The Story of Dragon’s Dogma So Far - What We Know

The Story of Dragon’s Dogma So Far - What We Know

By  Martin Heath - 18th Mar 2024

More questions than answers, honestly

The Story of Dragon’s Dogma So Far - What We Know

The release of Dragon’s Dogma 2 is inching closer day by day, and I, for one, am already wearing my Arisen shirt and Pawn-patterned pants in excitement! To distract me from the wait and to get my lore up to date, I asked the question: what happened in Dragon’s Dogma and how much of it is relevant to the upcoming sequel? Though we don’t know everything yet, there is still much to delve into! Note: this article will contain spoilers for Dragon’s Dogma, though we will try to avoid the big ones where possible.

A Dragon and a Date

The first game starts off simply enough: a colossal Dragon, known as a sign of an upcoming end of days, plops out of the sky and attacks your humble fishing village of Cassardis. You, being the brave sort, pick up a sword and attack the scaly tyrant, gaining the beast’s attention for your troubles. This is where the game goes from a basic fantasy plot to something more interesting; instead of either being eaten like a delicious snack or taking down the mythical beast, the Dragon instead pokes a claw into your chest and plucks out your heart, flying off after marking you as Arisen. 

Arisen, it turns out, are people marked by a Dragon as “worthy” and are tasked with gaining power and eventually taking on said giant lizard lest the world be destroyed. You see, with the coming of the Dragon, other monsters and beasts have emerged, making the world a dangerous place indeed. Because slaying a Dragon isn’t exactly the safest task, the Arisen is all but alone in this quest, save for one race of people, the Pawns. Existing in a place between worlds called the Rift, these emotionless beings live solely to serve an Arisen, helping them succeed! While you can hire a few of the odd fellows, one is designated as your Main Pawn, serving you until either they or you die.

From here, the newly minted party of the Arisen travel the land of Gransys to the local capital, Gran Soren, where Duke Edmund Dragonsbane lives. As may be guessed by the ostentatious name, the Duke has faced such a wyrm before, felling it and saving the Dukedom. He looks the part, too, looking to be in great health despite his decades of rule. Or so it seems at least. After meeting the Duke, you are tasked with a multitude of different problems to sort out: a fortress has been overrun by goblins, a nihilistic cult worshipping the Dragon is up to mischief, and there is a deep dungeon under the city that's kinda weird. After facing the cult a few times, they actually manage to get the attention of the Dragon, whom we learn is named Grigori, though things end slightly anticlimactically, as Grig simply chomps the leader. Interestingly, the Dragon yet again tells you to face him and stop the coming apocalypse, after which they fly off.

To further motivate you on your journey, the beast kidnaps your true love — a.k.a the NPC you had the most Affinity with, even the old shopkeep — goading you into action lest their life be forfeit. After you finally confront the winged fury, things go slightly differently than expected. If you are of a mind to play the first game yourself, I’d stop here

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions

Instead of going right to the action, Grigori offers you a choice: either face them and possibly die in the fight or give up your true love and live. They’ll be kind enough to leave, too, giving you a generation's span of peace before they return again. Being Arisen, you wouldn’t age a day and be as strong as ever. If this is ringing any bells, it turns out the Duke made the same deal, coming to a sad but obvious decision. You can actually do so as well, unlocking an ending where you become the next Duke!

If you do decide to take on the Dragon, a battle ensues. If you emerge victorious, Grigori is… happy? Seeming grateful and even relieved, the creature tells you how this was only the beginning of your story and how calamitous things are afoot. Before departing, he gives you the Godsbane Blade, saying how “those who arise to oversee the world are undying, save by this brand's kiss.” With this befuddling message, The fearsome foe melts into nothing but bone, and the very earth itself shakes with fury! What was supposed to be the end of your journey has now ended up opening a MASSIVE hole, termed the Everfall (a rather literal name), in the centre of Gran Soren. The monsters of the world have grown much stronger, and it seems the end is upon you after all… however, something in the eternal depths of the Everfall calls you. 

When you arrive in the city, it seems the Duke has gone mad and put out an order to kill you on sight. When you finally meet him, he’s no longer the virile man you met but a husk barely strong enough to walk, let alone raise his sword. The years of living on “borrowed” time via his Arisen nature have finally caught up, and he is not happy about it.

After taking on multiple challenges, such as a many-eyed floating beast, an undead Dragon, and multiple small dungeons, you are able to collect Everstones, special items with the ability to restore life to the recently dead, with which you punch a while into the Rift, home of the Pawns. Through this gateway, you find yourself in the home of the Seneschal.

