- Each of your Order mentor's death:
Magister Sieran: I was hoping to fall in love at least once before I die...but I guess I'm ready. If you are.note
- Magister Sieran (Durmand Priory): A very happy-go-lucky Sylvari who was in love with the world, and had a tendency to say 'cherry!' when she was happy about something. She treats her death as another adventure, and says she is excited to see what awaits her in the Mists, but you can tell she's terrified. Sieran's death is probably the most tragic of the three, as while Tybalt and Forgal are both comparatively old members of their race, the former Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life, the latter almost a Death Seeker, Sieran is a Sylvari Secondborn, making her only about 21 years old, and wants nothing more than to live as much as possible and see more of the world. But as much as she loves life, she loves her friends more.
- Lightbringer Tybalt Leftpaw (Order of Whispers): A very easygoing Charr engineer, who (despite being a member of the Order for some time) does his first field mission with the Player Character, and rejoices when he is assigned to permanent field duty. A deep friendship slowly grows between him and the player character – with this odd Charr who has a fondness for apples, has insecurities linked to his missing right paw (which was blown up a few years ago), and who eventually reveals to the PC that his partnership with them is what gives him the courage to stay in the field. He sacrifices himself in order to help you escape from Claw Island. During a later mission defending the Order of Whispers from a Risen assault, it is revealed that the security system was designed by Tybalt, and that the password to override the system is apples.
- Warmaster Forgal Kernsson (Vigil): In contrast to the other two, Forgal acts more as a stern father-figure to your character than a good friend. He softens up gradually, showing more and more how proud he is of you; until you learn at Claw Island that he had previously lost his family, meaning that he as a Norn had no one to tell and pass on his legend to until you came along. He thus decides that keeping back the Risen while you escape will be a worthy death, and entrusts you to tell it while he walks back into battle against a dragon champion and a huge number of Risen.
- This comes back to haunt your player character in the penultimate story mission where you fight ANOTHER GODDAMN EYE OF ZHAITAN. In addition to not wanting to fight another goddamn Eye of Zhaitan for the nth time, it taunts you about your dead mentor and says that they are "waiting for you now, beneath the dragon's wings..."
- The fact that a number of the allies (Lionguard Apatia from Claw Island, Kekt from the undead ambush in Ural's Delve and so on) you met, usually from earlier missions, started dying in the personal story missions for levels around 70-80 is just really, really sad...
- It gets sadder when your other allies have put all their trust in that person or when you find out they've been turned into Risen or when you find out that that person looked up to your Player Character.
- The events that transpire if, during the mission 'A Light in the Darkness', you told the Pale Tree that your greatest fear is "letting an innocent die", in particular 'A Sad Duty'. At the end of the mission chain leading up to the Battle of Fort Trinity, your partner, the Asuran demolitionist Tonn, sacrifices his life to destroy the Orrian Bone Ship, swimming back out to fix the explosive charges and telling you to set them off while he's still in range. After the Battle at Fort Trinity, you accept the duty of telling his beloved wife Ceera (a Pact field medic who Tonn constantly discussed with you fondly) of her husband's death. The news destroys her, almost driving her to suicide to join him and she swears never to forgive you for causing his death. While you manage to save her, when you leave her she's helplessly sobbing her eyes out alone. For those who question whether the Asura are capable of either true heroism or truly caring about anyone other than themselves, this mission will set you heartrendingly straight.
General Tyria, dungeons and expanded universe:
- Snaff's death, and the disbandment of Destiny's Edge. Along with the fact that the dragon Glint is also dead. The events closely following after the deaths were quite heartwrenching for this troper.
- Eir being told that her whole plan failed and that she killed Snaff.
Eir: You can't die!
Zojja: He's already dead.
Eir: You can't die. (takes Snaff's body from his golem and cradles it)
Zojja: Put him down! You have no right! Your plan failed. You killed him!
Eir: I killed him?
