Greetings and well met, fellow adventurers! The time of our journey to the lands of Tyria will soon be upon us…yea I need to stop that. If you’re new to the world of Guild Wars 2, then you may have some questions about who all these people are. Well, we here at Guild Wars Insider are here to help and this time we’re going to explore a very interesting race: the NORN. We’ve already covered the humans and the charr, so if you would like to know more about them, check out those articles.
Some have tried to claim that the norn are nothing more than large humans. While it is true that the norn do have similar appearances as that of humans, there are some significant differences. First, the average norn is around 9 feet tall and built like tanks. It has even been mentioned in the the lore that the norn generate a tremendous amount of body heat at even the slightest bit of physical exertion. Thus they are able to survive in climates much harsher than that of a mere human, such as their homes in the Shiverpeak Mountains.
The norn also possess one other unique feature that humans don’t have – they can turn into animals. Specifically, they can take on the form of a Spirit of the Wild (which we’ll discuss in a moment), becoming a were-hybrid of the particular spirit. This close relationship with the spirits and the natural world make them a very different people than the humans that they look similar too.
Culturally, the norn are a fascinating people. They are individualistic by nature but focus on that individuals glory and legend and believe that as long as they are remembered in song, and have stories told of them, they they will live forever. As a result, the norn to do not fear death so long as it adds to their tale. Their passion for adventure and greatness is unmatched among all the races of Tyria, and while they are quick to anger they are just as quick to forgive.
The norn do not have an official governmental structure, but instead individuals will be responsible for the care and protection of their lodges. Hoelbrak for example is under the care and protection of Knut Whitebear, and his son is the leader of the Wolfborn, which are akin to a police force of sorts.
There are currently four spirits of the wild that the norn revere:
- Snow Leopard, is seen as the spirit of independence, strategy, and the spirit that laughs in the face of danger.
- Bear, is also called the Great Spirit, and represents fortitude and self-reliance.
- Wolf, represents the virtues of loyalty, ferocity, and strength in numbers, and it is often invoked for help in tracking the norn’s prey.
- Raven, is the spirit of cunning, trickery, and knowledge.
While there have been other spirits of the wild, those four are the most revered. Some of the spirits, such as owl and ox, were killed when the norn were driven south by the dragon Jormag. The lose of these spirits has only