The Tengu Expansion

May 2, 2012 at 10:42 pm | Posted in Guild Wars 2, mmorpg | 8 Comments
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Note the Dominion of Winds below Kryta.

I was walking through Divinity’s Reach, I think, and came across a conversation. Two humans talking about Orr, Elona, and Cantha. It’s difficult to remember the specifics of the conversation, but they talked about how Orr had cut off contact with the other continents of Tyria. Specifically they mentioned that the tengu had been the last to come from Cantha, and that had been a hundred years ago.

This peaked my interest in the tengu, so I returned to Kessex Hills to review what I had seen. Along the southern border of the zone there is a massive wall. In two places, one inside a region called the Dominion Killing Zone, one that appeared to be a trading hub between sylvari, tengu, asura and humans, you will find some tengu who speak of their city, the dragons, and wanting to help.

This is Sangdo Swiftwing, he has been sent outside the city to deal with destroyers.

Here Sangdo speaks of the wall a bit.

A small part of the wall, and my ridiculous gloves.

This is Genzhou Talonrend imparting knowledge to me.

This is only the beginning.

Save the cheerleader, save the world.

This is not the first time.

What Sangdo and Genzhou speak of are a vast city dedicated to a single race. Sound familiar? It’s exactly how Arenanet have set up all their previous race homelands. It certainly could be the case that they have, very early on, set up the tengu to be another player race. The location certainly seems plausible. It isn’t terribly far from other low level areas that they could share, we know that both asura and sylvari also have nearby starter cities. There is also what seems like a generous amount of area to plan out a low level zone dedicated to the tengu alone.

The NPCs also talk a lot about how their race is under pressure from dragon minions, the destroyers, and how they’re leaving the city to help others, spread knowledge, stop the threat. Those goals fall very easily in line with the goals of the vigil or the durmand priory which we admittedly still know little about. In regards to story they are clearly setting something up here.

That’s not the only place we see tengu however. Additionally you can find tengu NPCs in Lion’s Arch. They are standing next to what appears to be a large door to Dominion of Winds territory. The door is built of the same materials as the wall in Kessex, and has the same design. The NPCs basically just warn you away from the location without hinting at much as I recall, although I wish I had taken screenshots.

It’s hard to interpret anything directly from their presence in Lion’s Arch. One thing I might infer is that since the wall in Kessex is quite a distance from Lion’s Arch, any tengu starter zone would probably cover the distance between the two.

This being the Guild Wars universe, there has been speculation for ages about where Guild Wars 2 would go after the initial release. Elona, Cantha, additional Tyrian (continent) locations, or new Tyrian (world) locations. I think that if the tengu are to be tapped as expansion material, that Cantha becomes an almost certainty. It’s their homeland, and according to lore they were driven out of Cantha by the xenophobic emperor.

Further, as we already know the general location of various dragons, this suggests the focus of any expansion might be Primordus who is underground and therefore a viable candidate to be fought in (or underneath) Cantha, or more interestingly, the as yet unknown underwater dragon. Seeing as how you would have to cross an ocean to get to Cantha. I can’t imagine an expansion not focusing on dragons, but I suppose it is possible.

There are a few things that point to tengu not being a player race however. For one, they don’t wear much. They don’t seem to wear headpieces, shoulders, gloves, etc. What they do wear is minimal compared to the armour that humans, charr, and norn wear. That doesn’t bode well for players who, obviously, need to wear armour. There are also no female tengu that I could see, which doesn’t seem like they were thinking long term either, it points more towards the NPC races we’ve seen. Finally a dungeon of some kind might be more plausible, some form of update or DLC content. It might just fit better.

Anyway this is all just speculation and I’m sure I’m not the first to suggest it, but after seeing the NPC dialogue it certainly seemed like something worth talking about. Obviously it is a bit early to be talking about expansions and I could easily be completely wrong. I have drawn some detailed conclusions with very little evidence. Please take this with a grain of salt.



  1. I had encountered the tengu in Lion’s Arch, but not the others (was too busy fighting the Krait in the waterway nearby, and the undead at the sylvari encampment.) Thanx for the screenshots… this sort of lore speculation is some of my favorite day dreaming material to help pass the days until I can get back in game.

    • Absolutely and there are more screenshots of the wall elsewhere as well as leaked material that I haven’t covered.

  2. Somewhat off topic but speculating about expansions.
    When I looked at the world map I was struck by how much unused real estate there was. All the playable areas seemed to be fairly concentrated around the center of the map; Kryta, Ascalon, The Shiverpeaks, a little bit of the Maguma Jungle and a few other places. It looked to me as though at least 1/4 of the map was untouched though and many of these locations were areas that were explored in Prophecies. Another thing that struck me was the sheer size of the zones and the amount of content packed in to them, I only made it as far as Kessexs Hills myself (a gorgeous zone btw) but I was blown away with how much there was to see and do in just those first two zones. To me it definitely looks like Arenanet has planned ahead and designed the map with room to grow. That said I would definitely love to see Cantha and Elona make a comeback as well.

    • Very true but as much as they’ve filled out the names of areas and what not, I’ve had a hard time convincing myself that any expansion would stick to tyria. They don’t have the same restrictions they had going into the guild wars expansions but I just feel like the most likely scenario is to go to another continent.

  3. Great work Holmes! Another thing in your favour, perhaps, is that Talon Silverwing was the first non human henchman in GW1, in fact I can’t think of another one (or am I forgetting something?). Not sure I see myself as a large chicken, but others have expressed an interest in playing this race.

    • woops – yes there’s a large armadillo (a wallow called Brutus) a bit later on in Factions. But, still … that’s not going to be a player race I wouldn’t have thought.

    • There were of course non-human heroes as well but in general aside from the dwarves the tengu were the first friendly npc race. The dwarves are gone now, so tengu look better all the time.

  4. […] Hunter’s Insight — The Tengu Expansion. “I was walking through Divinity’s Reach, I think, and came across a conversation. Two […]

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