. I’ve always thought that if Patch is a specific character then the art must be for a specific purpose. Especially since the time frame seems to be before the Guild Wars 2 era.

The dwarf as well is out of place, as if to speak to a specific character. Concept art is usually vague and unspecific to allow for imaginations to run wild. I’ve always thought we’d see these two.

So I think the 3rd book will be about Zhaitan and attempts to kill him. A battle in Orr.

EDIT: Just by chance I searched Guild Wars at Simon & Schuster’s website. Sea of Sorrows by Ree Soesbee.

Further Edit: Cheiron from Guild Wars 2 Forum added a nice comment in the post. He searched for the ISBN and found a reference to Steven Savile as co-author, perhaps a Jeff Grubb/Matt Forbeck situation. There was also this.

“In the fantasy world of Tyria—a place torn by conflict, where human kingdoms are on the decline and all but destroyed, while other races are rising up and seizing control over large portions of territory—a champion must rise from the ruins of a once-proud land to lead refugees from the ashes and fulfill an ancient prophecy.”

Thanks Cheiron.

Edit: Savile is no longer attached to the book apparently.



  1. I read through the thoughts on TalkTyria and they were interesting… personally, I think your thoughts here are much, much closer to the mark… or, at least I hope they are – it would make for a more entertaining read imo.

    • re:EDIT; are you reading anything into the March 27, 2012 release date posted on that site?

    • Not really reading anything in to it, no. I already thought gw2 would be released in december/january/february or at worst march, so a book being filed into that slot isn’t surprising.

      That said, there isn’t necessarily a connection. One, we don’t know for sure that is the exact release date. It could be just a placeholder until they know the for realz release date. 2nd there isn’t necessarily a connection between releasing the book and releasing the game.

      However, it would be smart to release it before the game is released or around the games release, i’m just not putting much faith in it.

  2. Nice find, hunter. When searching on the ISBN number, I did notice that several sites (like borders and Amazon UK) mention Steven Savile as co-author. And several of them contain a small description (though that doesn’t tell us much more):

    “In the fantasy world of Tyria—a place torn by conflict, where human kingdoms are on the decline and all but destroyed, while other races are rising up and seizing control over large portions of territory—a champion must rise from the ruins of a once-proud land to lead refugees from the ashes and fulfill an ancient prophecy.”

    • Oh nice work cheiron. I have searched previous books isbn’s and never got anywhere with it, I just don’t know the right place I guess. Didn’t even think to try that out this time.

      This would be a great example of why the thread I started at guru2 should not have been closed and why I should probably go to other forums more often.

      I’m going to edit the main post with what you’ve added.

      • You’re welcome. And I agree that gw2guru thread should have stayed open, as the item definitely *is* newsworthy (and at this stage, a lot more than just speculation). Feel free to visit us at the and post there, though 😉

    • I was just wondering about this. I figured Ree would be writing the last book, but just like Jeff Grubb, she more than likely would be too busy working on the game to actually write it by herself and would need a co-author. I don’t know Steven Seville, so I’ll have to give him a look.

    • Hmm…sounds less like “The Battle of Orr” and more like “The Founding of Divinity’s Reach.”

  3. I’ve always felt, since the moment I first saw that piece of art when the teaser was originally released, that it was far too specific, or more importantly, too interesting, to simply be great concept art for the sake of great concept art. While I’d love to know the inspiration for every piece of ridiculously gorgeous and crazy GW concept art, this more than any other, spoke to being carefully crafted in accordance with the lore, and therefore demanded much deeper investigation. Patchy and Grumpy practically scream out, “fully fleshed-out heroes of the past making a cameo here,” along with the other three unmasked persons playing back-up.

    I’m right with you on your thoughts for the third book. Every book so far has filled in very important details to help bridge the gap between the intervening centuries and set the stage for the game. To that end, we’ve been treated to the beginnings of the truce faction that helps create an accord between two erstwhile enemies helping to explain why they are now allies in-game. And we get to see the formation and break-up of the world’s greatest heroes (until we come along) and their adventures against the Elder Dragons, bringing home the classic motto, “United we stand, Divided we fall.”

    Of the two books, only the second really deals with the game’s main antagonists, the afore-mentioned Elder Dragons, and even then it mostly deals with Kralkatorrik. Jormag gets a substantial amount of the book’s real estate, though he is only ever felt, not seen. Primordus and Zhaitan are basically left out, and of those two, only one plays the lead villain for the initial release of Guild Wars 2, which is Zhaitan.