- Zojja having to cremate her own master's body, and her exchange of words with Caithe after gathering his ashes:
Caithe: Rytlock is leaving.
Zojja: Just like Logan.
Caithe: We have to stop him, or go with him.
Zojja: I don't have to do anything.
Caithe: Don't be irrational.
Zojja: Who are you to tell me anything? You're not my master, my master is dead.
Caithe: This could be the death of the whole world.
Zojja: My world is dead.
- Rytlock realizing that all their efforts were pointless, and that he was a fool for trusting Logan.
- Caithe's efforts on trying to keep the group together, which miserably failed. Until now, at the present time of the game, she still attempts to do so. And all those attempts failed as well. In a different timeline when the Pale Tree presents a vision of Orr to the Player Character, you find that she's grown so tired of rounding them up only to fail again that she decides to join Faolain in the Nightmare Court.
- Eir being told that her whole plan failed and that she killed Snaff.
- One particular event in Straits of Devastation requires you to clear out a field hospital of Risen. After the event is completed, we get this exchange:
Commander Blaike: Status report. How many of our sick and injured did we lose?
Medic Kellye: All of them... sir.
Commander Blaike: I... I see. Repair the damage and prepare to receive more casualties.
- What really sells it is the way Blaike's second line is delivered, with the perfect blend of horror and realization, yet still remaining partly stoic in the face of crisis.
- The dungeon instance Honor of the Waves. You follow a Kodan Claw (protector-leader) through the wreck of his floating sanctuary overran by icebrood. You first arrive too late to save the Voice of Koda (spiritual leader, with whom the Claw forms an inseparable pair), who is corrupted by the Dragon and has to be put down by yourself and the Claw, and then, in one of the explorable paths, you have to slay two corrupted icebrood Kodan who form an honor guard to a Svanir fanatic. The Claw identifies them as his sons.
- Interesting to note is, his name is never given. We know Kodan choose their names to match their nature (and that name may change during the course of life), and while we have a plenty of named Kodan, this one is only known as "Honor's Claw".
- The reveal of the Shattered Observatory fractal: Arkk, the mysterious Heel–Face Revolving Door-y asura you met in the two previously released fractals (Chaos and Nightmare), is Dessa's son, who came into the fractals to destroy them and bring her — and now himself — back to the real world. Dessa finds him and tries to convince him not to do it, but fails...and the machine activates, but Arkk and Dessa are still there. Arkk is frantic, trying to figure out what went wrong with his calculations, until he realizes what Dessa knew all along: they can never leave the fractals, because they don't exist. He resets the loop to stop his machine from destroying the fractals, but by doing so, he and Dessa are separated, trapped forever in a chaotic dimension where they might never find each other again or even remember what happened.
Living Story Season 1 & 2:
- The sight of fallen refugees in the first Living Story update. Flame and Frost added a few NPCs around refugee camps in their cities. One of them, the Refugee Primus, mentions how the cubs he was watching over were killed. Also, the general idea of the refugees being completely beaten down by the disaster and forced into rat-infested camps in their capitals.
- The November '13 addition, the Living Story "Fractured", has one near the end – when you realize the hub instance you go through every time when you're in the Fractals of the Mists is nothing else than Dessa's own personal fractal. Just before that, Dessa muses on the fate of her krewmates from Thaumanova, who have to relive the same moment in their lives (in their case, death) every time someone activates their fractal.
- Lion's Arch in the aftermath of Scarlet's attack. The place is in ruins, the music is very sad in tone; and lots of NPCs are either grieving, confused, have left notes for lost loved ones or are digging graves for the fallen.
- There was a noticeboard where survivors left notes to try and reunite with missing loved ones. After reading a few, the last one is written in the handwriting of a young child, and it says "I can't find my mommy or daddy."