To put it simply, the Seneschal is basically the God of the world, though not quite as all-powerful or omnipotent as the title may imply. Most of this godly being’s power is used to keep the world turning, though this power is not limitless; this is why the Arisen is needed, you see. Being a talkative fellow — and who can blame them, they’ve been alone for decades sans their personal Pawn, the Seneschal unveils the Eternal Return of Dragon’s Dogma

Eternal Cycles, Forever Turning

A Seneschal is an Arisen, like you, who has undergone the trial of the Dragon and the Everfall. Their task is to be the “custodian” of the world, using their power to maintain it and make sure it keeps turning. However, once their powers start fading, they need to start thinking about getting a replacement; it is time to unleash a Dragon. This is an unpredictable process, however, as some Arisen fail the test by dying or are not worthy, as seen in the case of Duke Edmund. Even making it all the way to the Seneschal’s Chamber is not enough, as the divinity tests you both physically and mentally before finally deeming you worthy. If you pass all the tests, the eternal being asks you to end them and take their place, continuing the cycle. With the Godsbane in hand, Grigori’s words echoing in your head, you are able to do just that, taking your place as the next in line.

If left at that, the cycle would continue as such. Your power would wane, and eventually, you’d be forced to send the Dragon to find the next candidate. Interestingly enough, even the beastly creature is part and parcel of the cycle, as Arisen that fail in their quest take on the form of either the Dragon or the lesser Dragonkin, which may explain both their strength but also the uncanny glimpses of humanity they show. However, what if the continuation of this cycle is not what you wish? Well, there are a few options. 

Refusing the Seneschal's place will net you a “happy” ending. The divine being will place you back in Cassardis, or something like it, erasin both your Arisen nature and memory. You are free to live life in peace until the next Dragon comes in a generation. If, however, you decide this cycle is indeed a vicious one and should be shattered, you may take the Godsbane and take your own life, seemingly ending the cycle.

An Uncertain Future

An Uncertain Future

It is generally accepted that the ending of the cycle is the “true” ending of the game, with the route being required to unlock New Game +. However, this route causes a bit of a hiccup, as breaking the cycle would mean there is no longer a need for an Arisen, right? Well, yes, but no.

As mentioned with the Pawns, the world we play within in the game is not the only one of its kind. Simply looking at the amount of Pawns and Dragonkin — failed heroes, as we remember — can hint at the existence of other sources of regretful failures. As such, it is difficult to say how the story of Dragon’s Dogma ties into the tale of the sequel: Is there one Seneschal per world, is this another universe in the cycle or even a point in time before the cycle is broken? We simply don’t know.

What we do know, however, is that the world of Dragon’s Dogma is noticeably different than Gransys, as the leonine race of the beasren attests! With the exception of the Pawns, the only humanoid beings in Gransys were the humans and the beasts they contested with, such as the goblins. With the addition of elves to the mix, it would seem the sequel will take place in a completely different world and reality, though it remains to be seen if our actions have had any effect. Maybe our goal will to be figure out an alternative way to keep the world stable, instead of glowy robe-guys in uncomfortable chairs!

A New Beginning

On that note, as a final crash course, let’s go through what we do know for a fact about the lands of the humans, beaster and elves, and the troubles therein.

To start off, the human population of whatever land we come to find ourselves in lives in the Kingdom of Vermund. Much like Gransys and Gran Soren, the local humans treat the Arisen as a hero and leader, giving anyone so marked the role of King. With the previous ruler dead, the current Queen, Disa, purports that she has found an Arisen and is trying to get them the throne. Since there can be one active Arisen and you are that, this should be impossible, right? It is this land of political turmoil the Arisen finds themselves in, having to navigate the delicate, and possibly dangerous, climate without gaining too much attention, all while figuring out their station as one marked by the Dragon.

Neighbours to the humans, the desert-dwelling beasren live in the nation of Battahl. Hidden in the canyons and crevasses of their home, they have built up a unique culture and religion. Worshipping the Lambent Flame to protect them from the calamity brought forth by the Dragon, the leonine people consider both Arisen and Pawns a sign of bad omens. With their highest authority, the empress Nadinia, acting as the centre of the religion, it may be hard to cultivate relations with the weary people, but it may also be critical if the coming terrors are to be kept at bay.

Finally, the elusive elves keep their distance from the problems of both beasren and human. Living in Sacred Arbor, these people shun any outsiders and refuse to talk any other tongue than their own, whether by choice or lack of skill. Haughty by nature, gaining the respect or even notice of this ethereal race may be a challenge, though there is talk of a Pawn fluent in their language…

It is between these three lands and peoples that your adventure will take place. While we don’t know the specifics of your adventure, it does seem that the relations you are able to cultivate between the races will play an important role. As is customary for Dragon’s Dogma an emphasis on exploration, trial and error, and player choice will factor into how your tale will unfold.

And there you have it, the story of the Dragon’s Dogma in summary and what we know of Dragon’s Dogma 2´s setting so far. It will be fascinating to see how much of the original lore will still be valid and how closely the two games are related to each other!

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