    What better way to really show just how massively powerful and dangerous he is, and why he’s the gravest and most immediate threat, then to dedicate the entire final book to trying to fight him?

    • Posted this over at, but I’ll crosspost it here too: in January some people already discovered Steven Savile’s involvement in the third novel (apparently from a chat section on his own website). Someone emailed him about it, and this is what he replied:

      “I was indeed contacted about 3 years ago now by Will McDermott at ArenaNet to write the third Guild Wars novel – it was meant to be called The Crucible of Eternity, but about 10 months ago Arena decided they wanted to go a different direction and instead wanted a ‘zombies and pirates’ novel. The problem is that book catalogues at Simon and Schuster, the publisher, still list me as the writer of the novel, and indeed overseas rights to France, for instance, have sold with me still listed as the author – but I am not the chap writing the book. I wrote the ‘story’ to Sea of Sorrows, but not the novel.”

      So that explains why some sites mention him as co-author, and others don’t. So I guess Ree *is* the real author of the book, and Saville just laid out the basic story. And apparently, what we can expect, is a lot of zombies and pirates… very fitting if they’re going up against Zhaitan

    • I think that is a good point, that the final book should have a lot to do with the game we’re about to play. How could Zhaitan not take a larger role in the books considering he’s the big bad in the game.

      Laughed out loud when you used my nickname for patchy and grumpy.

  4. “Our ancestors fought against the tide…”

    That’s the quote that introduces that piece of art in the original teaser trailer. The ‘tide’ is the undead Orrian horde that Zhaitan raised. The speaker is almost certainly Salma.

    • Oh yeah, I remember that. So difficult keeping track of every little detail. Thanks for the heads up. Yeah the more I think about it, some form of battle with orr plus the exodus from LA to DR, and zombie pirates.

  5. Actually I think you pretty much hit the mark here. It would make tons of sense if the battle of Orr was the subject of the last book.
    It’s one of the earliest defining moments on the story between the two games and would make a great final story before GW2 comes out.

    It’s a little over 100-ish years before GW2. Not right smack dab in the middle but close enough.

    Makes me wonder, too, if they plan on continuing to write books even after GW2’s release; perhaps we’ll see other major intermediate events, like the isolation of Cantha, fall of Elona, etc. in stories (and eventually anthologies!). Maybe even go far enough back to tell the story of the original prophecies characters, like Devona, Aidan, etc.

    I was a huge fan of the warcraft novels. I can only dream.

    • Very good points, it would tell some of the biggest changes in history over the course of 250 years.

      It would be awesome if they kept these books going, I’d be thrilled, GoA was a solid and entertaining read, while EoD was more of a action based smash em up, but either way they both painted a rich world in which to play.

      I’d definitely read something about the actual guild wars before the searing.

  6. There is a very good reason Savile is listed as a co-author.

    He said so himself! In fact, he confirmed the name and the theme of the book almost 10 months ago. So yeah, no doubt he is at least involved.

    Great to know that Ree is the real writer thou:)

    • People keep telling me that. Still it’s awesome.

  7. After seeing the tittle of the book, and reading this, I think you hit the mark too.
    I’m chucking any thoughts of The Deep Sea Dragon (even though it would make some sense considering the possible setting) out the window because of the complete silence ArenaNet’s had on the poor thing (she was my favorite dragon too).
    I’d love to read any book set in a notical setting, esspecially if it involves Tyria, the battle at sea in “Edge of Destiny” was my favorite battle scene in the whole book (yes, even more than the fight in Ebonhawke and Glint’s Lair)! Thinking about it even more, having a book focus on Orr, Zhaitan, and his forces would really a set precident for us to want to kill him even more in the game. If it involves Lion’s Arch then its even better, since it sets the building blocks for what Lion’s Arch will become.
    I’m kind of hoping that the books starts of with Lion’s Arch being the same place it’s always been, then (just like the Searing) everything goes to hell with the tsunami. We have a flash forward and have a good part of the middle of the books involve sea travel, and the last part involve Orr. Now that would be perfect!

    • Yeah the flooding I’m not sure we’ll see or not, but starting from there and then seeing the refugees go to DR and the following battles with undead that seem to have happened, even invading orr in an attempt to fight zhaitan is what i’m expecting.

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