- While the death of Belinda Delaqua is certainly shocking (you speak to her only a couple of minutes before you come back to find her body gruesomely dangling upside down from a huge thorned vine), the real tearjerker is the effect it has on Marjory. She's one of the calmest and most stoic members of your party, but when she looks up and sees her sister's crushed corpse swinging above her head she just collapses. She selflessly refuses to let her lover Kasmeer comfort her too much, insisting that she go with you to help carry on the fight against the dragons while she takes Belinda's body home for the funeral.
Marjory: I have to get her ready—take her home. I have to tell…tell Momma. (...) I can't lose control here. If you're too sweet to me, I'll fall apart.
Heart of Thorns:
- The way the Sylvari are being treated. This varies from suspicion and coldness to Pact vigilantes kidnapping Sylvari troops to murder them. It's hard not to feel sorry for them.
Pale Reaver Scout: Please, don't hurt me.
- Some characters actively refuse to treat Sylvari this way, however, and the contrast works wonders for both effects.
- It's not just the treatment of Sylvari, it's their situation in general. Permanently having a voice in their head that drives them insane enough to turn on their comrades. Those who haven't "turned" yet are terrified of the prospect, and even a hardened soldiers like Laranthir or cynics like Canach are visibly shaken whenever they are reminded how close they really are of losing themselves. Not to mention the brave, strong, and noble player, if they are a Sylvari.
Commander: (Heavy Breathing, from being hit by a bout of Mordremoth's influence))Braham Eirsson: Commander, you okay? You, uh… stumbled a bit there.Commander: It-it was nothing. Let’s keep going.
- More heartbreaking is the Commander's (if they're a Sylvari)slow spiraling descent into falling under Mordremoth's control. At first, it seems that the Commander's is completely unaffected, but as the story progresses, it reveals that they are constantly affected by Mordremoth's influence all the time, but they just won't say they are, probably to set an example to other Sylvari soldiers and not to worry their teammates. Sometimes, it got so bad that they would faint from the strength of the influence and even hallucinate, but yet they won't say a thing.
- Sylvari Commanders face a lot of discrimination throughout the story as well. Ranging from their own troops abandoning them to downright disrespecting them. Even in Auric Basin, when the Skritt is auctioning the golden Exalted Armor, the Skritt panics at first when a sylvari wins the auction, leaving to the tired player to explain that they're not going to turn.
- The death of Eir Stegalkin, and Braham's reaction.
- To add to this, Garm is still missing.
- Remember Ceera, the Pact medic mentioned above? You meet her again, at the entrance of Auric Basin. Turns out Tonn died during the war against Zhaitan regardless of your choices. She mourns him, and is still (at least a year later) clearly devastated by the loss, but is determined to do him proud by working hard for the Pact. She talks to the Player Character, giving some tidbits of exposition about the area. Unless you as a commander were "responsible" for Tonn's death (i.e. played that particular branch of original personal story) – in that case, she won't have a word with you. The hatred and vitriol her lines are delivered with in that case are chilling.
Ceera: Commander of death. I have no words for you.
- In the area nearby, you can find and recover dead bodies of Pact soldiers, two for each race, always male and female. Upon finding them, your character, no matter what race they themselves are, deliver a simple and short eulogy appropriate for the race of the fallen soldier (charr making their Legion proud, Norn having their legend go on, Asura being part of the Eternal Alchemy, etc.). Even the male charr player's voice actor (gruff, growly, and due to race, hardly ever emotional about anything) sounds solemn and sad at this point.
- The revelation that Rata Novus is nothing but a dead city. Taimi sounds so hopeful, so excited. But unless you played through the new maps only with the personal story, you already know she'll only find a hollow ruin overran with chak.
- The scene where Taimi gives up Scruffy. Making it even worse is how Scruffy hesitates, apparently needing reassurance.
Taimi: Go on. It's okay. <choking up> I'll be okay.
- Scruffy doesn't hesitate because he's afraid of being destroyed. He needs to be reassured that Taimi will be OK without him.
- It's only sad if you think about it, but when Taimi asks the Sylvari Commander if they remembered when they were young the 'bad kids' frying bugs with magnifying glasses. They reply that they reply that they've only heard stories. Why? The Sylvari don't have a childhood because they are born as adults. The story they probably heard probably came from information passed down from the Pale Tree, not even something they personally heard. As of this moment, they are still young at only just about three years old. The very fact that the Commander just hasn't been around for very long, yet are immediately thrown into a world of hell under Mordremoth is just... sad.
- If the Commander is a Sylvari, in the instance 'Bitter Harvest', they are hit with the hardest bout of Mordremoth's influence yet, so much so that they were knocked unconscious, even longer than they had been in Roots of Terror (where they just collapsed), separating them Marjory and Canach. Although they manage to regain consciousness after a brief moment and shake off the influence quickly, their first frightening thought was that they had killed their friends and had finally given into Mordremoth's control. The fear in the Commander's voice is heartbreaking to hear; they even cut themselves off because they couldn't bear to think about the consequences giving in and what they could have done if they had done so. It's saddening to see the once strong Commander start to visibly break from being mindraped by Mordremoth. After they catch up with their friends, the Commander plays it cool with Canach, letting him know their mind was "fine", even though it really isn't as peachy at all. The Commander even casually states that both they and Canach were susceptible to turning after Canach makes a small quip about it, possibly as a indicator how close they actually really were to giving in. It's really a wonder how they can really sleep at night or get any proper rest while all this is going on.
- Commander: Have to catch up with Marjory and Canach. <fearfully> Hopefully I didn't-...
- Finding Logan and Zojja is both reassuring and heartbreaking. They have clearly suffered greatly.
- If you select to chat with Zrii before going to face Mordremoth, you find out some of the people you recruited to aid you at Claw Island were killed or went missing when the brainwashed Sylvari brought down the Pact Fleet. After they followed you all the way through the cleansing of Orr, it's a real gut punch.
- In the final battle Mordremoth summons versions of the companions you left behind in other to fight you. Their dialogue is one of despair while keeping their personalities. But the worst is when he summons your Order's mentor (Tybalt, Sieran or Forgal). The commander is absolutely pissed at this action. A happier version happens at the end when you purify the phantom and they join you in the fight.
Tybalt Leftpaw: It's good to see you, my friend.
Player Character: I've missed you, Tybalt. Grab an apple and let's finish this!
** What Mordremoth is doing in that stage is activelly leeching your character's memory for things to make you hurt and wreck your morale. He only finds your mentor because the Commander still vividly remembers and is hurt by their loss, even though it's been years since their death.
- After all this time, doing their best fighting Mordremoth's control, the Commander was pushed so close to the brink of losing themselves after getting so close in proximity to Mordremoth. Despite their friends' insistence that they were stronger than this, the Commander couldn't handle being so close to Mordremoth and was ready to give in. They had been hiding how hard Mordremoth had been hitting them to put on a strong front for their friends and others, but now they just couldn't break free. The Commander had to be forced out of the influence by using a rift by Canach / Caithe, which they later describe to be extremely painful. It's sad to see the Commander so close to crossing the line, especially so close to the end.
- Finding Trahearne, who is too far gone to save. He just sounds so exhausted. His friend, the Commander, is tasked with killing him with Caladbolg. The beginning of 'Fear Not This Night' plays softly as Trahearne asks for the sword.
- The first ever raid wing, Spirit Vale has a personified nightmare and tearjerker all merged into one, and its name is Gorseval the Multifarious. Merged tormented souls of humans that feed off other souls, constantly adding more to their collection. During the battle, it calls on you in multiple voices, all of them hateful and insane.
- Later, it turns out the bandit leader Sabetha has been using Gorseval to dispose of the bodies of the Pact soldiers and civilians she had abducted. At some point, she fed it to such strength that the bandits themselves were unable to go anywhere near it and had to find a different way to dump the bodies, burning them in pits instead.
- The path to Gorseval leads through an old human (desecrated) mass grave and cemetery. The souls there haunt you. In every sense of that word.
- In contrast to that, in Salvation Pass, you also find souls (marked ??? in the chat log) of the fallen humans. These, in turn, are terrified of you, or they call to you and plead you to come back just as they disappear.
- Later on, you discover that Matthias Gabrel, the final boss of the wing and inquisitor of White Mantle, sacrificed them all, to feed a ritual with their lifeforce and gain more power for himself. Said power is, in turn, becoming so uncontrollable even his own men are terrified of how unhinged their boss has become.
- Wing 4 (Bastion of the Penitent) is a decommissioned prison run by the (still dead) Mursaat. As the squad fights their way through it, they find out about a prison riot failing, by the hands of some eldritch Demon named Samarog. At the very end in Solitary Confinement resides Saul D'Alessio (the legendary founder of the White Mantle) kept alive and tormented for 250 years. He is played out as a tragic loser in life, who made a great mistake in leading the White Mantle, where it is now. After beating his prison guard/tormentor, he is relieved into his final death.
Living Story Season 3
- Although not formally part of the episodes, this happens in between Heart of Thorns and Season 3. The player gets a chance to fix Caladbog, which they had informally inherited from Trahearne after his death. During this side story, they encounter three visions. First they meet Riannoic, the first wielder, which might not mean much if your character is not a Sylvari, where they had helped avenged his death and got the sword to he properly inherited to the person in the second vision, Trahearne. It's a mix of sadness and heartwarming to see Trahearne again even though he was only just a memory from the past. The Commander gets to properly say goodbye and Trahearne fades away, happy to see that Caladbog in the right hands. The third vision is a different type of sad, where the Commander faces against themselves, the Remnant of a Hero, but it also tells a story about the Commander's struggles. They wanted to save the world and had thought that if they tried hard enough, they could. However, the more the world just got worse and they couldn't even save themselves from drowning in doubt. The only solace was quiet advice to hold in their heart a thorn to pierce the doubt.
- The first chapter of Living Story 3 gives us Eir's memorial service. The Commander's voice acting during the toast really sells the whole thing as heartwrenching.
- The ending of Living Story 3 S3E4 with the death of Demmi Beetlestone, who is killed by her own father in a fit of Bloodstone induced madness. It is especially heartbreaking if you had joined the Order of Whispers and played through that part of the storyline quest where you rescue and then recruit her into the Order with Tybalt Leftpaw.
Demmi Beetlestone as she lies dying: ...Master Tybalt?... You've come for me...
- The abandoned records scattered about the last chapter of Living Story episode 3. Whether it's the last letter of a dying White Mantle member to their mother, realizing what a horrible mistake they'd made in joining the order of fanatics, or a final diary of a Sylvari who'd made a failed attempt to save some Risen from the corruption of Zhaitan after knowing what it was like to have Mordremoth's call eating at her own mind, there's a lot of absolutely soul-crushing additional material to find in this arc.
- In Living Story 3 S3E3, the player character and Braham get into a heated argument about how they would go about killing Jormag. The topics discussed in the conversation really stabs the Commander where it hurts, bringing up things like the massacre of everyone in the pact in the initial siege against Mordremoth and implying it was their leadership that had caused all those deaths. The argument has a heartbreaking close, where both Rox and Braham leave the Commander on bitter terms, who feels guilty about how it all turned out.
Braham: You know what, Commander? I'm glad you didn't join Destiny's Edge. My mother wouldn't want you in there.
- In a way, this is just a sad repeat of what happened in Destiny's Edge. The Commander is Caithe, trying to get everyone to get back together, but just like her, they're failing. It's even worse because Dragon's Watch never even properly formed and it's already falling apart.
- One of Braham's final words to the Commander really stings. It hurts a lot because really, you know Eir would have never said this, but Braham is in a lot of pain over her death. However, considering how closely the Commander worked with Destiny's Edge, they very well might have been their unofficial Sixth Ranger. The pain gets intensified when later it's revealed the Commander blames themselves for not being able to save Eir, even though they couldn't have done anything to prevent her death.
- In the Living Story 3 chapter, One Path Ends: Shining Blade Secrets is chock full of Tearjerker material. The Commander gets initiated into the Shining Blade. During their trials, they go through a trial that has them face their inner demons. For the first time, we get to hear what the Commander is really thinking about all the things that happened, in the form of manifestations of their friends. Everything said in this instance just makes every sad moment that happened Harsher in Hindsight and absolutely heartbreaking. Analyzing the dialogue of the manifestations of the Commander's thoughts (who take the appearance of their friends), it reveals that the Commander blames themselves for the Pact's failure and the many deaths against Mordremoth, for being unable to save Eir, for being unable to save Rytlock in the mists, for losing trust in Caithe despite what she's done, the aforementioned argument with Braham, for putting Rox in potential danger, Destiny's Edge's eventual dissolve after Mordremoth's defeat, their own guild falling apart, for even just being the "hero", and much more. It's heartbreaking to think that despite everything, all the good the Commander had done, they are plagued by intense guilt, sometimes over things they had no control over. Some of their thoughts include, but not limited to:
- Eir: Pact Commander? Deserter. You were absent—again—when we flew over the jungle and Mordremoth massacred our fleet!Eir: You let me die! You were right there, and you let that thing kill me!Caithe: It's all about you, you, YOU!Caithe: What is it that bothers you about me? The fact that I'm a murderess? Look in the mirror, old friend!Rytlock: You left me alone in the Mists. Couldn't be bothered to save your ol' pal. Some friend you are!Rytlock: Do you really have what it takes to protect Glint's offspring from what's coming? Really?
- What more, during the fight against manifestation of self-doubt, every time a dark manifestation of their friend appears to taunt them, the player is afflicted with a condition called 'Crushing Guilt', which is so powerful it actually affects them physically. This condition increases cooldown and decreases movement speed, eventually stacking up so much that you can barely attack, let alone even move from how heavy the guilt is. Not to mention, the manifestation of Self-Doubt chipping away at your health. Hopefully they managed to get some closure by completing the trial.
- There are two ways to go about defeating the manifestation of Self-Doubt, either one gives you an achievement: Fearful and Fearless. The Fearful method is to approach the manifestations of your friends and get closure on each individual dark thought, getting rid of the condition, and then facing their self-doubt head-on, guilt-free. The other way, Fearless, is much harder and very sad in hindsight. Instead going up to the illusions and getting closure, you would shoulder all the guilt, allowing yourself to get weighed down until you can barely move (by the conditions stacking), but through sheer will and determination, slowly whittle down the Manifestation Self-Doubt until you finally kill it. Considering the Commander's Determinator personality and their status as an Iron Woobie, they likely went the 'Fearless' route canon-wise. In hindsight, they probably use this 'route' all the time to deal with their inner demons...
Path of Fire
- Vlast's whole story. He was born into a tough situation, and he was supposed to follow his mother's footsteps. However, he didn't grow the way anyone expected him to. Unlike Aurene, who had the Commander as a friend and a champion to show her the way, Vlast had no one, and was forced to grow up in Kesho on his own, with the oppressive Exalted as his caretakers, who were smothering to him. Vlast grew up to be very anti-social and didn't share the same sympathy for humanity that his mother did, since he never really got a chance to socialize with anyone. However, he still stuck to his guns and wanted to carry out his mother's wishes, but his way. All he wanted was to be free in the skies...and a friend. Before his death, he tells Aurene (via the Commander) through a Vision Crystal that he would have liked to have someone to fly in the skies with and regretted that now they never met. Vlast didn't even get a chance to fully grow up, and died at a 'teenage-like' age. The poor guy. All he wanted was a choice.
- Poor Aurene...she never got to meet Vlast. According to Taimi, she was moaning in pain and snapping at her attendants. It's difficult to hear that the once playful dragon you bonded with was suffering so much.
- When the Commander calls for Taimi to let her know about Vlast's death, you can hear how broken the Commander is. They sound really torn up and guilty about Vlast sacrificing himself to save them (a Norn female sounds torn up especially). If you think about it, the Commander already had countless people sacrifice themselves for their safety; Vlast's death only adds to the growing number of people who died for them. Not only that, since they are connected to Aurene the Commander was able to feel Aurene's emotional distress, even though they're miles apart. They know how much Aurene was hurting. Not only were they guilty, but they are experiencing how terrible Aurene is feeling too.
- The Commander's (Player's) death. Goes to show you that anyone can die and not even you are exempt from this. Not only did the Commander die an extremely tragic and slow agonizing death by burning, but also after their death they appear as not just any ghost, but a Lost Spirit, having lost all their memories (including how they died) due to how 'traumatic' their death was. After all, they've been through, fighting what seemed like the unbeatable and overcoming all odds, becoming virtually the undefeated hero of Tyria, they were toyed with by Balthazar, who kept wounding the Commander until they couldn't fight any longer, but alive enough so they could live through their suffering before finally being killed after they were no longer useful. Even death isn't really a release, considering how horrible the afterlife they've come into is. Even then, when they finally recover their name, the Commander had an option to just put down their weapons , to accept the afterlife they've been given and rest in peace after one of the most stressful and tiring life one could ever have, but not only wouldn't they do that but they just can't. Too much burden rests on their shoulders and they can't even afford to stay dead.
- It's also a little sad if your character happens to be a Sylvari. Unlike if the Commander was the other races, the Sylvari Commander is still extremely young. As of their death, they are only about five years old, barely enough time to really enjoy life, even younger than Sieran when she died, and she was considered young at her death at age 21. Even before the moment they took their first step into the world, a terrible burden and destiny had been placed on their shoulders. Since then, their lives have gone progressively worse, especially ever since Mordremoth first appeared and started messing up their minds. And now, the literal worst thing happened to them: death and a horrifyingly lost afterlife.
- It's also saddening to look at this from other points of view. The Commander is more than just a champion to Aurene, they are essentially her parent. Aurene absolutely adores her surrogate parent and the two have bonded very strongly in the short time they've been together. Doubling as heartwarming, Aurene immediately sensed that her parent was in danger and flew all the way from Auric Basin to try to save them...but she couldn't. Aurene essentially watched the gentle and kind parent who raised her and loved her get slaughtered by Balthazar. The worst part is that Aurene and the Commander locked eyes right before Balthazar finally snuffed their light out. This must've been incredibly traumatizing to her, also taking into account that this would have been the second time her parent had died. What's more, a while ago, her older brother, Vlast, was also killed. To think that her brother's sacrifice would have been in vain if the Commander had stayed dead.
- If you happen to call Taimi extra times between missions, a little before the Commander's death by the hand of Balthazar, Taimi informs the Commander that Aurene has been frantically learning how to fly in her chamber, which Caithe describes almost as 'trying to escape'. Considering Glint also had the power of prophecy, it's also quite possible Aurene was able to do so as well. If this is true Aurene probably foresaw her surrogate parent's death and tried to prevent it. Unfortunately, she fails and gets to watch them die, though thankfully we avert this.
- Balthazar apparently took off after killing the Commander and capturing Aurene, leaving the Commander's friends to arrive to discover the Commander's gruesome dead body. Just a little earlier, the Commander was just talking to them, but now they lie in a charred mess, dead. When the Commander manages come back to life, Kasmeer is seen crying and the others are just standing idly by solemnly.
- Additionally, this must have hit Rytlock the hardest. Not only was Snaff, Glint, and Eir dead, he was also responsible for Balthazar returning and causing all this destruction. Now suddenly, his new guildmate and a good friend to him had been also slain by the very wrathful god he helped escaped. In the previous Act, Rytlock tells the Commander that he couldn't handle losing all the time and he needed a win, but all he got was another friend dying, but thank goodness we manage to avert this. He even pulls the Commander to the side for a bit after their revival, letting them know that he was very relieved to have them back. It's clear that he probably can't handle another friend dying on his conscience.
- The lost spirits wandering around The Dominion of the Lost has some sad stories to tell. A lot of them are just rushing around looking for lost items or any clue to finding out who they were and how they died, less they remain a lost spirit forever, trapped in a dark and gloomy land for the rest of their afterlives. Some of them resorted to trying to steal other people's identities and names, including the Commander's, in a desperate attempt to finally quell the tiring afterlife they live.
- Lost Spirit: Mom? Dad? Is that you?<Character Name>: ...Lost Spirit: It hurts.<Character Name>: What hurts?Lost Spirit: Everything.<Character Name>: I'm sorry.
- If you wander around the Dominion of the Lost, you meet two Pact Soldiers who had both died in the initial fight against Mordremoth, their airship having crashed. The two express their shock and horror to see the Commander in the same place as they are (since it meant that the Commander had been killed in a tragic event), knowing if that if they were here, then something must've gone horribly wrong. However, they assure the amnesiac Commander that they will definitely find out who they are, just like they did.
- Their story is also incredibly tragic and sweet too. While also being soldiers who both died in the tragic initial battle against Mordremoth, they both appeared in the Domain of the Lost after their death and like the Commander, had no idea who they were and what their purpose was. The two soldiers bond and when they do find themselves, they grew friendly in each other's presence and decided to stay in the Domain of the Lost together forever, despite having a much better afterlife separately in their respective race's afterlife, bringing a bittersweet close to their story. They can also rest well knowing the Commander managed to escape death and return to fight the battle. But now, they can finally rest in peace.
- After working so hard to defeat Balthazar together, Aurene absorbs the excess energy released by his death in order to make sure the Commander survives. She probably is still shaken by her surrogate parent's death and despite the negative effects it could have on her, she decides to do it anyway. However, suddenly Aurene flies away for unknown reasons, leaving a distraught Commander wondering where she had gone and why she left. The Commander's voice calling out for Aurene as she flies away is really heartbreaking.
Living Story Season 4
- The identity of the Awakened Champion sealed off in the Grotto of the Defeated: It's Koss, and he makes no bones about the fact that Joko brought him back specifically as torture. Players who knew him from the first Guild Wars really wanted Joko's head after this.
- It was long suspected, but Koss confirms it: Joko's just as likely to use Awakening as punishment as he is to use it as a "gift", and Awakened are compelled to obey him, whether they loved him in life or not (it's just easier for him to control them if they did). Suddenly brings a whole new horrible understanding to those Awakened who have "Forgive me!" as their re-death cry.
- When Taimi gets kidnapped by Joko, the instances afterward are just pure blind panic in a rushed desperate attempt to rescue your friend. Taimi's anguished cries really sell the anxiety and panic the Commander feels; she cries for the Commander's help and when they're unable to answer due to their communicator being stolen, she just gets more and more fearful. Even when you manage to get the communicator it almost feels like it's too late to even save her. Thankfully you do manage to save her, but her desperate pleas for help and her panic as she is almost suffocated in her old golem will haunt you forever.
- Although you might be happy that Braham and Rox suddenly appeared to save the Commander and their allies, Braham's reaction to meeting the Commander is frustratingly sad to watch. Even though some time has passed Braham still holds a grudge against the Commander for things they had no real control over. The first thing he does after realizing who he had saved is scoff at them, before cruelly and unjustly blaming them for getting Taimi kidnapped. The sad part is that the Commander doesn't even attempt to defend themselves; they just meekly allow themselves to take the accusations from Braham. Even when the Commander attempts to make small talk by thanking Braham for saving them, even with Rox's attempts to make peace, he just sourly grumbles at them. The stress from saving the world already hangs heavy from the Commander's shoulders; everything is at high stakes and it's really up to only them to fix it all. Even as tired as they are, they can't even get a welcome respite from their friends.